Results for 'Explanatory asymmetry'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. Running up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes: A response to Woodward on causal and explanatory asymmetries.Katrina Elliott & Marc Lange - forthcoming - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science.
    Does smoke cause fire or does fire cause smoke? James Woodward’s “Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries” argues that various statistical independence relations not only help us to uncover the directions of causal and explanatory relations in our world, but also are the worldly basis of causal and explanatory directions. We raise questions about Woodward’s envisioned epistemology, but our primary focus is on his metaphysics. We argue that any alleged connection between statistical (in)dependence and causal/explanatory direction (...)
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  3. Mechanistic explanation: asymmetry lost.Samuel Schindler - 2013 - In Dennis Dieks & Vassilios Karakostas (eds.), Recent Progress in Philosophy of Science: Perspectives and Foundational Problems. Springer.
    In a recent book and an article, Carl Craver construes the relations between different levels of a mechanism, which he also refers to as constitutive relations, in terms of mutual manipulability (MM). Interpreted metaphysically, MM implies that inter-level relations are symmetrical. MM thus violates one of the main desiderata of scientific explanation, namely explanatory asymmetry. Parts of Craver’s writings suggest a metaphysical interpretation of MM, and Craver explicitly commits to constitutive relationships being symmetrical. The paper furthermore explores the (...)
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  4. Explanatory Information in Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena.Manuel Barrantes - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (3):590-603.
    In this paper I defend an intermediate position between the ‘bare mathematical results’ view and the ‘transmission’ view of mathematical explanations of physical phenomena (MEPPs). I argue that, in MEPPs, it is not enough to deduce the explanandum from the generalizations cited in the explanans. Rather, we must add information regarding why those generalizations obtain. However, I also argue that it is not necessary to provide explanatory proofs of the mathematical theorems that represent those generalizations. I illustrate this with (...)
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  5. Explaining enkratic asymmetries: knowledge-first style.Paul Silva - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2907-2930.
    [This papers explores a novel case for the normativity of knowledge for belief – something that is compatible with the knowledge/factual awareness distinction I've explored elsewhere.] There are two different kinds of enkratic principles for belief: evidential enkratic principles and normative enkratic principles. It’s frequently taken for granted that there’s not an important difference between them. But evidential enkratic principles are undermined by considerations that gain no traction at all against their normative counterparts. The idea that such an asymmetry (...)
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  6. Pragmatic Interpretation and Signaler-Receiver Asymmetries in Animal Communication.Dorit Bar-On & Richard Moore - 2017 - In Kristin Andrews & Jacob Beck (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Animal Minds. Routledge. pp. 291-300.
    Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are thought (...)
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  7. The Narrow Ontic Counterfactual Account of Distinctively Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):511-543.
    An account of distinctively mathematical explanation (DME) should satisfy three desiderata: it should account for the modal import of some DMEs; it should distinguish uses of mathematics in explanation that are distinctively mathematical from those that are not (Baron [2016]); and it should also account for the directionality of DMEs (Craver and Povich [2017]). Baron’s (forthcoming) deductive-mathematical account, because it is modelled on the deductive-nomological account, is unlikely to satisfy these desiderata. I provide a counterfactual account of DME, the Narrow (...)
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  8. What’s so special about initial conditions? Understanding the past hypothesis in directionless time.Matt Farr - 2022 - In Yemima Ben-Menahem (ed.), Rethinking Laws of Nature. Springer.
    It is often said that the world is explained by laws of nature together with initial conditions. But does that mean initial conditions don’t require further explanation? And does the explanatory role played by initial conditions entail or require that time has a preferred direction? This chapter looks at the use of the ‘initialness defence’ in physics, the idea that initial conditions are intrinsically special in that they don’t require further explanation, unlike the state of the world at other (...)
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  9. Modality and constitution in distinctively mathematical explanations.Mark Povich - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-10.
    Lange argues that some natural phenomena can be explained by appeal to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In these “distinctively mathematical” explanations, the core explanatory facts are either modally stronger than facts about ordinary causal law or understood to be constitutive of the physical task or arrangement at issue. Craver and Povich argue that Lange’s account of DME fails to exclude certain “reversals”. Lange has replied that his account can avoid these directionality charges. Specifically, Lange argues that in legitimate (...)
