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Explanation, Causality, and Counterfactuals

Evan K. Jobe
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 52, No. 3 (Sep., 1985), pp. 357-389
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/187708
Page Count: 33
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Explanation, Causality, and Counterfactuals
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to develop an adequate version of the D-N theory of explanation for particular events and to show how the resulting D-N model can be used as a tool in articulating a regularity theory of causation and an analysis of the truth conditions for counterfactual conditionals. Starting with a basic model that is largely the product of other workers in this field, two new restrictions are formulated in order to construct a version of D-N explanation that does not yield the counterintuitive results that have plagued all earlier versions. An additional condition is then developed that is indispensable for utilizing the D-N model as a tool in formulating a regularity theory of causation. Finally, it is shown how a suitable model of potential D-N explanation facilitates the formulation of a theory of counterfactual conditionals.

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