Results for 'metaphysical explanation'

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  1. Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint.Michael Bertrand - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1325-1340.
    It is often thought that metaphysical grounding underwrites a distinctive sort of metaphysical explanation. However, it would be a mistake to think that all metaphysical explanations are underwritten by metaphysical grounding. In service of this claim, I offer a novel kind of metaphysical explanation called metaphysical explanation by constraint, examples of which have been neglected in the literature. I argue that metaphysical explanations by constraint are not well understood as grounding (...)
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  2. Metaphysical Explanation: The Kitcher Picture.Sam Baron & James Norton - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):187-207.
    This paper offers a new account of metaphysical explanation. The account is modelled on Kitcher’s unificationist approach to scientific explanation. We begin, in Sect. 2, by briefly introducing the notion of metaphysical explanation and outlining the target of analysis. After that, we introduce a unificationist account of metaphysical explanation before arguing that such an account is capable of capturing four core features of metaphysical explanations: irreflexivity, non-monotonicity, asymmetry and relevance. Since the unificationist (...)
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  3. Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):395-402.
    Attempts to elucidate grounding are often made by connecting grounding to metaphysical explanation, but the notion of metaphysical explanation is itself opaque, and has received little attention in the literature. We can appeal to theories of explanation in the philosophy of science to give us a characterization of metaphysical explanation, but this reveals a tension between three theses: that grounding relations are objective and mind-independent; that there are pragmatic elements to metaphysical (...); and that grounding and metaphysical explanation share a close connection. Holding fixed the mind-independence of grounding, I show that neither horn of the resultant dilemma can be blunted. Consequently, we should reject the assumption that grounding relations are mind-independent. (shrink)
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  4. A Psychologistic Theory of Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2777-2802.
    Many think that sentences about what metaphysically explains what are true iff there exist grounding relations. This suggests that sceptics about grounding should be error theorists about metaphysical explanation. We think there is a better option: a theory of metaphysical explanation which offers truth conditions for claims about what metaphysically explains what that are not couched in terms of grounding relations, but are instead couched in terms of, inter alia, psychological facts. We do not argue that (...)
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  5. Metaphysical Explanation and the Inference to the Best Explanation (BA Thesis).Daniel Coimbra - manuscript
    Inference to the Best Explanation, roughly put, appeals to the explanatory power of a theory or hypothesis (relative to some data set) as constituting epistemic justification for it. Inference to the Best Explanation (henceforth IBE) is a tool widely employed among all reasoners alike, from the empirical sciences to ordinary life. Philosophical discussions do not differ in the usualness of explanatory appeals of this kind during serious argument. Often enough, the appeal is dialectically blocked, as many of our (...)
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  6. We Need Non-Factive Metaphysical Explanation.Michael Bertrand - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    Suppose that A explains B. Do A and B need to be true? Provided that we have metaphysical explanation in mind, orthodoxy answers “yes:” metaphysical explanation is factive. This article introduces and defends a non-factive notion of metaphysical explanation. I argue that we need a non-factive notion of explanation in order to make sense of explanationist arguments where we motivate a view by claiming that it offers better explanations than its competitors. After presenting (...)
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  7.  70
    Non-Cognitivism About Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - manuscript
    This paper 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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  8.  86
    Reflections on Metaphysical Explanation.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths. Lund: pp. 135-142.
    The nature of metaphysical explanation is a question that should be constantly on every metaphysician’s mind, and yet it is rare to see explicit statements about the methodological approach that writers take. We tend to just enter the flow of ideas and words in a particular ‘discourse’ and see where it leads us. It is easier that way but can lead us astray. I can’t claim to be a role-model in this respect. I have offered a comment here, (...)
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  9. Bions as a Metaphysical Explanation of Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing.Brecht Debor - manuscript
    Why is there something rather than nothing? This paper explores one particular argument in favor of the answer that 'the existence of nothing' would amount to a logical contradiction. This argument consists of positing the existence of a novel entity, called a bion, of which all contingent things can be composed yet itself is non-contingent. First an overview of historical attempts to compile a systematic and exhaustive list of answers to the question is presented as context. Then follows an analysis (...)
