Causality and Explanation

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Oxford University Press, Jan 22, 1998 - Science - 448 pages
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For over two decades Wesley Salmon has helped to shape the course of debate in philosophy of science. He is a major contributor to the philosophical discussion of problems associated with causality and the author of two influential books on scientific explanation. This long-awaited volume collects twenty- six of Salmon's essays, including seven that have never before been published and others difficult to find. Part I comprises five introductory essays that presuppose no formal training in philosophy of science and form a background for subsequent essays. Parts II and III contain Salmon's seminal work on scientific explanation and causality. Part IV offers survey articles that feature advanced material but remain accessible to those outside philosophy of science. Essays in Part V address specific issues in particular scientific disciplines, namely, archaeology and anthropology, astrophysics and cosmology, and physics. Clear, compelling, and essential, this volume offers a superb introduction to philosophy of science for nonspecialists and belongs on the bookshelf of all who carry out work in this exciting field. Wesley Salmon is renowned for his seminal contributions to the philosophy of science. He has powerfully and permanently shaped discussion of such issues as lawlike and probabilistic explanation and the interrelation of explanatory notions to causal notions. This unique volume brings together twenty-six of his essays on subjects related to causality and explanation, written over the period 1971-1995. Six of the essays have never been published before and many others have only appeared in obscure venues. The volume includes a section of accessible introductory pieces, as well as more advanced and technical pieces, and will make essential work in the philosophy of science readily available to both scholars and students.
 

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Contents

III
13
IV
25
V
50
VI
68
VII
79
VIII
93
IX
95
X
108
XX
248
XXI
261
XXII
283
XXIII
285
XXIV
302
XXV
320
XXVI
331
XXVII
333

XI
125
XII
142
XIII
164
XIV
178
XV
191
XVI
193
XVII
200
XVIII
208
XIX
233
XXVIII
347
XXIX
356
XXX
364
XXXI
369
XXXII
385
XXXIII
405
XXXIV
417
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Page 32 - Given for one instant an intelligence which could comprehend all the forces by which nature is animated and the respective situation of the beings who compose it — an intelligence sufficiently vast to submit these data to analysis — it would embrace in the same formula the movements of the greatest bodies of the universe and those of the lightest atom ; for it, nothing would be uncertain and the future, as the past, would be present to its eyes.
Page 27 - Master, just now when I was in the market-place I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there death will not find me.
Page 28 - All events, even those which on account of their insignificance do not seem to follow the great laws of nature, are a result of it just as necessarily as the revolutions of the sun.
Page 27 - ... why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise.

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