Explanation

Edited by Brad Weslake (New York University, Shanghai)
Assistant editor: Zili Dong (University of Western Ontario)
Related categories

3493 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 3493
Material to categorize
  1. Explanatory Reasoning in the Material Theory of Induction.William Peden - forthcoming - Metascience.
    In his recent book, John Norton has created a theory of inference to the best explanation, within the context of his "material theory of induction". I apply it to the problem of scientific explanations that are false: if we want the theories in our explanations to be true, then why do historians and scientists often say that false theories explained phenomena? I also defend Norton's theory against some possible objections.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. From Unobservable to Observable: Scientific Realism and the Discovery of Radium.Simon Allzén - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 1:1-15.
    I explore the process of changes in the observability of entities and objects in science and how such changes impact two key issues in the scientific realism debate: the claim that predictively successful elements of past science are retained in current scientific theories, and the inductive defense of a specific version of inference to the best explanation with respect to unobservables. I provide a case-study of the discovery of radium by Marie Curie in order to show that the observability of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences.Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge.
  4. Grasping in Understanding.Miloud Belkoniene - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    There is, among philosophers involved in the debate concerning the nature and epistemology of understanding, a general recognition that this state has a grasping component that accounts for some of its distinctive features. This paper defends the view that this component of understanding consists of a knowledge of how to use a particular explanation to account for a given phenomenon. The way in which a subject acquires this knowledge is examined and the result of this examination is shown to highlight (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. Can a Theory Answer More Questions Than One of its Rivals?Adolf Grünbaum - 1976 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 27 (1):1-23.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  6. The Nature of Nature: Examining the Role of Naturalism in Science.Bruce Gordon & William A. Dembski (eds.) - 2011 - Wilmington, DE: ISI Books.
    The world's leading authorities in the sciences and humanities—dozens of top scholars, including three Nobel laureates—join a cultural and intellectual battle that leaves no human life untouched. Is the universe self-existent, self-sufficient, and self-organizing, or is it grounded instead in a reality that transcends space, time, matter, and energy?
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
Theories of Explanation
  1. Inference to the Best Explanation - An Overview.Frank Cabrera - forthcoming - In Lorenzo Magnani (ed.), Handbook of Abductive Cognition. Springer. pp. 1-37.
    In this article, I will provide a critical overview of the form of non-deductive reasoning commonly known as “Inference to the Best Explanation” (IBE). Roughly speaking, according to IBE, we ought to infer the hypothesis that provides the best explanation of our evidence. In section 2, I survey some contemporary formulations of IBE and highlight some of its putative applications. In section 3, I distinguish IBE from C.S. Peirce’s notion of abduction. After underlining some of the essential elements of IBE, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. Explaining Coincidences.Julio De Rizzo - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):14843-14864.
    A traditional account of coincidences has it that two facts are coincidental whenever they are not related as cause and effect and do not have a common cause. A recent contribution by Lando : 132–151, 2017) showed that this account is mistaken. In this paper, I argue against two alternative accounts of coincidences, one suggested by Lando, and another by Bhogal : 677–694, 2020), and defend a third one in their place. In short, I propose that how explanatory links relate (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. That’s Not IBE: Reply to Park.Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-7.
    Park (2017, 2018, 2019) argues that Bas van Fraassen uses inference to the best explanation to defend his contextual theory of explanation. If Park is right, then van Fraassen is in trouble because he rejects IBE as a rational rule of inference. In this reply, I argue that van Fraassen does not use IBE in defending the contextual theory of explanation. I distinguish between several conceptions of IBE: heuristic IBE, objective Bayesian IBE, and ampliative IBE. I argue that van Fraassen (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. Correction To: Reply to Cartwright, Pemberton, Wieten: “Mechanisms, Laws and Explanation”.Beate Krickel - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-2.
    A Correction to this paper has been published (changed to open access).
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  5. The Directionality of Topological Explanations.Daniel Kostić & Kareem Khalifa - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14143-14165.
    Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y , then not-Y does not explain not-X . Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists rely on multiplexes (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  6. Modality and constitution in distinctively mathematical explanations.Mark Povich - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-10.
    Lange argues that some natural phenomena can be explained by appeal to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In these “distinctively mathematical” explanations, the core explanatory facts are either modally stronger than facts about ordinary causal law or understood to be constitutive of the physical task or arrangement at issue. Craver and Povich argue that Lange’s account of DME fails to exclude certain “reversals”. Lange has replied that his account can avoid these directionality charges. Specifically, Lange argues that in legitimate DMEs, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  7. Does IBE Require a ‘Model’ of Explanation?Frank Cabrera - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):727-750.
