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Understanding Interests and Causal Explanation

Dissertation, University of Helsinki (2001)

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  1. Reconstructing Design, Explaining Artifacts: Philosophical Reflections on the Design and Explanation of Technical Artifacts.G. J. De Ridder - unknown
    Philosophers of science have by and large neglected technology. In this book, I have tried to do something about this lacuna by analyzing a few aspects of technical artifacts from a philosophical angle. The project was part of the research program "The Dual Nature of Technical Artifacts" based at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. Technical artifacts are both plain physical objects and objects that have been purposefully made for a purpose; which is to say they have a physical (...)
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  • On the ‘Indispensable Explanatory Role’ of Mathematics.Juha Saatsi - 2016 - Mind 125 (500):1045-1070.
    The literature on the indispensability argument for mathematical realism often refers to the ‘indispensable explanatory role’ of mathematics. I argue that we should examine the notion of explanatory indispensability from the point of view of specific conceptions of scientific explanation. The reason is that explanatory indispensability in and of itself turns out to be insufficient for justifying the ontological conclusions at stake. To show this I introduce a distinction between different kinds of explanatory roles—some ‘thick’ and ontologically committing, others ‘thin’ (...)
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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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  • Interests, Folk Psychology and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge.Petri Ylikoski - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):265 – 279.
    This paper provides a conceptual analysis of the notion of interests as it is used in the social studies of science. After describing the theoretical background behind the Strong Program's adoption of the concept of interest, the paper outlines a reconstruction of the everyday notion of interest and argues that this same notion is used also by the sociologists of scientific knowledge. However, there are a couple of important differences between the everyday use of this notion and the way in (...)
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  • Explanatory Pluralism in Economics: Against the Mainstream?Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (3):299-315.
    Recent pleas for more heterodoxy in explaining economic action have been defending a pluralism for economics. In this article, I analyse these defences by scrutinizing the pluralistic qualities in the work of one of the major voices of heterodoxy, Tony Lawson. This scrutiny will focus on Lawson's alternatives concerning ontology and explanation to mainstream economics. Subsequently, I will raise some doubts about Lawson's pluralism, and identify questions that will have to be addressed by heterodox economists in order to maintain the (...)
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  • Thought Experiments in Science Studies.Petri Ylikoski - 2003 - Philosophica 72:1-25.
    In this paper I examine the role of thought experiments in the social studies of science. More specifically, I will focus on two strands of social studies of science: the so-called sociology of scientific knowledge and the naturalistically oriented philosophy of science with interest in social dimensions of science. I begin by discussing David Hull's views on thought experiments in the study of science. His account serves as a foil that helps me to make some points about thought experiments. As (...)
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  • When Unveiling the Epistemic Fallacy Ends with Committing the Ontological Fallacy. On the Contribution of Critical Realism to the Social Scientific Explanatory Practice.Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2003 - Philosophica 71.
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  • Remote Causes, Bad Explanations?Jeroen van Bouwel & Erik Weber - 2002 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 32 (4):437–449.
  • The Third Dogma Revisited.Petri Ylikoski - 2005 - Foundations of Science 10 (4):395–419.
    This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is independent of (...)
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  • Imagination's Grip on Science.Tim Mey - 2006 - Metaphilosophy 37 (2):222-239.
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