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  1. added 2018-11-23
    How-Possibly Explanations in (Quantum) Computer Science.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):737-748.
    A primary goal of quantum computer science is to find an explanation for the fact that quantum computers are more powerful than classical computers. In this paper I argue that to answer this question is to compare algorithmic processes of various kinds and to describe the possibility spaces associated with these processes. By doing this, we explain how it is possible for one process to outperform its rival. Further, in this and similar examples little is gained in subsequently asking a (...)
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  2. added 2018-10-31
    Explanation by Idealized Theories.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2018 - Kairos 20 (1):43-63.
    The use of idealized scientific theories in explanations of empirical facts and regularities is problematic in two ways: they don’t satisfy the condition that the explanans is true, and they may fail to entail the explanandum. An attempt to deal with the latter problem was proposed by Hempel and Popper with their notion of approximate explanation. A more systematic perspective on idealized explanations was developed with the method of idealization and concretization by the Poznan school in the 1970s. If idealizational (...)
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  3. added 2018-09-06
    Super-Humeanism: Insufficiently Naturalistic and Insufficiently Explanatory.Alastair Wilson - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):427-431.
  4. added 2018-09-06
    Science Generates Limit Paradoxes.Eric Dietrich & Chris Fields - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (4):409-432.
    The sciences occasionally generate discoveries that undermine their own assumptions. Two such discoveries are characterized here: the discovery of apophenia by cognitive psychology and the discovery that physical systems cannot be locally bounded within quantum theory. It is shown that such discoveries have a common structure and that this common structure is an instance of Priest’s well-known Inclosure Schema. This demonstrates that science itself is dialetheic: it generates limit paradoxes. How science proceeds despite this fact is briefly discussed, as is (...)
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  5. 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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  6. added 2018-06-12
    Review of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos's Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW]Alexander Beard & Cory Wright - forthcoming - Analysis 78 (3):any031.
  7. added 2018-06-07
    A Unified Cognitive Model of Visual Filling-In Based on an Emergic Network Architecture.David Pierre Leibovitz - 2013 - Dissertation, Carleton University
    The Emergic Cognitive Model (ECM) is a unified computational model of visual filling-in based on the Emergic Network architecture. The Emergic Network was designed to help realize systems undergoing continuous change. In this thesis, eight different filling-in phenomena are demonstrated under a regime of continuous eye movement (and under static eye conditions as well). -/- ECM indirectly demonstrates the power of unification inherent with Emergic Networks when cognition is decomposed according to finer-grained functions supporting change. These can interact to raise (...)
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  8. added 2018-06-05
    Editors' Introduction.Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 29 (1):5-7.
  9. added 2018-04-01
    What's Left of Human Nature? A Post-Essentialist, Pluralist and Interactive Account of a Contested Concept.Maria Kronfeldner - forthcoming - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What’s Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social (...)
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  10. 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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  11. added 2018-03-08
    50 Words for Snow.John Wilkins - manuscript
    Scientists and philosophers routinely talk about phenomena, and the ways in which they relate to explanation, theory and practice in science. However, there are very few definitions of the term, which is often used synonymously with "data'', "model'' and in older literature, "hypothesis''. In this paper I will attempt to clarify how phenomena are recognized, categorized and the role they play in scientific epistemology. I conclude that phenomena are not necessarily theory-based commitments, but that they are what explanations are called (...)
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  12. added 2018-02-25
    Symmetries and Explanatory Dependencies in Physics.Steven French & Juha Saatsi - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 185-205.
    Many important explanations in physics are based on ideas and assumptions about symmetries, but little has been said about the nature of such explanations. This chapter aims to fill this lacuna, arguing that various symmetry explanations can be naturally captured in the spirit of the counterfactual-dependence account of Woodward, liberalized from its causal trappings. From the perspective of this account symmetries explain by providing modal information about an explanatory dependence, by showing how the explanandum would have been different, had the (...)
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  13. added 2018-02-23
    On Explanations From 'Geometry of Motion'.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):253–273.
    This paper examines explanations that turn on non-local geometrical facts about the space of possible configurations a system can occupy. I argue that it makes sense to contrast such explanations from ‘geometry of motion’ with causal explanations. I also explore how my analysis of these explanations cuts across the distinction between kinematics and dynamics.
