Results for 'Explanation'

1000+ found
Order:
  1.  28
    Reductive Explanation in the Biological Sciences.Marie I. Kaiser - 2015 - Cham: Springer.
    Back cover: This book develops a philosophical account that reveals the major characteristics that make an explanation in the life sciences reductive and distinguish them from non-reductive explanations. Understanding what reductive explanations are enables one to assess the conditions under which reductive explanations are adequate and thus enhances debates about explanatory reductionism. The account of reductive explanation presented in this book has three major characteristics. First, it emerges from a critical reconstruction of the explanatory practice of the life (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   27 citations  
  2. Psychological Explanation: An Introduction To The Philosophy Of Psychology.Jerry A. Fodor - 1968 - Ny: Random House.
  3. Decoupling Topological Explanations From Mechanisms.Daniel Kostic & Kareem Khalifa - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-39.
    We provide three innovations to recent debates about whether topological or “network” explanations are a species of mechanistic explanation. First, we more precisely characterize the requirement that all topological explanations are mechanistic explanations and show scientific practice to belie such a requirement. Second, we provide an account that unifies mechanistic and non-mechanistic topological explanations, thereby enriching both the mechanist and autonomist programs by highlighting when and where topological explanations are mechanistic. Third, we defend this view against some powerful mechanist (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  4.  14
    Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
    How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses, and making inferences? According to the model of _Inference to the Best Explanation_, we work out what to infer from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In _Inference to the Best Explanation_, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the development and assessment it deserves. The (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   356 citations  
  5.  37
    Explanation Beyond Causation: Philosophical Perspectives on Non-Causal Explanations.Alexander Reutlinger & Juha Saatsi (eds.) - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    Explanations are very important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the phenomenon to be explained. Such causal accounts have been the received view of the nature of explanation, particularly in philosophy of science, since (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   24 citations  
  6. Explaining Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben - 1990 - Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
    This book introduces readers to the topic of explanation. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are examined, and are used to argue against the view that explanation is merely a problem for the philosophy of science. Having established its importance for understanding knowledge in general, the book concludes with a bold and original explanation of explanation.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   59 citations  
  7.  51
    Mechanistic Explanation in Physics.Laura Felline - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion for Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    The idea at the core of the New Mechanical account of explanation can be summarized in the claim that explaining means showing ‘how things work’. This simple motto hints at three basic features of Mechanistic Explanation (ME): ME is an explanation-how, that implies the description of the processes underlying the phenomenon to be explained and of the entities that engage in such processes. These three elements trace a fundamental contrast with the view inherited from Hume and later (...)
    Direct download  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  8.  69
    Self-Explanation and Empty-Base Explanation.Yannic Kappes - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-18.
    This paper explores a novel notion of self-explanation which combines ideas from two sources: (1) the tripartite account of explanation, according to which a proposition can help explain another either in the capacity of a reason why the latter obtains or in the capacity of an explanatory link, and (2) the notion of an empty-base explanation (sometimes called 'null-explanation'), which generalizes the ideas of explanation by zero-grounding and explanation by status. After having introduced these (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9. Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability.Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK.
    How far should our realism extend? For many years philosophers of mathematics and philosophers of ethics have worked independently to address the question of how best to understand the entities apparently referred to by mathematical and ethical talk. But the similarities between their endeavours are not often emphasised. This book provides that emphasis. In particular, it focuses on two types of argumentative strategies that have been deployed in both areas. The first—debunking arguments—aims to put pressure on realism by emphasising the (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   9 citations  
  10. The Nature of Explanation.Peter Achinstein - 1983 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Offering a new approach to scientific explanation, this book focuses initially on the explaining act itself.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   210 citations  
  11. Cognition and Explanation.Herbert A. Simon, Discovering Explanations, Clark Glymour, Andy Clark, Twisted Tales, Alison Gopnik & Explanation as Orgasm - 1998 - Cognition 8 (1).
    No categories
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  12.  13
    Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben (ed.) - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
    The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editor of each volume contributes an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. This volume presents a selection of the most important (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  13. Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Wesley C. Salmon - 1984 - Princeton University Press.
