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  1. added 2020-03-31
    Bayesian Cognitive Science, Monopoly, and Neglected Frameworks.Matteo Colombo & Stephan Hartmann - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):451–484.
    A widely shared view in the cognitive sciences is that discovering and assessing explanations of cognitive phenomena whose production involves uncertainty should be done in a Bayesian framework. One assumption supporting this modelling choice is that Bayes provides the best approach for representing uncertainty. However, it is unclear that Bayes possesses special epistemic virtues over alternative modelling frameworks, since a systematic comparison has yet to be attempted. Currently, it is then premature to assert that cognitive phenomena involving uncertainty are best (...)
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  2. added 2020-03-10
    Mechanisms Without Mechanistic Explanation.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2323-2340.
    Some recent accounts of constitutive relevance have identified mechanism components with entities that are causal intermediaries between the input and output of a mechanism. I argue that on such accounts there is no distinctive inter-level form of mechanistic explanation and that this highlights an absence in the literature of a compelling argument that there are such explanations. Nevertheless, the entities that these accounts call ‘components’ do play an explanatory role. Studying causal intermediaries linking variables Xand Y provides knowledge of the (...)
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  3. added 2019-09-30
    Interprétabilité et explicabilité pour l’apprentissage machine : entre modèles descriptifs, modèles prédictifs et modèles causaux. Une nécessaire clarification épistémologique.Christophe Denis & Franck Varenne - 2019 - Actes de la Conférence Nationale En Intelligence Artificielle - CNIA 2019.
    Le déficit d’explicabilité des techniques d’apprentissage machine (AM) pose des problèmes opérationnels, juridiques et éthiques. Un des principaux objectifs de notre projet est de fournir des explications éthiques des sorties générées par une application fondée sur de l’AM, considérée comme une boîte noire. La première étape de ce projet, présentée dans cet article, consiste à montrer que la validation de ces boîtes noires diffère épistémologiquement de celle mise en place dans le cadre d’une modélisation mathématique et causale d’un phénomène physique. (...)
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  4. added 2019-09-27
    ‘Pain Always Asks for a Cause’: Nietzsche and Explanation.Matthew Bennett - 2017 - European Journal of Philosophy 25 (4):1550-1568.
    Those who have emphasised Nietzsche's naturalism have often claimed that he emulates natural scientific methods by offering causal explanations of psychological, social, and moral phenomena. In order to render Nietzsche's method consistent with his methodology, such readers of Nietzsche have also claimed that his objections to the use of causal explanations are based on a limited scepticism concerning the veracity of causal explanations. My contention is that proponents of this reading are wrong about both Nietzsche's methodology and his method. I (...)
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  5. added 2019-08-20
    Genetic Relatedness and Its Causal Role in the Evolution of Insect Societies.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - Journal of Biosciences 44:107.
    The role of genetic relatedness in social evolution has recently come under critical attention. These arguments are here critically analyzed, both theoretically and empirically. It is argued that when the conceptual structure of the theory of natural selection is carefully taken into account, genetic relatedness can be seen to play an indispensable role in the evolution of both facultative and advanced eusociality. Although reviewing the empirical evidence concerning the evolution of eusociality reveals that relatedness does not play a role in (...)
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  6. added 2019-07-18
    Non-Naturalistic Moral Explanation.Samuel Baron, Mark Colyvan, Kristie Miller & Michael Rubin - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper focuses on a particular kind of non-naturalism: moral non-naturalism. Our primary aim is to argue that the moral non-naturalist places herself in an invidious position if she simply accepts that the non-natural moral facts that she posits are not explanatory. This has, hitherto, been the route that moral non-naturalists have taken. They have attempted to make their position more palatable by pointing out that there is reason to be suspicious of the explanatory criterion of ontological commitment. That is (...)
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  7. added 2019-07-18
    Universality Caused: The Case of Renormalization Group Explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.
    Recently, many have argued that there are certain kinds of abstract mathematical explanations that are noncausal. In particular, the irrelevancy approach suggests that abstracting away irrelevant causal details can leave us with a noncausal explanation. In this paper, I argue that the common example of Renormalization Group explanations of universality used to motivate the irrelevancy approach deserves more critical attention. I argue that the reasons given by those who hold up RG as noncausal do not stand up to critical scrutiny. (...)
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  8. added 2019-06-19
    Causality, Human Action and Experimentation: Von Wright's Approach to Causation in Contemporary Perspective.Elena Popa - 2017 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 93:355-373.
    This paper discusses von Wright's theory of causation from Explanation and Understanding and Causality and Determinism in contemporary context. I argue that there are two important common points that von Wright's view shares with the version of manipulability currently supported by Woodward: the analysis of causal relations in a system modelled on controlled experiments, and the explanation of manipulability through counterfactuals - with focus on the counterfactual account of unmanipulable causes. These points also mark von Wright's departure from previous action-based (...)
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  9. added 2019-06-06
    Reference to the Best Explanation.Arash Pessian - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (4):363-374.
    This paper shows that two questions productively overlap: first, in virtue of what does an agent infer one hypothesis rather than another? Second, in virtue of what does an agent refer to one natural kind rather than another? Peter Lipton answers the first question by articulating the model of inference to the best explanation. Lipton’s answer to the first question is appropriated as an answer to the second.Keywords: Reference; Explanation; Natural kind; Qua problem; Peter Lipton.
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  10. added 2019-04-25
    Social Evolution and the Two Elements of Causation.Tuomas K. Pernu & Heikki Helanterä - 2019 - Oikos 128:905-911.
    The kin selection theory has recently been criticised on the basis of claiming that genetic relatedness does not play a causal role in the social evolution among individuals of insect societies. We outline here a line of criticism of this view by demonstrating two things. First, there are strong conceptual, theoretical and empirical reasons to think that close genetic relatedness has been necessary for the rise of the helper castes of social insects. And second, once we understand how causal explanation (...)
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  11. added 2019-04-09
    Re-Re-Reconciling the Epistemic and Ontic Views of Explanation: A Reply to Wright and van Eck.Benjamin Sheredos - manuscript
    In a recent article published in Ergo and entitled "Ontic explanation is either ontic or explanatory, but not both," Cory Wright and Dingmar van Eck have sought to undermine any ontic approach to explanation, providing three arguments to show that an epistemic approach is "the only game in town." I show that each of their arguments is straightforwardly question-begging. For brevity, I make my counter-arguments by showing how the claims of Sheredos (2016)-whom Wright & van Eck cite as an ally-undermine (...)
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  12. added 2019-03-08
    Stability, Breadth and Guidance.Thomas Blanchard, Nadya Vasilyeva & Tania Lombrozo - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2263-2283.
    Much recent work on explanation in the interventionist tradition emphasizes the explanatory value of stable causal generalizations—i.e., causal generalizations that remain true in a wide range of background circumstances. We argue that two separate explanatory virtues are lumped together under the heading of `stability’. We call these two virtues breadth and guidance respectively. In our view, these two virtues are importantly distinct, but this fact is neglected or at least under-appreciated in the literature on stability. We argue that an adequate (...)
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  13. added 2019-03-04
    Against Harmony: Infinite Idealizations and Causal Explanation.Iulian D. Toader - 2015 - In Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science, vol. 313,. pp. 291-301.
    This paper argues against the view that the standard explanation of phase transitions in statistical mechanics may be considered a causal explanation, a distortion that can nevertheless successfully represent causal relations.
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  14. added 2019-02-22
    The Narrow Ontic Counterfactual Account of Distinctively Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz008.
    An account of distinctively mathematical explanation (DME) should satisfy three desiderata: it should account for the modal import of some DMEs; it should distinguish uses of mathematics in explanation that are distinctively mathematical from those that are not (Baron [2016]); and it should also account for the directionality of DMEs (Craver and Povich [2017]). Baron’s (forthcoming) deductive-mathematical account, because it is modelled on the deductive-nomological account, is unlikely to satisfy these desiderata. I provide a counterfactual account of DME, the Narrow (...)
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  15. added 2019-02-22
    Minimal Models and the Generalized Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Mark Povich - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):117-137.
