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  1. Friedman, Liberalism and the Meaning of Negative Freedom: Vardaman R. Smith.Vardaman R. Smith - 1998 - Economics and Philosophy 14 (1):75-93.
    In the ‘Introduction’ to Capitalism and Freedom, Friedman's stated intentions are to: establish the role of competitive capitalism as a system of economic freedom and a necessary condition for political freedom; indicate the proper role of government in a free society; and return the term ‘liberal’ ‘… to its original sense – as the doctrines pertaining to a free man’. In fact, Friedman accomplishes none of these things. This essay has three distinct, though related, objectives: first, to compare Friedman's position (...)
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  • Heidegger, Analytic Metaphysics, and the Being of Beings.Matthew Ratcliffe - 2002 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):35 – 57.
    This essay begins with an outline of the early Heidegger's distinction between beings and the Being1 of those beings, followed by a discussion of Heideggerian teleology. It then turns to contemporary analytic metaphysics to suggest that analytic metaphysics concerns itself wholly with beings and does not recognize distinct forms of questioning concerning what Heidegger calls Being . This difference having been clarified, studies of identity and individuation in the analytic tradition are examined and it is demonstrated that such inquiries have (...)
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  • What Is Bayesian Confirmation For?Darren Bradley - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):229-241.
    ABSTRACTPeter Brössel and Franz Huber in 2015 argued that the Bayesian concept of confirmation had no use. I will argue that it has both the uses they discussed—it can be used for making claims about how worthy of belief various hypotheses are, and it can be used to measure the epistemic value of experiments. Furthermore, it can be useful in explanations. More generally, I will argue that more coarse-grained concepts can be useful, even when we have more fine-grained concepts.
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  • Schrödinger’s Cat and the Dog That Didn’T Bark: Why Quantum Mechanics is (Probably) Irrelevant to the Social Sciences.David Waldner - 2017 - Critical Review 29 (2):199-233.
    ABSTRACTAlexander Wendt’s Quantum Mind and Social Science reopens the question of the relevance of quantum mechanics to the social sciences. In response, I argue that due to “quantum decoherence,” the macroscopic world filters out quantum effects. Moreover, quantum decoherence makes it unlikely that the theory of quantum brains, on which Wendt relies, is true. Finally, while quantum decision theory is a potentially revolutionary field, it has not clearly accounted for alleged anomalies in classical understandings of decision making. However, the logic (...)
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  • Explaining with Models: The Role of Idealizations.Julie Jebeile & Ashley Graham Kennedy - 2015 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 29 (4):383-392.
    Because they contain idealizations, scientific models are often considered to be misrepresentations of their target systems. An important question is therefore how models can explain the behaviours of these systems. Most of the answers to this question are representationalist in nature. Proponents of this view are generally committed to the claim that models are explanatory if they represent their target systems to some degree of accuracy; in other words, they try to determine the conditions under which idealizations can be made (...)
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  • False Memory Syndrome: A Feminist Philosophical Approach.Shelley M. Park - 1997 - Hypatia 12 (2):1 - 50.
    In this essay, I attempt to outline a feminist philosophical approach to the current debate concerning (allegedly) false memories of childhood sexual abuse. Bringing the voices of feminist philosophers to bear on this issue highlights the implicit and sometimes questionable epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical-political commitments of some therapists and scientists involved in these debates. It also illuminates some current debates in and about feminist philosophy.
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  • Why Metaphysical Abstinence Should Prevail in the Debate on Reductionism.Stéphanie Ruphy - 2005 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 19 (2):105 – 121.
    My main aim in this paper is to show that influential antireductionist arguments such as Fodor's, Kitcher's, and Dupré's state stronger conclusions than they actually succeed in establishing. By putting to the fore the role of metaphysical presuppositions in these arguments, I argue that they are convincing only as 'temporally qualified argument', and not as 'generally valid ones'. I also challenge the validity of the strategy consisting in drawing metaphysical lessons from the failure of reductionist programmes. What most of these (...)
