Program Explanation and Higher-Order Properties

Acta Analytica 25 (4):393-411 (2010)
Abstract
Our aim in this paper is to evaluate Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit’s ‘program explanation’ framework as an account of the autonomy of the special sciences. We argue that this framework can only explain the autonomy of a limited range of special science explanations. The reason for this limitation is that the framework overlooks a distinction between two kinds of properties, which we refer to as ‘higher-level’ and ‘higher-order’ properties. The program explanation framework can account for the autonomy of special science explanations that appeal to higher-level properties but it does not account for the autonomy of most of those explanations that appeal to higher-order properties
Keywords Explanation  Reduction  Causation  Autonomy
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Robert C. Cummins (1975). Functional Analysis. Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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