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  1. Epr Robustness and the Causal Markov Condition.Mauricio Suárez & Iñaki San Pedro - 2007 - Centre of Philosophy of Natural and Social Science.
    It is still a matter of controversy whether the Principle of the Common Cause can be used as a basis for sound causal inference. It is thus to be expected that its application to quantum mechanics should be a correspondingly controversial issue. Indeed the early 90’s saw a flurry of papers addressing just this issue in connection with the EPR correlations. Yet, that debate does not seem to have caught up with the most recent literature on causal inference generally, which (...)
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  • An Ontic Account of Explanatory Reduction in Biology.Marie I. Kaiser - 2012 - Köln: Kölner Hochschulschriften.
    Convincing disputes about explanatory reductionism in the philosophy of biology require a clear and precise understanding of what a reductive explanation in biology is. The central aim of this book is to provide such an account by revealing the features that determine the reductive character of a biological explanation. Chapters I-IV provide the ground, on which I can then, in Chapter V, develop my own account of explanatory reduction in biology: Chapter I reveals the meta-philosophical assumptions that underlie my analysis (...)
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  • Real and Virtual Clinical Trials: A Formal Analysis.Barbara Osimani, Marta Bertolaso, Roland Poellinger & Emanuele Frontoni - 2018 - Topoi 38 (2):411-422.
    If well-designed, the results of a Randomised Clinical Trial can justify a causal claim between treatment and effect in the study population; however, additional information might be needed to carry over this result to another population. RCTs have been criticized exactly on grounds of failing to provide this sort of information Evidence, inference and enquiry. Oxford University Press, New York, 2011), as well as to black-box important details regarding the mechanisms underpinning the causal law instantiated by the RCT result. On (...)
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  • The Creation of Institutional Reality, Special Theory of Relativity, and Mere Cambridge Change.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - unknown
    Saying so can make it so, J. L. Austin taught us long ago. Famously, John Searle has developed this Austinian insight in an account of the construction of institutional reality. Searle maintains that so-called Status Function Declarations, allegedly having a “double direction of fit”, synchronically create worldly institutional facts, corresponding to the propositional content of the declarations. I argue that Searle’s account of the making of institutional reality is in tension with the special theory of relativity – irrespective of whether (...)
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  • Can Testimony Generate Understanding?Federica Isabella Malfatti - 2019 - Social Epistemology 33 (6):477-490.
    Can we gain understanding from testifiers who themselves fail to understand? At first glance, this looks counterintuitive. How could a hearer who has no understanding or very poor understanding of a certain subject matter non-accidentally extract items of information relevant to understanding from a speaker’s testimony if the speaker does not understand what she is talking about? This paper shows that, when there are theories or representational devices working as mediators, speakers can intentionally generate understanding in their hearers by engaging (...)
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  • Why is the Transference Theory of Causation Insuffcient? The Challenge of the Aharonov-Bohm Effect.Vincent Ardourel & Alexandre Guay - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 63:12-23.
    The transference theory reduces causation to the transmission of physical conserved quantities, like energy or momenta. Although this theory aims at applying to all felds of physics, we claim that it fails to account for a quantum electrodynamic effect, viz. the Aharonov-Bohm effect. After having argued that the Aharonov-Bohm effect is a genuine counter-example for the transference theory, we offer a new physicalist approach of causation, ontic and modal, in which this effect is embedded.
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  • Overdetermination in Intuitive Causal Decision Theory.Esteban Céspedes - 2013 - In Miguel 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.
    Causal decision theory defines a rational action as the one that tends to cause the best outcomes. If we adopt counterfactual or probabilistic theories of causation, then we may face problems in overdetermination cases. Do such problems affect Causal decision theory? The aim of this work is to show that the concept of causation that has been fundamental in all versions of causal decision theory is not the most intuitive one. Since overdetermination poses problems for a counterfactual theory of causation, (...)
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  • Determinants of Judgments of Explanatory Power: Credibility, Generality, and Statistical Relevance.Matteo Colombo, Leandra Bucher & Jan Sprenger - 2017 - Frontiers in Psychology:doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01430.
    Explanation is a central concept in human psychology. Drawing upon philosophical theories of explanation, psychologists have recently begun to examine the relationship between explanation, probability and causality. Our study advances this growing literature in the intersection of psychology and philosophy of science by systematically investigating how judgments of explanatory power are affected by the prior credibility of a potential explanation, the causal framing used to describe the explanation, the generalizability of the explanation, and its statistical relevance for the evidence. Collectively, (...)
