Search results for 'Levels of Explanation' (try it on Scholar)

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  1.  50
    John Sutton (1995). Reduction and Levels of Explanation in Connectionism. In P. Slezak, T. Caelli & R. Clark (eds.), Perspectives on cognitive science: theories, experiments, and foundations. Ablex 347-368.
    Recent work in the methodology of connectionist explanation has I'ocrrsccl on the notion of levels of explanation. Specific issucs in conncctionisrn hcrc intersect with rvider areas of debate in the philosophy of psychology and thc philosophy of science generally. The issues I raise in this chapter, then, are not unique to cognitive science; but they arise in new and important contexts when connectionism is taken seriously as a model of cognition. The general questions are the relation between (...)
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  2.  27
    Víctor M. Verdejo & Daniel Quesada (2011). Levels of Explanation Vindicated. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):77-88.
    Marr’s celebrated contribution to cognitive science (Marr 1982, chap. 1) was the introduction of (at least) three levels of description/explanation. However, most contemporary research has relegated the distinction between levels to a rather dispensable remark. Ignoring such an important contribution comes at a price, or so we shall argue. In the present paper, first we review Marr’s main points and motivations regarding levels of explanation. Second, we examine two cases in which the distinction between (...) has been neglected when considering the structure of mental representations: Cummins et al.’s distinction between structural representation and encodings (Cummins in Journal of Philosophy, 93(12):591–614, 1996; Cummins et al. in Journal of Philosophical Research, 30:405–408, 2001) and Fodor’s account of iconic representation (Fodor 2008). These two cases illustrate the kind of problems in which researchers can find themselves if they overlook distinctions between levels and how easily these problems can be solved when levels are carefully examined. The analysis of these cases allows us to conclude that researchers in the cognitive sciences are well advised to avoid risks of confusion by respecting Marr’s old lesson. (shrink)
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  3. Robert N. McCauley, Levels of Explanation and Cognitive Architectures* By.
    Some controversies in cognitive science, such as arguments about whether classical or distributed connectionist architectures best model the human cognitive system, reenact long-standing debates in the philosophy of science. For millennia philosophers have pondered whether mentality can submit to scientific explanation generally and to physical explanation particularly. Recently, positive answers have gained popularity. The question remains, though, as to the analytical level at which mentality is best explained. Is there a level of analysis that is peculiarly appropriate for (...)
     
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  4. Angela Potochnik (2010). Levels of Explanation Reconceived. Philosophy of Science 77 (1):59-72.
    A common argument against explanatory reductionism is that higher‐level explanations are sometimes or always preferable because they are more general than reductive explanations. Here I challenge two basic assumptions that are needed for that argument to succeed. It cannot be assumed that higher‐level explanations are more general than their lower‐level alternatives or that higher‐level explanations are general in the right way to be explanatory. I suggest a novel form of pluralism regarding levels of explanation, according to which explanations (...)
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  5.  90
    Huib L. de Jong (2002). Levels of Explanation in Biological Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):441-462.
    Until recently, the notions of function and multiple realization were supposed to save the autonomy of psychological explanations. Furthermore, the concept of supervenience presumably allows both dependence of mind on brain and non-reducibility of mind to brain, reconciling materialism with an independent explanatory role for mental and functional concepts and explanations. Eliminativism is often seen as the main or only alternative to such autonomy. It gladly accepts abandoning or thoroughly reconstructing the psychological level, and considers reduction if successful as equivalent (...)
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  6.  11
    Ulrich Müller & Jeremy I. M. Carpendale (2001). Objectivity, Intentionality, and Levels of Explanation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):55-56.
    Notwithstanding many similarities between Thelen et al.'s and Piaget's accounts of the A-not-B error, we argue that, in contrast to Piaget, they do not explicitly address the issue of objectivity. We suggest that this omission is partly due to the fact that Thelen et al. and Piaget's accounts are pitched at different levels of explanation.
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  7. William P. Bechtel (1994). Levels of Description and Explanation in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 4 (1):1-25.
    The notion of levels has been widely used in discussions of cognitive science, especially in discussions of the relation of connectionism to symbolic modeling of cognition. I argue that many of the notions of levels employed are problematic for this purpose, and develop an alternative notion grounded in the framework of mechanistic explanation. By considering the source of the analogies underlying both symbolic modeling and connectionist modeling, I argue that neither is likely to provide an adequate analysis (...)
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  8. James Woodward (2010). Causation in Biology: Stability, Specificity, and the Choice of Levels of Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):287-318.
