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  1. 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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  • Rethinking Unification : Unification as an Explanatory Value in Scientific Practice.Merel Lefevere - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Ghent
    This dissertation starts with a concise overview of what philosophers of science have written about unification and its role in scientific explanation during the last 50 years to provide the reader with some background knowledge. In order to bring unification back into the picture, I have followed two strategies, resulting respectively in Parts I and II of this dissertation. In Part I the idea of unification is used to refine and enrich the dominant causalmechanist and causal-interventionist accounts of scientific explanation. (...)
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  • Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - London: UCL Press.
    Karl Popper is famous for having proposed that science advances by a process of conjecture and refutation. He is also famous for defending the open society against what he saw as its arch enemies – Plato and Marx. Popper’s contributions to thought are of profound importance, but they are not the last word on the subject. They need to be improved. My concern in this book is to spell out what is of greatest importance in Popper’s work, what its failings (...)
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  • 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 are justified because they offer the best if not the only unifying explanation of two statistical phenomena: screening off (...)
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  • Can Probabilistic Coherence Be a Measure of Understanding?Victor Gijsbers - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (1):53-71.
    Coherence is a measure of how much our beliefs hang together. Understanding is achieved when we see that something is not just a brute, isolated fact. This suggests that it might be possible to use the extant probabilistic measures of coherence to formulate a measure of understanding. We attempt to do so, but it turns out that a coherence theory runs into trouble with the asymmetry of understanding. We identify four difficulties and show how they have been solved by a (...)
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