Difference-Making and Explanatory Relevance
Wann: Mo, 12.07.2021, 10:00 Uhr bis Fr, 16.07.2021, 18:00 Uhr
Wo: Digital via Zoom
The central question for any theory of explanation can be put in terms of relevance. What makes bits of information relevant to explaining why something is the case? Classical accounts of explanation (in terms of nomic expectability, causation, or certain statistical patterns) have frequently been criticized for not properly answering this question. In recent approaches to the question, philosophers have turned to the idea of making a difference. Causes, for instance, that make a difference to the occurrence of an event are relevant to explaining why that event occurred. This idea is present both in counterfactual accounts of explanation that have been advanced by Woodward and others as well as alternative approaches such as the one by Strevens. But the notion of difference-making has also been studied independently of the philosophy of explanation, for instance in the questions centring around free will and responsibility.
The aim of the present conference is to bring together philosophers from different disciplines to present their newest research on the topics of difference-making and explanatory relevance.
Given the circumstances, the event will take place via Zoom in the week from July 12 to July 16. In order to ensure that people from different time-zones can attend, we will keep it with two talks per day.
- Laura Franklin-Hall (NYU)
- Carolina Sartorio (Arizona)
- Jonathan Schaffer (Rutgers)
- Michael Strevens (NYU)
- James Woodward (Pittsburgh)
Attendance is free, but please register in advance at hamburgrelevance (at) gmail (dot) com.