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  1. Because You’Ll Find Out Anyway, Your Wife is Having an Affair - If and Because.Rani Lill Anjum - manuscript
    In an explanation ‘y because x’, because can be used to express an explanatory relation between an explanandum ‘y’ and an explanans ‘x’. But because can also be used to express the speaker’s reason for uttering ‘y’. This difference will be elucidated by connecting it with the distinction between the at-issue dimension and the speaker dimension of meaning. There are also internal relations between if and because that can help us find and analyse different uses of because, and thus also (...)
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  2. Review of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos's Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW]Alexander Beard & Cory Wright - forthcoming - Analysis 78 (3):any031.
  3. Scientific Reasoning Is Material Inference: Combining Confirmation, Discovery, and Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (1):31-43.
    Whereas an inference (deductive as well as inductive) is usually viewed as being valid in virtue of its argument form, the present paper argues that scientific reasoning is material inference, i.e., justified in virtue of its content. A material inference is licensed by the empirical content embodied in the concepts contained in the premises and conclusion. Understanding scientific reasoning as material inference has the advantage of combining different aspects of scientific reasoning, such as confirmation, discovery, and explanation. This approach explains (...)
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  4. How Explanation Guides Confirmation.Nevin Climenhaga - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):359-68.
    Where E is the proposition that [If H and O were true, H would explain O], William Roche and Elliot Sober have argued that P(H|O&E) = P(H|O). In this paper I argue that not only is this equality not generally true, it is false in the very kinds of cases that Roche and Sober focus on, involving frequency data. In fact, in such cases O raises the probability of H only given that there is an explanatory connection between them.
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  5. Explanations: Styles of Explanation in Science.John Cornwell (ed.) - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    Our lives, states of health, relationships, behavior, experiences of the natural world, and the technologies that shape our contemporary existence are subject to a superfluity of competing, multi-faceted and sometimes incompatible explanations. Widespread confusion about the nature of "explanation" and its scope and limits pervades popular exposition of the natural sciences, popular history and philosophy of science. This fascinating book explores the way explanations work, why they vary between disciplines, periods, and cultures, and whether they have any necessary boundaries. In (...)
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  6. Scientific Pluralism. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science. Vol. 19 by Stephen H. Kellert, Helen E. Longino, C. Kenneth Waters. [REVIEW]Thomas V. Cunningham - 2008 - The Pluralist 3 (1):132-137.
  7. Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument.Finnur Dellsén - 2016 - Theoria 82 (3):217-237.
    Although many aspects of Inference to the Best Explanation have been extensively discussed, very little has so far been said about what it takes for a hypothesis to count as a rival explanatory hypothesis in the context of IBE. The primary aim of this article is to rectify this situation by arguing for a specific account of explanatory rivalry. On this account, explanatory rivals are complete explanations of a given explanandum. When explanatory rivals are conceived of in this way, I (...)
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  8. Varieties of Explanation: A Memoir of Patrick Lancaster Gardiner 1922-1997.A. E. Denham - 2007 - In P. J. Marshall (ed.), Proceedings of the British Academy, 138 Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, V. Oxford University Press.
    Patrick Lancaster Gardiner is best known and most widely esteemed for his work on the nature of historical explanation. By addressing the problem of the limits of objectivity in relation to a variety of philosophical issues, he presciently identified the source of a number of philosophical disputes well before they had properly developed. This was certainly the case in Gardiner's treatment of historical explanation, and it is true also of his later treatment of the claims of the personal versus the (...)
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  9. Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    A compelling idea holds that reality has a layered structure. We often disagree about what inhabits the bottom layer, but we agree that higher up we find chemical, biological, geological, psychological, sociological, economic, /etc./, entities: molecules, human beings, diamonds, mental states, cities, interest rates, and so on. How is this intuitive talk of a layered structure of entities to be understood? Traditionally, philosophers have proposed to understand layered structure in terms of either reduction or supervenience. But these traditional views face (...)