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  10.  96
    Investigating Non-Philosophers’ Judgements About the Asymmetry of Metaphysical Explanation.Andrew James Latham & Kristie Miller - manuscript
    It is often supposed that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric: that for all x and y, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not metaphysically explain x. Even amongst those who hold that metaphysical explanation is not asymmetric, but nonsymmetric, it is assumed that a relatively small number of particular explanations are symmetric: by and large, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not metaphysically explain x. Both parties agree that as a matter of fact (...)
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  11. On the Dispensability of Grounding: Ground-Breaking Work on Metaphysical Explanation.James Norton - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Sydney
    Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much (...)
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  12. 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 eliminativism about social phenomena.
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  13. Metaphysical Interdependence.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - In Mark Jago (ed.), Reality Making. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 38-56.
    It is commonly assumed that grounding relations are asymmetric. Here I develop and argue for a theory of metaphysical structure that takes grounding to be nonsymmetric rather than asymmetric. Even without infinite descending chains of dependence, it might be that every entity is grounded in some other entity. Having first addressed an immediate objection to the position under discussion, I introduce two examples of symmetric grounding. I give three arguments for the view that grounding is nonsymmetric (I call this (...)
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  14. Reasons Why in Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):607-623.
    Normative explanations, which specify why things have the normative features they do, are ubiquitous in normative theory and ordinary thought. But there is much less work on normative explanation than on scientific or metaphysical explanation. Skow (2016) argues that a complete answer to the question why some fact Q occurs consists in all of the reasons why Q occurs. This paper explores this theory as a case study of a general theory that promises to offer us a (...)
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  15. Metaphysical Explanations and the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation.Stefan Roski - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    According to an increasingly popular view among philosophers of science, both causal and non-causal explanations can be accounted for by a single theory: the counterfactual theory of explanation. A kind of non-causal explanation that has gained much attention recently but that this theory seems unable to account for are grounding explanations. Reutlinger (2017) has argued that, despite these appearances to the contrary, such explanations are covered by his version of the counterfactual theory. His idea is supported by recent (...)
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  16. 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 metaphysical (...)
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  17. Essentialist Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2871-2889.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in metaphysical explanation, and philosophers have fixed on the notion of ground as the conceptual tool with which such explanation should be investigated. I will argue that this focus on ground is myopic and that some metaphysical explanations that involve the essences of things cannot be understood in terms of ground. Such ‘essentialist’ explanation is of interest, not only for its ubiquity in philosophy, but for its being (...)
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  18.  75
    Railton, explanation, and metaphysical debates.Seyed Mohammad Hosseini & Majid Akbari - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 24 (5):69-92.
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  19. Explanation.Martin Glazier - 2020 - In Michael J. Raven (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Metaphysical Grounding. London: pp. 121-132.
    I survey the philosophical literature on grounding explanation and its connection to metaphysical ground.
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  20. Essentialism: Metaphysical or Psychological?Moti Mizrahi - 2014 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 14 (1):65-72.
    In this paper, I argue that Psychological Essentialism (PE), the view that essences are a heuristic or mental shortcut, is a better explanation for modal intuitions than Metaphysical Essentialism (ME), the view that objects have essences, or more precisely, that (at least some) objects have (at least some) essential properties. If this is correct, then the mere fact that we have modal intuitions is not a strong reason to believe that objects have essential properties.
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  21. 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 fail to (...)
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  22. Explanation and Explanationism in Science and Metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - forthcoming - In Matthew Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the status of inference to the best explanation in naturalistic metaphysics. The methodology of inference to the best explanation in metaphysics is studied from the perspective of contemporary views on scientific explanation and explanatory inferences in the history and philosophy of science. This reveals serious shortcomings in prevalent attempts to vindicate metaphysical "explanationism" by reference to similarities between science and naturalistic metaphysics. This critique is brought out by considering a common gambit of methodological (...)
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  23. Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used (...)
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  24. Mechanistic Explanation: Asymmetry Lost.Samuel Schindler - 2013 - In Karakostas and Dieks (ed.), “Recent Progress in Philosophy of Science: Perspectives and Foundational Problems”. Springer.