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  10. 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 (...)
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  11. Berkeley, Newton, Explanation, and Causation.Richard Brook - 2019 - Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (4):21.
    Berkeley, Newton, Explanation, and Causation -/- I argue in this paper that Berkeley’s conception of natural law explanations, which echoes Newton’s, fails to solve a fundamental problem, which I label “explanatory asymmetry"; that the model of explanation Berkeley uses fails to distinguish between explanations and justifications, particularly since Berkeley denies real (efficient causes) in non-minded nature. At the end I suggest Berkeley might endorse a notion of understanding, say in astronomy or mechanics, which could be distinguished from explanation.
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  12. A Problem-Solving Account of Scientific Explanation.Gary Hardcastle - manuscript
    An account of scientific explanation is presented according to which (1) scientific explanation consists in solving “insight” problems (Metcalfe and Wiebe 1984) and (2) understanding is the result of solving such problems. The theory is pragmatic; it draws upon van Fraassen’s (1977, 1980) insights, avoids the objections to pragmatic accounts offered by Kitcher and Salmon (1987), and relates scientific explanation directly to understanding. The theory also accommodates cases of explanatory asymmetry and intuitively legitimate rejections of explanation requests.
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  13. Symmetric Dependence.Elizabeth Barnes - 2018 - In Ricki Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and its Structure: Essays in Fundamentality. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 50-69.
    Metaphysical orthodoxy maintains that the relation of ontological dependence is irreflexive, asymmetric, and transitive. The goal of this paper is to challenge that orthodoxy by arguing that ontological dependence should be understood as non- symmetric, rather than asymmetric. If we give up the asymmetry of dependence, interesting things follow for what we can say about metaphysical explanation— particularly for the prospects of explanatory holism.
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  14. Could a middle level be the most fundamental?Sara Bernstein - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1065-1078.
    Debates over what is fundamental assume that what is most fundamental must be either a “top” level (roughly, the biggest or highest-level thing), or a “bottom” level (roughly, the smallest or lowest-level things). Here I sketch an alternative to top-ism and bottom-ism, the view that a middle level could be the most fundamental, and argue for its plausibility. I then suggest that the view satisfies the desiderata of asymmetry, irreflexivity, transitivity, and well-foundedness of fundamentality, that the view has (...) power on par with that of top-ism and bottom-ism, and that it satisfies the Principle of Sufficient Reason. (shrink)
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  15.  81
    On the Ramsey Test Analysis of ‘Because’.Holger Andreas & Mario Günther - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1229-1262.
    The well-known formal semantics of conditionals due to Stalnaker Studies in logical theory, Blackwell, Oxford, 1968), Lewis, and Gärdenfors The logic and 1140 epistemology of scientific change, North-Holland, Amsterdam, 1978, Knowledge in flux, MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988) all fail to distinguish between trivially and nontrivially true indicative conditionals. This problem has been addressed by Rott :345–370, 1986) in terms of a strengthened Ramsey Test. In this paper, we refine Rott’s strengthened Ramsey Test and the corresponding analysis of explanatory relations. (...)
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  16. Abductively Robust Inference.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):20-29.
    Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) is widely criticized for being an unreliable form of ampliative inference – partly because the explanatory hypotheses we have considered at a given time may all be false, and partly because there is an asymmetry between the comparative judgment on which an IBE is based and the absolute verdict that IBE is meant to license. In this paper, I present a further reason to doubt the epistemic merits of IBE and argue that (...)
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  17. Have we Lost Spacetime on the Way? Narrowing the Gap between General Relativity and Quantum Gravity.Baptiste Le Bihan & Niels Siegbert Linnemann - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 65 (C):112-121.
    Important features of space and time are taken to be missing in quantum gravity, allegedly requiring an explanation of the emergence of spacetime from non-spatio-temporal theories. In this paper, we argue that the explanatory gap between general relativity and non-spatio- temporal quantum gravity theories might significantly be reduced with two moves. First, we point out that spacetime is already partially missing in the context of general relativity when understood from a dynamical perspective. Second, we argue that most approaches to (...)
