David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Several modern accounts of explanation acknowledge the importance of abstraction and idealization for our explanatory practice. However, once we allow a role for abstraction, questions remain. I ask whether the relation between explanations at different theoretical levels should be thought of wholly in terms of abstraction, and argue that changes of variable between theories can lead to novel explanations that are not merely abstractions of some more detailed picture. I use the example of phase transitions as described by statistical mechanics and thermodynamics to illustrate this, and to demonstrate some details of the relationship between abstraction, idealization, and novel explanation
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rafal Urbaniak (2010). Neologicist nominalism. Studia Logica 96 (2):149-173.
Kit Fine (2002). The Limits of Abstraction. Oxford University Press.
Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis (2012). Abstraction and the Origin of General Ideas. Philosophers' Imprint 12 (19):1-22.
Luciano Floridi (2008). The Method of Levels of Abstraction. Minds and Machines 18 (3):303-329.
Sergio F. Martínez & Xiang Huang (2011). Epistemic Groundings of Abstraction and Their Cognitive Dimension. Philosophy of Science 78 (3):490-511.
Francesco Coniglione (2004). Between Abstraction and Idealization: Scientific Practice and Philosophical Awareness. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 82 (1):59-110.
M. W. Bunder (2000). Expedited Broda-Damas Bracket Abstraction. Journal of Symbolic Logic 65 (4):1850-1857.
Stewart Shapiro (2004). The Nature and Limits of Abstraction. [REVIEW] Philosophical Quarterly 54 (214):166 - 174.
Brad Weslake (2010). Explanatory Depth. Philosophy of Science 77 (2):273-294.
Øystein Linnebo (2004). The Limits of Abstraction. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (4):653 – 656.
Cynthia A. Stark (2010). Abstraction and Justification in Moral Theory. Hypatia 25 (4):825-833.
Michael Strevens (2008). Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation. Harvard University Press.
Joongol Kim (2011). A Strengthening of the Caesar Problem. Erkenntnis 75 (1):123-136.
Added to index2012-10-06
Total downloads14 ( #111,833 of 1,098,129 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #283,807 of 1,098,129 )
How can I increase my downloads?