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  1. Laird Addis (1981). Dispositions, Explanation, and Behavior. Inquiry 24 (2):205 – 227.
    According to the theory of dispositions here defended, to have a disposition is to have some (non-dispositional) property that enters into a law of a certain form. The theory does not have the crucial difficulty of the singular material implication account of dispositions, but at the same time avoids the unfortunate notion of 'reduction sentences'. It is further argued that no dispositional explanation is one of the covering-law type; but the theory shows how, for any dispositional explanation! To construct a (...)
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  2. Mark Alfano, James Beebe & Brian Robinson (2012). The Centrality of Belief and Reflection in Knobe-Effect Cases. The Monist 95 (2):264-289.
    Recent work in experimental philosophy has shown that people are more likely to attribute intentionality, knowledge, and other psychological properties to someone who causes a bad side effect than to someone who causes a good one. We argue that all of these asymmetries can be explained in terms of a single underlying asymmetry involving belief attribution because the belief that one’s action would result in a certain side effect is a necessary component of each of the psychological attitudes in question. (...)
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  3. Ron Amundson & Laurence D. Smith (1984). Clark Hull, Robert Cummins, and Functional Analysis. Philosophy of Science 51 (December):657-666.
    Robert Cummins has recently used the program of Clark Hull to illustrate the effects of logical positivist epistemology upon psychological theory. On Cummins's account, Hull's theory is best understood as a functional analysis, rather than a nomological subsumption. Hull's commitment to the logical positivist view of explanation is said to have blinded him to this aspect of this theory, and thus restricted its scope. We will argue that this interpretation of Hull's epistemology, though common, is mistaken. Hull's epistemological views were (...)
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  4. Kristin Andrews (2003). Knowing Mental States: The Asymmetry of Psychological Prediction and Explanation. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
    Perhaps because both explanation and prediction are key components to understanding, philosophers and psychologists often portray these two abilities as though they arise from the same competence, and sometimes they are taken to be the same competence. When explanation and prediction are associated in this way, they are taken to be two expressions of a single cognitive capacity that differ from one another only pragmatically. If the difference between prediction and explanation of human behavior is merely pragmatic, then anytime I (...)
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  5. Angela Arkway (2000). The Simulation Theory, the Theory Theory and Folk Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Studies 98 (2):115-137.
  6. Angela Arkway, Folk Psychological Explanation, and Causal Laws.
  7. Guy Axtell (forthcoming). Thinking Twice About Virtue and Vice: From Epistemic Situationism to Dual Process Theories. In Mark Alfano & Abrol Fairweather (eds.), Epistemic Situationism. Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic situationists (Alfano; Doris and Olin) urge that concerns about the empirical adequacy of different versions of virtue epistemology are to be judged in light of the situationsts’ own interpretations of social psychological studies. But these concerns, while real, should instead be judged by the consistency of virtue epistemologies with the leading psychological theory emerging from studies of heuristics and biases, which is not epistemic situationism, but rather dual process theory (Evans; Kahneman; Stanovich; West). I argue that such a shift (...)
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  8. Lynne Rudder Baker (2002). Attitudes in Action: A Causal Account. Manuscrito 25 (3):47-78.
    This article aims to vindicate the commonsensical view that what we think affects what we do. In order to show that mental properties like believing, desiring and intending are causally explanatory, I propose a nonreductive, materialistic account that identifies beliefs and desires by their content, and that shows how differences in the contents of beliefs and desires can make causal differences in what we do.
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  9. Gillian A. Barker, Patrick G. Derr & Nicholas S. Thompson (2004). The Perils of Confusing Nesting with Chaining in Psychological Explanations. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):293 - 303.
    Despite its diminished importance amongst philosophers, the deductive-nomological framework is still important to contemporary behavioral scientists. Behavioral theorists operating within this framework must be careful to distinguish between nesting and chaining. Explanations are chained when the explanandum sentence of one explanation is one of the antecedent conditions of another. They are nested when one of the antecedent conditions or the explanandum sentence of one explanation is one of the covering laws of another. Confusion between nesting and chaining leads to explanation (...)
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  10. William Bechtel, Romeo, René and the Reasons Why: What Explanation is, Forthcoming in Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    Suggests a functionalist account of explanation. This is a penultimate draft; the final version may differ.
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  11. William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen (2005). Mechanistic Explanation and the Nature-Nurture Controversy. Bulletin d'Histoire Et d'pistmologie Des Sciences de La Vie 12:75-100.
