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  1. How Quantum Theory Helps Us Explain.Richard Healey - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (1):axt031.
    I offer an account of how the quantum theory we have helps us explain so much. The account depends on a pragmatist interpretation of the theory: this takes a quantum state to serve as a source of sound advice to physically situated agents on the content and appropriate degree of belief about matters concerning which they are currently inevitably ignorant. The general account of how to use quantum states and probabilities to explain otherwise puzzling regularities is then illustrated by showing (...)
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  2. Who says scientific laws are not explanatory? On a curious clash between science education and philosophy of science.Valeria Edelsztein & Claudio Cormick - forthcoming - Science & Education.
    In this article, we tackle the phenomenon of what seems to be a misunderstanding between science education theory and philosophy of science−one which does not seem to have received any attention in the literature. While there seems to be a consensus within the realm of science education on limiting or altogether denying the explanatory role of scientific laws (particularly in contrast with “theories”), none of the canonical models of scientific explanation (covering law, statistical relevance, unification, mechanistic-causal, pragmatic) lends any support (...)
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  3. Which Models of Scientific Explanation Are (In)Compatible with Inference to the Best Explanation?Yunus Prasetya - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this article, I explore the compatibility of inference to the best explanation (IBE) with several influential models and accounts of scientific explanation. First, I explore the different conceptions of IBE and limit my discussion to two: the heuristic conception and the objective Bayesian conception. Next, I discuss five models of scientific explanation with regard to each model’s compatibility with IBE. I argue that Kitcher’s unificationist account supports IBE; Railton’s deductive–nomological–probabilistic model, Salmon’s statistical-relevance model, and van Fraassen’s erotetic account are (...)
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  4. Explanatory Pluralism in Normative Ethics.Pekka Väyrynen - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.
    Some theorists of normative explanation argue that we can make sense of debates between first-order moral theories such as consequentialism and its rivals only if we understand their explanations of why the right acts are right and the wrong acts are wrong as generative (e.g. grounding) explanations. Others argue that the standard form of normative explanation is, instead, some kind of unification. Neither sort of explanatory monism can account for all the explanations of particular moral facts that moral theorists seek (...)
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  5. Unification and explanation from a causal perspective.Alexander Gebharter & Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla - 2023 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 99 (C):28-36.
    We discuss two influential views of unification: mutual information unification (MIU) and common origin unification (COU). We propose a simple probabilistic measure for COU and compare it with Myrvold’s (2003, 2017) probabilistic measure for MIU. We then explore how well these two measures perform in simple causal settings. After highlighting several deficiencies, we propose causal constraints for both measures. A comparison with explanatory power shows that the causal version of COU is one step ahead in simple causal settings. However, slightly (...)
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  6. LTP Revisited: Reconsidering the Explanatory Power of Synaptic Efficacy.Jonathan Najenson - 2023 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-26.
    Changes in synaptic strength are described as a unifying hypothesis for memory formation and storage, leading philosophers to consider the ‘synaptic efficacy hypothesis’ as a paradigmatic explanation in neuroscience. Craver’s mosaic view has been influential in understanding synaptic efficacy by presenting long-term potentiation as a multi-level mechanism nested within a multi-level structure. This paper argues that the mosaic view fails to fully capture the explanatory power of the synaptic efficacy hypothesis due to assumptions about multi-level mechanisms. I present an alternative (...)
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  7. Multiple patterns, multiple explanations.Steve Petersen - 2023 - In Jonah N. Schupbach & David H. Glass (eds.), Conjunctive Explanations: The Nature, Epistemology, and Psychology of Explanatory Multiplicity. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 38-48.
    A "patternist" approach to explanation seeks to formalize unificationism using notions from algorithmic information theory. Among other advantages, this account provides both a rigorous sense of how data can admit multiple explanations, and a rigorous sense of how some of those explanations can conjoin, while others compete.
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  8. The Systematic Unity of Reason and Empirical Truth in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.Lorenzo Spagnesi - 2023 - Kant Studien 114 (3):435-462.
