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Metaphysical explanatory asymmetries

Jan Willem Wieland UGent and Erik Weber UGent (2010) LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE. p.345-365
abstract
The general view is that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric. For instance, if resemblance facts can be explained by facts about their relata, then, by the asymmetry of explanation, these latter facts cannot in turn be explained by the former. The question however is: is there any reason to hold on to the asymmetry? If so, what does it consist in? In the paper we approach these questions by comparing them to analogous questions that have been investigated for scientific explanations. Three main asymmetry criteria have been proposed for the latter: (i) causation, (ii) unification, and (iii) explanatory dependence. We argue that the last criterion, but not the former two, can be of help to metaphysical explanation: metaphysical explanations are asymmetric if the explanatory dependence criterion (in modified format) holds of them.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
journal title
LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE
Log. Anal.
issue
211
pages
345 - 365
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000284030000005
ISSN
0024-5836
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
924352
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-924352
date created
2010-04-13 14:25:42
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:46:39
@article{924352,
  abstract     = {The general view is that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric. For instance, if resemblance facts can be explained by facts about their relata, then, by the asymmetry of explanation, these latter facts cannot in turn be explained by the former. The question however is: is there any reason to hold on to the asymmetry? If so, what does it consist in? In the paper we approach these questions by comparing them to analogous questions that have been investigated for scientific explanations. Three main asymmetry criteria have been proposed for the latter: (i) causation, (ii) unification, and (iii) explanatory dependence. We argue that the last criterion, but not the former two, can be of help to metaphysical explanation: metaphysical explanations are asymmetric if the explanatory dependence criterion (in modified format) holds of them.},
  author       = {Wieland, Jan Willem and Weber, Erik},
  issn         = {0024-5836},
  journal      = {LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {211},
  pages        = {345--365},
  title        = {Metaphysical explanatory asymmetries},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Wieland, Jan Willem, and Erik Weber. 2010. “Metaphysical Explanatory Asymmetries.” Logique Et Analyse (211): 345–365.
APA
Wieland, J. W., & Weber, E. (2010). Metaphysical explanatory asymmetries. LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE, (211), 345–365.
Vancouver
1.
Wieland JW, Weber E. Metaphysical explanatory asymmetries. LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE. 2010;(211):345–65.
MLA
Wieland, Jan Willem, and Erik Weber. “Metaphysical Explanatory Asymmetries.” LOGIQUE ET ANALYSE 211 (2010): 345–365. Print.