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  10. Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering. Concept, Practices, Perspectives.Juan Manuel Durán - 2018 - Springer.
  11. Understanding Brute Facts.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2005 - Synthese 145 (3):449-466.
    Brute facts are facts that have no explanation. If we come to know that a fact is brute, we obviously don’t get an explanation of that fact. Nevertheless, we do make some sort of epistemic gain. In this essay, I give an account of that epistemic gain, and suggest that the idea of brute facts allows us to distinguish between the notion of explanation and the notion of understanding. I also discuss Eric Barnes’ (1994) attack on Friedman’s (1974) version of (...)
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  12. John Losee, Complementarity, Causality, and Explanation. [REVIEW]Brigitte Falkenburg - 2016 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 6 (1):162-164.
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  13. The Meta-Explanatory Question.L. R. Franklin-Hall - manuscript
    Philosophical theories of explanation characterize the difference between correct and incorrect explanations. While remaining neutral as to which of these ‘first-order’ theories is right, this paper asks the ‘meta-explanatory’ question: is the difference between correct and incorrect explanation real, i.e., objective or mind-independent? After offering a framework for distinguishing realist from anti-realist views, I sketch three distinct paths to explanatory anti-realism.
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  14. On the Neural Enrichment of Economic Models: Recasting the Challenge.Roberto Fumagalli - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (2):201-220.
    In a recent article in this Journal, Fumagalli argues that economists are provisionally justified in resisting prominent calls to integrate neural variables into economic models of choice. In other articles, various authors engage with Fumagalli’s argument and try to substantiate three often-made claims concerning neuroeconomic modelling. First, the benefits derivable from neurally informing some economic models of choice do not involve significant tractability costs. Second, neuroeconomic modelling is best understood within Marr’s three-level of analysis framework for information-processing systems. And third, (...)
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  15. Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?".Alexander Gebharter - manuscript
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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  16. Editors' Introduction.Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 29 (1):5-7.
  17. Kinds, Projectibility and Explanation.Sören Häggqvist - 2005 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (1):71-87.
    Two ways of characterizing natural kinds are currently popular: the Kripke-Putnam appeal to microstructure and Boyd’s appeal to causal homeostasis. I argue that these conceptions are more divergent than is often acknowledged, that they give no credence to essentialism, and that they are both faulty. In their place, I sketch an alternative view of natural kinds, which I call “bare projectibilism”. This conception avoids the appeal to explanation common to microstructuralism and the causal homeostasis view, but is still compatible with (...)
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  18. Observation and Explanation: A Guide to Philosophy of Science.Norwood Russell Hanson - 1972 - London: Allen & Unwin.
  19. Erklärungen in der Geschichtswissenschaft.Dorothea Jahn - 1992 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):13-17.
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  20. Backwards Explanation.C. S. Jenkins & Daniel Nolan - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (1):103 - 115.
    We discuss explanation of an earlier event by a later event, and argue that prima facie cases of backwards event explanation are ubiquitous. Some examples: (1) I am tidying my flat because my brother is coming to visit tomorrow. (2) The scarlet pimpernels are closing because it is about to rain. (3) The volcano is smoking because it is going to erupt soon. We then look at various ways people might attempt to explain away these prima facie cases by arguing (...)
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  21. Diagrams as Locality Aids for Explanation and Model Construction in Cell Biology.Nicholaos Jones & Olaf Wolkenhauer - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):705-721.
    Using as case studies two early diagrams that represent mechanisms of the cell division cycle, we aim to extend prior philosophical analyses of the roles of diagrams in scientific reasoning, and specifically their role in biological reasoning. The diagrams we discuss are, in practice, integral and indispensible elements of reasoning from experimental data about the cell division cycle to mathematical models of the cycle’s molecular mechanisms. In accordance with prior analyses, the diagrams provide functional explanations of the cell cycle and (...)
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  22. Grounding and the Argument From Explanatoriness.David Mark Kovacs - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (12):2927-2952.
