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On structural accounts of model-explanations

Synthese 193 (9):2761-2778 (2016)

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  1. Model Explanation Versus Model-Induced Explanation.Insa Lawler & Emily Sullivan - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-26.
    Scientists appeal to models when explaining phenomena. Such explanations are often dubbed model explanations or model-based explanations. But what are the precise conditions for ME? Are ME special explanations? In our paper, we first rebut two definitions of ME and specify a more promising one. Based on this analysis, we single out a related conception that is concerned with explanations that are induced from working with a model. We call them ‘model-induced explanations’. Second, we study three paradigmatic cases of alleged (...)
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  • An Inferential Account of Model Explanation.Wei Fang - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):99-116.
    This essay develops an inferential account of model explanation, based on Mauricio Suárez’s inferential conception of scientific representation and Alisa Bokulich’s counterfactual account of model explanation. It is suggested that the fact that a scientific model can explain is essentially linked to how a modeler uses an established model to make various inferences about the target system on the basis of results derived from the model. The inference practice is understood as a two-step activity, with the first step involving making (...)
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  • Explanatory Integration.Andrew Wayne - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-19.
    The goal of this paper is to show how scientific explanation functions in the context of idealized models. It argues that the aspect of explanation most urgently requiring investigation is the nature of the connection between global theories and explanatory local models. This aspect is neglected in traditional accounts of explanation. The paper examines causal, minimal model, and structural accounts of model-based explanation. It argues that they too fail to offer an account of the connection with global theory that can (...)
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  • Idealizations and Understanding: Much Ado About Nothing?Emily Sullivan & Kareem Khalifa - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):673-689.
    Because idealizations frequently advance scientific understanding, many claim that falsehoods play an epistemic role. In this paper, we argue that these positions greatly overstate idealiza...
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  • Explanatory Integration.Andrew Wayne - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):347-365.
    The goal of this paper is to show how scientific explanation functions in the context of idealized models. It argues that the aspect of explanation most urgently requiring investigation is the nature of the connection between global theories and explanatory local models. This aspect is neglected in traditional accounts of explanation. The paper examines causal, minimal model, and structural accounts of model-based explanation. It argues that they too fail to offer an account of the connection with global theory that can (...)
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