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Explaining the Brain

Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. Natural Kindness.Matthew Slater - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):375-411.
    Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...)
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  • The Nature of Appearance in Kant’s Transcendentalism: A Seman- Tico-Cognitive Analysis.Sergey L. Katrechko - 2018 - Kantian Journal 37 (3):41-55.
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  • Nonreductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle.Christian List & Peter Menzies - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (9):475-502.
    It is often argued that higher-level special-science properties cannot be causally efficacious since the lower-level physical properties on which they supervene are doing all the causal work. This claim is usually derived from an exclusion principle stating that if a higherlevel property F supervenes on a physical property F* that is causally sufficient for a property G, then F cannot cause G. We employ an account of causation as differencemaking to show that the truth or falsity of this principle is (...)
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  • The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences.Peter Menzies & Christian List - 2010 - In Cynthia McDonald & Graham McDonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press. pp. 108-129.
    The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of the causal powers of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them. More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view (...)
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  • Activity-Based Accounts of Mechanism and the Threat of Polygenic Effects.Johannes Persson - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):135 - 149.
    Accounts of ontic explanation have often been devised so as to provide an understanding of mechanism and of causation. Ontic accounts differ quite radically in their ontologies, and one of the latest additions to this tradition proposed by Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden and Carl Craver reintroduces the concept of activity. In this paper I ask whether this influential and activity-based account of mechanisms is viable as an ontic account. I focus on polygenic scenarios—scenarios in which the causal truths depend on (...)
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  • Beyond Cognitive Myopia: A Patchwork Approach to the Concept of Neural Function.Philipp Haueis - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5373-5402.
    In this paper, I argue that looking at the concept of neural function through the lens of cognition alone risks cognitive myopia: it leads neuroscientists to focus only on mechanisms with cognitive functions that process behaviorally relevant information when conceptualizing “neural function”. Cognitive myopia tempts researchers to neglect neural mechanisms with noncognitive functions which do not process behaviorally relevant information but maintain and repair neural and other systems of the body. Cognitive myopia similarly affects philosophy of neuroscience because scholars overlook (...)
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  • Un Análisis Crítico de la Concepción Mecanicista de la Explicación.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2012 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 38 (2):233-265.
    En este trabajo me propongo desarrollar un estudio crítico de la concepción mecanicista de la explicación científica. En primer lugar, argumento que la caracterización mecanicista de los modelos fenoménicos (no explicativos) es inadecuada, pues no ofrece un análisis aceptable de los conceptos de modelo científico y similitud, que son fundamentales para la propuesta. En segundo lugar, sostengo que la caracterización de los modelos mecanicistas (explicativos) es igualmente inadecuada, pues los análisis disponibles de la relación explicativa de relevancia constitutiva implican una (...)
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  • Mechanisms, laws and explanation.Nancy Cartwright, John Pemberton & Sarah Wieten - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-19.
    Mechanisms are now taken widely in philosophy of science to provide one of modern science’s basic explanatory devices. This has raised lively debate concerning the relationship between mechanisms, laws and explanation. This paper focuses on cases where a mechanism gives rise to a ceteris paribus law, addressing two inter-related questions: What kind of explanation is involved? and What is going on in the world when mechanism M affords behavior B described in a ceteris paribus law? We explore various answers offered (...)
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  • The Neural Correlates of Consciousness.Jorge Morales & Hakwan Lau - 2020 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness. Oxford University Press. pp. 233-260.
    In this chapter, we discuss a selection of current views of the neural correlates of consciousness (NCC). We focus on the different predictions they make, in particular with respect to the role of prefrontal cortex (PFC) during visual experiences, which is an area of critical interest and some source of contention. Our discussion of these views focuses on the level of functional anatomy, rather than at the neuronal circuitry level. We take this approach because we currently understand more about experimental (...)