    Batterman and Rice ([2014]) argue that minimal models possess explanatory power that cannot be captured by what they call ‘common features’ approaches to explanation. Minimal models are explanatory, according to Batterman and Rice, not in virtue of accurately representing relevant features, but in virtue of answering three questions that provide a ‘story about why large classes of features are irrelevant to the explanandum phenomenon’ ([2014], p. 356). In this article, I argue, first, that a method (the renormalization group) they propose (...)
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  16. added 2019-02-22
    The Directionality of Distinctively Mathematical Explanations.Carl F. Craver & Mark Povich - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:31-38.
    In “What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?” (2013b), Lange uses several compelling examples to argue that certain explanations for natural phenomena appeal primarily to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In such explanations, the core explanatory facts are modally stronger than facts about causation, regularity, and other natural relations. We show that Lange's account of distinctively mathematical explanation is flawed in that it fails to account for the implicit directionality in each of his examples. This inadequacy is remediable in each (...)
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  17. added 2019-02-22
    Mechanisms and Model-Based Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.Mark Povich - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1035-1046.
    Mechanistic explanations satisfy widely held norms of explanation: the ability to manipulate and answer counterfactual questions about the explanandum phenomenon. A currently debated issue is whether any nonmechanistic explanations can satisfy these explanatory norms. Weiskopf argues that the models of object recognition and categorization, JIM, SUSTAIN, and ALCOVE, are not mechanistic yet satisfy these norms of explanation. In this article I argue that these models are mechanism sketches. My argument applies recent research using model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging, a novel (...)
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  18. added 2019-01-28
    Causal Explanation in Psychiatry.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - In Şerife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
  19. added 2018-11-24
    Viewing-as Explanations and Ontic Dependence.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):769-792.
    According to a widespread view in metaphysics and philosophy of science, all explanations involve relations of ontic dependence between the items appearing in the explanandum and the items appearing in the explanans. I argue that a family of mathematical cases, which I call “viewing-as explanations”, are incompatible with the Dependence Thesis. These cases, I claim, feature genuine explanations that aren’t supported by ontic dependence relations. Hence the thesis isn’t true in general. The first part of the paper defends this claim (...)
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  20. added 2018-09-06
    The Last Stand of the Covering-Law Theory: A Reply to Opp.Petri Ylikoski - 2013 - Social Science Information 52 (3):383-393.
    In his paper Karl-Dieter Opp heroically sets out to defend both the adequacy and socio- logical fruitfulness of the covering-law account of explanation (the HO scheme). The attempt is bold, as he is not only defending the HO scheme as a theory of explanation but also as a scheme for finding and establishing causal relationships. In this reply I argue that the defense is not successful; quite the contrary, it clearly demonstrates why mecha- nism-based reasoning is important in the social (...)
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  21. added 2018-07-11
    On the Explanatory Depth and Pragmatic Value of Coarse-Grained, Probabilistic, Causal Explanations.David Kinney - 2018 - Philosophy of Science (1):145-167.
    This article considers the popular thesis that a more proportional relationship between a cause and its effect yields a more abstract causal explanation of that effect, which in turn produces a deeper explanation. This thesis is taken to have important implications for choosing the optimal granularity of explanation for a given explanandum. In this article, I argue that this thesis is not generally true of probabilistic causal relationships. In light of this finding, I propose a pragmatic, interest-relative measure of explanatory (...)
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  22. added 2018-06-28
    The Nonmechanistic Option: Defending Dynamical Explanation.Russell Meyer - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:0-0.
    This paper demonstrates that nonmechanistic, dynamical explanations are a viable approach to explanation in the special sciences. The claim that dynamical models can be explanatory without reference to mechanisms has previously been met with three lines of criticism from mechanists: the causal relevance concern, the genuine laws concern, and the charge of predictivism. I argue, however, that these mechanist criticisms fail to defeat nonmechanistic, dynamical explanation. Using the examples of Haken et al.’s ([1985]) HKB model of bimanual coordination, and Thelen (...)
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  23. added 2018-06-20
    The Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Cory Wright - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:20-30.
    Wesley Salmon’s version of the ontic conception of explanation is a main historical root of contemporary work on mechanistic explanation. This paper examines and critiques the philosophical merits of Salmon’s version, and argues that his conception’s most fundamental construct is either fundamentally obscure, or else reduces to a non-ontic conception of explanation. Either way, the ontic conception is a misconception.