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  • Natural Necessity: An Introductory Guide for Ontologists.Fumiaki Toyoshima - forthcoming - Applied Ontology:1-29.
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  • Is Hybrid Formal Theory of Arguments, Stories and Criminal Evidence Well Suited for Negative Causation?Charles A. Barclay - forthcoming - Artificial Intelligence and Law:1-24.
    In this paper, I have two primary goals. First, I show that the causal-based story approach in A hybrid formal theory of arguments, stories and criminal evidence is ill suited to negative causation. In the literature, the causal-based approach requires that hypothetical stories be causally linked to the explanandum. Many take these links to denote physical or psychological causation, or temporal precedence. However, understanding causality in those terms, as I will show, cannot capture cases of negative causation, which are of (...)
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  • The Rational Role of Experience.David Bourget - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (5-6):467-493.
    If there is content that we reason on, cognitive content, it is in the head and accessible to reasoning mechanisms. This paper discusses the phenomenal theory of cognitive content, according to which cognitive contents are the contents of phenomenal consciousness. I begin by distinguishing cognitive content from the closely associated notion of narrow content. I then argue, drawing on prior work, that the phenomenal theory can plausibly account for the cognitive contents of many relatively simple mental states. My main focus (...)
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  • Causal After All : A Model of Mental Causation for Dualists.Bram Vaassen - 2019 - Dissertation,
    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. (...)
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  • Cognition in Practice: Conceptual Development and Disagreement in Cognitive Science.Mikio Akagi - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
    Cognitive science has been beset for thirty years by foundational disputes about the nature and extension of cognition—e.g. whether cognition is necessarily representational, whether cognitive processes extend outside the brain or body, and whether plants or microbes have them. Whereas previous philosophical work aimed to settle these disputes, I aim to understand what conception of cognition scientists could share given that they disagree so fundamentally. To this end, I develop a number of variations on traditional conceptual explication, and defend a (...)
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  • Preface.Raphael van Riel & Albert Newen - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 48 (1):5-8.
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  • Should Methodological Naturalists Commit to Metaphysical Naturalism?Zahra Zargar, Ebrahim Azadegan & Lotfollah Nabavi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-9.
    It is widely supposed that methodological naturalism, understood as a thesis about the methodology of science, is metaphysically neutral, and that this in turn guarantees the value-neutrality of science. In this paper we argue that methodological naturalism is underpinned by certain ontological and epistemological assumptions including evidentialism and the causal closure of the physical, adoption of which necessitates commitment to metaphysical naturalism.
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  • Homeostatic Epistemology : Reliability, Coherence and Coordination in a Bayesian Virtue Epistemology.Susannah Kate Devitt - 2013 - Dissertation,
    How do agents with limited cognitive capacities flourish in informationally impoverished or unexpected circumstances? Aristotle argued that human flourishing emerged from knowing about the world and our place within it. If he is right, then the virtuous processes that produce knowledge, best explain flourishing. Influenced by Aristotle, virtue epistemology defends an analysis of knowledge where beliefs are evaluated for their truth and the intellectual virtue or competences relied on in their creation. However, human flourishing may emerge from how degrees of (...)
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  • El Realismo de Leyes Naturales: ¿en qué consiste?Edgar Eduardo Rojas Durán - 2017 - Agora 37 (1):177-203.
    This paper aims to answer the question: what does the realism of laws of nature consist of? To achieve this, in the first part, three philosophical accounts of laws of nature are presented and examined: the universalist, the dispositionalist and the counter-factualist. The presentation and examination focuses on the answer given by each of these accounts to the question: what is a law of nature? Later, in the second part, convergences and divergences between these three accounts are shown. Finally, in (...)
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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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  • A Proposed Probabilistic Extension of the Halpern and Pearl Definition of ‘Actual Cause’.Luke Fenton-Glynn - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1061-1164.
    In their article 'Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes', Joseph Halpern and Judea Pearl draw upon structural equation models to develop an attractive analysis of 'actual cause'. Their analysis is designed for the case of deterministic causation. I show that their account can be naturally extended to provide an elegant treatment of probabilistic causation.
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  • Living Causes.John Dupré - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):19-37.
    This paper considers the applicability of standard accounts of causation to living systems. In particular it examines critically the increasing tendency to equate causal explanation with the identification of a mechanism. A range of differences between living systems and paradigm mechanisms are identified and discussed. While in principle it might be possible to accommodate an account of mechanism to these features, the attempt to do so risks reducing the idea of a mechanism to vacuity. It is proposed that the solution (...)