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  • A Pragmatic-Ontic Account of Mechanistic Explanation.Daniel Sirtes - unknown
    Craver’s (2007) account of explanation in neurobiology offers one of the most sophisticated explications of the mechanism concept. This paper argues that despite groundbreaking advances in understanding mechanistic explanation, serious challenges remain. The first goal of this paper is to address the notorious problem of explanatory relevance concerning mechanistic explanation. I argue that Craver underestimates the importance of pragmatic constraints on the individuation of mechanisms, and that his suggestion for a solution of the explanatory relevance problem is therefore insufficient on (...)
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  • What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences.Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.
    After a decade of intense debate about mechanisms, there is still no consensus characterization. In this paper we argue for a characterization that applies widely to mechanisms across the sciences. We examine and defend our disagreements with the major current contenders for characterizations of mechanisms. Ultimately, we indicate that the major contenders can all sign up to our characterization.
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  • Three Problems for the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance in Mechanisms.Bert Leuridan - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):399-427.
    In this article, I present two conceptual problems for Craver's mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms. First, constitutive relevance threatens to imply causal relevance despite Craver (and Bechtel)'s claim that they are strictly distinct. Second, if (as is intuitively appealing) parthood is defined in terms of spatio-temporal inclusion, then the mutual manipulability account is prone to counterexamples, as I show by a case of endosymbiosis. I also present a methodological problem (a case of experimental underdetermination) and formulate two (...)
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  • How Can Causal Explanations Explain?Jon Williamson - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):257-275.
    The mechanistic and causal accounts of explanation are often conflated to yield a ‘causal-mechanical’ account. This paper prizes them apart and asks: if the mechanistic account is correct, how can causal explanations be explanatory? The answer to this question varies according to how causality itself is understood. It is argued that difference-making, mechanistic, dualist and inferentialist accounts of causality all struggle to yield explanatory causal explanations, but that an epistemic account of causality is more promising in this regard.
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  • Mechanistic Explanation: Integrating the Ontic and Epistemic.Phyllis Illari - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):237-255.
    Craver claims that mechanistic explanation is ontic, while Bechtel claims that it is epistemic. While this distinction between ontic and epistemic explanation originates with Salmon, the ideas have changed in the modern debate on mechanistic explanation, where the frame of the debate is changing. I will explore what Bechtel and Craver’s claims mean, and argue that good mechanistic explanations must satisfy both ontic and epistemic normative constraints on what is a good explanation. I will argue for ontic constraints by drawing (...)
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  • Abstract Versus Causal Explanations?Reutlinger Alexander & Andersen Holly - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):129-146.
    In the recent literature on causal and non-causal scientific explanations, there is an intuitive assumption according to which an explanation is non-causal by virtue of being abstract. In this context, to be ‘abstract’ means that the explanans in question leaves out many or almost all causal microphysical details of the target system. After motivating this assumption, we argue that the abstractness assumption, in placing the abstract and the causal character of an explanation in tension, is misguided in ways that are (...)
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  • Structural Representations: Causally Relevant and Different From Detectors.Paweł Gładziejewski & Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):337-355.
    This paper centers around the notion that internal, mental representations are grounded in structural similarity, i.e., that they are so-called S-representations. We show how S-representations may be causally relevant and argue that they are distinct from mere detectors. First, using the neomechanist theory of explanation and the interventionist account of causal relevance, we provide a precise interpretation of the claim that in S-representations, structural similarity serves as a “fuel of success”, i.e., a relation that is exploitable for the representation using (...)
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  • Causal Explanation: Recursive Decompositions and Mechanisms.Michel Mouchart & Federica Russo - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
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  • Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden: In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences.Stuart Glennan - 2014 - Science & Education 23 (7):1555-1558.
    Carl Craver and Lindley Darden are two of the foremost proponents of a recent approach to the philosophy of biology that is often called the New Mechanism. In this book they seek to make available to a broader readership insights gained from more than two decades of work on the nature of mechanisms and how they are described and discovered. The book is not primarily aimed at specialists working on the New Mechanism, but rather targets scientists, students and teachers who (...)
