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  1. Phenomenological Laws and Mechanistic Explanations.Gabriel Siegel & Carl F. Craver - 2024 - Philosophy of Science 91 (1):132-150.
    In light of recent criticisms by Woodward (2017) and Rescorla (2018), we examine the relationship between mechanistic explanation and phenomenological laws. We disambiguate several uses of the phrase “phenomenological law” and show how a mechanistic theory of explanation sorts them into those that are and are not explanatory. We also distinguish the problem of phenomenological laws from arguments about the explanatory power of purely phenomenal models, showing that Woodward and Rescorla conflate these problems. Finally, we argue that the temptation to (...)
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  • What is social structural explanation? A causal account.Lauren N. Ross - 2023 - Noûs 1 (1):163-179.
    Social scientists appeal to various “structures” in their explanations including public policies, economic systems, and social hierarchies. Significant debate surrounds the explanatory relevance of these factors for various outcomes such as health, behavioral, and economic patterns. This paper provides a causal account of social structural explanation that is motivated by Haslanger (2016). This account suggests that social structure can be explanatory in virtue of operating as a causal constraint, which is a causal factor with unique characteristics. A novel causal framework (...)
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  • Causal complexity in human research: On the shared challenges of behavior genetics, medical genetics, and environmentally oriented social science.James W. Madole & K. Paige Harden - 2023 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 46:e206.
    We received 23 spirited commentaries on our target article from across the disciplines of philosophy, economics, evolutionary genetics, molecular biology, criminology, epidemiology, and law. We organize our reply around three overarching questions: (1) What is a cause? (2) How are randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and within-family genome-wide association studies (GWASs) alike and unalike? (3) Is behavior genetics a qualitatively different enterprise? Throughout our discussion of these questions, we advocate for the idea that behavior genetics shares many of the same pitfalls (...)
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