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  1.  8
    Universality and RG Explanations.Robert W. Batterman - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):26-47.
    In its broadest sense, "universality" is a technical term for something quite ordinary. It refers to the existence of patterns of behavior by physical systems that recur and repeat despite the fact that in some sense the situations in which these patterns recur and repeat are different. Rainbows, for example, always exhibit the same pattern of spacings and intensities of their bows despite the fact that the rain showers are different on each occasion. They are different because the shapes of (...)
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  2.  4
    Shades of Grey: Granularity, Pragmatics, and Non-Causal Explanation.Hugh Desmond - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):68-87.
    Two obstacles seem to preclude any agreement on how causal explanations should be delimited from non-causal explanations. The first concerns the very definition of causal explanation, which determines how the boundary between causal and non-causal explanation is drawn. Even though most adhere to a relatively narrow definition of causal explanation and thus allow for non-causal explanations, it remains possible to adopt a very wide definition of causal explanation and thus to argue that all purported examples of non-causal scientific explanation are (...)
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  3.  4
    The Multifaceted Legacy of the Human Genome Program for Evolutionary Biology: An Epistemological Perspective.Philippe Huneman - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):117-152.
    Evolutionary biology, in the sense of the Modern Synthesis, which in the 1930s and 1940s articulated Darwinian natural selection and Mendelian genetics around population and quantitative genetics, is currently undergoing a set of theoretical challenges based on various empirical and conceptual advances. Some authors propose an "Extended Synthesis," which should integrate novel processes and modeling styles within our approach to evolution and adaptation; other authors argue that the new empirical advances in evolutionary biology, such as the acknowledgment of the role (...)
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  4.  12
    Unifying the Debates: Mathematical and Non-Causal Explanations.Daniel Kostić - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):1-6.
    In the last couple of years a few seemingly independent debates on scientific explanation have emerged, with several key questions that take different forms in different areas. For example, the questions what makes an explanation distinctly mathematical and are there any non-causal explanations in sciences sometimes take a form of the question what makes mathematical models explanatory, especially whether highly idealized models in science can be explanatory and in virtue of what they are explanatory. These questions raise further issues about (...)
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  5.  21
    Are There Both Causal and Non-Causal Explanations of a Rocket's Acceleration?Marc Lange - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):7-25.
    Consider a rocket consisting primarily of a chamber filled with gas that can serve as fuel, a mechanism for igniting the gas, and a valve on the left side of the chamber. Suppose that the rocket is initially at rest and then the gas is ignited. The rocket remains at rest with the high-pressure gas inside until the valve is opened. When that happens, gas escapes to the left as exhaust while the rocket accelerates to the right.A typical textbook explanation (...)
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  6.  1
    Multilevel Ensemble Explanations: A Case From Theoretical Biology.Luca Rivelli - 2019 - Perspectives on Science 27 (1):88-116.
    In this paper I will reconstruct and analyze a famous argument by Stuart Kauffman about complex systems and evolution, in order to highlight the use in theoretical biology of a kind of non-mechanistic and non-causal explanation which I propose to call, following Kauffman, ensemble explanation. The aim is to contribute to the ongoing philosophical debate about non-causal explanations in the special sciences, kinds of explanation apparently extraneous to the received causal-mechanistic view. Ensemble explanations resemble quite closely the explanations of the (...)
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