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  18. The Possibility Bias is not Justified.Samuel Kimpton-Nye - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Necessity, but not possibility, is typically thought to be rare and suspicion-worthy. This manifests in an asymmetry in the burden of proof incurred by modal claims. In general, claims to the effect that some proposition is impossible/necessary require significant argumentative support and, in general, claims to the effect that some proposition is possible/contingent are thought to be justified freely or by default. Call this the possibility bias. In this paper, I argue that the possibility bias is not epistemically justified. (...)
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  19. Ditching Dependence and Determination: Or, How to Wear the Crazy Trousers.Michael Duncan, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):395–418.
    This paper defends Flatland—the view that there exist neither determination nor dependence relations, and that everything is therefore fundamental—from the objection from explanatory inefficacy. According to that objection, Flatland is unattractive because it is unable to explain either the appearance as of there being determination relations, or the appearance as of there being dependence relations. We show how the Flatlander can meet the first challenge by offering four strategies—reducing, eliminating, untangling and omnizing—which, jointly, explain the appearance as of there (...)
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  20. Empathy, Embodiment, and the Unity of Expression.Philip J. Walsh - 2014 - Topoi 33 (1):215-226.
    This paper presents an account of empathy as the form of experience directed at embodied unities of expressive movement. After outlining the key differences between simulation theory and the phenomenological approach to empathy, the paper argues that while the phenomenological approach is closer to respecting a necessary constitutional asymmetry between first-personal and second-personal senses of embodiment, it still presupposes a general concept of embodiment that ends up being problematic. A different account is proposed that is neutral on the (...) role of the first-person sense of embodiment, which leads to an emphasis on the transformative nature of empathy and a broadening of the scope of possible targets of empathic awareness. (shrink)
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  21. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Poverty Measurement, Epistemic Injustices and Social Activism.Valentin Beck, Henning Hahn & Robert Lepenies - 2020 - In Valentin Beck, Henning Hahn & Robert Lepenies (eds.), Dimensions of Poverty: Measurement, Epistemic Injustices, Activism. Springer Nature. pp. 1-20.
    As we enter the 2020s, global poverty is still a grave and persistent problem. Alleviating and eradicating poverty within and across the world’s societies requires a thorough understanding of its nature and extent. Although economists still standardly measure absolute and relative poverty in monetary terms, a consensus is emerging that poverty is a socially relational problem involving deprivations in multiple dimensions, including health, standard of living, education and political participation. The anthology Dimensions of Poverty advances the interdisciplinary debate on multidimensional (...)
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  22. Information Asymmetries and the Paradox of Sustainable Business Models: Toward an integrated theory of sustainable entrepreneurship.V. Blok - unknown
    In this conceptual paper, the traditional conceptualization of sustainable entrepreneurship is challenged because of a fundamental tension between processes involved in sustainable development and processes involved in entrepreneurship: the concept of sustainable business models contains a paradox, because sustainability involves the reduction of information asymmetries, whereas entrepreneurship involves enhanced and secured levels of information asymmetries. We therefore propose a new and integrated theory of sustainable entrepreneurship that overcomes this paradox. The basic argument is that environmental problems have to be conceptualized (...)
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  23. Asymmetries in the Value of Existence.Jacob M. Nebel - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):126-145.
    According to asymmetric comparativism, it is worse for a person to exist with a miserable life than not to exist, but it is not better for a person to exist with a happy life than not to exist. My aim in this paper is to explain how asymmetric comparativism could possibly be true. My account of asymmetric comparativism begins with a different asymmetry, regarding the (dis)value of early death. I offer an account of this early death asymmetry, appealing (...)
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  24. Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):581-590.
    We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called (...)
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  25. Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right.Thomas Blanchard - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):633-663.
    Theories of explanation need to account for a puzzling feature of our explanatory practices: the fact that we prefer explanations that are relatively abstract but only moderately so. Contra Franklin-Hall ([2016]), I argue that the interventionist account of explanation provides a natural and elegant explanation of this fact. By striking the right balance between specificity and generality, moderately abstract explanations optimally subserve what interventionists regard as the goal of explanation, namely identifying possible interventions that would have changed the explanandum.
