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  1. added 2020-10-07
    Socializing Naturalized Philosophy of Science.Stephen M. Downes - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (3):452-468.
    I propose an approach to naturalized philosophy of science that takes the social nature of scientific practice seriously. I criticize several prominent naturalistic approaches for adopting "cognitive individualism", which limits the study of science to an examination of the internal psychological mechanisms of scientists. I argue that this limits the explanatory capacity of these approaches. I then propose a three-level model of the social nature of scientific practice, and use the model to defend the claim that scientific knowledge is socially (...)
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  2. added 2020-09-27
    Modeling and Inferring in Science.Emiliano Ippoliti, Thomas Nickles & Fabio Sterpetti - 2016 - In Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer. pp. 1-9.
    Science continually contributes new models and rethinks old ones. The way inferences are made is constantly being re-evaluated. The practice and achievements of science are both shaped by this process, so it is important to understand how models and inferences are made. But, despite the relevance of models and inference in scientific practice, these concepts still remain contro-versial in many respects. The attempt to understand the ways models and infer-ences are made basically opens two roads. The first one is to (...)
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  3. added 2020-09-27
    Mind and Emergence: From Quantum to Consciousness.Philip Clayton - 2004 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Strong claims have been made for emergence as a new paradigm for understanding science, consciousness, and religion. Tracing the past history and current definitions of the concept, Clayton assesses the case for emergent phenomena in the natural world and their significance for philosophy and theology. Complex emergent phenomena require irreducible levels of explanation in physics, chemistry and biology. This pattern of emergence suggests a new approach to the problem of consciousness, which is neither reducible to brain states nor proof of (...)
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  4. added 2020-09-27
    The Causal Mechanical Model of Explanation.James Woodward - 1989 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13:359-83.
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  5. added 2020-09-27
    Second Order Science: Putting the Metaphysics Back Into the Practice of Science.Michael Lissack - manuscript
    The traditional sciences have always had trouble with ambiguity. Through the imposition of “enabling constraints” -- making a set of assumptions and then declaring ceteris paribus -- science can bracket away ambiguity. These enabling constraints take the form of uncritically examined presuppositions or “uceps.” Second order science examines variations in values assumed for these uceps and looks at the resulting impacts on related scientific claims. After rendering explicit the role of uceps in scientific claims, the scientific method is used to (...)
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  6. added 2020-09-21
    How Do Medical Researchers Make Causal Inferences?Olaf Dammann, Ted Poston & Paul Thagard - forthcoming - In What is scientific knowledge? An introduction to contemporary epistemology of science. London, UK:
    Bradford Hill (1965) highlighted nine aspects of the complex evidential situation a medical researcher faces when determining whether a causal relation exists between a disease and various conditions associated with it. These aspects are widely cited in the literature on epidemiological inference as justifying an inference to a causal claim, but the epistemological basis of the Hill aspects is not understood. We offer an explanatory coherentist interpretation, explicated by Thagard's ECHO model of explanatory coherence. The ECHO model captures the complexity (...)
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  7. added 2020-09-21
    Calling for explanation: the case of the thermodynamic past state.Dan Baras & Orly Shenker - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-20.
    Philosophers of physics have long debated whether the Past State of low entropy of our universe calls for explanation. What is meant by “calls for explanation”? In this article we analyze this notion, distinguishing between several possible meanings that may be attached to it. Taking the debate around the Past State as a case study, we show how our analysis of what “calling for explanation” might mean can contribute to clarifying the debate and perhaps to settling it, thus demonstrating the (...)
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  8. added 2020-07-10
    Inference to the Best Explanation Made Incoherent.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (5):251-273.
    Defenders of Inference to the Best Explanation claim that explanatory factors should play an important role in empirical inference. They disagree, however, about how exactly to formulate this role. In particular, they disagree about whether to formulate IBE as an inference rule for full beliefs or for degrees of belief, as well as how a rule for degrees of belief should relate to Bayesianism. In this essay I advance a new argument against non-Bayesian versions of IBE. My argument focuses on (...)
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  9. added 2020-04-07
    The Relations Between Pedagogical and Scientific Explanations of Algorithms: Case Studies From the French Administration.Maël Pégny - manuscript
    The opacity of some recent Machine Learning (ML) techniques have raised fundamental questions on their explainability, and created a whole domain dedicated to Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI). However, most of the literature has been dedicated to explainability as a scientific problem dealt with typical methods of computer science, from statistics to UX. In this paper, we focus on explainability as a pedagogical problem emerging from the interaction between lay users and complex technological systems. We defend an empirical methodology based on (...)
