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  1. The Meta-Explanatory Question.L. R. Franklin-Hall - manuscript
    Philosophical theories of explanation characterize the difference between correct and incorrect explanations. While remaining neutral as to which of these ‘first-order’ theories is right, this paper asks the ‘meta-explanatory’ question: is the difference between correct and incorrect explanation real, i.e., objective or mind-independent? After offering a framework for distinguishing realist from anti-realist views, I sketch three distinct paths to explanatory anti-realism.
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  2. On the Role of Erotetic Constraints in Non-causal Explanations.Daniel Kostić - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    In non-causal explanations, some non-causal facts (such as mathematical, modal or metaphysical) are used to explain some physical facts. However, precisely because these explanations abstract away from causal facts, they face two challenges: 1) it is not clear why would one rather than the other non-causal explanantia be relevant for the explanandum; and 2) why would standing in a particular explanatory relation (e.g., “counterfactual dependence”, “constraint”, “entailment”, “constitution”, “grounding”, and so on), and not in some other, be explanatory. I develop (...)
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  3. The Ontic-Epistemic Debates of Explanation Revisited: The Three-Dimensional Approach.Jinyeong Gim - 2024 - Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce) 74:99-169.
    After Wesley Salmon’s causal-mechanical stance on explanation in the 1980s, the ontic-epistemic debate of scientific explanations appeared to be resolved in the philosophy of science. However, since the twenty-first century, this debate has been rekindled among philosophers who focus on mechanistic explanations. Nevertheless, its issues have evolved, necessitating scrutiny of the new trends in this debate and a comparison with the original controversy between Carl Hempel and Salmon. The primary objective of this paper is to elucidate three categorical dimensions in (...)
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  4. Shades of Grey: Granularity, Pragmatics, and Non-Causal Explanation.Hugh Desmond - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):68-87.
    Implicit contextual factors mean that the boundary between causal and noncausal explanation is not as neat as one might hope: as the phenomenon to be explained is given descriptions with varying degrees of granularity, the nature of the favored explanation alternates between causal and non-causal. While it is not surprising that different descriptions of the same phenomenon should favor different explanations, it is puzzling why re-describing the phenomenon should make any difference for the causal nature of the favored explanation. I (...)
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  5. 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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  6. Divide and conquer: The authority of nature and why we disagree about human nature.Maria Kronfeldner - 2018 - In Elizabeth Hannon & Tim Lewens (eds.), Why We Disagree About Human Nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 186-206.
    The term ‘human nature’ can refer to different things in the world and fulfil different epistemic roles. Human nature can refer to a classificatory nature (classificatory criteria that determine the boundaries of, and membership in, a biological or social group called ‘human’), a descriptive nature (a bundle of properties describing the respective group’s life form), or an explanatory nature (a set of factors explaining that life form). This chapter will first introduce these three kinds of ‘human nature’, together with seven (...)
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  7. Explanation, understanding, and belief revision.Andrés Páez - 2018 - In Marco Ruffino, Max Freund & Max Fernández de Castro (eds.), Logic and philosophy of logic. Recent trends from Latin America and Spain. London: College Publications. pp. 233-252.
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  8. Causal patterns and adequate explanations.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1163-1182.
    Causal accounts of scientific explanation are currently broadly accepted (though not universally so). My first task in this paper is to show that, even for a causal approach to explanation, significant features of explanatory practice are not determined by settling how causal facts bear on the phenomenon to be explained. I then develop a broadly causal approach to explanation that accounts for the additional features that I argue an explanation should have. This approach to explanation makes sense of several aspects (...)
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  9. L'explication en biologie.Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In F. Merlin & T. Hoquet (eds.), Précis de Philosophie de la biologie [Handbook Philosophy of Biology]. Paris, France: Vuibert Press. pp. 143-155.
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  10. Mechanistic explanation without the ontic conception.Cory 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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  11. Henk W. De Regt, Sabina Leonelli and Kai Eigner , Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009. Pp. ix+352. ISBN 978-0-8229-4378-6. $65.00. [REVIEW]Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Science 44 (4):578-580.
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  12. The pragmatic-rhetorical theory of explanation.Jan Faye - 2007 - In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. 252. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. pp. 43-68.
    The pragmatic theory of explanation is an attempt to see explanation as a linguistic response to a cognitive problem where the content of the response depends on the context of the scientific inquiry. The present paper draws on the rhetorical situation, as it is defined by Loyld Bitzer, in order to understand how the context may influence the content as well as the acceptability of the response.
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  13. Metafora.Sergio Volodia Marcello Cremaschi - 1996 - In Virgilio Melchiorre, Guido Boffi, Eugenio Garin, Adriano Bausola, Enrico Berti, Francesca Castellani, Sergio Cremaschi, Carla Danani, Roberto Diodato, Sergio Galvan, Alessandro Ghisalberti, Giuseppe Grampa, Michele Lenoci, Roberto Maiocchi, Michele Marsonet, Emanuela Mora, Carlo Penco, Roberto Radice, Giovanni Reale, Andrea Salanti, Piero Stefani, Valerio Verra & Paolo Volonté (eds.), Enciclopedia della Filosofia e delle Scienze Umane. Virgilio Melchiorre (ed.). Novara: De Agostini. pp. 607-608.
    A short reconstruction of the origins of the concept of metaphor, the early modern mistrust of metaphor in the name of univocal scientific language, the twentieth century rescue of the cognitive value of metaphor.
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  14. The epistemic value of explanation.Andrés Páez - manuscript
    In this paper I defend the idea that there is a sense in which it is meaningful and useful to talk about objective understanding, and that to characterize that notion it is necessary to formulate an account of explanation that makes reference to the beliefs and epistemic goals of the participants in a cognitive enterprise. Using the framework for belief revision developed by Isaac Levi, I analyze the conditions that information must fulfill to be both potentially explanatory and epistemically valuable (...)
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