Results for 'Explanatory coherence'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. Coherence, Probability and Explanation.William Roche & Michael Schippers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):821-828.
    Recently there have been several attempts in formal epistemology to develop an adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. There is much to recommend probabilistic measures of coherence. They are quantitative and render formally precise a notion—coherence—notorious for its elusiveness. Further, some of them do very well, intuitively, on a variety of test cases. Siebel, however, argues that there can be no adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. Take some set of propositions A, some probabilistic measure of coherence, (...)
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  3. Is Understanding Explanatory or Objectual?Kareem Khalifa - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1153-1171.
    Jonathan Kvanvig has argued that “objectual” understanding, i.e. the understanding we have of a large body of information, cannot be reduced to explanatory concepts. In this paper, I show that Kvanvig fails to establish this point, and then propose a framework for reducing objectual understanding to explanatory understanding.
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  4. Review of Ted Poston's Reason and Explanation: A Defense of Explanatory Coherentism (2014, Palgrave Macmillan). [REVIEW]Roche William - 2015 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews:1-7.
    Ted Poston's book Reason and Explanation: A Defense of Explanatory Coherentism is a book worthy of careful study. Poston develops and defends an explanationist theory of (epistemic) justification on which justification is a matter of explanatory coherence which in turn is a matter of conservativeness, explanatory power, and simplicity. He argues that his theory is consistent with Bayesianism. He argues, moreover, that his theory is needed as a supplement to Bayesianism. There are seven chapters. I provide (...)
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  5.  35
    Mechanisms, Coherence, and Theory Choice in the Cognitive Neurosciences.Stephan Hartmann - 2001 - In Peter Machamer (ed.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 70-80.
    Let me first state that I like Antti Revonsuo’s discussion of the various methodological and interpretational problems in neuroscience. It shows how careful and methodologically reflected scientists have to proceed in this fascinating field of research. I have nothing to add here. Furthermore, I am very sympathetic towards Revonsuo’s general proposal to call for a Philosophy of Neuroscience that stresses foundational issues, but also focuses on methodological and explanatory strategies.2 In a footnote of his paper, Revonsuo complains – as (...)
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  6. Best Explanationism and Justification for Beliefs About the Future.Gregory Stoutenburg - 2015 - Episteme 12 (4):429-437.
    Earl Conee and Richard Feldman have recently argued that the evidential support relation should be understood in terms of explanatory coherence: roughly, one's evidence supports a proposition if and only if that proposition is part of the best available explanation of the evidence. Their thesis has been criticized through alleged counterexamples, perhaps the most important of which are cases where a subject has a justified belief about the future. Kevin McCain has defended the thesis against Byerly's counterexample. I (...)
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  7. Simply Extended Mind.Alexander auf der Straße - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):449-458.
    For more than one decade, Andy Clark has defended the now-famous extended mind thesis, the idea that cognitive processes leak into the world. In this paper I analyse Clark’s theoretical justification for the thesis: explanatory simplicity. I argue that his way of justifying the thesis leads into contradiction, either at the level of propositional attitude ascriptions or at the theoretical level. I evaluate three possible strategies of dealing with this issue, concluding that they are all likely to fail and (...)
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  8. How Do Medical Researchers Make Causal Inferences?Olaf Dammann, Ted Poston & Paul Thagard - 2020 - In Kevin McCain & Kostas Kampourakis (eds.), What is scientific knowledge? An introduction to contemporary epistemology of science. London, UK: Routledge.
    Bradford Hill (1965) highlighted nine aspects of the complex evidential situation a medical researcher faces when determining whether a causal relation exists between a disease and various conditions associated with it. These aspects are widely cited in the literature on epidemiological inference as justifying an inference to a causal claim, but the epistemological basis of the Hill aspects is not understood. We offer an explanatory coherentist interpretation, explicated by Thagard's ECHO model of explanatory coherence. The ECHO model (...)
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  9.  35
    Evidence Mapping to Justify Health Interventions.Olaf Dammann - 2021 - Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 64 (2):155-172.
