Switch to: References

Add citations

You must login to add citations.
  1. Is Cancer a Matter of Luck?Anya Plutynski - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (1):1-28.
    In 2015, Tomasetti and Vogelstein published a paper in Science containing the following provocative statement: “… only a third of the variation in cancer risk among tissues is attributable to environmental factors or inherited predispositions. The majority is due to “bad luck,” that is, random mutations arising during DNA replication in normal, noncancerous stem cells.” The paper—and perhaps especially this rather coy reference to “bad luck”—became a flash point for a series of letters and reviews, followed by replies and yet (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Brigitte Falkenburg and Gregor Schiemann (Eds.): Mechanistic Explanations in Physics and Beyond.Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (4):631-635.
    Download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right.Thomas Blanchard - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):633-663.
    Theories of explanation need to account for a puzzling feature of our explanatory practices: the fact that we prefer explanations that are relatively abstract but only moderately so. Contra Franklin-Hall ([2016]), I argue that the interventionist account of explanation provides a natural and elegant explanation of this fact. By striking the right balance between specificity and generality, moderately abstract explanations optimally subserve what interventionists regard as the goal of explanation, namely identifying possible interventions that would have changed the explanandum.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • 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 (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Why Incompatibilism About Mental Causation is Incompatible with Non-Reductive Physicalism.Jonas Christensen & Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    The exclusion problem is meant to show that non-reductive physicalism leads to epiphenomenalism: if mental properties are not identical with physical properties, then they are not causally efficacious. Defenders of a difference-making account of causation suggest that the exclusion problem can be solved because mental properties can be difference-making causes of physical effects. Here, we focus on what we dub an incompatibilist implementation of this general strategy and argue against it from a non-reductive physicalist perspective. Specifically, we argue that incompatibilism (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Interventionist Explanation and the Problem of Single Variable Boundary Constraints.Isaac Wilhelm - 2020 - Noûs 54 (4):945-955.
    According to Interventionism, explanations cite invariant relations which hold among multiple variables. Interventionism incorrectly implies, however, that many common scientific explanations—which cite single‐variable boundary constraints—are not actually explanatory. So I propose a different account of explanation, similar in spirit to Interventionism, which gets those cases of scientific explanation right.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation, Umeå University
    In this dissertation, I develop and defend a model of causation that allows for dualist mental causation in worlds where the physical domain is physically complete. In Part I, I present the dualist ontology that will be assumed throughout the thesis and identify two challenges for models of mental causation within such an ontology: the exclusion worry and the common cause worry. I also argue that a proper response to these challenges requires a thoroughly lightweight account of causation, i.e. an (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Difference-Making and Deterministic Chance.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Why do we value higher-level scientific explanations if, ultimately, the world is physical? An attractive answer is that physical explanations often cite facts that don't make a difference to the event in question. I claim that to properly develop this view we need to commit to a type of deterministic chance. And in doing so, we see the theoretical utility of deterministic chance, giving us reason to accept a package of views including deterministic chance.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Interventionism and Mental Surgery.Alex Kaiserman - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):919-935.
    John Campbell has claimed that the interventionist account of causation must be amended if it is to be applied to causation in psychology. The problem, he argues, is that it follows from the so-called ‘surgical’ constraint that intervening on psychological states requires the suspension of the agent’s rational autonomy. In this paper, I argue that the problem Campbell identifies is in fact an instance of a wider problem for interventionism, extending beyond psychology, which I call the problem of ‘abrupt transitions’. (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Binding Specificity and Causal Selection in Drug Design.Oliver M. Lean - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (1):70-90.
    Binding specificity is a centrally important concept in molecular biology, yet it has received little philosophical attention. Here I aim to remedy this by analyzing binding specificity as a causal property. I focus on the concept’s role in drug design, where it is highly prized and hence directly studied. From a causal perspective, understanding why binding specificity is a valuable property of drugs contributes to an understanding of causal selection—of how and why scientists distinguish between causes, not just causes from (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Does the extended evolutionary synthesis entail extended explanatory power?Jan Baedke, Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-22.
    Biologists and philosophers of science have recently called for an extension of evolutionary theory. This so-called ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ seeks to integrate developmental processes, extra-genetic forms of inheritance, and niche construction into evolutionary theory in a central way. While there is often agreement in evolutionary biology over the existence of these phenomena, their explanatory relevance is questioned. Advocates of EES posit that their perspective offers better explanations than those provided by ‘standard evolutionary theory’. Still, why this would be the case (...)
    Download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Strong Proportionality and Causal Claims.Jennifer McDonald - unknown
    There are several supposedly lethal objections to the view that causation is essentially proportional. The first targets an account of proportionality in terms of causal models, pointing out that proportionality is too easily satisfied in causal model accounts of causation through manipulation of the range of values that a variable can take (Franklin-Hall, 2016). The second argues that proportionality legitimizes only the most general things as causes, and proportionality thereby contravenes causal intuitions (Bontly, 2005; Franklin-Hall, 2016; McDonnell, 2018, 2017; Weslake, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • The Problem of Granularity for Scientific Explanation.David Kinney - 2019 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
    This dissertation aims to determine the optimal level of granularity for the variables used in probabilistic causal models. These causal models are useful for generating explanations in a number of scientific contexts. In Chapter 1, I argue that there is rarely a unique level of granularity at which a given phenomenon can be causally explained, thereby rejecting various causal exclusion arguments. In Chapter 2, I consider several recent proposals for measuring the explanatory power of causal explanations, and show that these (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • Causal Exclusion and the Limits of Proportionality.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (6):1459-1474.
    Causal exclusion arguments are taken to threaten the autonomy of the special sciences, and the causal efficacy of mental properties. A recent line of response to these arguments has appealed to “independently plausible” and “well grounded” theories of causation to rebut key premises. In this paper I consider two papers which proceed in this vein and show that they share a common feature: they both require causes to be proportional to their effects. I argue that this feature is a bug, (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  • On the Explanatory Depth and Pragmatic Value of Coarse-Grained, Probabilistic, Causal Explanations.David Kinney - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (1):145-167.
    This article considers the popular thesis that a more proportional relationship between a cause and its effect yields a more abstract causal explanation of that effect, which in turn produces a deeper explanation. This thesis is taken to have important implications for choosing the optimal granularity of explanation for a given explanandum. In this article, I argue that this thesis is not generally true of probabilistic causal relationships. In light of this finding, I propose a pragmatic, interest-relative measure of explanatory (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • The Problem of Disjunctive Explanations.Brad Weslake - manuscript
    I present a problem for theories of explanation, concerning explanations involving disjunctive properties. The problem is particular acute for the explanatory non-fundamentalist, according to whom non-fundamental scientific explanations are sometimes superior to fundamental physical explanations. I criticise solutions to the problem due to Woodward, Strevens and Sober, and Lewis, and then defend a solution inspired by an account of non-fundamental laws recently defended by Callender and Cohen.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • The Causal Economy Approach to Scientific Explanation.Laura Franklin-Hall - forthcoming - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper sketches a causal account of scientific explanation designed to sustain the judgment that high-level, detail-sparse explanations—particularly those offered in biology—can be at least as explanatorily valuable as lower-level counterparts. The motivating idea is that complete explanations maximize causal economy: they cite those aspects of an event’s causal run-up that offer the biggest-bang-for-your-buck, by costing less (in virtue of being abstract) and delivering more (in virtue making the event stable or robust).
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • In Defense of Levels: Layer Cakes and Guilt by Association.Daniel Brooks - 2017 - Biological Theory 12 (3).
    Despite the ubiquity of “levels of organization” in the scientific literature, a nascent “levels skepticism” now claims that the concept of levels is an inherently flawed, misleading, or otherwise inadequate notion for understanding how life scientists produce knowledge about the natural world. However, levels skeptics rely on the maligned “layer-cake” account of levels stemming from Oppenheim and Putnam’s defense of the unity of science for their critical commentary. Recourse to layer-cake levels is understandable, as it is arguably the default conception (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  • The Non‐Occurrence Of Events.Neil McDonnell - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (2):269-285.
    What is it for an event not to occur? This is an urgent, yet under explored, question for counterfactual analyses of causation quite generally. In this paper I take a lead from Lewis in identifying two different possible standards of non-occurrence that we might adopt and I argue that we need to apply them asymmetrically: one standard for the cause, another for the effect. This is a surprising result. I then offer a contextualist refinement of the Lewis approach in light (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Why There Isn’T Inter-Level Causation in Mechanisms.Felipe Romero - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3731-3755.
    The experimental interventions that provide evidence of causal relations are notably similar to those that provide evidence of constitutive relevance relations. In the first two sections, I show that this similarity creates a tension: there is an inconsistent triad between Woodward’s popular interventionist theory of causation, Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms, and a variety of arguments for the incoherence of inter-level causation. I argue for an interpretation of the views in which the tension is merely apparent. (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  • Experiment, Downward Causation, and Interventionist Levels of Explanation.Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (3):245-261.
    This article considers interventionist arguments for downward causation and non-fundamental level causal explanation from the point of view of inferring causation from experiments. Several authors have utilised the interventionist theory of causal explanation to argue that the causal exclusion argument is moot and that higher-level as well as downward causation is real. I show that this argument can be made when levels are understood as levels of grain, leaving us with a choice between causal explanations pitched at different levels. Causal (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  • ‘More of a Cause’: Recent Work on Degrees of Causation and Responsibility.Alex Kaiserman - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (7):e12498.
    It is often natural to compare two events by describing one as ‘more of a cause’ of some effect than the other. But what do such comparisons amount to, exactly? This paper aims to provide a guided tour of the recent literature on ‘degrees of causation’. Section 2 looks at what I call ‘dependence measures’, which arise from thinking of causes as difference-makers. Section 3 looks at what I call ‘production measures’, which arise from thinking of causes as jointly sufficient (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  • Intervening Into Mechanisms: Prospects and Challenges.Lena Kästner & Lise Marie Andersen - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12546.
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  • Regularity Constitution and the Location of Mechanistic Levels.Jens Harbecke - 2015 - Foundations of Science 20 (3):323-338.
    This paper discusses the role of levels and level-bound theoretical terms in neurobiological explanations under the presupposition of a regularity theory of constitution. After presenting the definitions for the constitution relation and the notion of a mechanistic level in the sense of the regularity theory, the paper develops a set of inference rules that allow to determine whether two mechanisms referred to by one or more accepted explanations belong to the same level, or to different levels. The rules are characterized (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  • An Interventionist Approach to Psychological Explanation.Michael Rescorla - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1909-1940.
    Interventionism is a theory of causal explanation developed by Woodward and Hitchcock. I defend an interventionist perspective on the causal explanations offered within scientific psychology. The basic idea is that psychology causally explains mental and behavioral outcomes by specifying how those outcomes would have been different had an intervention altered various factors, including relevant psychological states. I elaborate this viewpoint with examples drawn from cognitive science practice, especially Bayesian perceptual psychology. I favorably compare my interventionist approach with well-known nomological and (...)
    Download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations