Results for 'functional explanation'

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  1. Functional explanation and metaphysical individualism.Justin Schwartz - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (2):278-301.
    G. A. Cohen defends and Jon Elster criticizes Marxist use of functional explanation. But Elster's mechanical conception of explanation is, contrary to Elster's claims, a better basis for vindication of functional explanation than Cohen's nomological conception, which cannot provide an adequate account of functional explanation. Elster also objects that functional explanation commits us to metaphysically bizarre collective subjects, but his argument requires an implausible reading of methodological individualism which involves an unattractive (...)
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  2. Teleological functional explanations: a new naturalist synthesis.Mihnea Capraru - 2024 - Acta Biotheoretica 72 (5):1--22.
    The etiological account of teleological function is beset by several difficulties, which I propose to solve by grafting onto the etiological theory a subordinated goal-contribution clause. This approach enables us to ascribe neither too many teleofunctions nor too few; to give a unitary, one-clause analysis that works just as well for teleological functions derived from Darwinian evolution, as for those derived from human intention; and finally, to save the etiological theory from falsification, by explaining how, in spite of appearances, the (...)
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  3. Function-Theoretic Explanation and the Search for Neural Mechanisms.Frances Egan - 2017 - In Explanation and Integration in Mind and Brain Science 145-163. Oxford, UK: pp. 145-163.
    A common kind of explanation in cognitive neuroscience might be called functiontheoretic: with some target cognitive capacity in view, the theorist hypothesizes that the system computes a well-defined function (in the mathematical sense) and explains how computing this function constitutes (in the system’s normal environment) the exercise of the cognitive capacity. Recently, proponents of the so-called ‘new mechanist’ approach in philosophy of science have argued that a model of a cognitive capacity is explanatory only to the extent that it (...)
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  4. Functional Analyses, Mechanistic Explanations, and Explanatory Tradeoffs.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2013 - Journal of Cognitive Science 14:229-251.
    Recently, Piccinini and Craver have stated three theses concerning the relations between functional analysis and mechanistic explanation in cognitive sciences: No Distinctness: functional analysis and mechanistic explanation are explanations of the same kind; Integration: functional analysis is a kind of mechanistic explanation; and Subordination: functional analyses are unsatisfactory sketches of mechanisms. In this paper, I argue, first, that functional analysis and mechanistic explanations are sub-kinds of explanation by scientific (idealized) models. From (...)
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  5. Function-Theoretic Explanation and the Search for Neural Mechanisms.Frances Egan - 2017 - In David Michael Kaplan (ed.), Explanation and Integration in Mind and Brain Science. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 145-163.
    A common kind of explanation in cognitive neuroscience might be called functiontheoretic: with some target cognitive capacity in view, the theorist hypothesizes that the system computes a well-defined function (in the mathematical sense) and explains how computing this function constitutes (in the system’s normal environment) the exercise of the cognitive capacity. Recently, proponents of the so-called ‘new mechanist’ approach in philosophy of science have argued that a model of a cognitive capacity is explanatory only to the extent that it (...)
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  6. The Communicative Functions of Metaphors Between Explanation and Persuasion.Maria Grazia Rossi & Fabrizio Macagno - 2021 - In Fabrizio Macagno & Alessandro Capone (eds.), Inquiries in philosophical pragmatics. Theoretical developments. Cham: Springer. pp. 171-191.
    In the literature, the pragmatic dimension of metaphors has been clearly acknowledged. Metaphors are regarded as having different possible uses, especially pursuing persuasion. However, an analysis of the specific conversational purposes that they can be aimed at achieving in a dialogue and their adequacy thereto is still missing. In this chapter, we will address this issue focusing on the classical distinction between the explanatory and persuasive uses of metaphors, which is, however, complex to draw at an analytical level and often (...)
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  7. Mechanistic Explanations and Teleological Functions.Andrew Rubner - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper defines and defends a notion of teleological function which is fit to figure in explanations concerning how organic systems, and the items which compose them, are able to perform certain activities, such as surviving and reproducing or pumping blood. According to this notion, a teleological function of an item (such as the heart) is a typical way in which items of that type contribute to some containing system's ability to do some activity. An account of what it is (...)
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  8. Explanation and Justification: Understanding the Functions of Fact-Insensitive Principles.Kyle Johannsen - 2016 - Socialist Studies 11 (1):174-86.
