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Episteme

Abstract

The philosophy of science has seen a range of theories since the radical introduction of reductionism as an offshoot of the logical positivists. This author argues that while the various sciences may not be unified by law, there is every reason to believe that they are unified by explanation. In essence, Alan Garfinkel and David Owens are judged to be less convincing that the arguments given by Karen Neander and Peter Menzies. The author shows the insufficiency of Garfinkel’s attempt to illustrate the missing link between macro and micro explanation in the theory of explanatory pervasion. The author then supports Neander et al., who disagree with Owens over the arguments against agglomerativity and transitivity. They offer an alternative understanding of the Aristotelian example, as well a better argument against transitivity, hinging on the difference between causal relevance and explanatory relevance. Thus, the author supports Neander and Menzies’s weaker formulation of explanatory pervasion.

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