    In this article, I consider an important challenge to the popular theory of scientific inference commonly known as ‘inference to the best explanation’, one that has received scant attention.1 1 The problem is that there exists a wide array of rival models of explanation, thus leaving IBE objectionably indeterminate. First, I briefly introduce IBE. Then, I motivate the problem and offer three potential solutions, the most plausible of which is to adopt a kind of pluralism about the rival models of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  8. Unifying the Essential Concepts of Biological Networks: Biological Insights and Philosophical Foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - forthcoming - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9. Objašnjenje, evidencija, teorija (Explanation, Evidence, Theory).Daniel Kostic & Dusko Prelevic - 2014 - Belgrade, Serbia: Treći program.
  10. Reasons Why in Normative Explanation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (6):607-623.
    Normative explanations, which specify why things have the normative features they do, are ubiquitous in normative theory and ordinary thought. But there is much less work on normative explanation than on scientific or metaphysical explanation. Skow (2016) argues that a complete answer to the question why some fact Q occurs consists in all of the reasons why Q occurs. This paper explores this theory as a case study of a general theory that promises to offer us a grip on normative (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  11. A Logic for Best Explanations.Jared Millson & Christian Straßer - 2019 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 29 (2):184-231.
    Efforts to formalize qualitative accounts of inference to the best explanation (IBE) confront two obstacles: the imprecise nature of such accounts and the unusual logical properties that explanations exhibit, such as contradiction-intolerance and irreflexivity. This paper aims to surmount these challenges by utilising a new, more precise theory that treats explanations as expressions that codify defeasible inferences. To formalise this account, we provide a sequent calculus in which IBE serves as an elimination rule for a connective that exhibits many of (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  12. Brute Facts.Elly Vintiadis & Constantinos Mekios (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    Brute facts are facts that don't have explanations. They are instrumental in our attempts to give accounts of other facts or phenomena, and so they play a key role in many philosophers' views about the structure of the world. This volume explores neglected questions about the nature of brute facts and their explanatory role.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  13. Levels of Reasons Why and Answers to Why Questions.Insa Lawler - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):168-177.
    According to Skow (2016, 2017), correct answers to why-questions only cite causes or grounds, but not non-accidental regularities. Accounts that cite non-accidental regularities typically confuse second-level reasons with first-level reasons. Only causes and grounds are first-level reasons why. Non-accidental regularities are second-level reasons why. I first show that Skow's arguments for the accusation of confusion depend on the independent thesis that only citations of first-level reasons why are (parts of) answers to why-questions. Then, I argue that this thesis is false. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. Some Disputed Aspects of Inertia, with Particular Reference to the Equivalence Principle.Ryan S. Samaroo - 2013 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario
    This thesis is a contribution to the foundations of space-time theories. It examines the proper understanding of the Newtonian and 1905 inertial frame concepts and the critical analysis of these concepts that was motivated by the equivalence principle. This is the hypothesis that it is impossible to distinguish locally between a homogeneous gravitational field and a uniformly accelerated frame. The three essays that comprise this thesis address, in one way or another, the criteria through which the inertial frame concepts are (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  15. Eppur Si Muove: Doing History and Philosophy of Science with Peter Machamer: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Peter Machamer.Marcus P. Adams, Zvi Biener, Uljana Feest & Jacqueline Anne Sullivan (eds.) - 2017 - Dordrecht: Springer.
    This volume is a collection of original essays focusing on a wide range of topics in the History and Philosophy of Science. It is a festschrift for Peter Machamer, which includes contributions from scholars who, at one time or another, were his students. The essays bring together analyses of issues and debates spanning from early modern science and philosophy through the 21st century. Machamer’s influence is reflected in the volume’s broad range of topics. These include: underdetermination, scientific practice, scientific models, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16. Knowing the Structure of Nature. Essays on Realism and Explanation. [REVIEW]Andrés Rivadulla - 2009 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 24 (3):361-365.
  17. Re-Reconciling the Epistemic and Ontic Views of Explanation.Benjamin Sheredos - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):919-949.
    Recent attempts to reconcile the ontic and epistemic approaches to explanation propose that our best explanations simply fulfill epistemic and ontic norms simultaneously. I aim to upset this armistice. Epistemic norms of attaining general and systematic explanations are, I argue, autonomous of ontic norms: they cannot be fulfilled simultaneously or in simple conjunction with ontic norms, and plausibly have priority over them. One result is that central arguments put forth by ontic theorists against epistemic theorists are revealed as not only (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  18. III.—On Causal Explanation.T. Percy Nunn - 1907 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 7 (1):50-80.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  19. The Epidemiology of Science.Peter Kosso - 2001 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 32 (3):575-581.
  20. How General Do Theories of Explanation Need To Be?Bernhard Nickel - 2010 - Noûs 44 (2):305-328.
    Theories of explanation seek to tell us what distinctively explanatory information is. The most ambitious ones, such as the DN-account, seek to tell us what an explanation is, tout court. Less ambitious ones, such as causal theories, restrict themselves to a particular domain of inquiry. The least ambitious theories constitute outright skepticism, holding that there is no reasonably unified phenomenon to give an account of. On these views, it is impossible to give any theories of explanation at all. I argue (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  21. 3. Instance Vs. Classic Ontology: Intensions and Unification.D. W. Mertz - 2016 - In On the Elements of Ontology: Attribute Instances and Structure. De Gruyter. pp. 126-166.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  22. Explanatory Unification and Conceptualization.Stefan Petkov - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3695-3717.
    There are several important criticisms against the unificationist model of scientific explanation: Unification is a broad and heterogeneous notion and it is hard to see how a model of explanation based exclusively on unification can make a distinction between genuine explanatory unification from cases of ordering or classification. Unification alone cannot solve the asymmetry and irrelevance problems. Unification and explanation pull in different directions and should be decoupled, because for good scientific explanation extra ad explanandum information is often required. I (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  23. Reassessing Woodward’s Account of Explanation: Regularities, Counterfactuals, and Noncausal Explanations.Juha Saatsi & Mark Pexton - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):613-624.
    We reassess Woodward’s counterfactual account of explanation in relation to regularity explananda. Woodward presents an account of causal explanation. We argue, by using an explanation of Kleiber’s law to illustrate, that the account can also cover some noncausal explanations. This leads to a tension between the two key aspects of Woodward’s account: the counterfactual aspect and the causal aspect. We explore this tension and make a case for jettisoning the causal aspect as constitutive of explanatory power in connection with regularity (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   53 citations  
  24. Wondrous Truths: The Improbable Triumph of Modern Science.J. D. Trout - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    A fresh, daring, and genuine alternative to the traditional story of scientific progress Explaining the world around us, and the life within it, is one of the most uniquely human drives, and the most celebrated activity of science. Good explanations are what provide accurate causal accounts of the things we wonder at, but explanation's earthly origins haven't grounded it: we have used it to account for the grandest and most wondrous mysteries in the natural world. Explanations give us a sense (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  25. What is Philosophy? A Causal Explanation.Christopher Dicarlo - unknown - Eidos: The Canadian Graduate Journal of Philosophy 6.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  26. The Relationship of Scientific Explanation to Models of Rationality.Eugenie Gatens-Robinson - 1983 - Dissertation, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
    This work contrasts the formalist approach to defining explanation in science, exemplified in the Deductive-Nomenological Model of Carl G. Hempel, with the contextualist approach of Thomas Kuhn. It is argued that both of these attempts to define the explanatory processes of science are inadequate. A connection is made between the view of rationality upon which each view is based and the way that it defines explanation. It is argued that a process of thought, which scientific explanation represents, is considered rational (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27. Idealization and Structural Explanation in Physics.Martin King - 2014
  28. Comments on Plato's Causal Explanation.D. Andriopoulos - 2008 - Philosophical Inquiry 30 (3-4):115-143.
  29. Explanation in Metaphysics and Bolzano’s Theory of Ground and Consequence.Arianna Betti - 2010 - Logique Et Analyse 211:281-316.
  30. How to Construct a Deductive-Nomological Explanation?Erik Weber - 1996 - Dialectica 50 (3):183-203.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  31. The Nature of Scientific Explanation.Antoine Lavoisier - 2009 - In Timothy J. McGrew, Marc Alspector-Kelly & Fritz Allhoff (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Historical Anthology. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 245.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  32. Causal Explanation Provides Knowledge Why.Olav Gjelsvik - 2007 - In Johannes Persson & Petri Ylikoski (eds.), Rethinking Explanation. Springer. pp. 69--92.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  33. Theoretical Explanation and Unification.Anne L. Hiskes - 1994 - In Dag Prawitz & Dag Westerståhl (eds.), Logic and Philosophy of Science in Uppsala. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 147--157.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  34. Un caso sorprendente de mutación conceptual: el avatar contemporáneo de la comprensión y la explicación.Josep María Bech - 2011 - In David Pérez Chico, Rodríguez Suárez & Luisa Paz (eds.), Explicar y Comprender. Plaza y Valdés Editores.
