Results for 'explanatory circularity'

905 found
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  1. Humean Laws, Explanatory Circularity, and the Aim of Scientific Explanation.Chris Dorst - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2657-2679.
    One of the main challenges confronting Humean accounts of natural law is that Humean laws appear to be unable to play the explanatory role of laws in scientific practice. The worry is roughly that if the laws are just regularities in the particular matters of fact (as the Humean would have it), then they cannot also explain the particular matters of fact, on pain of circularity. Loewer (2012) has defended Humeanism, arguing that this worry only arises if we (...)
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  2. Teleosemantics, Infotel-Semantics and Circularity.Marc Artiga - 2014 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 22 (4):583-603.
    Peter Godfrey-Smith and Nicholas Shea have argued that standard versions of teleosemantics render explanations of successful behavior by appealing to true beliefs circular and, consequently, non-explanatory. As an alternative, Shea has recently suggested an original teleosemantic account (that he calls ?Infotel-semantics?), which is supposed to be immune to the problem of circularity. The paper argues that the standard version of teleosemantics has a satisfactory reply to the circularity objection and that, in any case, Infotel-semantics is not better (...)
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  3.  63
    Explanationism, Super-Explanationism, Ecclectic Explanationism: Persistent Problems on Both Sides.Ryan T. Byerly & Kraig Martin - 2016 - Logos and Episteme 7 (2):201-213.
    We argue that explanationist views in epistemology continue to face persistent challenges to both their necessity and their sufficiency. This is so despite arguments offered by Kevin McCain in a paper recently published in this journal which attempt to show otherwise. We highlight ways in which McCain’s attempted solutions to problems we had previously raised go awry, while also presenting a novel challenge for all contemporary explanationist views.
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  4.  58
    The Explanatory Link Account of Normality.Andrew Lavin - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    Few have given an extended treatment of the non-statistical sense of normality: a sense captured in sentences like “dogs have four legs,” or “hammers normally have metal heads,” or “it is normal for badgers to take dust baths.” The most direct extant treatment is Bernhard Nickel’s Between Logic and the World, where he claims that the normal or characteristic for a kind is what we can explain by appeal to the right sorts of explanations. Just which explanatory strategies can (...)
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  5. Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and the (...)
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  6. Minimal Anti-Humeanism.Harjit Bhogal - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):447-460.
    There is a tension in our theorizing about laws of nature: our practice of using and reasoning with laws of nature suggests that laws are universal generalizations, but if laws are universal generalizations then we face the problem of explanatory circularity. In this paper I elucidate this tension and show how it motivates a view of laws that I call Minimal Anti-Humeanism. This view says that the laws are the universal generalizations that are not grounded in their instances. (...)
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  7. Mathematics and Explanatory Generality: Nothing but Cognitive Salience.Juha Saatsi & Robert Knowles - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-19.
    We demonstrate how real progress can be made in the debate surrounding the enhanced indispensability argument. Drawing on a counterfactual theory of explanation, well-motivated independently of the debate, we provide a novel analysis of ‘explanatory generality’ and how mathematics is involved in its procurement. On our analysis, mathematics’ sole explanatory contribution to the procurement of explanatory generality is to make counterfactual information about physical dependencies easier to grasp and reason with for creatures like us. This gives precise (...)
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  8.  48
    The Justification of Deductive Inference and the Rationality of Believing for a Reason.Gian-Andri Toendury - 2007 - Dissertation, Université de Fribourg
    The present PhD thesis is concerned with the question whether good reasoning requires that the subject has some cognitive grip on the relation between premises and conclusion. One consideration in favor of such a requirement goes as follows: In order for my belief-formation to be an instance of reasoning, and not merely a causally related sequence of beliefs, the process must be guided by my endorsement of a rule of reasoning. Therefore I must have justified beliefs about the relation between (...)
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  9.  87
    Patterns in Cognitive Phenomena and Pluralism of Explanatory Styles.Angela Potochnik & Guilherme Sanches de Oliveira - 2019 - Topics in Cognitive Science:1-15.
    Debate about cognitive science explanations has been formulated in terms of identifying the proper level(s) of explanation. Views range from reductionist, favoring only neuroscience explanations, to mechanist, favoring the integration of multiple levels, to pluralist, favoring the preservation of even the most general, high-level explanations, such as those provided by embodied or dynamical approaches. In this paper, we challenge this framing. We suggest that these are not different levels of explanation at all but, rather, different styles of explanation that capture (...)
