This paper analyses and explicates the explanatory characteristics of Schelling's checkerboard model of segregation. It argues that the explanation of emergence of segregation which is based on the checkerboard model is a partial potential (theoretical) explanation. Yet it is also argued that despite its partiality, the checkerboard model is valuable because it improves our chances to provide better explanations of particular exemplifications of residential segregation. The paper establishes this argument by way of examining the several ways in which the checkerboard (...) model has been explored in the literature. The examination of the checkerboard model also supports the view that the relation between the real world and models is complex, and models should be considered as mediators, or as instruments of investigation. (shrink)
This paper discusses the epistemic import of highly abstract and simplified theoretical models using Thomas Schelling’s checkerboard model as an example. We argue that the epistemic contribution of theoretical models can be better understood in the context of a cluster of models relevant to the explanatory task at hand. The central claim of the paper is that theoretical models make better sense in the context of a menu of possible explanations. In order to justify this claim, we introduce a distinction (...) between causal scenarios and causal mechanism schemes. These conceptual tools help us to articulate the basis for modelers’ intuitive confidence that their models make an important epistemic contribution. By focusing on the role of the menu of possible explanations in the evaluation of explanatory hypotheses, it is possible to understand how a causal mechanism scheme can improve our explanatory understanding even in cases where it does not describe the actual cause of a particular phenomenon. (shrink)
Introduction -- Unintended consequences -- The origin of money -- Segregation -- The invisible hand -- The origin of money reconsidered -- Models and representation -- Game theory and conventions -- Conclusion.
Gul and Pesendorfer (2008) argue that neuroeconomics is evidentially and explanatorily irrelevant to economics, because neuroeconomics and economics ask different questions and utilize different abstractions. They suggest neuroeconomics is only relevant as a source of inspiration for economists. The present paper accepts their basic premise and asks whether the fact that neuroeconomics and economics ask different questions implies that neuroeconomics is irrelevant. The paper argues that Gul and Pesendorfer overlook some important respects in which neuroeconomics is relevant for economics. First, (...) neuroeconomics can improve singular explanations in economics. Second, and more importantly, it improves our understanding of economic phenomena. And finally, it helps us assess the plausibility of our conjectures concerning economic phenomena. It may be true that neuroeconomics will not revolutionize economics (at least in the short run), but it is more than a source of inspiration. (shrink)
The image of economics got somewhat puzzling after the crisis of 2008. Many economists now doubt that economics is able to provide answers to some of its core questions. The crisis was not so fun for economics. However, this not so fun image of economics is not the only image in the eyes of the general public. When one looks at economics-made-fun (EMF) books (e.g. Freakonomics, The Undercover Economist, etc.), economics seems to be an explanatory science which is able to (...) provide interesting, unconventional, entertaining and enlightening explanations for almost every aspect of our lives. Isn't there a great contradiction between these two images of economics? Not necessarily. The present paper explicates why. Nevertheless, the paper also shows that EMF books run the risk of creating a false sense of understanding and explains how one should read the basic insights provided by EMF books to remove this risk. The paper contrasts the EMF version of the explanation of the effects of mandatory seat belt laws with actual research concerning the subject to illustrate its arguments. (shrink)
N. EmrahAydinonat's account of the invisible-hand is analysed. One of the conditions for unintended social consequences is it requires that individuals' intentions are exclusively directed at the individual level. This condition is weakened in order to accommodate cases in which individuals may also aim at consequences at the social level but the model clearly depicts the invisible hand. Lehtinen's model of counterbalancing strategic votes is proposed as an example that satisfies Aydinonat's conditions, if they are modified (...) as suggested. (shrink)
Considerable methodological difficulties abound in neuroimaging, and several philosophers of science have recently called into question the potential of neuroimaging studies to contribute to our knowledge of human cognition. These skeptical accounts suggest that functional hypotheses are underdetermined by neuroimaging data. I apply Mayo’s error-statistical account to clarify the evidential import of neuroimaging data and the kinds of inferences it can reliably support. Thus, we can answer the question “What can we reliably learn from neuroimaging?” and make sense of how (...) this knowledge can contribute to novel construals of cognition. (shrink)
