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  1. added 2019-01-08
    Two Criticisms Against Mathematical Realism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Diametros 52:96-106.
    Mathematical realism asserts that mathematical objects exist in the abstract world, and that a mathematical sentence is true or false, depending on whether the abstract world is as the mathematical sentence says it is. I raise two objections against mathematical realism. First, the abstract world is queer in that it allows for contradictory states of affairs. Second, mathematical realism does not have a theoretical resource to explain why a sentence about a tricle is true or false. A tricle is an (...)
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  2. added 2019-01-04
    A Dialogue on Explanation.C. Mantzavinos - 2018 - Heidelberg and New York: Springer.
    We are all philosophers and we develop our own philosophy by exchanging views and arguments. The dialogue form is and should remain the principal form of philosophizing, since ideas, like butterflies, do not merely exist – they develop. This is certainly the case in actual philosophical interaction, and it can be the case in written philosophical exposition. The book consists of a dialogue between two interlocutors, Philip and a student, who discuss about the philosophical theory of explanation. It is situated (...)
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  3. added 2018-12-21
    Uproszczone Systemy Dekodowania Sygnałów W Mechanistycznej Koncepcji Wyjaśniania Zjawiska Wtórnej Odpowiedzi Immunologicznej.Tomasz Rzepiński - 2016 - Diametros 50:43-62.
    The paper deals with the procedure of explaining the secondary immune response. First, the basic concepts of the mechanistic account of explanation developed by Machamer, Darden and Craver will be considered. Subsequently, I will focus on the concepts describing the activation of the elements of the immunological system viewed as a signal decoding process. The analysis will make it possible to argue for the thesis that the explanations of the secondary immune response, formulated in immunology, aim to describe the possible (...)
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  4. added 2018-10-21
    Computer Simulations in Science and Engineering. Concept, Practices, Perspectives.Juan Manuel Durán - 2018 - Springer.
  5. added 2018-09-22
    Unique Events: The Underdetermination of Explanation.Aviezer Tucker - 1998 - Erkenntnis 48 (1):61-83.
    The paper explicates unique events and investigates their epistemology. Explications of unique events as individuated, different, and emergent are philosophically uninteresting. Unique events are topics of why-questions that radically underdetermine all their potential explanations. Uniqueness that is relative to a level of scientific development is differentiated from absolute uniqueness. Science eliminates relative uniqueness by discovery of recurrence of events and properties, falsification of assumptions of why-questions, and methodological simplification e.g. by explanatory methodological reduction. Finally, an overview of contemporary philosophical disputes (...)
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  6. added 2018-07-13
    There is No Haecceitic Euthyphro Problem.Alexander Skiles - forthcoming - Analysis:any061.
    Jason Bowers and Meg Wallace have recently argued that those who hold that every individual instantiates a ‘haecceity’ are caught up in a Euthyphro-style dilemma when confronted with familiar cases of fission and fusion. Key to Bowers and Wallace’s dilemma are certain assumptions about the nature of metaphysical explanation and the explanatory commitments of belief in haecceities. However, I argue that the dilemma only arises due to a failure to distinguish between providing a metaphysical explanation of why a fact holds (...)
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  7. added 2018-06-16
    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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  8. added 2018-06-12
    Review of Chrysostomos Mantzavinos's Explanatory Pluralism. [REVIEW]Alexander Beard & Cory Wright - forthcoming - Analysis 78 (3):any031.
  9. 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.
  10. added 2018-05-18
    Ontologia między nauką a metafizyką.Błażej Skrzypulec - 2014 - Filozofia Nauki 22 (1):59-84.
    The article considers a claim that scientific theories can serve as models for philosophical conceptions. It is argued that a scientific theory is modelling a metaphysical conception iff the ontology connected with the metaphysical conception is included in the ontology connected with the scientific theory. However, metaphysical and scientific ontologies may be compared only after the application of interpretative procedures that constitute 'philosophical hermeneutics'. To justify this claim, it is argued that: (1) there are ontologies connected with metaphysical conceptions, (2) (...)
