Search results for 'causal explanations' (try it on Scholar)

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  1.  35
    David Pineda (2011). Non-Committal Causal Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.
    Some causal explanations are non-committal in that mention of a property in the explanans conveys information about the causal origin of the explanandum even if the property in question plays no causal role for the explanandum . Programme explanations are a variety of non-committal causal (NCC) explanations. Yet their interest is very limited since, as I will argue in this paper, their range of applicability is in fact quite narrow. However (...)
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  2.  37
    Michelene T. H. Chi, Rod D. Roscoe, James D. Slotta, Marguerite Roy & Catherine C. Chase (2012). Misconceived Causal Explanations for Emergent Processes. Cognitive Science 36 (1):1-61.
    Studies exploring how students learn and understand science processes such as diffusion and natural selection typically find that students provide misconceived explanations of how the patterns of such processes arise (such as why giraffes’ necks get longer over generations, or how ink dropped into water appears to “flow”). Instead of explaining the patterns of these processes as emerging from the collective interactions of all the agents (e.g., both the water and the ink molecules), students often explain the pattern (...)
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  3.  17
    Finnur Dellsén (forthcoming). There May Yet Be Non-Causal Explanations. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie:1-8.
    There are many putative counterexamples to the view that all scientific explanations are causal explanations. Using a new theory of what it is to be a causal explanation, Bradford Skow has recently argued that several of the putative counterexamples fail to be non-causal. This paper defends some of the counterexamples by showing how Skow’s argument relies on an overly permissive theory of causal explanations.
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  4.  43
    Alexander Reutlinger (forthcoming). Is There A Monist Theory of Causal and Non-Causal Explanations? The Counterfactual Theory of Scientific Explanation. Philosophy of Science.
    The goal of this paper is to develop a counterfactual theory of explanation. The CTE provides a monist framework for causal and non-causal explanations, according to which both causal and non-causal explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I argue that the CTE is applicable to two paradigmatic examples of non-causal explanations: Euler’s explanation and renormalization group explanations of universality.
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  5.  12
    Mark Pexton (2016). There Are Non‐Causal Explanations of Particular Events. Metaphilosophy 47 (2):264-282.
    A defence of non-causal explanations of events is presented in cases where explanation is understood as modal explanation. In such cases the source of modal information is crucial. All explanations implicitly use contrast classes, and relative to a particular contrast we can privilege some difference makers over others. Thinking about changes in these privileged “actual” difference makers is then the source of modal information for any given explanandum. If an actual difference maker is non-causal, then we (...)
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  6. Achille C. Varzi (2007). Omissions and Causal Explanations. In Francesca Castellani & Josef Quitterer (eds.), Agency and Causation in the Human Sciences. Mentis Verlag 155–167.
    In previous work I have argued that talk about negative events should not be taken at face value: typically, what we are inclined to think of as a negative event (John’s failure to go jogging) is just an ordinary, positive event (his going to the movie instead); it is a positive event under a negative description. Here I consider more closely the difficulties that arise in those cases where no positive event seems available to do the job, as with putative (...)
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  7.  66
    Jim Bogen (2005). Regularities and Causality; Generalizations and Causal Explanations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):397-420.
    Machamer, Darden, and Craver argue (Mechanism) that causal explanations explain effects by describing the operations of the mechanisms (systems of entities engaging in productive activities) which produce them. One of this paper’s aims is to take advantage of neglected resources of Mechanism to rethink the traditional idea (Regularism) that actual or counterfactual natural regularities are essential to the distinction between causal and non-causal co-occurrences, and that generalizations describing natural regularities are essential components of causal (...)
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  8. Bradford Skow (2013). Are There Non-Causal Explanations (of Particular Events)? British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (3):axs047.
    Philosophers have proposed many alleged examples of non-causal explanations of particular events. I discuss several well-known examples and argue that they fail to be non-causal. 1 Questions2 Preliminaries3 Explanations That Cite Causally Inert Entities4 Explanations That Merely Cite Laws I5 Stellar Collapse6 Explanations That Merely Cite Laws II7 A Final Example8 Conclusion.
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  9.  35
    Jon Williamson (2013). How Can Causal Explanations Explain? Erkenntnis 78 (2):257-275.
