, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 49-59

Deductive Chauvinism

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Abstract

Any theory of explanation must account for the explanatory successes of statistical scientific theories. This should not be done by endorsing determinism. These considerations have been taken as sufficient ground for rejecting the demand on explanations to be deductive. The arguments for doing so, in Coffa (1974) and Salmon (1977, 1984, 1988), are, however, not persuasive. Deductivism is a viable position. Considering that doubts can be raised against the explanatory validity of probabilistic causal relations and the intuitive plausibility of deductivism, it is also a recommendable position, though elaboration is needed in accounting for some of the uses of statistical theories in explanations.

This revised version was published online in June 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.