    In a recent book and an article, Carl Craver construes the relations between different levels of a mechanism, which he also refers to as constitutive relations, in terms of mutual manipulability (MM). Interpreted metaphysically, MM implies that inter-level relations are symmetrical. MM thus violates one of the main desiderata of scientific explanation, namely explanatory asymmetry. Parts of Craver’s writings suggest a metaphysical interpretation of MM, and Craver explicitly commits to constitutive relationships being symmetrical. The paper furthermore explores the (...)
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  25. The Ground of Ground, Essence, and Explanation.Michael Wallner - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1257-1277.
    This paper is about the so-called meta-grounding question, i.e. the question of what grounds grounding facts of the sort ‘ϕ is grounded in Γ’. An answer to this question is pressing since some plausible assumptions about grounding and fundamentality entail that grounding facts must be grounded. There are three different accounts on the market which each answer the meta-grounding question differently: Bennett’s and deRosset’s “Straight Forward Account”, Litland’s “Zero-Grounding Account”, and “Grounding Essentialism”. I argue that if grounding is to be (...)
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  26. Eight Other Questions About Explanation.Angela Potochnik - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The tremendous philosophical focus on how to characterize explanatory metaphysical dependence has eclipsed a number of other unresolved issued about scientific explanation. The purpose of this paper is taxonomical. I will outline a number of other questions about the nature of explanation and its role in science—eight, to be precise—and argue that each is independent. All of these topics have received some philosophical attention, but none nearly so much as it deserves. Furthermore, existing views on these topics (...)
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  27. Humean Scientific Explanation.Elizabeth Miller - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1311-1332.
    In a recent paper, Barry Loewer attempts to defend Humeanism about laws of nature from a charge that Humean laws are not adequately explanatory. Central to his defense is a distinction between metaphysical and scientific explanations: even if Humeans cannot offer further metaphysical explanations of particular features of their “mosaic,” that does not preclude them from offering scientific explanations of these features. According to Marc Lange, however, Loewer’s distinction is of no avail. Defending a transitivity principle linking scientific (...)
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  28. Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about (...)
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  29.  89
    Essence and Explanation.Albert Casullo - 2020 - Metaphysics 2 (1):88-96.
    In Necessary Beings, Bob Hale addresses two questions: What is the source of necessity? What is the source of our knowledge of it? He offers novel responses to them in terms of the metaphysical notion of nature or, more familiarly, essence. In this paper, I address Hale’s response to the first question. My assessment is negative. I argue that his essentialist explanation of the source of necessity suffers from three significant shortcomings. First, Hale’s leading example of an essentialist (...)
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  30. 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 argue that (...)
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  31. Judgements of Metaphysical Explanations Are Context Sensitive.Andrew James Latham & Kristie Miller - manuscript
    Empirical investigation of the conditions under which people prefer, or disprefer, causal explanation, has suggested to many that our judgements about what causally explains what are context sensitive in a number of ways. This has led many to suppose that whether or not a causal explanation obtains depends on various contextual factors, and that said explanations can obtain in one context, and not in another: they are both subjective and agent-relative. Surprisingly, most accounts of metaphysical explanation (...)
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  32. Normative Explanation Unchained.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    [This paper is available as open access from the publisher.] Normative theories aim to explain why things have the normative features they have. This paper argues that, contrary to some plausible existing views, one important kind of normative explanations which first-order normative theories aim to formulate and defend can fail to transmit downward along chains of metaphysical determination of normative facts by non-normative facts. Normative explanation is plausibly subject to a kind of a justification condition whose satisfaction may (...)
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  33. Conscious States and Conscious Creatures: Explanation in the Scientific Study of Consciousness.Tim Bayne - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):1–22.
    Explanation does not exist in a metaphysical vacuum. Conceptions of the structure of a phenomenon play an important role in guiding attempts to explain it, and erroneous conceptions of a phenomenon may direct investigation in misleading directions. I believe that there is a case to be made for thinking that much work on the neural underpinnings of consciousness—what is often called the neural correlates of consciousness—is driven by an erroneous conception of the structure of consciousness. The aim of (...)
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  34. Metaphysical Libertarianism and the Epistemology of Testimony.Peter J. Graham - 2004 - American Philosophical Quarterly 41 (1):37-50.