    The philosophical theory of scientific explanation proposed here involves a radically new treatment of causality that accords with the pervasively statistical character of contemporary science. Wesley C. Salmon describes three fundamental conceptions of scientific explanation--the epistemic, modal, and ontic. He argues that the prevailing view is untenable and that the modal conception is scientifically out-dated. Significantly revising aspects of his earlier work, he defends a causal/mechanical theory that is a version of the ontic conception. Professor Salmon's theory furnishes (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   994 citations  
  14.  45
    Understanding, Explanation, and Scientific Knowledge.Kareem Khalifa - 2017 - Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
    From antiquity to the end of the twentieth century, philosophical discussions of understanding remained undeveloped, guided by a 'received view' that takes understanding to be nothing more than knowledge of an explanation. More recently, however, this received view has been criticized, and bold new philosophical proposals about understanding have emerged in its place. In this book, Kareem Khalifa argues that the received view should be revised but not abandoned. In doing so, he clarifies and answers the most central questions (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   38 citations  
  15. Etiological Explanations: Illness Causation Theory.Olaf Dammann - 2020 - Boca Raton, FL, USA: CRC Press.
    Theory of illness causation is an important issue in all biomedical sciences, and solid etiological explanations are needed in order to develop therapeutic approaches in medicine and preventive interventions in public health. Until now, the literature about the theoretical underpinnings of illness causation research has been scarce and fragmented, and lacking a convenient summary. This interdisciplinary book provides a convenient and accessible distillation of the current status of research into this developing field, and adds a personal flavor to the discussion (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  16.  38
    Reason and Explanation.Poston Ted - 2014 - New York, USA: Palgrave Macmillan.
    Reason and Explanation develops a new explanationist account of epistemic justification. Poston argues that the explanatory virtues provide a plausible account of necessary and sufficient conditions for justification. The justification of a subject's belief consists in the explanatory virtue of her entire beliefs compared with other sets of beliefs she could have. Poston's argument for coherentism involves a defense of the epistemic value of background beliefs, the development of a novel framework view of reasons, and the articulation of a (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  17. The Nature of Psychological Explanation.Robert Cummins - 1983 - MIT Press.
    In exploring the nature of psychological explanation, this book looks at how psychologists theorize about the human ability to calculate, to speak a language and the like. It shows how good theorizing explains or tries to explain such abilities as perception and cognition. It recasts the familiar explanations of "intelligence" and "cognitive capacity" as put forward by philosophers such as Fodor, Dennett, and others in terms of a theory of explanation that makes established doctrine more intelligible to professionals (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   324 citations  
  18. Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 1991 - London and New York: Routledge.
    "How do we go about weighing evidence, testing hypotheses and making inferences? According to the model of 'inference to the Best explanation', we work out what to inter from the evidence by thinking about what would actually explain that evidence, and we take the ability of a hypothesis to explain the evidence as a sign that the hypothesis is correct. In inference to the Best Explanation, Peter Lipton gives this important and influential idea the development and assessment it (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   193 citations  
  19. Explanation, Independence and Realism in Mathematics.Michael D. Resnik & David Kushner - 1987 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 38 (2):141-158.
  20. Grounding Explanations.Louis deRosset - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    A compelling idea holds that reality has a layered structure. We often disagree about what inhabits the bottom layer, but we agree that higher up we find chemical, biological, geological, psychological, sociological, economic, /etc./, entities: molecules, human beings, diamonds, mental states, cities, interest rates, and so on. How is this intuitive talk of a layered structure of entities to be understood? Traditionally, philosophers have proposed to understand layered structure in terms of either reduction or supervenience. But these traditional views face (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   141 citations  
  21.  10
    Explanation and Integration in Mind and Brain Science.David M. Kaplan (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
    Is the relationship between psychology and neuroscience one of autonomy or mutual constraint and integration? This volume includes new papers from leading philosophers seeking to address this issue by deepening our understanding of the similarities and differences between the explanatory patterns employed across these domains.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  22. Explanation in Linguistics. The Logical Problem of Language Acquisition.Norbert Hornstein & David Lightfoot - 1985 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 47 (2):338-338.
  23. Mathematical Explanation by Law.Sam Baron - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):683-717.
    Call an explanation in which a non-mathematical fact is explained—in part or in whole—by mathematical facts: an extra-mathematical explanation. Such explanations have attracted a great deal of interest recently in arguments over mathematical realism. In this article, a theory of extra-mathematical explanation is developed. The theory is modelled on a deductive-nomological theory of scientific explanation. A basic DN account of extra-mathematical explanation is proposed and then redeveloped in the light of two difficulties that the basic (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   16 citations  
  24. Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology.Francisco J. Ayala - 1970 - Philosophy of Science 37 (1):1-15.
    The ultimate source of explanation in biology is the principle of natural selection. Natural selection means differential reproduction of genes and gene combinations. It is a mechanistic process which accounts for the existence in living organisms of end-directed structures and processes. It is argued that teleological explanations in biology are not only acceptable but indeed indispensable. There are at least three categories of biological phenomena where teleological explanations are appropriate.
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   144 citations  
  25.  16
    Visualization, Explanation and Reasoning Styles in Mathematics.Paolo Mancosu, Klaus Frovin Jørgensen & S. A. Pedersen (eds.) - 2005 - Springer.