    The mechanistic and causal accounts of explanation are often conflated to yield a ‘causal-mechanical’ account. This paper prizes them apart and asks: if the mechanistic account is correct, how can causal explanations be explanatory? The answer to this question varies according to how causality itself is understood. It is argued that difference-making, mechanistic, dualist and inferentialist accounts of causality all struggle to yield explanatory causal explanations, but that an epistemic account of causality is more (...)
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  10.  69
    Merrilee H. Salmon (2003). Causal Explanations of Behavior. Philosophy of Science 70 (4):720-738.
    Most discussions of causal explanations of behavior focus on the problem of whether it makes sense to regard reasons as causes of human behavior, whether there can be laws connecting reasons with behavior, and the like. This essay discusses explanations of human behavior that do not appeal to reasons. Such explanations can be found in several areas of the social sciences. Moreover, these explanations are both causal and non-reductionist. Historical linguists, for example, offer (...) explanations of changes in how words are pronouncedand linguistic change in generalwithout appealing to human intentions. I use examples from linguistics, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology to discuss the importance of this sort of explanation and to examine its compatibility with recent philosophical accounts of causation. (shrink)
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  11.  25
    Alice McEleney & Ruth M. J. Byrne (2006). Spontaneous Counterfactual Thoughts and Causal Explanations. Thinking and Reasoning 12 (2):235 – 255.
    We report two Experiments to compare counterfactual thoughts about how an outcome could have been different and causal explanations about why the outcome occurred. Experiment 1 showed that people generate counterfactual thoughts more often about controllable than uncontrollable events, whereas they generate causal explanations more often about unexpected than expected events. Counterfactual thoughts focus on specific factors, whereas causal explanations focus on both general and specific factors. Experiment 2 showed that in their spontaneous counterfactual (...)
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  12.  5
    Anne M. Fagot (1984). About Causation in Medicine: Some Shortcomings of a Probabilistic Account of Causal Explanations. In Lennart Nordenfelt & B. I. B. Lindahl (eds.), Health, Disease, and Causal Explanations in Medicine. Reidel 101--126.
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  13.  82
    Holly Andersen (forthcoming). Complements, Not Competitors: Causal and Mathematical Explanations. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    A finer-grained delineation of a given explanandum reveals a nexus of closely related causal and non- causal explanations, complementing one another in ways that yield further explanatory traction on the phenomenon in question. By taking a narrower construal of what counts as a causal explanation, a new class of distinctively mathematical explanations pops into focus; Lange’s characterization of distinctively mathematical explanations can be extended to cover these. This new class of distinctively (...)
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  14.  9
    Corrado Matta (2015). Interpretivism and Causal Explanations A Case From Educational Research. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (6):543-567.
    This article criticizes a view about the interpretation of human action, labeled in the text as interpretivism. This view posits a sharp separation between the natural and social sciences, to the effect that the methods of the latter cannot be applied to the former. I criticize this standpoint by reconstructing a case of educational research. As I argue, the case I analyze indicates that the arguments in support of interpretivism are contradicted by what social researchers can actually achieve. I conclude (...)
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  15.  46
    Elizabeth Valentine (1988). Teleological Explanations and Their Relation to Causal Explanation in Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):61-68.
    The relation of teleological to causal explanations in psychology is examined. Nagel's claim that they are logically equivalent is rejected. Two arguments for their non-equivalence are considered: (i) the impossibility of specifying initial conditions in the case of teleological explanations and (ii) the claim that different kinds of logic are involved. The view that causal explanations provide only necessary conditions whereas teleological explanations provide sufficient conditions is rejected: causal explanations can provide sufficient (...)
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  16.  10
    Robert Wyllie (1980). Causal Explanations in Mental Event Contexts. Philosophical Papers 9 (May):15-31.
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  17.  76
    Angela Potochnik (2015). Causal Patterns and Adequate Explanations. Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1163-1182.
    Causal accounts of scientific explanation are currently broadly accepted (though not universally so). My first task in this paper is to show that, even for a causal approach to explanation, significant features of explanatory practice are not determined by settling how causal facts bear on the phenomenon to be explained. I then develop a broadly causal approach to explanation that accounts for the additional features that I argue an explanation should have. This approach to explanation makes (...)
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  18. Carl Ginet (2008). In Defense of a Non-Causal Account of Reasons Explanations. Journal of Ethics 12 (3/4):229 - 237.