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  • Contextualism, Explanation and the Social Sciences.Harold Kincaid - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):201 – 218.
    Debates about explanation in the social sciences often proceed without any clear idea what an 'account' of explanation should do. In this paper I take a stance - what I will call contextualism - that denies there are purely formal and conceptual constraints on explanation and takes standards of explanation to be substantive empirical claims, paradigmatically claims about causation. I then use this standpoint to argue for position on issues in the philosophy of social science concerning reduction, idealized models, social (...)
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  • Grounding in the Image of Causation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):49-100.
    Grounding is often glossed as metaphysical causation, yet no current theory of grounding looks remotely like a plausible treatment of causation. I propose to take the analogy between grounding and causation seriously, by providing an account of grounding in the image of causation, on the template of structural equation models for causation.
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  • Particles Do Not Conspire.Arianne Shahvisi - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (4):521-543.
    The aim of this paper is to debunk the assertion that miraculous “conspiracies” between fundamental particles are required to bring about the projectibility of special science generalisations. Albert and Loewer have proposed a theory of lawhood which supplements the Best System of fundamental laws with a statistical postulate over the initial conditions of the universe, thereby rendering special science generalisations highly probable, and dispelling the conspiracy. However, concerns have been raised about its ability to confer typicality upon special science generalisations (...)
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  • What is a Social Practice?Sally Haslanger - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:231-247.
    This paper provides an account of social practices that reveals how they are constitutive of social agency, enable coordination around things of value, and are a site for social intervention. The social world, on this account, does not begin when psychologically sophisticated individuals interact to share knowledge or make plans. Instead, culture shapes agents to interpret and respond both to each other and the physical world around us. Practices shape us as we shape them. This provides resources for understanding why (...)
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  • What is a (Social) Structural Explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.
    A philosophically useful account of social structure must accommodate the fact that social structures play an important role in structural explanation. But what is a structural explanation? How do structural explanations function in the social sciences? This paper offers a way of thinking about structural explanation and sketches an account of social structure that connects social structures with structural explanation.
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  • I—Culture and Critique.Sally Haslanger - 2017 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 91 (1):149-173.
    How do we achieve social justice? How do we change society for the better? Some would argue that we must do it by changing the laws or state institutions. Others that we must do it by changing individual attitudes. I argue that although both of these factors are important and relevant, we must also change culture. What does this mean? Culture, I argue, is a set of social meanings that shapes and filters how we think and act. Problematic networks of (...)
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  • Ontological Progress in Science.Richard M. Burian & J. D. Trout - 1995 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):177 - 201.
    In the grand tradition, philosophical ontology was considered logically and epistemologically prior to scientific ontology. Like many contemporary philosophers of science, we consider this to be a mistake. There is two-way traffic between philosophical and scientific ontologies; the more we learn about what there actually is, the more we learn about what can be and what must be, and vice versa. But that is not the present topic; here we focus on the ontology or ontologies of science, not traditional philosophical (...)
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  • Distinguished Lecture: Social Structure, Narrative and Explanation.Sally Haslanger - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):1-15.
    Recent work on social injustice has focused on implicit bias as an important factor in explaining persistent injustice in spite of achievements on civil rights. In this paper, I argue that because of its individualism, implicit bias explanation, taken alone, is inadequate to explain ongoing injustice; and, more importantly, it fails to call attention to what is morally at stake. An adequate account of how implicit bias functions must situate it within a broader theory of social structures and structural injustice; (...)
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  • Knowledge and Explanation.C. S. Jenkins - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):137-164.
    There is surely something right about Craig’s view: we are unlikely to succeed in any attempt to analyse away the intricacies in our concept of knowledge. We cannot realistically hope to uncover a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for A knows that p which are in all cases either clearly satisfied or clearly not satisfied. Nor, I suspect, is it possible to offer necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge which are widely accepted as being more securely understood than knowledge (...)
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  • Natural Selection Explanation and Origin Essentialism.Joel Pust - 2001 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 31 (2):201-220.