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  11. added 2018-03-09
    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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  12. added 2018-03-05
    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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  13. added 2018-02-25
    Erklärungen in der Geschichtswissenschaft.Dorothea Jahn - 1992 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 3 (1):13-17.
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  14. added 2018-02-17
    Bohmian Mechanics Without Wave Function Ontology.Albert Solé - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 44 (4):365-378.
    In this paper, I critically assess different interpretations of Bohmian mechanics that are not committed to an ontology based on the wave function being an actual physical object that inhabits configuration space. More specifically, my aim is to explore the connection between the denial of configuration space realism and another interpretive debate that is specific to Bohmian mechanics: the quantum potential versus guidance approaches. Whereas defenders of the quantum potential approach to the theory claim that Bohmian mechanics is better formulated (...)
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  15. added 2018-02-16
    Truth and the World: An Explanationist Theory.Jonathan Tallant - 2018 - London: Routledge.
  16. added 2018-02-16
    A Frame of Mind From Psychiatry.Elly Vintiadis - 2015 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 18 (4):523-532.
    Psychiatry is a discipline that deals with both the physical and the mental lives of individuals and though it is true that, largely because of this characteristic, different models are used for different disorders, there is still a remnant tendency towards reductionist views in the field. In this paper I argue that the available empirical evidence from psychiatry gives us reasons to question biological reductionism and that in its place we should adopt a pluralistic explanatory model that is more suited (...)
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  17. added 2018-01-17
    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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  18. added 2017-09-01
    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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  19. added 2017-07-30
    Truth, Explanation, Minimalism.Cory Wright - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):987-1009.
    Minimalists about truth contend that traditional inflationary theories systematically fail to explain certain facts about truth, and that this failure licenses a ‘reversal of explanatory direction’. Once reversed, they purport that their own minimal theory adequately explains all of the facts involving truth. But minimalists’ main objection to inflationism seems to misfire, and the subsequent reversal of explanatory direction, if it can be made sense of, leaves minimalism in no better explanatory position; and even if the objection were serviceable and (...)
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  20. added 2017-05-22
    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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  21. added 2017-03-13
    Truthmaker Explanations.Barry Smith & Jonathan Simon - 2007 - In Jean-Maurice Monnoyer (ed.), Metaphysics and Truthmakers. Ontos Verlag. pp. 79-98.
    This paper is a fresh attempt to articulate the role of a theory of truthmakers. We argue that truthmaker theory constitutes a cornerstone of good methodology in metaphysics, but that a conflation of truthmaker theory with the theory of truth has been responsible for certain excesses associated with truthmaker-based approaches in the recent literature. If truthmaker theory is not a component of a theory of truth, then truthmaker maximalism – the view that every truth has a truthmaker – loses its (...)
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  22. added 2017-01-28
    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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  23. added 2017-01-14
    Against Explanatory Realism.Elanor Taylor - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):197-219.
    Explanatory realism is the position that all explanations give information about whatever metaphysically determines the explanandum. This view is popular and plays a central role in metaphysics, but in this paper I argue that explanatory realism is false. In Sect. 1 I introduce explanatory realism in its weak and strong versions, and discuss the argumentative work that explanatory realism is used for in contemporary metaphysics. In Sect. 2 I present a series of problem cases for explanatory realism, including explanation by (...)
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  24. added 2016-12-12
    Universals, Metaphysical Explanations, and Pragmatism.Robert Kraut - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):590-609.
  25. added 2016-12-12
    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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  26. added 2016-12-08
    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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  27. added 2016-12-08
    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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  28. added 2016-10-28
    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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  29. added 2016-10-25
    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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  30. added 2016-10-20
    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. added 2016-08-03
    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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  32. added 2016-07-28
    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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  33. added 2016-03-08
    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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  34. added 2016-02-29
    Why a Naturalist Should Be an Emergentist About the Mind.Elly Vintiadis - 2013 - SATS 14 (1):38-62.