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  14. added 2018-02-09
    Searching for Noncausal Explanations in a Sea of Causes.Alisa Bokulich - 2018 - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford University Press.
    In the spirit of explanatory pluralism, this chapter argues that causal and noncausal explanations of a phenomenon are compatible, each being useful for bringing out different sorts of insights. After reviewing a model-based account of scientific explanation, which can accommodate causal and noncausal explanations alike, an important core conception of noncausal explanation is identified. This noncausal form of model-based explanation is illustrated using the example of how Earth scientists in a subfield known as aeolian geomorphology are explaining the formation of (...)
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  15. added 2017-09-22
    Collaborative Explanation, Explanatory Roles, and Scientific Explaining in Practice.Alan C. Love - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 52:88-94.
    Scientific explanation is a perennial topic in philosophy of science, but the literature has fragmented into specialized discussions in different scientific disciplines. An increasing attention to scientific practice by philosophers is (in part) responsible for this fragmentation and has put pressure on criteria of adequacy for philosophical accounts of explanation, usually demanding some form of pluralism. This commentary examines the arguments offered by Fagan and Woody with respect to explanation and understanding in scientific practice. I begin by scrutinizing Fagan's concept (...)
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  16. added 2017-06-22
    Eidos, Science and Wisdom.Raymond Aaron Younis - manuscript
    paper to be presented at "Religion, Society, and the Science of Life", 2017 IRC-ISSR Conference, 19-22 July, Ian Ramsey Centre for Science and Religion, Oxford University.
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  17. added 2017-06-02
    Surfing Economics.Huw Dixon - 2001 - London: palgrave.
    Surfing Economics is a collection of essays by one of Europe’s leading young economists. These essays are written to bring to life in a non-technical manner some of the fundamental ideas and concepts in contemporary economics, including new Keynesian economics, the natural rate, bounded rationality, social learning and the meaning of economics. Whilst primarily written for the undergraduate student, these essays will entertain and enlighten economists of all ages. Above all, the essays convey the enthusiasm and excitement of Huw Dixon (...)
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  18. added 2017-05-22
    The Right to Ignore: An Epistemic Defense of the Nature/Culture Divide.Maria Kronfeldner - 2017 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 210-224.
    This paper addresses whether the often-bemoaned loss of unity of knowledge about humans, which results from the disciplinary fragmentation of science, is something to be overcome. The fragmentation of being human rests on a couple of distinctions, such as the nature-culture divide. Since antiquity the distinction between nature (roughly, what we inherit biologically) and culture (roughly, what is acquired by social interaction) has been a commonplace in science and society. Recently, the nature/culture divide has come under attack in various ways, (...)
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  19. 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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  20. added 2017-03-03
    Review of I Am A Strange Loop by Douglas Hofstadter (2007).Michael Starks - 2017 - Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017).
    Latest Sermon from the Church of Fundamentalist Naturalism by Pastor Hofstadter. Like his much more famous work Godel, Escher, Bach, it has a superficial plausibility but if one understands that this is rampant scientism which mixes real scientific issues with philosophical ones (i.e., the only real issues are what language games we ought to play) then almost all its interest disappears. I provide a framework for analysis based in evolutionary psychology and the work of Wittgenstein (since updated in my more (...)
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  21. added 2016-12-08
    Artificial Explanations: The Epistemological Interpretation of Explanation in AI.Andrés Páez - 2009 - Synthese 170 (1):131-146.
    In this paper I critically examine the notion of explanation used in Artificial Intelligence in general, and in the theory of belief revision in particular. I focus on two of the best known accounts in the literature: Pagnucco’s abductive expansion functions and Gärdenfors’ counterfactual analysis. I argue that both accounts are at odds with the way in which this notion has historically been understood in philosophy. They are also at odds with the explanatory strategies used in actual scientific practice. At (...)
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  22. added 2016-11-01
    Reconstituting Phenomena.Maria Kronfeldner - 2015 - In Mäki U., Votsis S., Ruphy S. & Schurz G. (eds.), Recent developments in the philosophy of science. Springer. pp. 169-182.
    In the face of causal complexity, scientists reconstitute phenomena in order to arrive at a more simplified and partial picture that ignores most of the 'bigger picture.' This paper will distinguish between two modes of reconstituting phenomena: one moving down to a level of greater decomposition (toward organizational parts of the original phenomenon), and one moving up to a level of greater abstraction (toward different differences regarding the phenomenon). The first aim of the paper is to illustrate that phenomena are (...)
