Noûs:858-873 (2018)

Authors
Robert W. Batterman
University of Pittsburgh
Abstract
This paper aims to draw attention to an explanatory problem posed by the existence of multiply realized or universal behavior exhibited by certain physical systems. The problem is to explain how it is possible that systems radically distinct at lower-scales can nevertheless exhibit identical or nearly identical behavior at upper-scales. Theoretically this is reflected by the fact that continuum theories such as fluid mechanics are spectacularly successful at predicting, describing, and explaining fluid behaviors despite the fact that they do not recognize the discrete nature of fluids. A standard attempt to reduce one theory to another, is shown to fail to answer the appropriate question about autonomy.
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Reprint years 2018
DOI 10.1111/nous.12191
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References found in this work BETA

Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
Mind, Language and Reality.[author unknown] - 1975 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 39 (2):361-362.
Special Sciences.Jerry A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
The Multiple Realizability Argument Against Reductionism.Elliott Sober - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (4):542-564.

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Citations of this work BETA

Universality Caused: The Case of Renormalization Group Explanation.Emily Sullivan - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):36.
Infinite Idealizations in Physics.Elay Shech - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (9):e12514.
Should Explanations Omit the Details?Darren Bradley - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):827-853.

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