The Instrumental Value of Explanations

Philosophy Compass 6 (8):539-551 (2011)
Abstract
Scientific and ‘intuitive’ or ‘folk’ theories are typically characterized as serving three critical functions: prediction, explanation, and control. While prediction and control have clear instrumental value, the value of explanation is less transparent. This paper reviews an emerging body of research from the cognitive sciences suggesting that the process of seeking, generating, and evaluating explanations in fact contributes to future prediction and control, albeit indirectly by facilitating the discovery and confirmation of instrumentally valuable theories. Theoretical and empirical considerations also suggest why explanations may nonetheless feel intrinsically valuable. The paper concludes by considering some implications of the psychology of explanation for a naturalized philosophy of explanation
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,311
External links
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

View all 29 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen (2002). Instrumental Values – Strong and Weak. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):23 - 43.
Dale Dorsey (2012). Can Instrumental Value Be Intrinsic? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):137-157.
Yvonne Sherratt (1999). Instrumental Reason's Unreason. Philosophy and Social Criticism 25 (4):23-42.
Joe Mintoff (1998). Defending Instrumental Reason. Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):393-415.
Ralph Wedgwood (2011). Instrumental Rationality. Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:280-309.
Berel Dov Lerner (1995). Winch and Instrumental Pluralism. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):180-191.
Michael Smith (2004). Instrumental Desires, Instrumental Rationality. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):93–109.
Stephen Ellis (2008). The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality. Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
David Pineda (2011). Non-Committal Causal Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-08-09

Total downloads

24 ( #83,734 of 1,679,436 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

7 ( #33,669 of 1,679,436 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.