    Does natural selection explain why individual organisms have the traits that they do? According to "the Negative View," natural selection does not explain why any individual organism has the traits that it does. According to "the Positive View," natural selection at least sometimes does explain why an individual organism has the traits that it does. In this paper, I argue that recent arguments for the Positive View fail in virtue of running afoul of the doctrine of origin essentialism and I (...)
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  • Explanation and Understanding: An Alternative to Strevens’ Depth.Angela Potochnik - 2011 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 1 (1):29-38.
    Michael Strevens offers an account of causal explanation according to which explanatory practice is shaped by counterbalanced commitments to representing causal influence and abstracting away from overly specific details. In this paper, I challenge a key feature of that account. I argue that what Strevens calls explanatory frameworks figure prominently in explanatory practice because they actually improve explanations. This suggestion is simple but has far-reaching implications. It affects the status of explanations that cite multiply realizable properties; changes the explanatory role (...)
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  • Biological and Physicochemical Explanations in Experimental Biology.William A. Rottschaefer - 2008 - Biological Theory 3 (4):380-390.
  • The Rhetoric of Evolutionary Theory.David J. Depew - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4):380-389.
    I argue that Darwinian evolutionary theory has a rhetorical dimension and that rhetorical criticism plays a role in how evolutionary science acquires knowledge. I define what I mean by rhetoric by considering Darwin’s Origin. I use the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis to show how rhetoric conceived as situated and addressed argumentation enters into evolutionary theorizing. Finally, I argue that rhetorical criticism helps judge the success, limits, and failures of these theories.
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  • Contrastivism and Non‐Contrastivism in Scientific Explanation.Yafeng Shan - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (8):e12613.
    The nature of scientific explanation is controversial. Some maintain that all scientific explanations have to be contrastive in nature (contrastivism). However, others argue that no scientific explanation is genuinely contrastive (non-contrastivism). In addition, a compatibilist view has been recently devloped. It is argued that the debate between contrastivism and non-contrastivism is merely a linguistic dispute rather than a genuine disagreement on the nature of scientific explanation. Scientific explanations are both contrastive and non-contrastive in some sense (compatibilism). This paper examines the (...)
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  • Contrastive Confirmation: Some Competing Accounts.Jake Chandler - 2013 - Synthese 190 (1):129-138.
    I outline four competing probabilistic accounts of contrastive evidential support and consider various considerations that might help arbitrate between these. The upshot of the discussion is that the so-called 'Law of Likelihood' is to be preferred to any of the alternatives considered.
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  • Contrastive Explanation and the Many Absences Problem.Jane Suilin Lavelle, George Botterill & Suzanne Lock - 2013 - Synthese 190 (16):3495-3510.
    We often explain by citing an absence or an omission. Apart from the problem of assigning a causal role to such apparently negative factors as absences and omissions, there is a puzzle as to why only some absences and omissions, out of indefinitely many, should figure in explanations. In this paper we solve this ’many absences problem’ by using the contrastive model of explanation. The contrastive model of explanation is developed by adapting Peter Lipton’s account. What initially appears to be (...)
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  • Is Understanding Explanatory or Objectual?Kareem Khalifa - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1153-1171.
    Jonathan Kvanvig has argued that “objectual” understanding, i.e. the understanding we have of a large body of information, cannot be reduced to explanatory concepts. In this paper, I show that Kvanvig fails to establish this point, and then propose a framework for reducing objectual understanding to explanatory understanding.
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  • The Scope and Limits of a Mechanistic View of Computational Explanation.Maria Serban - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3371-3396.
    An increasing number of philosophers have promoted the idea that mechanism provides a fruitful framework for thinking about the explanatory contributions of computational approaches in cognitive neuroscience. For instance, Piccinini and Bahar :453–488, 2013) have recently argued that neural computation constitutes a sui generis category of physical computation which can play a genuine explanatory role in the context of investigating neural and cognitive processes. The core of their proposal is to conceive of computational explanations in cognitive neuroscience as a subspecies (...)
