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Kim on the metaphysics of explanation


Jaegwon Kim

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SABATÉS, M. H. Kim on the metaphysics of explanation. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 19, n. 2, p. 93–110, 1996. Disponível em: Acesso em: 1 out. 2023.


In a series of influential papers, Jaegwon Kim has argued forthree substantive theses on the metaphysics of explanation, each ofthem having other prestigious s defenders as well as independent intuitive appeal. They are: Explanatory Realism (ER): explanations are grounded in "world-cementing” objective relations between the events referred to by the explanandum and the explanans; Explanatory Pluralism (EP): there are in addition to causal explanations, explanations tied to non-causal dependence relations; Explanatory Exclusion (EE): there cannot be more than one complete and independent explanation of the same event. But the following puzzle arises: (ER) couples explanations with structural objective relations, and causes are one kind among such relations. Now, most of us think that every event has a cause. Thus, there is one explanation for each and every event: the causal explanation which "tracks" the cause of the event under consideration. Given such a causal explanation, (EE) rules out any other explanation of an event, and this for all events there are. Hence, (EP) cannot be true. I suggest a way out of the puzzle that eschews one of the theses but preserves the intuitions behind it.



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Copyright (c) 1996 Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia


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