    In order to support health interventions, biomedical and population health researchers need to collect solid evidence. This article asks what type of evidence this should be and expands on previous work that focused on etiological explanations, or causal-mechanical explanations of why and how illness occurs. The article proposes adding predictive evidence to the explanatory evidence, in order to form a joint evidence set, or JES = [A,B,C,D], which consists of four different types of evidence: association [A], biology [B], confirmation (...)
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  10. Spacetime Emergence in Quantum Gravity: Functionalism and the Hard Problem.Baptiste Le Bihan - 2021 - Synthese 199 (2):371–393.
    Spacetime functionalism is the view that spacetime is a functional structure implemented by a more fundamental ontology. Lam and Wüthrich have recently argued that spacetime functionalism helps to solve the epistemological problem of empirical coherence in quantum gravity and suggested that it also (dis)solves the hard problem of spacetime, namely the problem of offering a picture consistent with the emergence of spacetime from a non-spatio-temporal structure. First, I will deny that spacetime functionalism solves the hard problem by showing that (...)
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  11. Theories of Properties and Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay in Metaontology.Christopher Gibilisco - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties. First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I (...)
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  12. Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues.Michael N. Keas - 2017 - Synthese 1:1-33.
    There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a (...)
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  13. When Explanations "Cause" Error: A Look at Representations and Compressions.Michael Lissack - manuscript
    We depend upon explanation in order to “make sense” out of our world. And, making sense is all the more important when dealing with change. But, what happens if our explanations are wrong? This question is examined with respect to two types of explanatory model. Models based on labels and categories we shall refer to as “representations.” More complex models involving stories, multiple algorithms, rules of thumb, questions, ambiguity we shall refer to as “compressions.” Both compressions and representations are (...)
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  14. Definition and Essence in Metaphysics Vii 4.Lucas Angioni - 2014 - Ancient Philosophy 34 (1):75-100.
    I discuss Aristotle's treatment of essence and definition in Metaphysics VII.4. I argue that it is coherent and perfectly in accord with its broader context. His discussion in VII.4 offers, on the one hand, minimal criteria for what counts as definition and essence for whatever kind of object, but also, on the other hand, stronger criteria for a primary sort of definition and essence—and thereby it serves the interest of book VII in pointing to the explanatory power of the (...)
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  15. Explanation and Method in Eudemian Ethics I.6.Lucas Angioni - 2017 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 20:191-229.
    I discuss the methodological passage in the begin- ning of Ethica Eudemia I.6 (1216b26-35), which has received attention in connection with Aristotle’s notion of dialectic and his methodology in Ethics. My central focus is not to discuss whether Aristotle is prescribing and using what has been called the method of endoxa. I will focus on how this passage coheres with the remaining parts of the same chapter, which also are advancing methodological remarks. My claim is that the meth- od of (...)
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  16. Acquaintance, Knowledge, and Value.Emad H. Atiq - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14035-14062.
    Taking perceptual experience to consist in a relation of acquaintance with the sensible qualities, I argue that the state of being acquainted with a sensible quality is intrinsically a form of knowledge, and not merely a means to more familiar kinds of knowledge, such as propositional or dispositional knowledge. We should accept the epistemic claim for its explanatory power and theoretical usefulness. That acquaintance is knowledge best explains the intuitive epistemic appeal of ‘Edenic’ counterfactuals involving unmediated perceptual contact with (...)
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  17. Knowledge and Opinion About the Same Thing in APo A-33.Lucas Angioni - 2013 - Dois Pontos 10 (2):255-290.
    This paper discusses the contrast between scientific knowledge and opinion as it is presented by Aristotle in Posterior Analytics A.33. Aristotle's contrast is formulated in terms of understanding or not understanding some "necessary items". I claim that the contrast can only be understood in terms of explanatory relevance. The "necessary items" are middle terms (or explanatory factors) that are necessary for the fully appropriate explanation. This approach gives a coherent interpretation of each step in the chapter.
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  18. Making Sense of the Mental Universe.Bernardo Kastrup - 2017 - Philosophy and Cosmology 19 (1):33-49.
    In 2005, an essay was published in Nature asserting that the universe is mental and that we must abandon our tendency to conceptualize observations as things. Since then, experiments have confirmed that — as predicted by quantum mechanics — reality is contextual, which contradicts at least intuitive formulations of realism and corroborates the hypothesis of a mental universe. Yet, to give this hypothesis a coherent rendering, one must explain how a mental universe can — at least in principle — accommodate (...)