    Reductionism about testimony holds that testimonial warrant or entitlement is just a species of inductive warrant. Anti-Reductionism holds that it is different from inductive but analogous to perceptual or memorial warrant. Perception receives much of its positive epistemic status from being reliably truthconducive in normal conditions. One reason to reject the epistemic analogy is that testimony involves agency – it goes through the will of the speaker – but perception does not. A speaker might always choose to lie or otherwise (...)
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  35. The Case for Regularity in Mechanistic Causal Explanation.Holly Andersen - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):415-432.
    How regular do mechanisms need to be, in order to count as mechanisms? This paper addresses two arguments for dropping the requirement of regularity from the definition of a mechanism, one motivated by examples from the sciences and the other motivated by metaphysical considerations regarding causation. I defend a broadened regularity requirement on mechanisms that takes the form of a taxonomy of kinds of regularity that mechanisms may exhibit. This taxonomy allows precise explication of the degree and location of (...)
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  36. Making Sense of Interlevel Causation in Mechanisms From a Metaphysical Perspective.Beate Krickel - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):453-468.
    According to the new mechanistic approach, an acting entity is at a lower mechanistic level than another acting entity if and only if the former is a component in the mechanism for the latter. Craver and Bechtel :547–563, 2007. doi:10.1007/s10539-006-9028-8) argue that a consequence of this view is that there cannot be causal interactions between acting entities at different mechanistic levels. Their main reason seems to be what I will call the Metaphysical Argument: things at different levels of a (...)
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  37. Explanation and Nowness: An Objection to the A-Theory.Leo Carton Mollica - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2513-2530.
    This paper presents an argument against the A-Theory of time. Briefly, I shall contend that the A-Theorist has no explanation for why the present moment in particular has the metaphysical privilege she accords it, and that this puts the theory at a disadvantage. In what follows, I shall begin by presenting this argument. I will follow that with some potential explanations for why the present moment is privileged and reasons militating against them, in addition to some other possible (...)
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  38.  68
    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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  39.  48
    The Metaphysical Commitments of Logic.Thomas Brouwer - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This thesis is about the metaphysics of logic. I argue against a view I refer to as ‘logical realism’. This is the view that the logical constants represent a particular kind of metaphysical structure, which I dub ‘logico-metaphysical structure’. I argue instead for a more metaphysically lightweight view of logic which I dub ‘logical expressivism’. -/- In the first part of this thesis (Chapters I and II) I argue against a number of arguments that Theodore Sider has given (...)
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  40. Nicolai Hartmann and the Metaphysical Foundation of Phylogenetic Systematics.Frederic Tremblay - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (1):56-68.
    When developing phylogenetic systematics, the entomologist Willi Hennig adopted elements from Nicolai Hartmann’s ontology. In this historical essay I take on the task of documenting this adoption. I argue that in order to build a metaphysical foundation for phylogenetic systematics, Hennig adopted from Hartmann four main metaphysical theses. These are (1) that what is real is what is temporal; (2) that the criterion of individuality is to have duration; (3) that species are supra-individuals; and (4) that there are (...)
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  41.  84
    David Patterson, Anti-Semitism and Its Metaphysical Origins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). [REVIEW]Frederic Tremblay - 2017 - European Journal of Jewish Studies 11 (2):203-209.
    This is a critical review of David Patterson's book Anti-Semitism and Its Metaphysical Origins (2015). In this review, I present the author's new explanation of the roots of anti-Semitism, which he finds in the anti-Semite's desire to become like God himself. Patterson's explanation makes an anti-Semite of all those who partake in the "Western rationalist project," especially philosophers (including Jewish philosophers such as Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, and Marx), but also Islamists and anti-Zionist Jews. I criticize Patterson on (...)
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  42. Humanities’ Metaphysical Underpinnings of Late Frontier Scientific Research.Alcibiades Malapi-Nelson - 2014 - Humanities 214 (3):740-765.
    The behavior/structure methodological dichotomy as locus of scientific inquiry is closely related to the issue of modeling and theory change in scientific explanation. Given that the traditional tension between structure and behavior in scientific modeling is likely here to stay, considering the relevant precedents in the history of ideas could help us better understand this theoretical struggle. This better understanding might open up unforeseen possibilities and new instantiations, particularly in what concerns the proposed technological modification of the human condition. (...)