    This paper attempts to elucidate three characteristics of causal relationships that are important in biological contexts. Stability has to do with whether a causal relationship continues to hold under changes in background conditions. Proportionality has to do with whether changes in the state of the cause “line up” in the right way with changes in the state of the effect and with whether the cause and effect are characterized in a way that contains irrelevant detail. Specificity is connected both to (...)
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  9. Francisco J. Flores (1998). Levels of Theory and Types of Theoretical Explanation in Theoretical Physics. Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario (Canada)
    In Newtonian physics, there is a clear distinction between a "framework theory", a collection of general physical principles and definitions of physical terms, and theories that describe specific causal interactions such as gravitation, i.e., "interaction theories". I argue that this distinction between levels of theory can also be found in the context of Special Relativity and that recognizing it is essential for a philosophical account of how laws are explained in this theory. As a case study, I consider the (...)
     
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  10.  59
    Jay F. Rosenberg (1994). Comments on Bechtel, Levels of Description and Explanation in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 4 (1):27-37.
    I begin by tracing some of the confusions regarding levels and reduction to a failure to distinguish two different principles according to which theories can be viewed as hierarchically arranged — epistemic authority and ontological constitution. I then argue that the notion of levels relevant to the debate between symbolic and connectionist paradigms of mental activity answers to neither of these models, but is rather correlative to the hierarchy of functional decompositions of cognitive tasks characteristic of homuncular functionalism. (...)
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  11.  1
    Robyn Langdon Max Coltheart (1998). Autism, Modularity and Levels of Explanation in Cognitive Science. Mind and Language 13 (1):138-152.
    Over the past century or more, cognitive neuropsychologists have discussed many of the issues raised in this volume. On the basis of this literature, we argue that autism is not a single homogeneous condition, and so can have no single cause. Instead, each of its symptoms has a cause, and the proper study of autism is the separate study of each of these symptoms and its cause. We also offer evidence to support the radical view advanced by Stoljar and Gold (...)
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  12. Bill Brewer (1998). Levels of Explanation and the Individuation of Events: A Difficulty for the Token Identity Theory. Acta Analytica 20 (20):7-24.
    We make how a person acts intelligible by revealing it as rational in the light of what she perceives, thinks, wants and so on. For example, we might explain that she reached out and picked up a glass because she was thirsty and saw that it contained water. In doing this, we are giving a causal explanation of her behaviour in terms of her antecedent beliefs, desires and other attitudes. Her wanting a drink and realizing that the glass contained (...)
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  13. Lothar Spillmann & Birgitta Dresp (1995). Phenomena of Illusory Form: Can We Bridge the Gap Between Levels of Explanation? Perception 24:1333-1364.
    The major theoretical framework relative to the perception of illusory figures is reviewed and discussed in the attempt to provide a unifying explanatory account for these phenomena.
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  14. Jose Luis Bermudez (1995). Syntax, Semantics, and Levels of Explanation. Philosophical Quarterly 45 (180):361-367.
  15.  10
    Christopher Clarke (forthcoming). How to Define Levels of Explanation and Evaluate Their Indispensability. Synthese:1-21.
    Some explanations in social science, psychology and biology belong to a higher level than other explanations. And higher explanations possess the virtue of abstracting away from the details of lower explanations, many philosophers argue. As a result, these higher explanations are irreplaceable. And this suggests that there are genuine higher laws or patterns involving social, psychological and biological states. I show that this ‘abstractness argument’ is really an argument schema, not a single argument. This is because the argument uses the (...)
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  16.  40
    Karen Neander & Peter Menzies (1990). David Owens on Levels of Explanation. Mind 99 (395):459-466.
  17.  16
    Josefa Toribio (1991). Causal Efficacy, Content and Levels of Explanation. Logique Et Analyse 34 (September-December):297-318.
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  18.  27
    James F. Woodward (2008). Comment: Levels of Explanation and Variable Choice. In Kenneth S. Kendler & Josef Parnas (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Psychiatry: Explanation, Phenomenology, and Nosology. Johns Hopkins University Press 216.
  19.  18
    Dominic Murphy (2008). Levels of Explanation in Psychiatry. In Kenneth S. Kendler & Josef Parnas (eds.), Philosophical Issues in Psychiatry: Explanation, Phenomenology, and Nosology. Johns Hopkins University Press 99--125.
  20. P. N. Singe (1997). Levels of Explanation in Galen. Classical Quarterly 47 (02):525-.
    Galen's æuvre presents a remarkably varied body of texts–varied in subject matter, style, and didactic purpose. Logical tracts sit alongside tomes of drug–lore; handbooks of dietetics alongside anatomical investigations; treatises of physiology alongside ethical opuscula. These differences in type have received some, though as yet insufficient, scholarly attention. Mario Vegetti demonstrated the coexistence of two ‘profili’ or images of the art of medicine: Galen presents the art as an Aristotelian deductive science, on the one hand, and as a technician's craft, (...)
