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Extra info for Alice Returns From Wonderland: Ontological Frameworks for Explanation from Contemporary Quantum Theories

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A simple illustration from Hitchcock (2004) will help us set the stage for the type of explanation we are concerned with (as opposed to those that we are not, though will be often skirting them). This banishment of explanation from science seems to rest on a confusion, however. ”. That is certainly a question for religion or philosophy, rather than science. ”. It seems entirely appropriate that science [and, by extension also philosophy of science] should attempt to answer that sort of question.

13 Though Einstein nowhere exhibits awareness of this non-principle step he is clearly uneasy about the special status accorded to measuring rods and clocks in the Special Theory (Brown & Pooley, 2001). […] strictly speaking measuring rods and clocks would have to be represented as solutions of the basic equations (objects consisting of moving atomic configurations), not as it were, as theoretically self-sufficient entities. (Einstein, 1951, pp. 59, 61) Yet, it is also obvious that although a deviation from the principle theory ideal, this is by no means its utter falsification.

Though subscribing to the overall realist perspective, our approaches are empirically equivalent and we have no recourse to the all-knowing arbiter to tell us which of them gets closer to the truth. So it is important to limit the explanatory ‘buck-passing’ that is characteristic Chapter 1: REALISM, NAÏVETÉ AND PHILOSOPHY 25 of the hidden structure strategy (Woodward, 2003), and thus limit the pitfalls of excessively speculative metaphysics. Genuine candidates for explanation will have to identify epistemically accessible, non-hidden features in virtue of which they are explanatory.

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