The structure of scientific theories, explanation, and unification : a causal-structural accountThe structure of scientific theories, explanation, and unification : a causal-structural account
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Centre for Philosophical Psychology
The British journal for the philosophy of science. - London
65(2014):4, p. 717-771
What are scientic theories and how should they be represented? In this paper I propose a causal-structural account, according to which scientic theories are to be represented as sets of interrelated causal and credal nets. In contrast with other accounts of scientic theories (such as Sneedian structuralism, Kitcher's unicationist view, and Darden's theory of theoretical components), this leaves room for causality to play a substantial role. As a result, an interesting account of explanation is provided which sheds light on explanatory unication within a causalist framework. The theory of classical genetics is used as a case study.