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  10. added 2019-12-03
    Explanations and candidate explanations in physics.Martin King - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-17.
    There has been a growing trend to include non-causal models in accounts of scientific explanation. A worry addressed in this paper is that without a higher threshold for explanation there are no tools for distinguishing between models that provide genuine explanations and those that provide merely potential explanations. To remedy this, a condition is introduced that extends a veridicality requirement to models that are empirically underdetermined, highly-idealised, or otherwise non-causal. This condition is applied to models of electroweak symmetry breaking beyond (...)
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  11. added 2019-09-06
    Mechanisms, Then and Now: From Metaphysics to Practice.Stathis Psillos & Stavros Ioannidis - 2019 - In Brigitte Falkenburg & Gregor Schiemann (eds.), Mechanistic Explanations in Physics and Beyond. Cham: Springer Nature. pp. 11-31.
    For many old and new mechanists, Mechanism is both a metaphysical position and a thesis about scientific methodology. In this paper we discuss the relation between the metaphysics of mechanisms and the role of mechanical explanation in the practice of science, by presenting and comparing the key tenets of Old and New Mechanism. First, by focusing on the case of gravity, we show how the metaphysics of Old Mechanism constrained scientific explanation, and discuss Newton’s critique of Old Mechanism. Second, we (...)
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  12. added 2019-01-20
    Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st Century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization-- Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 2nd Edition Feb 2018.Michael Starks - 2016 - Las Vegas, USA: Reality Press.
    This collection of articles was written over the last 10 years and edited to bring them up to date (2019). All the articles are about human behavior (as are all articles by anyone about anything), and so about the limitations of having a recent monkey ancestry (8 million years or much less depending on viewpoint) and manifest words and deeds within the framework of our innate psychology as presented in the table of intentionality. As famous evolutionist Richard Leakey says, it (...)
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  13. added 2018-09-06
    Science Generates Limit Paradoxes.Eric Dietrich & Chris Fields - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (4):409-432.
    The sciences occasionally generate discoveries that undermine their own assumptions. Two such discoveries are characterized here: the discovery of apophenia by cognitive psychology and the discovery that physical systems cannot be locally bounded within quantum theory. It is shown that such discoveries have a common structure and that this common structure is an instance of Priest’s well-known Inclosure Schema. This demonstrates that science itself is dialetheic: it generates limit paradoxes. How science proceeds despite this fact is briefly discussed, as is (...)
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  14. added 2018-06-12
    Review of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos's Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW]Alexander Beard & Cory Wright - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):569–572.
    Chrysostomos Mantzavinos (2016), Explanatory Pluralism. Cambridge University Press, xiv + 223 pp. £64.99 cloth.
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  15. added 2018-06-07
    A Unified Cognitive Model of Visual Filling-In Based on an Emergic Network Architecture.David Pierre Leibovitz - 2013 - Dissertation, Carleton University
    The Emergic Cognitive Model (ECM) is a unified computational model of visual filling-in based on the Emergic Network architecture. The Emergic Network was designed to help realize systems undergoing continuous change. In this thesis, eight different filling-in phenomena are demonstrated under a regime of continuous eye movement (and under static eye conditions as well). -/- ECM indirectly demonstrates the power of unification inherent with Emergic Networks when cognition is decomposed according to finer-grained functions supporting change. These can interact to raise (...)
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  16. added 2018-04-01
    What's Left of Human Nature? A Post-Essentialist, Pluralist and Interactive Account of a Contested Concept.Maria Kronfeldner - 2018 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What’s Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social (...)
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  17. added 2018-03-08
    50 Words for Snow.John Wilkins - manuscript
    Scientists and philosophers routinely talk about phenomena, and the ways in which they relate to explanation, theory and practice in science. However, there are very few definitions of the term, which is often used synonymously with "data'', "model'' and in older literature, "hypothesis''. In this paper I will attempt to clarify how phenomena are recognized, categorized and the role they play in scientific epistemology. I conclude that phenomena are not necessarily theory-based commitments, but that they are what explanations are called (...)
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  18. added 2018-02-09
    Searching for Noncausal Explanations in a Sea of Causes.Alisa Bokulich - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford University Press.
    In the spirit of explanatory pluralism, this chapter argues that causal and noncausal explanations of a phenomenon are compatible, each being useful for bringing out different sorts of insights. After reviewing a model-based account of scientific explanation, which can accommodate causal and noncausal explanations alike, an important core conception of noncausal explanation is identified. This noncausal form of model-based explanation is illustrated using the example of how Earth scientists in a subfield known as aeolian geomorphology are explaining the formation of (...)
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  19. added 2017-05-22
    The Right to Ignore: An Epistemic Defense of the Nature/Culture Divide.Maria Kronfeldner - 2017 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 210-224.
    This paper addresses whether the often-bemoaned loss of unity of knowledge about humans, which results from the disciplinary fragmentation of science, is something to be overcome. The fragmentation of being human rests on a couple of distinctions, such as the nature-culture divide. Since antiquity the distinction between nature (roughly, what we inherit biologically) and culture (roughly, what is acquired by social interaction) has been a commonplace in science and society. Recently, the nature/culture divide has come under attack in various ways, (...)
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  20. added 2017-03-29
    Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the (...)
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  21. added 2017-03-03
    Review of I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (2007).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Latest Sermon from the Church of Fundamentalist Naturalism by Pastor Hofstadter. Like his much more famous work Godel, Escher, Bach, it has a superficial plausibility but if one understands that this is rampant scientism which mixes real scientific issues with philosophical ones (i.e., the only real issues are what language games we ought to play) then almost all its interest disappears. I provide a framework for analysis based in evolutionary psychology and the work of Wittgenstein (since updated in my more (...)
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  22. added 2016-11-01
    Reconstituting Phenomena.Maria Kronfeldner - 2015 - In Mäki U., Votsis S., Ruphy S. & Schurz G. (eds.), Recent developments in the philosophy of science. Springer. pp. 169-182.
    In the face of causal complexity, scientists reconstitute phenomena in order to arrive at a more simplified and partial picture that ignores most of the 'bigger picture.' This paper will distinguish between two modes of reconstituting phenomena: one moving down to a level of greater decomposition (toward organizational parts of the original phenomenon), and one moving up to a level of greater abstraction (toward different differences regarding the phenomenon). The first aim of the paper is to illustrate that phenomena are (...)
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  23. added 2015-09-20
    John Stuart Mill on Taxonomy and Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (2):269-280.
    The accepted narrative treats John Stuart Mill’s Kinds as the historical prototype for our natural kinds, but Mill actually employs two separate notions: Kinds and natural groups. Considering these, along with the accounts of Mill’s nineteenth-century interlocutors, forces us to recognize two distinct questions. First, what marks a natural kind as worthy of inclusion in taxonomy? Second, what exists in the world that makes a category meet that criterion? Mill’s two notions offer separate answers to the two questions: natural groups (...)
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  24. added 2015-09-10
    Unification and Convergence in Archaeological Explanation: The Agricultural “Wave-of-Advance” and the Origins of Indo-European Languages.Alison Wylie - 1996 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):1-30.
    Given the diversity of explanatory practices that is typical of the sciences a healthy pluralism would seem to be desirable where theories of explanation are concerned. Nevertheless, I argue that explanations are only unifying in Kitcher's unificationist sense if they are backed by the kind of understanding of underlying mechanisms, dispositions, constitutions, and dependencies that is central to a causalist account of explanation. This case can be made through analysis of Kitcher's account of the conditions under which apparent improvements in (...)
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  25. added 2015-09-05
    The Growth of Knowledge as a Problem of Philosophy of Science.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2006 - Filosofia Nauki (Philosophy of Science, Novosibirsk) 4 (31):3-19.
    The host of the growth of knowledge hallmarks, concocted by various philosophy of science models , is contemplated. It is enunciated that the most appropriate one is provided by methodology of scientific research programmes. Some salient drawbacks of the model, caused by the ambivalence of its basic notions, e.g. of the notions of ‘empirical content of a theory’, ‘progressive’ and ‘regressive’ ‘problemshifts’ can be mitigated by enriching the Lakatosian model with Nancy Cartwright’s results. To recapitulate: the genuine growth of knowledge (...)
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  26. added 2014-07-24
    Physicalism and the Part-Whole Relation.Andreas Hüttemann - 2016 - In Christian Wüthrich & Tomasz Bigaj (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Leiden, Niederlande: pp. 323-344.
    In this paper I intend to analyse whether a certain kind of physicalism (part-wholephysicalism)is supported by what classical mechanics and quantum mechanics have to say about the part whole relation. I will argue that not even the most likely candidates – namely cases of microexplanation of the dynamics of compound systems – provide evidence for part whole-physicalism, i.e. the thesis that the behaviour of the compound obtains in virtue of the behaviour of the parts. Physics does not dictate part-whole-physicalism.
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  27. added 2014-03-15
    What is Wrong with Intelligent Design?Gregory W. Dawes - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 61 (2):69 - 81.
