|Abstract||Traditional accounts of explanation fail to illuminate the explanatory relevance of “models that are descriptively false” in the sense that the regularities they entail fail to obtain. In this paper, I propose an account of explanation, which I call ‘explanation by concretization’, that serves to explicate the explanatory relevance of such models. Starting from a highly abstract and idealized model, causal explanations of the absence of regularities are sought by adding complexity to the model or by concretizing it. Whether this process is successful depends on whether the abstractions and idealizations in the basic model succeed in isolating a mechanism, i.e. in representing how it operates when interfering factors are absent. This account is developed in the context of economics and contrasted to those of Daniel Hausman and Nancy Cartwright. I go on to provide an account of how unrealistic models can be used for providing understanding of the way mechanisms work.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Holly Andersen (2012). The Case for Regularity in Mechanistic Causal Explanation. Synthese 189 (3):415-432.
Harold Kincaid (2004). Contextualism, Explanation and the Social Sciences. Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):201 – 218.
David Michael Kaplan (2011). Explanation and Description in Computational Neuroscience. Synthese 183 (3):339-373.
Denis J. Hilton (1996). Mental Models and Causal Explanation: Judgements of Probable Cause and Explanatory Relevance. Thinking and Reasoning 2 (4):273 – 308.
Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Explanatory Relevance Across Disciplinary Boundaries: The Case of Neuroeconomics. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):219–228.
Holly Andersen (2011). Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
Karl-Dieter Opp (2005). Explanations by Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Problems, Advantages and Alternatives. Mind and Society 4 (2):163-178.
Frank Hindriks (2008). False Models as Explanatory Engines. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (3):334-360.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads16 ( #81,690 of 722,744 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,247 of 722,744 )
How can I increase my downloads?