Results for 'psychological explanation'

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  1. Psychological Explanation: An Introduction To The Philosophy Of Psychology.Jerry A. Fodor - 1968 - Ny: Random House.
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  2. Is Psychological Explanation Going Extinct?Cory Wright - 2007 - In Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice Schouten (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: 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 (...)
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  3. Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation.Cory Wright & William Bechtel - 2007 - In Paul Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
    As much as assumptions about mechanisms and mechanistic explanation have deeply affected psychology, they have received disproportionately little analysis in philosophy. After a historical survey of the influences of mechanistic approaches to explanation of psychological phenomena, we specify the nature of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. Contrary to some treatments of mechanistic explanation, we maintain that explanation is an epistemic activity that involves representing and reasoning about mechanisms. We discuss the manner in which mechanistic approaches (...)
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  4. What is Psychological Explanation?William Bechtel & Cory Wright - 2009 - In P. Calvo & J. Symons (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Psychology. 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 (...)
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  5. Williamson on Knowledge and Psychological Explanation.P. D. Magnus & Jonathan Cohen - 2003 - Philosophical Studies 116 (1):37-52.
    According to many philosophers, psychological explanation canlegitimately be given in terms of belief and desire, but not in termsof knowledge. To explain why someone does what they do (so the common wisdom holds) you can appeal to what they think or what they want, but not what they know. Timothy Williamson has recently argued against this view. Knowledge, Williamson insists, plays an essential role in ordinary psychological explanation.Williamson's argument works on two fronts.First, he argues against the (...)
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  6. Knowledge, Provenance and Psychological Explanation.Robert Lockie - 2004 - Philosophy 79 (3):421-433.
    Analytic theories of knowledge have traditionally maintained that the provenance of a true belief is critically important to deciding whether it is knowledge. However, a comparably widespread view is that it is our beliefs alone, regardless of their (potentially dubious) provenance which feature in psychological explanation, including the explanation of action: thus, that knowledge itself and as such is irrelevant in psychological explanation. The paper gives initial reasons why the ‘beliefs alone’ view of explanation (...)
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  7. 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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  8.  71
    Choosing Between the Long and Short Informational Routes to Psychological Explanation.Marc Champagne - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):129-138.
    Following recent work by Don Ross (Ross, 2000; Ross & Spurrett, 2004), I contrast the influential theories of Daniel Dennett and Paul Churchland in information-theoretic terms. Dennett makes much of the fact that the morphological shorthand which emerges before a witness as she looks upon cohesive aggregates of matter commands some measure of predictive power. This, for him, speaks against eliminating recourse to an intentional vocabulary. By contrast, the eliminative materialism defended by Churchland does not gloss such informational compressibility as (...)
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  9. 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 (...)
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  10. 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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  11.  50
    Are Psychopaths Moral‐Psychologically Impaired? Reassessing Emotion‐Theoretical Explanations.Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (2):177-193.
    Psychopathy has been theorized as a disorder of emotion, which impairs moral judgments. However, these theories are increasingly being abandoned as empirical studies show that psychopaths seem to make proper moral judgments. In this contribution, these findings are reassessed, and it is argued that prevalent emotion‐theories of psychopathy appear to operate with the unjustified assumption that psychopaths have no emotions, which leads to the hypothesis that psychopaths are completely unable to make moral judgments. An alternative and novel explanation is (...)
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  12. Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    A compelling idea holds that reality has a layered structure. We often disagree about what inhabits the bottom layer, but we agree that higher up we find chemical, biological, geological, psychological, sociological, economic, /etc./, entities: molecules, human beings, diamonds, mental states, cities, interest rates, and so on. How is this intuitive talk of a layered structure of entities to be understood? Traditionally, philosophers have proposed to understand layered structure in terms of either reduction or supervenience. But these traditional views (...)
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  13. Throwing Spatial Light: On Topological Explanations in Gestalt Psychology.Bartłomiej Skowron & Krzysztof Wójtowicz - 2020 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences (3):1-22.
    It is a well-known fact that mathematics plays a crucial role in physics; in fact, it is virtually impossible to imagine contemporary physics without it. But it is questionable whether mathematical concepts could ever play such a role in psychology or philosophy. In this paper, we set out to examine a rather unobvious example of the application of topology, in the form of the theory of persons proposed by Kurt Lewin in his Principles of Topological Psychology. Our aim is to (...)
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  14. High-Level Explanation and the Interventionist’s ‘Variables Problem’.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):553-577.
