Then the problem is as follows

Then the problem is as follows - Then the problem is as...

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Then the problem is as follows: the Ultimacy condition requires indeterminism. But undetermined events cannot, by their nature, be explained. And so the Ultimacy condition is incompatible with the Explanation condition. Before looking at Kane’s account, it is worth asking in what sense undetermined events cannot be explained. Take a genuinely chance event: for instance, suppose that a given radium atom decays at a certain time t. Suppose that that decay in turn causes an alarm to be triggered. Can we give an explanation of why the alarm goes off? In a sense we can: we mention the radium atom, and of how its decay interacted with the alarm. But in another sense we can’t: we can’t give an explanation of why the alarm went off rather than didn’t go off. This is because we cannot give an explanation of why the radium atom decayed rather than didn’t decay: its decay is undetermined. David Lewis, to whom this distinction is due, calls these different sorts of explanations ‘plain’ explanations and ‘contrastive’ explanations. In an indeterministic case we
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This note was uploaded on 11/14/2011 for the course PSY PSY2012 taught by Professor Scheff during the Fall '09 term at Broward College.

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