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  19. The Organism as Ontological Go-Between. Hybridity, Boundaries and Degrees of Reality in its Conceptual History.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shps.
    The organism is neither a discovery like the circulation of the blood or the glycogenic function of the liver, nor a particular biological theory like epigenesis or preformationism. It is rather a concept which plays a series of roles – sometimes overt, sometimes masked – throughout the history of biology, and frequently in very normative ways, also shifting between the biological and the social. Indeed, it has often been presented as a key-concept in life science and the ‘theorization’ of Life, (...)
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  20. Evo-Devo: A Science of Dispositions.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):373-389.
    Evolutionary developmental biology represents a paradigm shift in the understanding of the ontogenesis and evolutionary progression of the denizens of the natural world. Given the empirical successes of the evo-devo framework, and its now widespread acceptance, a timely and important task for the philosophy of biology is to critically discern the ontological commitments of that framework and assess whether and to what extent our current metaphysical models are able to accommodate them. In this paper, I argue that one particular model (...)
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  21. Explanation and Understanding: An Alternative to Strevens’ D Epth.Angela Potochnik - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):29-38.
    Michael Strevens offers an account of causal explanation according to which explanatory practice is shaped by counterbalanced commitments to representing causal influence and abstracting away from overly specific details. In this paper, I challenge a key feature of that account. I argue that what Strevens calls explanatory frameworks figure prominently in explanatory practice because they actually improve explanations. This suggestion is simple but has far-reaching implications. It affects the status of explanations that cite multiply realizable properties; changes (...)
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  22. Integrating Cognitive (Neuro)Science Using Mechanisms.Marcin Miłkowski - 2016 - Avant: Trends in Interdisciplinary Studies (2):45-67.
    In this paper, an account of theoretical integration in cognitive (neuro)science from the mechanistic perspective is defended. It is argued that mechanistic patterns of integration can be better understood in terms of constraints on representations of mechanisms, not just on the space of possible mechanisms, as previous accounts of integration had it. This way, integration can be analyzed in more detail with the help of constraintsatisfaction account of coherence between scientific representations. In particular, the account has resources to talk (...)
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  23. Does Skepticism Presuppose Explanationism?James R. Beebe - 2017 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford University Press. pp. 173-187.
    A common response to radical skeptical challenges to our knowledge of the external world has been that there are explanatory reasons (e.g., simplicity, coherence, explanatory power, conservatism) for favoring commonsense explanations of our sensory experiences over skeptical explanations. Despite the degree of visibility this class of response has enjoyed, it has often been viewed with skepticism [sic] by the epistemological community because of concerns about the epistemic merits of explanatory reasoning. I argue that skeptical challenges that (...)
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  24. Mistakes.Paul A. Roth - 2003 - Synthese 136 (3):389-408.
    A suggestion famously made by Peter Winch and carried through to present discussions holds that what constitutes the social as a kind consists of something shared – rules or practices commonly learned, internalized, or otherwise acquired by all members belonging to a society. This essays argues against the explanatory efficacy of appeals to this shared something as constitutive of a social kind by examining a violation of social norms or rules, viz., mistakes. I argue that an asymmetric relation exists (...)
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  25. In Defence of Object-Dependent Thoughts.Sean Crawford - 1998 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (2):201-210.
    The existence of object-dependent thoughts has been doubted on the grounds that reference to such thoughts is unnecessary or 'redundant' in the psychological explanation of intentional action. This paper argues to the contrary that reference to object-dependent thoughts is necessary to the proper psychological explanation of intentional action upon objects. Section I sets out the argument for the alleged explanatory redundancy of object-dependent thoughts; an argument which turns on the coherence of an alternative 'dual-component' model of explanation. Section (...)
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  26. Against the Iterative Conception of Set.Edward Ferrier - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2681-2703.
    According to the iterative conception of set, each set is a collection of sets formed prior to it. The notion of priority here plays an essential role in explanations of why contradiction-inducing sets, such as the Russell set, do not exist. Consequently, these explanations are successful only to the extent that a satisfactory priority relation is made out. I argue that attempts to do this have fallen short: understanding priority in a straightforwardly constructivist sense threatens the coherence of the (...)
