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  1. Symmetry, Ontology and the Problem of Time: On the Interpretation and Quantisation of Canonical Gravity.Karim P. Y. Thebault - unknown
  • Laws Are Conditionals.Toby Friend - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):123-144.
    The ubiquitous schema ‘All Fs are Gs’ dominates much philosophical discussion on laws but rarely is it shown how actual laws mentioned and used in science are supposed to fit it. After consideration of a variety of laws, including those obviously conditional and those superficially not conditional, I argue that we have good reason to support the traditional interpretation of laws as conditionals of some quantified form with a single object variable. I show how this conclusion impacts on the status (...)
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  • Mathematical Explanations in Evolutionary Biology or Naturalism? A Challenge for the Statisticalist.Fabio Sterpetti - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-33.
    This article presents a challenge that those philosophers who deny the causal interpretation of explanations provided by population genetics might have to address. Indeed, some philosophers, known as statisticalists, claim that the concept of natural selection is statistical in character and cannot be construed in causal terms. On the contrary, other philosophers, known as causalists, argue against the statistical view and support the causal interpretation of natural selection. The problem I am concerned with here arises for the statisticalists because the (...)
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  • Unifying Statistically Autonomous and Mathematical Explanations.Travis L. Holmes - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (3):1-22.
    A subarea of the debate over the nature of evolutionary theory addresses what the nature of the explanations yielded by evolutionary theory are. The statisticalist line is that the general principles of evolutionary theory are not only amenable to a mathematical interpretation but that they need not invoke causes to furnish explanations. Causalists object that construction of these general principles involves crucial causal assumptions. A recent view claims that some biological explanations are statistically autonomous explanations whereby phenomena are accounted for (...)
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  • Die Deduktiv-Nomologische Erklärung AlS Hauptmotiv Empirisch-Wissenschaftlicher Tätigkeit.Edmund Nierlich - 1988 - Erkenntnis 29 (1):1 - 33.
    In this paper an attempt is made at developing the notion of a real and complete empirical explanation as excluding all forms of potential or incomplete explanations. This explanation is, however, no longer conceived as the proper aim of empirical science, for it can certainly be gleaned from recent epistemological publications that no comprehensive notion of a real and complete scientific explanation is likely to be constructed from within empirical science. Contrary to common understanding the empirical explanation, deductive-nomological as well (...)
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  • The Logic of Empirical Theories Revisited.Johan van Benthem - 2012 - Synthese 186 (3):775-792.
    Logic and philosophy of science share a long history, though contacts have gone through ups and downs. This paper is a brief survey of some major themes in logical studies of empirical theories, including links to computer science and current studies of rational agency. The survey has no new results: we just try to make some things into common knowledge.
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  • Biological Explanation.Angela Potochnik - 2013 - In Kostas Kampourakis (ed.), The Philosophy of Biology: A Companion for Educators. Springer. pp. 49-65.
    One of the central aims of science is explanation: scientists seek to uncover why things happen the way they do. This chapter addresses what kinds of explanations are formulated in biology, how explanatory aims influence other features of the field of biology, and the implications of all of this for biology education. Philosophical treatments of scientific explanation have been both complicated and enriched by attention to explanatory strategies in biology. Most basically, whereas traditional philosophy of science based explanation on derivation (...)
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  • Sensorimotor Laws, Mechanisms, and Representations.Alfredo Vernazzani - 2014 - Proceedings of the 36th Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.
    According to the sensorimotor account, vision does not imply theconstruction of internally generated representations of the environment, butit isthe skillful exercise of the sensorimotor contingencies obeying sense-specific laws. In this short study, I focus on the notion of “sensorimotor law” and characterize the kind of explanation providedby the sensorimotor theory as a form of covering law model. I then question the nature of such sensorimotor laws and describe them as mechanisms. I show that a mechanistic interpretation provides a better account (...)
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  • Local Explanation in Historiography of Science.Veli Virmajoki - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    In this paper, I offer an explication of the notion of local explanation. In the literature, local explanations are considered as metaphysically and methodologically satisfactory: local explanations reveal the contingency of science and provide a methodologically sound historiography of science. However, the lack of explication of the notion of local explanation makes these claims difficult to assess. The explication provided in this paper connects the degree of locality of an explanans to the degree of contingency of the explanandum. Moreover, the (...)
