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Carl F. Craver [48]Carl Frederick Craver [1]
  1. Explaining the brain: mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - New York : Oxford University Press,: Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.
    Carl Craver investigates what we are doing when we sue neuroscience to explain what's going on in the brain.
  2. Thinking about mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
    The concept of mechanism is analyzed in terms of entities and activities, organized such that they are productive of regular changes. Examples show how mechanisms work in neurobiology and molecular biology. Thinking in terms of mechanisms provides a new framework for addressing many traditional philosophical issues: causality, laws, explanation, reduction, and scientific change.
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  3.  48
    Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Carl F. Craver investigates what we are doing when we use neuroscience to explain what's going on in the brain. When does an explanation succeed and when does it fail? Craver offers explicit standards for successful explanation of the workings of the brain, on the basis of a systematic view about what neuroscientific explanations are.
  4.  26
    In search of mechanisms: discoveries across the life sciences.Carl F. Craver - 2013 - London: University of Chicago Press. Edited by Lindley Darden.
    With In Search of Mechanisms, Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden offer both a descriptive and an instructional account of how biologists discover mechanisms. Drawing on examples from across the life sciences and through the centuries, Craver and Darden compile an impressive toolbox of strategies that biologists have used and will use again to reveal the mechanisms that produce, underlie, or maintain the phenomena characteristic of living things. They discuss the questions that figure in the search for mechanisms, characterizing the (...)
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  5. Are More Details Better? On the Norms of Completeness for Mechanistic Explanations.Carl F. Craver & David M. Kaplan - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):287-319.
    Completeness is an important but misunderstood norm of explanation. It has recently been argued that mechanistic accounts of scientific explanation are committed to the thesis that models are complete only if they describe everything about a mechanism and, as a corollary, that incomplete models are always improved by adding more details. If so, mechanistic accounts are at odds with the obvious and important role of abstraction in scientific modelling. We respond to this characterization of the mechanist’s views about abstraction and (...)
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  6. The Explanatory Force of Dynamical and Mathematical Models in Neuroscience: A Mechanistic Perspective.David Michael Kaplan & Carl F. Craver - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):601-627.
    We argue that dynamical and mathematical models in systems and cognitive neuro- science explain (rather than redescribe) a phenomenon only if there is a plausible mapping between elements in the model and elements in the mechanism for the phe- nomenon. We demonstrate how this model-to-mechanism-mapping constraint, when satisfied, endows a model with explanatory force with respect to the phenomenon to be explained. Several paradigmatic models including the Haken-Kelso-Bunz model of bimanual coordination and the difference-of-Gaussians model of visual receptive fields are (...)
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  7. When mechanistic models explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
    Not all models are explanatory. Some models are data summaries. Some models sketch explanations but leave crucial details unspecified or hidden behind filler terms. Some models are used to conjecture a how-possibly explanation without regard to whether it is a how-actually explanation. I use the Hodgkin and Huxley model of the action potential to illustrate these ways that models can be useful without explaining. I then use the subsequent development of the explanation of the action potential to show what is (...)
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  8. Top-down causation without top-down causes.Carl F. Craver & William Bechtel - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.
    We argue that intelligible appeals to interlevel causes (top-down and bottom-up) can be understood, without remainder, as appeals to mechanistically mediated effects. Mechanistically mediated effects are hybrids of causal and constitutive relations, where the causal relations are exclusively intralevel. The idea of causation would have to stretch to the breaking point to accommodate interlevel causes. The notion of a mechanistically mediated effect is preferable because it can do all of the required work without appealing to mysterious interlevel causes. When interlevel (...)
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  9. The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special science: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 27-52.
    According to one large family of views, scientific explanations explain a phenomenon (such as an event or a regularity) by subsuming it under a general representation, model, prototype, or schema (see Bechtel, W., & Abrahamsen, A. (2005). Explanation: A mechanist alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36(2), 421–441; Churchland, P. M. (1989). A neurocomputational perspective: The nature of mind and the structure of science. Cambridge: MIT Press; Darden (2006); Hempel, C. G. (1965). Aspects of scientific (...)
