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Daniel Kostić
Radboud University Nijmegen
  1. Decoupling Topological Explanations From Mechanisms.Daniel Kostic & Kareem Khalifa - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-39.
    We provide three innovations to recent debates about whether topological or “network” explanations are a species of mechanistic explanation. First, we more precisely characterize the requirement that all topological explanations are mechanistic explanations and show scientific practice to belie such a requirement. Second, we provide an account that unifies mechanistic and non-mechanistic topological explanations, thereby enriching both the mechanist and autonomist programs by highlighting when and where topological explanations are mechanistic. Third, we defend this view against some powerful mechanist objections. (...)
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  2. General Theory of Topological Explanations and Explanatory Asymmetry.Daniel Kostic - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375 (1796):1-8.
    In this paper, I present a general theory of topological explanations, and illustrate its fruitfulness by showing how it accounts for explanatory asymmetry. My argument is developed in three steps. In the first step, I show what it is for some topological property A to explain some physical or dynamical property B. Based on that, I derive three key criteria of successful topological explanations: a criterion concerning the facticity of topological explanations, i.e. what makes it true of a particular system; (...)
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  3. The Directionality of Topological Explanations.Daniel Kostić & Kareem Khalifa - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14143-14165.
    Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y , then not-Y does not explain not-X . Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists rely on multiplexes (...)
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  4.  75
    Topological Explanations: An Opinionated Appraisal.Daniel Kostić - forthcoming - In I. Lawler, E. Shech & K. Khalifa (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences.
    This chapter provides a systematic overview of topological explanations in the philosophy of science literature. It does so by presenting an account of topological explanation that I (Kostić and Khalifa 2021; Kostić 2020a; 2020b; 2018) have developed in other publications and then comparing this account to other accounts of topological explanation. Finally, this appraisal is opinionated because it highlights some problems in alternative accounts of topological explanations, and also it outlines responses to some of the main criticisms raised by the (...)
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  5. Integrating Philosophy of Understanding with the Cognitive Sciences.Kareem Khalifa, Farhan Islam, J. P. Gamboa, Daniel Wilkenfeld & Daniel Kostić - 2022 - Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 16.
    We provide two programmatic frameworks for integrating philosophical research on understanding with complementary work in computer science, psychology, and neuroscience. First, philosophical theories of understanding have consequences about how agents should reason if they are to understand that can then be evaluated empirically by their concordance with findings in scientific studies of reasoning. Second, these studies use a multitude of explanations, and a philosophical theory of understanding is well suited to integrating these explanations in illuminating ways.
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  6. Minimal Structure Explanations, Scientific Understanding and Explanatory Depth.Daniel Kostić - 2018 - Perspectives on Science (1):48-67.
    In this paper, I outline a heuristic for thinking about the relation between explanation and understanding that can be used to capture various levels of “intimacy”, between them. I argue that the level of complexity in the structure of explanation is inversely proportional to the level of intimacy between explanation and understanding, i.e. the more complexity the less intimacy. I further argue that the level of complexity in the structure of explanation also affects the explanatory depth in a similar way (...)
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  7.  50
    Using Network Models in Person-Centered Care in Psychiatry: How Perspectivism Could Help To Draw Boundaries.Nina de Boer, Daniel Kostić, Marcos Ross, Leon de Bruin & Gerrit Glas - 2022 - Frontiers in Psychiatry, Section Psychopathology 13 (925187).
    In this paper, we explore the conceptual problems arising when using network analysis in person- centered care (PCC) in psychiatry. Personalized network models are potentially helpful tools for PCC, but we argue that using them in psychiatric practice raises boundary problems, i.e., problems in demarcating what should and should not be included in the model, which may limit their ability to provide clinically-relevant knowledge. Models can have explanatory and representational boundaries, among others. We argue that we can make more explicit (...)
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  8. Unifying the Essential Concepts of Biological Networks: Biological Insights and Philosophical Foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
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  9. The Explanatory Gap Account and Intelligibility of Explanation.Daniel Kostic - 2011 - Theoria 54 (3):27-42.
    This paper examines the explanatory gap account. The key notions for its proper understanding are analysed. In particular, the analysis is concerned with the role of “thick” and “thin” modes of presentation and “thick” and “thin” concepts which are relevant for the notions of “thick” and “thin” conceivability, and to that effect relevant for the gappy and non-gappy identities. The last section of the paper discusses the issue of the intelligibility of explanations. One of the conclusions is that the explanatory (...)
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  10.  28
    Mathematical and Non-Causal Explanations: An Introduction.Daniel Kostić - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 1 (27):1-6.
    In the last couple of years, a few seemingly independent debates on scientific explanation have emerged, with several key questions that take different forms in different areas. For example, the questions what makes an explanation distinctly mathematical and are there any non-causal explanations in sciences (i.e., explanations that don’t cite causes in the explanans) sometimes take a form of the question of what makes mathematical models explanatory, especially whether highly idealized models in science can be explanatory and in virtue of (...)
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  11. The Two-Dimensional Argument Against Physicalism and the Conceptual Analysis.Daniel Kostic - 2011 - Belgrade Philosophical Annual 24:05-17.
    This paper is divided into three sections. In the first section I briefly outline the background of the problem, i.e. Kripke’s modal argument (Kripke 1980). In the second section I present Chalmers’ account of two- dimensional semantics and two-dimensional argument against physicalism. In the third section I criticize Chalmers’ approach based on two crucial points, one is about necessity of identities and the other is about microphysi- cal descriptions and a priori derivation.
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