Results for 'theories of explanation'

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  1. The Contextual Theory of Explanation and Inference to the Best Explanation.Seungbae Park - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (2):311-326.
    Van Fraassen explains rejections and asymmetries in science in terms of his contextual theory of explanation in the same way that scientists explain observable phenomena in the world in terms of scientific theories. I object that van Fraassen’s skeptical view regarding inference to the best explanation together with the English view of rationality jointly imply that the contextual theory is not rationally compelling, so van Fraassen and his epistemic colleagues can rationally disbelieve it. Prasetya replies that the (...)
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  2. The pragmatic-rhetorical theory of explanation.Jan Faye - 2007 - In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science Vol. 252. Dordrecht: Springer Verlag. pp. 43-68.
    The pragmatic theory of explanation is an attempt to see explanation as a linguistic response to a cognitive problem where the content of the response depends on the context of the scientific inquiry. The present paper draws on the rhetorical situation, as it is defined by Loyld Bitzer, in order to understand how the context may influence the content as well as the acceptability of the response.
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  3. General Theory of Topological Explanations and Explanatory Asymmetry.Daniel Kostic - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375 (1796):1-8.
    In this paper, I present a general theory of topological explanations, and illustrate its fruitfulness by showing how it accounts for explanatory asymmetry. My argument is developed in three steps. In the first step, I show what it is for some topological property A to explain some physical or dynamical property B. Based on that, I derive three key criteria of successful topological explanations: a criterion concerning the facticity of topological explanations, i.e. what makes it true of a particular system; (...)
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  4. Inference to the Best Explanation and van Fraassen’s Contextual Theory of Explanation: Reply to Park.Yunus Prasetya - 2021 - Axiomathes 32 (2):355-365.
    Seungbae Park argues that Bas van Fraassen’s rejection of inference to the best explanation (IBE) is problematic for his contextual theory of explanation because van Fraassen uses IBE to support the contextual theory. This paper provides a defense of van Fraassen’s views from Park’s objections. I point out three weaknesses of Park’s objection against van Fraassen. First, van Fraassen may be perfectly content to accept the implications that Park claims to follow from his views. Second, even if van (...)
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  5. Metaphysical explanations and the counterfactual theory of explanation.Stefan Roski - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1971-1991.
    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 :239-256, 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 (...)
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  6. 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 account (...)
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  7. Husserl’s Theory of Scientific Explanation: A Bolzanian Inspired Unificationist Account.Heath Williams & Thomas Byrne - 2022 - Husserl Studies 38 (2):171-196.
    Husserl’s early picture of explanation in the sciences has never been completely provided. This lack represents an oversight, which we here redress. In contrast to currently accepted interpretations, we demonstrate that Husserl does not adhere to the much maligned deductive-nomological (DN) model of scientific explanation. Instead, via a close reading of early Husserlian texts, we reveal that he presents a unificationist account of scientific explanation. By doing so, we disclose that Husserl’s philosophy of scientific explanation is (...)
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  8. Reduction and levels of explanation in connectionism.John Sutton - 1995 - In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on Cognitive Science, Volume 1: Theories, Experiments, and Foundations. Ablex Publishing. 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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  9. City and Soul in Plato and Alfarabi: An Explanation for the Differences Between Plato’s and Alfarabi’s Theory of City in Terms of Their Distinct Psychology.Ishraq Ali & Mingli Qin - 2020 - Axiomathes 30 (1):91-105.
    In his political treatise, Mabadi ara ahl al-madina al-fadhila, Abu Nasr Alfarabi, the medieval Muslim philosopher, proposes a theory of virtuous city which, according to prominent scholars, is modeled on Plato’s utopia of the Republic. No doubt that Alfarabi was well-versed in the philosophy of Plato and the basic framework of his theory of city is platonic. However, his theory of city is not an exact reproduction of the Republic’s theory and, despite glaring similarities, the two theories do differ (...)
