Explanation

Edited by Brad Weslake (New York University, Shanghai)
Assistant editor: Zili Dong
Related

Contents
894 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 894
Material to categorize
  1. Cosmic Topology, Underdetermination, and Spatial Infinity.Patrick J. Ryan - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science.
    It is well-known that the global structure of every space-time model for relativistic cosmology is observationally underdetermined. In order to alleviate the severity of this underdetermination, it has been proposed that we adopt the Cosmological Principle because the Principle restricts our attention to a distinguished class of space-time models (spatially homogeneous and isotropic models). I argue that, even assuming the Cosmological Principle, the topology of space remains observationally underdetermined. Nonetheless, I argue that we can muster reasons to prefer various topological (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. Evolution at the Origins of Life?Ludo L. J. Schoenmakers, Thomas A. C. Reydon & Andreas Kirschning - 2024 - Life 14 (2).
    The role of evolutionary theory at the origin of life is an extensively debated topic. The origin and early development of life is usually separated into a prebiotic phase and a protocellular phase, ultimately leading to the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Most likely, the Last Universal Common Ancestor was subject to Darwinian evolution, but the question remains to what extent Darwinian evolution applies to the prebiotic and protocellular phases. In this review, we reflect on the current status of evolutionary theory (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Pennywise Parsimony: Langland-Hassan on Imagination.Neil Van Leeuwen - forthcoming - Analysis.
    This essay discusses Peter Langland-Hassan's approach to "explaining imagination" as it plays out in his recent book of that title. Langland-Hassan offers a theory of “attitude imagining” that avoids positing what he calls a “sui generis cognitive attitude.” This theory attempts to explain things like pretend play, hypothetical reasoning, and cognition of fiction; to explain them using only (what he calls) more “basic” mental states like beliefs and desires; and thus to explain them without positing a distinct cognitive attitude of (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. How pluralistic is pluralism really? A case study of Sandra Mitchell’s Integrative Pluralism.Ragnar van der Merwe - 2024 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 38 (3):319-338.
    Epistemic pluralists in the philosophy of science often argue that different epistemic perspectives in science are equally warranted. Sandra Mitchell – with her Integrative Pluralism (IP) – has notably advocated for this kind of epistemic pluralism. A problem arises for Mitchell however because she also wants to be an epistemological pluralist. She claims that, not only are different epistemic perspectives in science equally warranted in different contexts, but different understandings of these epistemic perspectives in science are also equally warranted in (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. Determination Relations and Metaphysical Explanations.Maşuk Şimşek - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Ross Cameron (2022) argues that metaphysical infinitists should reject the generally accepted idea that metaphysical determination relations back metaphysical explanations. Otherwise it won’t be possible for them to come up with successful explanations for the existence of dependent entities in non-wellfounded chains of dependence. I argue that his argument suffers from what he calls the finitist dogma, although indirectly so. However, there is a better way of motivating Cameron’s conclusion. Assuming Cameron’s principle of Essence, explanations for the existence of dependent (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. Organisms Need Mechanisms; Mechanisms Need Organisms.William Bechtel & Leonardo Bich - 2023 - In João L. Cordovil, Gil Santos & Davide Vecchi (eds.), New Mechanism Explanation, Emergence and Reduction. Springer. pp. 85-108.
    According to new mechanists, mechanisms explain how specific biological phenomena are produced. New mechanists have had little to say about how mechanisms relate to the organism in which they reside. A key feature of organisms, emphasized by the autonomy tradition, is that organisms maintain themselves. To do this, they rely on mechanisms. But mechanisms must be controlled so that they produce the phenomena for which they are responsible when and in the manner needed by the organism. To account for how (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. Theoricity and Testing.Ariel Jonathan Roffé, Bernabé Federico N. & Ginnobili Santiago - 2023 - In Claudio Abreu (ed.), Philosophy of Science in the 21st Century. Contributions of Metatheoretical Structuralism. pp. 89-111.