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  10. Role functions, mechanisms, and hierarchy.Carl F. Craver - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):53-74.
    Many areas of science develop by discovering mechanisms and role functions. Cummins' (1975) analysis of role functions-according to which an item's role function is a capacity of that item that appears in an analytic explanation of the capacity of some containing system-captures one important sense of "function" in the biological sciences and elsewhere. Here I synthesize Cummins' account with recent work on mechanisms and causal/mechanical explanation. The synthesis produces an analysis of specifically mechanistic role functions, one that uses the characteristic (...)
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  11. Constitutive relevance & mutual manipulability revisited.Carl F. Craver, Stuart Glennan & Mark Povich - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8807-8828.
    An adequate understanding of the ubiquitous practice of mechanistic explanation requires an account of what Craver termed “constitutive relevance.” Entities or activities are constitutively relevant to a phenomenon when they are parts of the mechanism responsible for that phenomenon. Craver’s mutual manipulability account extended Woodward’s account of manipulationist counterfactuals to analyze how interlevel experiments establish constitutive relevance. Critics of MM argue that applying Woodward’s account to this philosophical problem conflates causation and constitution, thus rendering the account incoherent. These criticisms, we (...)
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  12. Mechanisms and natural kinds.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):575-594.
    It is common to defend the Homeostatic Property Cluster ( HPC ) view as a third way between conventionalism and essentialism about natural kinds ( Boyd , 1989, 1991, 1997, 1999; Griffiths , 1997, 1999; Keil , 2003; Kornblith , 1993; Wilson , 1999, 2005; Wilson , Barker , & Brigandt , forthcoming ). According to the HPC view, property clusters are not merely conventionally clustered together; the co-occurrence of properties in the cluster is sustained by a similarity generating ( (...)
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  13. The directionality of distinctively mathematical explanations.Carl F. Craver & Mark Povich - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:31-38.
    In “What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?” (2013b), Lange uses several compelling examples to argue that certain explanations for natural phenomena appeal primarily to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In such explanations, the core explanatory facts are modally stronger than facts about causation, regularity, and other natural relations. We show that Lange's account of distinctively mathematical explanation is flawed in that it fails to account for the implicit directionality in each of his examples. This inadequacy is remediable in each (...)
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  14. Functions and mechanisms: a perspectivalist view.Carl F. Craver - 2013 - In Philippe Huneman (ed.), Functions: selection and mechanisms. Springer. pp. 133--158.
  15. Remembering: Epistemic and Empirical.Carl F. Craver - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (2):261-281.
    The construct “remembering” is equivocal between an epistemic sense, denoting a distinctive ground for knowledge, and empirical sense, denoting the typical behavior of a neurocognitive mechanism. Because the same kind of equivocation arises for other psychologistic terms (such as believe, decide, know, judge, decide, infer and reason), the effort to spot and remedy the confusion in the case of remembering might prove generally instructive. The failure to allow these two senses of remembering equal play in their respective domains leads, I (...)
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  16.  71
    Cognitive ontology and the search for neural mechanisms: three foundational problems.Jolien C. Francken, Marc Slors & Carl F. Craver - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-22.
    The central task of cognitive neuroscience to map cognitive capacities to neural mechanisms faces three interlocking conceptual problems that together frame the problem of cognitive ontology. First, they must establish which tasks elicit which cognitive capacities, and specifically when different tasks elicit the same capacity. To address this operationalization problem, scientists often assess whether the tasks engage the same neural mechanisms. But to determine whether mechanisms are of the same or different kinds, we need to solve the abstraction problem by (...)
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  17. The Explanatory Power of Network Models.Carl F. Craver - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):698-709.
    Network analysis is increasingly used to discover and represent the organization of complex systems. Focusing on examples from neuroscience in particular, I argue that whether network models explain, how they explain, and how much they explain cannot be answered for network models generally but must be answered by specifying an explanandum, by addressing how the model is applied to the system, and by specifying which kinds of relations count as explanatory.
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  18. Discovering mechanisms in neurobiology: The case of spatial memory.Carl F. Craver & Lindley Darden - 2001 - In Peter McLaughlin, Peter Machamer & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. Pittsburgh University Press. pp. 112--137.