    While a great deal of abuse has been directed at intelligent design theory (ID), its starting point is a fact about biological organisms that cries out for explanation, namely "specified complexity" (SC). Advocates of ID deploy three kind of argument from specified complexity to the existence of a designer: an eliminative argument, an inductive argument, and an inference to the best explanation. Only the first of these merits the abuse directed at it; the other two arguments are worthy of respect. (...)
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  28. added 2014-02-05
    A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part I.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):274-283.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new mechanisms’ (...)
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  29. added 2014-02-05
    A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part II.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):284-293.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The ‘new (...)
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  30. added 2013-12-30
    Lesser Degrees of Explanation: Some Implications of F.A. Hayek’s Methodology of Sciences of Complex Phenomena.Scott Scheall - 2015 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):42-60.
    From the early-1950s on, F.A. Hayek was concerned with the development of a methodology of sciences that study systems of complex phenomena. Hayek argued that the knowledge that can be acquired about such systems is, in virtue of their complexity (and the comparatively narrow boundaries of human cognitive faculties), relatively limited. The paper aims to elucidate the implications of Hayek’s methodology with respect to the specific dimensions along which the scientist’s knowledge of some complex phenomena may be limited. Hayek’s fallibilism (...)
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  31. added 2013-09-05
    Stability, Emergence and Part-Whole-Reduction.Andreas Hüttemann, Reimer Kühn & Orestis Terzidis - 2015 - In Brigitte Falkenburg & Margret Morrison (eds.), Why More Is Different. Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems. Springer. pp. 169-200.
    We address the question whether there is an explanation for the fact that as Fodor put it the micro-level “converges on stable macro-level properties”, and whether there are lessons from this explanation for other issues in the vicinity. We argue that stability in large systems can be understood in terms of statistical limit theorems. In the thermodynamic limit of infinite system size N → ∞ systems will have strictly stable macroscopic properties in the sense that transitions between different macroscopic phases (...)
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  32. added 2013-08-25
    What Does Understanding Mean?Vijai S. Shankar - 2013 - Understanding Life.
    So what does understanding mean? When understanding of life happens to man based on cause, effect and time, it is incomplete. They are the knowledgeable. And when understanding happens to man that life is not based on cause effect and time, it is complete. They are the wise or Sages.
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  33. added 2013-05-10
    In Defense of a Causal Requirement on Explanation.Garrett Pendergraft - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 470.
    Causalists about explanation claim that to explain an event is to provide information about the causal history of that event. Some causalists also endorse a proportionality claim, namely that one explanation is better than another insofar as it provides a greater amount of causal information. In this chapter I consider various challenges to these causalist claims. There is a common and influential formulation of the causalist requirement – the ‘Causal Process Requirement’ – that does appear vulnerable to these anti-causalist challenges, (...)
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  34. added 2013-02-28
    Intelligibility is Necessary for Scientific Explanation, but Accuracy May Not Be.Mike Braverman, John Clevenger, Ian Harmon, Andrew Higgins, Zachary Horne, Joseph Spino & Jonathan Waskan - 2012 - In Naomi Miyake, David Peebles & Richard Cooper (eds.), Proceedings of the Thirty-Fourth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Cognitive Science Society.
    Many philosophers of science believe that empirical psychology can contribute little to the philosophical investigation of explanations. They take this to be shown by the fact that certain explanations fail to elicit any relevant psychological events (e.g., familiarity, insight, intelligibility, etc.). We report results from a study suggesting that, at least among those with extensive science training, a capacity to render an event intelligible is considered a requirement for explanation. We also investigate for whom explanations must be capable of rendering (...)
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  35. added 2013-01-17
    High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist’s ‘Variables Problem’.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):553-577.
    The interventionist account of causal explanation, in the version presented by Jim Woodward, has been recently claimed capable of buttressing the widely felt—though poorly understood—hunch that high-level, relatively abstract explanations, of the sort provided by sciences like biology, psychology and economics, are in some cases explanatorily optimal. It is the aim of this paper to show that this is mistaken. Due to a lack of effective constraints on the causal variables at the heart of the interventionist causal-explanatory scheme, as presently (...)
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  36. added 2012-02-16
    Mechanistic Explanation Without the Ontic Conception.Cory D. Wright - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy of Science 2 (3):375-394.
    The ontic conception of scientific explanation has been constructed and motivated on the basis of a putative lexical ambiguity in the term explanation. I raise a puzzle for this ambiguity claim, and then give a deflationary solution under which all ontically-rendered talk of explanation is merely elliptical; what it is elliptical for is a view of scientific explanation that altogether avoids the ontic conception. This result has revisionary consequences for New Mechanists and other philosophers of science, many of whom have (...)
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