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  10. Theories of Violence and the Explanation of Ultra-violent Behavior.Michael J. Shaffer & Patricia Turrisi - 2008 - In T. Levin (ed.), Violence: Mercurial Gestalt.
    Theorists in various scientific disciplines offer radically different accounts of the origin of violent behavior in humans, but it is not clear how the study of violence is to be scientifically grounded. This problem is made more complicated because both what sorts of acts constitute violence and what needs to be appealed to in explaining violence differs according to social scientists, biologists, anthropologists and neurophysiologists, and this generates serious problems with respect to even attempting to ascertain the differential bona fides (...)
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    Dissertation Abstract - Math Over Mechanism: Proposing the Rational-Relational Theory of Scientific Explanation in Light of Impinging Constraints of New Mechanism.Jenny Nielsen - forthcoming - In ProQuest.
    In this dissertation I achieve the following: (1) I present motivating criteria for a general comprehensive theory of scientific explanation. I review historical approaches to modeling explanation in light of these criteria. (2) I present New Mechanist Explanation ("NME") as the leading candidate for a contemporary, complete theory of scientific explanation. (3) I present constraints on the applicability of New Mechanism in modeling biology, chemistry, and physics. I argue for the unsuitability of NME as a candidate (...)
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  12. Explanation in theories of the specious present.Valtteri Arstila - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1–24.
    Time-consciousness theories aim to explain what our experi­ences must be like so that we can experience change, succes­sion, and other temporally extended events (or at least why we believe we have such experiences). The most popular and influential explanations are versions of theories of the spe­ cious present, which maintain that what we experience appears to us as temporally extended. However, the role that specious presents have in bringing about temporal experiences remains undescribed. The briefly mentioned suggestions maintain (...)
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  13. Chimpanzee Theory of Mind: Looking in All the Wrong Places?Kristin Andrews - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (5):521-536.
    I respond to an argument presented by Daniel Povinelli and Jennifer Vonk that the current generation of experiments on chimpanzee theory of mind cannot decide whether chimpanzees have the ability to reason about mental states. I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's proposed experiment is subject to their own criticisms and that there should be a more radical shift away from experiments that ask subjects to predict behavior. Further, I argue that Povinelli and Vonk's theoretical commitments should lead them to accept (...)
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  14. The Limits of New Mechanism as a General Theory of Scientific Explanation.Nielsen Jenny - forthcoming - Dissertation, University of Kansas
    Dissertation Prospectus. Exploring the limits of New Mechanism as a general theory of scientific explanation, limiting its scope and proposing constraints.
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  15. Normal Knowledge: Toward an Explanation-Based Theory of Knowledge.Andrew Peet & Eli Pitcovski - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (3):141-157.
    In this paper we argue that knowledge is characteristically safe true belief. We argue that an adequate approach to epistemic luck must not be indexed to methods of belief formation, but rather to explanations for belief. This shift is problematic for several prominent approaches to the theory of knowledge, including virtue reliabilism and proper functionalism (as normally conceived). The view that knowledge is characteristically safe true belief is better able to accommodate the shift in question.
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  16. Cultural Attractor Theory and Explanation.Andrew Buskell - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (13).
    Cultural attractor theory (CAT) is a highly visible and audacious approach to studying human cultural evolution. However, the explanatory aims and some central explanatory concepts of CAT remain unclear. Here I remedy these problems. I provide a reconstruction of CAT that recasts it as a theory of forces. I then demonstrate how this reinterpretation of CAT has the resources to generate both cultural distribution and evolvability explanations. I conclude by examining the potential benefits and drawbacks of this reconstruction.
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  17. Explanation = Unification? A New Criticism of Friedman’s Theory and a Reply to an Old One.Roche William & Sober Elliott - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):391-413.
    According to Michael Friedman’s theory of explanation, a law X explains laws Y1, Y2, …, Yn precisely when X unifies the Y’s, where unification is understood in terms of reducing the number of independently acceptable laws. Philip Kitcher criticized Friedman’s theory but did not analyze the concept of independent acceptability. Here we show that Kitcher’s objection can be met by modifying an element in Friedman’s account. In addition, we argue that there are serious objections to the use that Friedman (...)
