Comment: A striking argument that science does not employ causal explanations. Since this is a commonly-held assumption, this would be interesting to present in the context of scientific methodology, or in an exploration of causation as part of a challenge to whether the idea of causation is actually useful or necessary. Provides good historical context to support its claims. Best taught at an advanced or graduate level.
Thalos, Mariam. Explanation is a genus: An essay on the varieties of scientific explanation
2002, Synthese 130(3): 317-354.
Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: I shall endeavor to show that every physical theory since Newton explainswithout drawing attention to causes-that, in other words, physical theories as physical theories aspire to explain under an ideal quite distinctfrom that of causal explanation. If I am right, then even if sometimes theexplanations achieved by a physical theory are not in violation ofthe standard of causal explanation, this is purely an accident. For physicaltheories, as I will show, do not, as such, aim at accommodating the goals oraspirations of causal explanation. This will serve as the founding insightfor a new theory of explanation, which will itself serve as the cornerstoneof a new theory of scientific method.
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