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

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  1. 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.score: 630.0
  2. Giuseppe Boccignone & Roberto Cordeschi (2012). Predictive Brains: Forethought and the Levels of Explanation. Frontiers in Psychology 3 (511).score: 558.0
    Is any unified theory of brain function possible? Following a line of thought dating back to the early cybernetics (see, e.g., Cordeschi, 2002), Clark (in press) has proposed the action-oriented Hierarchical Predictive Coding (HPC) as the account to be pursued in the effort of gaining the “Grand Unified Theory of the Mind”—or “painting the big picture,” as (Edelman 2012) put it. Such line of thought is indeed appealing, but to be effectively pursued it should be confronted with experimental findings and (...)
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  3. Huib L. de Jong (2002). Levels of Explanation in Biological Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):441-462.score: 558.0
    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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  4. Angela Potochnik (2010). Levels of Explanation Reconceived. Philosophy of Science 77 (1):59-72.score: 549.0
    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. Víctor M. Verdejo & Daniel Quesada (2011). Levels of Explanation Vindicated. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):77-88.score: 549.0
    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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  6. Ulrich Müller & Jeremy I. M. Carpendale (2001). Objectivity, Intentionality, and Levels of Explanation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):55-56.score: 540.0
    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. Robert N. McCauley, Levels of Explanation and Cognitive Architectures* By.score: 537.0
    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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  8. William P. Bechtel (1994). Levels of Description and Explanation in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 4 (1):1-25.score: 516.0
    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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  9. Jay F. Rosenberg (1994). Comments on Bechtel, Levels of Description and Explanation in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 4 (1):27-37.score: 516.0
    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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  10. Bill Brewer (1998). Levels of Explanation and the Individuation of Events: A Difficulty for the Token Identity Theory. Acta Analytica 20 (20):7-24.score: 486.0
    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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  11. Karen Neander & Peter Menzies (1990). David Owens on Levels of Explanation. Mind 99 (395):459-466.score: 486.0
  12. Jose Luis Bermudez (1995). Syntax, Semantics, and Levels of Explanation. Philosophical Quarterly 45 (180):361-367.score: 468.0
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  13. Josefa Toribio (1991). Causal Efficacy, Content and Levels of Explanation. Logique Et Analyse 34 (September-December):297-318.score: 468.0
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  14. Josefa Toribio, Efficacy, Content and Levels of Explanation.score: 468.0
    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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  15. James Woodward (2010). Causation in Biology: Stability, Specificity, and the Choice of Levels of Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 25 (3):287-318.score: 459.0
    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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  16. 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.score: 459.0
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  17. 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.score: 459.0
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  18. Max Coltheart & Robyn Langdon (1998). Autism, Modularity and Levels of Explanation in Cognitive Science. Mind and Language 13 (1):138-152.score: 450.0
  19. David Owens (1989). Levels of Explanation. Mind 98 (389):59-79.score: 450.0
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  20. Lothar Spillmann & Birgitta Dresp (1995). Phenomena of Illusory Form: Can We Bridge the Gap Between Levels of Explanation? Perception 24:1333-1364.score: 450.0
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  21. Leonard A. Eiserer (1992). Levels of Explanation in Theories of Infant Attachment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15 (3):513-514.score: 450.0
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  22. 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.score: 450.0
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  23. Mark Snyderman (1985). Levels of Explanation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (2):348-348.score: 450.0
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  24. P. N. Singe (1997). Levels of Explanation in Galen. Classical Quarterly 47 (02):525-.score: 450.0
  25. Ron McClamrock (1995). Screening-Off and the Levels of Selection. Erkenntnis 42 (1):107 - 112.score: 432.0
    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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  26. Markus I. Eronen (forthcoming). Levels of Organization: A Deflationary Account. Biology and Philosophy:1-20.score: 426.0
    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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  27. William H. Calvin (1998). Competing for Consciousness: A Darwinian Mechanism at an Appropriate Level of Explanation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 5 (4):389-404.score: 389.0
    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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  28. Luciano Floridi (2008). The Method of Levels of Abstraction. Minds and Machines 18 (3):303-329.score: 340.0
    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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  29. Alexander Rueger & Patrick McGivern (2010). Hierarchies and Levels of Reality. Synthese 176 (3):379 - 397.score: 315.0
    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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  30. Noel Boyle (2008). Neurobiology and Phenomenology: Towards a Three-Tiered Intertheoretic Model of Explanation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 15 (3):34-58.score: 306.0
    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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  31. Ingo Brigandt (forthcoming). Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Limits of Philosophical Accounts of Mechanistic Explanation. In P.-A. Braillard and C. Malaterre (ed.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer.score: 303.0
    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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  32. Santiago Arango-Muñoz (2011). Two Levels of Metacognition. Philosophia 39 (1):71-82.score: 297.0
    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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  33. Ronald Jepperson & John W. Meyer (2011). Multiple Levels of Analysis and the Limitations of Methodological Individualisms. Sociological Theory 29 (1):54 - 73.score: 297.0
    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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  34. Marcin Miłkowski (2012). Limits of Computational Explanation of Cognition. In Vincent Muller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence. Springer.score: 294.0
    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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  35. Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Explanatory Relevance Across Disciplinary Boundaries: The Case of Neuroeconomics. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):219–228.score: 291.0
    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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  36. Todd Jones (2012). Do Customs Compete with Conditioning? Turf Battles and Division of Labor in Social Explanation. Synthese 184 (3):407-430.score: 288.0
    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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  37. Patrick McGivern (2012). Levels of Reality and Scales of Application. In Alexander Bird, Brian Ellis & Howard Sankey (eds.), Properties, Powers and Structures: Issues in the Metaphysics of Realism. Routledge.score: 280.7
    Philosophers and scientists often describe theories, laws, and explanations as applying to the world at different 'levels'. The idea of a 'level of application' is often used to demarcate disciplinary or sub-disciplinary boundaries in the sciences. For instance, stoichiometric laws and quantum mechanical laws might be said to describe chemical phenomena at different levels. More generally, the idea of levels is used to distinguish more fundamental laws or theories from less fundamental ones: more fundamental theories are those (...)
