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The Metaphorical Conception of Scientific Explanation: Rereading Mary Hesse

Maria Rentetzi
Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie
Vol. 36, No. 2 (2005), pp. 377-391
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25171322
Page Count: 15
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The Metaphorical Conception of Scientific Explanation: Rereading Mary Hesse
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Abstract

In 1997, five decades after the publication of the landmark Hempel-Oppenheim article "Studies in the Logic of Explanation"([1948], 1970) Wesley Salmon published Causality and Explanation, a book that re-addresses the issue of scientific explanation. He provided an overview of the basic approaches to scientific explanation, stressed their weaknesses, and offered novel insights. However, he failed to mention Mary Hesse's approach to the topic and analyze her standpoint. This essay brings front and center Hesse's approach to scientific explanation formulated in the 1960s and argues that rereading Hesse's account one can overcome the criticisms addressed towards another influential theory of explanation that of Bas van Fraassen's. Furthermore, it could bring the traditional philosophy of science into a fruitful conversation with science and technology studies and gender studies in science, technology and medicine.

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