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  • On the Supposed Explanatory Heteronomy of Functional Biology.Gustavo Caponi - 2015 - Scientiae Studia 13 (3):547-575.
    RESUMENSegún un punto de vista muy difundido, y alineado con la concepción nómica de la explicación causal, la biología funcional está sometida a un régimen de heteronomía explicativa en cuyo marco los fenómenos orgánicos deben explicarse causalmente recurriendo a leyes oriundas de la física y la química. En contra de esa perspectiva, la concepción experimental de la causación permite entender la naturaleza de muchas explicaciones biológicas que, sin hacer referencia a leyes causales - físicas, químicas o de cualquier otra naturaleza (...)
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  • Can Interventions Rescue Glennan’s Mechanistic Account of Causality?Lorenzo Casini - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1155-1183.
    Glennan appeals to interventions to solve the ontological and explanatory regresses that threaten his mechanistic account of causality . I argue that Glennan’s manoeuvre fails. The appeal to interventions is not able to address the ontological regress, and it blocks the explanatory regress only at the cost of making the account inapplicable to non-modular mechanisms. I offer a solution to the explanatory regress that makes use of dynamic Bayesian networks. My argument is illustrated by a case study from systems biology, (...)
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  • Levels of Organization: A Deflationary Account.Markus Eronen - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):39-58.
    The idea of levels of organization plays a central role in the philosophy of the life sciences. In this article, I first examine the explanatory goals that have motivated accounts of levels of organization. I then show that the most state-of-the-art and scientifically plausible account of levels of organization, the account of levels of mechanism proposed by Bechtel and Craver, is fundamentally problematic. Finally, I argue that the explanatory goals can be reached by adopting a deflationary approach, where levels of (...)
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  • Mechanistic Causation and Constraints: Perspectival Parts and Powers, Non-Perspectival Modal Patterns.Jason Winning - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Any successful account of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation must satisfy at least five key desiderata. In this paper, I lay out these five desiderata and explain why existing accounts of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation fail to satisfy them. I then present an alternative account which does satisfy the five desiderata. According to this alternative account, we must resort to a type of ontological entity that is new to metaphysics, but not to science: constraints. In this paper, I explain (...)
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  • Intelligibility and the CAPE: Combatting Anti-Psychologism About Explanation.Jonathan Waskan - unknown
    Much of the philosophical discussion of explanations has centered around two broad conceptions of what sorts of ‘things’ explanations are – namely, the descriptive and ontic conceptions. Defenders of each argue that scientific psychology has at best little to contribute to the study of explanations. These anti-psychologistic arguments come in two main varieties, the metaphysical and the epistemic. Both varieties trace back to Hempel and recur in the more recent writings of prominent mechanists. The metaphysical arguments attempt to combat psychologism (...)
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  • 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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  • The New Mechanical Philosophy.Stuart Glennan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume argues for a new image of science that understands both natural and social phenomena to be the product of mechanisms, casting the work of science as an effort to understand those mechanisms. Glennan offers an account of the nature of mechanisms and of the models used to represent them in physical, life, and social sciences.
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  • The Non-Mechanistic Option: Defending Dynamical Explanations.Russell Meyer - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):959-985.
    This article demonstrates that non-mechanistic, dynamical explanations are a viable approach to explanation in the special sciences. The claim that dynamical models can be explanatory without reference to mechanisms has previously been met with three lines of criticism from mechanists: the causal relevance concern, the genuine laws concern, and the charge of predictivism. I argue, however, that these mechanist criticisms fail to defeat non-mechanistic, dynamical explanation. Using the examples of Haken et al.’s model of bimanual coordination, and Thelen et al.’s (...)
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  • Should Explanations Omit the Details?Darren Bradley - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):827-853.