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  • The Epistemology of ‘Just is’-Statements.Daniel Greco - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (10):2599-2607.
    Agustín Rayo’s The Construction of Logical Space offers an exciting and ambitious defense of a broadly Carnapian approach to metaphysics. This essay will focus on one of the main differences between Rayo’s and Carnap’s approaches. Carnap distinguished between analytic, a priori “meaning postulates”, and empirical claims, which were both synthetic and knowable only a posteriori. Like meaning postulates, they determine the boundaries of logical space. But Rayo is skeptical that the a priori/a posteriori or analytic/synthetic distinctions can do the work (...)
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  • Causal Patterns and Adequate Explanations.Angela Potochnik - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1163-1182.
    Causal accounts of scientific explanation are currently broadly accepted (though not universally so). My first task in this paper is to show that, even for a causal approach to explanation, significant features of explanatory practice are not determined by settling how causal facts bear on the phenomenon to be explained. I then develop a broadly causal approach to explanation that accounts for the additional features that I argue an explanation should have. This approach to explanation makes sense of several aspects (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • What is the Problem with Model-Based Explanation in Economics?Caterina Marchionni - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (47):603-630.
    The question of whether the idealized models of theoretical economics are explanatory has been the subject of intense philosophical debate. It is sometimes presupposed that either a model provides the actual explanation or it does not provide an explanation at all. Yet, two sets of issues are relevant to the evaluation of model-based explanation: what conditions should a model satisfy in order to count as explanatory and does the model satisfy those conditions. My aim in this paper is to unpack (...)
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  • Kim on Causation and Mental Causation.Panu Raatikainen - 2018 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 25 (2):22–47.
    Jaegwon Kim’s views on mental causation and the exclusion argument are evaluated systematically. Particular attention is paid to different theories of causation. It is argued that the exclusion argument and its premises do not cohere well with any systematic view of causation.
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  • Reasons, Causes, and Action Explanation.Mark Risjord - 2005 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 35 (3):294-306.
    To explain an intentional action one must exhibit the agent’s reasons. Donald Davidson famously argued that the only clear way to understand action explanation is to hold that reasons are causes. Davidson’s discussion conflated two issues: whether reasons are causes and whether reasons causally explain intentional action. Contemporary work on explanation and normativity help disentangle these issues and ground an argument that intentional action explanations cannot be a species of causal explanation. Interestingly, this conclusion is consistent with Davidson’s conclusion that (...)
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  • The Evolutionary Structure of Scientific Theories.John S. Wilkins - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 13 (4):479–504.
    David Hull's (1988c) model of science as a selection process suffers from a two-fold inability: (a) to ascertain when a lineage of theories has been established; i.e., when theories are descendants of older theories or are novelties, and what counts as a distinct lineage; and (b) to specify what the scientific analogue is of genotype and phenotype. This paper seeks to clarify these issues and to propose an abstract model of theories analogous to particulate genetic structure, in order to reconstruct (...)
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  • The Autonomy of Functional Biology: A Reply to Rosenberg. [REVIEW]Marc Lange - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (1):93-109.
    Rosenberg has recently argued that explanations supplied by (what he calls) functional biology are mere promissory notes for macromolecular adaptive explanations. Rosenberg's arguments currently constitute one of the most substantial challenges to the autonomy, irreducibility, and indispensability of the explanations supplied by functional biology. My responses to Rosenberg's arguments will generate a novel account of the autonomy of functional biology. This account will turn on the relations between counterfactuals, scientific explanations, and natural laws. Crucially, in their treatment of the laws' (...)
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  • Degree of Explanation.Robert Northcott - 2012 - Synthese 190 (15):3087-3105.
    Partial explanations are everywhere. That is, explanations citing causes that explain some but not all of an effect are ubiquitous across science, and these in turn rely on the notion of degree of explanation. I argue that current accounts are seriously deficient. In particular, they do not incorporate adequately the way in which a cause’s explanatory importance varies with choice of explanandum. Using influential recent contrastive theories, I develop quantitative definitions that remedy this lacuna, and relate it to existing measures (...)
