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Reassessing Woodward's account of explanation: regularities, counterfactuals, and non-causal explanations

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  • Explanation


We reassess Woodward’s counterfactual account of explanation in relation to regularity explananda. Woodward (2005) presents an account of causal explanation. We argue, by using an explanation of Kleiber’s law to illustrate, that the account can cover also some non-causal explanations. This leads to a tension between the two key aspects of Woodward’s account: the counterfactual aspect and the causal aspect. We explore this tension and make a case for jettisoning the causal aspect as constitutive of explanatory power in connection with regularity explananda.

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