Causality and Explanation
Salmon (Wesley)
This Page provides (where held) the Abstract of the above Book and those of all the Papers contained in it.
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BOOK ABSTRACT:

Amazon Book Description

  1. Wesley Salmon is renowned for his scholarly contributions to the philosophy of science.
  2. 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.
  3. It includes a section of introductory pieces, as well as more advanced and technical pieces.

Amazon Customer Review
  1. If you were forced to rely on only one book on the philosophy of science today (2002), this would be the one. A collection of 26 essays, Causality And Explanation represents the state of the art. Salmon dedicates the book to Carl G. Hempel, who developed the deductive-nomological, or covering law model of scientific explanation.
  2. Clearly, then, Salmon is no post-Kuhnian epistemological radical. There is progress beyond Hempel, but it is not in the social constructionist direction. Not for Salmon, anyway, and not for me either. Rather, it points in the direction of probabilistic, stochastic, explanation replacing the vestiges of Laplacian determinism.
  3. Many of the essays are quite dense, but the book contains a Key of sorts, in the form of three essays that are grouped as "Concise Overviews." Read these first and the rest makes much more sense. Salmon is an analytical philosopher, and analytical philosophy is a tradition that values clarity of expression.
  4. This book is a marvelous accomplishment. It has proved quite useful in clarifying my thinking as I try to teach sociology undergraduates the scientific method, particularly on the distinction between deterministic and probabilistic causation. It is truly sad that it is not read by everyone who ever runs into Thomas Kuhn and the postmodern vector that he inspired.

Contents
    Introduction – 3
  1. Part I. Introductory Essays: Causality, Determinism, and Explanation – 11
    1. A New Look at Causality – 13
    2. Determinism and Indeterminism in Modem Science – 25
    3. Comets, Pollen, and Dreams: Some Reflections on Scientific Explanation – 50
    4. Scientific Explanation: Causation and Unification – 68
    5. The Importance of Scientific Understanding – 79
  2. Part II. Scientific Explanation – 93
    1. A Third Dogma of Empiricism – 95
    2. Causal and Theoretical Explanation – 108
    3. Why Ask, "Why?"?: An Inquiry Concerning Scientific Explanation – 125
    4. Deductivism Visited and Revisited – 142
    5. Explanatory Asymmetry: A Letter to Professor Adolf Grunbaum from His Friend and Colleague – 164
    6. Van Fraassen on Explanation – 178
      → With Philip Kitcher
  3. Part III. Causality – 191
    1. An "At-At" Theory of Causal Influence – 193
    2. Causal Propensities: Statistical Causality versus Aleatory Causality – 200
    3. Probabilistic Causality – 208
    4. Intuitions — Good and Not-So-Good – 233
    5. Causality without Counterfactuals – 248
    6. Indeterminacy, Indeterminism, and Quantum Mechanics – 261
  4. Part IV. Concise Overviews – 283
    1. Causality: Production and Propagation – 285
    2. Scientific Explanation; How We Got from There to Here – 302
    3. Scientific Explanation: Three Basic Conceptions – 320
  5. Part V. Applications to Other Disciplines: Archaeology and Anthropology, Astrophysics and Cosmology, and Physics – 331
    1. Alternative Models of Scientific Explanation – 333
      → With Merrilee H. Salmon
    2. Causality in Archaeological Explanation – 347
    3. Explanation in Archaeology: An Update – 356
    4. The Formulation of Why-Questions – 364
    5. Quasars, Causality, and Geometry: A Scientific Controversy That Did Not Occur – 369
    6. Dreams of a Famous Physicist: An Apology for Philosophy of Science – 385

    References – 405
    Index – 417

BOOK COMMENT:

Oxford University Press (7 May 1998)



"Salmon (Wesley) - A New Look at Causality"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - A Third Dogma of Empiricism"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - An 'At-At' Theory of Causal Influence"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Causal and Theoretical Explanation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Causal Propensities: Statistical Causality Versus Aleatory Causality"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Causality and Explanation: Introduction"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Causality in Archaeological Explanation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Causality Without Counterfactuals"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation


Philosophers Index Abstract
    This paper presents a drastically revised version of the theory of causality1, based on analyses of causal processes and causal interactions, advocated in Salmon (1984). Relying heavily on modified versions of proposals by P Dowe, this article answers penetrating objections by Dowe and P Kitcher to the earlier theory. It shows how the new theory circumvents a host of difficulties that have been raised in the literature. The result is, I hope, a more satisfactory analysis of physical causality2.



"Salmon (Wesley) - Causality: Production and Propagation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation

COMMENT: Also in "Sosa (Ernest) & Tooley (Michael), Eds. - Causation"



"Salmon (Wesley) - Comets, Pollen, and Dreams: Some Reflections on Scientific Explanation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Deductivism Visited and Revisited"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Determinism and Indeterminism in Modern Science"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Dreams of a Famous Physicist: An Apology For Philosophy of Science"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation

COMMENT: Steven Weinberg's Dreams of a Final Theory



"Salmon (Wesley) - Explanation in Archaeology: An Update"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Explanatory Asymmetry: A Letter to Professor Adolf GrunbaumFrom His Friend and Colleague"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Indeterminacy, Indeterminism, and Quantum Mechanics"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Intuitions - Good and Not-So-Good"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Probabilistic Causality"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation


Philosophers Index Abstract
    This article provides a critical analysis and comparison of the theories of probabilistic causality1 offered by hans reichenbach, I j good, and patrick suppes. Each of these theories faces certain fundamental difficulties. In the end, I argue that probabilistic causality2 cannot be explicated in terms of statistical relations among discrete events alone; instead, we must take into account the physical processes which provide causal connections among the events involved.


COMMENT: Also in "Sosa (Ernest) & Tooley (Michael), Eds. - Causation"



"Salmon (Wesley) - Quasars, Causality, and Geometry: A Scientific Controversy That Did Not Occur"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Scientific Explanation: Causation and Unification"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Scientific Explanation: How We Got From There To Here"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Scientific Explanation: Three Basic Conceptions"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - The Formulation of Why-Questions"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - The Importance of Scientific Understanding"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) - Why Ask, 'Why?'?: An Inquiry Concerning Scientific Explanation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) & Kitcher (Philip) - Van Fraasen on Explanation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation



"Salmon (Wesley) & Salmon (Merrilee) - Alternative Models of Scientific Explanation"

Source: Salmon - Causality and Explanation




Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
  1. Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2019
  2. Mauve: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); © the author(s)



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