    The observational-theoretical distinction has played a central role in the philosophy of science from logical empiricism onwards. Developments within the discipline have shown that such a distinction hides two non-identical distinctions: observational vs. non-observational and theoretical vs. non-theoretical. Likewise, metatheoretical structuralism proposed a more sophisticated treatment of theoricity in terms of the operational dependence or independence of concepts from the theories in which they appear. Despite this remarkable sophistication, it is still generally accepted that the distinction between theoretical and non-theoretical (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. Rules to Infinity: The Normative Role of Mathematics in Scientific Explanation.Mark Povich - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    [EDIT: This book will be published open access. Check back around March 2024 to access the entire book.] One central aim of science is to provide explanations of natural phenomena. What role(s) does mathematics play in achieving this aim? How does mathematics contribute to the explanatory power of science? Rules to Infinity defends the thesis, common though perhaps inchoate among many members of the Vienna Circle, that mathematics contributes to the explanatory power of science by expressing conceptual rules, rules which (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9. The Epistemology of Essence.Antonella Mallozzi - forthcoming - In Michael J. Raven & Kathrin Koslicki (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Essence. Routledge.
    The chapter discusses the issue of how we may achieve knowledge of essence. It offers a critical survey of the main theories of knowledge of essence that have been proposed within contemporary debates, particularly by Lowe, Hale, Oderberg, Elder, and Kment.
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  10. Do ML models represent their targets?Emily Sullivan - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    I argue that ML models used in science function as highly idealized toy models. If we treat ML models as a type of highly idealized toy model, then we can deploy standard representational and epistemic strategies from the toy model literature to explain why ML models can still provide epistemic success despite their lack of similarity to their targets.
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11. Explaining individual differences.Zina B. Ward - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 101 (C):61-70.
    Most psychological research aims to uncover generalizations about the mind that hold across subjects. Philosophical discussions of scientific explanation have focused on such generalizations, but in doing so, have often overlooked an important phenomenon: variation. Variation is ubiquitous in psychology and many other domains, and an important target of explanation in its own right. Here I characterize explananda that concern individual differences and formulate an account of what it takes to explain them. I argue that the notion of actual difference (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. A Plea for Descriptive Social Ontology.Kathrin Koslicki & Olivier Massin - 2023 - Synthese 202 (Special Issue: The Metametaphysi):1-35.
    Social phenomena—quite like mental states in the philosophy of mind—are often regarded as potential troublemakers from the start, particularly if they are approached with certain explanatory commitments, such as naturalism or social individualism, already in place. In this paper, we argue that such explanatory constraints should be at least initially bracketed if we are to arrive at an adequate non-biased description of social phenomena. Legitimate explanatory projects, or so we maintain, such as those of making the social world fit within (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  13. Idealist Panpsychism and Spacetime Structure.Damian Aleksiev - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-22.
    This paper presents a novel argument against one theoretically attractive form of panpsychism. I argue that “idealist panpsychism” is false since it cannot account for spacetime’s structure. Idealist panpsychists posit that fundamental reality is purely experiential. Moreover, they posit that the consciousness at the fundamental level metaphysically grounds and explains both the facts of physics and the facts of human consciousness. I argue that if idealist panpsychism is true, human consciousness and the consciousness at the fundamental level will have the (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. Kausalität und Objektivität bei Hegel.Ansgar Lyssy - 2020 - Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica 3:711-739.
    The concept of causality is central to the assessment of numerous related metaphysical and epistemic positions, in Hegel and elsewhere. The present essay tries 1) to understand Hegel’s critique of the merely categorically understood concept of causality; 2) to uncover the theoretical structure that must accompany the categorical concept of causality in order to avoid the problems mentioned above; and 3) to argue that such a theory of causality has a fundamental function for Hegel’s conception of objectivity.
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Standard Aberration: Cancer Biology and the Modeling Account of Normal Function.Seth Goldwasser - 2023 - Biology and Philosophy 38 (1):(4) 1-33.
    Cancer biology features the ascription of normal functions to parts of cancers. At least some ascriptions of function in cancer biology track local normality of parts within the global abnormality of the aberration to which those parts belong. That is, cancer biologists identify as functions activities that, in some sense, parts of cancers are supposed to perform, despite cancers themselves having no purpose. The present paper provides a theory to accommodate these normal function ascriptions—I call it the Modeling Account of (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  16. Modelos estadísticos y explicación del error inferencial.Lucas Miranda Baños - 2022 - Culturas Cientificas 3 (2):151-167.
