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  1. Jonathan Birch (2012). Robust Processes and Teleological Language. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 3 (3):299-312.
    I consider some hitherto unexplored examples of teleological language in the sciences. In explicating these examples, I aim to show (a) that such language is not the sole preserve of the biological sciences, and (b) that not all such talk is reducible to the ascription of functions. In chemistry and biochemistry, scientists explaining molecular rearrangements and protein folding talk informally of molecules rearranging “in order to” maximize stability. Evolutionary biologists, meanwhile, often speak of traits evolving “in order to” optimize some (...)
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  2. Daniel Cohnitz (2002). Explanations Are Like Salted Peanuts. In A. Beckermann & C. Nimtz (eds.), Argument und Analyse: Proceedings of GAP4. Mentis
    Take a look at these four situations: Figure 1 All of these situations have certain features in common: in all of them an explanation is asked for, in all of them an explanation is given, and all these explanations are literally false (although in different ways).
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  3. Timothy DeibIer (1989). Van Fraassen's (Mis)Use of Aristotle in Theory of Explanation. Southwest Philosophy Review 5 (1):55-61.
  4. Jan Faye, Interpretation in the Natural Sciences.
    Interpretation in science has gained little attention in the past because philosophers of science believed that interpretation belongs to the context of discovery or must be associated with meaning. But scientists often speak about interpretation when they report their findings. Elsewhere I have argue in favour of a pragmatic-rhetorical theory of explanation, and it is in light of this theory that I suggest we can understand interpretation in the natural sciences.
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  5. L. R. Franklin-Hall, The Meta-Explanatory Question.
    Philosophical theories of explanation characterize the difference between correct and incorrect explanations. While remaining neutral as to which of these ‘first-order’ theories is right, this paper asks the ‘meta-explanatory’ question: is the difference between correct and incorrect explanation real, i.e., objective or mind-independent? After offering a framework for distinguishing realist from anti-realist views, I sketch three distinct paths to explanatory anti-realism.
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  6. Kareem Khalifa (2011). Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts. Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284.
    Explanatory contrastivists hold that we often explain phenomena of the form p rather than q. In this paper, I present a new, social‐epistemological model of contrastive explanation—accountabilism. Specifically, my view is inspired by social‐scientific research that treats explanations fundamentally as accounts; that is, communicative actions that restore one's social status when charged with questionable behaviour. After developing this model, I show how accountabilism provides a more comprehensive model of contrastive explanation than the causal models of contrastive explanation that are currently (...)
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  7. Kareem Khalifa (2004). Erotetic Contextualism, Data-Generating Procedures, and Sociological Explanations of Social Mobility. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):38-54.
    Critics of the erotetic model of explanation question its ability to discriminate significant from spurious explanations. One response to these criticisms has been to impose contextual restrictions on a case-by-case basis. In this article, the author argues that these approaches have overestimated the role of interests at the expense of other contextual aspects characteristic of social-scientific explanation. For this reason, he shows how procedures of measuring occupational status and social mobility affected different aspects of one explanation that Peter Blau and (...)
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  8. Antonio Lieto (2015). Some Epistemological Problems with the Knowledge Level in Cognitive Architectures. In Proceedings of AISC 2015, 12th Italian Conference on Cognitive Science, Genoa, 10-12 December 2015, Italy. NeaScience
    This article addresses an open problem in the area of cognitive systems and architectures: namely the problem of handling (in terms of processing and reasoning capabilities) complex knowledge structures that can be at least plausibly comparable, both in terms of size and of typology of the encoded information, to the knowledge that humans process daily for executing everyday activities. Handling a huge amount of knowledge, and selectively retrieve it according to the needs emerging in different situational scenarios, is an important (...)
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  9. Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Carl G. Anderson (1993). Empiricism, Objectivity, and Explanation. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):121-131.
    We sley Salmon, in his influential and detailed book, Four Decades of Scientific Explanation, argues that the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation, “construed as the claim that scientific explanation can be explicated entirely in pragmatic terms” (1989, 185) is inadequate. The specific inadequacy ascribed to a pragmatic account is that objective relevance relations cannot be incorporated into such an account. Salmon relies on the arguments given in Kitcher and Salmon (1987) to ground this objection. He also suggests that Peter Railton’s (...)
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  10. Andrés Páez, The Epistemic Value of Explanation.
    In this paper I defend the idea that there is a sense in which it is meaningful and useful to talk about objective understanding, and that to characterize that notion it is necessary to formulate an account of explanation that makes reference to the beliefs and epistemic goals of the participants in a cognitive enterprise. Using the framework for belief revision developed by Isaac Levi, I analyze the conditions that information must fulfill to be both potentially explanatory and epistemically valuable (...)
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  11. David-Hillel Ruben (1992). Explaining Explanation. Routledge; Paradigm Publishers.
    This book introduces readers to the topic of explanation. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are examined, and are used to argue against the view that explanation is merely a problem for the philosophy of science. Having established its importance for understanding knowledge in general, the book concludes with a bold and original explanation of explanation.
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  12. Wesley C. Salmon (1985). Conflicting Conceptions of Scientific Explanation. Journal of Philosophy 82 (11):651-654.
  13. Guenther Witzany & Frantisek Baluska (2015). Can Subcellular Organization Be Explained Only by Physical Principles? Communicative and Integrative Biology 8 (4):e1009796.
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  14. Petri Ylikoski (2013). Causal and Constitutive Explanation Compared. Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-297.
    This article compares causal and constitutive explanation. While scientific inquiry usually addresses both causal and constitutive questions, making the distinction is crucial for a detailed understanding of scientific questions and their interrelations. These explanations have different kinds of explananda and they track different sorts of dependencies. Constitutive explanations do not address events or behaviors, but causal capacities. While there are some interesting relations between building and causal manipulation, causation and constitution are not to be confused. Constitution is a synchronous and (...)
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  15. Petri Ylikoski (2009). The Illusion of Depth of Understanding in Science. In Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press
    In this chapter I will employ a well-known scientific research heuristic that studies how something works by focusing on circumstances in which it does not work. Rather than trying to describe what scientific understanding would ideally look like, I will try to learn something about it by observing mundane cases where understanding is partly illusory. My main thesis is that scientists are prone to the illusion of depth of understanding (IDU), and as a consequence they sometimes overestimate the detail, coherence, (...)
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