For human beings the intelligibility of our world is hugely important. We want - perhaps need - explanations for phenomena that interest us. We want, that is, explanations for everything. But what is an explanation? And what is the process of explaining? Some people believe that all explanations are causal. But if so are there different types of causal explanation? Are reason explanations of our own behaviour, for example, a particular type of causal explanation? Will science ever explain everything? Or are there limits to scientific explanation? Recently it has been suggested that it is not the case that all explanations are causal. This is a live debate with some philosophers arguing that all apparent non-causal explanations are in fact causal, and others insisting that they are wrong. Come and find out more about, and get involved in, this debate. Coffee and tea will be served after every lecture so participants will have a chance to discuss the issues presented.
MONDAYS 8 OCTOBER – 12 NOVEMBER 2018
Tea/coffee is provided in the Common Room after each lecture, from 3.30pm
1.45pm Registration (first week only 8 October in Rewley House Reception)
8 Oct 2018 What is Explanation?
15 Oct 2017 Science and Explanation
22 Oct 2017 Causal Explanation
29 Oct 2017 Reason Explanation
5 Nov 2017 Non-causal Explanation?
12 Nov 2017 Reflecting on the issues
ALL THE LECTURES WILL BE GIVEN BY MARIANNE TALBOT
Lewis, David (1986). “Causal Explanation.” In Philosophical Papers, Volume II.
Oxford University Press.
Skow, B: ‘Scientific Explanation’: http://web.mit.edu/bskow/www/research/scientific-explanation.pdf from The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science edited by Paul Humphreys (2016)
‘Theories of Explanation’ from the Internet Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: http://www.iep.utm.edu/explanat/
‘Scientific Explanation’ from the Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-explanation/
Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £112.00
If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.
If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.
Course Tutor & Director of Studies
Marianne Talbot took her first degree at London University, then her B.Phil at Oxford (Corpus Christi College). She has taught for the colleges of Oxford University for 30 years (1987 – 1990 at Pembroke College, 1991 – 2000 at Brasenose College). She has been Director of Studies in Philosophy at OUDCE since 2001. She is the author of Bioethics: An Introduction, and Critical Reasoning: A Romp Through the Foothills of Logic. Marianne’s podcasts have been hugely popular. Two of them have been global number one on iTunesU. One of these (The Nature of Arguments) has been downloaded 7 million times.
Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.
Terms and conditions
Terms and conditions for applicants and students on this course
Sources of funding
Information on financial support