    La tesis principal de este trabajo es que los modelos estadísticos facilitan explicaciones acerca de los errores que pueden cometer nuestros procedimientos de inferencia de datos a fenómenos, en el contexto de la estadística clásica o frecuentista. La explicación del error es una operación que, a su vez, ayuda a evitarlo en donde es evitable e intolerable; tolerarlo donde es inevitable y tolerable; y suspender el juicio donde es inevitable e intolerable. Todas estas operaciones son elementos de una práctica generadora (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17. O raciocínio abdutivo no contexto da explicação científica.Ulisses Eliano - 2022 - Dissertation, Unicamp - Universidade Estadual de Campinas
    Este trabalho tem como principal objetivo apresentar uma abordagem lógico-formal capaz de apreender alguns aspectos do raciocínio abdutivo – o raciocínio responsável pela criação de hipóteses explicativas para fatos surpreendentes -, mediante tanto as noções filosófico-conceituais da canônica abdução peirceana quanto as de explicação científica. No caso desta última, procurarei evidenciar, inicialmente, pontos de contraste entre as concepções de explicação científica de Aristóteles e de Carl Hempel, a fim de elucidar, de modo mais satisfatório, em que medida, de fato, teorias (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. Link Uncertainty, Implementation, and ML Opacity: A Reply to Tamir and Shech.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation. Routledge. pp. 341-345.
    This chapter responds to Michael Tamir and Elay Shech’s chapter “Understanding from Deep Learning Models in Context.”.
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. Explanatory reasoning in the material theory of induction.William Peden - 2022 - Metascience 31 (3):303-309.
    In his recent book, John Norton has created a theory of inference to the best explanation, within the context of his "material theory of induction". I apply it to the problem of scientific explanations that are false: if we want the theories in our explanations to be true, then why do historians and scientists often say that false theories explained phenomena? I also defend Norton's theory against some possible objections.
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  20. From Unobservable to Observable: Scientific Realism and the Discovery of Radium.Simon Allzén - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (4):307-321.
    I explore the process of changes in the observability of entities and objects in science and how such changes impact two key issues in the scientific realism debate: the claim that predictively successful elements of past science are retained in current scientific theories, and the inductive defense of a specific version of inference to the best explanation with respect to unobservables. I provide a case-study of the discovery of radium by Marie Curie in order to show that the observability of (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  21. Grounding, Explanation, and the Tasks of Metaphysics.Daniel Nolan - forthcoming - In Aaron Segal & Nick Stang (eds.), Systematic Metaphysics: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Thinking about metaphysical problems in terms of grounding has its uses, but those uses are limited. This paper argues against attempts to see issues of grounding as having a central and organising role in metaphysical inquiry. After arguing that grounding does some useful work, this paper will argue that grounding is neither the central tool for understanding explanation in metaphysics, nor defines the subject matter of metaphysics. Instead, grounding tracks only some of the metaphysical explanations we should be looking for, (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  22. Self-Explanation and Empty-Base Explanation.Yannic Kappes - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (3):436-453.
    This paper explores a novel notion of self-explanation that combines ideas from two sources: the tripartite account of explanation, according to which a proposition can help explain another either in the capacity of a reason why the latter obtains or in the capacity of an explanatory link, and the notion of an empty-base explanation, which generalizes the ideas of explanation by zero-grounding and explanation by status. After having introduced these ideas and the novel notion of self-explanation, I argue that the (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  23. "It is of the nature of reason to regard things as necessary, not as contingent": A Defense of Spinoza's Necessitarianism.Brandon Rdzak - 2021 - Dissertation, Purdue University
    There is longstanding interpretive dispute between commentators over Spinoza’s commitment to necessitarianism, the doctrine that all things are metaphysically necessary and none are contingent. Those who affirm Spinoza’s commitment to the doctrine adhere to the necessitarian interpretation whereas those who deny it adhere to what I call the semi-necessitarian interpretation. As things stand, the disagreement between commentators appears to have reached an impasse. Notwithstanding, there seems to be no disagreement among commentators on the question of necessitarianism’s philosophical plausibility as a (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  24. Philosophy of Science.Alik Pelman - 2022 - Israel: Open University Press.
    A commissioned 3-volume (800 pages) in-depth introduction to the philosophy of science, peer-reviewed by 11 specialists. (In Hebrew).
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  25. Science and the Principle of Sufficient Reason: Du Châtelet contra Wolff.Aaron Wells - 2023 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 13 (1):24–53.
    I argue that Émilie Du Châtelet breaks with Christian Wolff regarding the scope and epistemological content of the principle of sufficient reason, despite his influence on her basic ontology and their agreement that the principle of sufficient reason has foundational importance. These differences have decisive consequences for the ways in which Du Châtelet and Wolff conceive of science.