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  • Morphogenesis, Dictyostelium, and the Search for Shared Developmental Processes.Mary Evelyn Sunderland - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 42 (4):508-517.
  • From Effect to Cause: Deductive Reasoning.Ricardo Tavares da Silva - 2019 - Kairos 22 (1):109-131.
    According to the traditional view, the following incompatibility holds true: in reasoning, either there is warrant (certainty) or there is novelty. If there is warrant, there is not novelty: that would be the case of deductive reasoning. If there is novelty, there is not warrant: that would be the case of inductive reasoning. Causal reasoning would belong to the second group because there is novelty and, therefore, there is not warrant in it. I argue that this is false: reasoning may (...)
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  • Laws of Nature and Counterparts.Esteban Cespedes - 2011 - Kritike 5 (2):185-196.
    The events of nature are, at first glance, related to each other in a necessary way, as if they were subject to certain rules, a fact that is closely linked with the ontology of natural laws. However, there are several conflicting theories about their existence, such as the Humean view as well as realism. Mumford proposes a third way: to accept natural regularity, but deny that this is due to the real existence of natural laws. Finally, some ideas about a (...)
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  • Explanation Between Nature and Text: Ancient Greek Commentators on Science.Markus Asper - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (1):43-50.
    It is commonly agreed that the doctrines of classical Greek philosophers and scientists were transformed by commentators of, roughly, the second to sixth centuries AD. It is, however, less clear how these transformations precisely took place. This article contributes to the discussion by exploring explanative practices in ancient Greek commentaries on authors such as the Hippocratic Corpus, Aristotle, and Euclid and by arguing that among the practices concerned there was a tendency to blur the distinction of nature and text. Among (...)
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  • The Covering Law Model Applied to Dynamical Cognitive Science: A Comment on Joel Walmsley.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (1):33-39.
    In a 2008 paper, Walmsley argued that the explanations employed in the dynamical approach to cognitive science, as exemplified by the Haken, Kelso and Bunz model of rhythmic finger movement, and the model of infant preservative reaching developed by Esther Thelen and her colleagues, conform to Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim’s deductive-nomological model of explanation (also known as the covering law model). Although we think Walmsley’s approach is methodologically sound in that it starts with an analysis of scientific practice rather (...)
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  • Evidential Reasoning.Marcello Di Bello & Bart Verheij - 2018 - In G. Bongiovanni, G. Postema, A. Rotolo, G. Sartor, C. Valentini & D. Walton (eds.), Handbook in Legal Reasoning and Argumentation. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 447-493.
    The primary aim of this chapter is to explain the nature of evidential reasoning, the characteristic difficulties encountered, and the tools to address these difficulties. Our focus is on evidential reasoning in criminal cases. There is an extensive scholarly literature on these topics, and it is a secondary aim of the chapter to provide readers the means to find their way in historical and ongoing debates.
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  • Betting Against Hard Determinism.Göran Duus-Otterström - 2008 - Res Publica 14 (3):219-235.
    The perennial fear associated with the free will problem is the prospect of hard determinism being true. Unlike prevalent attempts to reject hard determinism by defending compatibilist analyses of freedom and responsibility, this article outlines a pragmatic argument to the effect that we are justified in betting that determinism is false even though we may retain the idea that free will and determinism are incompatible. The basic argument is that as long as we accept that libertarian free will is worth (...)
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  • Scientific Explanation: Conclusiveness Conditions on Explanation-Seeking Questions.Matti Sintonen - 2005 - Synthese 143 (1-2):179 - 205.
  • Reduction: The Cheshire Cat Problem and a Return to Roots.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):377-402.
    In this paper, I propose two theses, and then examine what the consequences of those theses are for discussions of reduction and emergence. The first thesis is that what have traditionally been seen as robust, reductions of one theory or one branch of science by another more fundamental one are a largely a myth. Although there are such reductions in the physical sciences, they are quite rare, and depend on special requirements. In the biological sciences, these prima facie sweeping reductions (...)
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  • Explanations in Science and the Logic of Why-Questions: Discussion of the Halonen–Hintikka-Approachand Alternative Proposal.Gerhard Schurz - 2005 - Synthese 143 (1-2):149 - 178.