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  • Causation: Empirical Trends and Future Directions.David Rose & David Danks - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (9):643-653.
    Empirical research has recently emerged as a key method for understanding the nature of causation, and our concept of causation. One thread of research aims to test intuitions about the nature of causation in a variety of classic cases. These experiments have principally been used to try to resolve certain debates within analytic philosophy, most notably that between proponents of transference and dependence views of causation. The other major thread of empirical research on our concept of causation has investigated the (...)
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  • Mechanisms.Stuart Glennan - 2009 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford University Press.
    Mechanism is undoubtedly a causal concept, in the sense that ordinary definitions and philosophical analyses explicate the concept in terms of other causal concepts such as production and interaction. Given this fact, many philosophers have supposed that analyses of the concept of mechanism, while they might appeal to philosophical theories about the nature of causation, could do little to inform such theories. On the other hand, methods of causal inference and explanation appeal to mechanisms. Discovering a mechanism is the gold (...)
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  • Towards a Monist Theory of Explanation.Carsten Held - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-29.
    A monist theory of explanation is one that seeks a common definition for all speech acts answering why-questions. One recent example is the counterfactual theory of explanation, which assumes that an ideal explanation can be characterized by the familiar Hempelian criteria for a scientific explanation plus a certain counterfactual that is supported by the laws mentioned in the explanans. I show that the CTE fails. My discussion leads to a critique of the CTE’s key concept of counterfactual dependence and to (...)
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  • A Priori Causal Laws.Darren Bradley - 2017 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 60 (4):358-370.
    Sober and Elgin defend the claim that there are a priori causal laws in biology. Lange and Rosenberg take issue with this on Humean grounds, among others. I will argue that Sober and Elgin don’t go far enough – there are a priori causal laws in many sciences. Furthermore, I will argue that this thesis is compatible with a Humean metaphysics and an empiricist epistemology.
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  • Three Criteria for Consensus Conferences.Jacob Stegenga - 2016 - Foundations of Science 21 (1):35-49.
    Consensus conferences are social techniques which involve bringing together a group of scientific experts, and sometimes also non-experts, in order to increase the public role in science and related policy, to amalgamate diverse and often contradictory evidence for a hypothesis of interest, and to achieve scientific consensus or at least the appearance of consensus among scientists. For consensus conferences that set out to amalgamate evidence, I propose three desiderata: Inclusivity, Constraint, and Evidential Complexity. Two examples suggest that consensus conferences can (...)
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  • Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
    Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids certain (...)
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  • Big Data, Epistemology and Causality: Knowledge in and Knowledge Out in EXPOsOMICS.Stefano Canali - 2016 - Big Data and Society 3 (2).
    Recently, it has been argued that the use of Big Data transforms the sciences, making data-driven research possible and studying causality redundant. In this paper, I focus on the claim on causal knowledge by examining the Big Data project EXPOsOMICS, whose research is funded by the European Commission and considered capable of improving our understanding of the relation between exposure and disease. While EXPOsOMICS may seem the perfect exemplification of the data-driven view, I show how causal knowledge is necessary for (...)
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  • Explanatoriness is Evidentially Irrelevant, or Inference to the Best Explanation Meets Bayesian Confirmation Theory.W. Roche & E. Sober - 2013 - Analysis 73 (4):659-668.
    In the world of philosophy of science, the dominant theory of confirmation is Bayesian. In the wider philosophical world, the idea of inference to the best explanation exerts a considerable influence. Here we place the two worlds in collision, using Bayesian confirmation theory to argue that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant.
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  • Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.
    Constitutive mechanistic explanations are said to refer to mechanisms that constitute the phenomenon-to-be-explained. The most prominent approach of how to understand this constitution relation is Carl Craver’s mutual manipulability approach to constitutive relevance. Recently, the mutual manipulability approach has come under attack (Leuridan 2012; Baumgartner and Gebharter 2015; Romero 2015; Harinen 2014; Casini and Baumgartner 2016). Roughly, it is argued that this approach is inconsistent because it is spelled out in terms of interventionism (which is an approach to causation), whereas (...)
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  • Varying the Explanatory Span: Scientific Explanation for Computer Simulations.Juan Manuel Durán - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (1):27-45.
    This article aims to develop a new account of scientific explanation for computer simulations. To this end, two questions are answered: what is the explanatory relation for computer simulations? And what kind of epistemic gain should be expected? For several reasons tailored to the benefits and needs of computer simulations, these questions are better answered within the unificationist model of scientific explanation. Unlike previous efforts in the literature, I submit that the explanatory relation is between the simulation model and the (...)