    The interventionist account of causal explanation, in the version presented by Jim Woodward, has been recently claimed capable of buttressing the widely felt—though poorly understood—hunch that high-level, relatively abstract explanations, of the sort provided by sciences like biology, psychology and economics, are in some cases explanatorily optimal. It is the aim of this paper to show that this is mistaken. Due to a lack of effective constraints on the causal variables at the heart of the interventionist causal-explanatory scheme, as (...)
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  15. Explaining Explanation.Robert A. Wilson & Frank C. Keil - 2000 - In Frank C. And Wilson Keil (ed.), Explanation and Cognition. Cambridge, MA, USA: pp. 1-18.
    It is not a particularly hard thing to want or seek explanations. In fact, explanations seem to be a large and natural part of our cognitive lives. Children ask why and how questions very early in development and seem genuinely to want some sort of answer, despite our often being poorly equipped to provide them at the appropriate level of sophistication and detail. We seek and receive explanations in every sphere of our adult lives, whether it be to understand why (...)
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  16. The Psychological Basis of the Harman-Vogel Paradox.Jennifer Nagel - 2011 - Philosophers' Imprint 11:1-28.
    Harman’s lottery paradox, generalized by Vogel to a number of other cases, involves a curious pattern of intuitive knowledge ascriptions: certain propositions seem easier to know than various higher-probability propositions that are recognized to follow from them. For example, it seems easier to judge that someone knows his car is now on Avenue A, where he parked it an hour ago, than to judge that he knows that it is not the case that his car has been stolen and driven (...)
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  17. Moral Psychology as Accountability.Brendan Dill & Stephen Darwall - 2014 - In Justin D'Arms Daniel Jacobson (ed.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 40-83.
    Recent work in moral philosophy has emphasized the foundational role played by interpersonal accountability in the analysis of moral concepts such as moral right and wrong, moral obligation and duty, blameworthiness, and moral responsibility (Darwall 2006; 2013a; 2013b). Extending this framework to the field of moral psychology, we hypothesize that our moral attitudes, emotions, and motives are also best understood as based in accountability. Drawing on a large body of empirical evidence, we argue that the implicit aim of the central (...)
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  18. Folk Psychology Does Not Exist.Adam Morton - 2007 - In Daniel D. Hutto & Matthew Ratcliffe (eds.), Folk Psychology Re-Assessed. Kluwer/Springer Press. pp. 211--221.
    I discuss the possibility that there is no intrinsic unity to the capacities which are bundled under the label "folk psychology". Cooperative skills, attributional skills, and predictive skills may be scattered as parts of other non--psychological capacities. I discuss how some forms of social life bring these different skills together. I end with some remarks on how abilities that are not unified in their essential mechanisms may still form a rough practical unity. (Remark: the paper is conjectural. It describes (...)
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  19. 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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  20. Evolutionary Psychology, Adaptation and Design.Stephen M. Downes - 2014 - In P. Huneman & M. Silberstein (eds.), Handbook of Evolutionary Thinking in the Sciences. Springer. pp. 659-673.
    I argue that Evolutionary Psychologists’ notion of adaptationism is closest to what Peter Godfrey-Smith (2001) calls explanatory adaptationism and as a result, is not a good organizing principle for research in the biology of human behavior. I also argue that adopting an alternate notion of adaptationism presents much more explanatory resources to the biology of human behavior. I proceed by introducing Evolutionary Psychology and giving some examples of alternative approaches to the biological explanation of human behavior. Next I characterize (...)
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  21. Action Explanation and its Presuppositions.Lilian O’Brien - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):123-146.
    In debates about rationalizing action explanation causalists assume that the psychological states that explain an intentional action have both causal and rational features. I scrutinize the presuppositions of those who seek and offer rationalizing action explanations. This scrutiny shows, I argue, that where rational features play an explanatory role in these contexts, causal features play only a presuppositional role. But causal features would have to play an explanatory role if rationalizing action explanation were a species of causal (...)
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  22. The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
    According to one large family of views, scientific explanations explain a phenomenon (such as an event or a regularity) by subsuming it under a general representation, model, prototype, or schema (see Bechtel, W., & Abrahamsen, A. (2005). Explanation: A mechanist alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36(2), 421–441; Churchland, P. M. (1989). A neurocomputational perspective: The nature of mind and the structure of science. Cambridge: MIT Press; Darden (2006); Hempel, C. G. (1965). Aspects of (...)
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  23.  13
    Phenomenology of Social Explanation.Shannon Spaulding - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.
    The orthodox view of social cognition maintains that mentalizing is an important and pervasive element of our ordinary social interactions. The orthodoxy has come under scrutiny from various sources recently. Critics from the phenomenological tradition argue that phenomenological reflection on our social interactions tells against the orthodox view. Proponents of pluralistic folk psychology argue that our ordinary social interactions extend far beyond mentalizing. Both sorts of critics argue that emphasis in social cognition research ought to be on other elements of (...)