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  • O Estatuto Metafísico Das Leis Naturais: Uma Crítica Ao Antirrealismo Nomológico de Stephen Mumford.Bruno Borge - 2015 - Filosofia Unisinos 16 (3):256-269.
    As questões das leis da natureza e da modalidade subjacente à regularidade natural muitas vezes têm sido tratadas como uma só. No entanto, a análise metafísica mostra que só as posições que assumem um compromisso ontológico com as leis da natureza podem ser consideradas dentro do Realismo Nomológico. Mumford propõe uma alternativa ao RN compatível com os compromissos modais comumente associados a posições realistas. Neste ponto de vista, o peso da modalidade não está posto nas leis, mas sim em propriedades (...)
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  • The Explanationist Argument for Moral Realism.Neil Sinclair - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (1):1-24.
    In this paper I argue that the explanationist argument in favour of moral realism fails. According to this argument, the ability of putative moral properties to feature in good explanations provides strong evidence for, or entails, the metaphysical claims of moral realism. Some have rejected this argument by denying that moral explanations are ever good explanations. My criticism is different. I argue that even if we accept that moral explanations are (sometimes) good explanations the metaphysical claims of realism do not (...)
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  • The Reasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences.Nicolas Fillion - unknown
    One of the most unsettling problems in the history of philosophy examines how mathematics can be used to adequately represent the world. An influential thesis, stated by Eugene Wigner in his paper entitled "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences," claims that "the miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve." Contrary to this view, this thesis delineates and implements (...)
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  • Explanation in Science.James A. Overton - unknown
    Scientific explanation is an important goal of scientific practise. Philosophers have proposed a striking diversity of seemingly incompatible accounts of explanation, from deductive-nomological to statistical relevance, unification, pragmatic, causal-mechanical, mechanistic, causal intervention, asymptotic, and model-based accounts. In this dissertation I apply two novel methods to reexamine our evidence about scientific explanation in practise and thereby address the fragmentation of philosophical accounts. I start by collecting a data set of 781 articles from one year of the journal Science. Using automated text (...)
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  • A Utilitarian Account of Political Obligation.Brian Collins - 2014 - Dissertation, The University of Iowa
    One of the core issues in contemporary political philosophy is concerned with `political obligation.' Stated in an overly simplified way, the question being asked when one investigates political obligation is, "What, if anything, do citizens owe to their government and how are these obligations generated if they do exist?" The majority of political philosophers investigating this issue agree that a political obligation is a moral requirement to act in certain ways concerning political matters. Despite this agreement about the general nature (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation and the Challenge of Skepticism.Bryan C. Appley - unknown
    In this dissertation I consider the problem of external world skepticism and attempts at providing an argument to the best explanation against it. In chapter one I consider several different ways of formulating the crucial skeptical argument, settling on an argument that centers on the question of whether we're justified in believing propositions about the external world. I then consider and reject several options for getting around this issue which I take to be inadequate. I finally conclude that the best (...)
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  • Cognitive Dynamical Models as Minimal Models.Travis Holmes - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Pluralistic Physicalism and the Causal Exclusion Argument.Markus I. Eronen - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):219-232.
    There is a growing consensus among philosophers of science that scientific endeavors of understanding the human mind or the brain exhibit explanatory pluralism. Relatedly, several philosophers have in recent years defended an interventionist approach to causation that leads to a kind of causal pluralism. In this paper, I explore the consequences of these recent developments in philosophy of science for some of the central debates in philosophy of mind. First, I argue that if we adopt explanatory pluralism and the interventionist (...)
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  • Russellianism and Prediction.David Braun - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 105 (1):59 - 105.
    Russellianism (also called `neo-Russellianism, `Millianism, and `thenaive theory') entails that substitution of co-referring names inattitude ascriptions preserves truth value and proposition expressed.Thus, on this view, if Lucy wants Twain to autograph her book, thenshe also wants Clemens to autograph her book, even if she says ``I donot want Clemens to autograph my book''. Some philosophers (includingMichael Devitt and Mark Richard) claim that attitude ascriptions canbe used to predict behavior, but argue that if Russellianism weretrue, then this would not be so. (...)