    There is a widely shared belief that the higher-level sciences can provide better explanations than lower-level sciences. But there is little agreement about exactly why this is so. It is often suggested that higher-level explanations are better because they omit details. I will argue instead that the preference for higher-level explanations is just a special case of our general preference for informative, logically strong, beliefs. I argue that our preference for informative beliefs entirely accounts for why higher-level explanations are sometimes (...)
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  • Variational Causal Claims in Epidemiology.Federica Russo - 2009 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 52 (4):540-554.
    The paper examines definitions of ‘cause’ in the epidemiological literature. Those definitions all describe causes as factors that make a difference to the distribution of disease or to individual health status. In the philosophical jargon, causes in epidemiology are difference-makers. Two claims are defended. First, it is argued that those definitions underpin an epistemology and a methodology that hinge upon the notion of variation, contra the dominant Humean paradigm according to which we infer causality from regularity. Second, despite the fact (...)
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  • What is a Cognitive Ontology, Anyway?Annelli Janssen, Colin Klein & Marc Slors - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):123-128.
    This special issue brings together philosophical perspectives on the debate over cognitive ontology. We contextualize the papers in this issue by considering several different senses of the term “cognitive ontology” and linking those debates to traditional debates in philosophy of mind.
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  • The Aims and Structures of Research Projects That Use Gene Regulatory Information with Evolutionary Genetic Models.Steve Elliott - 2017 - Dissertation, Arizona State University
    At the interface of developmental biology and evolutionary biology, the very criteria of scientific knowledge are up for grabs. A central issue is the status of evolutionary genetics models, which some argue cannot coherently be used with complex gene regulatory network (GRN) models to explain the same evolutionary phenomena. Despite those claims, many researchers use evolutionary genetics models jointly with GRN models to study evolutionary phenomena. -/- This dissertation compares two recent research projects in which researchers jointly use the two (...)
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  • Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation.Cory Wright & William Bechtel - 2007 - In Paul Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
    As much as assumptions about mechanisms and mechanistic explanation have deeply affected psychology, they have received disproportionately little analysis in philosophy. After a historical survey of the influences of mechanistic approaches to explanation of psychological phenomena, we specify the nature of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. Contrary to some treatments of mechanistic explanation, we maintain that explanation is an epistemic activity that involves representing and reasoning about mechanisms. We discuss the manner in which mechanistic approaches serve to bridge levels rather than (...)
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  • The Therapeutic Vs. Constructive Approach to the Transformative Character of Collective Intentionality. The Interpersonal Level of Explanation.Daniel Żuromski - forthcoming - Logic and Logical Philosophy:1.
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  • Epistemic Causality and Evidence-Based Medicine.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (4).
    Causal claims in biomedical contexts are ubiquitous albeit they are not always made explicit. This paper addresses the question of what causal claims mean in the context of disease. It is argued that in medical contexts causality ought to be interpreted according to the epistemic theory. The epistemic theory offers an alternative to traditional accounts that cash out causation either in terms of “difference-making” relations or in terms of mechanisms. According to the epistemic approach, causal claims tell us about which (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness.Uriah Kriegel (ed.) - 2020 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Consciousness provides the most comprehensive overview of current philosophical research on consciousness. Featuring contributions from some of the most prominent experts in the field, it explores the wide range of types of consciousness there may be, the many psychological phenomena with which consciousness interacts, and the various views concerning the ultimate relationship between consciousness and physical reality. It is an essential and authoritative resource for anyone working in philosophy of mind or interested in (...)
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  • Międzyosobowy poziom wyjaśniania umysłu i zdolności poznawczych.Daniel Żuromski - 2020 - Filozofia Nauki 28 (2):47-74.
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  • Evidence and the Assessment of Causal Relations in the Health Sciences.Raffaella Campaner & Maria Carla Galavotti - 2012 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 26 (1):27 - 45.