    This paper attempts a reconstruction of reason’s contribution to empirical truth in connection with Kant’s definition of truth as the agreement of cognition with its object. I argue that Kant’s treatment of truth in the Transcendental Analytic gets completed in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic with an often neglected but compelling argument (what I shall call the Variety Argument). This argument postulates such a variety in the appearances as to undermine any attempt at formulating empirical truths. Crucially, I argue (...)
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  9. Grounding Functionalism and Explanatory Unificationism.Alexios Stamatiadis-bréhier - 2023 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 9 (4):799-819.
    In this essay, I propose a functionalist theory of grounding (functionalist-grounding). Specifically, I argue that grounding is a second-order phenomenon that is realized by relations that play the noncausal explanatoriness role. I also show that functionalist-grounding can deal with a powerful challenge. Appeals to explanatory unificationism have been made to argue that the success of noncausal explanations does not depend on the existence of grounding relations. Against this, I argue that a systematization involving functionalist-grounding is superior to its anti-relational counterpart.
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  10. Review of Jennifer S. Blumenthal-Barby, Good Ethics and Bad Choices: The Relevance of Behavioral Economics for Medical Ethics. [REVIEW]Sven Nyholm - 2022 - American Journal of Bioethics 22 (5):4-5.
    When Jennifer Blumenthal-Barby was a bioethics intern at the Cleveland Clinic while she was still a graduate student, she was puzzled by the decision making of some patients at the clinic. For exam...
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  11. Refining the Bayesian Approach to Unifying Generalisation.Nina Poth - 2022 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology (3):1-31.
    Tenenbaum and Griffiths (2001) have proposed that their Bayesian model of generalisation unifies Shepard’s (1987) and Tversky’s (1977) similarity-based explanations of two distinct patterns of generalisation behaviours by reconciling them under a single coherent task analysis. I argue that this proposal needs refinement: instead of unifying the heterogeneous notion of psychological similarity, the Bayesian approach unifies generalisation by rendering the distinct patterns of behaviours informationally relevant. I suggest that generalisation as a Bayesian inference should be seen as a complement to, (...)
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  12. ANNs and Unifying Explanations: Reply to Erasmus, Brunet, and Fisher.Yunus Prasetya - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-9.
    In a recent article, Erasmus, Brunet, and Fisher (2021) argue that Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) are explainable. They survey four influential accounts of explanation: the Deductive-Nomological model, the Inductive-Statistical model, the Causal-Mechanical model, and the New-Mechanist model. They argue that, on each of these accounts, the features that make something an explanation is invariant with regard to the complexity of the explanans and the explanandum. Therefore, they conclude, the complexity of ANNs (and other Machine Learning models) does not make them (...)
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  13. Induction and the Glue of the World.Harjit Bhogal - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):319-333.
    Views which deny that there are necessary connections between distinct existences have often been criticized for leading to inductive skepticism. If there is no glue holding the world together then there seems to be no basis on which to infer from past to future. However, deniers of necessary connections have typically been unconcerned. After all, they say, everyone has a problem with induction. But, if we look at the connection between induction and explanation, we can develop the problem of induction (...)
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  14. Unification explicative : une théorie adéquate de l’explication métaphysique.Kevin Kaiser - 2021 - Ithaque 28:97-117.
    Le modèle unificationniste de l’explication métaphysique, basé sur les travaux de Kitcher sur l’explication scientifique, offre une alternative intéressante aux modèles présumant la conception supportive de l’explication métaphysique [backing model]. Par contre, le caractère adéquat de ce modèle, i.e. sa capacité à classifier comme métaphysiquement explicative/non-explicative des propositions qui préthéoriquement sont classés comme tel, n’a pas encore été exploré. Pour ce faire, des interprétations pour les relations de détermination et d’appartenance à un ensemble sont fournies. Celles-ci étant potentiellement sujette au (...)
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  15. Explaining unification in physics internally.Kian Salimkhani - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5861–5882.
    In this paper I challenge two widespread convictions about unification in physics: unification is an aim of physics and unification is driven by metaphysical or metatheoretical presuppositions. I call these external explanations of why there is unification in physics. Against this, I claim that unification is a by-product of physical research and unification is driven by basic methodological strategies of physics alone. I call this an internal explanation of why there is unification in physics. To support my claims, I will (...)
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  16. The Importance of 'Unitization'.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - In https://medium.com/the-circular-theory/.
    Conservation of a circle is the basis for unification (and, also, then, 'unitization'). Explaining and unifying physics, philosophy, and psychology. All disciplines.
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  17. The 'Unified' Background.Ilexa Yardley - 2021 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    Why 'social' media 'upsets' us. What is in your 'mind' and, why? The 'unified' background is an uber-simple circle.
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  18. Counterfactual Scheming.Sam Baron - 2020 - Mind 129 (514):535-562.
    Mathematics appears to play a genuine explanatory role in science. But how do mathematical explanations work? Recently, a counterfactual approach to mathematical explanation has been suggested. I argue that such a view fails to differentiate the explanatory uses of mathematics within science from the non-explanatory uses. I go on to offer a solution to this problem by combining elements of the counterfactual theory of explanation with elements of a unification theory of explanation. The result is a theory according to which (...)
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  19. Troubles with Theoretical Virtues: Resisting Theoretical Utility Arguments in Metaphysics.OtÁvio Bueno & Scott A. Shalkowski - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):456-469.
    In this paper we examine theoretical utility arguments in metaphysics. While philosophers claim a procedural continuity with science when using such arguments, we argue that examining famous instances from the history of science expose their fundamental flaws. We find that arguments from theoretical utility invoke considerations that are not truth conducive and that justifications for claims that a theory possesses theoretical virtues often assume the truth of the theory such virtues are supposed to support. We conclude that theoretical utility arguments (...)
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  20. Metaphysically explanatory unification.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (6):1659-1683.
    This paper develops and motivates a unification theory of metaphysical explanation, or as I will call it, Metaphysical Unificationism. The theory’s main inspiration is the unification account of scientific explanation, according to which explanatoriness is a holistic feature of theories that derive a large number of explananda from a meager set of explanantia, using a small number of argument patterns. In developing Metaphysical Unificationism, I will point out that it has a number of interesting consequences. The view offers a novel (...)
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  21. Explanations in cognitive science: unification versus pluralism.Marcin Miłkowski & Mateusz Hohol - 2020 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):1-17.
    The debate between the defenders of explanatory unification and explanatory pluralism has been ongoing from the beginning of cognitive science and is one of the central themes of its philosophy. Does cognitive science need a grand unifying theory? Should explanatory pluralism be embraced instead? Or maybe local integrative efforts are needed? What are the advantages of explanatory unification as compared to the benefits of explanatory pluralism? These questions, among others, are addressed in this Synthese’s special issue. In the introductory paper, (...)
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  22. Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding.Michael J. Shaffer - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168.
    In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.
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  23. Health Law and Medical Ethics in Singapore.Gary Chan Kok Yew - 2020 - Routledge.
    This book encompasses two inter-related disciplines of health law and medical ethics applicable to Singapore. Apart from Singapore legal materials, it draws upon relevant case precedents and statutory developments from other common law countries and incorporates recommendations and reports by health-related bodies, agencies and committees. The book is written in an accessible manner suitable for tertiary students. It should also serve as a useful resource for medico-legal practitioners, academics and healthcare professionals who wish to keep abreast of the evolving legal (...)
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  24. La capacidad unificadora de las teorías científicas. Una propuesta alternativa desde el estructuralismo metateórico al enfoque kitchereano de patrones explicativos.Daniel Blanco, Santiago Ginnobili & Pablo Lorenzano - 2019 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 34 (1):111-131.
    Resumen: La capacidad unificadora de una teoría científica es un rasgo usualmente contemplado a la hora de evaluar su adecuación. Kitcher ha elucidado satisfactoriamente tal noción mediante su enfoque de los patrones explicativos. Sin embargo, su perspectiva adolece de ciertas carencias. Concretamente, sostendremos que el requisito de rigurosidad de los patrones para evaluar la capacidad unificadora debe ser repensado, pues atenta contra la heterogeneidad característica de las diferentes aplicaciones de teorías unificadoras. A su vez, mostraremos cómo estas dificultades bien pueden (...)
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  25. Modeling creative abduction Bayesian style.Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla & Alexander Gebharter - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-15.
    Schurz (Synthese 164:201–234, 2008) proposed a justification of creative abduction on the basis of the Reichenbachian principle of the common cause. In this paper we take up the idea of combining creative abduction with causal principles and model instances of successful creative abduction within a Bayes net framework. We identify necessary conditions for such inferences and investigate their unificatory power. We also sketch several interesting applications of modeling creative abduction Bayesian style. In particular, we discuss use-novel predictions, confirmation, and the (...)
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  26. Mechanisms in psychology: The road towards unity?Marcin Miłkowski, Mateusz Hohol & Przemysław Nowakowski - 2019 - Theory & Psychology 29 (5):567–578.
    The focus of this special issue of Theory & Psychology is on explanatory mechanisms in psychology, especially on problems of particular prominence for psychological science such as theoretical integration and unification. Proponents of the framework of mechanistic explanation claim, in short, that satisfactory explanations in psychology and related fields are causal. They stress the importance of explaining phenomena by describing mechanisms that are responsible for them, in particular by elucidating how the organization of component parts and operations in mechanisms gives (...)
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  27. Representational unification in cognitive science: Is embodied cognition a unifying perspective?Marcin Miłkowski & Przemysław Nowakowski - 2019 - Synthese 199 (Suppl 1):67-88.
    In this paper, we defend a novel, multidimensional account of representational unification, which we distinguish from integration. The dimensions of unity are simplicity, generality and scope, non-monstrosity, and systematization. In our account, unification is a graded property. The account is used to investigate the issue of how research traditions contribute to representational unification, focusing on embodied cognition in cognitive science. Embodied cognition contributes to unification even if it fails to offer a grand unification of cognitive science. The study of this (...)
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  28. Alasdair MacIntyre’s writings on medicine and medical ethics.Patricia Souza Valle Cardoso Pastura & Marcelo Gerardin Poirot Land - 2019 - Revista Bioética 27 (4).
    Alasdair MacIntyre is a contemporary philosopher of Ethics and Politics best known for his book “After virtue”, 1981. The originality and relevance of this work lie in the presentation of his articles from the 1970’s about medicine and medical ethics, which are unexplored in Bioethics. In these articles, MacIntyre criticizes changes in society transforming the physician-patient relationship: fragmentary moral views, individualism, misunderstanding of scientism and fallibility of the practice, as well as the lost background of common values and medical authority. (...)
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  29. Bolzano and Kim on grounding and unification.Stefan Roski - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2971-2999.
    It is sometimes mentioned that Bernard Bolzano’s work on grounding anticipates many insights of the current debate on metaphysical grounding. The present paper discusses a certain part of Bolzano’s theory of grounding that has thus far not been discussed in the literature. This part does not so much anticipate what are nowadays common assumptions about grounding, but rather goes beyond them. Central to the discussion will be a thesis of Bolzano’s by which he tries to establish a connection between grounding (...)
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  30. Bayesianism and Explanatory Unification: A Compatibilist Account.Thomas Blanchard - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):682-703.
    Proponents of IBE claim that the ability of a hypothesis to explain a range of phenomena in a unifying way contributes to the hypothesis’s credibility in light of these phenomena. I propose a Bayesian justification of this claim that reveals a hitherto unnoticed role for explanatory unification in evaluating the plausibility of a hypothesis: considerations of explanatory unification enter into the determination of a hypothesis’s prior by affecting its ‘explanatory coherence’, that is, the extent to which the hypothesis offers mutually (...)
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  31. Asymmetry in the unificationist theory of causal explanation.Sansom Roger & Shields Jannai - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):765-783.
    The unificationist theory of causal explanation offers a theory of causation and explanation with no causal primitives. Kitcher proposed that it offered an account of explanatory asymmetry, but his proposal has been criticized for being too dependent on contingent facts and surreptitiously supposing causal realism. In addition, critics have argued that unificationism cannot account for asymmetry in a world with symmetric laws of physics and is lead to accept backwards explanation in certain epistemic situations. Unificationism has been defended from some (...)
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  32. Grounding and the explanatory role of generalizations.Stefan Roski - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (8):1985-2003.
    According to Hempel’s influential theory of explanation, explaining why some a is G consists in showing that the truth that a is G follows from a law-like generalization to the effect that all Fs are G together with the initial condition that a is F. While Hempel’s overall account is now widely considered to be deeply flawed, the idea that some generalizations play the explanatory role that the account predicts is still often endorsed by contemporary philosophers of science. This idea, (...)
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  33. Configuration Symmetry.Ilexa Yardley - 2018 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory/.
  34. Explanatory Pluralism: An Unrewarding Prediction Error for Free Energy Theorists.Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2017 - Brain and Cognition 112:3–12.
    Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, (...)
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  35. Varying the Explanatory Span: Scientific Explanation for Computer Simulations.Juan Manuel Durán - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (1):27-45.
    This article aims to develop a new account of scientific explanation for computer simulations. To this end, two questions are answered: what is the explanatory relation for computer simulations? And what kind of epistemic gain should be expected? For several reasons tailored to the benefits and needs of computer simulations, these questions are better answered within the unificationist model of scientific explanation. Unlike previous efforts in the literature, I submit that the explanatory relation is between the simulation model and the (...)
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  36. 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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  37. On the Evidential Import of Unification.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (1):92-114.
    This paper discusses two senses in which a hypothesis may be said to unify evidence. One is the ability of the hypothesis to increase the mutual information of a set of evidence statements; the other is the ability of the hypothesis to explain commonalities in observed phenomena by positing a common origin for them. On Bayesian updating, it is only mutual information unification that contributes to the incremental support of a hypothesis by the evidence unified. This poses a challenge for (...)
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  38. Unificatory Explanation.Marco J. Nathan - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1).
    Philosophers have traditionally addressed the issue of scientific unification in terms of theoretical reduction. Reductive models, however, cannot explain the occurrence of unification in areas of science where successful reductions are hard to find. The goal of this essay is to analyse a concrete example of integration in biology—the developmental synthesis—and to generalize it into a model of scientific unification, according to which two fields are in the process of being unified when they become explanatorily relevant to each other. I (...)
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  39. Unification, the answer to resemblance questions.Erik Weber & Merel Lefevere - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3501-3521.
    In the current literature on scientific explanation unification became unfashionable in favour of causal approaches. We want to bring unification back into the picture. In this paper we demonstrate that resemblance questions do occur in scientific practice and that they cannot be properly answered without unification. Our examples show that resemblance questions about particular facts demand what we call causal network unification, while resemblance questions about regularities require what we call mechanism unification. We clarify how these types of unification relate (...)
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  40. Explanation = Unification? A New Criticism of Friedman’s Theory and a Reply to an Old One.Roche William & Sober Elliott - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):391-413.
    According to Michael Friedman’s theory of explanation, a law X explains laws Y1, Y2, …, Yn precisely when X unifies the Y’s, where unification is understood in terms of reducing the number of independently acceptable laws. Philip Kitcher criticized Friedman’s theory but did not analyze the concept of independent acceptability. Here we show that Kitcher’s objection can be met by modifying an element in Friedman’s account. In addition, we argue that there are serious objections to the use that Friedman makes (...)
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  41. Backwards explanation and unification.Richard J. Fry - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):55-70.
    It is an open question whether we ever successfully explain earlier states by appealing to later ones, and, further, whether this is even possible. Typically, these two questions are answered in the same way: if we give and accept ‘backwards explanations,’ they must be possible; if they are impossible, we are right to reject them. I argue that backwards explanations are brittle—they fail if the future event does not occur—and this is part of the reason they are not accepted about (...)
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  42. 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 (...)
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  43. The Identity of One: Conservation of the Circle.Ilexa Yardley - 2016 - Https://Medium.Com/the-Circular-Theory.
    The line connecting everything to everything is both diameter and circumference of a circle. Thus, complementarity is the basis for identity (duplicity is the basis for a unit). See, also, The Singularity and Obejct-Oriented Reality (also on PhilPapers).
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  44. Bayesian Cognitive Science, Monopoly, and Neglected Frameworks.Matteo Colombo & Stephan Hartmann - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2):451–484.
    A widely shared view in the cognitive sciences is that discovering and assessing explanations of cognitive phenomena whose production involves uncertainty should be done in a Bayesian framework. One assumption supporting this modelling choice is that Bayes provides the best approach for representing uncertainty. However, it is unclear that Bayes possesses special epistemic virtues over alternative modelling frameworks, since a systematic comparison has yet to be attempted. Currently, it is then premature to assert that cognitive phenomena involving uncertainty are best (...)
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  45. Probability and the Explanatory Virtues: Figure 1.Clark Glymour - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (3):591-604.
    Recent literature in philosophy of science has addressed purported notions of explanatory virtues—‘explanatory power’, ‘unification’, and ‘coherence’. In each case, a probabilistic relation between a theory and data is said to measure the power of an explanation, or degree of unification, or degree of coherence. This essay argues that the measures do not capture cases that are paradigms of scientific explanation, that the available psychological evidence indicates that the measures do not capture judgements of explanatory power, and, finally, that the (...)
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  46. Why Pursue Unification? A Social-Epistemological Puzzle.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2015 - Theoria 30 (3):431-447.
    Many have argued that unified theories ought to be pursued wherever possible. We deny this on the basis of social-epistemological and decision-theoretic considerations. Consequently, those seeking a more ubiquitous role for unification must either attend to the scientific community’s social structure in greater detail than has been the case, and/or radically revise their conception of unification.
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  47. What’s Wrong With Aim-Oriented Empiricism?Nicholas Maxwell - 2015 - Acta Baltica Historiae Et Philosophiae Scientiarum 3 (2):5-31.
    For four decades it has been argued that we need to adopt a new conception of science called aim-oriented empiricism. This has far-reaching implications and repercussions for science, the philosophy of science, academic inquiry in general, conception of rationality, and how we go about attempting to make progress towards as good a world as possible. Despite these far-reaching repercussions, aim-oriented empiricism has so far received scant attention from philosophers of science. Here, sixteen objections to the validity of the argument for (...)
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  48. Causality and Unification: How Causality Unifies Statistical Regularities.Gerhard Schurz - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (1):73-95.
    Two key ideas of scientific explanation−explanation as causal information and explanation as unification-have frequently been set into mutual opposition. This paper proposes a “dialectical solution” to this conflict, by arguing that causal explanations are preferable to non-causal ones, because they lead to a higherdegree of unification at the level of explaining statistical regularities. The core axioms of the theory of causal nets (TC) are justified because they offer the best if not the only unifying explanation of two statistical phenomena: screening (...)
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  49. Unification: Not Just a Thing of Beauty.Ioannis Votsis - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (1):97.
    There is a strong tendency in science to opt for simpler and more unified hypotheses. A view that has often been voiced is that such qualities, though aesthetically pleasing or beautiful, are at best pragmatic considerations in matters of choosing between rival hypotheses. This essay offers a novel conception and an associated measure of unification, both of which are manifestly more than just pragmatic considerations. The discussion commences with a brief survey of some failed attempts to conceptualise unification. It then (...)
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  50. Unification and Explanation: Explanation as a Prototype Concept.Gerhard Schurz - 2014 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 29 (1):57-70.
    In this paper I investigate unification as a virtue of explanation. In the first part of the paper (sec. 1-2) I give a brief exposition of the unification account of Schurz and Lambert (1994) and Schurz (1999). I illustrate the advantages of this account in comparison to the older unification accounts of Friedman (1974) and Kitcher (1981). In the second part (sec. 3) I discuss several comments and objections to the Schurz-Lambert account that were raised by Weber and van Dyck (...)
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