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  10.  45
    General Theory of Topological Explanations and Explanatory Asymmetry.Daniel Kostic - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    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 (...)
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  11. Robustness Analysis as Explanatory Reasoning.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw008.
    When scientists seek further confirmation of their results, they often attempt to duplicate the results using diverse means. To the extent that they are successful in doing so, their results are said to be robust. This paper investigates the logic of such "robustness analysis" [RA]. The most important and challenging question an account of RA can answer is what sense of evidential diversity is involved in RAs. I argue that prevailing formal explications of such diversity are unsatisfactory. I propose a (...)
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  12. 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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  13. What’s the Matter with Epistemic Circularity?David James Barnett - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (2):177-205.
    If the reliability of a source of testimony is open to question, it seems epistemically illegitimate to verify the source’s reliability by appealing to that source’s own testimony. Is this because it is illegitimate to trust a questionable source’s testimony on any matter whatsoever? Or is there a distinctive problem with appealing to the source’s testimony on the matter of that source’s own reliability? After distinguishing between two kinds of epistemically illegitimate circularity—bootstrapping and self-verification—I argue for a qualified version (...)
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  14. Cosmic Hermeneutics Vs. Emergence: The Challenge of the Explanatory Gap.Tim Crane - 2010 - In Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 22-34.
    Joseph Levine is generally credited with the invention of the term ‘explanatory gap’ to describe our ignorance about the relationship between consciousness and the physical structures which sustain it.¹ Levine’s account of the problem of the FN:1 explanatory gap in his book Purple Haze (2001) may be summarized in terms of three theses, which I will describe and name as follows...
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  15. On the Role of Explanatory and Systematic Power in Scientific Reasoning.Peter Brössel - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3877-3913.
    The paper investigates measures of explanatory power and how to define the inference schema “Inference to the Best Explanation”. It argues that these measures can also be used to quantify the systematic power of a hypothesis and the inference schema “Inference to the Best Systematization” is defined. It demonstrates that systematic power is a fruitful criterion for theory choice and IBS is truth-conducive. It also shows that even radical Bayesians must admit that systemic power is an integral component of (...)
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  16.  41
    The Explanatory Gap Account and Intelligibility of Explanation.Daniel Kostic - 2011 - Theoria: Beograd 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 (...)
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  17. Probabilistic Causation and the Explanatory Role of Natural Selection.Pablo Razeto-Barry & Ramiro Frick - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (3):344-355.
    The explanatory role of natural selection is one of the long-term debates in evolutionary biology. Nevertheless, the consensus has been slippery because conceptual confusions and the absence of a unified, formal causal model that integrates different explanatory scopes of natural selection. In this study we attempt to examine two questions: (i) What can the theory of natural selection explain? and (ii) Is there a causal or explanatory model that integrates all natural selection explananda? For the first question, (...)
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  18. Phenomenal, Normative, and Other Explanatory Gaps: A General Diagnosis.Neil Mehta - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):567-591.
    I assume that there exists a general phenomenon, the phenomenon of the explanatory gap, surrounding consciousness, normativity, intentionality, and more. Explanatory gaps are often thought to foreclose reductive possibilities wherever they appear. In response, reductivists who grant the existence of these gaps have offered countless local solutions. But typically such reductivist responses have had a serious shortcoming: because they appeal to essentially domain-specific features, they cannot be fully generalized, and in this sense these responses have been not just (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Constructing Commitment: Brandom's Pragmatist Take on Rule‐Following.Matthias Kiesselbach - 2012 - Philosophical Investigations 35 (2):101-126.
    According to a standard criticism, Robert Brandom's “normative pragmatics”, i.e. his attempt to explain normative statuses in terms of practical attitudes, faces a dilemma. If practical attitudes and their interactions are specified in purely non-normative terms, then they underdetermine normative statuses; but if normative terms are allowed into the account, then the account becomes viciously circular. This paper argues that there is no dilemma, because the feared circularity is not vicious. While normative claims do exhibit their respective authors' practical (...)
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  21. Primitiveness, Metaontology, and Explanatory Power.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (2):341-358.
