Truth in explanation
Author(s)Nickel, Bernhard, Ph. D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.
Edward J. Hall, Robert C. Stalnaker and Stephen Yablo.
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My thesis consists of three papers on truth and explanations in science. Broadly, the question I ask is semantic. Should the best account of certain bits of our scientific practice focus on the concept of truth? More specifically, should the crucial distinctions between good and bad aspects of that practice be drawn in terms of truth? My thesis consists of three case studies: ceteris paribus laws in the special sciences, appeals to idealizations in the application of theories, and the analysis of explanations quite generally, exemplified in the asymmetry of explanation. In each case, prominent philosophers have argued that a proper treatment does not focus on truth. In each case, I argue that truth should play a central role. And in each case, the issue turns, at least in part, on the connection between the scientific practice in question and explanations.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, 2005.Includes bibliographical references (p. 155-163).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Linguistics and Philosophy.