Mechanisms and science denialism: explaining the global lung cancer epidemic

Saúl Pérez-González
Universitat de València, Spain |

Received: 15-March-2019 | Accepted: 4-July-2019 | Published Online: 24-November-2019
Disputatio [Dec. 2019], Vol. 9, No. 13, pp. 00-00 | DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.3567206
Article | [EN] | Full Text | Statistics | Copyright Notice [sp] | Vol. 9 No. 13

How to cite this article:
Pérez–González, Saúl (2020). «Mechanisms and science denialism: explaining the global lung cancer epidemic». Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 9, no. 13: pp. 00–00.

Abstract | Explanation is one of the main aims of science. Scientists frequently seek to explain scientific phenomena. This paper addresses the relationship between scientific explanation and science denialism. In it, explanatory wars are introduced. An explanatory war is a situation in which the standard scientific explanation of a phenomenon is systematically denied by a group of people. It is argued that the mechanistic account of scientific explanation is helpful in order to face this kind of science denialism. Mechanistic explanations are resistant to the arguments usually raised by denialists. The relevant role of mechanistic explanations is illustrated by the case of tobacco disease denialism during the second half of twentieth century.
Keywords |
Science Denialism · Mechanism · Explanation · Tobacco · Lung Cancer.

Mecanismos y negacionismo de la ciencia: explicando la epidemia global de cáncer de pulmón

Resumen | La explicación es uno de los principales objetivos de la ciencia. Los científicos frecuentemente tratan de explicar fenómenos científicos. Este artículo aborda la relación entre la explicación científica y el negacionismo de la ciencia. En él, se introduce la noción de guerra de explicación. Una guerra de explicación es una situación en la cual la explicación científica estándar de un fenómeno es sistemáticamente negada por un grupo de personas. Se argumenta que la concepción mecanicista de la explicación es de ayuda para hacer frente a este tipo de negacionismo de la ciencia. Las explicaciones mecanicistas son resistentes a los argumentos habitualmente esgrimidos por los negacionistas. La relevancia de las explicaciones mecanicistas es ilustrada mediante el caso del negacionismo de las enfermedades causadas por el tabaco en la segunda mitad del siglo veinte.
Palabras Clave | Negacionismo de la ciencia · Mecanismo · Explicación · Tabaco · Cáncer de pulmón.


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