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  24. 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 our (...)
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  25. Actor-Observer Asymmetries in Explanations of Behavior: New Answers to an Old Question.Bertram F. Malle, Joshua Knobe & S. Nelson - 2007 - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 9 (4):491-514.
    A long series of studies in social psychology have shown that the explanations people give for their own behaviors are fundamentally different from the explanations they give for the behaviors of others. Still, a great deal of uncertainty remains about precisely what sorts of differences one finds here. We offer a new approach to addressing the problem. Specifically, we distinguish between two levels of representation ─ the level of linguistic structure (which consists of the actual series of words used in (...)
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  26. The Unplanned Obsolescence of Psychological Science and an Argument for its Revival.Stan Klein - 2016 - Pyshcology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice 3:357-379.
    I examine some of the key scientific pre-commitments of modern psychology, and argue that their adoption has the unintended consequence of rendering a purely psychological analysis of mind indistinguishable from a purely biological treatment. And, since these pre-commitments sanction an “authority of the biological”, explanation of phenomena traditionally considered the purview of psychological analysis is fully subsumed under the biological. I next evaluate the epistemic warrant of these pre-commitments and suggest there are good reasons to question their (...)
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  27.  23
    Habits and Explanation.Louis Caruana - 1998 - The Paidea Project.
    Habits form a crucial part of the everyday conceptual scheme used to explain normal human activity. However, they have been neglected in debates concerning folk-psychology which have concentrated on propositional attitudes such as beliefs. But propositional attitudes are just one of the many mental states. In this paper, I seek to expand the debate by considering mental states other than propositional attitudes. I conclude that the case for the autonomy and plausibility of the folk-psychological explanation is strengthened when (...)
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  28. Psychology, Personal and Subpersonal.Zoe Drayson - 2017 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Explanations in psychology are described as personal when they attribute psychological phenomena to the person, as when we attribute beliefs and thought processes to each other, for example. By contrast, explanations in psychology are described as subpersonal when they attribute psychological phenomena below the level of the person, as occurs when scientists describe parts of the brain as representing or evaluating, for example. The practice of subpersonal psychology raises a number of philosophical issues: whether it is acceptable to (...)
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  29. The True Self: A Psychological Concept Distinct From the Self.Nina Strohminger, Joshua Knobe & George Newman - forthcoming - Perspectives on Psychological Science.
    A long tradition of psychological research has explored the distinction between characteristics that are part of the self and those that lie outside of it. Recently, a surge of research has begun examining a further distinction. Even among characteristics that are internal to the self, people pick out a subset as belonging to the true self. These factors are judged as making people who they really are, deep down. In this paper, we introduce the concept of the true self (...)
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  30. Introduction to Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches.Kristin Andrews, Shannon Spaulding & Evan Westra - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1685-1700.
    This introduction to the topical collection, Folk Psychology: Pluralistic Approaches reviews the origins and basic theoretical tenets of the framework of pluralistic folk psychology. It places special emphasis on pluralism about the variety folk psychological strategies that underlie behavioral prediction and explanation beyond belief-desire attribution, and on the diverse range of social goals that folk psychological reasoning supports beyond prediction and explanation. Pluralism is not presented as a single theory or model of social cognition, but rather (...)
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  31.  82
    Psychological Aposematism: An Evolutionary Analysis of Suicide.James C. Wiley - 2020 - Biological Theory 15 (4):226-238.
    The evolutionary advantage of psychological phenomena can be gleaned by comparing them with physical traits that have proven adaptive in other organisms. The present article provides a novel evolutionary explanation of suicide in humans by comparing it with aposematism in insects. Aposematic insects are brightly colored, making them conspicuous to predators. However, such insects are equipped with toxins that cause a noxious reaction when eaten. Thus, the death of a few insects conditions predators to avoid other insects of (...)
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  32. Evolutionary Psychology and the Selectionist Model of Neural Development: A Combined Approach.Bence Nanay - 2002 - Evolution and Cognition 8:200-206.
    Evolutionary psychology and the selectionist theories of neural development are usually regarded as two unrelated theories addressing two logically distinct questions. The focus of evolutionary psychology is the phylogeny of the human mind, whereas the selectionist theories of neural development analyse the ontogeny of the mind. This paper will endeavour to combine these two approaches in the explanation of the human mind. Doing so might help in overcoming some of the criticisms of both theories. The first part of the (...)