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  21.  7
    Josefa Toribio, Efficacy, Content and Levels of Explanation.
    Let’s consider the following paradox (Fodor [1989], Jackson and Petit [1988] [1992], Drestke [1988], Block [1991], Lepore and Loewer [1987], Lewis [1986], Segal and Sober [1991]): i) The intentional content of a thought (or any other intentional state) is causally relevant to its behavioural (and other) effects. ii) Intentional content is nothing but the meaning of internal representations. But, iii) Internal processors are only sensitive to the syntactic structures of internal representations, not their meanings. Therefore it seems that if we (...)
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  22. David Owens (1989). Levels of Explanation. Mind 98 (389):59-79.
  23.  56
    Max Coltheart & Robyn Langdon (1998). Autism, Modularity and Levels of Explanation in Cognitive Science. Mind and Language 13 (1):138-152.
  24. Sam Wilkinson (2014). Levels and Kinds of Explanation: Lessons From Neuropsychiatry. Frontiers in Psychology 5.
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  25. Harold Kincaid (1986). LEVELS OF EXPLANATION AND THE UNIT OF SELECTION: A Review of Genes, Organisms, and Populations, Edited by Robert Brandon and Richard Burian. MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts. 1984. Behaviorism 14 (1):69-76.
     
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  26.  4
    Mark Snyderman (1985). Levels of Explanation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):348-348.
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  27.  3
    Leonard A. Eiserer (1992). Levels of Explanation in Theories of Infant Attachment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (3):513-514.
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  28. Giuseppe Boccignone & Roberto Cordeschi (2015). Coping with Levels of Explanation in the Behavioral Sciences. Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  29. Harold Kincaid (1986). Levels of Explanation and the Unit of Selection , "Genes, Organisms, and Populations"). [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 14 (1):69.
     
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  30. Markus I. Eronen (2015). Levels of Organization: A Deflationary Account. Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):39-58.
    The idea of levels of organization plays a central role in the philosophy of the life sciences. In this article, I first examine the explanatory goals that have motivated accounts of levels of organization. I then show that the most state-of-the-art and scientifically plausible account of levels of organization, the account of levels of mechanism proposed by Bechtel and Craver, is fundamentally problematic. Finally, I argue that the explanatory goals can be reached by adopting a deflationary (...)
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  31.  20
    Ron McClamrock (1995). Screening-Off and the Levels of Selection. Erkenntnis 42 (1):107 - 112.
    In The Levels of Selection (Brandon, 1984), Robert Brandon provides a suggestive but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to use the probabilistic notion ofscreening off in providing a schema for dealing with an aspect of the units of selection question in the philosophy of biology. I characterize that failure, and suggest a revision and expansion of Brandon's account which addresses its key shortcoming.
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  32. Luciano Floridi (2008). The Method of Levels of Abstraction. Minds and Machines 18 (3):303-329.
    The use of “levels of abstraction” in philosophical analysis (levelism) has recently come under attack. In this paper, I argue that a refined version of epistemological levelism should be retained as a fundamental method, called the method of levels of abstraction. After a brief introduction, in section “Some Definitions and Preliminary Examples” the nature and applicability of the epistemological method of levels of abstraction is clarified. In section “A Classic Application of the Method ofion”, the philosophical fruitfulness (...)
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  33.  95
    Alexander Rueger & Patrick McGivern (2010). Hierarchies and Levels of Reality. Synthese 176 (3):379 - 397.
    We examine some assumptions about the nature of 'levels of reality' in the light of examples drawn from physics. Three central assumptions of the standard view of such levels (for instance, Oppenheim and Putnam 1958) are (i) that levels are populated by entities of varying complexity, (ii) that there is a unique hierarchy of levels, ranging from the very small to the very large, and (iii) that the inhabitants of adjacent levels are related by the (...)
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  34.  41
    William H. Calvin (1998). Competing for Consciousness: A Darwinian Mechanism at an Appropriate Level of Explanation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (4):389-404.
    Treating consciousness as awareness or attention greatly underestimates it, ignoring the temporary levels of organization associated with higher intellectual function (syntax, planning, logic, music). The tasks that require consciousness tend to be the ones that demand a lot of resources. Routine tasks can be handled on the back burner but dealing with ambiguity, groping around offline, generating creative choices, and performing precision movements may temporarily require substantial allocations of neocortex. Here I will attempt to clarify the appropriate levels (...)