    In recent work, Andrew T. Forcehimes and Robert B. Talisse correctly note that G.A. Cohen’s fact-insensitivity thesis, properly understood, is explanatory. This observation raises an important concern. If fact-insensitive principles are explanatory, then what role can they play in normative deliberations? The purpose of my paper is, in part, to address this question. Following David Miller, I indicate that on a charitable understanding of Cohen’s thesis, an explanatory principle explains a justificatory fact by completing an otherwise logically incomplete inference. As (...)
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  9. Revealing Social Functions through Pragmatic Genealogies.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. New York: Routledge. pp. 200-218.
    There is an under-appreciated tradition of genealogical explanation that is centrally concerned with social functions. I shall refer to it as the tradition of pragmatic genealogy. It runs from David Hume (T, 3.2.2) and the early Friedrich Nietzsche (TL) through E. J. Craig (1990, 1993) to Bernard Williams (2002) and Miranda Fricker (2007). These pragmatic genealogists start out with a description of an avowedly fictional “state of nature” and end up ascribing social functions to particular building blocks of our (...)
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  10. The explanation game: a formal framework for interpretable machine learning.David S. Watson & Luciano Floridi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):1–⁠32.
    We propose a formal framework for interpretable machine learning. Combining elements from statistical learning, causal interventionism, and decision theory, we design an idealised explanation game in which players collaborate to find the best explanation for a given algorithmic prediction. Through an iterative procedure of questions and answers, the players establish a three-dimensional Pareto frontier that describes the optimal trade-offs between explanatory accuracy, simplicity, and relevance. Multiple rounds are played at different levels of abstraction, allowing the players to explore (...)
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  11. Getting over Atomism: Functional Decomposition in Complex Neural Systems.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):743-772.
    Functional decomposition is an important goal in the life sciences, and is central to mechanistic explanation and explanatory reduction. A growing literature in philosophy of science, however, has challenged decomposition-based notions of explanation. ‘Holists’ posit that complex systems exhibit context-sensitivity, dynamic interaction, and network dependence, and that these properties undermine decomposition. They then infer from the failure of decomposition to the failure of mechanistic explanation and reduction. I argue that complexity, so construed, is only incompatible with (...)
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  12. Mechanistic artefact explanation.Jeroen de Ridder - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.
    One thing about technical artefacts that needs to be explained is how their physical make-up, or structure, enables them to fulfil the behaviour associated with their function, or, more colloquially, how they work. In this paper I develop an account of such explanations based on the familiar notion of mechanistic explanation. To accomplish this, I outline two explanatory strategies that provide two different types of insight into an artefact’s functioning, and show how human action inevitably plays a role in (...)
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  13. From Paradigm-Based Explanation to Pragmatic Genealogy.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):683-714.
    Why would philosophers interested in the points or functions of our conceptual practices bother with genealogical explanations if they can focus directly on paradigmatic examples of the practices we now have?? To answer this question, I compare the method of pragmatic genealogy advocated by Edward Craig, Bernard Williams, and Miranda Fricker—a method whose singular combination of fictionalising and historicising has met with suspicion—with the simpler method of paradigm-based explanation. Fricker herself has recently moved towards paradigm-based explanation, arguing that (...)
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  14. Mechanistic Explanation in Psychology.Mark Povich - forthcoming - In Hank Stam & Huib Looren De Jong (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Theoretical Psychology. (Eds.) Hank Stam and Huib Looren de Jong. Sage.
    Philosophers of psychology debate, among other things, which psychological models, if any, are (or provide) mechanistic explanations. This should seem a little strange given that there is rough consensus on the following two claims: 1) a mechanism is an organized collection of entities and activities that produces, underlies, or maintains a phenomenon, and 2) a mechanistic explanation describes, represents, or provides information about the mechanism producing, underlying, or maintaining the phenomenon to be explained (i.e. the explanandum phenomenon) (Bechtel and (...)
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  15. The Self-Effacing Functionality of Blame.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1361-1379.
    This paper puts forward an account of blame combining two ideas that are usually set up against each other: that blame performs an important function, and that blame is justified by the moral reasons making people blameworthy rather than by its functionality. The paper argues that blame could not have developed in a purely instrumental form, and that its functionality itself demands that its functionality be effaced in favour of non-instrumental reasons for blame—its functionality is self-effacing. This notion is sharpened (...)