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  27. Embodying Autistic Cognition: Towards Reconceiving Certain 'Autism-Related' Behavioral Atypicalities as Functional.Michael D. Doan & Andrew Fenton - 2013 - In Jami L. Anderson & Simon Cushing (eds.), The Philosophy of Autism. Rowman & Littlefield.
    Some researchers and autistic activists have recently suggested that because some ‘autism-related’ behavioural atypicalities have a function or purpose they may be desirable rather than undesirable. Examples of such behavioural atypicalities include hand-flapping, repeatedly ordering objects (e.g., toys) in rows, and profoundly restricted routines. A common view, as represented in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) IV-TR (APA, 2000), is that many of these behaviours lack adaptive function or purpose, interfere with learning, and constitute the non-social behavioural (...)
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  28. Trying Cognitivism: A Defence of the Strong Belief Thesis.Avery Archer - 2018 - Theoria 84 (2):140-156.
    According to the Strong Belief Thesis (SBT), intending to X entails the belief that one will X. John Brunero has attempted to impugn SBT by arguing that there are cases in which an agent intends to X but is unsure that she will X. Moreover, he claims that the standard reply to such putative counterexamples to SBT – namely, to claim that the unsure agent merely has an intention to try – comes at a high price. Specifically, it prevents SBT (...)
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  29. The Priority of Natural Laws in Kant’s Early Philosophy.Aaron Wells - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (3):469-497.
    It is widely held that, in his pre-Critical works, Kant endorsed a necessitation account of laws of nature, where laws are grounded in essences or causal powers. Against this, I argue that the early Kant endorsed the priority of laws in explaining and unifying the natural world, as well as their irreducible role in in grounding natural necessity. Laws are a key constituent of Kant’s explanatory naturalism, rather than undermining it. By laying out neglected distinctions Kant draws among types (...)
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  30. Primer, Proposal, and Paradigm: A Review Essay of Mendelovici’s The Phenomenal Basis of Intentionality.Philip Woodward - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (8):1246-1260.
    Angela Mendelovici’s book The Phenomenal Basis of Intentionality is a paradigm-establishing monograph within the phenomenal intentionality research program. Mendelovici argues that extant theories of intentionality that do not appeal to consciousness are both empirically and metaphysically inadequate, and a coherent, consciousness-based alternative can adequately explain (or explain away) all alleged cases of intentionality. While I count myself a fellow traveler, I discuss four choice-points where Mendelovici has taken, I believe, the wrong fork. (1) The explanatory relation that holds between (...)
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  31. Three Philosophical Problems About Consciousness and Their Possible Resolution.Nicholas Maxwell - 2011 - Open Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):1.
    Three big philosophical problems about consciousness are: Why does it exist? How do we explain and understand it? How can we explain brain-consciousness correlations? If functionalism were true, all three problems would be solved. But it is false, and that means all three problems remain unsolved (in that there is no other obvious candidate for a solution). Here, it is argued that the first problem cannot have a solution; this is inherent in the nature of explanation. The second problem is (...)
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  32.  52
    The Meanings of Fictional Names.Fiora Salis - 2021 - Organon 28 (1):9-43.
    According to Millianism, the meaning of a name is exhausted by its referent. According to anti-realism about fictional entities, there are no such entities. If there are no fictional entities, how can we explain the apparent meaningfulness of fictional names? Our best theory of fiction, Walton’s theory of make-believe, makes the same assumptions but lacks the theoretical resources to answer the question. In this paper, I propose a pragmatic solution in terms of two main dimensions of meaning, a subjective, psychological (...)
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  33. Stepping Beyond the Newtonian Paradigm in Biology. Towards an Integrable Model of Life: Accelerating Discovery in the Biological Foundations of Science.Plamen L. Simeonov, Edwin Brezina, Ron Cottam, Andreé C. Ehresmann, Arran Gare, Ted Goranson, Jaime Gomez‐Ramirez, Brian D. Josephson, Bruno Marchal, Koichiro Matsuno, Robert S. Root-­Bernstein, Otto E. Rössler, Stanley N. Salthe, Marcin Schroeder, Bill Seaman & Pridi Siregar - 2012 - In Plamen L. Simeonov, Leslie S. Smith & Andreé C. Ehresmann (eds.), Integral Biomathics: Tracing the Road to Reality. Springer. pp. 328-427.