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  18. The theory of the organism-environment system: I. Description of the theory.Timo Jarvilehto - 1998 - Integrative Physiological and Behavioral Science 33 (4):321-334.
    The theory of the organism-environment system starts with the proposition that in any functional sense organism and environment are inseparable and form only one unitary system. The organism cannot exist without the environment and the environment has descriptive properties only if it is connected to the organism. Although for practical purposes we do separate organism and environment, this common-sense starting point leads in psychological theory to problems which cannot be solved. Therefore, separation of organism and environment cannot be the basis (...)
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  19. A Theory of Practical Meaning.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Topics 45 (2):65-96.
    This essay is divided into two parts. In the first part (§2), I introduce the idea of practical meaning by looking at a certain kind of procedural systems — the motor system — that play a central role in computational explanations of motor behavior. I argue that in order to give a satisfactory account of the content of the representations computed by motor systems (motor commands), we need to appeal to a distinctively practical kind of meaning. Defending the explanatory relevance (...)
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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. Is predictive processing a theory of perceptual consciousness?Tomas Marvan & Marek Havlík - 2021 - New Ideas in Psychology 61 (21).
    Predictive Processing theory, hotly debated in neuroscience, psychology and philosophy, promises to explain a number of perceptual and cognitive phenomena in a simple and elegant manner. In some of its versions, the theory is ambitiously advertised as a new theory of conscious perception. The task of this paper is to assess whether this claim is realistic. We will be arguing that the Predictive Processing theory cannot explain the transition from unconscious to conscious perception in its proprietary terms. The explanations offer (...)
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  23. A Theory of Epistemic Supererogation.Han Li - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):349-367.
    Though there is a wide and varied literature on ethical supererogation, there has been almost nothing written about its epistemic counterpart, despite an intuitive analogy between the two fields. This paper seeks to change this state of affairs. I will begin by showing that there are examples which intuitively feature epistemically supererogatory doxastic states. Next, I will present a positive theory of epistemic supererogation that can vindicate our intuitions in these examples, in an explanation that parallels a popular theory (...)
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  24. Reason and Causation in Davidson's Theory of Action Explanation.Carlos J. Moya - 1998 - Critica 30 (89):29-43.
    Davidson’s famous 1963 paper “Actions, Reasons, and Causes” contains, in nuce, the main lines of Davidson’s philosophy of action and mind. It also contains the seeds of some major problems of Davidson’s thought in these fields. I shall defend, following Davidson, that rationalization or reasons explanation is a species of causal explanation, but I will be contending, against Davidson’s approach, that causality is best viewed, in this kind of explanation, as an integral aspect of justification itself, and (...)
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  25. The mechanistic approach of The Theory of Island Biogeography and its current relevance.Viorel Pâslaru - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):22-33.
    Philosophers of science have examined The Theory of Island Biogeography by Robert MacArthur and E. O. Wilson (1967) mainly due to its important contribution to modeling in ecology, but they have not examined it as a representative case of ecological explanation. In this paper, I scrutinize the type of explanation used in this paradigmatic work of ecology. I describe the philosophy of science of MacArthur and Wilson and show that it is mechanistic. Based on this account and in (...)
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  26. An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):214-233.
    The first part of this paper finds Craver’s (2007) mutual manipulability theory (MM) of constitution inadequate, as it definitionally ties constitution to the feasibility of idealized experiments, which, however, are unrealizable in principle. As an alternative, the second part develops an abductive theory of constitution (NDC), which exploits the fact that phenomena and their constituents are unbreakably coupled via common causes. The best explanation for this common-cause coupling is the existence of an additional dependence relation, viz. constitution. Apart from (...)
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  27. A New Theory of Serendipity: Nature, Emergence and Mechanism.Quan-Hoang Vuong (ed.) - 2022 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter.