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  • Machine Experiments and Theoretical Modelling: From Cybernetic Methodology to Neuro-Robotics. [REVIEW]Guglielmo Tamburrini & Edoardo Datteri - 2005 - Minds and Machines 15 (3-4):335-358.
    Cybernetics promoted machine-supported investigations of adaptive sensorimotor behaviours observed in biological systems. This methodological approach receives renewed attention in contemporary robotics, cognitive ethology, and the cognitive neurosciences. Its distinctive features concern machine experiments, and their role in testing behavioural models and explanations flowing from them. Cybernetic explanations of behavioural events, regularities, and capacities rely on multiply realizable mechanism schemata, and strike a sensible balance between causal and unifying constraints. The multiple realizability of cybernetic mechanism schemata paves the way to principled (...)
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  • Atoms and Bonds in Molecules and Chemical Explanations.Mauro Causá, Andreas Savin & Bernard Silvi - 2014 - Foundations of Chemistry 16 (1):3-26.
    The concepts of atoms and bonds in molecules which appeared in chemistry during the nineteenth century are unavoidable to explain the structure and the reactivity of the matter at a chemical level of understanding. Although they can be criticized from a strict reductionist point of view, because neither atoms nor bonds are observable in the sense of quantum mechanics, the topological and statistical interpretative approaches of quantum chemistry (quantum theory of atoms in molecules, electron localization function and maximum probability domain) (...)
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  • Grounding, Scientific Explanation, and Humean Laws.Marc Lange - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):255-261.
    It has often been argued that Humean accounts of natural law cannot account for the role played by laws in scientific explanations. Loewer (Philosophical Studies 2012) has offered a new reply to this argument on behalf of Humean accounts—a reply that distinguishes between grounding (which Loewer portrays as underwriting a kind of metaphysical explanation) and scientific explanation. I will argue that Loewer’s reply fails because it cannot accommodate the relation between metaphysical and scientific explanation. This relation also resolves a puzzle (...)
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  • A Reason to Be Rational.Carl David Mildenberger - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1008-1032.
    ABSTRACTThis essay argues that in spite of the powerful arguments by Kolodny and Broome there is a reason to be rational. The suggested reason to be rational is that if an agent complies with ratio...
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  • Mergers of Economics and Philosophy of Science.Herman O. Wold - 1969 - Synthese 20 (4):427 - 482.
  • Inductive Logic with Causal Modalities: A Deterministic Approach.Soshichi Uchii - 1973 - Synthese 26 (2):264 - 303.
  • Laws, Modalities and Counterfactuals.Wesley C. Salmon - 1977 - Synthese 35 (2):191-229.
  • Inductive Systematization: Definition and a Critical Survey.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 1972 - Synthese 25 (1-2):25 - 81.
    In 1958, to refute the argument known as the theoretician's dilemma, Hempel suggested that theoretical terms might be logically indispensable for inductive systematization of observational statements. This thesis, in some form or another, has later been supported by Scheffler, Lehrer, and Tuomela, and opposed by Bohnert, Hooker, Stegmüller, and Cornman. In this paper, a critical survey of this discussion is given. Several different putative definitions of the crucial notion inductive systematization achieved by a theory are discussed by reference to the (...)
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  • The Inference to the Best Explanation.Yemima Ben-Menahem - 1990 - Erkenntnis 33 (3):319-44.
    In a situation in which several explanations compete, is the one that is better qua explanation also the one we should regard as the more likely to be true? Realists usually answer in the affirmative. They then go on to argue that since realism provides the best explanation for the success of science, realism can be inferred to. Nonrealists, on the other hand, answer the above question in the negative, thereby renouncing the inference to realism. In this paper I separate (...)
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  • What Is Bayesian Confirmation For?Darren Bradley - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (3):229-241.
    Peter 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 available.
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  • The Dynamical Hypothesis in Cognitive Science.Tim van Gelder - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):615-28.
    According to the dominant computational approach in cognitive science, cognitive agents are digital computers; according to the alternative approach, they are dynamical systems. This target article attempts to articulate and support the dynamical hypothesis. The dynamical hypothesis has two major components: the nature hypothesis (cognitive agents are dynamical systems) and the knowledge hypothesis (cognitive agents can be understood dynamically). A wide range of objections to this hypothesis can be rebutted. The conclusion is that cognitive systems may well be dynamical systems, (...)