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  35.  47
    Ingo Brigandt (2015). Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Limits of Philosophical Accounts of Mechanistic Explanation. In P.-A. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer 135–173.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) is considered a ‘mechanistic science,’ in that it causally explains morphological evolution in terms of changes in developmental mechanisms. Evo-devo is also an interdisciplinary and integrative approach, as its explanations use contributions from many fields and pertain to different levels of organismal organization. Philosophical accounts of mechanistic explanation are currently highly prominent, and have been particularly able to capture the integrative nature of multifield and multilevel explanations. However, I argue that evo-devo demonstrates the need (...)
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  36.  30
    Noel Boyle (2008). Neurobiology and Phenomenology: Towards a Three-Tiered Intertheoretic Model of Explanation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (3):34-58.
    Analytic and continental philosophies of mind are too long divided. In both traditions there is extensive discussion of consciousness, the mind-body problem, intentionality, subjectivity, perception (especially visual) and so on. Between these two discussions there are substantive disagreements, overlapping points of insight, meaningful differences in emphasis, and points of comparison which seems to offer nothing but confusion. In other words, there are the ideal circumstances for doing philosophy. Yet, there has been little discourse. This paper invites expanding discourse between these (...)
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  37. Eitan Oren (2015). Low Levels of Military Threat and High Demand for Increasing Military Spending: The ‘Puzzle of Chinese Students’ Data in the Asian Student Survey of 2008. Japanese Journal of Political Science 16 (3):248-269.
    This article examines perceptions of military and defense expenditure as held by Asian students. By using quantitative data from the Asian Student Survey1 of 2008 it addresses the following questions: to which areas would Asian students like to see their government allocate more or less resources and, specifically, how supportive of defense and military spending are Asian students. This study finds that data concerning one country have appeared deviant. While designating the strongest will to increase defense and military spending among (...)
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  38.  79
    Santiago Arango-Muñoz (2011). Two Levels of Metacognition. Philosophia 39 (1):71-82.
    Two main theories about metacognition are reviewed, each of which claims to provide a better explanation of this phenomenon, while discrediting the other theory as inappropriate. The paper claims that in order to do justice to the complex phenomenon of metacognition, we must distinguish two levels of this capacity—each having a different structure, a different content and a different function within the cognitive architecture. It will be shown that each of the reviewed theories has been trying to explain (...)
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  39. James Kreines (2001). Hegel on Mind, Action and Social Life: The Theory of Geist as a Theory of Explanation. Dissertation, The University of Chicago
    This dissertation develops an interpretation of Hegel's answer to the question of who or what we ourselves are, or his theory of Geist . The theory of Geist is perhaps most familiar when read as an appeal to a romantic metaphysical or theological view on which we are all part of "cosmic spirit", a self-creating collective agent identical to reality itself. I argue that the theory of Geist cannot be understood apart from Hegel's core concerns, but that these are not (...)
     
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  40.  20
    Ronald Jepperson & John W. Meyer (2011). Multiple Levels of Analysis and the Limitations of Methodological Individualisms. Sociological Theory 29 (1):54 - 73.
    This article discusses relations among the multiple levels of analysis present in macro-sociological explanation—i.e., relations of individual, structural, and institutional processes. It also criticizes the doctrinal insistence upon single-level individualistic explanation found in some prominent contemporary sociological theory. For illustrative material the article returns to intellectual uses of Weber's "Protestant Ethic thesis," showing how an artificial version has been employed as a kind of proof text for the alleged scientific necessity of individualist explanation. Our alternative exposition (...)
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  41. Ross T. Silverberg & Bryan T. Stinchfield (2016). Empirical Evidence That High Levels of Entrepreneurial Attitudes Dampen the Level of Civil Disorder. Business and Society 55 (5):676-705.
    The global financial crisis that started in 2008 was followed by recessions, austerity measures, protests, and demonstrations. Relative deprivation theory offers an explanation as to why people engage in protests and violence, and the literature contains evidence that economic and environmental variables are often to blame. However, previous RDT scholars have not investigated how a country’s entrepreneurial attitudes can affect increases in civil disorder, which is the primary purpose of this study. The authors’ results provide not only conflicting evidence (...)
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  42.  26
    Marcin Miłkowski (2013). Limits of Computational Explanation of Cognition. In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence. Springer 69-84.
    In this chapter, I argue that some aspects of cognitive phenomena cannot be explained computationally. In the first part, I sketch a mechanistic account of computational explanation that spans multiple levels of organization of cognitive systems. In the second part, I turn my attention to what cannot be explained about cognitive systems in this way. I argue that information-processing mechanisms are indispensable in explanations of cognitive phenomena, and this vindicates the computational explanation of cognition. At the same (...)