  19. Interlevel experiments and multilevel mechanisms in the neuroscience of memory.Carl F. Craver - 2002 - Philosophy of Science Supplemental Volume 69 (3):S83-S97.
    The dominant neuroscientific theory of spatial memory is, like many theories in neuroscience, a multilevel description of a mechanism. The theory links the activities of molecules, cells, brain regions, and whole organisms into an integrated sketch of an explanation for the ability of organisms to navigate novel environments. Here I develop a taxonomy of interlevel experimental strategies for integrating the levels in such multilevel mechanisms. These experimental strategies include activation strategies, interference strategies, and additive strategies. These strategies are mutually reinforcing, (...)
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  20. Beyond reduction: mechanisms, multifield integration and the unity of neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):373-395.
    Philosophers of neuroscience have traditionally described interfield integration using reduction models. Such models describe formal inferential relations between theories at different levels. I argue against reduction and for a mechanistic model of interfield integration. According to the mechanistic model, different fields integrate their research by adding constraints on a multilevel description of a mechanism. Mechanistic integration may occur at a given level or in the effort to build a theory that oscillates among several levels. I develop this alternative model using (...)
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  21. Mechanistic Levels, Reduction, and Emergence.Mark Povich & Carl F. Craver - 2017 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 185-97.
    We sketch the mechanistic approach to levels, contrast it with other senses of “level,” and explore some of its metaphysical implications. This perspective allows us to articulate what it means for things to be at different levels, to distinguish mechanistic levels from realization relations, and to describe the structure of multilevel explanations, the evidence by which they are evaluated, and the scientific unity that results from them. This approach is not intended to solve all metaphysical problems surrounding physicalism. Yet it (...)
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  22.  46
    Interlevel Experiments and Multilevel Mechanisms in the Neuroscience of Memory.Carl F. Craver - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S83-S97.
    The dominant neuroscientific theory of spatial memory is, like many theories in neuroscience, a multilevel description of a mechanism. The theory links the activities of molecules, cells, brain regions, and whole organisms into an integrated sketch of an explanation for the ability of organisms to navigate novel environments. Here I develop a taxonomy of interlevel experimental strategies for integrating the levels in such multilevel mechanisms. These experimental strategies include activation strategies, interference strategies, and additive strategies. These strategies are mutually reinforcing, (...)
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  23. Physical law and mechanistic explanation in the Hodgkin and Huxley model of the action potential.Carl F. Craver - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (5):1022-1033.
    Hodgkin and Huxley’s model of the action potential is an apparent dream case of covering‐law explanation in biology. The model includes laws of physics and chemistry that, coupled with details about antecedent and background conditions, can be used to derive features of the action potential. Hodgkin and Huxley insist that their model is not an explanation. This suggests either that subsuming a phenomenon under physical laws is insufficient to explain it or that Hodgkin and Huxley were wrong. I defend Hodgkin (...)
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  24. Towards a Mechanistic Philosophy of Neuroscience.Carl F. Craver & David M. Kaplan - 2011 - In Steven French & Juha Saatsi (eds.), Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Science. Continuum. pp. 268.
  25.  14
    Structures of Scientific Theories.Carl F. Craver - 2002 - In Peter K. Machamer & Michael Silberstein (eds.), The Blackwell guide to the philosophy of science. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell. pp. 55–79.
    This chapter contains sections titled: Introduction The Once Received View (ORV) Criticisms of the ORV The “Model Model” of Scientific Theories Mechanisms: Investigating Nonformal Patterns in Scientific Theories Conclusion.
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  26.  43
    No revolution necessary: Neural mechanisms for economics.Carl F. Craver - 2008 - Economics and Philosophy 24 (3):381-406.
    We argue that neuroeconomics should be a mechanistic science. We defend this view as preferable both to a revolutionary perspective, according to which classical economics is eliminated in favour of neuroeconomics, and to a classical economic perspective, according to which economics is insulated from facts about psychology and neuroscience. We argue that, like other mechanistic sciences, neuroeconomics will earn its keep to the extent that it either reconfigures how economists think about decision-making or how neuroscientists think about brain mechanisms underlying (...)
