Explanation

Edited by Brad Weslake (New York University, Shanghai)
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  1. Causality and Scientific Explanation. [REVIEW]B. W. A. - 1973 - Review of Metaphysics 26 (3):549-549.
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  2. What is an Explanandum?Reuben Abel - 1982 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 63 (1):86.
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  3. The Pragmatic Character of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
    Theories of explanation are characterized as being either pragmatic or non-pragmatic, without a clear sense of what this is supposed to mean. The present paper offers a definition of a "pragmatic explanation-sentence", and in terms of this, of a "pragmatic theory of explanation". It is argued that van Fraassen's theory of explanation, despite claims to the contrary, is not genuinely pragmatic. By contrast, the author's own "illocutionary" theory is pragmatic. Attention is devoted particularly to sentences of the form "E is (...)
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  4. A Type of Non-Causal Explanation1.Peter Achinstein - 1984 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 9 (1):221-243.
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  5. Can There Be a Model of Explanation?Peter Achinstein - 1981 - Theory and Decision 13 (3):201-227.
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  6. What Is an Explanation?Peter Achinstein - 1977 - American Philosophical Quarterly 14 (1):1 - 15.
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  7. The Object of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1975 - In Stephan Kã¶Rner (ed.), Explanation. Blackwell. pp. 1--45.
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  8. Scientific Explanation, Space, and Time: Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science.Peter Achinstein, Herbert Feigl & Grover Maxwell - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (1):106.
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  9. A Corrected Model of Explanation.Robert Ackermann & Alfred Stenner - 1966 - Philosophy of Science 33 (1/2):168-.
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  10. The Natural History of Explanation.Michael G. Adelberg - 1994 - Panurge Press.
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  11. On the Limits of Scientific Explanation: Hempel and Evans-Pritchard.Joseph Agassi - 1968 - Philosophical Forum 1 (2):171.
    In recent years, Hempel has questioned the universal applicability of the deductive model of causal explanation, and suggested supplementing it with a probability model.' When we explain the fact that one child got the measles by the suggestion that he caught it from another child, we are not using the deductive model, he says, since catching measles is a matter of mere probability and not of strict causality: playing with an infected child is not a sufficient condition for infection.
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  12. Abductive Reasoning: Challenges Ahead.Atocha Aliseda - 2007 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 22 (3):261-270.
    The motivation behind the collection of papers presented in this THEORIA forum on Abductive reasoning is my book Abductive Reasoning: Logical Investigations into the Processes of Discovery and Explanation. These contributions raise fundamental questions. One of them concerns the conjectural character of abduction. The choice of a logical framework for abduction is also discussed in detail, both its inferential aspect and search strategies. Abduction is also analyzed as inference to the best explanation, as well as a process of epistemic change, (...)
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  13. Using Scientific Inquiry Activities in Exhibit Explanations.Sue Allen - 1997 - Science Education 81 (6):715-734.
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  14. Quantum Theory: A Philosopher's Overview. [REVIEW]Valia Allori - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):330-333.
    Book review of "Quantum Theory: a Philosopher's Overview".
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  15. The Place of the Explanation of Particular Facts in Science.William P. Alston - 1971 - Philosophy of Science 38 (1):13-34.
    On the critical side it is argued that, contrary to a widespread view, the explanation of particular facts does not play a central role in pure science and hence that philosophers of science are misguided in supposing that the understanding of such explanations is one of the central tasks of the philosophy of science. It is suggested that the view being attacked may stem in part from an impression that the establishing of a general law is tantamount to the explanation (...)
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  16. Staging Re/Unification: For and by the West.Nora M. Alter - 1996 - The European Legacy 1 (3):1242-1247.
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  17. Conceptual Relativity and Structures of Explanation.José Tomás Alvarado - 2008 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 95 (1):163-183.
    Hilary Putnam's doctrine of conceptual relativity sustains that there are many different incompatible, yet equivalent, descriptions of what have to be considered "the same" phenomena. This fact is reason to justify the idea that metaphysical realism is wrong and that a better general view of reality should be something like a "pragmatic realism." Putnam sustains further that the different incompatible and equivalent descriptions have to bear the same explanatory virtue. Here it is contended that there seems to be difficulties in (...)
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  18. Non Monotonic Epistemic Aspects of Scientific Explanations Yao-Hua Tan.Logique A. Analyse - 1991 - Logique Et Analyse 133:197.
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  19. Explanation and Prediction: A Plea for Reason.R. B. Angel - 1967 - Philosophy of Science 34 (3):276-282.