    This paper defends my claim in earlier work that certain non-causal conditions are sufficient for the truth of some reasons explanations of actions, against the critique of this claim given by Randolph Clarke in his book, Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.
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  19. Jeffrey S. Wicken (1981). Causal Explanations in Classical and Statistical Thermodynamics. Philosophy of Science 48 (1):65-77.
    This paper considers the problem of causal explanation in classical and statistical thermodynamics. It is argued that the irreversibility of macroscopic processes is explained in both formulations of thermodynamics in a teleological way that appeals to entropic or probabilistic consequences rather than to efficient-causal, antecedental conditions. This explanatory structure of thermodynamics is not taken to imply a teleological orientation to macroscopic processes themselves, but to reflect simply the epistemological limitations of this science, wherein consequences of heat-work asymmetries are (...)
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  20.  67
    Jani Raerinne (2011). Causal and Mechanistic Explanations in Ecology. Acta Biotheoretica 59 (3):251-271.
    How are scientific explanations possible in ecology, given that there do not appear to be many—if any—ecological laws? To answer this question, I present and defend an account of scientific causal explanation in which ecological generalizations are explanatory if they are invariant rather than lawlike. An invariant generalization continues to hold or be valid under a special change—called an intervention—that changes the value of its variables. According to this account, causes are difference-makers that can be intervened upon to (...)
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  21. T. A. Goudge (1958). Causal Explanations in Natural History. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 9 (35):194-202.
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  22.  2
    Jani Raerinne & Jan Baedke, Exclusions, Explanations, and Exceptions: On the Causal and Lawlike Status of the Competitive Exclusion Principle.
    The lawlike and explanatory status of ecologists’ Competitive Exclusion Principle is a debated topic. It has been argued that the CEP is a ceteris paribus law, a non-lawlike regularity riddled with exceptions, a tautology, a causal regularity, and so on. We argue that the CEP is an empirically respectful and testable strict law that is not riddled with genuine exceptions. Moreover, we argue that the CEP is not a causal explanans in explanations, because it is a coexistence (...)
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  23.  22
    Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2007). Assessing the Explanatory Power of Causal Explanations. In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Springer
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  24.  3
    Jim Bogen (2005). Regularities and Causality; Generalizations and Causal Explanations. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):397-420.
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  25. Neil Campbell (2003). Causes and Causal Explanations: Davidson and His Critics. Philosophia 31 (1-2):149-157.
  26.  29
    Samuel Gorovitz (1965). Causal Judgments and Causal Explanations. Journal of Philosophy 62 (23):695-711.
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  27.  57
    R. S. Downie (1985). Health, Disease, and Causal Explanations in Medicine. Journal of Medical Ethics 11 (2):109-109.
  28.  18
    James Woodward (1986). Are Singular Causal Explanations Implicit Covering-Law Explanations? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 16 (2):253 - 279.
  29.  10
    A. B. Levison & I. Thalberg (1969). Essential and Causal Explanations of Action. Mind 78 (309):91-101.
  30.  12
    Lennart Nordenfelt & B. Ingemar B. Lindahl (eds.) (1984). Health, Disease, and Causal Explanations in Medicine. Reidel.
  31.  8
    Raymond Martin (1972). Singular Causal Explanations. Theory and Decision 2 (3):221-237.
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  32.  8
    Douglas Huff & Stephen Turner (1981). Rationalizations and the Application of Causal Explanations of Human Action. American Philosophical Quarterly 18 (3):213 - 220.
  33.  3
    William H. Austin (1984). Rational Credibility and Causal Explanations of Belief. Neue Zeitschrift für Systematicsche Theologie Und Religionsphilosophie 26 (2-3):116-133.
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  34.  20
    Quentin Smith (1995). Internal and External Causal Explanations of the Universe. Philosophical Studies 79 (3):283 - 310.
    By "an infinite series of contingent beings" is meant a beginningless succession of modally contingent beings, such that the succession of beings occupies an infinite number of equal-lengthened temporal intervals (e.g. an aleph-zero number of past years).
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  35.  10
    R. C. Solomon (1974). Reasons as Causal Explanations. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 34 (3):415-428.
  36.  2
    Schematic Patterns (1988). 7/Causal Explanations In. In M. J. Horowitz (ed.), Psychodynamics and Cognition. University of Chicago Press 261.
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  37.  6
    James E. White (1971). Avowed Reasons and Causal Explanations. Mind 80 (318):238-245.
  38. U. K. Bolton - (2003). Meaning and Causal Explanations in the Behavioural Sciences. In Bill Fulford, Katherine Morris, John Z. Sadler & Giovanni Stanghellini (eds.), Nature and Narrative: An Introduction to the New Philosophy of Psychiatry. OUP Oxford
     
