Husserl’s theory of scientific explanation: A Bolzanian inspired unificationist account


Husserl’s early picture of explanation in the sciences has never been completely provided. This lack represents an oversight, which we here redress. In contrast to currently accepted interpretations, we demonstrate that Husserl does not adhere to the much maligned deductive-nomological (DN) model of scientific explanation. Instead, via a close reading of early Husserlian texts, we reveal that he presents a unificationist account of scientific explanation. By doing so, we disclose that Husserl’s philosophy of scientific explanation is no mere anachronism. It is, instead, tenable and relevant. We discuss how Husserl and other contemporary thinkers draw theoretical inspiration from the same source—namely, Bernard Bolzano. Husserl’s theory of scientific explanation shares a common language and discusses the same themes as, for example, Phillip Kitcher and Kit Fine. To advance our novel reading, we discuss Husserl’s investigations of grounding, inter-lawful explanation, intra-mathematical explanation, and scientific unification.


philosophy, Husserl, scientific explanation, grounding, inter-lawful explanation, intra-mathematical explanation, scientific unification

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