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Published October 1996 | public
Journal Article

The Mechanist and the Snail


[Introduction] One of the most influential theories of scientific explanation to have emerged in the past two decades is Salmon's causal/mechanical theory (Salmon 1984). According to this account, scientific explanations describe a network of causal processes and interactions. In this paper, I will use an example from evolutionary biology to argue that the causal nexus, as characterized by Salmon, is not rich enough to account for many causal explanations in the sciences.

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© 1996 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Received in revised form 13 June 1995.

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