     
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  38. Gregory Johnson (2012). The Relationship Between Psychological Capacities and Neurobiological Activities. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):453-480.score: 279.0
    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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  39. Alejandro Rosas (2009). Levels of Selection in Synergy. Teorema 28 (2):135-150.score: 279.0
    Individual and group selection are usually conceived as opposed evolutionary processes. Though cases of synergy are occasionally recognized, the evolutionary importance of synergy is largely ignored. However, synergy is the plausible explanation for the evolution of collectives as higher level individuals i.e., collectives acting as adaptive units, e.g., genomes and colonies of social insects. It rests on the suppression of the predictable tendency of evolutionary units to benefit at the expense of other units or of the wholes they contribute (...)
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  40. 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.score: 276.0
    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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  41. Jeroen de Ridder (2006). Mechanistic Artefact Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.score: 276.0
    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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  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.score: 276.0
    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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  43. Kenneth F. Schaffner (2000). Behavior at the Organismal and Molecular Levels: The Case of C. Elegans. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):288.score: 276.0
    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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  44. Johnny Hartz Søraker (2014). Continuities and Discontinuities Between Humans, Intelligent Machines, and Other Entities. Philosophy and Technology 27 (1):31-46.score: 270.0
    When it comes to the question of what kind of moral claim an intelligent or autonomous machine might have, one way to answer this is by way of comparison with humans: Is there a fundamental difference between humans and other entities? If so, on what basis, and what are the implications for science and ethics? This question is inherently imprecise, however, because it presupposes that we can readily determine what it means for two types of entities to be sufficiently different—what (...)
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  45. Doug Mann (1999). The Limits of Instrumental Rationality in Social Explanation. Critical Review 13 (1-2):165-189.score: 268.0
    Abstract The goal of social explanation is to understand human action, both individual and collective. To do so successfully we must explain action on three distinct (but intertwined) levels: the actors? intentions, the meaning that actors and interpreters ascribe to action, and the structural ideals that govern action. Each level of explanation has certain types of rationality associated with it. Only on the level of intentionality does instrumental rationality assume a prime importance, yet even there it must (...)
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  46. Antti Revonsuo (1999). Neuroscience and the Explanation of Psychological Phenomena. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):847-849.score: 267.0
    Explanatory problems in the philosophy of neuroscience are not well captured by the division between the radical and the trivial neuron doctrines. The actual problem is, instead, whether mechanistic biological explanations across different levels of description can be extended to account for psychological phenomena. According to cognitive neuroscience, some neural levels of description at least are essential for the explanation of psychological phenomena, whereas, in traditional cognitive science, psychological explanations are completely independent of the neural levels (...)
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  47. Stan Van Hooft (1979). Merleau-Ponty and the Problem of Intentional Explanation. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 40 (1):33-52.score: 261.0
    THE PURPOSE OF THE ARTICLE IS TO SHOW THE RELEVANCE OF\nGENERAL SYSTEM THEORY TO THE PROBLEMATIC OF MERLEAU-PONTY'S\nTHOUGHT. IF MERLEAU-PONTY HAS SHOWN THAT THE REALM OF\nEXISTENCE, INSOFAR AS IT IS GROUNDED IN THE PHYSICAL WORLD\nGRASPED PREOBJECTIVELY, IS NOT ONTOLOGICALLY REMOVED FROM\nTHE REALM IN WHICH CAUSAL EXPLANATION HAS ITS PLACE, NAMELY\nTHE OBJECTIVE WORLD, THEN HE MUST ALSO BE ABLE TO BRIDGE\nTHE EPISTEMOLOGICAL GAP THAT IS INVOLVED. I SUGGEST THAT HE\nCAN DO THIS IF THE DESCRIPTIONS OF INTENTIONALITY AS THEY\nAPPLY TO CONSCIOUSNESS (...)
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  48. Peter Fazekas & Gergely Kertész (2011). Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations. Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):365-383.score: 258.0
    This paper tracks the commitments of mechanistic explanations focusing on the relation between activities at different levels. It is pointed out that the mechanistic approach is inherently committed to identifying causal connections at higher levels with causal connections at lower levels. For the mechanistic approach to succeed a mechanism as a whole must do the very same thing what its parts organised in a particular way do. The mechanistic approach must also utilise bridge principles connecting different causal (...)
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  49. Todd Jones (2008). Explanations of Social Phenomena: Competing and Complementary Accounts. Metaphilosophy 39 (4-5):621-650.score: 249.0
    Abstract: Situations that social scientists and others explain by using concepts like "custom" and "norm" often tend to be situations in which many other kinds of explanations (for example, biological, psychological, economic, historical) seem plausible as well. Do these other explanations compete with the custom or norm explanations, or do they complement them? We need to consider this question carefully and not just assume that various accounts are all permissible at different levels of analysis. In this article I describe (...)
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