    When you type the word “serendipity” in a word-processor application such as Microsoft Word, the autocorrection engine suggests you choose other words like “luck” or “fate”. This correcting act turns out to be incorrect. However, it points to the reality that serendipity is not a familiar English word and can be misunderstood easily. Serendipity is a very much scientific concept as it has been found useful in numerous scientific discoveries, pharmaceutical innovations, and numerous humankind’s technical and technological advances. Therefore, there (...)
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  28. A New Perceptual Theory of Introspection.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - In Routledge Handbook of Introspection. London: Routledge.
    According to the perceptual theory of introspection, introspection is a kind of perception of our mental life. To evaluate the perceptual theory’s plausibility, we obviously need to know what entitles a mental phenomenon to the qualification “perceptual.” I start by arguing that this task is complicated by the fact that we really have two notions of the perceptual: a functional notion and a phenomenological notion. The heart of the chapter is an argument that even if we have no reason to (...)
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  29. Chrysippus' Theory of Causes.Susanne Bobzien - 1998 - In Katerina Ierodiakonou (ed.), Topics in stoic philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
    ABSTRACT: A systematic reconstruction of Chrysippus’ theory of causes, grounded on the Stoic tenets that causes are bodies, that they are relative, and that all causation can ultimately be traced back to the one ‘active principle’ which pervades all things. I argue that Chrysippus neither developed a finished taxonomy of causes, nor intended to do so, and that he did not have a set of technical terms for mutually exclusive classes of causes. Rather, the various adjectives which he used for (...)
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  30. Descartes on the Theory of Life and Methodology in the Life Sciences.Karen Detlefsen - 2016 - In Peter Distelzweig, Evan Ragland & Benjamin Goldberg (eds.), Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 141-72.
    As a practicing life scientist, Descartes must have a theory of what it means to be a living being. In this paper, I provide an account of what his theoretical conception of living bodies must be. I then show that this conception might well run afoul of his rejection of final causal explanations in natural philosophy. Nonetheless, I show how Descartes might have made use of such explanations as merely hypothetical, even though he explicitly blocks this move. I conclude by (...)
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  31. Lesser degrees of explanation: further implications of F. A. Hayek's methodology of sciences of complex phenomena.Scott Scheall - 2015 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):42.
    F.A. Hayek argued that the sciences of complex phenomena, including (perhaps especially) economics, are limited to incomplete “explanations of the principle” and “pattern predictions.” According to Hayek, these disciplines suffer from (what I call) a data problem, i.e., the hopelessness of populating theoretical models with data adequate to full explanations and precise predictions. In Hayek’s terms, explanations in these fields are always a matter of “degree.” However, Hayek’s methodology implies a distinct theory problem: theoretical models of complex phenomena may be (...)
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  32. Explanatory reasoning in the material theory of induction.William Peden - 2022 - Metascience 31 (3):303-309.
    In his recent book, John Norton has created a theory of inference to the best explanation, within the context of his "material theory of induction". I apply it to the problem of scientific explanations that are false: if we want the theories in our explanations to be true, then why do historians and scientists often say that false theories explained phenomena? I also defend Norton's theory against some possible objections.
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  33. Advanced Theory of Consciousness.Carlo Roselli - manuscript - Translated by Carlo Roselli.
    The topic of this article is consciousness and, in it, I will theorize what consciousness is like and where it arises from. The work began to emerge and develop over time starting from my belief that consciousness is a physical self-referential phenomenon; thus, my attention was focused on the research for a self-referential process. I was confident that I could satisfy my curiosity through the reductionist method adopted by science. Unfortunately, neuroscientists and philosophers of mind realized that the attempts to (...)
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  34. Aristotle’s theory of demonstration and its logical and metaphysical entanglements.Lucas Angioni & Breno Zuppolini - 2019 - Manuscrito 42 (4):i-ix.