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  23. added 2016-10-28
    The Topological Realization.Daniel Kostić - 2018 - Synthese (1).
    In this paper, I argue that the newly developed network approach in neuroscience and biology provides a basis for formulating a unique type of realization, which I call topological realization. Some of its features and its relation to one of the dominant paradigms of realization and explanation in sciences, i.e. the mechanistic one, are already being discussed in the literature. But the detailed features of topological realization, its explanatory power and its relation to another prominent view of realization, namely the (...)
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  24. 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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  25. added 2016-10-18
    Naturalism, Explanation, and Identity.Thomas W. Polger & Robert A. Skipper - manuscript
    Some people believe that there is an “explanatory gap” between the facts of physics and certain other facts about the world—for example, facts about consciousness. The gap is presented as a challenge to any thoroughgoing naturalism or physicalism. We believe that advocates of the explanatory gap have some reasonable expectations that cannot be merely dismissed. We also believe that naturalistic thinkers have the resources to close the explanatory gap, but that they have not adequately explained how and why these resources (...)
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  26. 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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  27. added 2016-09-02
    Against Method, Against Science? On Logic, Order and Analogy in the Sciences.Raymond Aaron Younis - 2018 - In Jeremy Horne (ed.), Philosophical Perceptions on Logic and Order. London, UK: pp. 270-282.
  28. added 2016-08-26
    Comentarios a «Explicación teórica y compromisos ontológicos: un modelo estructuralista», de C. Ulises Moulines.Pablo Lorenzano - 2005 - Enrahonar 37:55-59.
    In this comment on the work by Ulises Moulines I shall not refer to the interesting analysis of the ontological commitments that depends the treatment of the so-called «data models», nor shall I debate the general metaphysical principles proposed in his approach, adopting an experimentalist, instrumentalist, anti-realistic, positivist or empirical stance. I shall focus on the last part of his article in which he elaborates on the links between Wesley Salmon’s causalist approach and the structuralist analysis of explanation viewed as (...)
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  29. added 2016-07-20
    Does the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation Apply to Non-Causal Explanations in Metaphysics?Alexander Reutlinger - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-18.
    In the recent philosophy of explanation, a growing attention to and discussion of non-causal explanations has emerged, as there seem to be compelling examples of non-causal explanations in the sciences, in pure mathematics, and in metaphysics. I defend the claim that the counterfactual theory of explanation (CTE) captures the explanatory character of both non-causal scientific and metaphysical explanations. According to the CTE, scientific and metaphysical explanations are explanatory by virtue of revealing counterfactual dependencies between the explanandum and the explanans. I (...)
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  30. added 2016-05-13
    Heuristics and Meta-Heuristics in Scientific Judgement.Spencer Phillips Hey - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (2):471-495.
    Despite the increasing recognition that heuristics may be involved in myriad scientific activities, much about how to use them prudently remains obscure. As typically defined, heuristics are efficient rules or procedures for converting complex problems into simpler ones. But this increased efficiency and problem-solving power comes at the cost of a systematic bias. As Wimsatt showed, biased modelling heuristics can conceal errors, leading to poor decisions or inaccurate models. This liability to produce errors presents a fundamental challenge to the philosophical (...)
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  31. added 2016-02-01
    Explanation in the Social Sciences: Singular Explanation and the Social Sciences*: David-Hillel Ruben.David-Hillel Ruben - 1990 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 27:95-117.
    Are explanations in the social sciences fundamentally different from explanations in the natural sciences? Many philosophers think that they are, and I call such philosophers ‘difference theorists’. Many difference theorists locate that difference in the alleged fact that only in the natural sciences does explanation essentially include laws.
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  32. added 2016-01-04
    The Virtues of Non-Reduction, Even When Reduction is a Virtue.Todd Jones - 2003 - Philosophical Forum 34 (4):121-140.
    This paper aims to reduce the confusion about what our proper attitudes toward reductionism should be. I will begin by saying briefly why reductive explanations are generally desirable. I will then spend the bulk of the paper laying out what I consider to be the best epistemic reasons for thinking that developing non-reductive accounts is also highly desirable. I aim to show that the best arguments for the desirability of reduction, and for the desirability of non-reduction, are rooted less in (...)
