Topics in Philosophy of Science: Explanation
Fall 2011

In the first part of the class, we will study various approaches to explanation in the philosophy of science, in particular, expectability, unificationist, and causal approaches. Special attention will be given to the role of dependence, abstraction, and idealization in explanation. In the second part of the class, we turn to explanation in areas other than science: mathematics, metaphysics, ethics, and perhaps aesthetics, looking for differences and especially similarities to scientific explanation.

Some experience with the philosophy of science will be helpful but is not presupposed.

Class meets on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 in the second floor seminar room, 5 Washington Place

Syllabus (PDF)

Suggested topics for first paper