    This is an Editorial Note for the special volume of the journal Manuscrito (42: 4) devoted to Aristotle's theory of demonstration and its logical and metaphysical entanglements, which has been organized by me and Breno Zuppolini (as Guest Editors), with papers authored by Benjamin Morison, Owen Goldin, David Bronstein, Michail Peramatzis, Andrea Falcon, Laura Castelli, Paolo Fait, Joseph Karbowski, Adam Crager, Klaus Corcilius, Robert J. Hankinson, Raphael Zillig and Pieter Sjoerd Hasper.
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  35. The Theory of Substance in John Locke’s Essay concerning Human Understanding.Carlota Salgadinho Ferreira & Vinícius França Freitas - 2023 - Trans/Form/Ação 46 (2):35-60.
    In this paper, we intend to offer an interpretation about the explanation of the (relative) idea of pure substance in general on John Locke’s philosophy, from Thomas Reid’s notion of ‘natural suggestion’. To achieve this aim, after contextualizing Locke’s notion of pure substance in general and distinguishing it from the idea of particular substance (section 1), we explicit that Locke’s words about the source of the idea of the former in the mind (either empirical or rational) are ambiguous and (...)
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  36. Book reviews : Forms of explanation. Rethinking the questions in social theory. By Alan Garfinkel. New Haven, Conn.: Yale university press, 1981. Pp. 184. $16.00. [REVIEW]Stephen Turner - 1984 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 14 (3):416-418.
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  37. A new empirical challenge for local theories of consciousness.Matthias Michel & Adrien Doerig - 2021 - Mind and Language 37 (5):840-855.
    Local theories of consciousness state that one is conscious of a feature if it is adequately represented and processed in sensory brain areas, given some background conditions. We challenge the core prediction of local theories based on long-lasting postdictive effects demonstrating that features can be represented for hundreds of milliseconds in perceptual areas without being consciously perceived. Unlike previous empirical data aimed against local theories, localists cannot explain these effects away by conjecturing that subjects are phenomenally conscious (...)
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  38. An Embodied Predictive Processing Theory of Pain.Julian Kiverstein, Michael David Kirchhoff & Mick Thacker - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (1):1-26.
    This paper aims to provide a theoretical framework for explaining the subjective character of pain experience in terms of what we will call ‘embodied predictive processing’. The predictive processing (PP) theory is a family of views that take perception, action, emotion and cognition to all work together in the service of prediction error minimisation. In this paper we propose an embodied perspective on the PP theory we call the ‘embodied predictive processing (EPP) theory. The EPP theory proposes to explain pain (...)
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  39. Towards a Unified Theory of Illocutionary Normativity.Neri Marsili - 2023 - In Laura Caponetto & Paolo Labinaz (eds.), Sbisà on Speech as Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 2147483647-2147483647.
    Speech acts are governed by a variety of illocutionary norms. Building on Sbisà’s (2019) work, this chapter attempts to develop a common framework to study them. Four families of illocutionary rules are identified: (i) Validity rules set conditions for (actual) performance; (ii) Cooperative rules set conditions for cooperative performance; (iii) Illocutionary goals set conditions for successful performance; (iv) Illocutionary obligations set conditions for compliance. Illocutionary rules are often taken to play a constitutive role: speech acts are said to be constituted (...)
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  40. Does IBE Require a ‘Model’ of Explanation?Frank Cabrera - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):727-750.
    In this article, I consider an important challenge to the popular theory of scientific inference commonly known as ‘inference to the best explanation’, one that has received scant attention.1 1 The problem is that there exists a wide array of rival models of explanation, thus leaving IBE objectionably indeterminate. First, I briefly introduce IBE. Then, I motivate the problem and offer three potential solutions, the most plausible of which is to adopt a kind of pluralism about the rival (...)
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  41. Lesser Degrees of Explanation: Some Implications of F.A. Hayek’s Methodology of Sciences of Complex Phenomena.Scott Scheall - 2015 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 8 (1):42-60.