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  33. added 2015-09-20
    John Stuart Mill on Taxonomy and Natural Kinds.P. D. Magnus - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (2):269-280.
    The accepted narrative treats John Stuart Mill’s Kinds as the historical prototype for our natural kinds, but Mill actually employs two separate notions: Kinds and natural groups. Considering these, along with the accounts of Mill’s nineteenth-century interlocutors, forces us to recognize two distinct questions. First, what marks a natural kind as worthy of inclusion in taxonomy? Second, what exists in the world that makes a category meet that criterion? Mill’s two notions offer separate answers to the two questions: natural groups (...)
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  34. added 2015-09-10
    Unification and Convergence in Archaeological Explanation: The Agricultural “Wave-of-Advance” and the Origins of Indo-European Languages.Alison Wylie - 1996 - 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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  35. added 2015-09-07
    On Modifications of Reichenbach's Principle of Common Cause in Light of Bell's Theorem.Eric G. Cavalcanti & Raymond Lal - 2014 - Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 47 (42):424018.
    Bellʼs 1964 theorem causes a severe problem for the notion that correlations require explanation, encapsulated in Reichenbachʼs principle of common cause. Despite being a hallmark of scientific thought, dropping the principle has been widely regarded as much less bitter medicine than the perceived alternative—dropping relativistic causality. Recently, however, some authors have proposed that modified forms of Reichenbachʼs principle could be maintained even with relativistic causality. Here we break down Reichenbachʼs principle into two independent assumptions—the principle of common cause proper and (...)
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  36. added 2015-09-05
    The Growth of Knowledge as a Problem of Philosophy of Science.Rinat M. Nugayev - 2006 - Filosofia Nauki (Philosophy of Science, Novosibirsk) 4 (31):3-19.
    The host of the growth of knowledge hallmarks, concocted by various philosophy of science models , is contemplated. It is enunciated that the most appropriate one is provided by methodology of scientific research programmes. Some salient drawbacks of the model, caused by the ambivalence of its basic notions, e.g. of the notions of ‘empirical content of a theory’, ‘progressive’ and ‘regressive’ ‘problemshifts’ can be mitigated by enriching the Lakatosian model with Nancy Cartwright’s results. To recapitulate: the genuine growth of knowledge (...)
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  37. added 2015-02-24
    Of Problematology: Philosophy Science and Language. [REVIEW]Raymond Aaron Younis - 1995 - Metascience (8).
  38. added 2015-02-12
    Explaining by Using Artificial Societies. David-rus - 2012 - European Journal of Science and Theology 8 (3).
    Computational models have an increasing impact in social and historical sciences. In this paper, I will focus on a specific type of modelling developed in computational social sciences, an agent-based model. My inquiry will aim to identify the sort of explanatory virtues that such a model could have. I will discuss the suggested possibility of causal explanations but also the recent proposal advanced by Grüne-Yanoff that sees them as potential functional explanations. In the last part I shall make some suggestions (...)
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  39. added 2014-07-24
    Physicalism and the Part-Whole Relation.Andreas Hüttemann - 2016 - In Christian Wüthrich & Tomasz Bigaj (eds.), Metaphysics in Contemporary Physics. Leiden, Niederlande: pp. 323-344.
    In this paper I intend to analyse whether a certain kind of physicalism (part-wholephysicalism)is supported by what classical mechanics and quantum mechanics have to say about the part whole relation. I will argue that not even the most likely candidates – namely cases of microexplanation of the dynamics of compound systems – provide evidence for part whole-physicalism, i.e. the thesis that the behaviour of the compound obtains in virtue of the behaviour of the parts. Physics does not dictate part-whole-physicalism.
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  40. added 2014-07-18
    Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
    The first part of this paper argues that if Craver’s ([2007a], [2007b]) popular mutual manipulability account (MM) of mechanistic constitution is embedded within Woodward’s ([2003]) interventionist theory of causation--for which it is explicitly designed--it either undermines the mechanistic research paradigm by entailing that there do not exist relationships of constitutive relevance or it gives rise to the unwanted consequence that constitution is a form of causation. The second part shows how Woodward’s theory can be adapted in such a way that (...)