    Metaphysical theories heavily rely on the use of primitives to which they typically appeal. I will start by examining and evaluating some traditional well-known theories and I will discuss the role of primitives in metaphysical theories in general. I will then turn to a discussion of claims of between theories that, I think, depend on equivalences of primitives, and I will explore the nature of primitives. I will then claim that almost all explanatory power of metaphysical theories comes from (...)
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  22. The Reductive Explanation of Boiling Water in Levine's Explanatory Gap Argument.Max Seeger - manuscript
    This paper examines a paradigm case of allegedly successful reductive explanation, viz. the explanation of the fact that water boils at 100°C based on facts about H2O. The case figures prominently in Joseph Levine’s explanatory gap argument against physicalism. The paper studies the way the argument evolved in the writings of Levine, focusing especially on the question how the reductive explanation of boiling water figures in the argument. It will turn out that there are two versions of the (...) gap argument to be found in Levine’s writings. The earlier version relies heavily on conceptual analysis and construes reductive explanation as a process of deduction. The later version makes do without conceptual analysis and understands reductive explanations as based on theoretic reductions that are justified by explanatory power. Along the way will be shown that the bridge principles — which are being neglected in the explanatory gap literature — play a crucial role in the explanatory gap argument. (shrink)
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  23.  92
    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 (...)
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  24. The Yablo Paradox and Circularity.Eduardo Alejandro Barrio - 2012 - Análisis Filosófico 32 (1):7-20.
    In this paper, I start by describing and examining the main results about the option of formalizing the Yablo Paradox in arithmetic. As it is known, although it is natural to assume that there is a right representation of that paradox in first order arithmetic, there are some technical results that give rise to doubts about this possibility. Then, I present some arguments that have challenged that Yablo’s construction is non-circular. Just like that, Priest (1997) has argued that such formalization (...)
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  25. Epistemic Circularity, Reliabilism, and Transmission Failure.Patrick Bondy - 2014 - Episteme 11 (3):335-348.
    Epistemically circular arguments have been receiving quite a bit of attention in the literature for the past decade or so. Often the goal is to determine whether reliabilists (or other foundationalists) are committed to the legitimacy of epistemically circular arguments. It is often assumed that epistemic circularity is objectionable, though sometimes reliabilists accept that their position entails the legitimacy of some epistemically circular arguments, and then go on to affirm that such arguments really are good ones. My goal in (...)
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  26.  60
    Review of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos's Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW]Alexander Beard & Cory Wright - 2018 - Analysis 78 (3):569–572.
    Chrysostomos Mantzavinos (2016), Explanatory Pluralism. Cambridge University Press, xiv + 223 pp. £64.99 cloth.
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  27. Actor Network, Ontic Structural Realism and the Ontological Status of Actants.Corrado Matta - 2014 - Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Networked Learning 2014.
    In this paper I discuss the ontological status of actants. Actants are argued as being the basic constituting entities of networks in the framework of Actor Network Theory (Latour, 2007). I introduce two problems concerning actants that have been pointed out by Collin (2010). The first problem concerns the explanatory role of actants. According to Collin, actants cannot play the role of explanans of networks and products of the same newtork at the same time, at pain of circularity. (...)
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  28.  36
    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 a (...)
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  29. The Explanatory Virtue of Abstracting Away From Idiosyncratic and Messy Detail.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1429-1449.
    Some explanations are relatively abstract: they abstract away from the idiosyncratic or messy details of the case in hand. The received wisdom in philosophy is that this is a virtue for any explanation to possess. I argue that the apparent consensus on this point is illusory. When philosophers make this claim, they differ on which of four alternative varieties of abstractness they have in mind. What’s more, for each variety of abstractness there are several alternative reasons to think that the (...)
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  30. Explaining Causal Selection with Explanatory Causal Economy: Biology and Beyond.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2015 - In P.-A. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer. pp. 413-438.
    Among the factors necessary for the occurrence of some event, which of these are selectively highlighted in its explanation and labeled as causes — and which are explanatorily omitted, or relegated to the status of background conditions? Following J. S. Mill, most have thought that only a pragmatic answer to this question was possible. In this paper I suggest we understand this ‘causal selection problem’ in causal-explanatory terms, and propose that explanatory trade-offs between abstraction and stability can provide (...)
