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  1. On an Intrinsic Quantum Theoretical Structure Inside Einstein's Gravity Field Equations.Han Geurdes - manuscript
    As is well known, Einstein was dissatisfied with the foundation of quantum theory and sought to find a basis for it that would have satisfied his need for a causal explanation. In this paper this abandoned idea is investigated. It is found that it is mathematically not dead at all. More in particular: a quantum mechanical U(1) gauge invariant Dirac equation can be derived from Einstein's gravity field equations. We ask ourselves what it means for physics, the history of physics (...)
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  2. Not So Distinctively Mathematical Explanations.Aditya Jha, Clemency Montelle, Douglas I. Campbell & Phillip Wilson - manuscript
    (Longer version - work in progress) Various accounts of distinctively mathematical explanations (DMEs) of complex systems have been proposed recently which bypass the contingent causal laws and appeal primarily to mathematical necessities constraining the system. These necessities are considered to be modally exalted in that they obtain with a greater necessity than the ordinary laws of nature (Lange 2016). This paper focuses on DMEs of the number of equilibrium positions of n-tuple pendulum systems and considers several different DMEs of these (...)
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  3. Causal Modeling and the Efficacy of Action.Holly Andersen - forthcoming - In Michael Brent & Lisa Miracchi Titus (eds.), Mental Action and the Conscious Mind. Routledge.
    This paper brings together Thompson's naive action explanation with interventionist modeling of causal structure to show how they work together to produce causal models that go beyond current modeling capabilities, when applied to specifically selected systems. By deploying well-justified assumptions about rationalization, we can strengthen existing causal modeling techniques' inferential power in cases where we take ourselves to be modeling causal systems that also involve actions. The internal connection between means and end exhibited in naive action explanation has a modal (...)
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  4. Are Infinite Explanations Self-Explanatory?Alexandre Billon - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Consider an infinite series whose items are each explained by their immediate successor. Does such an infinite explanation explain the whole series or does it leave something to be explained? Hume arguably claimed that it does fully explain the whole series. Leibniz, however, designed a very telling objection against this claim, an objection involving an infinite series of book copies. In this paper, I argue that the Humean claim can, in certain cases, be saved from the Leibnizian “infinite book copies” (...)
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  5. Running Up the Flagpole to See If Anyone Salutes: A Response to Woodward on Causal and Explanatory Asymmetries.Katrina Elliott & Marc Lange - forthcoming - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science.
    Does smoke cause fire or does fire cause smoke? James Woodward’s “Flagpoles anyone? Causal and explanatory asymmetries” argues that various statistical independence relations not only help us to uncover the directions of causal and explanatory relations in our world, but also are the worldly basis of causal and explanatory directions. We raise questions about Woodward’s envisioned epistemology, but our primary focus is on his metaphysics. We argue that any alleged connection between statistical (in)dependence and causal/explanatory direction is contingent, at best. (...)
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  6. Review of 'Causation in Science' by Yemima Ben-Menahem. [REVIEW]Matt Farr - forthcoming - Mind.
  7. What Killed Your Plant? Profligate Omissions and Weak Centering.Johannes Himmelreich - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper is on the problem of profligate omissions. The problem is that counterfactual definitions of causation identify as a cause anything that could have prevented an effect but that did not actually occur, which is a highly counterintuitive result. Many solutions of this problem appeal to normative, epistemic, pragmatic, or metaphysical considerations. These existing solutions are in some sense substantive. In contrast, this paper concentrates on the semantics of counterfactuals. I propose to replace Strong Centering with Weak Centering. This (...)
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  8. Believing in Black Boxes: Must Machine Learning in Healthcare Be Explainable to Be Evidence-Based?Liam McCoy, Connor Brenna, Stacy Chen, Karina Vold & Sunit Das - forthcoming - Journal of Clinical Epidemiology.
    Objective: To examine the role of explainability in machine learning for healthcare (MLHC), and its necessity and significance with respect to effective and ethical MLHC application. Study Design and Setting: This commentary engages with the growing and dynamic corpus of literature on the use of MLHC and artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine, which provide the context for a focused narrative review of arguments presented in favour of and opposition to explainability in MLHC. Results: We find that concerns regarding explainability are (...)
