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Selected Readings: Salmon, 1984 provides a detailed statement of the Causal Mechanical model, as originally formulated. Salmon, 1994 and 1997 provide a restatement of the model and respond to criticisms. Equation editor For discussion and criticism of the CM model, see Kitcher, 1989, especially pp. 461ff, Woodward, 1989 and Hitchcock, 1995.
The basic idea of the unificationist account is that scientific explanation is a matter of providing a unified account of a range of different phenomena. This idea is unquestionably intuitively appealing. Successful unification may exhibit connections or relationships Scientific software between phenomena previously thought to be unrelated and this seems to be something that we expect good explanations to do. Moreover, theory unification has clearly played an important role in science. Paradigmatic examples include Newton's unification of terrestrial and celestial theories of motion and Maxwell's unification of electricity and magnetism. The key question, however, is whether our intuitive notion (or notions) of unification can be made more precise in a way that allows us to recover the features that we think that good explanations should possess.