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  20. Scientific Law with Application to Scientific Explanation.Robert Andrew Ariel - 1990 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    In the conviction that some problems in the philosophy of science arise from the use of inadequate metaphysical frameworks, the work begins with an outline of some features of the relation between metaphysics and sciences, and uses historical examples to illustrate inadequate metaphysics leading to scientific conundrums. One recurrent problem has been use of metaphysics which are 'dead', i.e. which lack an ontological category of activity. The work then proceeds to describe a minimal metaphysics which includes as one of the (...)
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  21. Explanations Without Laws.Jerrold L. Aronson - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (17):541-557.
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  22. Causation and Scientific Explanation.Jerrold Lloyd Aronson - 1967 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
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  23. Scientific Nihilism: On the Loss and Recovery of Physical Explanation.Daniel Athearn - 1994 - State University of New York Press.
    This book shows that the breakoff of narrative causal explanation in physics, although remarkable, is no basis for the negative view of scientific knowledge.
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  24. Prospects for Causal Explanation Outside of Mechanism.Daniel Richard Athearn - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Oregon
    This work is an attack on the standard neo-Humean conception of science in philosophy of science. The following pillars of this conception are targets of the critique: the claim that the role of causality in scientific explanation has been, or can be, superceded by scientific laws; the belief that a causal process can only be a disconnected, perhaps contiguous, series of events. ;In addition to attacking these explicit views, the work challenges the background assumption that causal explanations for basic phenomena (...)
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  25. Explanation in History.R. F. Atkinson - 1971 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 72:241 - 256.
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  26. Inductive-Nomological Explanations and Psychological Laws.Robert Audi - 1981 - Theory and Decision 13 (3):229-249.
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  27. Explanation in the Behavioral Sciences.R. J. B. - 1971 - Review of Metaphysics 25 (1):141-141.
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  28. When Is a Mechanistic Explanation Satisfactory? Reductionism and Antireductionism in the Context of Mechanistic Explanations.Tudor Băetu - 2015 - In Iulian D. Toader, Gabriel Sandu & Ilie Pȃrvu (eds.), Romanian Studies in Philosophy of Science. Springer Verlag.
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  29. From Interventions to Mechanistic Explanations.Tudor M. Baetu - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    An important strategy in the discovery of biological mechanisms involves the piecing together of experimental results from interventions. However, if mechanisms are investigated by means of ideal interventions, as defined by James Woodward and others, then the kind of information revealed is insufficient to discriminate between modular and non-modular causal contributions. Ideal interventions suffice for constructing webs of causal dependencies that can be used to make some predictions about experimental outcomes, but tell us little about how causally relevant factors are (...)
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  30. The Completeness of Mechanistic Explanations.Tudor M. Baetu - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):775-786.
    The paper discusses methodological guidelines for evaluating mechanistic explanations. According to current accounts, a satisfactory mechanistic explanation should include all of the relevant features of the mechanism, its component entities and activities, and their properties and organization, as well as exhibit productive continuity. It is not specified, however, how this kind of mechanistic completeness can be demonstrated. I argue that parameter sufficiency inferences based on mathematical model simulations provide a way of determining whether a mechanism capable of producing the phenomenon (...)
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  31. Explanation, Causation and Deduction.Aristides Baltas - 1988 - Idealistic Studies 18 (1):86-87.
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  32. The Applicability of Mathematics in Science: Indispensability and Ontology.Sorin Bangu - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
  33. Symposium: Metaphysical Explanation.Kenneth Barber - 1975 - Metaphilosophy 6 (3-4):259-260.
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  34. Un Análisis Crítico de la Concepción Mecanicista de la Explicación.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2012 - Revista Latinoamericana de Filosofia 38 (2):233-265.
    En este trabajo me propongo desarrollar un estudio crítico de la concepción mecanicista de la explicación científica. En primer lugar, argumento que la caracterización mecanicista de los modelos fenoménicos (no explicativos) es inadecuada, pues no ofrece un análisis aceptable de los conceptos de modelo científico y similitud, que son fundamentales para la propuesta. En segundo lugar, sostengo que la caracterización de los modelos mecanicistas (explicativos) es igualmente inadecuada, pues los análisis disponibles de la relación explicativa de relevancia constitutiva implican una (...)
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  35. A Mechanistic Model of Meaning.Marcello Barbieri - 2011 - Biosemiotics 4 (1):1-4.
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  36. Explanatory Unification and the Problem of Asymmetry.Eric Barnes - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):558-571.
    Philip Kitcher has proposed a theory of explanation based on the notion of unification. Despite the genuine interest and power of the theory, I argue here that the theory suffers from a fatal deficiency: It is intrinsically unable to account for the asymmetric structure of explanation, and thus ultimately falls prey to a problem similar to the one which beset Hempel's D-N model. I conclude that Kitcher is wrong to claim that one can settle the issue of an argument's explanatory (...)