The purpose of this study is to examine the statements of Ibn al-ʿArabî regarding religions and beliefs through the perspectives of William Chittick and Reza Shah-Kazemi comparatively. Even though his expressions are occasionally elaborated in the light of the theory of the religious pluralism based on Western-Christian thought, by considering the universal message of the Qur’ān Chittick and Shah-Kazemi identify these expressions with “universalism.” This universalist approach bases on the distinction between “ontological will” and “religious will,” and “submission” which is (...) the substance of the term “islam.” While Chittick and Shah-Kazemi agree on issues mostly, it is possible to see that in some sense they differ from each other in their departure points and results. From this perspective, it is going to be seen that Ibn al-ʿArabî’s expressions encompass both the divine religions and other religions which do not have a revelation. To examine Ibn al-ʿArabî’s expressions by taking into account the propositions of the religious pluralism will be helpful to comprehend his outlook on the Qur’ān and the Prophet Muhammad. (shrink)
This is a work in the epistemology of functional neuroimaging (fNI) and it applies the error-statistical (ES) philosophy to inferential problems in fNI to formulate and address these problems. This gives us a clear, accurate, and more complete understanding of what we can learn from fNI and how we can learn it. I review the works in the epistemology of fNI which I group into two categories; the first category consists of discussions of the theoretical significance of fNI findings and (...) the second category discusses methodological difficulties of fNI. Both types of works have shortcomings; the first category has been too theory-centered in its approach and the second category has implicitly or explicitly adopted the assumption that methodological difficulties of fNI cannot be satisfactorily addressed. In this dissertation, I address these shortcomings and show how and what kind of experimental knowledge fNI can reliably produce which would be theoretically significant. I take fMRI as a representative fNI procedure and discuss the history of its development. Two independent trajectories of research in physics and physiology eventually converge to give rise to fMRI. Thus, fMRI findings are laden in the theories of physics and physiology and I propose how this creates a kind of useful theory-ladenness which allows for the representation of and intervention in the constructs of cognitive neuroscience. Duhemian challenges and problems of underdetermination are often raised to argue that fNI is of little, if any, epistemic value for psychology. I show how the ES notions of severe tests and error probabilities can be applied in epistemological analyses of fMRI. The result is that hemodynamic hypotheses can be severely tested in fMRI experiments and I demonstrate how these hypotheses are theoretically significant and fuel the growth of experimental knowledge in cognitive neuroscience. Throughout this dissertation, I put the emphasis on the experimental knowledge we obtain from fNI and argue that this is the fruitful approach that enables us to see how fNI can contribute to psychology. In doing so, I offer an error-statistical epistemology of fNI, which hopefully will be a significant contribution to the philosophy of psychology. (shrink)
More’s Utopia has been translated a number of times into Turkish and continues to be translated as a classical, significant text. It is taught academically in disciplines such as political science, philosophy, history, sociology, and literature as part of the curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate university levels. In addition to responding to academic demand, different publishing houses continue publishing the novel in the interest of the general reader. Most of the translations are based on English editions such as Ralph (...) Robinson’s translation, Gilbert Burnet’s translation, Paul Turner’s translation, and the Everyman’s Library version. The Turkish translations... (shrink)
Duhem’s problem arises especially in scientific contexts where the tools and procedures of measurement and analysis are numerous and complex. Several philosophers of cognitive science have cited its manifestations in fMRI as grounds for skepticism regarding the epistemic value of neuroimaging. To address these Duhemian arguments for skepticism, I offer an alternative approach based on Deborah Mayo’s error-statistical account in which Duhem's problem is more fruitfully approached in terms of error probabilities. This is illustrated in examples such as the use (...) of probabilistic brain atlases, comparison of different preprocessing protocols with respect to their error characteristics, and statistical modeling of fMRI data. These examples demonstrate the ways in which we can better understand and formulate the general methodological problem and direct the way toward alternative approaches to neuroimaging in philosophy of cognitive science, in which we can be more balanced and productive in our scrutiny of the epistemic value of neuroimaging studies. (shrink)
Ruchkin et al. use brain-activity data from healthy subjects to assess the physiological validity of a cognitive working memory model and to propose modifications. The conclusions drawn from this data are interesting and plausible, but they have limitations. Much of what is known about the neural mechanisms of working memory comes from single neuron recordings in animals, and it is currently not fully understood how these translate to scalp recordings of EEG.