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  33. Language and Scientific Explanation: Where Does Semantics Fit In?Eran Asoulin - 2020 - Berlin, Germany: Language Science Press.
    This book discusses the two main construals of the explanatory goals of semantic theories. The first, externalist conception, understands semantic theories in terms of a hermeneutic and interpretive explanatory project. The second, internalist conception, understands semantic theories in terms of the psychological mechanisms in virtue of which meanings are generated. It is argued that a fruitful scientific explanation is one that aims to uncover the underlying mechanisms in virtue of which the observable phenomena are made possible, and that (...)
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  34. Rational Analysis, Intractability, and the Prospects of ‘as If’-Explanations.Iris van Rooij, Cory D. Wright, Johan Kwisthout & Todd Wareham - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):491-510.
    Despite their success in describing and predicting cognitive behavior, the plausibility of so-called ‘rational explanations’ is often contested on the grounds of computational intractability. Several cognitive scientists have argued that such intractability is an orthogonal pseudoproblem, however, since rational explanations account for the ‘why’ of cognition but are agnostic about the ‘how’. Their central premise is that humans do not actually perform the rational calculations posited by their models, but only act as if they do. Whether or not the problem (...)
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  35. Mental Mechanisms and Psychological Construction.Mitchell Herschbach & William Bechtel - 2014 - In Lisa Feldman Barrett & James Russell (eds.), The Psychological Construction of Emotion. Guilford Press. pp. 21-44.
    Psychological construction represents an important new approach to psychological phenomena, one that has the promise to help us reconceptualize the mind both as a behavioral and as a biological system. It has so far been developed in the greatest detail for emotion, but it has important implications for how researchers approach other mental phenomena such as reasoning, memory, and language use. Its key contention is that phenomena that are characterized in (folk) psychological vocabulary are not themselves basic (...)
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  36. Supervenience and Computational Explanation in Vision Theory.Peter Morton - 1993 - Philosophy of Science 60 (1):86-99.
    According to Marr's theory of vision, computational processes of early vision rely for their success on certain "natural constraints" in the physical environment. I examine the implications of this feature of Marr's theory for the question whether psychological states supervene on neural states. It is reasonable to hold that Marr's theory is nonindividualistic in that, given the role of natural constraints, distinct computational theories of the same neural processes may be justified in different environments. But to avoid trivializing computational (...)
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  37. 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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  38. The Psychology of Free Will.Eddy Nahmias - manuscript
    I argue that the traditional free will debate has focused too much on whether free will is compatible with determinism and not enough on whether free will is compatible with specific causal explanations for our actions, including those offered by empirical psychology. If free will is understood as a set of cognitive and volitional capacities, possessed and exercised to varying degrees, then psychology can inform us about the extent to which humans (as a species and as individuals) possess those capacities (...)
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  39. The Evolutionary Explanation: The Limits of the Desire Theories of Unpleasantness,.Abraham Sapien - 2018 - Contrastes: Revista Internacional de Filosofía 23 (3):121-140.
    Several theorists have defended that unpleasantness can be explained by appealing to (intrinsic, simultaneous, de re) desires for certain experiences not to be occurring. In a nutshell, experiences are unpleasant because we do not want them, and not vice versa. A common criticism for this approach takes the form of a Euthyphro dilemma. Even if there is a solution for this criticism, I argue that this type of approach is limited in two important ways. It cannot provide an explanation (...)
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  40. Psychology and Neuroscience: The Distinctness Question.Brice Bantegnie - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1753-1772.
    In a recent paper, Gualtiero Piccinini and Carl Craver have argued that psychology is not distinct from neuroscience. Many have argued that Piccinini and Craver’s argument is unsuccessful. However, none of these authors have questioned the appropriateness of Piccinini and Craver’s argument for their key premise—that functional analyses are mechanism sketches. My first and main goal in this paper is to show that Piccinini and Craver offer normative considerations in support of what is a descriptive premise and to provide some (...)
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  41. Judgements of Metaphysical Explanations Are Context Sensitive.Andrew J. 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 suppose (...)
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  42. How (Not) to Bring Psychology and Biology Together.Mark Fedyk - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):949-967.
    Evolutionary psychologists often try to “bring together” biology and psychology by making predictions about what specific psychological mechanisms exist from theories about what patterns of behaviour would have been adaptive in the EEA for humans. This paper shows that one of the deepest methodological generalities in evolutionary biology—that proximate explanations and ultimate explanations stand in a many-to-many relation—entails that this inferential strategy is unsound. Ultimate explanations almost never entail the truth of any particular proximate hypothesis. But of course it (...)