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  31.  96
    Essential Properties Are Super-Explanatory: Taming Metaphysical Modality.Marion Godman, Antonella Mallozzi & David Papineau - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    This paper aims to build a bridge between two areas of philosophical research, the structure of kinds and metaphysical modality. Our central thesis is that kinds typically involve super-explanatory properties, and that these properties are therefore metaphysically essential to natural kinds. Philosophers of science who work on kinds tend to emphasize their complexity, and are generally resistant to any suggestion that they have “essences”. The complexities are real enough, but they should not be allowed to obscure the way that (...)
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  32. Phenomenal Knowledge Why: The Explanatory Knowledge Argument Against Physicalism.Hedda Hassel Mørch - forthcoming - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument. Cambridge University Press.
    Phenomenal knowledge is knowledge of what it is like to be in conscious states, such as seeing red or being in pain. According to the knowledge argument (Jackson 1982, 1986), phenomenal knowledge is knowledge that, i.e., knowledge of phenomenal facts. According to the ability hypothesis (Nemirow 1979; Lewis 1983), phenomenal knowledge is mere practical knowledge how, i.e., the mere possession of abilities. However, some phenomenal knowledge also seems to be knowledge why, i.e., knowledge of explanatory facts. For example, someone (...)
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  33. Virtue Epistemology and Explanatory Salience.Georgi Gardiner - forthcoming - In Heather Battaly (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    Robust virtue epistemology holds that knowledge is true belief obtained through cognitive ability. In this essay I explain that robust virtue epistemology faces a dilemma, and the viability of the theory depends on an adequate understanding of the ‘through’ relation. Greco interprets this ‘through’ relation as one of causal explanation; the success is through the agent’s abilities iff the abilities play a sufficiently salient role in a causal explanation of why she possesses a true belief. In this paper I argue (...)
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  34. Reliabilism, Bootstrapping, and Epistemic Circularity.Jochen Briesen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (18):4361-4372.
    Pretheoretically we hold that we cannot gain justification or knowledge through an epistemically circular reasoning process. Epistemically circular reasoning occurs when a subject forms the belief that p on the basis of an argument A, where at least one of the premises of A already presupposes the truth of p. It has often been argued that process reliabilism does not rule out that this kind of reasoning leads to justification or knowledge. For some philosophers, this is a reason to reject (...)
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  35. Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Boris Kment - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Boris Kment takes a new approach to the study of modality that emphasises the origin of modal notions in everyday thought. He argues that the concepts of necessity and possibility originate in counterfactual reasoning, which allows us to investigate explanatory connections. Contrary to accepted views, explanation is more fundamental than modality.
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  36. Circularity, Reliability, and the Cognitive Penetrability of Perception.Jack Lyons - 2011 - Philosophical Issues 21 (1):289-311.
    Is perception cognitively penetrable, and what are the epistemological consequences if it is? I address the latter of these two questions, partly by reference to recent work by Athanassios Raftopoulos and Susanna Seigel. Against the usual, circularity, readings of cognitive penetrability, I argue that cognitive penetration can be epistemically virtuous, when---and only when---it increases the reliability of perception.
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  37. On the ‘Indispensable Explanatory Role’ of Mathematics.Juha Saatsi - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1045-1070.
    The literature on the indispensability argument for mathematical realism often refers to the ‘indispensable explanatory role’ of mathematics. I argue that we should examine the notion of explanatory indispensability from the point of view of specific conceptions of scientific explanation. The reason is that explanatory indispensability in and of itself turns out to be insufficient for justifying the ontological conclusions at stake. To show this I introduce a distinction between different kinds of explanatory roles—some ‘thick’ and (...)
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  38.  40
    Moral Grandstanding in Public Discourse: Status-Seeking Motives as a Potential Explanatory Mechanism in Predicting Conflict.Joshua B. Grubbs, Brandon Warmke, Justin Tosi, A. Shanti James & W. Keith Campbell - 2019 - PLoS ONE 14 (10).
    Public discourse is often caustic and conflict-filled. This trend seems to be particularly evident when the content of such discourse is around moral issues (broadly defined) and when the discourse occurs on social media. Several explanatory mechanisms for such conflict have been explored in recent psychological and social-science literatures. The present work sought to examine a potentially novel explanatory mechanism defined in philosophical literature: Moral Grandstanding. According to philosophical accounts, Moral Grandstanding is the use of moral talk to (...)