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  37. Scientific Explanation.Thomas Bartelborth - 1996 - In Wolfgang Balzer & Carlos Ulises Moulines (eds.), Structuralist Theory of Science: Focal Issues, New Results. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 6--23.
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  38. The Nature of Explanation.Patrick K. Bastable - 1968 - Philosophical Studies 17:268-268.
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  39. Scientific Explanation in the History of Chemistry: The Priestley-Lavoisier Debate.Prajit Kumar Basu - 1992 - Dissertation, The University of Iowa
    In this dissertation, I attempt to understand Joseph Priestley's scientific beliefs. I describe his scientific practices, for the purpose of showing how they shed light on two key issues in philosophy of science: scientific explanation and hypothesis confirmation. I discuss these matters in the historical context of the eighteenth-century Chemical Revolution. ;In the first chapter, I discuss Priestley's view of causation and reconstruct his account of explanation as a species of what is now called 'contrastive' explanation. A contrastive explanation attempts (...)
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  40. The Devil in the Details: Asymptotic Reasoning in Explanation, Reduction, and Emergence.Robert W. Batterman - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Robert Batterman examines a form of scientific reasoning called asymptotic reasoning, arguing that it has important consequences for our understanding of the scientific process as a whole. He maintains that asymptotic reasoning is essential for explaining what physicists call universal behavior. With clarity and rigor, he simplifies complex questions about universal behavior, demonstrating a profound understanding of the underlying structures that ground them. This book introduces a valuable new method that is certain to fill explanatory gaps across disciplines.
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  41. A 'Modern' (=Victorian?) Attitude Towards Scientific Understanding.Robert W. Batterman - 2000 - The Monist 83 (2):228-257.
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  42. Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
    This article discusses minimal model explanations, which we argue are distinct from various causal, mechanical, difference-making, and so on, strategies prominent in the philosophical literature. We contend that what accounts for the explanatory power of these models is not that they have certain features in common with real systems. Rather, the models are explanatory because of a story about why a class of systems will all display the same large-scale behavior because the details that distinguish them are irrelevant. This story (...)
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  43. Salmon, Wesley C. Causality and Explanation.Benjamin Bayer - 2000 - Review of Metaphysics 53 (3):729-730.
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  44. Can Mechanistic Explanation Be Reconciled with Scale-Free Constitution and Dynamics?William Bechtel - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53:84-93.
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  45. From Molecules to Behavior and the Clinic: Integration in Chronobiology.William Bechtel - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (4):493-502.
    Chronobiology, especially the study of circadian rhythms, provides a model scientific field in which philosophers can study how investigators from a variety of disciplines working at different levels of organization are each contributing to a multi-level account of the responsible mechanism. I focus on how the framework of mechanistic explanation integrates research designed to decompose the mechanism with efforts directed at recomposition that relies especially on computation models. I also examine how recently the integration has extended beyond basic research to (...)
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  46. Understanding Biological Mechanisms: Using Illustrations From Circadian Rhythm Research.William Bechtel - unknown
    In many fields of biology, researchers explain a phenomenon by characterizing the responsible mechanism. This requires identifying the candidate mechanism, decomposing it into its parts and operations, recomposing it so as to understand how it is organized and its operations orchestrated to generate the phenomenon, and situating it in its environment. Mechanistic researchers have developed sophisticated tools for decomposing mechanisms but new approaches, including modeling, are increasingly being invoked to recompose mechanisms when they involve nonsequential organization of nonlinear operations. The (...)
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  47. The Downs and Ups of Mechanistic Research: Circadian Rhythm Research as an Exemplar. [REVIEW]William Bechtel - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):313 - 328.
    In the context of mechanistic explanation, reductionistic research pursues a decomposition of complex systems into their component parts and operations. Using research on the mechanisms responsible for circadian rhythms, I consider both the gains that have been made by discovering genes and proteins that figure in these intracellular oscillators and also highlight the increasingly recognized need to understand higher-level integration, both between cells in the central oscillator and between the central and peripheral oscillators. This history illustrates a common need to (...)
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  48. Mechanistic Explanation and the Nature-Nurture Controversy.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Bulletin d'Histoire Et d'pistmologie Des Sciences de La Vie 12:75-100.
    Both in biology and psychology there has been a tendency on the part of many investigators to focus solely on the mature organism and ignore development. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that the explanatory framework often invoked in the life sciences for understanding a given phenomenon, according to which explanation consists in identifying the mechanism that produces that phenomenon, both makes it possible to side-step the development issue and to provide inadequate resources for actually (...)
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  49. From Social Scientific Functionalism to Open Functional Logic.Uwe Becker - 1988 - Theory and Society 17 (6):865-883.
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  50. On the Application of the Methods of Scientific Justification and Explanation in Ethics.Radim Belohrad & Zdenka Jastrzembska - 2013 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 20:5-23.
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