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  • Why P Rather Than Q? The Curiosities of Fact and Foil.Eric Barnes - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 73 (1):35 - 53.
    In this paper I develop a theory of contrastive why questions that establishes under what conditions it is sensible to ask "why p rather than q?". p and q must be outcomes of a single type of causal process.
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  • Confusion and Dependence in Uses of History.David Slutsky - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):261-286.
    Many people argue that history makes a special difference to the subjects of biology and psychology, and that history does not make this special difference to other parts of the world. This paper will show that historical properties make no more or less of a difference to biology or psychology than to chemistry, physics, or other sciences. Although historical properties indeed make a certain kind of difference to biology and psychology, this paper will show that historical properties make the same (...)
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  • Interdiscourse or Supervenience Relations: The Primacy of the Manifest Image.J. Brakel - 1996 - Synthese 106 (2):253 - 297.
    Amidst the progress being made in the various (sub-)disciplines of the behavioural and brain sciences a somewhat neglected subject is the problem of how everything fits into one world and, derivatively, how the relation between different levels of discourse should be understood and to what extent different levels, domains, approaches, or disciplines are autonomous or dependent. In this paper I critically review the most recent proposals to specify the nature of interdiscourse relations, focusing on the concept of supervenience. Ideally supervenience (...)
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  • Contrast, Inference and Scientific Realism.Mark Day & George S. Botterill - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):249-267.
    The thesis of underdetermination presents a major obstacle to the epistemological claims of scientific realism. That thesis is regularly assumed in the philosophy of science, but is puzzlingly at odds with the actual history of science, in which empirically adequate theories are thin on the ground. We propose to advance a case for scientific realism which concentrates on the process of scientific reasoning rather than its theoretical products. Developing an account of causal–explanatory inference will make it easier to resist the (...)
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  • De-Ontologizing the Debate on Social Explanations: A Pragmatic Approach Based on Epistemic Interests.Van Bouwel Jeroen & Weber Erik - 2008 - Human Studies 31 (4):423-442.
    In a recent paper on realism and pragmatism published in this journal, Osmo Kivinen and Tero Piiroinen have been pleading for more methodological work in the philosophy of the social sciences—refining the conceptual tools of social scientists—and less philosophically ontological theories. Following this de-ontologizing approach, we scrutinize the debates on social explanation and contribute to the development of a pragmatic social science methodology. Analyzing four classic debates concerning explanation in the social sciences, we propose to shift the debate away from (...)
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  • The Adaptive Landscape of Science.John S. Wilkins - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (5):659-671.
    In 1988, David Hull presented an evolutionary account of science. This was a direct analogy to evolutionary accounts of biological adaptation, and part of a generalized view of Darwinian selection accounts that he based upon the Universal Darwinism of Richard Dawkins. Criticisms of this view were made by, among others, Kim Sterelny, which led to it gaining only limited acceptance. Some of these criticisms are, I will argue, no longer valid in the light of developments in the formal modeling of (...)
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  • The Insufficience of Supervenient Explanations of Moral Actions: Really Taking Darwin and the Naturalistic Fallacy Seriously. [REVIEW]William A. Rottschaefer & David Martinsen - 1991 - Biology and Philosophy 6 (4):439-445.
    In a recent paper in this journal (Rottschaefer and Martinsen 1990) we have proposed a view of Darwinian evolutionary metaethics that we believe improves upon Michael Ruse's (e.g., Ruse 1986) proposals by claiming that there are evolutionary based objective moral values and that a Darwinian naturalistic account of the moral good in terms of human fitness can be given that avoids the naturalistic fallacy in both its definitional and derivational forms while providing genuine, even if limited, justifications for substantive ethical (...)
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  • Dissecting Explanatory Power.Petri Ylikoski & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 148 (2):201–219.
    Comparisons of rival explanations or theories often involve vague appeals to explanatory power. In this paper, we dissect this metaphor by distinguishing between different dimensions of the goodness of an explanation: non-sensitivity, cognitive salience, precision, factual accuracy and degree of integration. These dimensions are partially independent and often come into conflict. Our main contribution is to go beyond simple stipulation or description by explicating why these factors are taken to be explanatory virtues. We accomplish this by using the contrastive-counterfactual approach (...)
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  • Explanatory Pluralism in Evolutionary Biology.Kim Sterelny - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (2):193-214.
    The ontological dependence of one domain on another is compatible with the explanatory autonomy of the less basic domain. That autonomy results from the fact that the relationship between two domains can be very complex. In this paper I distinguish two different types of complexity, two ways the relationship between domains can fail to be transparent, both of which are relevant to evolutionary biology. Sometimes high level explanations preserve a certain type of causal or counterfactual information which would be lost (...)
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  • The Problem of Granularity for Scientific Explanation.David Kinney - 2019 - Dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
    This dissertation aims to determine the optimal level of granularity for the variables used in probabilistic causal models. These causal models are useful for generating explanations in a number of scientific contexts. In Chapter 1, I argue that there is rarely a unique level of granularity at which a given phenomenon can be causally explained, thereby rejecting various causal exclusion arguments. In Chapter 2, I consider several recent proposals for measuring the explanatory power of causal explanations, and show that these (...)
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  • An Approach to Why-Questions.Antti Koura - 1988 - Synthese 74 (2):191 - 206.
    The purpose of this paper is to give a semantical analysis of why-questions. Why-questions will be construed as requests for knowledge. Special attention will be paid to considering what the conditions for conclusive answerhood are in the case of why-questions. Since explanations can often be thought of as answers to why-questions, we also discuss some topics in the theory of explanation.
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  • Inference to the Loveliest Explanation.Eric Barnes - 1995 - Synthese 103 (2):251 - 277.
  • Realism and Antirealism.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2016 - In A. Rosenberg & L. McIntyre (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 254-269.
    Our best social scientific theories try to tell us something about the social world. But is talk of a “social world” a metaphor that we ought not take too seriously? In particular, do the denizens of the social world—cultural values like the Protestant work ethic, firms like ExxonMobil, norms like standards of dress and behavior, institutions like the legal system, teams like FC Barcelona, conventions like marriages—exist? The question is not merely academic. Social scientists use these different social entities to (...)
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  • Transitivity, Self-Explanation, and the Explanatory Circularity Argument Against Humean Accounts of Natural Law.Marc Lange - 2018 - Synthese 195 (3):1337-1353.
    Humean accounts of natural lawhood have often been criticized as unable to account for the laws’ characteristic explanatory power in science. Loewer has replied that these criticisms fail to distinguish grounding explanations from scientific explanations. Lange has replied by arguing that grounding explanations and scientific explanations are linked by a transitivity principle, which can be used to argue that Humean accounts of natural law violate the prohibition on self-explanation. Lange’s argument has been sharply criticized by Hicks and van Elswyk, Marshall, (...)
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  • Reduction in Sociology.W. McGinley - 2012 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42 (3):370-398.
    In grappling with the micro-macro problem in sociology, philosophers of the field are finding it increasingly useful to associate micro-sociology with theory reduction. In this article I argue that the association is ungrounded and undesirable. Although of a reductive "disposition," micro-sociological theories instantiate something more like "reductive explanation," whereby the causal roles of social wholes are explained in terms of their psychological parts. In this form, micro-sociological theories may actually have a better shot at closing the sociology–psychology explanatory gap, and (...)
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  • Optimality Modeling and Explanatory Generality.Angela Potochnik - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (5):680-691.
    The optimality approach to modeling natural selection has been criticized by many biologists and philosophers of biology. For instance, Lewontin (1979) argues that the optimality approach is a shortcut that will be replaced by models incorporating genetic information, if and when such models become available. In contrast, I think that optimality models have a permanent role in evolutionary study. I base my argument for this claim on what I think it takes to best explain an event. In certain contexts, optimality (...)
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