    Naturalism about the mind is typically associated with some kind of physicalism. This paper argues that this association is a mistake and that, gi-ven the naturalist’s commitment to the primacy of empirical evidence, natural-ists should be open to different commitments. It is further argued that natural-ists about the mind should be emergentists because of the epistemological attitude that is at the core of the emergentist position, properly understood.
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  35. added 2016-02-26
    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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  36. added 2016-02-08
    Is Psychological Explanation Going Extinct?Cory Wright - 2007 - In Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice Schouten (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
    Psychoneural reductionists sometimes claim that sufficient amounts of lower-level explanatory achievement preclude further contributions from higher-level psychological research. Ostensibly, with nothing left to do, the effect of such preclusion on psychological explanation is extinction. Reductionist arguments for preclusion have recently involved a reorientation within the philosophical foundations of neuroscience---namely, away from the philosophical foundations and toward the neuroscience. In this chapter, I review a successful reductive explanation of an aspect of reward function in terms of dopaminergic operations of the mesocorticolimbic (...)
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  37. added 2015-12-02
    Explanatory Rivals and the Ultimate Argument.Finnur Dellsén - 2015 - 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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  38. added 2015-11-13
    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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  39. added 2015-10-25
    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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  40. added 2015-10-25
    Psychiatric Explanation and Understanding.Tim Thornton - 2010 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 6 (1):95-111.
    Jaspers’s binary distinction between understanding and explanation has given way first to a proliferation of explanatory levels and now, in John Campbell’s recent work, to a conception of explanation with no distinct levels of explanation and no inbuilt rationality requirement. I argue that there is still a role for understanding in psychiatry and that is to demystify the assumption that the states it concerns are mental. This role can be fulfilled by placing rationality at the heart of understanding without a (...)
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  41. added 2015-10-19
    Rational Analysis, Intractability, and the Prospects of ‘as If’-Explanations.Iris van Rooij, Cory D. Wright, Johan Kwisthout & Todd Wareham - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):491-510.
    Despite their success in describing and predicting cognitive behavior, the plausibility of so-called ‘rational explanations’ is often contested on the grounds of computational intractability. Several cognitive scientists have argued that such intractability is an orthogonal pseudoproblem, however, since rational explanations account for the ‘why’ of cognition but are agnostic about the ‘how’. Their central premise is that humans do not actually perform the rational calculations posited by their models, but only act as if they do. Whether or not the problem (...)
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  42. added 2015-09-16
    Essays and Articles.David-Hillel Ruben - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
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  43. added 2015-09-05
    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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  44. added 2015-09-04
    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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  45. added 2015-06-17
    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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  46. added 2015-03-17
    Best Explanationism and Justification for Beliefs About the Future.Gregory Stoutenburg - 2015 - Episteme 12 (4):429-437.
    Earl Conee and Richard Feldman have recently argued that the evidential support relation should be understood in terms of explanatory coherence: roughly, one's evidence supports a proposition if and only if that proposition is part of the best available explanation of the evidence. Their thesis has been criticized through alleged counterexamples, perhaps the most important of which are cases where a subject has a justified belief about the future. Kevin McCain has defended the thesis against Byerly's counterexample. I argue that (...)
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  47. added 2015-01-15
    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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  48. added 2014-09-24
    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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  49. added 2014-09-04
    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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  50. added 2014-06-22
    Against Grounding Necessitarianism.Alexander Skiles - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (4):717-751.
    Can there be grounding without necessitation? Can a fact obtain wholly in virtue of metaphysically more fundamental facts, even though there are possible worlds at which the latter facts obtain but not the former? It is an orthodoxy in recent literature about the nature of grounding, and in first-order philosophical disputes about what grounds what, that the answer is no. I will argue that the correct answer is yes. I present two novel arguments against grounding necessitarianism, and show that grounding (...)
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1 — 50 / 72