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  16. Mathematical Representation and Explanation: structuralism, the similarity account, and the hotchpotch picture.Ziren Yang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This thesis starts with three challenges to the structuralist accounts of applied mathematics. Structuralism views applied mathematics as a matter of building mapping functions between mathematical and target-ended structures. The first challenge concerns how it is possible for a non-mathematical target to be represented mathematically when the mapping functions per se are mathematical objects. The second challenge arises out of inconsistent early calculus, which suggests that mathematical representation does not require rigorous mathematical structures. The third challenge comes from renormalisation group (...)
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  17. Mechanism, autonomy and biological explanation.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-27.
    The new mechanists and the autonomy approach both aim to account for how biological phenomena are explained. One identifies appeals to how components of a mechanism are organized so that their activities produce a phenomenon. The other directs attention towards the whole organism and focuses on how it achieves self-maintenance. This paper discusses challenges each confronts and how each could benefit from collaboration with the other: the new mechanistic framework can gain by taking into account what happens outside individual mechanisms, (...)
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  18. Experiential Explanation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1321-1336.
    People often answer why-questions with what we call experiential explanations: narratives or stories with temporal structure and concrete details. In contrast, on most theories of the epistemic function of explanation, explanations should be abstractive: structured by general relationships and lacking extraneous details. We suggest that abstractive and experiential explanations differ not only in level of abstraction, but also in structure, and that each form of explanation contributes to the epistemic goals of individual learners and of science. In particular, (...)
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  19. An account of conserved functions and how biologists use them to integrate cell and evolutionary biology.Jeremy G. Wideman, Steve Elliott & Beckett Sterner - 2023 - Biology and Philosophy 38 (5):1-23.
    We characterize a type of functional explanation that addresses why a homologous trait originating deep in the evolutionary history of a group remains widespread and largely unchanged across the group’s lineages. We argue that biologists regularly provide this type of explanation when they attribute conserved functions to phenotypic and genetic traits. The concept of conserved function applies broadly to many biological domains, and we illustrate its importance using examples of molecular sequence alignments at the intersection of evolution (...)
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  20. Non‐cognitivism about Metaphysical explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Analytic Philosophy 64 (2):1-20.
    This article introduces a non‐cognitivist account of metaphysical explanation according to which the core function of judgements of the form ⌜x because y⌝ is not to state truth‐apt beliefs. Instead, their core function is to express attitudes of commitment to, and recommendation of the acceptance of certain norms governing interventional conduct at contexts.
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  21. Teleology beyond explanation.Sehrang Joo, Sami R. Yousif & Joshua Knobe - 2021 - Mind and Language 38 (1):20-41.
    People often think of objects teleologically. For instance, we might understand a hammer in terms of its purpose of driving in nails. But how should we understand teleological thinking in the first place? This paper separates mere teleology (simply ascribing a telos) and teleological explanation (thinking something is explained by its telos) by examining cases where an object was designed for one purpose but is now widely used for a different purpose. Across four experiments, we show that teleology judgments (...)
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  22. 14. Real Traits, Real Functions?Colin Allen - 2002 - In Andre Ariew, Robert Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.), Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology. Oxford University Press. pp. 373.
    Discussions of the functions of biological traits generally take the notion of a trait for granted. Defining this notion is a non-trivial problem. Different approaches to function place different constraints on adequate accounts of the notion of a trait. Accounts of function based on engineering-style analyses allow trait boundaries to be a matter of human interest. Accounts of function based on natural selection have typically been taken to require trait boundaries that are objectively real. After canvassing problems raised by each (...)
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  23. Simulationism and the Function(s) of Episodic Memory.Arieh Schwartz - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):487-505.
    According to simulationism, the function of episodic memory is not to remember the past, but to help construct representations of possible future episodes, by drawing together features from different experiential sources. This article suggests that the relationship between the traditional storehouse view, on which the function of memory is remembering, and the simulationist approach is more complicated than has been typically acknowledged. This is attributed, in part, to incorrect interpretations of what remembering on the storehouse view requires. Further, by appeal (...)
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  24. Mechanisms and Model-Based Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.Mark Povich - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1035-1046.
    Mechanistic explanations satisfy widely held norms of explanation: the ability to manipulate and answer counterfactual questions about the explanandum phenomenon. A currently debated issue is whether any nonmechanistic explanations can satisfy these explanatory norms. Weiskopf argues that the models of object recognition and categorization, JIM, SUSTAIN, and ALCOVE, are not mechanistic yet satisfy these norms of explanation. In this article I argue that these models are mechanism sketches. My argument applies recent research using model-based functional magnetic resonance (...)
