Backwards explanation

Nolan, Daniel P. and Jenkins, C. S. (2008) Backwards explanation. Philosophical Studies, 140 1: 103-115. doi:10.1007/s11098-008-9228-y

Author Nolan, Daniel P.
Jenkins, C. S.
Title Backwards explanation
Journal name Philosophical Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0031-8116
Publication date 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s11098-008-9228-y
Volume 140
Issue 1
Start page 103
End page 115
Total pages 13
Place of publication Dordrecht, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract We discuss explanation of an earlier event by a later event, and argue that prima facie cases of backwards event explanation are ubiquitous. Some examples: (1) I am tidying my flat because my brother is coming to visit tomorrow. (2) The scarlet pimpernels are closing because it is about to rain. (3) The volcano is smoking because it is going to erupt soon. We then look at various ways people might attempt to explain away these prima facie cases by arguing that in each case the 'real' explanation is something else. We argue that none of the explaining-away strategies are successful, and so any plausible account of explanation should either make room for backwards explanation, or have a good story to tell about why it doesn't have to.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 5 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 5 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 19 Mar 2012, 18:10:58 EST by Kimberly Dobson on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry