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  1. Explanatory Asymmetry in Non-Causal Explanation.Andrew Wayne - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-17.
    The problem of explanatory asymmetry remains a serious challenge for non-causal accounts of explanation. This paper proposes a novel solution, and it does so by appealing to the theoretical context in which an explanation is offered. The paper develops the problem of explanatory asymmetry for non-causal dependency accounts of explanation, focusing specifically on Alexander Reutlinger’s Counterfactual Theory of Explanation and recent work by Marc Lange and Lina Jansson. It defends the idea that nomological possibility with respect to a global theory (...)
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  • Universality Caused: The Case of Renormalization Group Explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.
    Recently, many have argued that there are certain kinds of abstract mathematical explanations that are noncausal. In particular, the irrelevancy approach suggests that abstracting away irrelevant causal details can leave us with a noncausal explanation. In this paper, I argue that the common example of Renormalization Group explanations of universality used to motivate the irrelevancy approach deserves more critical attention. I argue that the reasons given by those who hold up RG as noncausal do not stand up to critical scrutiny. (...)
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  • Is Verstehen Scientific Understanding?Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 49 (4):282-306.
    Many have argued that the human sciences feature a unique form of understanding that is absent from the natural sciences. However, in the last decade or so, epistemologists and philosop...
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  • 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 (...)
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  • A Defence of Manipulationist Noncausal Explanation: The Case for Intervention Liberalism.Nicholas Emmerson - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    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 (...)
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  • Inquiry and the Epistemic.David Thorstad - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2913-2928.
    The zetetic turn in epistemology raises three questions about epistemic and zetetic norms. First, there is the relationship question: what is the relationship between epistemic and zetetic norms? Are some epistemic norms zetetic norms, or are epistemic and zetetic norms distinct? Second, there is the tension question: are traditional epistemic norms in tension with plausible zetetic norms? Third, there is the reaction question: how should theorists react to a tension between epistemic and zetetic norms? Drawing on an analogy to practical (...)
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  • Explaining Universality: Infinite Limit Systems in the Renormalization Group Method.Jingyi Wu - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14897-14930.
    I analyze the role of infinite idealizations used in the renormalization group (RG hereafter) method in explaining universality across microscopically different physical systems in critical phenomena. I argue that despite the reference to infinite limit systems such as systems with infinite correlation lengths during the RG process, the key to explaining universality in critical phenomena need not involve infinite limit systems. I develop my argument by introducing what I regard as the explanatorily relevant property in RG explanations: linearization* property; I (...)
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  • Factive Inferentialism and the Puzzle of Model-Based Explanation.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10039-10057.
    Highly idealized models may serve various epistemic functions, notably explanation, in virtue of representing the world. Inferentialism provides a prima facie compelling characterization of what constitutes the representation relation. In this paper, I argue that what I call factive inferentialism does not provide a satisfactory solution to the puzzle of model-based—factive—explanation. In particular, I show that making explanatory counterfactual inferences is not a sufficient guide for accurate representation, factivity, or realism. I conclude by calling for a more explicit specification of (...)
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  • How to Reconcile a Unified Account of Explanation with Explanatory Diversity.Collin Rice & Yasha Rohwer - 2021 - Foundations of Science 26 (4):1025-1047.
    The concept of explanation is central to scientific practice. However, scientists explain phenomena in very different ways. That is, there are many different kinds of explanation; e.g. causal, mechanistic, statistical, or equilibrium explanations. In light of the myriad kinds of explanation identified in the literature, most philosophers of science have adopted some kind of explanatory pluralism. While pluralism about explanation seems plausible, it faces a dilemma Explanation beyond causation, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 39–56, 2018). Either there is nothing that (...)
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  • Mathematical Representation and Explanation: Structuralism, the Similarity Account, and the Hotchpotch Picture.Ziren Yang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This thesis starts with three challenges to the structuralist accounts of applied mathematics. Structuralism views applied mathematics as a matter of building mapping functions between mathematical and target-ended structures. The first challenge concerns how it is possible for a non-mathematical target to be represented mathematically when the mapping functions per se are mathematical objects. The second challenge arises out of inconsistent early calculus, which suggests that mathematical representation does not require rigorous mathematical structures. The third challenge comes from renormalisation group (...)
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  • 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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