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  • A Defense of Objectivism About Evidential Support.Brian Hedden - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (5):716-743.
    Objectivism about evidential support is the thesis that facts about the degree to which a body of evidence supports a hypothesis are objective rather than depending on subjective factors like one’s own language or epistemic values. Objectivism about evidential support is key to defending a synchronic, time-slice-centric conception of epistemic rationality, on which what you ought to believe at a time depends only on what evidence you have at that time, and not on how you were at previous times. Here, (...)
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  • Explanatory Understanding and Contrastive Facts.Thomas R. Grimes - 1993 - Philosophica 51.
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  • The Perennial Problem of the Reductive Explainability of Phenomenal Consciousness: C. D. Broad on the Explanatory Gap.Ansgar Beckermann - 2000 - In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Neural Correlates of Consciousness. MIT Press.
    At the start of the 20th century the question of whether life could be explained in purely me- chanical terms was as hotly debated as the mind-body problem is today. Two factions opposed each other: Biological mechanists claimed that the properties characteristic of living organisms could be ex- plained mechanistically, in the way the behavior of a clock can be explained by the properties and the arrangement of its cogs, springs, and weights. Substantial vitalists, on the other hand, maintained that (...)
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  • Adaptación y función - El papel de los conceptos funcionales en la teoría de la selección natural darwiniana.Santiago Ginnobili - 2009 - Ludus Vitalis 17 (31):3-24.
    La discusión acerca de funciones es de larga data en filosofía. Normalmente se describe a la revolución científica del siglo XVII como eliminando las causas finales y la teleología de la física. Sin embargo, el lenguaje funcional cumple un papel central en ciertas áreas de la práctica biológica. Esto ha llevado a muchos filósofos a intentar elucidar el concepto de función, en algunos casos para defender la relevancia de estos usos, en otros para mostrar que se trata de meras formas (...)
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  • Dispositional Explanations of Behavior.Rob Vanderbeeken & Erik Weber - 2002 - Behavior and Philosophy 30:43 - 59.
    If dispositions are conceived as properties of systems that refer to possible causal relations, dispositions can be used in singular causal explanations. By means of these dispositional explanations, we can explain behavior B of a system x by (i) referring to a situation of type S that triggered B, given that x has a disposition D to do B in S, or (ii) by referring to a disposition D of x to do B in S, given that x is in (...)
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  • Warunki emergencji biologicznej w świetle sporu emergentyzm–redukcjonizm.Jakub Dziadkowiec - 2009 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 57 (1):5-26.
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  • How-Possibly Explanations in (Quantum) Computer Science.Michael E. Cuffaro - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):737-748.
    A primary goal of quantum computer science is to find an explanation for the fact that quantum computers are more powerful than classical computers. In this paper I argue that to answer this question is to compare algorithmic processes of various kinds and to describe the possibility spaces associated with these processes. By doing this, we explain how it is possible for one process to outperform its rival. Further, in this and similar examples little is gained in subsequently asking a (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Modus Tollens in Abductive Arguments.C. Pizzi - 2013 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 21 (6):962-979.
  • Metaphysical Explanatory Asymmetries.Jan Willem Wieland & Erik Weber - 2010 - Logique and Analyse 53 (211):345-365.
    The general view is that metaphysical explanation is asymmetric. For instance, if resemblance facts can be explained by facts about their relata, then, by the asymmetry of explanation, these latter facts cannot in turn be explained by the former. The question however is: is there any reason to hold on to the asymmetry? If so, what does it consist in? In the paper we approach these questions by comparing them to analogous questions that have been investigated for scientific explanations. Three (...)
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  • 'Bridge Out' On The Road To A Theory Of Consciousness. [REVIEW]Gregory Mulhauser - 1995 - PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research On Consciousness 2.
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  • Radical Rationalization Accommodates Rampant Irrationality.Joachim Lipski - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (1):53-73.
    According to a classic position in analytic philosophy of mind, we must interpret agents as largely rational in order to be able to attribute intentional mental states to them. However, adopting this position requires clarifying in what way and by which criteria agents can still be irrational. In this paper I will offer one such criterion. More specifically, I argue that the kind of rationality methodologically required by intentional interpretation is to be specified in terms of psychological efficacy. Thereby, this (...)
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