Everyday Metaphysical Explanation

Kristie Miller, James Norton

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The philosophical notion of metaphysical explanation has received a lot of attention over the last decade. Despite tantalising claims about how metaphysical explanations are part of everyday life, the everyday notion has not been explored. The task taken up in Everyday Metaphysical Explanation is to develop an account of the everyday notion of metaphysical explanation: the notion that we all use in ordinary contexts when we ask for, and receive, explanations of a certain sort. The book presents the striking results of the first empirical investigation of folk judgements regarding what metaphysically explains what. On the basis of these results, together with evidence of our ordinary practices surrounding the notion, three unique accounts of the phenomenon are built. These accounts are, unashamedly, very different from recent accounts of what the book calls philosophical metaphysical explanation. First, all three are ones on which everyday metaphysical explanations are context-sensitive. Whether they hold for a subject at a context depends in part on psychological features of the subject at that context. Second, none of the three accounts appeals to the recently popularised notion of grounding. Primarily, the book seeks to generate further interest in, and investigation of, the phenomenon of everyday metaphysical explanation.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherOxford University Press, Oxford
Number of pages313
ISBN (Electronic)9780198857303
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Kristie Miller and James Norton 2022.

Other keywords

  • experimental philosophy
  • explanation
  • folk concept
  • inter-level explanation
  • metaphysical explanation
  • non-causal explanation
  • scientific explanation


Dive into the research topics of 'Everyday Metaphysical Explanation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this