    In recent years, metaphysics has undergone what some describe as a revolution: it has become standard to understand a vast array of questions as questions about grounding, a metaphysical notion of determination. Why should we believe in grounding, though? Supporters of the revolution often gesture at what I call the Argument from Explanatoriness: the notion of grounding is somehow indispensable to a metaphysical type of explanation. I challenge this argument and along the way develop a “reactionary” view, according to which (...)
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  23. Universals, Metaphysical Explanations, and Pragmatism.Robert Kraut - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):590-609.
  24. Divide and Conquer: The Authority of Nature and Why We Disagree About Human Nature.Maria Kronfeldner - forthcoming - In Elizabeth Hannon & Tim Lewens (eds.), Why we disagree about human nature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 186-206.
    The term ‘human nature’ can refer to different things in the world and fulfil different epistemic roles. Human nature can refer to a classificatory nature (classificatory criteria that determine the boundaries of, and membership in, a biological or social group called ‘human’), a descriptive nature (a bundle of properties describing the respective group’s life form), or an explanatory nature (a set of factors explaining that life form). This chapter will first introduce these three kinds of ‘human nature’, together with seven (...)
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  25. Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability.Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    How far should our realism extend? For many years philosophers of mathematics and philosophers of ethics have worked independently to address the question of how best to understand the entities apparently referred to by mathematical and ethical talk. But the similarities between their endeavours are not often emphasised. This book provides that emphasis. In particular, it focuses on two types of argumentative strategies that have been deployed in both areas. The first—debunking arguments—aims to put pressure on realism by emphasising the (...)
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  26. Explanations: Aesthetic and Scientific.Shen-yi Liao - 2014 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 75:127-149.
    Methodologically, philosophical aesthetics is undergoing an evolution that takes it closer to the sciences. Taking this methodological convergence as the starting point, I argue for a pragmatist and pluralist view of aesthetic explanations. To bring concreteness to discussion, I focus on vindicating genre explanations, which are explanations of aesthetic phenomena that centrally cite a work's genre classification. I show that theoretical resources that philosophers of science have developed with attention to actual scientific practice and the special sciences can be used (...)
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  27. On Some Counterexamples to the Transitivity of Grounding.Jon Erling Litland - 2013 - Essays in Philosophy 14 (1):3.
    I discuss three recent counterexamples to the transitivity of grounding due to Jonathan Schaffer. I argue that the counterexamples don’t work and draw some conclusions about the relationship between grounding and explanation.
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  28. No Successful Infinite Regress.Laureano Luna - 2014 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 23 (2):189-201.
    We model infinite regress structures — not arguments — by means of ungrounded recursively defined functions in order to show that no such structure can perform the task of providing determination to the items composing it, that is, that no determination process containing an infinite regress structure is successful.
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  29. No Successfull Infinite Regress.Laureano Luna - 2014 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 23 (2):189-201.
    We model infinite regress structures -not arguments- by means of ungrounded recursively defined functions in order to show that no such structure can perform the task of providing determination to the items composing it, that is, that no determination process containing an infinite regress structure is successful.
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  30. Exemplification as Explanation.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2013 - Axiomathes 23 (2):401-417.
    In this paper I critically investigate an unorthodox attempt to metaphysically explain in virtue of what there are states of affairs. This is a suggestion according to which states of affairs exist thanks to, rather than, as is the common view, in spite of, the infinite regress their metaphysical explanation seems to engender. I argue that, no matter in which form it is defended, or in which theoretical framework it is set, this suggestion cannot provide us with the explanation we (...)
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  31. Science and Meaning.Nicholas Maxwell - 2002 - The Philosophers' Magazine 18:15-16.
    How can we understand our human world, embedded as it is within the physical universe, in such a way that justice is done to both the richness, meaning and value of human life on the one hand, and what modern science tells us about the physical universe on the other hand? I argue that, in order to solve this problem, we need to see physics as being concerned only with a highly selected aspect of reality – that aspect which determines (...)