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  26. Partiality, Asymmetries, and Morality's Harmonious Propensity.Benjamin Lange & Joshua Brandt - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 109 (1):1-42.
    We argue for asymmetries between positive and negative partiality. Specifically, we defend four claims: i) there are forms of negative partiality that do not have positive counterparts; ii) the directionality of personal relationships has distinct effects on positive and negative partiality; iii) the extent of the interactions within a relationship affects positive and negative partiality differently; and iv) positive and negative partiality have different scope restrictions. We argue that these asymmetries point to a more fundamental moral principle, which we call (...)
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  27. Unraveling the Asymmetry in Procreative Ethics.Trevor Hedberg - 2016 - APA Newsletter on Philosophy and Medicine 15 (2):18-21.
    The Asymmetry in procreative ethics consists of two claims. The first is that it is morally wrong to bring into existence a child who will have an abjectly miserable life; the second is that it is permissible not to bring into existence a child who will enjoy a very happy life. In this paper, I distinguish between two variations of the Asymmetry. The first is the Abstract Asymmetry, the idealized variation of the Asymmetry that many philosophers (...)
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  28. Asymmetry in presupposition projection: The case of conjunction.Matthew Mandelkern, Jeremy Zehr, Jacopo Romoli & Florian Schwarz - forthcoming - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 27.
    Is the basic mechanism behind presupposition projection fundamentally asymmetric or symmetric? This is a basic question for the theory of presupposition, which also bears on broader issues concerning the source of asymmetries observed in natural language: are these simply rooted in superficial asymmetries of language use— language use unfolds in time, which we experience as fundamentally asymmetric— or can they be, at least in part, directly referenced in linguistic knowledge and representations? In this paper we aim to make progress on (...)
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  29. Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists.Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2017 - Brain and Cognition 112:3–12.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More (...)
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  30. Unjustified Asymmetry: Positive Claims of Conscience and Heartbeat Bills.Kyle G. Fritz - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics 21 (8):46-59.
    In 2019, several US states passed “heartbeat” bills. Should such bills go into effect, they would outlaw abortion once an embryonic heartbeat can be detected, thereby severely limiting an individual’s access to abortion. Many states allow health care professionals to refuse to provide an abortion for reasons of conscience. Yet heartbeat bills do not include a positive conscience clause that would allow health care professionals to provide an abortion for reasons of conscience. I argue that this asymmetry is unjustified. (...)
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  31. The procreation asymmetry, improvable-life avoidance and impairable-life acceptance.Elliott Thornley - 2023 - Analysis 83 (3):517-526.
    Many philosophers are attracted to a complaints-based theory of the procreation asymmetry, according to which creating a person with a bad life is wrong (all else equal) because that person can complain about your act, whereas declining to create a person who would have a good life is not wrong (all else equal) because that person never exists and so cannot complain about your act. In this paper, I present two problems for such theories: the problem of impairable-life acceptance (...)
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  32. The asymmetry objection to political liberalism: evaluation of a defence.Terence Rajivan Edward - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (1):26-32.
    This paper evaluates Jonathan Quong’s attempt to defend a version of political liberalism from the asymmetry objection. I object that Quong’s defence relies on a premise that has not been adequately supported and does not look as if it can be given adequate support.
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  33. Asymmetry Effects in Generic and Quantified Generalizations.Kevin Reuter, Eleonore Neufeld & Guillermo Del Pinal - 2023 - Proceedings of the 45Th Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society 45:1-6.
    Generic statements (‘Tigers have stripes’) are pervasive and early-emerging modes of generalization with a distinctive linguistic profile. Previous experimental work found that generics display a unique asymmetry between their acceptance conditions and the implications that are typically drawn from them. This paper presents evidence against the hypothesis that only generics display an asymmetry. Correcting for limitations of previous designs, we found a generalized asymmetry effect across generics, various kinds of explicitly quantified statements (‘most’, ‘some’, ‘typically’, ‘usually’), and (...)