    Both in biology and psychology there has been a tendency on the part of many investigators to focus solely on the mature organism and ignore development. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that the explanatory framework often invoked in the life sciences for understanding a given phenomenon, according to which explanation consists in identifying the mechanism that produces that phenomenon, both makes it possible to side-step the development issue and to provide inadequate resources for actually (...)
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  12. William Bechtel & Cory D. Wright (2009). What is Psychological Explanation? In P. Calvo & J. Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge. 113--130.
    Due to the wide array of phenomena that are of interest to them, psychologists offer highly diverse and heterogeneous types of explanations. Initially, this suggests that the question "What is psychological explanation?" has no single answer. To provide appreciation of this diversity, we begin by noting some of the more common types of explanations that psychologists provide, with particular focus on classical examples of explanations advanced in three different areas of psychology: psychophysics, physiological psychology, and information-processing psychology. To analyze what (...)
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  13. Jose Luis Bermudez (2002). Rationality and Psychological Explanation Without Language. In Jose Luis Bermudez & Alan Millar (eds.), Reason and Nature. Clarendon.
  14. Jose Luis Bermudez & Alan Millar (eds.) (2002). Reason and Nature. Clarendon.
    Reason and Nature investigates the norms of reason--the standards which contribute to determining whether beliefs, inferences, and actions are rational. Nine philosophers and two psychologists discuss what kinds of things these norms are, how they can be situated within the natural world, and what role they play in the psychological explanation of belief and action. Current work in the theory of rationality is subject to very diverse influences ranging from experimental and theoretical psychology, through philosophy of logic and language, to (...)
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  15. Sara Bernal (2005). Object Lessons: Spelke Principles and Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Psychology 18 (3):289-312.
    There is general agreement that from the first few months of life, our apprehension of physical objects accords, in some sense, with certain principles. In one philosopher's locution, we are 'perceptually sensitive' to physical principles describing the behavior of objects. But in what does this accordance or sensitivity consist? Are these principles explicitly represented or merely 'implemented'? And what sort of explanation do we accomplish in claiming that our object perception accords with these principles? My main goal here is to (...)
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  16. Ned Block (1971). Are Mechanistic and Teleological Explanations of Behaviour Incompatible? Philosophical Quarterly 21 (April):109-117.
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  17. Lisa Bortolotti & Matthew Broome (2012). Affective Dimensions of the Phenomenon of Double Bookkeeping in Delusions. Emotion Review 4 (2):187-191.
    It has been argued that schizophrenic delusions are “behaviourally inert.” This is evidence for the phenomenon of “double bookkeeping,” according to which people are not consistent in their commitment to the content of their delusions. The traditional explanation for the phenomenon is that people do not genuinely believe the content of their delusions. In the article, we resist the traditional explanation and offer an alternative hypothesis: people with delusions often fail to acquire or to maintain the motivation to act on (...)
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  18. George Botterill (2009). Right and Wrong Reasons in Folk-Psychological Explanation. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 17 (4):463 – 488.
    Davidson argued that the fact we can have a reason for acting, and yet not be the reason why we act, requires explanation of action in terms of the agent's reasons to be causal. The present paper agrees with Dickenson (_Pacific Philosophical Quarterly_, 2007) in taking this argument to be an inference to the best explanation. However, its target phenomenon is the very existence of a case in which an agent has more than one reason, but acts exclusively becaue of (...)
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  19. Raymond Boudon & Riccardo Viale (2000). Reasons, Cognition and Society. Mind and Society 1 (1):41-56.
    Homo sociologicus and homo oeconomicus are, for different reasons, unsatisfactory models for the social sciences. A third model, called “rational model in the broad sense”, seems better endowed to cope with the many different expressions of rationality of the social agent. Some contributions by Weber, Durkheim and Marx are early examples of the application of this model of social explanation based on good subjective reasons. According to this model and to the evidence of cognitive anthropology, it is possible to reconcile (...)
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  20. Michael E. Bratman (1995). Review of Action, Intention, and Reason by Robert Audi. [REVIEW] Ethics 105 (4):927-.
  21. Michael E. Bratman (1990). Dretske's Desires. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (4):795-800.
  22. Jason Bridges (2006). Teleofunctionalism and Psychological Explanation. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 28 (September):359-372.