    This contribution claims that the two fundamental notions of causation at work in the health sciences are manipulative and mechanistic, and investigates what kinds of evidence matter for the assessment of causal relations. This article is a development of our 2007 article, ?Plurality of Causality?, where we argue for a pluralistic account of causation with an eye to econometrics and a single medical example. The present contribution has a wider focus, and considers the notion of evidence within a whole range (...)
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  • Generic Versus Single-Case Causality: The Case of Autopsy. [REVIEW]Jon Williamson - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):47-69.
    This paper addresses questions about how the levels of causality (generic and single-case causality) are related. One question is epistemological: can relationships at one level be evidence for relationships at the other level? We present three kinds of answer to this question, categorised according to whether inference is top-down, bottom-up, or the levels are independent. A second question is metaphysical: can relationships at one level be reduced to relationships at the other level? We present three kinds of answer to this (...)
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  • Rethinking Unification : Unification as an Explanatory Value in Scientific Practice.Merel Lefevere - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Ghent
    This dissertation starts with a concise overview of what philosophers of science have written about unification and its role in scientific explanation during the last 50 years to provide the reader with some background knowledge. In order to bring unification back into the picture, I have followed two strategies, resulting respectively in Parts I and II of this dissertation. In Part I the idea of unification is used to refine and enrich the dominant causalmechanist and causal-interventionist accounts of scientific explanation. (...)
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  • The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
    Defending or attacking either functionalism or computationalism requires clarity on what they amount to and what evidence counts for or against them. My goalhere is not to evaluatc their plausibility. My goal is to formulate them and their relationship clearly enough that we can determine which type of evidence is relevant to them. I aim to dispel some sources of confusion that surround functionalism and computationalism. recruit recent philosophical work on mechanisms and computation to shed light on them, and clarify (...)
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  • Can The Mental Be Causally Efficacious?Panu Raatikainen - 2013 - In K. Talmont-Kaminski M. Milkowski (ed.), Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental. Cambridge Scholars Press.
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  • Why Naturalize Consciousness?Wayne Wright - 2007 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 45 (4):583-607.
    This paper examines the relevance of philosophical work on consciousness to its scientific study. Of particular concern is the debate over whether consciousness can be naturalized, which is typically taken to have consequences for the prospects for its scientific investigation. It is not at all clear that philosophers of consciousness have properly identified and evaluated the assumptions about scientific activity made by both naturalization and anti- naturalization projects. I argue that there is good reason to think that some of the (...)
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  • Model-Based Cognitive Neuroscience: Multifield Mechanistic Integration in Practice.Mark Povich - 2019 - Theory & Psychology 5 (29):640–656.
    Autonomist accounts of cognitive science suggest that cognitive model building and theory construction (can or should) proceed independently of findings in neuroscience. Common functionalist justifications of autonomy rely on there being relatively few constraints between neural structure and cognitive function (e.g., Weiskopf, 2011). In contrast, an integrative mechanistic perspective stresses the mutual constraining of structure and function (e.g., Piccinini & Craver, 2011; Povich, 2015). In this paper, I show how model-based cognitive neuroscience (MBCN) epitomizes the integrative mechanistic perspective and concentrates (...)
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  • Addiction-as-a-Kind Hypothesis.Petri Ylikoski & Samuli Pöyhönen - 2015 - International Journal of Addiction and Drug Research 4 (1):21-25.
    The psychiatric category of addiction has recently been broadened to include new behaviors. This has prompted critical discussion about the value of a concept that covers so many different substances and activities. Many of the debates surrounding the notion of addiction stem from different views concerning what kind of a thing addiction fundamentally is. In this essay, we put forward an account that conceptualizes different addictions as sharing a cluster of relevant properties (the syndrome) that is supported by a matrix (...)
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  • Constitutive Relevance in Interlevel Experiments.Maria Serban & Sune Holm - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):697-725.