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  9. Social Evolution, Progress and Teleology in Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy and Freudian Psychoanalysis.L. Nascimento - forthcoming - History of the Human Sciences.
    This article aims to compare notions of progress and evolution in the social theories of Freud and Spencer. It argues 1) that the two authors had similarly complex theories that contained mixed elements of positivism and teleology; 2) In its positivist elements, both authors made use of unified natural laws and, in its teleological aspect, they made use of notions of final cause in that progress and the evolution of civilization was understood as a linear path of progressive development with (...)
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  10. Causation Vs. Causal Explanation: Which Is More Fundamental?Marco J. Nathan - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-14.
    This essay examines the relation between causation and causal explanation. It distinguishes two prominent roles that causes play within the sciences. On the one hand, causes may work as metaphysical posits. From this standpoint, mainstream in contemporary philosophy, causation provides the ‘raw material’ for explanation. On the other hand, causes may be conceived as explanatory postulates, theoretical hypotheses lacking any substantial ontological commitment. This unduly neglected distinction provides the conceptual resources to revisit longstanding philosophical issues, such as overdetermination and causal (...)
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  11. A Priori Justification in Nietzsche.Justin Remhof - forthcoming - History of Philosophy Quarterly.
    This paper argues there are crucial points in Nietzsche’s texts where he offers a priori epistemic justification for views he believes are correct. My reading contrasts with the dominant view that Nietzsche’s philosophical naturalism is incompatible with a priori justification. My aim is to develop Nietzsche’s brand of a priori justification, show that he employs this account of justification in the texts, and suggest how it might be compatible with naturalism.
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  12. Omissive Overdetermination: Why the Act-Omission Distinction Makes a Difference for Causal Analysis.Yuval Abrams - 2022 - University of Western Australia Law Review 1 (49):57-86.
    Analyses of factual causation face perennial problems, including preemption, overdetermination, and omissions. Arguably, the thorniest, are cases of omissive overdetermination, involving two independent omissions, each sufficient for the harm, and neither, independently, making a difference. A famous example is Saunders, where pedestrian was hit by a driver of a rental car who never pressed on the (unbeknownst to the driver) defective (and, negligently, never inspected) brakes. Causal intuitions in such cases are messy, reflected in disagreement about which omission mattered. What (...)
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  13. Everyday Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kristie Miller and James Norton present a new account of metaphysical explanation, not as a philosophical technicality but as a feature of everyday life. This is the notion that we all use in ordinary contexts when we give explanations of a certain sort: Miller and Norton build their account on investigation of these explanatory practices.
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  14. Concrete Scale Models, Essential Idealization, and Causal Explanation.Christopher Pincock - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (2):299-323.
    This paper defends three claims about concrete or physical models: these models remain important in science and engineering, they are often essentially idealized, in a sense to be made precise, and despite these essential idealizations, some of these models may be reliably used for the purpose of causal explanation. This discussion of concrete models is pursued using a detailed case study of some recent models of landslide generated impulse waves. Practitioners show a clear awareness of the idealized character of these (...)
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  15. Contingent Grounding.Nathaniel Baron-Schmitt - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4561-4580.
    A popular principle about grounding, “Internality”, says that if A grounds B, then necessarily, if A and B obtain, then A grounds B. I argue that Internality is false. Its falsity reveals a distinctive, new kind of explanation, which I call “ennobling”. Its falsity also entails that every previously proposed theory of what grounds grounding facts is false. I construct a new theory.
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  16. Correlation Isn’T Good Enough: Causal Explanation and Big Data. [REVIEW]Frank Cabrera - 2021 - Metascience 30 (2):335-338.
    A review of Gary Smith and Jay Cordes: The Phantom Pattern Problem: The Mirage of Big Data. New York: Oxford University Press, 2020.
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  17. Constitutive Relevance & Mutual Manipulability Revisited.Carl F. Craver, Stuart Glennan & Mark Povich - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8807-8828.