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  41. added 2014-07-16
    Review of Paweł Kawalec, Przyczyna I Wyjaśnianie. Studium Z Metodologii I Filozofii Nauki, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL.Wójcicki Ryszard - 2007 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):147-149.
    Review of Paweł Kawalec, Przyczyna i wyjaśnianie. Studium z metodologii i filozofii nauki, Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL.
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  42. added 2014-04-05
    Abstraction and Explanatory Relevance, or Why Do the Special Sciences Exist?Matthew C. Haug - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):1143-1155.
    Non-reductive physicalists have long held that the special sciences offer explanations of some phenomena that are objectively superior to physical explanations. This explanatory “autonomy” has largely been based on the multiple realizability argument. Recently, in the face of the local reduction and disjunctive property responses to multiple realizability, some defenders of non-reductive physicalism have suggested that autonomy can be grounded merely in human cognitive limitations. In this paper, I argue that this is mistaken. By distinguishing between two kinds of abstraction (...)
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  43. added 2014-03-15
    What is Wrong with Intelligent Design?Gregory W. Dawes - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 61 (2):69 - 81.
    While a great deal of abuse has been directed at intelligent design theory (ID), its starting point is a fact about biological organisms that cries out for explanation, namely "specified complexity" (SC). Advocates of ID deploy three kind of argument from specified complexity to the existence of a designer: an eliminative argument, an inductive argument, and an inference to the best explanation. Only the first of these merits the abuse directed at it; the other two arguments are worthy of respect. (...)
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  44. added 2014-03-12
    Knowledge of Counterfactual Interventions Through Cognitive Models of Mechanisms.Jonathan Waskan - 2008 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):259 – 275.
    Here I consider the relative merits of two recent models of explanation, James Woodward's interventionist-counterfactual model and the model model. According to the former, explanations are largely constituted by information about the consequences of counterfactual interventions. Problems arise for this approach because countless relevant interventions are possible in most cases and because it overlooks other kinds of equally relevant information. According the model model, explanations are largely constituted by cognitive models of actual mechanisms. On this approach, explanations tend not to (...)
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  45. added 2014-03-04
    Why Is There Universal Macrobehavior? Renormalization Group Explanation as Noncausal Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):1157-1170.
    Renormalization group (RG) methods are an established strategy to explain how it is possible that microscopically different systems exhibit virtually the same macro behavior when undergoing phase-transitions. I argue – in agreement with Robert Batterman – that RG explanations are non-causal explanations. However, Batterman misidentifies the reason why RG explanations are non-causal: it is not the case that an explanation is non- causal if it ignores causal details. I propose an alternative argument, according to which RG explanations are non-causal explanations (...)
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  46. added 2014-02-05
    A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part I.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):274-283.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new mechanisms’ (...)
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  47. added 2014-02-05
    A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part II.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):284-293.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The ‘new (...)
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  48. added 2013-12-30
    Lesser Degrees of Explanation: Some Implications of F.A. Hayek’s Methodology of Sciences of Complex Phenomena.Scott Scheall - manuscript
    From the early-1950s on, F.A. Hayek was concerned with the development of a methodology of sciences that study systems of complex phenomena. Hayek argued that the knowledge that can be acquired about such systems is, in virtue of their complexity (and the comparatively narrow boundaries of human cognitive faculties), relatively limited. The paper aims to elucidate the implications of Hayek’s methodology with respect to the specific dimensions along which the scientist’s knowledge of some complex phenomena may be limited. Hayek’s fallibilism (...)
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  49. added 2013-11-04
    Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science.Carl Hempel - 1965 - The Free Press.
  50. added 2013-09-05
    Stability, Emergence and Part-Whole-Reduction.Andreas Hüttemann, Reimer Kühn & Orestis Terzidis - 2015 - In Brigitte Falkenburg & Margret Morrison (eds.), Why More Is Different. Philosophical Issues in Condensed Matter Physics and Complex Systems. Springer. pp. 169-200.
    We address the question whether there is an explanation for the fact that as Fodor put it the micro-level “converges on stable macro-level properties”, and whether there are lessons from this explanation for other issues in the vicinity. We argue that stability in large systems can be understood in terms of statistical limit theorems. In the thermodynamic limit of infinite system size N → ∞ systems will have strictly stable macroscopic properties in the sense that transitions between different macroscopic phases (...)
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