Thomas Blanchard will give a talk at an upcoming colloquium on the topic, “Why do causes explain their effects? A unificationist answer.”
On the leading approach to explanation, the answer is simple: To explain an event just is to give information about its causal history. But this answer is unsatisfactory. In particular, it leaves it mysterious what explanations in empirical and non-empirical (e.g. mathematical) domains have in common.
In his talk, Blanchard will propose an account of the explanatory power of causes based on unificationism, the view that explanation is a matter of providing a unified account of a wide range of phenomena. More specifically, he will argue that causal information is explanatory because it provides a unified account of the statistical structure of our world.
This colloquium will be held in 401A Stevenson at 4 p.m. Friday, October 24.