  26. Humean Laws and Explanation.Dan Marshall - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3145-3165.
    A common objection to Humeanism about natural laws is that, given Humeanism, laws cannot help explain their instances, since, given the best Humean account of laws, facts about laws are explained by facts about their instances rather than vice versa. After rejecting a recent influential reply to this objection that appeals to the distinction between scientific and metaphysical explanation, I will argue that the objection fails by failing to distinguish between two types of facts, only one of which Humeans (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   31 citations  
  27. Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ dia- grams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic explanations (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   404 citations  
  28.  47
    Explanation in Geography.David Harvey - 1969 - London: Edward Arnold.
  29. Program Explanation: A General Perspective.Frank Jackson & Philip Pettit - 1990 - Analysis 50 (2):107-17.
    Some properties are causally relevant for a certain effect, others are not. In this paper we describe a problem for our understanding of this notion and then offer a solution in terms of the notion of a program explanation.
    Direct download (10 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   193 citations  
  30. Explanation and Justification in Ethics.David Copp - 1990 - Ethics 100 (2):237-258.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   14 citations  
  31.  87
    Teleological Explanations: An Etiological Analysis of Goals and Functions.Larry Wright - 1976 - University of California Press.
    INTRODUCTION The appeal to teleological principles of explanation within the body of natural science has had an unfortunate history. ...
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   122 citations  
  32.  65
    Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ diagrams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic explanations are (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   462 citations  
  33. Explaining Explanations in AI.Brent Mittelstadt - forthcoming - FAT* 2019 Proceedings 1.
    Recent work on interpretability in machine learning and AI has focused on the building of simplified models that approximate the true criteria used to make decisions. These models are a useful pedagogical device for teaching trained professionals how to predict what decisions will be made by the complex system, and most importantly how the system might break. However, when considering any such model it’s important to remember Box’s maxim that "All models are wrong but some are useful." We focus on (...)
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   28 citations  
  34. Scientific Explanation.James Woodward - 1979 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 30 (1):41-67.
    Issues concerning scientific explanation have been a focus of philosophical attention from Pre- Socratic times through the modern period. However, recent discussion really begins with the development of the Deductive-Nomological (DN) model. This model has had many advocates (including Popper 1935, 1959, Braithwaite 1953, Gardiner, 1959, Nagel 1961) but unquestionably the most detailed and influential statement is due to Carl Hempel (Hempel 1942, 1965, and Hempel & Oppenheim 1948). These papers and the reaction to them have structured subsequent discussion (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   169 citations  
  35. Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism About Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 12. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 164–202.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and the metaphysical picture (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   17 citations  
  36.  21
    Genetic Explanations of Religious Belief.James H. Lesher - 1975 - Philosophical Studies 27 (5):317 - 328.
    Genetic explanations of religious belief, such as Freud’s analysis of theism as ‘a neurotic relic’, pose a problem for theists: how far do such explanations establish the irrationality of religious belief? I argue that genetic analyses of belief suffer from a number of limitations. Showing that some reason-irrelevant factor or factors were sufficient to produce conviction on some occasion would not establish that they were necessary in every case of religious conviction. Showing that reason-irrelevant factors were both necessary and sufficient (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  37.  18
    Because Without Cause: Non-Causal Explanations in Science and Mathematics.Marc Lange - 2016 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press USA.
    Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. In addition, mathematicians regard some proofs as explaining why the theorems being proved do in fact hold. This book proposes new philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   68 citations  
  38. Chemical Explanation Characteristics, Development, Autonomy.Joseph E. Earley & International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry (eds.) - 2003 - New York: New York Academy of Science.
    This volume addresses relations between macroscopic and microscopic description; essential roles of visualization and representation in chemical understanding; historical questions involving chemical concepts; the impacts of chemical ideas on wider cultural concerns; and relationships between contemporary chemistry and other sciences. The authors demonstrate, assert, or tacitly assume that chemical explanation is functionally autonomous. This volume should he of interest not only to professional chemists and philosophers, but also to workers in medicine, psychology, and other fields in which relationships between (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   5 citations  
  39.  54
    Explanations by Mechanisms in the Social Sciences. Problems, Advantages and Alternatives.Karl-Dieter Opp - 2005 - Mind and Society 4 (2):163-178.
    This paper discusses various problems of explanations by mechanisms. Two positions are distinguished: the narrow position claims that only explanations by mechanisms are acceptable. It is argued that this position leads to an infinite regress because the discovery of a mechanism must entail the search for other mechanisms etc. Another paradoxical consequence of this postulate is that every successful explanation by mechanisms is unsatisfactory because it generates new ``black box'' explanations. The second – liberal – position that is advanced (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   6 citations  
  40. Explanation and Description in Computational Neuroscience.David Michael Kaplan - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):339-373.
