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Explication et pertinence : du sel ensorcelé à la loi des aires

  • Cyrille Imbert (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 30 March 2012

ABSTRACT: Whereas relevance in scientific explanations is usually discussed as if it was a single problem, several criteria of relevance will be distinguished in this paper. Emphasis is laid upon the notion of intra-scientific relevance, which is illustrated using explanation of the law of areas as an example. Traditional accounts of explanation, such as the causal and unificationist accounts, are analyzed against these criteria of relevance. Particularly, it will be shown that these accounts fail to indicate which explanations fulfill the condition of intra-scientific relevance. Finally, the significance of this latter criterion is emphasized, and the epistemic benefits of explanations that fulfill it are highlighted.

RÉSUMÉ : À rebours des discussions sur l’explication, qui semblent faire de la pertinence explicative un problème unique, plusieurs critères de pertinence explicative sont ici distingués. Est en particulier soulignée l’importance de la notion de pertinence intra-scientifique, qui est analysée de façon précise sur la base de l’explication de la loi des aires. Les conceptions traditionnelles de l’explication, et notamment la théorie causale ainsi que la théorie unificationiste de Kitcher, sont évaluées à l’aune de ces différentes critères. Il est en particulier montré quils ne fournissent pas d’outils suffisants pour identifier les explications qui satisfont la condition de pertinence intra-scientifique.

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Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review / Revue canadienne de philosophie
  • ISSN: 0012-2173
  • EISSN: 1759-0949
  • URL: /core/journals/dialogue-canadian-philosophical-review-revue-canadienne-de-philosophie
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