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  43. The Shadows and Shallows of Explanation.Robert A. Wilson & Frank Keil - 1998 - Minds and Machines 8 (1):137-159.
    We introduce two notions–the shadows and the shallows of explanation–in opening up explanation to broader, interdisciplinary investigation. The shadows of explanation refer to past philosophical efforts to provide either a conceptual analysis of explanation or in some other way to pinpoint the essence of explanation. The shallows of explanation refer to the phenomenon of having surprisingly limited everyday, individual cognitive abilities when it comes to explanation. Explanations are ubiquitous, but they typically are not (...)
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  44. The Evolutionary Psychology of Human Mating: A Response to Buller's Critique.John Klasios - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 47:1-11.
    In this paper, I critique arguments made by philosopher David Buller against central evolutionary-psychological explanations of human mating. Specifically, I aim to rebut his criticisms of Evolutionary Psychology regarding (1) women's long-term mating preferences for high-status men; (2) the evolutionary rationale behind men's provisioning of women; (3) men's mating preferences for young women; (4) women's adaptation for extra-pair sex; (5) the sex-differentiated evolutionary theory of human jealousy; and (6) the notion of mate value. In sum, I aim to demonstrate (...)
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  45. Individualism, Causal Powers, and Explanation.Robert A. Wilson - 1992 - Philosophical Studies 68 (2):103-39.
    This paper examines a recent, influential argument for individualism in psychology defended by Jerry Fodor and others, what I call the argument from causal powers. I argue that this argument equivocates on the crucial notion of "causal powers", and that this equivocation constitutes a deep problem for arguments of this type. Relational and individualistic taxonomies are incompatible, and it does not seem in general to be possible to factor the former into the latter. The distinction between powers and properties plays (...)
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  46. How to Define Levels of Explanation and Evaluate Their Indispensability.Christopher Clarke - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Some explanations in social science, psychology and biology belong to a higher level than other explanations. And higher explanations possess the virtue of abstracting away from the details of lower explanations, many philosophers argue. As a result, these higher explanations are irreplaceable. And this suggests that there are genuine higher laws or patterns involving social, psychological and biological states. I show that this ‘abstractness argument’ is really an argument schema, not a single argument. This is because the argument uses (...)
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  47. Reduction and Levels of Explanation in Connectionism.John Sutton - 1995 - In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on cognitive science: theories, experiments, and foundations. Ablex. pp. 347-368.
    Recent work in the methodology of connectionist explanation has I'ocrrsccl on the notion of levels of explanation. Specific issucs in conncctionisrn hcrc intersect with rvider areas of debate in the philosophy of psychology and thc philosophy of science generally. The issues I raise in this chapter, then, are not unique to cognitive science; but they arise in new and important contexts when connectionism is taken seriously as a model of cognition. The general questions are the relation between levels (...)
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  48. ‘Pain Always Asks for a Cause’: Nietzsche and Explanation.Matthew Bennett - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1550-1568.
    Those who have emphasised Nietzsche's naturalism have often claimed that he emulates natural scientific methods by offering causal explanations of psychological, social, and moral phenomena. In order to render Nietzsche's method consistent with his methodology, such readers of Nietzsche have also claimed that his objections to the use of causal explanations are based on a limited scepticism concerning the veracity of causal explanations. My contention is that proponents of this reading are wrong about both Nietzsche's methodology and his method. (...)
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  49. Propositional Attitude Psychology as an Ideal Type.Justin Schwartz - 1992 - Topoi 11 (1):5-26.
    This paper critiques the view, widely held by philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists, that psychological explanation is a matter of ascribing propositional attitudes (such as beliefs and desires) towards language-like propositions in the mind, and that cognitive mental states consist in intentional attitudes towards propositions of a linguistic quasi-linguistic nature. On this view, thought is structured very much like a language. Denial that propositional attitude psychology is an adequate account of mind is therefore, on this view, is (...)
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  50. Psychological Nominalism’ and the Given, From Abstract Entities to Animal Minds.James O'Shea - 2017 - In In: Patrick J. Reider, ed., Wilfrid Sellars, Idealism and Realism: Understanding Psychological Nominalism (London and New York: Bloomsbury), 2017: pp. 19–39. London: pp. 19-39.
    ABSTRACT: Sellars formulated his thesis of 'psychological nominalism' in two very different ways: (1) most famously as the thesis that 'all awareness of sorts…is a linguistic affair', but also (2) as a certain thesis about the 'psychology of the higher processes'. The latter thesis denies the standard view that relations to abstract entities are required in order to explain human thought and intentionality, and asserts to the contrary that all such mental phenomena can in principle ‘be accounted for causally' (...)
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