    The central aim of this paper is to shed light on the nature of explanation in computational neuroscience. I argue that computational models in this domain possess explanatory force to the extent that they describe the mechanisms responsible for producing a given phenomenon—paralleling how other mechanistic models explain. Conceiving computational explanation as a species of mechanistic explanation affords an important distinction between computational models that play genuine explanatory roles and those that merely provide accurate descriptions or predictions (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   88 citations  
  41. On Explanations From Geometry of Motion.Juha Saatsi - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):253–273.
    This paper examines explanations that turn on non-local geometrical facts about the space of possible configurations a system can occupy. I argue that it makes sense to contrast such explanations from "geometry of motion" with causal explanations. I also explore how my analysis of these explanations cuts across the distinction between kinematics and dynamics.
    Direct download (11 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   22 citations  
  42. Normative Explanation and Justification.Pekka Väyrynen - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):3-22.
    Normative explanations of why things are wrong, good, or unfair are ubiquitous in ordinary practice and normative theory. This paper argues that normative explanation is subject to a justification condition: a correct complete explanation of why a normative fact holds must identify features that would go at least some way towards justifying certain actions or attitudes. I first explain and motivate the condition I propose. I then support it by arguing that it fits well with various theories of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  43. Mathematical Explanation in Science.Alan Baker - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):611-633.
    Does mathematics ever play an explanatory role in science? If so then this opens the way for scientific realists to argue for the existence of mathematical entities using inference to the best explanation. Elsewhere I have argued, using a case study involving the prime-numbered life cycles of periodical cicadas, that there are examples of indispensable mathematical explanations of purely physical phenomena. In this paper I respond to objections to this claim that have been made by various philosophers, and I (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   150 citations  
  44. Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
    Scientists and laypeople alike use the sense of understanding that an explanation conveys as a cue to good or correct explanation. Although the occurrence of this sense or feeling of understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for good explanation, it does drive judgments of the plausibility and, ultimately, the acceptability, of an explanation. This paper presents evidence that the sense of understanding is in part the routine consequence of two well-documented biases in cognitive psychology: overconfidence and (...)
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   145 citations  
  45.  15
    Argumentative Explanations for Interactive Recommendations.Antonio Rago, Oana Cocarascu, Christos Bechlivanidis, David Lagnado & Francesca Toni - 2021 - Artificial Intelligence 296:103506.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  46. The Explanation of Social Action.John Levi Martin - 2011 - Oup Usa.
    The Explanation of Social Action is a critique of the conventional understanding of methods of explanation in the social sciences. It argues that any scientific approach to explanation must build on the phenomenological experience of actors.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   15 citations  
  47. Metaphysical Explanation: The Kitcher Picture.Sam Baron & James Norton - 2019 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):187-207.
    This paper offers a new account of metaphysical explanation. The account is modelled on Kitcher’s unificationist approach to scientific explanation. We begin, in Sect. 2, by briefly introducing the notion of metaphysical explanation and outlining the target of analysis. After that, we introduce a unificationist account of metaphysical explanation before arguing that such an account is capable of capturing four core features of metaphysical explanations: irreflexivity, non-monotonicity, asymmetry and relevance. Since the unificationist theory of metaphysical (...) inherits irreflexivity and non-monotonicity directly from the unificationist theory of scientific explanation that underwrites it, we focus on demonstrating how the account can secure asymmetry and relevance. (shrink)
    Direct download (3 more)  
    Translate
     
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   7 citations  
  48. Causation and Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2002 - Routledge.
    What is the nature of causation? How is causation linked with explanation? And can there be an adequate theory of explanation? These questions and many others are addressed in this unified and rigorous examination of the philosophical problems surrounding causation, laws and explanation. Part 1 of this book explores Hume's views on causation, theories of singular causation, and counterfactual and mechanistic approaches. Part 2 considers the regularity view of laws and laws as relations among universals, as well (...)
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   69 citations  
  49. Topological Explanations and Robustness in Biological Sciences.Philippe Huneman - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):213-245.
    This paper argues that besides mechanistic explanations, there is a kind of explanation that relies upon “topological” properties of systems in order to derive the explanandum as a consequence, and which does not consider mechanisms or causal processes. I first investigate topological explanations in the case of ecological research on the stability of ecosystems. Then I contrast them with mechanistic explanations, thereby distinguishing the kind of realization they involve from the realization relations entailed by mechanistic explanations, and explain how (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   101 citations  
  50. Explanation and Invariance in the Special Sciences.James Woodward - 2000 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (2):197-254.
    This paper describes an alternative to the common view that explanation in the special sciences involves subsumption under laws. According to this alternative, whether or not a generalization can be used to explain has to do with whether it is invariant rather than with whether it is lawful. A generalization is invariant if it is stable or robust in the sense that it would continue to hold under a relevant if it is stable or robust in the sense that (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   160 citations  
1 — 50 / 1000