    From the early-1950s on, F.A. Hayek was concerned with the development of a methodology of sciences that study systems of complex phenomena. Hayek argued that the knowledge that can be acquired about such systems is, in virtue of their complexity (and the comparatively narrow boundaries of human cognitive faculties), relatively limited. The paper aims to elucidate the implications of Hayek’s methodology with respect to the specific dimensions along which the scientist’s knowledge of some complex phenomena may be limited. Hayek’s fallibilism (...)
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  42. Linguistics as a Theory of Knowledge.Jesús Gerardo Martínez del Castillo - 2015 - Education and Linguistics Research 1 (2):62-84.
    A theory of knowledge is the explanation of things in terms of the possibilities and capabilities of the human way of knowing. The human knowledge is the representation of the things apprehended sensitively either through the senses or intuition. A theory of knowledge concludes about the reality of the things studied. As such it is a priori speculation, based on synthetic a priori statements. Its conclusions constitute interpretation, that is, hermeneutics. Linguistics as the science studying real language, that is, (...)
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  43. Strawson, Moral Responsibility, and the "Order of Explanation": An Intervention.Patrick Todd - 2016 - Ethics 127 (1):208-240.
    P.F. Strawson’s (1962) “Freedom and Resentment” has provoked a wide range of responses, both positive and negative, and an equally wide range of interpretations. In particular, beginning with Gary Watson, some have seen Strawson as suggesting a point about the “order of explanation” concerning moral responsibility: it is not that it is appropriate to hold agents responsible because they are morally responsible, rather, it is ... well, something else. Such claims are often developed in different ways, but one thing (...)
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  44. The Humean theory of reasons.Mark Schroeder - 2007 - In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Volume 2. Oxford University Press UK. pp. 195--219.
    This paper offers a simple and novel motivation for the Humean Theory of Reasons. According to the Humean Theory of Reasons, all reasons must be explained by some psychological state of the agent for whom they are reasons, such as a desire. This view is commonly thought¹ to be motivated by a substantive theory about the power of reasons to motivate known as reason internalism, and a substantive theory about the possibility of being motivated without a desire known as the (...)
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  45. Folk theory of mind: Conceptual foundations of social cognition.Bertram F. Malle - 2003 - In [Book Chapter] (in Press). pp. 225-255.
    The human ability to represent, conceptualize, and reason about mind and behavior is one of the greatest achievements of human evolution and is made possible by a “folk theory of mind” — a sophisticated conceptual framework that relates different mental states to each other and connects them to behavior. This chapter examines the nature and elements of this framework and its central functions for social cognition. As a conceptual framework, the folk theory of mind operates prior to any particular conscious (...)
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  46. A comprehensive theory of induction and abstraction, part I.Cael L. Hasse -
    I present a solution to the epistemological or characterisation problem of induction. In part I, Bayesian Confirmation Theory (BCT) is discussed as a good contender for such a solution but with a fundamental explanatory gap (along with other well discussed problems); useful assigned probabilities like priors require substantive degrees of belief about the world. I assert that one does not have such substantive information about the world. Consequently, an explanation is needed for how one can be licensed to act (...)
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  47. Responsibility in Descartes’s Theory of Judgment.Marie Jayasekera - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:321-347.
    In this paper I develop a new account of the philosophical motivations for Descartes’s theory of judgment. The theory needs explanation because the idea that judgment, or belief, is an operation of the will seems problematic at best, and Descartes does not make clear why he adopted what, at the time, was a novel view. I argue that attending to Descartes’s conception of the will as the active, free faculty of mind reveals that a general concern with responsibility motivates (...)
