Philosophy Compass 6 (8):539-551 (2011)

Authors
Tania Lombrozo
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
Scientific and ‘intuitive’ or ‘folk’ theories are typically characterized as serving three critical functions: prediction, explanation, and control. While prediction and control have clear instrumental value, the value of explanation is less transparent. This paper reviews an emerging body of research from the cognitive sciences suggesting that the process of seeking, generating, and evaluating explanations in fact contributes to future prediction and control, albeit indirectly by facilitating the discovery and confirmation of instrumentally valuable theories. Theoretical and empirical considerations also suggest why explanations may nonetheless feel intrinsically valuable. The paper concludes by considering some implications of the psychology of explanation for a naturalized philosophy of explanation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00413.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,700
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford University Press.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1993 - Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Experiential Explanation.Sara Aronowitz & Tania Lombrozo - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1321-1336.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Instrumental Values – Strong and Weak.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):23 - 43.
On the Non-Instrumental Value of Basic Rights.Rowan Cruft - 2010 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (4):441-461.
Instrumental Values €“ Strong and Weak.Toni Rønnow-Rasmussen - 2002 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 5 (1):23-43.
Can Instrumental Value Be Intrinsic?Dale Dorsey - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (2):137-157.
Defending Instrumental Reason.Joe Mintoff - 1998 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 36 (3):393-415.
Instrumental Rationality.Ralph Wedgwood - 2011 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 6:280-309.
Winch and Instrumental Pluralism.Berel Dov Lerner - 1995 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 25 (2):180-191.
The Varieties of Instrumental Rationality.Stephen Ellis - 2008 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 46 (2):199-220.
Non‐Committal Causal Explanations.David Pineda - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-08-09

Total views
102 ( #101,356 of 2,432,305 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #138,405 of 2,432,305 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes