This category needs an editor. We encourage you to help if you are qualified.
Volunteer, or read more about what this involves.
Related categories

53 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 53
  1. 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.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  2. Context in Mechanism-Based Explanation.Gianluca Pozzoni & Tuukka Kaidesoja - forthcoming - Philosophy of the Social Sciences.
    In this article, we discuss the issue of context-dependence of mechanism-based explanation in the social sciences. The different ways in which the context-dependence and context-independence of mechanism-based explanation have been understood in the social sciences are often motivated by different and apparently incompatible understandings of what explanatory mechanisms are. Instead, we suggest that the different varieties of context-dependence are best seen as corresponding to different research goals. Rather than conflicting with one another, these goals are complementary to each other and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Inference to the Best Explanation and van Fraassen’s Contextual Theory of Explanation: Reply to Park.Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - Axiomathes:1-11.
    Seungbae Park argues that Bas van Fraassen’s rejection of inference to the best explanation (IBE) is problematic for his contextual theory of explanation because van Fraassen uses IBE to support the contextual theory. This paper provides a defense of van Fraassen’s views Park’s objections. I point out three weaknesses of Park’s objection against van Fraassen. First, van Fraassen may be perfectly content to accept the implications that Park claims to follow from his views. Second, even if van Fraassen rejects IBE (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  4. Explanation Through Representation, and its Limits.Bas Van Fraassen - forthcoming - Epistemologia.
  5. Speech Act Theory and the Multiple Aims of Science.Paul L. Franco - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1005-1015.
    I draw upon speech act theory to understand the speech acts appropriate to the multiple aims of scientific practice and the role of nonepistemic values in evaluating speech acts made relative to those aims. First, I look at work that distinguishes explaining from describing within scientific practices. I then argue speech act theory provides a framework to make sense of how explaining, describing, and other acts have different felicity conditions. Finally, I argue that if explaining aims to convey understanding to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. The Disastrous Implications of the 'English' View of Rationality in a Social World.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Social Epistemology 33 (1):88-99.
    Van Fraassen (2007, 2017) consistently uses the English view of rationality to parry criticisms from scientific realists. I assume for the sake of argument that the English view of rationality is tenable, and then argue that it has disastrous implications for van Fraassen’s (1980) contextual theory of explanation, for the empiricist position that T is empirically adequate, and for scientific progress. If you invoke the English view of rationality to rationally disbelieve that your epistemic colleagues’ theories are true, they might, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  7. Questions and Answers: Metaphysical Explanation and the Structure of Reality.Naomi Thompson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1):98-116.
  8. Data Graphs and Mechanistic Explanation.Daniel C. Burnston - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:1-12.
    It is a widespread assumption in philosophy of science that data is what is explained by theory—that data itself is not explanatory. I draw on instances of representational and explanatory practice from mammalian chronobiology to suggest that this assumption is unsustainable. In many instances, biologists employ representations of data in explanatory ways that are not reducible to constraints on or evidence for representations of mechanisms. Data graphs are used to exemplify relationships between quantities in the mechanism, and often these representations (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   8 citations  
  9. Scientific Explanation: Putting Communication First.Angela Potochnik - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):721-732.
    Scientific explanations must bear the proper relationship to the world: they must depict what, out in the world, is responsible for the explanandum. But explanations must also bear the proper relationship to their audience: they must be able to create human understanding. With few exceptions, philosophical accounts of explanation either ignore entirely the relationship between explanations and their audience or else demote this consideration to an ancillary role. In contrast, I argue that considering an explanation’s communicative role is crucial to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  10. How Do We Have to Investigate Scientific Explanation?Erik Weber, Leen De Vreese & Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2016 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 78 (3):489-524.
    This paper investigates the working-method of three important philosophers of explanation: Carl Hempel, Philip Kitcher, and Wesley Salmon. We argue that they do three things: construct an explication in the sense of Carnap, which then is used as a tool to make descriptive and normative claims about the explanatory practice of scientists. We also show that they did well with respect to, but that they failed to give arguments for their descriptive and normative claims. We think it is the responsibility (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11. Some Epistemological Problems with the Knowledge Level in Cognitive Architectures.Antonio Lieto - 2015 - In Proceedings of AISC 2015, 12th Italian Conference on Cognitive Science, Genoa, 10-12 December 2015, Italy. NeaScience.
    This article addresses an open problem in the area of cognitive systems and architectures: namely the problem of handling (in terms of processing and reasoning capabilities) complex knowledge structures that can be at least plausibly comparable, both in terms of size and of typology of the encoded information, to the knowledge that humans process daily for executing everyday activities. Handling a huge amount of knowledge, and selectively retrieve it according to the needs emerging in different situational scenarios, is an important (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  12. Developing a Rhetorical Account of Explanation. [REVIEW]A. C. Love - 2015 - Choice 52 (8):4168.