    An adequate understanding of the ubiquitous practice of mechanistic explanation requires an account of what Craver termed “constitutive relevance.” Entities or activities are constitutively relevant to a phenomenon when they are parts of the mechanism responsible for that phenomenon. Craver’s mutual manipulability account extended Woodward’s account of manipulationist counterfactuals to analyze how interlevel experiments establish constitutive relevance. Critics of MM argue that applying Woodward’s account to this philosophical problem conflates causation and constitution, thus rendering the account incoherent. These criticisms, we (...)
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  18. Explaining Coincidences.Julio De Rizzo - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14843-14864.
    A traditional account of coincidences has it that two facts are coincidental whenever they are not related as cause and effect and do not have a common cause. A recent contribution by Lando : 132–151, 2017) showed that this account is mistaken. In this paper, I argue against two alternative accounts of coincidences, one suggested by Lando, and another by Bhogal : 677–694, 2020), and defend a third one in their place. In short, I propose that how explanatory links relate (...)
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  19. Wishful Intelligibility, Black Boxes, and Epidemiological Explanation.Marina DiMarco - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):824-834.
    Epidemiological explanation often has a “black box” character, meaning the intermediate steps between cause and effect are unknown. Filling in black boxes is thought to improve causal inferences by making them intelligible. I argue that adding information about intermediate causes to a black box explanation is an unreliable guide to pragmatic intelligibility because it may mislead us about the stability of a cause. I diagnose a problem that I call wishful intelligibility, which occurs when scientists misjudge the limitations of certain (...)
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  20. Quantifying Proportionality and the Limits of Higher-Level Causation and Explanation.Alexander Gebharter & Markus Ilkka Eronen - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Supporters of the autonomy of higher-level causation (or explanation) often appeal to proportionality, arguing that higher-level causes are more proportional than their lower-level realizers. Recently, measures based on information theory and causal modeling have been proposed that allow one to shed new light on proportionality and the related notion of specificity. In this paper we apply ideas from this literature to the issue of higher vs. lower-level causation (and explanation). Surprisingly, proportionality turns out to be irrelevant for the question of (...)
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  21. What Caused the Bhopal Gas Tragedy? The Philosophical Importance of Causal and Pragmatic Details.Brian J. Hanley - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (4):616-637.
    In cases in which many causes together bring about an effect, it is common to select some as particularly important. Philosophers since Mill have been pessimistic about analyzing this reasoning because of its variability and the multifarious causal and pragmatic details of how it works. I argue Mill was right to think these details matter but wrong that they preclude philosophical analysis of causal selection. I show that analyzing the pragmatic details of scientific debates about the important causes of the (...)
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  22. Etiological Kinds.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (1):1-21.
    Kinds that share historical properties are dubbed “historical kinds” or “etiological kinds,” and they have some distinctive features. I will try to characterize etiological kinds in general terms a...
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  23. The Directionality of Topological Explanations.Daniel Kostić & Kareem Khalifa - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14143-14165.
    Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y , then not-Y does not explain not-X . Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists rely on multiplexes (...)
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  24. The Causal Structure of Natural Kinds.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:200-207.
    One primary goal for metaphysical theories of natural kinds is to account for their epistemic fruitfulness. According to cluster theories of natural kinds, this epistemic fruitfulness is grounded in the regular and stable co- occurrence of a broad set of properties. In this paper, I defend the view that such a cluster theory is insufficient to adequately account for the epistemic fruitfulness of kinds. I argue that cluster theories can indeed account for the projectibility of natural kinds, but not for (...)
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  25. COVID-19 and the Selection Problem in National Cause-of-Death Statistics.B. I. B. Lindahl - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-5.
    The World Health Organization has issued international instructions for certification and classification (coding) of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as cause of death. Central to these instructions is the selection of the underlying cause of death for a public health preventive purpose. This article focuses on two rules for this selection: (1) that a death due to COVID-19 should be counted independently of pre-existing conditions that are suspected of triggering a severe course of COVID-19 and (2) that COVID-19 should not be (...)