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  24. added 2018-03-13
    Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the phenomenon to be explained. Such causal accounts have been the received view of the nature of explanation, particularly in philosophy of science, since the 1980s. However, philosophers (...)
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  25. added 2018-03-06
    The Principle of Common Cause and its Advantages and Limitations in Screening the Correlated Events Off.Varghese Joby - 2017 - Balkan Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):71-78.
    The Principle of Common Cause puts forward the idea that events which occur simultaneously and are correlated have a prior common cause which screens off the correlation. I endorse the view that the PCC does qualify as a principle that can be used as a tool in explaining improbable coincidences. However, though there are epistemological advantages in common cause explanations of correlated events, the PCC is not impeccable. This paper offers a preliminary assessment of the PCC advocated by Reichenbach, and (...)
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  26. added 2018-03-06
    Philosophy, Certainty and Semantic Stretch.Michaelis Michael - 2017 - Australasian Philosophical Review 1 (3):281-290.
    ABSTRACTLloyd encourages us to look anew at philosophy and science by using a comparative methodology, comparing the familiar Western form of philosophy, for example, with the forms found in ancient China. Taking lessons from comparative biology, this paper attempts to show that such comparison can only take place when we understand what we are looking at in the familiar case. The question of the centrality of the drive for certainty is addressed. Why has certainty been so attractive and what does (...)
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  27. added 2018-02-16
    Causation, Unification, and the Adequacy of Explanations of Facts.Jeroen van Bouwel - 2009 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 24 (3):301-320.
    Pluralism with respect to the structure of explanations of facts is not uncommon. Wesley Salmon, for instance, distinguished two types of explanation: causal explanations (which provide insight in the causes of the fact we want to explain) and unification explanations (which fit the explanandum into a unified world view). The pluralism which Salmon and others have defended is compatible with several positions about the exact relation between these two types of explanations. We distinguish four such positions, and argue in favour (...)
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  28. added 2017-12-25
    Probability-Lowering Causes and the Connotations of Causation.Andrés Páez - 2013 - Ideas Y Valores 62 (151):43-55.
    A common objection to probabilistic theories of causation is that there are prima facie causes that lower the probability of their effects. Among the many replies to this objection, little attention has been given to Mellor's (1995) indirect strategy to deny that probability-lowering factors are bona fide causes. According to Mellor, such factors do not satisfy the evidential, explanatory, and instrumental connotations of causation. The paper argues that the evidential connotation only entails an epistemically relativized form of causal attribution, not (...)
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  29. added 2017-11-30
    Generalised Reichenbachian Common Cause Systems.Claudio Mazzola - 2017 - Synthese 196 (10):4185-4209.
    The principle of the common cause claims that if an improbable coincidence has occurred, there must exist a common cause. This is generally taken to mean that positive correlations between non-causally related events should disappear when conditioning on the action of some underlying common cause. The extended interpretation of the principle, by contrast, urges that common causes should be called for in order to explain positive deviations between the estimated correlation of two events and the expected value of their correlation. (...)
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  30. added 2017-08-23
    Path-Specific Effects.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):53-76.
    A cause may influence its effect via multiple paths. Paradigmatically (Hesslow [1974]), taking birth control pills both decreases one’s risk of thrombosis by preventing pregnancy and increases it by producing a blood chemical. Building on Pearl ([2001]), I explicate the notion of a path-specific effect. Roughly, a path-specific effect of C on E via path P is the degree to which a change in C would change E were they to be transmitted only via P. Facts about such effects may (...)
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  31. added 2017-06-19
    Thomas Reid on Causation and Scientific Explanation.Manuel Barrantes & Juan Manuel Durán - 2016 - Journal of Scottish Philosophy 14 (1):51-67.
    We argue that there is no tension between Reid's description of science and his claim that science is based on the principles of common sense. For Reid, science is rooted in common sense since it is based on the idea that fixed laws govern nature. This, however, does not contradict his view that the scientific notions of causation and explanation are fundamentally different from their common sense counterparts. After discussing these points, we dispute with Cobb's and Benbaji's interpretations of Reid's (...)