    One reason for the popularity of Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance is that it seems to make good sense of the experimental practices and constitutive reasoning in the life sciences. Two recent papers propose a theoretical alternative to in light of several important conceptual objections. Their alternative approach, the no de-coupling account, conceives of constitution as a dependence relation that once postulated provides the best explanation of the impossibility of breaking the common cause coupling of a macro-level mechanism (...)
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  • ‘Models of’ and ‘Models For’: On the Relation Between Mechanistic Models and Experimental Strategies in Molecular Biology.Emanuele Ratti - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (2):773-797.
    Molecular biologists exploit information conveyed by mechanistic models for experimental purposes. In this article, I make sense of this aspect of biological practice by developing Keller’s idea of the distinction between ‘models of’ and ‘models for’. ‘Models of (phenomena)’ should be understood as models representing phenomena and are valuable if they explain phenomena. ‘Models for (manipulating phenomena)’ are new types of material manipulations and are important not because of their explanatory force, but because of the interventionist strategies they afford. This (...)
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  • Models Don’T Decompose That Way: A Holistic View of Idealized Models.Collin Rice - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):179-208.
    Many accounts of scientific modelling assume that models can be decomposed into the contributions made by their accurate and inaccurate parts. These accounts then argue that the inaccurate parts of the model can be justified by distorting only what is irrelevant. In this paper, I argue that this decompositional strategy requires three assumptions that are not typically met by our best scientific models. In response, I propose an alternative view in which idealized models are characterized as holistically distorted representations that (...)
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  • Don't Ask, Look! Linguistic Corpora as a Tool for Conceptual Analysis.Roland Bluhm - 2013 - In Migue Hoeltje, Thomas Spitzley & Wolfgang Spohn (eds.), Was dürfen wir glauben? Was sollen wir tun? Sektionsbeiträge des achten internationalen Kongresses der Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie e.V. DuEPublico. pp. 7-15.
    Ordinary Language Philosophy has largely fallen out of favour, and with it the belief in the primary importance of analyses of ordinary language for philosophical purposes. Still, in their various endeavours, philosophers not only from analytic but also from other backgrounds refer to the use and meaning of terms of interest in ordinary parlance. In doing so, they most commonly appeal to their own linguistic intuitions. Often, the appeal to individual intuitions is supplemented by reference to dictionaries. In recent times, (...)
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  • Understanding Interdisciplinary Corroboration: Lessons From a Review Paper in the Mind-Brain Sciences.Jaclyn Lanthier - unknown
    The current view of the relationship between areas of the mind-brain sciences is one where cross-disciplinary collaboration is required to advance claims about the mind-brain that stand on firm epistemic footing. My goal in this dissertation is to analyze what it means for information from different areas of science to fit together to produce strong epistemic claims by addressing how and to what extent claims about the mind-brain are corroborated in scientific practice. Philosophers of science have advanced various concepts of (...)
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  • Getting Over Atomism: Functional Decomposition in Complex Neural Systems.Daniel C. Burnston - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Functional decomposition is an important goal in the life sciences, and is central to mechanistic explanation and explanatory reduction. A growing literature in philosophy of science, however, has challenged decomposition-based notions of explanation. ‘Holists’ posit that complex systems exhibit context-sensitivity, dynamic interaction, and network dependence, and that these properties undermine decomposition. They then infer from the failure of decomposition to the failure of mechanistic explanation and reduction. I argue that complexity, so construed, is only incompatible with one notion of decomposition, (...)
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  • Idealization and the Ontic Conception: A Reply to Bokulich.Carl F. Craver - 2019 - The Monist 102 (4):525-530.
    In a recent issue of The Monist, Alisa Bokulich argues that those who embrace an ontic conception of scientific explanation are committed to rejecting an explanatory role for idealized, i.e., deliberately false, models. Her argument is based on an inaccurate characterization of the ontic view. Indeed, her positive view of idealization embraces rather than opposes the ontic conception. Because Bokulich is not alone in this misunderstanding, an effort to diagnose and correct it might prevent scholars from talking past one another (...)
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