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Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation

ISBN-13: 978-0674031838
ISBN-10: 0674031830
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Editorial Reviews


Depth is an excellent book--the best treatment of explanation in the philosophical literature. Strevens draws on a wealth of scientific and philosophical knowledge to craft a theory that is true to the facts about how scientific explanation actually works, while avoiding the traps that have snared previous attempts at providing a systematic theory. (Brian Weatherson, Cornell University)

Strevens proposes a substantial revision and upgrading of traditional causal approaches to explanation in the sciences. Focusing on what he calls "causal difference-making," the non-causal relation "entanglement," and requiring progressive abstraction toward deeper explanatory models employing lower-level causal laws, Strevens outlines a theory of explanation that will no doubt attract a significant amount of interest--especially among those interested in the structure of the biological and social sciences (for which it has interesting consequences)...Although the concepts are not easy ones, and even though the arguments are directed at professionals, undergraduates will be able to read this book with profit. The very brief final chapter on the aesthetics of explanation raises thought-provoking questions that readily invite response from students, other philosophers, or possibly Strevens himself. In short, this is a valuable book for any program that includes the philosophy of science. (C. D. Kay Choice 2009-07-01)

This volume will prove indispensable for philosophers working in the field of explanation...Strevens's book provides an excellent survey of recent argumentation on causal explanation with a rigorous defense of his own brand of explanation. (Jeremy S. Kirby Quarterly Review of Biology 2010-03-01)

[An] impressive book...Depth provides many intellectually stimulating and highly original thoughts on a number of critical and venerable philosophical topics. Any philosopher of science today will surely find it to be a rewarding read. (Stephan Hartmann and Jonah N. Schupbach Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010-06-01)

About the Author

Michael Strevens is Professor of Philosophy at New York University.

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Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation
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