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  43. Ho Pote on Esti and Coupled Entities: A Form of Explanation in Aristotle's Natural Philosophy.Harvey Lederman - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 46:109-64.
    The difficult phrase ὅ ποτε ὄν ἐστι (hereafter ‘OPO’), which occurs in key passages in Aristotle’s discussions of blood and of time, has long vexed interpreters of Aristotle. This paper proposes a new interpretation of OPO, which resolves some textual and interpretative problems about Aristotle’s theories of blood and of time. My interpretation will also shed light on more general issues in Aristotle’s metaphysics. In the passages I will discuss, Aristotle takes both blood and time to be examples of his (...)
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  44. The Problem of Explanation and Reason-Giving Account of Pro Tanto Duties in the Rossian Ethical Framework.Hossein Dabbagh - 2018 - Public Reason 10 (1):69-80.
    Critics often argue that Ross’s metaphysical and epistemological accounts of all-things-considered duties suffer from the problem of explanation. For Ross did not give us any clear explanation of the combination of pro tanto duties, i.e. how principles of pro tanto duties can combine. Following from this, he did not explain how we could arrive at overall justified moral judgements. In this paper, I will argue that the problem of explanation is not compelling. First of all, it (...)
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  45. Four Questions of Iterated Grounding.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):341-364.
    The Question of Iterated Grounding (QIG) asks what grounds the grounding facts. Although the question received a lot of attention in the past few years, it is usually discussed independently of another important issue: the connection between metaphysical explanation and the relation or relations that supposedly “back” it. I will show that once we get clear on the distinction between metaphysical explanation and the relation(s) backing it, we can distinguish no fewer than four questions lumped under (...)
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  46. Symmetric Dependence.Elizabeth Barnes - 2018 - In Ricki Leigh Bliss & Graham Priest (eds.), Reality and Its Structure. Oxford, UK: pp. 50-69.
    Metaphysical orthodoxy maintains that the relation of ontological dependence is irreflexive, asymmetric, and transitive. The goal of this paper is to challenge that orthodoxy by arguing that ontological dependence should be understood as non- symmetric, rather than asymmetric. If we give up the asymmetry of dependence, interesting things follow for what we can say about metaphysical explanation— particularly for the prospects of explanatory holism.
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  47. The Difference Between Epistemic and Metaphysical Necessity.Martin Glazier - 2017 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 6):1409-1424.
    Philosophers have observed that metaphysical necessity appears to be a true or real or genuine form of necessity while epistemic necessity does not. Similarly, natural necessity appears genuine while deontic necessity does not. But what is it for a form of necessity to be genuine? I defend an account of genuine necessity in explanatory terms. The genuine forms of necessity, I argue, are those that provide what I call necessitarianexplanation. I discuss the relationship of necessitarian explanation to ground.
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  48. Modality is Not Explainable by Essence.Carlos Romero - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):121-141.
    Some metaphysicians believe that metaphysical modality is explainable by the essences of objects. In §II, I spell out the definitional view of essence, and in §III, a working notion of metaphysical explanation. Then, in §IV, I consider and reject five natural ways to explain necessity by essence: in terms of the principle that essential properties can't change, in terms of the supposed obviousness of the necessity of essential truth, in terms of the logical necessity of definitions, in (...)
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  49. A Challenge to the New Metaphysics: deRosset, Priority, and Explanation.David Fisher, Hao Hong & Timothy Perrine - forthcoming - Synthese:1-31.
    Priority Theory is an increasingly popular view in metaphysics. By seeing metaphysical questions as primarily concerned with what explains what, instead of merely what exists, it promises not only an interesting approach to traditional metaphysical issues but also the resolution of some outstanding disputes. In a recent paper, Louis deRosset argues that Priority Theory isn’t up to the task: Priority Theory is committed to there being explanations that violate a formal constraint on any adequate explanation. This paper (...)
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  50. Why Does Pain Hurt?: An Inquiry Into the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation.Richard Oxenberg -
    In this essay I argue that Darwinian theory, far from supporting a philosophy of metaphysical materialism, actually calls materialism into question. Once this is recognized we see that evolutionary theory, for all its successes (which are considerable), is more limited than is generally supposed in its ability to reveal or explain the ultimate thrust of life.
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