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  25. The functions of definitions in ontologies.Selja Seppälä, Alan Ruttenberg, & Barry Smith - 2016 - In R. Ferrario & W. Kuhn (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference (FOIS 2016). IOS Pres. pp. 37-50.
    To understand what ontologies do through their definitions, we propose a theoretical explanation of the functions of definitions in ontologies backed by empirical neuropsychological studies. Our goal is to show how these functions should motivate (i) the systematic inclusion of definitions in ontologies and (ii) the adaptation of definition content and form to the specific context of use of ontologies.
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  26. What is psychological explanation?William Bechtel & Cory Wright - 2009 - In Sarah Robins, John Symons & Paco Calvo (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 113--130.
    Due to the wide array of phenomena that are of interest to them, psychologists offer highly diverse and heterogeneous types of explanations. Initially, this suggests that the question "What is psychological explanation?" has no single answer. To provide appreciation of this diversity, we begin by noting some of the more common types of explanations that psychologists provide, with particular focus on classical examples of explanations advanced in three different areas of psychology: psychophysics, physiological psychology, and information-processing psychology. To analyze (...)
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  27. Functional kinds: a skeptical look.Cameron Buckner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3915-3942.
    The functionalist approach to kinds has suffered recently due to its association with law-based approaches to induction and explanation. Philosophers of science increasingly view nomological approaches as inappropriate for the special sciences like psychology and biology, which has led to a surge of interest in approaches to natural kinds that are more obviously compatible with mechanistic and model-based methods, especially homeostatic property cluster theory. But can the functionalist approach to kinds be weaned off its dependency on laws? Dan Weiskopf (...)
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  28. Functional Reduction with a Third Step:a Larger and Less Reductive Picture.Ronald Endicott - 2022 - ProtoSociology 39:89-106.
    Functional reduction follows two familiar steps: a definition of a higher-level or special science property in terms of a functional role, then a statement describing a physical property that plays or occupies that role. But Kim (2005) adds a third step, namely, an explanation regarding how the physical property occupies the functional role. I think Kim is correct. But how is the third step satisfied? An examination of the pertinent scientific explanations reveals that the third step (...)
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  29. The Directionality of Topological Explanations.Daniel Kostić & Kareem Khalifa - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14143-14165.
    Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y , then not-Y does not explain not-X . Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists (...)
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  30. Functions and mental representation: the theoretical role of representations and its real nature.Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (2):317-336.
    Representations are not only used in our folk-psychological explanations of behaviour, but are also fruitfully postulated, for example, in cognitive science. The mainstream view in cognitive science maintains that our mind is a representational system. This popular view requires an understanding of the nature of the entities they are postulating. Teleosemantic theories face this challenge, unpacking the normativity in the relation of representation by appealing to the teleological function of the representing state. It has been argued that, if intentionality is (...)
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  31. Diagrams as locality aids for explanation and model construction in cell biology.Nicholaos Jones & Olaf Wolkenhauer - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):705-721.
    Using as case studies two early diagrams that represent mechanisms of the cell division cycle, we aim to extend prior philosophical analyses of the roles of diagrams in scientific reasoning, and specifically their role in biological reasoning. The diagrams we discuss are, in practice, integral and indispensible elements of reasoning from experimental data about the cell division cycle to mathematical models of the cycle’s molecular mechanisms. In accordance with prior analyses, the diagrams provide functional explanations of the cell cycle (...)
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  32. The Functions of Diagnoses in Medicine and Psychiatry.Hane Htut Maung - 2019 - In Bluhm Robyn & Tekin Serife (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. London: Bloomsbury. pp. 507-526.
    Diagnoses are central to the practice of medicine, where they serve a variety of functions for clinicians, patients, and society. They aid communication, explain symptoms, inform predictions, guide therapeutic interventions, legitimize sickness, and authorize access to resources. Insofar as psychiatry is a discipline whose practice is shaped by medical conventions, its diagnoses are sometimes presented as if they serve the same sorts of function as diagnoses in bodily medicine. However, there are philosophical problems that cast doubt on whether the functions (...)
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  33. The Folk Psychological Spiral: Explanation, Regulation, and Language.Kristin Andrews - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (S1):50-67.
