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Contrastive Explanation

Hitchcock, Christopher (2012) Contrastive Explanation. In: Contrastivism in Philosophy. Routledge studies in contemporary philosophy. No.39. Routledge , New York, pp. 11-34. ISBN 978-0-415-87860-9.

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[Introduction] Numerous authors have claimed that the truth, or at least the felicity, of an explanatory claim is sensitive to contrast. For example, consider the following explanatory claims: 1. Adam are the apple because he was hungry. 2. Susan was arrested because she stole the bicycle. Fleshing out the details of the stories in appropriate ways, we might hear la. Adam ate the apple, rather than giving it back to Eve, because he was hungry as true, and lb. Adam ate the apple, rather than the pear, because he was hungry as false. For instance, if Adam was sufficiently hungry that he would have indiscriminately eaten the first edible thing handed to him by Eve, we might accept 1a and reject lb. Similarly, we might hear 2a. Susan was arrested because she stole the bicycle, rather than buying it as true, and 2b. Susan was arrested because she stole the bicycle, rather than the skis as false (where Susan robbed a sporting goods store). For instance, if the police were not singularly vigilant about catching bicycle thieves, and if Susan could not have used the skis to effect a rapid downhill getaway, we might accept 2a and reject 2b (bur see section 3.1 below for a caveat).

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Additional Information:© 2013 Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, an Informa Business.
Series Name:Routledge studies in contemporary philosophy
Issue or Number:39
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140408-143041464
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44789
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:09 Apr 2014 18:01
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 06:22

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