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  43.  5
    Marcin Miłkowski (2016). A Mechanistic Account of Computational Explanation in Cognitive Science and Computational Neuroscience. In Vincent C. Müller (ed.), Computing and Philosophy. Springer 191-205.
    Explanations in cognitive science and computational neuroscience rely predominantly on computational modeling. Although the scientific practice is systematic, and there is little doubt about the empirical value of numerous models, the methodological account of computational explanation is not up-to-date. The current chapter offers a systematic account of computational explanation in cognitive science and computational neuroscience within a mechanistic framework. The account is illustrated with a short case study of modeling of the mirror neuron system in terms of predictive (...)
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  44.  9
    Todd Jones (2012). Do Customs Compete with Conditioning? Turf Battles and Division of Labor in Social Explanation. Synthese 184 (3):407-430.
    We often face a bewildering array of different explanations for the same social facts (e.g. biological, psychological, economic, and historical accounts). But we have few guidelines for whether and when we should think of different accounts as competing or compatible. In this paper, I offer some guidelines for understanding when custom or norm accounts do and don’t compete with other types of accounts. I describe two families of non-competing accounts: (1) explanations of different (but similarly described) facts, and (2) accounts (...)
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  45.  90
    Gregory Johnson (2012). The Relationship Between Psychological Capacities and Neurobiological Activities. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):453-480.
    This paper addresses the relationship between psychological capacities, as they are understood within cognitive psychology, and neurobiological activities. First, Lycan’s (1987) account of this relationship is examined and certain problems with his account are explained. According to Lycan, psychological capacities occupy a higher level than neurobiological activities in a hierarchy of levels of nature, and psychological entities can be decomposed into neurobiological entities. After discussing some problems with Lycan’s account, a similar, more recent account built around levels of (...)
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  46.  60
    Michel Morange (1997). The Transformation of Molecular Biology on Contact with Higher Organisms, 1960-1980: From a Molecular Description to a Molecular Explanation. [REVIEW] History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 19 (3):369 - 393.
    The convergence of developmental biology — embryology — and molecular biology was one of the major scientific events of the last decades of the twentieth century. The transformation of developmental biology by the concepts and methods of molecular biology has already been described. Less has been told on the reciprocal transformation of molecular biology on contact with higher organisms. The transformation of molecular biology occurred at the end of a deep crisis which affected this discipline in the sixties and seventies (...)
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  47.  78
    Jeroen de Ridder (2006). Mechanistic Artefact Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.
    One thing about technical artefacts that needs to be explained is how their physical make-up, or structure, enables them to fulfil the behaviour associated with their function, or, more colloquially, how they work. In this paper I develop an account of such explanations based on the familiar notion of mechanistic explanation. To accomplish this, I (1) outline two explanatory strategies that provide two different types of insight into an artefact’s functioning, and (2) show how human action inevi- tably plays (...)
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  48.  21
    Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Explanatory Relevance Across Disciplinary Boundaries: The Case of Neuroeconomics. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):219–228.
    Many of the arguments for neuroeconomics rely on mistaken assumptions about criteria of explanatory relevance across disciplinary boundaries and fail to distinguish between evidential and explanatory relevance. Building on recent philosophical work on mechanistic research programmes and the contrastive counterfactual theory of explanation, we argue that explaining an explanatory presupposition or providing a lower-level explanation does not necessarily constitute explanatory improvement. Neuroscientific findings have explanatory relevance only when they inform a causal and explanatory account of the psychology of (...)
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  49.  42
    Francisco Flores (1999). Einstein's Theory of Theories and Types of Theoretical Explanation. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 13 (2):123 – 134.
    In this paper I draw on Einstein's distinction between “principle” and “constructive” theories to isolate two levels of physical theory that can be found in both classical and (special) relativistic physics. I then argue that when we focus on theoretical explanations in physics, i.e. explanations of physical laws, the two leading views on explanation, Salmon's “bottom-up” view and Kitcher's “top-down” view, accurately describe theoretical explanations for a given level of theory. I arrive at this conclusion through an analysis (...)
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  50.  34
    Kenneth F. Schaffner (2000). Behavior at the Organismal and Molecular Levels: The Case of C. Elegans. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):288.
    Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) is a tiny worm that has become the focus of a large number of worldwide research projects examining its genetics, development, neuroscience, and behavior. Recently several groups of investigators have begun to tie together the behavior of the organism and the underlying genes, neural circuits, and molecular processes implemented in those circuits. Behavior is quintessentially organismal--it is the organism as a whole that moves and mates--but the explanations are devised at the molecular and neurocircuit levels, (...)
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