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  26. Proving Cleanthes Wrong.Laureano Luna - 2021 - Journal of Applied Logic 8 (3):707-736.
    Hume’s famous character Cleanthes claims that there is no difficulty in explaining the existence of causal chains with no first cause since in them each item is causally explained by its predecessor. Relying on logico-mathematical resources, we argue for two theses: (1) if the existence of Cleanthes’ chain can be explained at all, it must be explained by the fact that the causal law ruling it is in force, and (2) the fact that such a causal law is in force (...)
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  27. Masks, Interferers, Finks, and Mimickers: A Novel Approach.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):813-836.
    Masks, interferers, finks, reverse finks, and mimickers are troublesome for powers metaphysics insofar as the latter concedes that there are powers with essential stimuli/activation conditions. In this article, I aim at offering a novel approach for solving this problem. In Section 1, I shall present the problem; and in Section 2, I shall briefly show how it also arises within non‐reductive views of powers. Subsequently, in Section 3, I shall examine the failure of the ceteris paribus solution. The pars construens (...)
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  28. Context in Mechanism-Based Explanation.Gianluca Pozzoni & Tuukka Kaidesoja - 2021 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 51 (6):523-554.
    In this article, we discuss the issue of context-dependence of mechanism-based explanation in the social sciences. The different ways in which the context-dependence and context-independence of mechanism-based explanation have been understood in the social sciences are often motivated by different and apparently incompatible understandings of what explanatory mechanisms are. Instead, we suggest that the different varieties of context-dependence are best seen as corresponding to different research goals. Rather than conflicting with one another, these goals are complementary to each other and (...)
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  29. In Defence of Explanatory Realism.Stefan Roski - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14121-14141.
    Explanatory realism is the view that explanations work by providing information about relations of productive determination such as causation or grounding. The view has gained considerable popularity in the last decades, especially in the context of metaphysical debates about non-causal explanation. What makes the view particularly attractive is that it fits nicely with the idea that not all explanations are causal whilst avoiding an implausible pluralism about explanation. Another attractive feature of the view is that it allows explanation to be (...)
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  30. Causes with Material Continuity.Lauren N. Ross - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-17.
    Recent philosophical work on causation has focused on distinctions across types of causal relationships. This paper argues for another distinction that has yet to receive attention in this work. This distinction has to do with whether causal relationships have “material continuity,” which refers to the reliable movement of material from cause to effect. This paper provides an analysis of material continuity and argues that causal relationships with this feature are associated with a unique explanatory perspective, are studied with distinct causal (...)
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  31. Backing as Truthmaking.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (5):367–383.
    Separatists about grounding take explanations to be separate from their corresponding grounding-facts. Grounding-facts are supposed to underlie, or back, such explanations. However, the backing relation hasn’t received much attention in the literature. The aim of this paper is to provide an informative definition of backing. First, I examine two prominent proposals: backing as explaining (Kovacs 2017; 2019a) and backing as grounding (see Sjölin Wirling 2020). Finally, I put forward my own proposal. I argue that under plausible assumptions about the role (...)
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  32. Du Châtelet on Sufficient Reason and Empirical Explanation.Aaron Wells - 2021 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):629-655.
  33. Explanatory Priority Monism.Isaac Wilhelm - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1339-1359.
    Explanations are backed by many different relations: causation, grounding, and arguably others too. But why are these different relations capable of backing explanations? In virtue of what are they explanatory? In this paper, I propose and defend a monistic account of explanation-backing relations. On my account, there is a single relation which backs all cases of explanation, and which explains why those other relations are explanation-backing.
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  34. Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right.Thomas Blanchard - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):633-663.
    Theories of explanation need to account for a puzzling feature of our explanatory practices: the fact that we prefer explanations that are relatively abstract but only moderately so. Contra Franklin-Hall ([2016]), I argue that the interventionist account of explanation provides a natural and elegant explanation of this fact. By striking the right balance between specificity and generality, moderately abstract explanations optimally subserve what interventionists regard as the goal of explanation, namely identifying possible interventions that would have changed the explanandum.