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  34. Explanatory Indispensability and Deliberative Indispensability: Against Enoch's Analogy.Alex Worsnip - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (4):226-235.
    In this note, I discuss David Enoch's influential deliberative indispensability argument for metanormative realism, and contend that the argument fails. In doing so, I uncover an important disanalogy between explanatory indispensability arguments and deliberative indispensability arguments, one that explains how we could accept the former without accepting the latter.
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  35. Explanatoriness and Evidence: A Reply to McCain and Poston.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):193-199.
    We argue elsewhere that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant . Let H be some hypothesis, O some observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then O screens-off E from H: Pr = Pr. This thesis, hereafter “SOT” , is defended by appeal to a representative case. The case concerns smoking and lung cancer. McCain and Poston grant that SOT holds in cases, like our case concerning smoking and lung cancer, that involve frequency (...)
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  36. The procreative asymmetry and the impossibility of elusive permission.Jack Spencer - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3819-3842.
    This paper develops a form of moral actualism that can explain the procreative asymmetry. Along the way, it defends and explains the attractive asymmetry: the claim that although an impermissible option can be self-conditionally permissible, a permissible option cannot be self-conditionally impermissible.
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  37. Rethinking the Asymmetry.Richard Yetter Chappell - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (2):167-177.
    According to the Asymmetry, we’ve strong moral reason to prevent miserable lives from coming into existence, but no moral reason to bring happy lives into existence. This procreative asymmetry is often thought to be part of commonsense morality, however theoretically puzzling it might prove to be. I argue that this is a mistake. The Asymmetry is merely prima facie intuitive, and loses its appeal on further reflection. Mature commonsense morality recognizes no fundamental procreative asymmetry. It may (...)
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  38. Explanatory Strategies beyond The Individualism/Holism Debate.Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2014 - In Julie Zahle & Finn Collin (eds.), Rethinking the Individualism-Holism Debate. Cham: Springer. pp. 105-119.
    Starting from the plurality of explanatory strategies in the actual practice of socialscientists, I introduce a framework for explanatory pluralism – a normative endorsement of the plurality of forms and levels of explanation used by social scientists. Equipped with thisframework, central issues in the individualism/holism debate are revisited, namely emergence,reduction and the idea of microfoundations. Discussing these issues, we notice that in recentcontributions the focus has been shifting towards relationism, pluralism and interaction, awayfrom dichotomous individualism/holism thinking and a (...)
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  39. Explanatory exclusion and mental explanation.Dwayne Moore - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):390-404.
    Jaegwon Kim once refrained from excluding distinct mental causes of effects that depend upon the sufficient physical cause of the effect. At that time, Kim also refrained from excluding distinct mental explanations of effects that depend upon complete physical explanations of the effect. More recently, he has excluded distinct mental causes of effects that depend upon the sufficient cause of the effect, since the physical cause is individually sufficient for the effect. But there has been, to this point, no parallel (...)
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  40. Asymmetry in Online Social Networks.Marc Cheong - manuscript
    Varying degrees of symmetry can exist in a social network's connections. Some early online social networks (OSNs) were predicated on symmetrical connections, such as Facebook 'friendships' where both actors in a 'friendship' have an equal and reciprocal connection. Newer platforms -- Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook's 'Pages' inclusive -- are counterexamples of this, where 'following' another actor (friend, celebrity, business) does not guarantee a reciprocal exchange from the other. -/- This paper argues that the basic asymmetric connections in an OSN leads (...)
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  41. Antinatalism, Asymmetry, and an Ethic of Prima Facie Duties.Gerald Harrison - 2012 - South African Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):94-103.
    Benatar’s central argument for antinatalism develops an asymmetry between the pain and pleasure in a potential life. I am going to present an alternative route to the antinatalist conclusion. I argue that duties require victims and that as a result there is no duty to create the pleasures contained within a prospective life but a duty not to create any of its sufferings. My argument can supplement Benatar’s, but it also enjoys some advantages: it achieves a better fit with (...)
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  42. Explanatory Consolidation: From ‘Best’ to ‘Good Enough’.Finnur Dellsén - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (1):157-177.
