Degrees of Explanation

“Degrees of Explanation.” The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 6, no. 23 (1955): 209–225.


“The discussion of scientific method has been guided almost entirely by the example of classical physics. The reason for this is mainly that certain features of the scientific method can be most easily illustrated by instances from this field, and partly a belief that, because physics is the most highly developed of all the empirical sciences, it ought to be held up to all others for imitation. Whatever truth there may be in this second consideration ought not, however, to make us overlook the possibility that some of the characteristic procedures of physics may not be of universal applicability, and that the procedure of some of the other sciences, “natural” or “social”, may differ from that of physics, not because the former are less advanced, but because the situation in their fields differs in significant respects from that of physics.”

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