  23. Robert Brown (1965). The Explanation of Behaviour. [REVIEW] Philosophy 40 (October):344-348.
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  24. Andrei A. Buckareff & Jing Zhu (2009). The Primacy of the Mental in the Explanation of Human Action. The Primacy of the Mental in the Explanation of Human Action 3 (26):1 - 16.
    The mentalistic orthodoxy about reason-explanations of action in the philosophy of mind has recently come under renewed attack. Julia Tanney is among those who have critiqued mentalism. The alternative account of the folk practice of giving reason-explanations of actions she has provided affords features of an agent�s external environment a privileged role in explaining the intentional behaviour of agents. The authors defend the mentalistic orthodoxy from Tanney�s criticisms, arguing that Tanney fails to provide a philosophically satisfying or psychologically realistic account (...)
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  25. Stephen Andrew Butterfill (2013). Interacting Mindreaders. Philosophical Studies 165 (3):841-863.
    Could interacting mindreaders be in a position to know things which they would be unable to know if they were manifestly passive observers? This paper argues that they could. Mindreading is sometimes reciprocal: the mindreader’s target reciprocates by taking the mindreader as a target for mindreading. The paper explains how such reciprocity can significantly narrow the range of possible interpretations of behaviour where mindreaders are, or appear to be, in a position to interact. A consequence is that revisions and extensions (...)
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  26. P. Calvo & J. Symons (eds.) (2009). Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
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  27. Randall K. Campbell (1991). Nonnomic Properties of Stimuli and Psychological Explanation. Behavior and Philosophy 19 (1):77 - 92.
    Recently there has been a great deal of argument about what justifies references to representational states in explanations of behavior. I discuss Jerry Fodor's claim that it is necessary to ascribe representational states to organisms that respond to "nonnomic properties" of stimuli. Zenon Pylyshyn's (apparently equivalent) claim that it is necessary to ascribe representational states to organisms that respond to "nonprojectable properties" of stimuli and Fodor's claim that an organism's ability to respond to nonnomic properties of stimuli is a criterion (...)
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  28. Stewart Candlish & Robert Wilson (1988). Moving. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (2):174 – 187.
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  29. Jakub Čapek (2008). Explanation and Understanding: Action as “Historical Structure”. Philosophia 36 (4):453-463.
    The first part of this essay is basically historical. It introduces the explanation–understanding divide, focusing in particular on the general–unique distinction. The second part is more philosophical and it presents two different claims on action. In the first place, I will try to say what it means to understand an action. Secondly, we will focus on the explanation of action as it is seen in some explanatory sciences. I will try to argue that in some cases these sciences commit what (...)
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  30. T. C. Chabdack (1972). Book Review:Psychological Explanation Jerry A. Fodor. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 39 (1):95-.
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  31. Marc Champagne (2013). Choosing Between the Long and Short Informational Routes to Psychological Explanation. 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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  32. Scott D. Churchill (1991). Reasons, Causes, and Motives: Psychology's Illusive Explanations of Behavior. Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 11 (1):24-34.
  33. Andy Clark (1998). Twisted Tales: Causal Complexity and Cognitive Scientific Explanation. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 8 (1):79-99.
    Recent work in biology and cognitive science depicts a variety of target phenomena as the products of a tangled web of causal influences. Such influences may include both internal and external factors as well as complex patterns of reciprocal causal interaction. Such twisted tales are sometimes seen as a threat to explanatory strategies that invoke notions such as inner programs, genes for and sometimes even internal representations. But the threat, I shall argue, is more apparent than real. Complex causal influence, (...)
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  34. Andy Clark (1995). Connectionism: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Cambridge: Blackwell.
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  35. Jonathan Cohen (2003). Williamson on Knowledge and Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Studies 116 (1):37-52.
    According to many philosophers, psychological explanation can legit- imately be given in terms of belief and desire, but not in terms of knowl- edge. 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 psycho- logical explanation. Williamson’s argument works on two fronts. First, he (...)
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  36. Terry Connolly (1999). Action as a Fast and Frugal Heuristic. Minds and Machines 9 (4):479-496.
    Decision making is usually viewed as involving a period of thought, while the decision maker assesses options, their likely consequences, and his or her preferences, and selects the preferred option. The process ends in a terminating action. In this view errors of thought will inevitably show up as errors of action; costs of thinking are to be balanced against costs of decision errors. Fast and frugal heuristics research has shown that, in some environments, modest thought can lead to excellent action. (...)
