Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the fruitfulness of this analysis. Applying our analysis, we show that two main opponents in this debate, Huw Price and Craig Callender, are, for the most part, talking past each other rather than disagreeing, as they employ different notions of “calling for explanation”. We then proceed to show how answering the different questions that arise out of the different meanings of “calling for explanation” can result in clarifying the problems at hand and thus, hopefully, to solving them.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Craig Callender for clarifying his views in correspondence, to several anonymous referees and the editors of this journal for helpful feedback on previous versions and to participants at our presentations at the 21st Meeting of the New Israeli Philosophy Association at Haifa University (2018) and at the Buber Society of Fellows at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
© 2020, Springer Nature B.V.
- Calling for explanation
- Craig Callender
- Huw Price
- Past hypothesis