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  35. Jean Perrin and the Philosophers’ Stories: The Role of Multiple Determination in Determining Avogadro’s Number.Klodian Coko - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):143-193.
    The French physicist Jean Baptiste Perrin is widely credited with providing the conclusive argument for atomism. The most well-known part of Perrin’s argument is his description of thirteen different procedures for determining Avogadro’s number (N)–the number of atoms, ions, and molecules contained in a gram-atom, gram-ion, and gram-mole of a substance, respectively. Because of its success in ending the atomism debates Perrin’s argument has been the focus of much philosophical interest. The various philosophers, however, have reached different conclusions, not only (...)
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  36. Enactivism, Causality, and Therapy.Shaun Gallagher - 2020 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 27 (1):27-28.
    In 1937, John Dewey delivered a lecture to the College of Physicians in Saint Louis. His clear message was that in the practice of medicine it does not suffice for physicians to treat just the body, or to look to just the body for the mechanism of disease. Emphasizing the relational nature of organism-environment, he argued that the physician must treat the whole patient and must therefore consider the environment of the patient. It makes no sense, he suggested, to provide (...)
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  37. What Was Perrin Really Doing in His Proof of the Reality of Atoms?Robert Hudson - 2020 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (1):194-218.
  38. A Relational-Constructionist Account of Protein Macrostructure and Function.Gil Santos, Gabriel Vallejos & Davide Vecchi - 2020 - Foundations of Chemistry 22 (3):363-382.
    One of the foundational problems of biochemistry concerns the conceptualisation of the relationship between the composition, structure and function of macromolecules like proteins. Part of the recent philosophical literature displays a reductionist bias, that is, the endorsement of a form of microstructuralism mirroring an out-dated biochemical conceptualisation. We shall argue that such microstructuralist approaches are ultimately committed to a potentialist form of micro-predeterminism whereby the macrostructure and function of proteins is accounted for solely in terms of the intrinsic properties and (...)
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  39. The Metaphysics of Evolution: From Aquinas’s Interpretation of Augustine’s Concept of Rationes Seminales to the Contemporary Thomistic Account of Species Transformism.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2020 - Nova et Vetera 3 (18):945-972.
    Augustine’s use of the concept of rationes seminales in his interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 enabled him to assert that although God created everything instantaneously, in the initial state of the universe all species were present in the potency of the primordial matter, to be actualized at the consecutive stages of the history of its transformations and development. Despite its interpretation as evolutionary in the writings of Mivart, Zahm, and Dorlodot, Augustine’s model did not, in fact, assume a gradual (...)
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  40. The Role of Causality in Scientific Models of Explanation in the Context of the Retrieval of the Classical Concept of Divine Action.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2020 - Scientia et Fides 8 (1):43-75.
    The legitimacy of going back to the classical view of God’s action in the world based on the list of causes and understanding of chance in the works of Aristotle and Aquinas – in the context of contemporary science – seems to depend on whether there is a space for causal analysis within the current models of scientific explanation. This article offers a brief account of the path leading to negation and rediscovery of the importance of causality in scientific explanation (...)
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  41. Berkeley, Newton, Explanation, and Causation.Richard Brook - 2019 - Ruch Filozoficzny 74 (4):21.
    Berkeley, Newton, Explanation, and Causation -/- I argue in this paper that Berkeley’s conception of natural law explanations, which echoes Newton’s, fails to solve a fundamental problem, which I label “explanatory asymmetry"; that the model of explanation Berkeley uses fails to distinguish between explanations and justifications, particularly since Berkeley denies real (efficient causes) in non-minded nature. At the end I suggest Berkeley might endorse a notion of understanding, say in astronomy or mechanics, which could be distinguished from explanation.
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  42. Reasons Why Not - On the Positive Grounds of Negative Truths.Julio De Rizzo - 2019 - Stuttgart, Deutschland: Metzler Verlag/ Springer.