    The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers. This paper sets out the case for support for this effort. The focus of the transformative research program proposal is biology-centric. We admit that biology to date has been more fact-oriented (...)
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  34. Filozofia praw człowieka. Prawa człowieka w świetle ich międzynarodowej ochrony.Marek Piechowiak - 1999 - Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL.
    PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS: HUMAN RIGHTS IN LIGHT OF THEIR INTERNATIONAL PROTECTION Summary The book consists of two main parts: in the first, on the basis of an analysis of international law, elements of the contemporary conception of human rights and its positive legal protection are identified; in the second - in light of the first part -a philosophical theory of law based on the tradition leading from Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas is constructed. The conclusion contains an application (...)
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  35. How to Combine and Not to Combine Physics and Metaphysics.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - In Dennis Dieks & Vassili Karakostas (eds.), Proceedings of the EPSA 2011.
    In this paper I will argue that if physics is to become a coherent metaphysics of nature it needs an “interpretation”. As I understand it, an interpretation of a physical theory amounts to offering (1) a precise formulation of its ontological claims and (2) a clear account of how such claims are related to the world of our experience. Notably, metaphysics enters importantly in both tasks: in (1), because interpreting our best physical theories requires going beyond a merely instrumentalist view (...)
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  36. Can A Quantum Field Theory Ontology Help Resolve the Problem of Consciousness?Anand Rangarajan - 2019 - In Siddheshwar Rameshwar Bhatt (ed.), Quantum Reality and Theory of Śūnya. Springer. pp. 13-26.
    The hard problem of consciousness arises in most incarnations of present day physicalism. Why should certain physical processes necessarily be accompanied by experience? One possible response is that physicalism itself should be modified in order to accommodate experience: But, modified how? In the present work, we investigate whether an ontology derived from quantum field theory can help resolve the hard problem. We begin with the assumption that experience cannot exist without being accompanied by a subject of experience (SoE). While people (...)
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  37. Dual Aspect Framework for Consciousness and Its Implications: West Meets East.Ram Lakhan Pandey Vimal - 2009 - In G. Derfer, Z. Wang & M. Weber (eds.), The Roar of Awakening. A Whiteheadian Dialogue Between Western Psychotherapies and Eastern Worldviews. Ontos Verlag. pp. 39.
    The extended dual-aspect monism framework of consciousness, based on neuroscience, consists of five components: (1) dual-aspect primal entities; (2) neural-Darwinism: co-evolution and co-development of subjective experiences (SEs) and associated neural-nets from the mental aspect (that carries the SEs/proto-experiences (PEs) in superposed and unexpressed form) and the material aspect (mass, charge, spin and space-time) of fundamental entities (elementary particles), respectively and co-tuning via sensorimotor interaction; (3) matching and selection processes: interaction of two modes, namely, (a) the non-tilde mode that is the (...)
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  38. Instrumentalism, Objectivity, and Moral Justification.Adrian M. S. Piper - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):373 - 381.
    I want to examine critically a certain strategy of moral justification which I shall call instrumentalism. By this I mean the view that a moral theory is rationally justified if the actions, life-plan, or set of social arrangements it prescribes can be shown to be the best means to the achievement of an agent's final ends, whatever these may be. Instrumentalism presupposes a commitment to what I shall call the Humean conception of the self. By this I mean a certain (...)
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  39. Physics Avoidance & Cooperative Semantics: Inferentialism and Mark Wilson’s Engagement with Naturalism Qua Applied Mathematics.Ekin Erkan - 2020 - Cosmos and History 16 (1):560-644.
    Mark Wilson argues that the standard categorizations of "Theory T thinking"— logic-centered conceptions of scientific organization (canonized via logical empiricists in the mid-twentieth century)—dampens the understanding and appreciation of those strategic subtleties working within science. By "Theory T thinking," we mean to describe the simplistic methodology in which mathematical science allegedly supplies ‘processes’ that parallel nature's own in a tidily isomorphic fashion, wherein "Theory T’s" feigned rigor and methodological dogmas advance inadequate discrimination that fails to distinguish between explanatory structures (...)
