2 - Models Of Scientific Explanation
A more detailed breakdown of what I was planning to include in the "scientific explanation" section.

Introductory comments





REASON 1

The Deductive-Nomological model of scientific explanation

The basic idea of Deductive-Nomological explanation is that:

An example of a scientific 'D-N' explanation might therefore be the following:


There are a number of issues with the D-N model of scientific explanation, including the following:


So the D-N model has not resolved the problems associated with scientific explanation.

The Causal-Mechanical model of scientific explanation

The causal-mechanical model of scientific explanation suggests that an explanation of an event E traces:
(i) the processes and interactions that make up the event itself
(ii) AND the causal processes and interactions leading up to the event E

Salmon suggests that causal processes can be distinguished from non-causal processes by looking for 'mark transmissions', i.e. a causal process is one that is able to transmit a mark in a continuous way.


Note that the C-M model relies heavily on counterfactuals; the movement, for example, of an undented car would also be a mark transmitter/ causal process, because if one were to mark the car, the mark would be transmitted through space and time.

Solves some of the problems that arise from the D-N approach, but not all (e.g. how can one introduce the concept of mark transmission to explain Bob's lack of pregnancy?). It also seems a bit strange to introduce something like mark transmission in the first place (seems a bit irrelevant).

As observed for the D-N model, there are a number of issues with the Causal-Mechanical model of scientific explanation, including the following:


So the Causal-Mechanical model has not resolved the problems associated with scientific explanation.




REASON 2

The scientific explanation of consciousness, beyond just the problems discussed above, is particularly problematic. One of the major reasons for this is that it is very difficult to get observations/ evidence of consciousness.

Observation/ evidence in the study of consciousness

NOTE: This part I'm not so sure about how to structure...I think I'll try and upload something tomorrow, once I've thought about what would be the clearest line of argument.




The above is all still very much a skeleton of a draft, but I'm interested to know whether it makes sense structurally. If not, I can try to come up with something more sensible. At the moment I kind of feel like it jumps around a lot (even in the Draft Structure ) so I'd like to make it a bit more streamlined if I can. Not really sure.