Mixed-Effects Modeling and Nonreductive Explanation

Philosophy of Science 86 (5):882-894 ()
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This essay considers a mixed-effects modeling practice and its implications for the philosophical debate surrounding reductive explanation. Mixed-effects modeling is a species of the multilevel modeling practice, where a single model incorporates simultaneously two levels of explanatory variables to explain a phenomenon of interest. I argue that this practice makes the position of explanatory reductionism held by many philosophers untenable because it violates two central tenets of explanatory reductionism: single-level preference and lower-level obsession.



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