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  32. Theories of Explanation.G. Randolph Mayes - 2001 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  33. Epistemic Justification and Methodological Luck in Inflationary Cosmology.C. D. McCoy - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy014.
    I present a recent historical case from cosmology—the story of inflationary cosmology— and on its basis argue that solving explanatory problems is a reliable method for making progress in science. In particular, I claim that the success of inflationary theory at solving its predecessor’s explanatory problems justified the theory epistemically, even in advance of the development of novel predictions from the theory and the later confirmation of those predictions.
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  34. Theoretical Identities as Explanantia and Explananda.Kevin Morris - 2011 - American Philosophical Quarterly 48 (4):373-385.
    The mind-brain identity theory, the thesis that sensations are identical with properties or processes of the brain, was introduced into contemporary discussion by U.T. Place, Herbert Feigl, and J.J.C Smart in the 1950s. Despite its widespread rejection in the following decades, the identity theory has received several carefully articulated defenses in recent years. Aside from developing novel responses to well-known arguments against the identity theory, contemporary identity theorists have argued that the epistemological resources available to support the adoption of identities (...)
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  35. Complex Mental Disorders: Representation, Stability and Explanation.Dominic Murphy - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):28-42.
    This paper discusses the representation and explanation of relationships between phenomena that are important in psychiatric contexts. After a general discussion of complexity in the philosophy of science, I distinguish zooming-out approaches from zooming-in approaches. Zooming-out has to do with seeing complex mental illnesses as abstract models for the purposes of both explanation and reduction. Zooming-in involves breaking complex mental illnesses into simple components and trying to explain those components independently in terms of specific causes. Connections between existing practice and (...)
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  36. Partial Explanations in Social Science’.Robert Northcott - 2012 - In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 130-153.
    Comparing different causes’ importance, and apportioning responsibility between them, requires making good sense of the notion of partial explanation, that is, of degree of explanation. How much is this subjective, how much objective? If the causes in question are probabilistic, how much is the outcome due to them and how much to simple chance? I formulate the notion of degree of causation, or effect size, relating it to influential recent work in the literature on causation. I examine to what extent (...)
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  37. A Pessimistic Induction Against Scientific Antirealism.Seungbae Park - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (1):3-21.
    There are nine antirealist explanations of the success of science in the literature. I raise difficulties against all of them except the latest one, and then construct a pessimistic induction that the latest one will turn out to be problematic because its eight forerunners turned out to be problematic. This pessimistic induction is on a par with the traditional pessimistic induction that successful present scientific theories will be revealed to be false because successful past scientific theories were revealed to be (...)
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  38. The Puzzle of Existence: Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing? [REVIEW]Kenneth L. Pearce - 2014 - Faith and Philosophy 31 (3):341-344.
  39. Eight Other Questions About Explanation.Angela Potochnik - forthcoming - In Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The tremendous philosophical focus on how to characterize explanatory metaphysical dependence has eclipsed a number of other unresolved issued about scientific explanation. The purpose of this paper is taxonomical. I will outline a number of other questions about the nature of explanation and its role in science—eight, to be precise—and argue that each is independent. All of these topics have received some philosophical attention, but none nearly so much as it deserves. Furthermore, existing views on these topics have been obscured (...)
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  40. Recipes for Science: An Introduction to Scientific Methods and Reasoning.Angela Potochnik, Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    There is widespread recognition at universities that a proper understanding of science is needed for all undergraduates. Good jobs are increasingly found in fields related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Medicine, and science now enters almost all aspects of our daily lives. For these reasons, scientific literacy and an understanding of scientific methodology are a foundational part of any undergraduate education. Recipes for Science provides an accessible introduction to the main concepts and methods of scientific reasoning. With the help of (...)
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  41. Teleological Realism: Mind, Agency, and Explanation – Scott R. Sehon.Carolyn Price - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):501–503.
    A review of Teleological Realism: mind, agency and explanation by Scott R. Sehon.