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  • Eight Other Questions About Explanation.Angela Potochnik - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The tremendous philosophical focus on how to characterize explanatory metaphysical dependence has eclipsed a number of other unresolved issued about scientific explanation. The purpose of this paper is taxonomical. I will outline a number of other questions about the nature of explanation and its role in science—eight, to be precise—and argue that each is independent. All of these topics have received some philosophical attention, but none nearly so much as it deserves. Furthermore, existing views on these topics have been obscured (...)
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  • Understanding as Integration of Heterogeneous Representations.Sergio F. Martinez - 2014 - In Guichun Guo & Chuang Liu (eds.), Scientific Explanation and Methodology of Science. Amsterdam: World Scientific. pp. 138-147.
    The search for understanding is a major aim of science. Traditionally, understanding has been undervalued in the philosophy of science because of its psychological underpinnings; nowadays, however, it is widely recognized that epistemology cannot be divorced from psychology as sharp as traditional epistemology required. This eliminates the main obstacle to give scientific understanding due attention in philosophy of science. My aim in this paper is to describe an account of scientific understanding as an emergent feature of our mastering of different (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Explanatory Pluralism.Kareem Khalifa, Gabriel Doble & Jared Millson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Recent literature on noncausal explanation raises the question as to whether explanatory monism, the thesis that all explanations submit to the same analysis, is true. The leading monist proposal holds that all explanations support change-relating counterfactuals. We provide several objections to this monist position.
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  • Beliefs as Inner Causes: The (Lack of) Evidence.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (6):850-877.
    Many psychologists studying lay belief attribution and behavior explanation cite Donald Davidson in support of their assumption that people construe beliefs as inner causes. But Davidson’s influential argument is unsound; there are no objective grounds for the intuition that the folk construe beliefs as inner causes that produce behavior. Indeed, recent experimental work by Ian Apperly, Bertram Malle, Henry Wellman, and Tania Lombrozo provides an empirical framework that accords well with Gilbert Ryle’s alternative thesis that the folk construe beliefs as (...)
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  • Can We Have Mathematical Understanding of Physical Phenomena?Gabriel Târziu - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (1):91-109.
    Can mathematics contribute to our understanding of physical phenomena? One way to try to answer this question is by getting involved in the recent philosophical dispute about the existence of mathematical explanations of physical phenomena. If there is such a thing, given the relation between explanation and understanding, we can say that there is an affirmative answer to our question. But what if we do not agree that mathematics can play an explanatory role in science? Can we still consider that (...)
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  • Causal Argument.Ulrike Hahn, Frank Zenker & Roland Bluhm - 2017 - In Michael R. Waldmann (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Causal Reasoning. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 475-494.
    In this chapter, we outline the range of argument forms involving causation that can be found in everyday discourse. We also survey empirical work concerned with the generation and evaluation of such arguments. This survey makes clear that there is presently no unified body of research concerned with causal argument. We highlight the benefits of a unified treatment both for those interested in causal cognition and those interested in argumentation, and identify the key challenges that must be met for a (...)
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  • Merleau-Ponty’s Implicit Critique of the New Mechanists.Benjamin Sheredos - 2018 - Synthese:1-25.
    I argue (1) that what (ontic) New Mechanistic philosophers of science call mechanisms would be material Gestalten, and (2) that Merleau-Ponty’s engagement with Gestalt theory can help us frame a standing challenge against ontic conceptions of mechanisms. In short, until the (ontic) New Mechanist can provide us with a plausible account of the organization of mechanisms as an objective feature of mind-independent ontic structures in the world which we might discover – and no ontic Mechanist has done so – it (...)
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  • Interventionism and the Exclusion Problem.Yasmin Bassi - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    Jaegwon Kim (1998a, 2005) claims that his exclusion problem follows a priori for the non-reductive physicalist given her commitment to five apparently inconsistent theses: mental causation, non-identity, supervenience, causal closure and non-overdetermination. For Kim, the combination of these theses entails that mental properties are a priori excluded as causes, forcing the non-reductive physicalist to accept either epiphenomenalism, or some form of reduction. In this thesis, I argue that Kim’s exclusion problem depends on a particular conception of causation, namely sufficient production, (...)
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  • I modelli in economia.Alessandra Basso & Caterina Marchionni - 2015 - Aphex 11.