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  26. What is an element? What is the periodic table? And what does quantum mechanics contribute to the question?Eric R. Scerri - 2011 - Foundations of Chemistry 14 (1):69-81.
    This article considers two important traditions concerning the chemical elements. The first is the meaning of the term “element” including the distinctions between element as basic substance, as simple substance and as combined simple substance. In addition to briefly tracing the historical development of these distinctions, I make comments on the recent attempts to clarify the fundamental notion of element as basic substance for which I believe the term “element” is best reserved. This discussion has focused on the writings of (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
Theories of Explanation
  1. A Conventionalist Account of Distinctively Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - forthcoming - Philosophical Problems in Science.
    Distinctively mathematical explanations (DMEs) explain natural phenomena primarily by appeal to mathematical facts. One important question is whether there can be an ontic account of DME. An ontic account of DME would treat the explananda and explanantia of DMEs as ontic structures and the explanatory relation between them as an ontic relation (e.g., Pincock 2015, Povich 2021). Here I present a conventionalist account of DME, defend it against objections, and argue that it should be considered ontic. Notably, if indeed it (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. Scientific Explanation as a Guide to Ground.Markel Kortabarria & Joaquim Giannotti - 2024 - Synthese 203 (3):1-27.
    Ground is all the rage in contemporary metaphysics. But what is its nature? Some metaphysicians defend what we could call, following Skiles and Trogdon (2021), the inheritance view: it is because constitutive forms of metaphysical explanation are such-and-such that we should believe that ground is so-and-so. However, many putative instances of inheritance are not primarily motivated by scientific considerations. This limitation is harmless if one thinks that ground and science are best kept apart. Contrary to this view, we believe that (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Explaining Go: Challenges in Achieving Explainability in AI Go Programs.Zack Garrett - 2023 - Journal of Go Studies 17 (2):29-60.
    There has been a push in recent years to provide better explanations for how AIs make their decisions. Most of this push has come from the ethical concerns that go hand in hand with AIs making decisions that affect humans. Outside of the strictly ethical concerns that have prompted the study of explainable AIs (XAIs), there has been research interest in the mere possibility of creating XAIs in various domains. In general, the more accurate we make our models the harder (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. A Defence of Manipulationist Noncausal Explanation: The Case for Intervention Liberalism.Nicholas Emmerson - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (8):3179-3201.
    Recent years have seen growing interest in modifying interventionist accounts of causal explanation in order to characterise noncausal explanation. However, one surprising element of such accounts is that they have typically jettisoned the core feature of interventionism: interventions. Indeed, the prevailing opinion within the philosophy of science literature suggests that interventions exclusively demarcate causal relationships. This position is so prevalent that, until now, no one has even thought to name it. We call it “intervention puritanism” (I-puritanism, for short). In this (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  5. La Ley y El Orden: Sobre Dos Sorprendentes (¡y Extendidos!) Errores En la Enseñanza de Las Ciencias Naturales.Claudio Cormick & Valeria Edelsztein - 2022 - Anales de la Asociación Química Argentina 109 (Número extra):223-229.
    It does not seem particularly daring to say that one objective of science education is to enable students to understand different phenomena in the world in their mutual relationship. This is roughly equivalent to promoting knowledge of scientific explanations, which involve resorting to regular relationships between certain phenomena and which, certainly, is different from knowledge of this or that type of event taken in isolation. In this text, we will draw attention to two opposing tendencies that, however, tend towards the (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. Explanatory Depth in Primordial Cosmology: A Comparative Study of Inflationary and Bouncing Paradigms.William J. Wolf & Karim P. Y. Thebault - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    We develop and apply a multi-dimensional conception of explanatory depth towards a comparative analysis of inflationary and bouncing paradigms in primordial cosmology. Our analysis builds on earlier work due to Azhar and Loeb (2021) that establishes initial condition fine-tuning as a dimension of explanatory depth relevant to debates in contemporary cosmology. We propose dynamical fine-tuning and autonomy as two further dimensions of depth in the context of problems with instability and trans-Planckian modes that afflict bouncing and inflationary approaches respectively. In (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. That’s Not IBE: Reply to Park.Yunus Prasetya - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (2):621-627.