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  42. Understanding (With) Toy Models.Alexander Reutlinger, Dominik Hangleiter & Stephan Hartmann - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx005.
    Toy models are highly idealized and extremely simple models. Although they are omnipresent across scientific disciplines, toy models are a surprisingly under-appreciated subject in the philosophy of science. The main philosophical puzzle regarding toy models is that it is an unsettled question what the epistemic goal of toy modeling is. One promising proposal for answering this question is the claim that the epistemic goal of toy models is to provide individual scientists with understanding. The aim of this paper is to (...)
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  43. PSR.Michael Della Rocca - 2010 - Philosophers' Imprint 10.
    This paper presents an argument for the Principle of Sufficient Reason, the PSR, the principle according to which each thing that exists has an explanation. I begin with several widespread and extremely plausible arguments that I call explicability arguments in which a certain situation is rejected precisely because it would be arbitrary. Building on these plausible cases, I construct a series of explicability arguments that culminates in an explicability argument concerning existence itself. This argument amounts to the claim that the (...)
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  44. Coherence, Probability and Explanation.William Roche & Michael Schippers - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (4):821-828.
    Recently there have been several attempts in formal epistemology to develop an adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. There is much to recommend probabilistic measures of coherence. They are quantitative and render formally precise a notion—coherence—notorious for its elusiveness. Further, some of them do very well, intuitively, on a variety of test cases. Siebel, however, argues that there can be no adequate probabilistic measure of coherence. Take some set of propositions A, some probabilistic measure of coherence, and a probability distribution such (...)
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  45. Is Explanatoriness a Guide to Confirmation? A Reply to Climenhaga.William Roche & Elliott Sober - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):581-590.
    We argued that explanatoriness is evidentially irrelevant in the following sense: Let H be a hypothesis, O an observation, and E the proposition that H would explain O if H and O were true. Then our claim is that Pr = Pr. We defended this screening-off thesis by discussing an example concerning smoking and cancer. Climenhaga argues that SOT is mistaken because it delivers the wrong verdict about a slightly different smoking-and-cancer case. He also considers a variant of SOT, called (...)
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  46. Idealizations, Intertheory Explanations and Conditionals.Hans Rott - 2011 - In Erik J. Olson Sebastian Enqvist (ed.), Belief Revision Meets Philosophy of Science. Springer. pp. 59--75.
    Drawing inspiration from Lakatos’s philosophy of science, the paper presents a notion of intertheory explanation that is suitable to explain, from the point of view of a successor theory, its predecessor theory’s success (where it is successful) as well as the latter’s failure (where it fails) at the same time. A variation of the Ramsey-test is used, together with a standard AGM belief revision model, to give a semantics for open and counterfactual conditionals and ’because’-sentences featuring in such intertheory explanations. (...)
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  47. Essays and Articles.David-Hillel Ruben - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
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  48. Explaining Contrastive Facts.David-Hillel Ruben - 1987 - Analysis 47 (1):35-37.
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  49. Why Explanation and Thus Coherence Cannot Be Reduced to Probability.M. Siebel - 2011 - Analysis 71 (2):264-266.
    Some philosophers, most notably Hempel and Salmon, have tried to reduce explanation to probability by proposing analyses of explanation in probabilistic terms. Hempel claims, roughly, that a hypothesis H explains a datum D if and only if the conditional probability P is close to 1. It is well known that such an account fails in cases where H is irrelevant for D. Even though it is highly likely that Tom will not become pregnant, given that he regularly takes his wife’s (...)
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  50. Introduction: Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics.Neil Sinclair & Uri D. Leibowitz - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    Are moral properties intellectually indispensable, and, if so, what consequences does this have for our understanding of their nature, and of our talk and knowledge of them? Are mathematical objects intellectually indispensable, and, if so, what consequences does this have for our understanding of their nature, and of our talk and knowledge of them? What similarities are there, if any, in the answers to the first two questions? Can comparison of the two cases shed light on which answers are most (...)
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