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  27. The making of a memory mechanism.Carl F. Craver - 2003 - Journal of the History of Biology 36 (1):153-95.
    Long-Term Potentiation (LTP) is a kind of synaptic plasticity that many contemporary neuroscientists believe is a component in mechanisms of memory. This essay describes the discovery of LTP and the development of the LTP research program. The story begins in the 1950's with the discovery of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus (a medial temporal lobe structure now associated with memory), and it ends in 1973 with the publication of three papers sketching the future course of the LTP research program. The (...)
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  28.  86
    Experimental Artefacts.Carl F. Craver & Talia Dan-Cohen - 2024 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 75 (1):253-274.
    A core, constitutive norm of science is to remove or remedy the artefacts in one’s data. Here, we consider examples of artefacts from many fields of science (for example, astronomy, economics, electrophysiology, psychology, and systems neuroscience) and discuss their contribution to a more general evidential selection problem at the heart of the epistemology of evidence. Synthesizing and building on previously disparate discussions in many areas of the philosophy of science, we provide a novel, causal–pragmatic account that fits the examples and (...)
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  29. Realization.Carl F. Craver & Robert A. Wilson - 2006 - In Paul Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
    For the greater part of the last 50 years, it has been common for philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists to invoke the notion of realization in discussing the relationship between the mind and the brain. In traditional philosophy of mind, mental states are said to be realized, instantiated, or implemented in brain states. Artificial intelligence is sometimes described as the attempt either to model or to actually construct systems that realize some of the same psychological abilities that we and (...)
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  30.  63
    Idealization and the Ontic Conception: A Reply to Bokulich.Carl F. Craver - 2019 - The Monist 102 (4):525-530.
    In a recent issue of The Monist, Alisa Bokulich argues that those who embrace an ontic conception of scientific explanation are committed to rejecting an explanatory role for idealized, i.e., deliberately false, models. Her argument is based on an inaccurate characterization of the ontic view. Indeed, her positive view of idealization embraces rather than opposes the ontic conception. Because Bokulich is not alone in this misunderstanding, an effort to diagnose and correct it might prevent scholars from talking past one another (...)
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  31.  96
    Dissociable realization and kind splitting.Carl F. Craver - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):960-971.
    It is a common assumption in contemporary cognitive neuroscience that discovering a putative realized kind to be dissociably realized (i.e., to be realized in each instance by two or more distinct realizers) mandates splitting that kind. Here I explore some limits on this inference using two deceptively similar examples: the dissociation of declarative and procedural memory and Ramachandran's argument that the self is an illusion.
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  32.  20
    Gloomy Prospects and Roller Coasters: Finding Coherence in Genome-Wide Association Studies.Carl F. Craver, Mikhail Dozmorov, Mark Reimers & Kenneth S. Kendler - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):1084-1095.
    We address Turkheimer’s argument that genome-wide association studies of behaviors and psychiatric traits will fail to produce coherent explanations. We distinguish two major sources of potential i...
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  33.  19
    Introduction.Carl F. Craver & Lindley Darden - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):233-244.
  34.  50
    Dissociations in future thinking following hippocampal damage: Evidence from discounting and time perspective in episodic amnesia.Donna Kwan, Carl F. Craver, Leonard Green, Joel Myerson & R. Shayna Rosenbaum - 2013 - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 142 (4):1355.
  35.  72
    Prosthetic Models.Carl F. Craver - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (5):840-851.
    What are the relative epistemic merits of building prosthetic models versus building nonprosthetic models and simulations? I argue that prosthetic models provide a sufficient test of affordance validity, that is, of whether the target system affords mechanisms that can be commandeered by a prosthesis. In other respects, prosthetic models are epistemically on par with nonprosthetic models. I focus on prosthetics in neuroscience, but the results are general. The goal of understanding how brain mechanisms work under ecologically and physiologically relevant conditions (...)
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  36.  22
    Biological clocks: explaining with models of mechanisms.Sarah K. Robins & Carl F. Craver - 2009 - In John Bickle (ed.), The Oxford handbook of philosophy and neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 41--67.
