Advertisement

Metascience

, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 11–18 | Cite as

Of strawberries and energy conservation

Marc Lange: Because without cause: non-causal explanation in science and mathematics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, xxii+489pp, $74.00 HB
  • Bradford Skow
Symposium
  • 99 Downloads
Marc draws a distinction between causal explanations and non-causal explanations and argues that non-causal explanations exist. Marc has his own way of drawing the distinction; other philosophers draw the distinction differently. How does Marc draw it? He writes:

the distinction between “causal” and “non-causal” explanations (as I will use these terms) lies in how they work—that is, in what gives them explanatory power. A “non-causal” explanation may incidentally identify (or, at least, supply information about) causes of what is being explained. But it does not derive its explanatory power by virtue of doing so. (3; my emphasis)

One variety of non-causal explanation is the “distinctively mathematical” explanation:

distinctively mathematical explanations are “non-causal” because they do not work bysupplying information about a given event’s causal history or, more broadly about the world’s network of causal relations. A distinctively mathematical explanation works instead (I will...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Linguistics and PhilosophyMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

Personalised recommendations