What can polysemy tell us about theories of explanation?

Serban, Maria (2017) What can polysemy tell us about theories of explanation? European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 7. pp. 41-56. ISSN 1879-4920

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Abstract

Philosophical accounts of scientific explanation are broadly divided into ontic and epistemic views. This paper explores the idea that the lexical ambiguity of the verb to explain and its nominalisation supports an ontic conception of explanation. I analyse one argument which challenges this strategy by criticising the claim that explanatory talk is lexically ambiguous, 375–394, 2012). I propose that the linguistic mechanism of transfer of meaning, 109–132, 1995) provides a better account of the lexical alternations that figure in the systematic polysemy of explanatory talk, and evaluate the implications of this proposal for the debate between ontic and epistemic conceptions of scientific explanation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 29 Feb 2020 08:36
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 00:13
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/74351
DOI: 10.1007/s13194-016-0142-4

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