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  37. Roberto Cordeschi (1991). The Discovery of the Artificial: Some Protocybernetic Developments 1930-1940. Artificial Intelligence and Society 5 (3):218-238.
    In this paper I start from a definition of “culture of the artificial” which might be stated by referring to the background of philosophical, methodological, pragmatical assumptions which characterizes the development of the information processing analysis of mental processes and of some trends in contemporary cognitive science: in a word, the development of AI as a candidate science of mind. The aim of this paper is to show how (with which plausibility and limitations) the discovery of the mentioned background might (...)
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  38. Sean Crawford (2012). De Re and De Dicto Explanation of Action. Philosophia 40 (4):783-798.
    This paper argues for an account of the relation between thought ascription and the explanation of action according to which de re ascriptions and de dicto ascriptions of thought each form the basis for two different kinds of action explanations, nonrationalizing and rationalizing ones. The claim that de dicto ascriptions explain action is familiar and virtually beyond dispute; the claim that that de re ascriptions are explanatory of action, however, is not at all familiar and indeed has mostly been denied (...)
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  39. Joe Cruz, Psychological Explanation and Noise in Modeling. Comments on Whit Schonbein's "Cognition and the Power of Continuous Dynamical Systems".
    I find myself ambivalent with respect to the line of argument that Schonbein offers. I certainly want to acknowledge and emphasize at the outset that Schonbein’s discussion has brought to the fore a number of central, compelling and intriguing issues regarding the nature of the dynamical approach to cognition. Though there is much that seems right in this essay, perhaps my view is that the paper invites more questions than it answers. My remarks here then are in the spirit of (...)
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  40. Robert C. Cummins (2000). "How Does It Work" Versus "What Are the Laws?": Two Conceptions of Psychological Explanation. In F. Keil & Robert A. Wilson (eds.), Explanation and Cognition, 117-145. MIT Press.
    In the beginning, there was the DN (Deductive Nomological) model of explanation, articulated by Hempel and Oppenheim (1948). According to DN, scientific explanation is subsumption under natural law. Individual events are explained by deducing them from laws together with initial conditions (or boundary conditions), and laws are explained by deriving them from other more fundamental laws, as, for example, the simple pendulum law is derived from Newton's laws of motion.
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  41. Robert C. Cummins (1991). The Role of Mental Meaning in Psychological Explanation. In Brian P. McLaughlin (ed.), Dretske and His Critics. Blackwell.
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  42. Robert C. Cummins (1983). The Nature of Psychological Explanation. MIT Press.
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  43. Robert C. Cummins (1983). Analysis and Subsumption in the Behaviorism of Hull. Philosophy of Science 50 (March):96-111.
    The background hypothesis of this essay is that psychological phenomena are typically explained, not by subsuming them under psychological laws, but by functional analysis. Causal subsumption is an appropriate strategy for explaining changes of state, but not for explaining capacities, and it is capacities that are the central explananda of psychology. The contrast between functional analysis and causal subsumption is illustrated, and the background hypothesis supported, by a critical reassessment of the motivational psychology of Clark Hull. I argue that Hull's (...)
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  44. Robert C. Cummins (1982). The Internal Manual Model of Psychological Explanation. Cognition and Brain Theory 5:257-68.
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  45. Donald Davidson (1980). Essays on Actions and Events. Oxford University Press.
  46. Martin Davies (1986). Externality, Psychological Explanation, and Narrow Content. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 60:263-83.
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  47. Martin Davies (1986). Individualism and Supervenience: Externality, Psychological Explanation, and Narrow Content. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 263:263-283.
  48. Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice K. D. Schouten (eds.) (2007). The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
  49. J. Decety (2002). Neurophysiological Evidence for Simulation and Action. In Jérôme Dokic & Joëlle Proust (eds.), Simulation and Knowledge of Action. John Benjamins.
  50. Ezio Di Nucci (forthcoming). Action, Deviance, and Guidance. Abstracta.
    I argue that we should give up the fight to rescue causal theories of action from fundamental challenges such as the problem of deviant causal chains; and that we should rather pursue an account of action based on the basic intuition that control identifies agency. In Section 1 I introduce causalism about action explanation. In Section 2 I present an alternative, Frankfurt’s idea of guidance. In Section 3 I argue that the problem of deviant causal chains challenges causalism in two (...)
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