Article/Publication Details

Towards a Universal Account of Asymmetry in Non-causal Explanations

(Original title: Towards a Universal Account of Asymmetry in Non-causal Explanations)
Filozofia, 2021, vol. 76, No 6, pp. 407 – 422.
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Abstract

In this paper, I provide a conceptual analysis of the issue of asymmetry in noncausal explanations. I aim to fulfill three subtasks: 1) To define a conceptual space for problem solving (Cf. Reutlinger and Saatsi 2018; Lange 2017); 2) To reflect ongoing debates (Cf. Jansson and Saatsi 2019; Lange 2019; Khalifa et al. 2018); 3) To reflect a model of topological explanation (Cf. Kostić 2020). I focus only on non-causal explanations in the context of scientific research. I formulate several counter-arguments against distinctively mathematical explanations. I reflect the ongoing debate on the question of the universal applicability of a counterfactual solution to the problem of asymmetry for both causal and non-causal explanations (Cf. Woodward 2018). I reveal that none of the approaches discussed is without problems and that the proposed solutions to them are unsatisfactory. I consider the model of topological explanation in Kostić's view to be the most cogent solution to the discussed problem. His model successfully incorporates a counterfactual approach and also offers a solution to the problem of explanation asymmetry in non-causal explanations from a pragmatic point of view.

Keywords

Asymmetry, Counterfactual, Explanation, Non-causal, Topological