    In science and everyday life, we often infer that something is true because it would explain some set of facts better than any other hypothesis we can think of. But what if we have reason to believe that there is a better way to explain these facts that we just haven't thought of? Wouldn't that undermine our warrant for believing the best available explanation? Many philosophers have assumed that we can solve such underconsideration problems by stipulating that a hypothesis should (...)
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  43. The Asymmetry of Influence.Douglas Kutach - 2011 - In Craig Callender (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Time. Oxford University Press.
    An explanation of our seeming inability to influence the past.
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  44. Explanatory Coherence and the Impossibility of Confirmation by Coherence.Ted Poston - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):835-848.
    The coherence of independent reports provides a strong reason to believe that the reports are true. This plausible claim has come under attack from recent work in Bayesian epistemology. This work shows that, under certain probabilistic conditions, coherence cannot increase the probability of the target claim. These theorems are taken to demonstrate that epistemic coherentism is untenable. To date no one has investigated how these results bear on different conceptions of coherence. I investigate this situation using Thagard’s ECHO model of (...)
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  45. Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument.Finnur Dellsén - 2015 - Theoria 82 (3):217-237.
    Although many aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation have been extensively discussed, very little has so far been said about what it takes for a hypothesis to count as a rival explanatory hypothesis in the context of IBE. The primary aim of this article is to rectify this situation by arguing for a specific account of explanatory rivalry. On this account, explanatory rivals are complete explanations of a given explanandum. When explanatory rivals are conceived of (...)
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  46. Against a normative asymmetry between near- and future-bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2023 - Synthese 201 (3):1-31.
    Empirical evidence shows that people have multiple time-biases. One is near-bias; another is future-bias. Philosophical theorising about these biases often proceeds on two assumptions. First, that the two biases are _independent_: that they are explained by different factors (the independence assumption). Second, that there is a normative asymmetry between the two biases: one is rationally impermissible (near-bias) and the other rationally permissible (future-bias). The former assumption at least partly feeds into the latter: if the two biases were not explained (...)
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  47. Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
    This paper develops and motivates a unification theory of metaphysical explanation, or as I will call it, Metaphysical Unificationism. The theory’s main inspiration is the unification account of scientific explanation, according to which explanatoriness is a holistic feature of theories that derive a large number of explananda from a meager set of explanantia, using a small number of argument patterns. In developing Metaphysical Unificationism, I will point out that it has a number of interesting consequences. The view offers a novel (...)
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  48. An explanatory challenge for epistemological disjunctivism.Cameron Boult - 2017 - Episteme 15 (2):141-153.
    Epistemological Disjunctivism is a view about paradigm cases of perceptual knowledge. Duncan Pritchard claims that it is particularly well suited to accounting for internalist and externalist intuitions. A number of authors have disputed this claim, arguing that there are problems for Pritchard’s way with internalist intuitions. I share the worry. However, I don’t think it has been expressed as effectively as it can be. My aim in this paper is to present a new way of formulating the worry, in terms (...)
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  49. Explanatory Abstractions.Lina Jansson & Juha Saatsi - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):817–844.
    A number of philosophers have recently suggested that some abstract, plausibly non-causal and/or mathematical, explanations explain in a way that is radically dif- ferent from the way causal explanation explain. Namely, while causal explanations explain by providing information about causal dependence, allegedly some abstract explanations explain in a way tied to the independence of the explanandum from the microdetails, or causal laws, for example. We oppose this recent trend to regard abstractions as explanatory in some sui generis way, and (...)
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  50. The Explanatory Role of Umwelt in Evolutionary Theory: Introducing von Baer's Reflections on Teleological Development.Tiago Rama - 2024 - Biosemiotics 1:1-26.
    Abstract: This paper argues that a central explanatory role for the concept of Umwelt in theoretical biology is to be found in developmental biology, in particular in the effort to understand development as a goal-directed and adaptive process that is controlled by the organism itself. I will reach this conclusion in two (interrelated) ways. The first is purely theoretical and relates to the current scenario in the philosophy of biology. Challenging neo-Darwinism requires a new understanding of the various components (...)
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