Explanation

Course summary

Explanation



Overview

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.

Programme details

MONDAYS 8 OCTOBER – 12 NOVEMBER 2018

2.00-3.30pm

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    Casual 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

 

Recommended reading

SUGGESTED READING

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/

 

Fees

Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £112.00

Funding

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.

Concessionary fees for short courses

 

Tutor

Ms Marianne Talbot

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.

 

 

Application

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