    The age-old controversy pitting explanation against understanding has amazingly mutated in our time because nowadays each of these procedures attempts to replicate and even occasionally mimetizes the features traditionally ascribed to the competing practice.
    Remove from this list  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. Causal Individualism and the Unification of Anthropology.J. Tim O'Meara - 1999 - In E. L. Cerroni-Long (ed.), Anthropological Theory in North America. Bergin & Garvey. pp. 105--42.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  36. Bennette, Rebecca Ayako., Fighting for the Soul of Germany: The Catholic Struggle for Inclusion After Unification.Johannes Thomas - 2013 - Review of Metaphysics 66 (4):825-827.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  37. Seventeenth-Century Mechanism: An Alternative Framework for Reductionism.Kari L. Theurer - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):907-918.
    The current antireductionist consensus rests in part on the indefensibility of the deductive-nomological model of explanation, on which classical reductionism depends. I argue that the DN model is inessential to the reductionist program and that mechanism provides a better framework for thinking about reductionism. This runs counter to the contemporary mechanists’ claim that mechanism is an alternative to reductionism. I demonstrate that mechanists are committed to reductionism, as evidenced by the historical roots of the contemporary mechanist program. This view shares (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  38. Scientific Explanation.Erik Weber, Jeroen Van Bouwel & Leen De Vreese - 2013 - Springer.
    When scientist investigate why things happen, they aim at giving an explanation. But what does a scientific explanation look like? In the first chapter (Theories of Scientific Explanation) of this book, the milestones in the debate on how to characterize scientific explanations are exposed. The second chapter (How to Study Scientific Explanation?) scrutinizes the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation, Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher and Wesley Salmon and shows what went wrong. Next, it is the responsibility of current philosophers (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  39. Train to Pyongyang: Imagination, Utopia, and Korean Unification.Samuel Gerald Collins - 2013 - Utopian Studies 24 (1):119-143.
    This article originated in a “cultural futures” course I taught in Seoul in 2007.1 As part of their semester project, students interviewed friends and family to identify futures that were likely to precipitate profound cultural shifts in their lives. Not surprisingly, “Korean unification” was at the top of students’ lists. After all, then-president Roh Moo-hyun had in many ways continued the “Sunshine” policies of his predecessor, President Kim Dae-jung, culminating in a largely symbolic train journey from the South to the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  40. Une conception néo-poppérienne de l’explication en sciences sociales et ses difficultés internes.Philippe Mongin - 2012 - Dialogue 51 (3):503-515.
    This article discusses the rationality principle, especially in Popper's version, on the occasion of a commentary of Maurice Lagueux's book, Rationality and Explanation in Economics (2010).
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  41. Evolutionary Developmental Biology and the Limits of Philosophical Accounts of Mechanistic Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2015 - In P.-A. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology: An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Springer. pp. 135–173.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo) is considered a ‘mechanistic science,’ in that it causally explains morphological evolution in terms of changes in developmental mechanisms. Evo-devo is also an interdisciplinary and integrative approach, as its explanations use contributions from many fields and pertain to different levels of organismal organization. Philosophical accounts of mechanistic explanation are currently highly prominent, and have been particularly able to capture the integrative nature of multifield and multilevel explanations. However, I argue that evo-devo demonstrates the need for a (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   24 citations  
  42. Rational Explanation and Covering Laws.Paul Langham - 1972 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 10 (4):471-479.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  43. The Nature of Explanation.Michael Martin - 1987 - International Studies in Philosophy 19 (3):59-59.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  44. The Explanatory Force of Dynamical and Mathematical Models in Neuroscience: A Mechanistic Perspective.David Michael Kaplan & Carl F. Craver - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):601-627.
    We argue that dynamical and mathematical models in systems and cognitive neuro- science explain (rather than redescribe) a phenomenon only if there is a plausible mapping between elements in the model and elements in the mechanism for the phe- nomenon. We demonstrate how this model-to-mechanism-mapping constraint, when satisfied, endows a model with explanatory force with respect to the phenomenon to be explained. Several paradigmatic models including the Haken-Kelso-Bunz model of bimanual coordination and the difference-of-Gaussians model of visual receptive fields are (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   162 citations  
1 — 50 / 3493