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  40. Human Conscious Experience is Four-Dimensional and has a Neural Correlate Modeled by Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity.Richard Sieb - 2016 - Neuroquantology 14 (4):630-644.
    In humans, knowing the world occurs through spatial-temporal experiences and interpretations. Conscious experience is the direct observation of conscious events. It makes up the content of consciousness. Conscious experience is organized in four dimensions. It is an orientation in space and time, an understanding of the position of the observer in space and time. A neural correlate for four-dimensional conscious experience has been found in the human brain which is modeled by Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity. Spacetime intervals are fundamentally (...)
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  41. Explanatory Pluralism and The Heuristic Identity Theory.Robert N. McCauley & William Bechtel - 2001 - Theory & Psychology 11 (6):736–760.
    Explanatory pluralism holds that the sorts of comprehensive theoretical and ontological economies, which microreductionists and New Wave reductionists envision and which antireductionists fear, offer misleading views of both scientific practice and scientific progress. Both advocates and foes of employing reductionist strategies at the interface of psychology and neuroscience have overplayed the alleged economies that interlevel connections (including identities) justify while overlooking their fundamental role in promoting scientific research. A brief review of research on visual processing provides support for the (...)
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  42. 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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  43. The Coherence of Empiricism.Albert Casullo - 2000 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 81 (1):31-48.
    Rationalists often argue that empiricism is incoherent and conclude, on that basis, that some knowledge is a priori. I contend that such arguments against empiricism cannot be parlayed into an argument in support of the a priori since rationalism is open to the same arguments. I go on to offer an alternative strategy. The leading idea is that, instead of offering a priori arguments against empiricism, rationalists should marshal empirical support for their position.
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  44. 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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  45.  10
    Coherent Choice Functions Without Archimedeanity.Enrique Miranda & Arthur Van Camp - forthcoming - In Thomas Augustin, Fabio Gagliardi Cozman & Gregory Wheeler (eds.), Reflections on the Foundations of Probability and Statistics. Springer Cham.
    We study whether it is possible to generalise Seidenfeld et al.’s representation result for coherent choice functions in terms of sets of probability/utility pairs when we let go of Archimedeanity. We show that the convexity property is necessary but not sufficient for a choice function to be an infimum of a class of lexicographic ones. For the special case of two-dimensional option spaces, we determine the necessary and sufficient conditions by weakening the Archimedean axiom.
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  46. Evidence-Coherence Conflicts Revisited.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Nick Hughes (ed.), Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press.
    There are at least two different aspects of our rational evaluation of agents’ doxastic attitudes. First, we evaluate these attitudes according to whether they are supported by one’s evidence (substantive rationality). Second, we evaluate these attitudes according to how well they cohere with one another (structural rationality). In previous work, I’ve argued that substantive and structural rationality really are distinct, sui generis, kinds of rationality – call this view ‘dualism’, as opposed to ‘monism’, about rationality – by arguing that the (...)
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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. Calibration, Coherence, and Consilience in Radiometric Measures of Geologic Time.Alisa Bokulich - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (3):425-456.
    In 2012, the Geological Time Scale, which sets the temporal framework for studying the timing and tempo of all major geological, biological, and climatic events in Earth’s history, had one-quarter of its boundaries moved in a widespread revision of radiometric dates. The philosophy of metrology helps us understand this episode, and it, in turn, elucidates the notions of calibration, coherence, and consilience. I argue that coherence testing is a distinct activity preceding calibration and consilience, and I highlight the (...)
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  49. Explanatory Challenges in Metaethics.Joshua Schechter - 2018 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 443-459.
    There are several important arguments in metaethics that rely on explanatory considerations. Gilbert Harman has presented a challenge to the existence of moral facts that depends on the claim that the best explanation of our moral beliefs does not involve moral facts. The Reliability Challenge against moral realism depends on the claim that moral realism is incompatible with there being a satisfying explanation of our reliability about moral truths. The purpose of this chapter is to examine these and related (...)
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  50. 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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