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  48. Spinoza and the Theory of Organism.Hans Jonas - 1965 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 3 (1):43-57.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Spinoza and the Theory of Organism HANS JONAS I CARTESIANDUALISMlanded speculation on the nature of life in an impasse: intelligible as, on principles of mechanics, the correlation of structure and function became within the res extensa, that of structure-plus-function with feeling or experience (modes of the res cogitans) was lost in the bifurcation, and thereby the fact of life itself became unintelligible at the same time that the (...) of its bodily performance seemed to be assured. The impasse became manifest in Occasionalism : its tour de force of an extraneous, divine "synchronization" of the outer and the inner world (the latter denied to animals) not only suffered from its extreme artificiality, the common failing of such ad hoc constructions, but even at so high a cost failed to accomplish its theoretical purpose by its own terms. For the animal machine, like any machine, raises beyond the question of the "how" that of the "what for" of its functioning---of the purpose for which it had thus been constructed by its maker.1 Its performance, however devoid of immanent teleology, must serve an end, and that end must be someone's end. This end may (directly) be itself, as indeed Descartes had implied when declaring self-preservation to be the effect of the functioning of the organic automaton. In that case the existence as such of the machine would be its end--either terminally, or in turn to benefit something else. In the former case, the machine would have to be more than a machine, for a mere machine cannot enioy its existence. But since, by the rigorous conception of the res extensa, it cannot be more than a machine, its function and/or existence must serve something other than itself. Automata in Descartes ' time were mainly for entertainment (rather than work). But the raison d'etre of the living kingdom could not well be seen in God's indulging his mechanical abilities or in the amusement of celestial spectators--especially since mere complexity of arrangement does not create new quality and thus add something to the unrelieved sameness of the simple substratum that might enrich the spectrum of being. For quality, beyond the primitive determinations of the extended per se, is the subjective creature of sensation, the confused representation of quantity in a mind; and thus organisms cannot harbor it because as mere machines they lack mentality, and pure spirits cannot because they lack sensuality, or the privilege of confusion and thereby of illusion with its possible enjoyment. And as to their intellectual enjoyment, even that, deprived of the thrill of discovery by the same token, would pale in the contemplation of what to sufficiently large The concept of "machine," adopted for its strict confinementto efficientcause, is still a finalisticconcept,even thoughthe final cause is no longer internal to the entity, as a mode of its own operation,but external to it as antecedent design. [43] 44 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY intellects is nothing but the ever-repeated exemplification of the same few, elementary (and ultimately trivial) truths. There remained, then, the time-honored--Stoic as well as Christian--idea that plants and animals are for the benefit of Man. Indeed, since the existence of a living world is the necessary condition for the existence of any of its members, the self-justifying nature of at least one such member (= species) would justify the existence of the whole. In Stoicism, Man provided this end by his possession of reason, which makes him the culmination of a terrestrial scale of being that is also self-justifying throughout all its grades (the end as the best of many that are good in degrees) ; in Christianity, by his possession of an immortal soul, which makes him the sole imago Dei in creation (the end as the sole issue at stake) ; and Cartesian dualism radicalized this latter position by making man even the sole possessor of inwardness or "soul" of any kind, thus the only one of whom "end" can meaningfully be predicated as he alone can entertain ends. All other life then, the product of physical necessity, can be considered his means. However, this traditional idea, in its anthropocentric vanity never a... (shrink)
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  49. Etiological Explanations: Illness Causation Theory.Olaf Dammann - 2020 - Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press.
    Theory of illness causation is an important issue in all biomedical sciences, and solid etiological explanations are needed in order to develop therapeutic approaches in medicine and preventive interventions in public health. Until now, the literature about the theoretical underpinnings of illness causation research has been scarce and fragmented, and lacking a convenient summary. This interdisciplinary book provides a convenient and accessible distillation of the current status of research into this developing field, and adds a personal flavor to the discussion (...)
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  50. The Abductive Case for Humeanism over Quasi-Perceptual Theories of Desire.Derek Clayton Baker - 2014 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 8 (2):1-29.
    A number of philosophers have offered quasi-perceptual theories of desire, according to which to desire something is roughly to “see” it as having value or providing reasons. These are offered as alternatives to the more traditional Humean Theory of Motivation, which denies that desires have a representational aspect. This paper examines the various considerations offered by advocates to motivate quasi-perceptualism. It argues that Humeanism is in fact able to explain the same data that the quasi-perceptualist can explain, and in (...)
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