    The view that folk psychology is primarily mindreading beliefs and desires has come under challenge in recent years. I have argued that we also understand others in terms of individual properties such as personality traits and generalizations from past behavior, and in terms of group properties such as stereotypes and social norms (Andrews 2012). Others have also argued that propositional attitude attribution isn’t necessary for predicting others’ behavior, because this can be done in terms of taking Dennett’s Intentional Stance (Zawidzki (...)
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  34. Explanations in Design Thinking: New Directions for an Obfuscated Field.Ameer Sarwar & Patrick Fraser - 2019 - She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 5 (4):343-355.
    Design plays an integral role in the functions of modern society. Yet the abstract process by which designers carry out their work is not obvious. The study of design thinking has grown in recent years into a major area of academic research, yet it presently lacks a clear theoretical basis; and as a discipline, its methodologies are disparate. Here, we outline and clarify the framework of the scholarly study of design thinking, introducing the major ideas and concepts upon which the (...)
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  35. Is psychological explanation going extinct?Cory Wright - 2007 - In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
    Psychoneural reductionists sometimes claim that sufficient amounts of lower-level explanatory achievement preclude further contributions from higher-level psychological research. Ostensibly, with nothing left to do, the effect of such preclusion on psychological explanation is extinction. Reductionist arguments for preclusion have recently involved a reorientation within the philosophical foundations of neuroscience---namely, away from the philosophical foundations and toward the neuroscience. In this chapter, I review a successful reductive explanation of an aspect of reward function in terms of dopaminergic operations of (...)
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  36. What Is the Function of Confirmation Bias?Uwe Peters - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1351-1376.
    Confirmation bias is one of the most widely discussed epistemically problematic cognitions, challenging reliable belief formation and the correction of inaccurate views. Given its problematic nature, it remains unclear why the bias evolved and is still with us today. To offer an explanation, several philosophers and scientists have argued that the bias is in fact adaptive. I critically discuss three recent proposals of this kind before developing a novel alternative, what I call the ‘reality-matching account’. According to the account, (...)
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  37. The puzzle of model-based explanation.N. Emrah Aydinonat - 2024 - In Tarja Knuuttila, Natalia Carrillo & Rami Koskinen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling. Routledge.
    Among the many functions of models, explanation is central to the functioning and aims of science. However, the discussions surrounding modeling and explanation in philosophy have largely remained separate from each other. This chapter seeks to bridge the gap by focusing on the puzzle of model-based explanation, asking how different philosophical accounts answer the following question: if idealizations and fictions introduce falsehoods into models, how can idealized and fictional models provide true explanations? The chapter provides a selective (...)
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  38. The functional bias of the dual nature of technical artefacts program.Krist Vaesen - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (1):190-197.
    In 2006, in a special issue of this journal, several authors explored what they called the dual nature of artefacts. The core idea is simple, but attractive: to make sense of an artefact, one needs to consider both its physical nature—its being a material object—and its intentional nature—its being an entity designed to further human ends and needs. The authors construe the intentional component quite narrowly, though: it just refers to the artefact’s function, its being a means to realize a (...)
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  39. A Clifford Algebraic Analysis and Explanation of Wave Function Reduction in Quantum Mechanics.Elio Conte - manuscript
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  40. The Function of Normative Process-Requirements.Julian Fink - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):115-136.
    This paper discusses whether rationality, morality or prudence impose process-requirements upon us. It has been argued that process-requirements fulfil two essential functions within a system of rational, moral or prudential requirements. These functions are considered to prove the existence of process-requirements. First, process-requirements are deemed necessary to ensure that rationality, morality or prudence can guide our deliberations and actions. Second, their existence is regarded as essential for the correctness of our ordinary explanations of why a person possesses a certain degree (...)
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  41. The search of “canonical” explanations for the cerebral cortex.Alessio Plebe - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):40.
    This paper addresses a fundamental line of research in neuroscience: the identification of a putative neural processing core of the cerebral cortex, often claimed to be “canonical”. This “canonical” core would be shared by the entire cortex, and would explain why it is so powerful and diversified in tasks and functions, yet so uniform in architecture. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the search for canonical explanations over the past 40 years, discussing the theoretical frameworks informing this research. (...)
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  42. Functioning of Healthcare Facilities under the Martial Law.Tetiana Sviatenko, Inna Gogunska, Oleksandr P. Krupskyi, Tetiana Ihnatova & Liubov Bilyk - 2023 - Khazar Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences 26 (3):24-27.