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  39. 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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  40.  40
    Is Religion a Necessary Condition for the Emergence of Knowledge? Some Explanatory Hypotheses.Viorel Rotila - 2019 - Postmodern Openings 10 (3):202-228.
    By using the general investigation framework offered by the cognitive science of religion (CSR), I analyse religion as a necessary condition for the evolutionary path of knowledge. The main argument is the "paradox of the birth of knowledge": in order to get to the meaning of the part, a sense context is needed; but a sense of the whole presupposes the sense (meaning) of the parts. Religion proposes solutions to escape this paradox, based on the imagination of sense (meaning) contexts, (...)
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  41. New Mechanistic Explanation and the Need for Explanatory Constraints.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Palgrave. pp. 41-74.
    This paper critiques the new mechanistic explanatory program on grounds that, even when applied to the kinds of examples that it was originally designed to treat, it does not distinguish correct explanations from those that blunder. First, I offer a systematization of the explanatory account, one according to which explanations are mechanistic models that satisfy three desiderata: they must 1) represent causal relations, 2) describe the proper parts, and 3) depict the system at the right ‘level.’ Second, I (...)
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  42. The Proximate–Ultimate Distinction and Evolutionary Developmental Biology: Causal Irrelevance Versus Explanatory Abstraction.Massimo Pigliucci & Raphael Scholl - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):653-670.
    Mayr’s proximate–ultimate distinction has received renewed interest in recent years. Here we discuss its role in arguments about the relevance of developmental to evolutionary biology. We show that two recent critiques of the proximate–ultimate distinction fail to explain why developmental processes in particular should be of interest to evolutionary biologists. We trace these failures to a common problem: both critiques take the proximate–ultimate distinction to neglect specific causal interactions in nature. We argue that this is implausible, and that the distinction (...)
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  43. 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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  44. Explanatory Completeness and Idealization in Large Brain Simulations: A Mechanistic Perspective.Marcin Miłkowski - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1457-1478.
    The claim defended in the paper is that the mechanistic account of explanation can easily embrace idealization in big-scale brain simulations, and that only causally relevant detail should be present in explanatory models. The claim is illustrated with two methodologically different models: Blue Brain, used for particular simulations of the cortical column in hybrid models, and Eliasmith’s SPAUN model that is both biologically realistic and able to explain eight different tasks. By drawing on the mechanistic theory of computational explanation, (...)
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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. Toward an Explanatory Framework for Mental Ownership.Timothy Lane - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (2):251-286.
    Philosophical and scientific investigations of the proprietary aspects of self—mineness or mental ownership—often presuppose that searching for unique constituents is a productive strategy. But there seem not to be any unique constituents. Here, it is argued that the “self-specificity” paradigm, which emphasizes subjective perspective, fails. Previously, it was argued that mode of access also fails to explain mineness. Fortunately, these failures, when leavened by other findings (those that exhibit varieties and vagaries of mineness), intimate an approach better suited to searching (...)
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  48. Explanatory Independence and Epistemic Interdependence: A Case Study of the Optimality Approach.Angela Potochnik - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (1):213-233.
    The value of optimality modeling has long been a source of contention amongst population biologists. Here I present a view of the optimality approach as at once playing a crucial explanatory role and yet also depending on external sources of confirmation. Optimality models are not alone in facing this tension between their explanatory value and their dependence on other approaches; I suspect that the scenario is quite common in science. This investigation of the optimality approach thus serves as (...)
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  49.  84
    Metaphysically Explanatory Unification.David Mark Kovacs - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-25.
    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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  50. On the Explanatory Demands of the Special Composition Question.Joshua Spencer - forthcoming - Synthese:1-14.
    The Special Composition Question may be formulated as follows: for any xs whatsoever, what are the metaphysically necessary and jointly sufficient conditions in virtue of which there is a y such that those xs compose y? But what is the scope of the sought after explanation? Should an answer merely explain compositional facts, or should it explain certain ontological facts as well? On one natural reading, the question seeks an explanation of both the compositional facts and the ontological; the question (...)
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