Covering Law ExplanationThe logical-empiricist account of explanation. The explanandum, or the high probability of the explanandum, must be validly deduced from premises including at least one law of nature.
Two basic types: Deductive-Nomological and Inductive-Statistical.
Deductive-NomologicalA model for the explanation of deterministic events. The explanandum (thing to be explained) must be the conclusion of an argument, the premises of which must essentially include a law of nature.
LiteratureFirst presented in Hempel and Oppenheim 1948 'Studies in the Logic of Explanation'.
Main important development in Hempel 1965b 'Aspects of Scientific Explanation'.
Inductive-StatisticalA model for the explanation of indeterministic events. The argument, which must involve a law of nature as an essential premise, must lead to the conclusion that the explanandum was extremely likely.
LiteratureFirst presented in Hempel 1965b 'Aspects of Scientific Explanation'.
ObjectionsThere is a good summary of all the main objections and objectors in Salmon 1990 Four Decades of Scientific Explanation, chapters 1-3.
Structural Identity ThesisThe claim that explanations and predictions have the same structure: an explanation is a prediction made after the fact.
LiteratureStated in Hempel 1965b, pp364-76 and 406-10.
LiteratureHempel's approach to the problem is found in Hempel 1964 'Postscript (1964) to Studies in the Logic of Explanation' and Hempel 1965b, section 2.1.
Many of the problems are raised in Salmon 1990, section 2.3.
LiteratureHempel 1959 'The Logic of Functional Analysis' is the first discussion of these issues.
It is developed further in Cohen 1978 'Functional Explanation: In General'.