    This topic focuses on the problems that arise in providing medical care to the population during armed conflict or martial law. Under such conditions, hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities have to work in challenging circumstances with limited resources and reduced security for medical personnel. This topic explores such issues as how martial law affects the work of medical institutions, what problems arise in providing medical care to the population in war, how war affects the health of the people, and (...)
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  43. Functional Constitutivism’s Misunderstood Resources: A Limited Defense of Smith’s Constitutivism.Kathryn Lindeman - 2019 - Ethics 130 (1):79-91.
    In recent work, Michael Smith argues that particular desires are constitutive of ideal agency and draws on his dispositional account of reasons to establish the normative significance of those desires. In a sustained critique, Michael Bukowski objects that Smith’s recent arguments that particular desires are constitutive of ideal agency rely on indefensible premises and his dispositional account of reasons is unable to establish the normative significance of such desires. On the contrary, I argue not only that Smith has the resources (...)
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  44. ​​Our Fundamental Physical Space: An Essay on the Metaphysics of the Wave Function.Eddy Keming Chen - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (7):333-365.
    The mathematical structure of realist quantum theories has given rise to a debate about how our ordinary 3-dimensional space is related to the 3N-dimensional configuration space on which the wave function is defined. Which of the two spaces is our (more) fundamental physical space? I review the debate between 3N-Fundamentalists and 3D-Fundamentalists and evaluate it based on three criteria. I argue that when we consider which view leads to a deeper understanding of the physical world, especially given the deeper topological (...)
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  45. The heuristic conception of inference to the best explanation.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1745-1766.
    An influential suggestion about the relationship between Bayesianism and inference to the best explanation holds that IBE functions as a heuristic to approximate Bayesian reasoning. While this view promises to unify Bayesianism and IBE in a very attractive manner, important elements of the view have not yet been spelled out in detail. I present and argue for a heuristic conception of IBE on which IBE serves primarily to locate the most probable available explanatory hypothesis to serve as a working (...)
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  46. Social Organisms: Hegel's Organisational Theory of Social Functions.Daniel James - 2020 - In Rebekka Hufendiek, Daniel James & Raphael van Riel (eds.), Social Functions in Philosophy: Metaphysical, Normative, and Methodological Perspectives. New York: Routledge.
    A widespread view about early social functionalism is that its account of functional explanation was underpinned by an analogy between biological organisms and societies that suggested pseudo-explanations about the latter. I will challenge this view through a case study of the use G.W.F. Hegel made of the organismic analogy for the purpose of concept development in his theory of the state. My claim will be that the dismissal of this analogy is premature for two reasons. First, to claim (...)
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  47. Bad Feelings, Best Explanations: In Defence of the Propitiousness Theory of the Low Mood System.James Turner - 2024 - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    There are three main accounts of the proper function of the low mood system (LMS): the social risk theory, the disease theory, and the propitiousness theory. Adjudicating between these accounts has proven difficult, as there is little agreement in the literature about what a theory of the LMS’s proper function is supposed to explain. In this article, drawing upon influential work on the evolution of other affective systems, such as the disgust system and the fear system, I argue that a (...)
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  48. Bohmian mechanics without wave function ontology.Albert Solé - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):365-378.
    In this paper, I critically assess different interpretations of Bohmian mechanics that are not committed to an ontology based on the wave function being an actual physical object that inhabits configuration space. More specifically, my aim is to explore the connection between the denial of configuration space realism and another interpretive debate that is specific to Bohmian mechanics: the quantum potential versus guidance approaches. Whereas defenders of the quantum potential approach to the theory claim that Bohmian mechanics is better formulated (...)
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  49. The epistemic significance of collaborative research.K. Brad Wray - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (1):150-168.
    I examine the epistemic import of collaborative research in science. I develop and defend a functional explanation for its growing importance. Collaborative research is becoming more popular in the natural sciences, and to a lesser degree in the social sciences, because contemporary research in these fields frequently requires access to abundant resources, for which there is great competition. Scientists involved in collaborative research have been very successful in accessing these resources, which has in turn enabled them to realize (...)
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  50. Intractability and the use of heuristics in psychological explanations.Iris Rooij, Cory Wright & Todd Wareham - 2012 - Synthese 187 (2):471-487.
    Many cognitive scientists, having discovered that some computational-level characterization f of a cognitive capacity φ is intractable, invoke heuristics as algorithmic-level explanations of how cognizers compute f. We argue that such explanations are actually dysfunctional, and rebut five possible objections. We then propose computational-level theory revision as a principled and workable alternative.
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