, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 255-261
Date: 31 Jul 2012

Grounding, scientific explanation, and Humean laws

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Abstract

It has often been argued that Humean accounts of natural law cannot account for the role played by laws in scientific explanations. Loewer (Philosophical Studies 2012) has offered a new reply to this argument on behalf of Humean accounts—a reply that distinguishes between grounding (which Loewer portrays as underwriting a kind of metaphysical explanation) and scientific explanation. I will argue that Loewer’s reply fails because it cannot accommodate the relation between metaphysical and scientific explanation. This relation also resolves a puzzle about scientific explanation that Hempel and Oppenheim (Philosophy of Science 15:135–75, 1948) encountered.