    Many philosophers have shown sympathy to the thought that reality is fundamentally positive. Julio De Rizzo formulates this idea precisely by means of the notion of grounding, and examines how the resulting thesis fares with respect to three much discussed classes of negative truths, namely that of negative predications, that of negative causal reports, and that of negative existential truths. By shedding light on the issues advocates of the thesis have to deal with, this work shows the positivist account to (...)
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  43. Explaining the Behaviour of Random Ecological Networks: The Stability of the Microbiome as a Case of Integrative Pluralism.Roger Deulofeu, Javier Suárez & Alberto Pérez-Cervera - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2003-2025.
    Explaining the behaviour of ecosystems is one of the key challenges for the biological sciences. Since 2000, new-mechanicism has been the main model to account for the nature of scientific explanation in biology. The universality of the new-mechanist view in biology has been however put into question due to the existence of explanations that account for some biological phenomena in terms of their mathematical properties (mathematical explanations). Supporters of mathematical explanation have argued that the explanation of the behaviour of ecosystems (...)
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  44. What Do God and Creatures Really Do in an Evolutionary Change? Divine Concurrence and Transformism From the Thomistic Perspective in Advance.Mariusz Tabaczek - 2019 - American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):445-482.
    Many enthusiasts of theistic evolution willingly accept Aquinas’s distinction between primary and secondary causes, to describe theologically “the mechanics” of evolutionary transformism. However, their description of the character of secondary causes in relation to God’s creative action oftentimes lacks precision. To some extent, the situation within the Thomistic camp is similar when it comes to specifying the exact nature of secondary and instrumental causes at work in evolution. Is it right to ascribe all causation in evolution to creatures—acting as secondary (...)
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  45. Regression Explanation and Statistical Autonomy.Joeri Witteveen - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (5):1-20.
    The phenomenon of regression toward the mean is notoriously liable to be overlooked or misunderstood; regression fallacies are easy to commit. But even when regression phenomena are duly recognized, it remains perplexing how they can feature in explanations. This article develops a philosophical account of regression explanations as “statistically autonomous” explanations that cannot be deepened by adducing details about causal histories, even if the explananda as such are embedded in the causal structure of the world. That regression explanations have statistical (...)
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  46. Because Without Cause: Non-Causal Explanations in Science and Mathematics, by Marc Lange. [REVIEW]Holly Andersen - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):593-602.
    Because Without Cause: Non-Causal Explanations in Science and Mathematics, by Lange Marc. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. Pp. xxii + 489.
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  47. Indispensability, Causation and Explanation.Sorin Bangu - 2018 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 33 (2):219-232.
    When considering mathematical realism, some scientific realists reject it, and express sympathy for the opposite view, mathematical nominalism; moreover, many justify this option by invoking the causal inertness of mathematical objects. The main aim of this note is to show that the scientific realists’ endorsement of this causal mathematical nominalism is in tension with another position some of them also accept, the doctrine of methodological naturalism. By highlighting this conflict, I intend to tip the balance in favor of a rival (...)
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  48. Horizontal Surgicality and Mechanistic Constitution.Michael Baumgartner, Lorenzo Casini & Beate Krickel - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-14.
    While ideal interventions are acknowledged by many as valuable tools for the analysis of causation, recent discussions have shown that, since there are no ideal interventions on upper-level phenomena that non-reductively supervene on their underlying mechanisms, interventions cannot—contrary to a popular opinion—ground an informative analysis of constitution. This has led some to abandon the project of analyzing constitution in interventionist terms. By contrast, this paper defines the notion of a horizontally surgical intervention, and argues that, when combined with some innocuous (...)
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  49. 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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  50. Absence Causation for Causal Dispositionalists.Randolph Clarke - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):323-331.
    Several theories of causation reject causation of or by absences. They thereby clash with much of what we think and say about what causes what. This paper examines a way in which one kind of theory, causal dispositionalism, can be modified so as to accept absence causation, while still retaining a fundamental commitment of dispositionalism. The proposal adopts parts of a strategy described by David Lewis. The paper concludes with a brief discussion of the problem of the proliferation of causes.
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