  37.  27
    Is it time? Episodic imagining and the discounting of delayed and probabilistic rewards in young and older adults.Jenkin N. Y. Mok, Donna Kwan, Leonard Green, Joel Myerson, Carl F. Craver & R. Shayna Rosenbaum - 2020 - Cognition 199 (C):104222.
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  38. Phenomenological Laws and Mechanistic Explanations.Gabriel Siegel & Carl F. Craver - 2024 - Philosophy of Science 91 (1):132-150.
    In light of recent criticisms by Woodward (2017) and Rescorla (2018), we examine the relationship between mechanistic explanation and phenomenological laws. We disambiguate several uses of the phrase “phenomenological law” and show how a mechanistic theory of explanation sorts them into those that are and are not explanatory. We also distinguish the problem of phenomenological laws from arguments about the explanatory power of purely phenomenal models, showing that Woodward and Rescorla conflate these problems. Finally, we argue that the temptation to (...)
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  39.  43
    A registration problem for functional fingerprinting.David M. Kaplan & Carl F. Craver - 2016 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 39.
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  40. No Nonsense Neuro-law.Sarah K. Robins & Carl F. Craver - 2010 - Neuroethics 4 (3):195-203.
    In Minds, Brains, and Norms , Pardo and Patterson deny that the activities of persons (knowledge, rule-following, interpretation) can be understood exclusively in terms of the brain, and thus conclude that neuroscience is irrelevant to the law, and to the conceptual and philosophical questions that arise in legal contexts. On their view, such appeals to neuroscience are an exercise in nonsense. We agree that understanding persons requires more than understanding brains, but we deny their pessimistic conclusion. Whether neuroscience can be (...)
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  41. Philosophy and the Life Sciences: A Reader.Robert A. Skipper, Collin Allen, Rachel Ankeny, Carl F. Craver, Lindley Darden, Gregory Mikkelson & Robert C. Richardson (eds.) - forthcoming - MIT Press.
  42. Explaining top-down causation (away).Carl F. Craver & William P. Bechtel - 2005
  43. Functions and mechanisms in contemporary neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2005 - In Pierre Poirier, Luc Faucher, Eric Racine & E. Ennan (eds.), Des Neurones A La Conscience: Neurophilosophie Et Philosophie Des Neurosciences. Bruxelles: De Boeck Universite.
  44.  45
    Correction to: Constitutive relevance & mutual manipulability revisited.Carl F. Craver, Stuart Glennan & Mark Povich - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3):8829-8829.
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  45. Neuroscience Experiment: Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives.John Bickle, Carl F. Craver & Ann Sophie Barwich (eds.) - forthcoming
     
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  46. Because without Cause: Non-Causal Explanations in Science and Mathematics. [REVIEW]Mark Povich & Carl F. Craver - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):422-426.
    Lange’s collection of expanded, mostly previously published essays, packed with numerous, beautiful examples of putatively non-causal explanations from biology, physics, and mathematics, challenges the increasingly ossified causal consensus about scientific explanation, and, in so doing, launches a new field of philosophic investigation. However, those who embraced causal monism about explanation have done so because appeal to causal factors sorts good from bad scientific explanations and because the explanatory force of good explanations seems to derive from revealing the relevant causal (or (...)
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  47.  13
    Stuart Glennan's The New Mechanical Philosophy. [REVIEW]Carl F. Craver - 2018 - BJPS Review of Books.
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  48.  44
    An elusive target: A critical review of Clark Glymour's the mind's arrows. [REVIEW]Brandon N. Towl, Jonathan Halvorson & Carl F. Craver - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):157 – 164.
    The mind's arrows , by Clark Glymour, combines several of the author's previous essays on causal inference. Glymour deploys causal Bayes nets (CBNs) to provide a descriptive psychological model of human causal inference and a prescriptive model for making inferences in cognitive neuropsychology and the social sciences. Though The mind's arrows is highly original and provocative, its labyrinthine organization and technical style render it inaccessible to the uninitiated. Here we attempt to distill, package and dress some of Glymour's more interesting (...)
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