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  32. added 2017-06-12
    Symmetry Breaking and the Emergence of Path-Dependence.Hugh Desmond - 2017 - Synthese (10):4101-4131.
    Path-dependence offers a promising way of understanding the role historicity plays in explanation, namely, how the past states of a process can matter in the explanation of a given outcome. The two main existing accounts of path-dependence have sought to present it either in terms of dynamic landscapes or branching trees. However, the notions of landscape and tree both have serious limitations and have been criticized. The framework of causal networks is both more fundamental and more general that that of (...)
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  33. added 2017-03-29
    Introduction: Scientific Explanation Beyond Causation.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This is an introduction to the volume "Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations", edited by A. Reutlinger and J. Saatsi (OUP, forthcoming in 2017). -/- Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the (...)
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  34. added 2016-12-08
    A Contextual Approach to Scientific Understanding.Henk Regt & Dennis Dieks - 2005 - Synthese 144 (1):137-170.
    Achieving understanding of nature is one of the aims of science. In this paper we offer an analysis of the nature of scientific understanding that accords with actual scientific practice and accommodates the historical diversity of conceptions of understanding. Its core idea is a general criterion for the intelligibility of scientific theories that is essentially contextual: which theories conform to this criterion depends on contextual factors, and can change in the course of time. Our analysis provides a general account of (...)
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  35. added 2016-10-25
    Explanation Beyond Causation? New Directions in the Philosophy of Scientific Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (2):e12395.
    In this paper, I aim to provide access to the current debate on non-causal explanations in philosophy of science. I will first present examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences. Then, I will outline three alternative approaches to non-causal explanations – that is, causal reductionism, pluralism, and monism – and, corresponding to these three approaches, different strategies for distinguishing between causal and non-causal explanation. Finally, I will raise questions for future research on non-causal explanations.
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  36. added 2016-10-07
    Collingwood and Manipulability-Based Approaches to Causation: Methodological Issues.E. Popa - 2016 - Collingwood and British Idealism Studies 22 (1):139-166.
    This paper discusses methodological similarities between Collingwood's approach to causation and contemporary manipulability-based views. Firstly, I argue that on both approaches there is a preoccupation with the origin of causal concepts which further connects to the aim of establishing the priority of a certain concept/sense of causation as more fundamental. The significant difference lies in Collingwood's focus on the logical and historical priority (Collingwood's sense I) while in more recent theories the focus has been on psychology (i.e., on different philosophical (...)
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  37. added 2016-09-28
    A Reply to Céspedes’ Defense of Causal Contrastivism.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2016 - Critica 48 (143).
    In a recent article in this journal, Esteban Céspedes (2015) seeks to defend the contrastive account of singular causation from my criticisms (Steglich-Petersen 2012). Céspedes objects to my argument on three counts: (1) it is circular in presupposing a principle that it seeks to establish; (2) that same principle is false; and (3) even if the principle were true, it would not speak against the contrastive account. In this note I argue that all three objections are unconvincing.
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  38. added 2016-09-21
    Abstract Versus Causal Explanations?Reutlinger Alexander & Andersen Holly - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (2):129-146.
    In the recent literature on causal and non-causal scientific explanations, there is an intuitive assumption according to which an explanation is non-causal by virtue of being abstract. In this context, to be ‘abstract’ means that the explanans in question leaves out many or almost all causal microphysical details of the target system. After motivating this assumption, we argue that the abstractness assumption, in placing the abstract and the causal character of an explanation in tension, is misguided in ways that are (...)
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  39. added 2016-09-05
    Explanatory Abstractions.Lina Jansson & Juha Saatsi - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):817–844.
    A number of philosophers have recently suggested that some abstract, plausibly non-causal and/or mathematical, explanations explain in a way that is radically dif- ferent from the way causal explanation explain. Namely, while causal explanations explain by providing information about causal dependence, allegedly some abstract explanations explain in a way tied to the independence of the explanandum from the microdetails, or causal laws, for example. We oppose this recent trend to regard abstractions as explanatory in some sui generis way, and argue (...)
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  40. added 2016-07-21
    Henk W. De Regt, Sabina Leonelli and Kai Eigner , Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009. Pp. Ix+352. ISBN 978-0-8229-4378-6. $65.00. [REVIEW]Jacob Stegenga - 2011 - British Journal for the History of Science 44 (4):578-580.
  41. added 2016-05-08
    There May Yet Be Non-Causal Explanations.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):377-384.
    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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  42. added 2016-05-02
    A Regularist Approach to Mechanistic Type-Level Explanation.Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (4):00-00.
    Most defenders of the new mechanistic approach accept ontic constraints for successful scientific explanation (Illari 2013; Craver 2014). The minimal claim is that scientific explanations have objective truthmakers, namely mechanisms that exist in the physical world independently of any observer and that cause or constitute the phenomena-to- be-explained. How can this idea be applied to type-level explanations? Many authors at least implicitly assume that in order for mechanisms to be the truthmakers of type-level explanation they need to be regular (Andersen (...)
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  43. added 2016-03-07
    Explaining Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben - 1990 - Routledge.
    This book introduces readers to the topic of explanation. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are examined, and are used to argue against the view that explanation is merely a problem for the philosophy of science. Having established its importance for understanding knowledge in general, the book concludes with a bold and original explanation of explanation.
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  44. added 2016-03-04
    Empiricism, Objectivity, and Explanation.Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Carl G. Anderson - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):121-131.
    We sley Salmon, in his influential and detailed book, Four Decades of Scientific Explanation, argues that the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation, “construed as the claim that scientific explanation can be explicated entirely in pragmatic terms” (1989, 185) is inadequate. The specific inadequacy ascribed to a pragmatic account is that objective relevance relations cannot be incorporated into such an account. Salmon relies on the arguments given in Kitcher and Salmon (1987) to ground this objection. He also suggests that Peter Railton’s (...)
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  45. added 2016-03-01
    Causal Theories of Explanation and the Challenge of Explanatory Disagreement.Lina Jansson - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):332-348.
    When evaluating the success of causal theories of explanation the focus has typically been on the legitimacy of causal relations and on putative examples of explanations that we cannot capture in causal terms. Here I motivate the existence of a third kind of problem: the difficulty of accounting for explanatory disputes. Moreover, I argue that this problem remains even if the first two are settled and that it threatens to undercut one of the central motivations for causal accounts of explanation, (...)
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  46. added 2016-02-02
    Causation, Physics, and Fit.Christian Loew - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1945–1965.
    Our ordinary causal concept seems to fit poorly with how our best physics describes the world. We think of causation as a time-asymmetric dependence relation between relatively local events. Yet fundamental physics describes the world in terms of dynamical laws that are, possible small exceptions aside, time symmetric and that relate global time slices. My goal in this paper is to show why we are successful at using local, time-asymmetric models in causal explanations despite this apparent mismatch with fundamental physics. (...)
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  47. added 2015-10-21
    Time Enough for Explanation.Sam Baron & Mark Colyvan - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (2):61-88.
    The present paper advances an analogy between cases of extra-mathematical explanation and cases of what might be termed ‘extra-logical explanation’: the explanation of a physical fact by a logical fact. A particular case of extra-logical explanation is identified that arises in the philosophical literature on time travel. This instance of extra-logical explanation is subsequently shown to be of a piece with cases of extra-mathematical explanation. Using this analogy, we argue extra-mathematical explanation is part of a broader class of non-causal explanation. (...)
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  48. added 2015-09-10
    Unification and Convergence in Archaeological Explanation: The Agricultural “Wave-of-Advance” and the Origins of Indo-European Languages.Alison Wylie - 1995 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):1-30.
    Given the diversity of explanatory practices that is typical of the sciences a healthy pluralism would seem to be desirable where theories of explanation are concerned. Nevertheless, I argue that explanations are only unifying in Kitcher's unificationist sense if they are backed by the kind of understanding of underlying mechanisms, dispositions, constitutions, and dependencies that is central to a causalist account of explanation. This case can be made through analysis of Kitcher's account of the conditions under which apparent improvements in (...)
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  49. added 2015-09-08
    Replies to Weatherson, Hall, and Lange. [REVIEW]Michael Strevens - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):492-505.
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  50. added 2015-09-08
    Précis of Depth. [REVIEW]Michael Strevens - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 84 (2):447-460.
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