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Is Euler’s Explanation of the Non-traversability of Königsberg’s Bridges Symmetric or Asymmetric?

(Original title: Je Eulerova explanácia nemožnosti prechodu kráľoveckých mostov symetrická alebo asymetrická?)
Filozofia, 77 (2022), 7, 531 - 544.
Type of work: Original Articles
Publication language: Slovak

In this article I will focus on the analysis of a scientific explanation of an empirical event that has at least three different incompatible interpretations / reconstructions. This example in philosophical and scientific literature is known as Euler's explanation. However, this work will only follow the differences between Reutlinger’s and Lange’s and Woodwardʼs reconstruction. The paper attempts to show that Euler’s explanation can only by reconstructed as an asymmetric non-causal explanation. It does so with the help of Lange’s and Woodward’s main key ideas of their theories of explanation. Subsequently these ideas are put up against Reutlinger’s conclusion that Euler’s explanation constitutes a symmetric non-causal explanation. In the end the paper argues that ultimately this is a wrong conclusion because Reutlinger’s account omitted certain aspects of Euler’s explanation.


Euler’s explanation, Non-causal explanation, Counterfactual theory of explanation, Scientific law, Distinctive mathematical explanation, Explanation priority

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