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Insa Lawler
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  1.  68
    Scientific Understanding and Felicitous Legitimate Falsehoods.Insa Lawler - 2021 - Synthese 198 (7):6859-6887.
    Science is replete with falsehoods that epistemically facilitate understanding by virtue of being the very falsehoods they are. In view of this puzzling fact, some have relaxed the truth requirement on understanding. I offer a factive view of understanding that fully accommodates the puzzling fact in four steps: (i) I argue that the question how these falsehoods are related to the phenomenon to be understood and the question how they figure into the content of understanding it are independent. (ii) I (...)
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  2. Reductionism About Understanding Why.Insa Lawler - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (2):229-236.
    Paulina Sliwa (2015) argues that knowing why p is necessary and sufficient for understanding why p. She tries to rebut recent attacks against the necessity and sufficiency claims, and explains the gradability of understanding why in terms of knowledge. I argue that her attempts do not succeed, but I indicate more promising ways to defend reductionism about understanding why throughout the discussion.
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  3. Understanding Why, Knowing Why, and Cognitive Achievements.Insa Lawler - 2018 - Synthese (11):4583-4603.
    Duncan Pritchard argues that a feature that sets understanding-why apart from knowledge-why is that whereas (I) understanding-why is a kind of cognitive achievement in a strong sense, (II) knowledge-why is not such a kind. I argue that (I) is false and that (II) is true. (I) is false because understanding-why featuring rudimentary explanations and understanding-why concerning very simple causal connections are not cognitive achievements in a strong sense. Knowledge-why is not a kind of cognitive achievement in a strong sense for (...)
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  4.  47
    Model Explanation Versus Model-Induced Explanation.Insa Lawler & Emily Sullivan - 2021 - Foundations of Science 26 (4):1049-1074.
    Scientists appeal to models when explaining phenomena. Such explanations are often dubbed model explanations or model-based explanations. But what are the precise conditions for ME? Are ME special explanations? In our paper, we first rebut two definitions of ME and specify a more promising one. Based on this analysis, we single out a related conception that is concerned with explanations that are induced from working with a model. We call them ‘model-induced explanations’. Second, we study three paradigmatic cases of alleged (...)
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  5. Thinking About Progress: From Science to Philosophy.Finnur Dellsén, Insa Lawler & James Norton - forthcoming - Noûs.
    Is there progress in philosophy? If so, how much? Philosophers have recently argued for a wide range of answers to these questions, from the view that there is no progress whatsoever to the view that philosophy has provided answers to all the big philosophical questions. However, these views are difficult to compare and evaluate, because they rest on very different assumptions about the conditions under which philosophy would make progress. This paper looks to the comparatively mature debate about scientific progress (...)
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  6. Philosophical Methods Under Scrutiny: Introduction to the Special Issue "Philosophical Methods".Anna-Maria A. Eder, Insa Lawler & Raphael van Riel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):915-923.
    This paper is the introduction to the Special Issue “Philosophical Methods”. The Special Issue will be published by Synthese.
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  7. Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences.Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech (eds.) - forthcoming - Routledge.
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  8.  74
    Dirk Koppelberg and Stefan Tolksdorf (Eds) : Erkenntnistheorie - Wie Und Wozu? [REVIEW]Insa Lawler - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):411-415.
    To what end should or do we pursue philosophy and how? Meta-philosophical questions along these lines have gained more and more interest recently. The collected volume "Erkenntnistheorie — Wie und wozu?" (Engl.: "Epistemology — How and to what end?") aspires to raise and tackle issues addressing the meta-epistemological questions "How is epistemology practiced and to what end?". Although this aim sounds like a descriptive meta-epistemological endeavor, it is not surprising that many authors rather argue for normative claims surrounding the questions (...)
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  9. Dirk Koppelberg and Stefan Tolksdorf : Erkenntnistheorie—Wie Und Wozu?: Mentis, Münster 2015, 498 Pp, €39.80, ISBN: 978-3-89785-348-5. [REVIEW]Insa Lawler - 2016 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 47 (2):411-415.
    To what end should or do we pursue philosophy and how? Meta-philosophical questions along these lines have gained more and more interest recently. The collected volume ‘‘Erkenntnistheorie—Wie und wozu?’’ (Engl.: ‘‘Epistemology—How and to what end?’’) aspires to raise and tackle issues addressing the meta-epistemological questions ‘‘How is epistemology practiced and to what end?’’ (9). Although this aim sounds like a descriptive meta-epistemological endeavor, it is not surprising that many authors rather argue for normative claims surrounding the questions ‘‘How and to (...)
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  10. Levels of Reasons Why and Answers to Why Questions.Insa Lawler - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):168-177.
    According to Skow (2016, 2017), correct answers to why-questions only cite causes or grounds, but not non-accidental regularities. Accounts that cite non-accidental regularities typically confuse second-level reasons with first-level reasons. Only causes and grounds are first-level reasons why. Non-accidental regularities are second-level reasons why. I first show that Skow's arguments for the accusation of confusion depend on the independent thesis that only citations of first-level reasons why are (parts of) answers to why-questions. Then, I argue that this thesis is false. (...)
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  11.  29
    Misalignment Between Research Hypotheses and Statistical Hypotheses: A Threat to Evidence-Based Medicine?Insa Lawler & Georg Zimmermann - 2021 - Topoi 40 (2):307-318.
    Evidence-based medicine frequently uses statistical hypothesis testing. In this paradigm, data can only disconfirm a research hypothesis’ competitors: One tests the negation of a statistical hypothesis that is supposed to correspond to the research hypothesis. In practice, these hypotheses are often misaligned. For instance, directional research hypotheses are often paired with non-directional statistical hypotheses. Prima facie, one cannot gain proper evidence for one’s research hypothesis employing a misaligned statistical hypothesis. This paper sheds lights on the nature of and the reasons (...)
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  12. Understanding, Explanation, and Intelligibility: Henk de Regt: Understanding Scientific Understanding. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, Xii+301pp, £ 47.99HB. [REVIEW]Insa Lawler - 2018 - Metascience (1):57-60.
    Review of Henk de Regt's "Understanding Scientific Understanding".
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  13.  8
    Multi-Modal Meaning – An Empirically-Founded Process Algebra Approach.Hannes Rieser & Insa Lawler - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 13 (8):1-48.
    Humans communicate with different modalities. We offer an account of multi-modal meaning coordination, taking speech-gesture meaning coordination as a prototypical case. We argue that temporal synchrony (plus prosody) does not determine how to coordinate speech meaning and gesture meaning. Challenging cases are asynchrony and broadcasting cases, which are illustrated with empirical data. We propose that a process algebra account satisfies the desiderata. It models gesture and speech as independent but concurrent processes that can communicate flexibly with each other and exchange (...)
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