    Park (2017, 2018, 2019) argues that Bas van Fraassen uses inference to the best explanation to defend his contextual theory of explanation. If Park is right, then van Fraassen is in trouble because he rejects IBE as a rational rule of inference. In this reply, I argue that van Fraassen does not use IBE in defending the contextual theory of explanation. I distinguish between several conceptions of IBE: heuristic IBE, objective Bayesian IBE, and ampliative IBE. I argue that van Fraassen (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. Inference to the Best Explanation - An Overview.Frank Cabrera - 2022 - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), Handbook of Abductive Cognition. Cham: Springer. pp. 1-34.
    In this article, I will provide a critical overview of the form of non-deductive reasoning commonly known as “Inference to the Best Explanation” (IBE). Roughly speaking, according to IBE, we ought to infer the hypothesis that provides the best explanation of our evidence. In section 2, I survey some contemporary formulations of IBE and highlight some of its putative applications. In section 3, I distinguish IBE from C.S. Peirce’s notion of abduction. After underlining some of the essential elements of IBE, (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  9. The Directionality of Topological Explanations.Daniel Kostić & Kareem Khalifa - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14143-14165.
    Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y , then not-Y does not explain not-X . Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists rely on multiplexes (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  10. Modality and constitution in distinctively mathematical explanations.Mark Povich - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-10.
    Lange argues that some natural phenomena can be explained by appeal to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In these “distinctively mathematical” explanations, the core explanatory facts are either modally stronger than facts about ordinary causal law or understood to be constitutive of the physical task or arrangement at issue. Craver and Povich argue that Lange’s account of DME fails to exclude certain “reversals”. Lange has replied that his account can avoid these directionality charges. Specifically, Lange argues that in legitimate DMEs, (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  11. Does IBE Require a ‘Model’ of Explanation?Frank Cabrera - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):727-750.
    In this article, I consider an important challenge to the popular theory of scientific inference commonly known as ‘inference to the best explanation’, one that has received scant attention.1 1 The problem is that there exists a wide array of rival models of explanation, thus leaving IBE objectionably indeterminate. First, I briefly introduce IBE. Then, I motivate the problem and offer three potential solutions, the most plausible of which is to adopt a kind of pluralism about the rival models of (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  12. Unifying the essential concepts of biological networks: biological insights and philosophical foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375 (1796):1-8.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  13. Reasons why in normative explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):607-623.
    Normative explanations, which specify why things have the normative features they do, are ubiquitous in normative theory and ordinary thought. But there is much less work on normative explanation than on scientific or metaphysical explanation. Skow (2016) argues that a complete answer to the question why some fact Q occurs consists in all of the reasons why Q occurs. This paper explores this theory as a case study of a general theory that promises to offer us a grip on normative (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  14. Idealization and Structural Explanation in Physics.Martin King - manuscript
    The focus in the literature on scientific explanation has shifted in recent years towards modelbased approaches. The idea that there are simple and true laws of nature has met with objections from philosophers such as Nancy Cartwright (1983) and Paul Teller (2001), and this has made a strictly Hempelian D-N style explanation largely irrelevant to the explanatory practices of science (Hempel & Oppenheim, 1948). Much of science does not involve subsuming particular events under laws of nature. It is increasingly recognized (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Une conception néo-poppérienne de l’explication en sciences sociales et ses difficultés internes.Philippe Mongin - 2012 - Dialogue 51 (3):503-515.
    This article discusses the rationality principle, especially in Popper's version, on the occasion of a commentary of Maurice Lagueux's book, Rationality and Explanation in Economics (2010).
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  16. 50 Years of Successful Predictive Modeling Should Be Enough: Lessons for Philosophy of Science.Michael A. Bishop & J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S197-S208.
    Our aim in this paper is to bring the woefully neglected literature on predictive modeling to bear on some central questions in the philosophy of science. The lesson of this literature is straightforward: For a very wide range of prediction problems, statistical prediction rules (SPRs), often rules that are very easy to implement, make predictions than are as reliable as, and typically more reliable than, human experts. We will argue that the success of SPRs forces us to reconsider our views (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   12 citations  
Causal Accounts of Explanation
  1. Electronegativity as a New Case for Emergence and a New Problem for Reductionism.Monte Cairns - forthcoming - Foundations of Chemistry:1-16.
