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Kitcher acknowledges that there is nothing in the unificationist account per se that requires that all explanation be deductive: “there is no bar in principle to the use of non-deductive arguments in the systemization of our beliefs”. Nonetheless, “the task of comparing the unifying power of different systemizations looks even more formidable if nondeductive arguments are considered” and in part Equation editor for this reason Kitcher endorses the view that “in a certain sense, all explanation is deductive” (p.448).
What is the role of causation on this account? Kitcher claims that “the ‘because’ of causation is always derivative from the ‘because’ of explanation.” (1989, p.477). That is, our causal judgments simply reflect the explanatory relationships that fall out of our (or our intellectual ancestors') attempts to construct unified theories of nature. There is no independent causal order over and above this which our explanations must capture. Like Scientific software many other philosophers, Kitcher takes very seriously, even if in the end he perhaps does not fully endorse, standard empiricist or Humean worries about the epistemic accessibility and intelligibility of causal claims. Taking causal, counterfactual or other notions belonging to the same family as primitive in the theory of explanation is problematic. Kitcher believes that it is a virtue of his theory that it does not do this. Instead, Kitcher proposes to begin with the notion of explanatory unification, characterized in terms of constraints on deductive systemizations, where these constraints can be specified in a quite general way that is independent of causal or counterfactual notions, and then show how the causal claims we accept derive from our efforts at unification.