© 1985

Explanation, Causation and Deduction


Part of the The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science book series (WONS, volume 26)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Fred Wilson
    Pages 173-342
  3. Fred Wilson
    Pages 343-343
  4. Back Matter
    Pages 345-385

About this book


The purpose of this essay is to defend the deductive-nomological model of explanation against a number of criticisms that have been made of it. It has traditionally been thought that scientific explanations were causal and that scientific explanations involved deduction from laws. In recent years, however, this three-fold identity has been challenged: there are, it is argued, causal explanations that are not scientific, scientific explanations that are not deductive, deductions from laws that are neither causal explanations nor scientific explanations, and causal explanations that involve no deductions from laws. The aim of the present essay is to defend the traditional identities, and to show that the more recent attempts at invalidating them fail in their object. More specifically, this essay argues that a Humean version of the deductive-nomological model of explanation can be defended as (1) the correct account of scientific explanation of individual facts and processes, and as (2) the correct account of causal explanations of individual facts and processes. The deductive-nomological model holds that to explain an event E, say that a is G, one must find some initial conditions C, say that a is F, and a law or theory T such that T and C jointly entail E, and both are essential to the deduction.


David Hume communication model reason

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of TorontoCanada

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Explanation, Causation and Deduction
  • Authors Fred Wilson
  • Series Title The University of Western Ontario Series in Philosophy of Science
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-277-1856-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-010-8818-3
  • eBook ISBN 978-94-009-5249-2
  • Series ISSN 1566-659X
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages , 400
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Philosophy of Science
  • Buy this book on publisher's site