    The potential reducibility of chemical entities to their physical bases is a matter of dispute between ontological reductionists on one hand, and emergentists on the other. However, relevant debates typically revolve around the reducibility of so-called ‘higher-level’ chemical entities, such as molecules. Perhaps surprisingly, even committed proponents of emergence for these higher-level chemical entities appear to accept that the ‘lowest-level’ chemical entities – atomic species – are reducible to their physical bases. In particular, the microstructural view of chemical elements, actively (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. Phenomenological Laws and Mechanistic Explanations.Gabriel Siegel & Carl F. Craver - 2024 - Philosophy of Science 91 (1):132-150.
    In light of recent criticisms by Woodward (2017) and Rescorla (2018), we examine the relationship between mechanistic explanation and phenomenological laws. We disambiguate several uses of the phrase “phenomenological law” and show how a mechanistic theory of explanation sorts them into those that are and are not explanatory. We also distinguish the problem of phenomenological laws from arguments about the explanatory power of purely phenomenal models, showing that Woodward and Rescorla conflate these problems. Finally, we argue that the temptation to (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. The Narrow Ontic Counterfactual Account of Distinctively Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):511-543.
    An account of distinctively mathematical explanation (DME) should satisfy three desiderata: it should account for the modal import of some DMEs; it should distinguish uses of mathematics in explanation that are distinctively mathematical from those that are not (Baron [2016]); and it should also account for the directionality of DMEs (Craver and Povich [2017]). Baron’s (forthcoming) deductive-mathematical account, because it is modelled on the deductive-nomological account, is unlikely to satisfy these desiderata. I provide a counterfactual account of DME, the Narrow (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  4. Metaphysical explanations and the counterfactual theory of explanation.Stefan Roski - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1971-1991.
    According to an increasingly popular view among philosophers of science, both causal and non-causal explanations can be accounted for by a single theory: the counterfactual theory of explanation. A kind of non-causal explanation that has gained much attention recently but that this theory seems unable to account for are grounding explanations. Reutlinger :239-256, 2017) has argued that, despite these appearances to the contrary, such explanations are covered by his version of the counterfactual theory. His idea is supported by recent work (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  5. Which Models of Scientific Explanation are (In)Compatible with IBE?Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this article, I explore the compatibility of inference to the best explanation (IBE) with several influential models and accounts of scientific explanation. First, I explore the different conceptions of IBE and limit my discussion to two: the heuristic conception and the objective Bayesian conception. Next, I discuss five models of scientific explanation with regard to each model’s compatibility with IBE. I argue that Philip Kitcher’s unificationist account supports IBE; Peter Railton’s deductive-nomological-probabilistic model, Wesley Salmon’s statistical-relevance Model, and Bas van (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  6. Constitutive relevance & mutual manipulability revisited.Carl F. Craver, Stuart Glennan & Mark Povich - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8807-8828.
    An adequate understanding of the ubiquitous practice of mechanistic explanation requires an account of what Craver termed “constitutive relevance.” Entities or activities are constitutively relevant to a phenomenon when they are parts of the mechanism responsible for that phenomenon. Craver’s mutual manipulability account extended Woodward’s account of manipulationist counterfactuals to analyze how interlevel experiments establish constitutive relevance. Critics of MM argue that applying Woodward’s account to this philosophical problem conflates causation and constitution, thus rendering the account incoherent. These criticisms, we (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  7. Near-Decomposability and the Timescale Relativity of Causal Representations.Naftali Weinberger - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):841-856.
    A common strategy for simplifying complex systems involves partitioning them into subsystems whose behaviors are roughly independent of one another at shorter timescales. Dynamic causal models clarify how doing so reveals a system’s nonequilibrium causal relationships. Here I use these models to elucidate the idealizations and abstractions involved in representing a system at a timescale. The models reveal that key features of causal representations—such as which variables are exogenous—may vary with the timescale at which a system is considered. This has (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  8. Viewing-as explanations and ontic dependence.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):769-792.
    According to a widespread view in metaphysics and philosophy of science, all explanations involve relations of ontic dependence between the items appearing in the explanandum and the items appearing in the explanans. I argue that a family of mathematical cases, which I call “viewing-as explanations”, are incompatible with the Dependence Thesis. These cases, I claim, feature genuine explanations that aren’t supported by ontic dependence relations. Hence the thesis isn’t true in general. The first part of the paper defends this claim (...)
    Remove from this list   Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
1 — 50 / 894