    Book review of "The Nature of Scientific Thinking: on Interpretation, Explanation and Understanding" by J. Faye. The nature of scientific explanation is a central topic of interest to philosophers but the literature has metamorphosed from a coherent body of key papers and examples into narrow and specialized discussions in different scientific disciplines.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  13. Can Subcellular Organization Be Explained Only by Physical Principles?Guenther Witzany & Frantisek Baluska - 2015 - Communicative and Integrative Biology 8 (4):e1009796.
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. Causal and Constitutive Explanation Compared.Petri Ylikoski - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-297.
    This article compares causal and constitutive explanation. While scientific inquiry usually addresses both causal and constitutive questions, making the distinction is crucial for a detailed understanding of scientific questions and their interrelations. These explanations have different kinds of explananda and they track different sorts of dependencies. Constitutive explanations do not address events or behaviors, but causal capacities. While there are some interesting relations between building and causal manipulation, causation and constitution are not to be confused. Constitution is a synchronous and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   27 citations  
  15. Robust Processes and Teleological Language.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):299-312.
    I consider some hitherto unexplored examples of teleological language in the sciences. In explicating these examples, I aim to show (a) that such language is not the sole preserve of the biological sciences, and (b) that not all such talk is reducible to the ascription of functions. In chemistry and biochemistry, scientists explaining molecular rearrangements and protein folding talk informally of molecules rearranging “in order to” maximize stability. Evolutionary biologists, meanwhile, often speak of traits evolving “in order to” optimize some (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  16. A Pragmatic Account of Mechanistic Artifact Explanation.Jan De Winter - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):602-609.
  17. Philosophy of Science Matters: The Philosophy of Peter Achinstein.Gregory J. Morgan (ed.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    In this, the first book devoted to Peter Achinstein's influential work in philosophy of science, twenty distinguished philosophers, including four Lakatos award winners, address various aspects of Achinstein's influential views on the nature of scientific evidence, scientific explanation, and scientific realism. It includes short essays by Steve Gimbel and Jeff Maynes, Nancy Cartwright, Jordi Cat, Victor DiFate, Jerry Doppelt, Adam Goldstein, Philip Kitcher, Fred Kronz, Deborah Mayo, Greg Morgan, Helen Longino, John Norton, Michael Ruse, Bas van Fraassen, Stathis Psillos, Larry (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  18. What's Wrong with the Pragmatic-Ontic Account of Mechanistic Explanation?Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 141--152.
  19. Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284.
    Explanatory contrastivists hold that we often explain phenomena of the form p rather than q. In this paper, I present a new, social‐epistemological model of contrastive explanation—accountabilism. Specifically, my view is inspired by social‐scientific research that treats explanations fundamentally as accounts; that is, communicative actions that restore one's social status when charged with questionable behaviour. After developing this model, I show how accountabilism provides a more comprehensive model of contrastive explanation than the causal models of contrastive explanation that are currently (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  20. The Epistemic Value of Understanding.Henk W. de Regt - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (5):585-597.
    This article analyzes the epistemic value of understanding and offers an account of the role of understanding in science. First, I discuss the objectivist view of the relation between explanation and understanding, defended by Carl Hempel and J. D. Trout. I challenge this view by arguing that pragmatic aspects of explanation are crucial for achieving the epistemic aims of science. Subsequently, I present an analysis of these pragmatic aspects in terms of ‘intelligibility’ and a contextual account of scientific understanding based (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   48 citations  
  21. Explanation and Modelization in a Comprehensive Inferential Account.Donato-Rodríguez Xavieder & Zamora-Bonilla Jesús - 2009 - In Henk W. de Regt, Stephan Hartmann & Okasha Samir (eds.), EPSA Philosophy of Science: Amsterdam 2009.
    In the present paper, we defend an inferential account both of explanation and scientific modelling. Our account is “comprehensive” in the sense that we assume a pragmatic perspective that tries to capture the intrinsic versatility scientific models and explanations may adopt in the course of scientific discourse. This inferential-pragmatic view is essentially inspired by the work of Robert Brandom in the philosophy of language (see Brandom 1994 and 2000), but takes elements from other authors, mainly from argumentation theory and epistemology. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  22. The Illusion of Depth of Understanding in Science.Petri Ylikoski - 2009 - In Henk De Regt, Sabina Leonelli & Kai Eigner (eds.), Scientific Understanding: Philosophical Perspectives. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 100--119.
    In this chapter I will employ a well-known scientific research heuristic that studies how something works by focusing on circumstances in which it does not work. Rather than trying to describe what scientific understanding would ideally look like, I will try to learn something about it by observing mundane cases where understanding is partly illusory. My main thesis is that scientists are prone to the illusion of depth of understanding (IDU), and as a consequence they sometimes overestimate the detail, coherence, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   24 citations  
  23. Past and Contemporary Perspectives on Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2007 - In Theo A. F. Kuipers (ed.), General Philosophy of Science. North Holland. pp. 2007--97.
  24. On Pragmatic and Non-Pragmatic Concept of Explanation.Eugen Zeleňák - 2006 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 13 (3):334-348.
    This paper attempts to analyze in detail the difference between a pragmatic and non-pragmatic approach to explanation. Proponents of a pragmatic explanation analyze it by means of the concepts of context or audience. However, there could be various disguises of this type of approach. It is possible to include pragmatic concepts into the characterization of the item to be explained or the item that explains. On the other hand, pragmatic approach may focus on the specific relation between the item to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  25. The Metaphorical Conception of Scientific Explanation: Rereading Mary Hesse.Maria Rentetzi - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):377-391.
    In 1997, five decades after the publication of the landmark Hempel-Oppenheim article "Studies in the Logic of Explanation" Wesley Salmon published Causality and Explanation, a book that re-addresses the issue of scientific explanation. He provided an overview of the basic approaches to scientific explanation, stressed their weaknesses, and offered novel insights. However, he failed to mention Mary Hesse's approach to the topic and analyze her standpoint. This essay brings front and center Hesse's approach to scientific explanation formulated in the 1960s (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  26. Erotetic Contextualism, Data-Generating Procedures, and Sociological Explanations of Social Mobility.Kareem Khalifa - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):38-54.
    Critics of the erotetic model of explanation question its ability to discriminate significant from spurious explanations. One response to these criticisms has been to impose contextual restrictions on a case-by-case basis. In this article, the author argues that these approaches have overestimated the role of interests at the expense of other contextual aspects characteristic of social-scientific explanation. For this reason, he shows how procedures of measuring occupational status and social mobility affected different aspects of one explanation that Peter Blau and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  27. Explanations Are Like Salted Peanuts. Why You Can't Cut the Route Toward Further Reduction.Daniel Cohnitz - 2002 - In A. Beckermann & C. Nimtz (eds.), Argument und Analyse: Proceedings of GAP4. Mentis.
    Take a look at these four situations: Figure 1 All of these situations have certain features in common: in all of them an explanation is asked for, in all of them an explanation is given, and all these explanations are literally false (although in different ways).
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  28. The Pragmatics of Explanation.Bas van Fraassen - 2002 - In Yuri Balashov & Alexander Rosenberg (eds.), Philosophy of Science: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 56.
  29. Trustworthiness in Explanation: The Obligation to Explain Well.Sheralce Brindell - 2000 - Science and Engineering Ethics 6 (3):351-364.
    ‘Scientific integrity’ certainly requires that data and references be beyond reproach. However, issues within the theory of scientific explanation suggest that there may be more to it than just this. While it is true that some contemporary, pragmatic analyses of explanation suffer from the ‘problem of relevance’, it does not seem to be true that the addition of formal, metaphysical constraints is necessary to solve this problem. I argue that, when viewed as requests for help with an epistemic problem, explanation (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  30. Explanation as Unification.Gerhard Schurz - 1999 - Synthese 120 (1):95-114.
  31. The Aim and Structure of Ecological Theory.Marcel Weber - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (1):71-93.
    I present an attempt at an explication of the ecological theory of interspecific competition, including its explanatory role in community ecology and evolutionary biology. The account given is based on the idea that law-like statements play an important role in scientific theories of this kind. I suggest that the principle of competitive exclusion is such a law, and that it is evolutionarily invariant. The principle's empirical status is defended and implications for the ongoing debates on the existence of biological laws (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  32. The Context of Explanation.Martin Bunzl - 1993
  33. Empiricism, Objectivity, and Explanation.Elisabeth A. Lloyd & Carl G. Anderson - 1993 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 18 (1):121-131.
    We sley Salmon, in his influential and detailed book, Four Decades of Scientific Explanation, argues that the pragmatic approach to scientific explanation, “construed as the claim that scientific explanation can be explicated entirely in pragmatic terms” (1989, 185) is inadequate. The specific inadequacy ascribed to a pragmatic account is that objective relevance relations cannot be incorporated into such an account. Salmon relies on the arguments given in Kitcher and Salmon (1987) to ground this objection. He also suggests that Peter Railton’s (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  34. How Do Scientific Explanations Explain?Joyce Kinoshita - 1990 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 27:297-311.
    My title question as it stands is ambiguous, and is in want of some initial clarification. Does the question ask how the explanandum is logically related to the explanans? Or does it ask about the details of the dynamics of the explanation speech-act? Or does it ask how the linguistic ambiguities of explanation questions and answers should properly be unpacked? Or does it ask yet some other question? The ways of studying explanation, like the ways of understanding the world, are (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. Explaining Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben - 1990 - Routledge.
    This book introduces readers to the topic of explanation. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are examined, and are used to argue against the view that explanation is merely a problem for the philosophy of science. Having established its importance for understanding knowledge in general, the book concludes with a bold and original explanation of explanation.
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   38 citations  
  36. Van Fraassen’s (Mis)Use of Aristotle in Theory of Explanation.Timothy DeibIer - 1989 - Southwest Philosophy Review 5 (1):55-61.
  37. Pragmatische Wende Und „Erklärung“ in der Wissenschaftstheorie.Hans Lenk - 1989 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 20 (1):87-96.
    The new so-called pragmatic-epistemic approach to the methodology of explanation seems to dispense with the difference between traditional epistemic reasoning and genuine explanation. Causal explanations are excluded from the debate. Instead, the degree and value of subjective conviction seems to be the decisive factor for explanation. The paper criticizes this restrictive approach for methodological and terminological reasons without denying the importance of epistemic, pragmatic considerations. In addition, the respective traditional thesis on the logical-structural identity of prediction and explanation and the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  38. The Pragmatic Theory of Explanation.Bas C. Van Fraassen - 1988 - In Joseph C. Pitt (ed.), Theories of Explanation. Oxford University Press.
  39. Logicism and Achinstein's Pragmatic Theory of Scientific Explanation.Harmon Holcomb - 1987 - Dialectica 41 (3):239-248.
  40. Van Fraassen on Explanation.Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon - 1987 - Journal of Philosophy 84 (6):315.
  41. ACHINSTEIN, P.: "The Nature of Explanation". [REVIEW]C. B. Mccullagh - 1985 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 63:549.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  42. Conflicting Conceptions of Scientific Explanation.Wesley C. Salmon - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (11):651-654.
  43. The Pragmatic Character of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:275 - 292.
    Theories of explanation are characterized as being either pragmatic or non-pragmatic, without a clear sense of what this is supposed to mean. The present paper offers a definition of a "pragmatic explanation-sentence", and in terms of this, of a "pragmatic theory of explanation". It is argued that van Fraassen's theory of explanation, despite claims to the contrary, is not genuinely pragmatic. By contrast, the author's own "illocutionary" theory is pragmatic. Attention is devoted particularly to sentences of the form "E is (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  44. On Pragmatic and Scientific Explanation: Comments on Achinstein's and Salmon's Papers.Sylvain Bromberger - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:306 - 325.
  45. Probability, Explanation, and Information.Peter Railton - 1981 - Synthese 48 (2):233 - 256.
  46. A Pragmatic Approach to Explanations.Peter Gardenfors - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (3):404-423.
    It is argued that it is not sufficient to consider only the sentences included in the explanans and explanandum when determining whether they constitute an explanation, but these sentences must always be evaluated relative to a knowledge situation. The central criterion on an explanation is that the explanans in a non-trivial way increases the belief value of the explanandum, where the belief value of a sentence is determined from the given knowledge situation. The outlined theory of explanations is applied to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   19 citations  
  47. Approximative Explanation.T. R. Girill - 1978 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1978:186 - 196.
    This paper develops an explicit, pragmatic solution to the problem of deciding when an explanans which only approximately "covers" a desired event-explanandum E is acceptable as an adequate explanation. It shows in detail how comparisons made by the explanation's audience with the numerical value in E are what determine how closely E must be approximated for success. With the aid of several physics examples, it spells out the principles that govern these explanandum-comparisons, the conditions under which those principles hold, and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  48. Achinstein's Law and Explanation: An Essay in the Philosophy of Science Peter Achinstein.James H. Fetzer - 1975 - Philosophy of Science 42 (3):320-.
  49. Pragmatic Aspects of Explanation.Theodore Mischel - 1966 - Philosophy of Science 33 (1/2):40-60.
    How can reasons explain actions? What is the force of "because" in "He did this because..." followed by a statement of the agent's intentions? The answer involves some concept of what can count as explanation, and the history of science indicates that the acceptability of explanations depends, in part, on a scientific community which has decided to pursue its inquiries in one direction rather than another. The first part of this paper examines this pragmatic aspect of explanations; the second part (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  50. The Epistemic Value of Explanation.Andrés Páez - manuscript
    In this paper I defend the idea that there is a sense in which it is meaningful and useful to talk about objective understanding, and that to characterize that notion it is necessary to formulate an account of explanation that makes reference to the beliefs and epistemic goals of the participants in a cognitive enterprise. Using the framework for belief revision developed by Isaac Levi, I analyze the conditions that information must fulfill to be both potentially explanatory and epistemically valuable (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
1 — 50 / 53