    The paper reviews the philosophical literature on the epistemology of modelling in contemporary economics. In particular, it focuses on open questions concerning the epistemic role of models, the validity of inferences from the models to the world, and the legitimacy of their use for purposes of explanation, prediction and intervention.
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  • Patterns of Abduction.G. Schurz - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):201-234.
    This article describes abductions as special patterns of inference to the best explanation whose structure determines a particularly promising abductive conjecture and thus serves as an abductive search strategy. A classification of different patterns of abduction is provided which intends to be as complete as possible. An important distinction is that between selective abductions, which choose an optimal candidate from given multitude of possible explanations, and creative abductions, which introduce new theoretical models or concepts. While selective abduction has dominated the (...)
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  • Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
    Scientists and laypeople alike use the sense of understanding that an explanation conveys as a cue to good or correct explanation. Although the occurrence of this sense or feeling of understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for good explanation, it does drive judgments of the plausibility and, ultimately, the acceptability, of an explanation. This paper presents evidence that the sense of understanding is in part the routine consequence of two well-documented biases in cognitive psychology: overconfidence and hindsight. In light of (...)
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  • A Modest Proposal for Interpreting Structural Explanations.Mariam Thalos - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):279-295.
    Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly new (...)
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  • The Principle of the Common Cause Faces the Bernstein Paradox.Jos Uffink - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (3):525.
    I consider the problem of extending Reichenbach's principle of the common cause to more than two events, vis-a-vis an example posed by Bernstein. It is argued that the only reasonable extension of Reichenbach's principle stands in conflict with a recent proposal due to Horwich. I also discuss prospects of the principle of the common cause in the light of these and other difficulties known in the literature and argue that a more viable version of the principle is the one provided (...)
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  • Characterizing Common Cause Closedness of Quantum Probability Theories.Yuichiro Kitajima & Miklós Rédei - unknown
    We prove new results on common cause closedness of quantum probability spaces, where by a quantum probability space is meant the projection lattice of a non-commutative von Neumann algebra together with a countably additive probability measure on the lattice. Common cause closedness is the feature that for every correlation between a pair of commuting projections there exists in the lattice a third projection commuting with both of the correlated projections and which is a Reichenbachian common cause of the correlation. The (...)
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  • Wesley C. Salmon Versus GWF Hegel on Causation, Principle of Common Cause and Theoretical Explanation.Igor Hanzel - 2011 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 18 (2):189-212.
    The aim of this article is to analyze the main contributions of Wesley C. Salmon to the philosophy of science, that is, his concepts of causation, common cause, and theoretical explanation, and to provide a critique of them. This critique will be based on a comparison of Salmon’s concepts with categories developed by Hegel in his Science of Logic and which can be applied to issues treated by Salmon by means of the above given three concepts. It is the author’s (...)
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  • Understanding, Knowledge, and Scientific Antirealism.Kareem Khalifa - 2011 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 83 (1):93-112.
    Epistemologists have recently debated whether understanding is a species of knowledge. However, because they have offered little in the way of a detailed analysis of understanding, they lack the resources to resolve this issue. In this paper, I propose that S understands why p if and only if S has the non-Gettierised true belief that p, and for some proposition q, S has the non-Gettierised true belief that q is the best available explanation of p, S can correctly explain p (...)
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  • Makes a Difference.Arnon Levy - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):459-467.
    Michael Strevens has produced an ambitious and comprehensive new account of scientific explanation. This review discusses its main themes, focusing on regularity explanation and a number of methodological concerns.
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  • Should Scientific Realists Be Platonists?Jacob Busch & Joe Morrison - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2):435-449.
    Enhanced indispensability arguments claim that Scientific Realists are committed to the existence of mathematical entities due to their reliance on Inference to the best explanation. Our central question concerns this purported parity of reasoning: do people who defend the EIA make an appropriate use of the resources of Scientific Realism to achieve platonism? We argue that just because a variety of different inferential strategies can be employed by Scientific Realists does not mean that ontological conclusions concerning which things we should (...)
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  • Causation and Gerrymandered World Lines: A Critique of Salmon.Sungho Choi - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):105-117.
    In this paper I examine Salmon's response to two counterexamples to his conserved quantity (CQ) theory of causation. The first counterexample that I examine involves a time‐wise gerrymandered world line of a series of patches of wall that is absorbing energy as a result of being illuminated in an astrodome. Salmon says that since the gerrymandered world line does not fulfill his “no‐interaction requirement,” his CQ theory does not suffer from the counterexample. But I will argue that his response fails (...)
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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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