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  39. R. Brandt (1963). Personality Traits as Causal Explanations in Historiography. In Sidney Hook (ed.), Philosophy and History. [New York]New York University Press
     
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  40. Satya P. Gautam (1992). Normative Structure of Human Actions and Causal Explanations. In Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, Indu Banga & Chhanda Gupta (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Perspectives From Natural and Social Sciences. Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers 40--179.
     
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  41. Angus John Louis Menuge (1989). A Causal Analysis of the Intensionality of Rationalizing Explanations. Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
    A naturalistic theory of rationalization is defended against a fundamental objection. The theory claims that: The rationalizing relation can be fully analysed in causal explanatory terms. However, is rendered problematic by the fact that: Rationalizations exhibit a higher degree of intensionality than ordinary physical causal explanations. To show that can be maintained in the face of , I develop an account of on which and may be reconciled. ;The opening chapter gives an account of the intensionality of (...)
     
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  42. Ullin T. Place (1987). Causal Laws, Dispositional Properties and Causal Explanations. Synthesis Philosophica 2 (3):149-160.
     
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  43. Thomas Seebohm & Thomas M. Seebohm (2015). Causal Explanations in History. In Thomas Seebohm & Thomas M. Seebohm (eds.), History as a Science and the System of the Sciences. Springer International Publishing
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  44.  80
    Sven Walter (2005). Program Explanations and Causal Relevance. Acta Analytica 20 (36):32-47.
    Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit have defended a non-reductive account of causal relevance known as the ‘program explanation account’. Allegedly, irreducible mental properties can be causally relevant in virtue of figuring in non-redundant program explanations which convey information not conveyed by explanations in terms of the physical properties that actually do the ‘causal work’. I argue that none of the possible ways to spell out the intuitively plausible idea of a program explanation serves its purpose, viz., (...)
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  45. Julia Tanney (2009). Reasons as Non-Causal, Context-Placing Explanations. In Constantine Sandis (ed.), New Essays on the Explanation of Action. Palgrave Macmillan 94--111.
    forthcoming in New Essays on the Explanation of Action Abstract Philosophers influenced by Wittgenstein rejected the idea that the explanatory power of our ordinary interpretive practices is to be found in law-governed, causal relations between items to which our everyday mental terms allegedly refer. Wittgenstein and those he inspired pointed to differences between the explanations provided by the ordinary employment of mental expressions and the style of causal explanation characteristic of the hard sciences. I believe, however, that (...)
     
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  46.  58
    Abraham S. Roth (1999). Reasons Explanations of Actions: Causal, Singular, and Situational. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (4):839-874.
    Davidson held that the explanation of action in terms of reasons was a form of causal explanation. He challenged anti-causalists to identify a non-causal relation underlying reasons---explanation which could distinguish between merely having a reason and that reason being the one for which one acts. George Wilson attempts to meet Davidson’s challenge, but the relation he identifies can serve only in explanations of general facts, whereas reasons explanation is often of particular acts. This suggests that the relation (...)
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  47.  14
    K. R. Stueber (2013). The Causal Autonomy of Reason Explanations and How Not to Worry About Causal Deviance. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 43 (1):24-45.
    This essay will defend a causal conception of action explanations in terms of an agent’s reasons by delineating a metaphysical and epistemic framework that allows us to view folk psychology as providing us with causal and autonomous explanatory strategies of accounting for individual agency. At the same time, I will calm philosophical concerns about the issue of causal deviance that have been at the center of the recent debates between causalist and noncausalist interpretations of action (...). For that purpose, it is important to realize that the domain of folk-psychological action explanation is also the domain of skillful and goal-directed bodily movements, a domain to which we have independent epistemic access. (shrink)
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  48.  26
    Clark Glymour (1998). Learning Causes: Psychological Explanations of Causal Explanation. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 8 (1):39-60.
    I argue that psychologists interested in human causal judgment should understand and adopt a representation of causal mechanisms by directed graphs that encode conditional independence (screening off) relations. I illustrate the benefits of that representation, now widely used in computer science and increasingly in statistics, by (i) showing that a dispute in psychology between ‘mechanist’ and ‘associationist’ psychological theories of causation rests on a false and confused dichotomy; (ii) showing that a recent, much-cited experiment, purporting to (...)
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  49.  18
    Leen De Vreese (2008). Causal (Mis)Understanding and the Search for Scientific Explanations: A Case Study From the History of Medicine. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (1):14-24.
    In 1747, James Lind carried out an experiment which proved the usefulness of citrus fruit as a cure for scurvy. Nonetheless, he rejected the earlier hypothesis of Bachstrom that the absence of fresh fruit and vegetables was the only cause of the disease. I explain why it was rational for James Lind not to accept Bachstrom’s explanation. I argue that it was the urge for scientific understanding that guided Lind in his rejection and in the development of his (...)
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  50.  12
    Paul Schuurman (2013). Determinism and Causal Feedback Loops in Montesquieu's Explanations for the Military Rise and Fall of Rome. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 21 (3):507-528.
    Montesquieu's Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains et de leur décadence (1733/1734) is a methodological exercise in causal explanation on the meso-level applied to the subject of the military rise and fall of Rome. Rome is described as a system with contingent initial conditions that have a strong path-determining effect. Contingent and plastic initial configurations become highly determining in their subsequent operation, thanks to self-reinforcing feedback loops. Montesquieu's method seems influenced by the ruthless commitment to efficient (...)
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