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Kareem Khalifa
Middlebury College
  1.  51
    Estimating the Reproducibility of Experimental Philosophy.Florian Cova, Brent Strickland, Angela Abatista, Aurélien Allard, James Andow, Mario Attie, James Beebe, Renatas Berniūnas, Jordane Boudesseul, Matteo Colombo, Fiery Cushman, Rodrigo Diaz, Noah N’Djaye Nikolai van Dongen, Vilius Dranseika, Brian D. Earp, Antonio Gaitán Torres, Ivar Hannikainen, José V. Hernández-Conde, Wenjia Hu, François Jaquet, Kareem Khalifa, Hanna Kim, Markus Kneer, Joshua Knobe, Miklos Kurthy, Anthony Lantian, Shen-yi Liao, Edouard Machery, Tania Moerenhout, Christian Mott, Mark Phelan, Jonathan Phillips, Navin Rambharose, Kevin Reuter, Felipe Romero, Paulo Sousa, Jan Sprenger, Emile Thalabard, Kevin Tobia, Hugo Viciana, Daniel Wilkenfeld & Xiang Zhou - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-36.
    Responding to recent concerns about the reliability of the published literature in psychology and other disciplines, we formed the X-Phi Replicability Project to estimate the reproducibility of experimental philosophy. Drawing on a representative sample of 40 x-phi studies published between 2003 and 2015, we enlisted 20 research teams across 8 countries to conduct a high-quality replication of each study in order to compare the results to the original published findings. We found that x-phi studies – as represented in our sample (...)
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  2. Non-Factive Understanding: A Statement and Defense.Yannick Doyle, Spencer Egan, Noah Graham & Kareem Khalifa - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie.
    In epistemology and philosophy of science, there has been substantial debate about truth’s relation to understanding. “Non-factivists” hold that radical departures from the truth are not always barriers to understanding; “quasi-factivists” demur. The most discussed example concerns scientists’ use of idealizations in certain derivations of the ideal gas law from statistical mechanics. Yet, these discussions have suffered from confusions about the relevant science, as well as conceptual confusions. To that end, we shall argue that the ideal gas law is best (...)
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  3. Inaugurating Understanding or Repackaging Explanation?Kareem Khalifa - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (1):15-37.
    Recently, several authors have argued that scientific understanding should be a new topic of philosophical research. In this article, I argue that the three most developed accounts of understanding--Grimm's, de Regt's, and de Regt and Dieks's--can be replaced by earlier accounts of scientific explanation without loss. Indeed, in some cases, such replacements have clear benefits.
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  4. Inference, Explanation, and Asymmetry.Kareem Khalifa, Jared Millson & Mark Risjord - 2018 - Synthese.
    Explanation is asymmetric: if A explains B, then B does not explain A. Tradition- ally, the asymmetry of explanation was thought to favor causal accounts of explanation over their rivals, such as those that take explanations to be inferences. In this paper, we develop a new inferential approach to explanation that outperforms causal approaches in accounting for the asymmetry of explanation.
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  5.  65
    Idealizations and Understanding: Much Ado About Nothing?Emily Sullivan & Kareem Khalifa - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    Because idealizations frequently advance scientific understanding, many claim that falsehoods play an epistemic role. In this paper, we argue that these positions greatly overstate idealizations’ import for understanding. We introduce work on epistemic value to the debate surrounding idealizations and understanding, arguing that idealizations qua falsehoods only confer non-epistemic value to understanding. We argue for this claim by criticizing the leading accounts of how idealizations provide understanding. For each of these approaches, we show that: (a) idealizations’ false components only promote (...)
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  6. Counterfactuals and Explanatory Pluralism.Kareem Khalifa, Gabriel Doble & Jared Millson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Recent literature on noncausal explanation raises the question as to whether explanatory monism, the thesis that all explanations submit to the same analysis, is true. The leading monist proposal holds that all explanations support change-relating counterfactuals. We provide several objections to this monist position.
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  7. Is Understanding Explanatory or Objectual?Kareem Khalifa - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1153-1171.
    Jonathan Kvanvig has argued that “objectual” understanding, i.e. the understanding we have of a large body of information, cannot be reduced to explanatory concepts. In this paper, I show that Kvanvig fails to establish this point, and then propose a framework for reducing objectual understanding to explanatory understanding.
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  8. Understanding, Grasping, and Luck.Kareem Khalifa - 2013 - Episteme 10 (1):1-17.
    Recently, it has been debated as to whether understanding is a species of explanatory knowledge. Those who deny this claim frequently argue that understanding, unlike knowledge, can be lucky. In this paper I argue that current arguments do not support this alleged compatibility between understanding and epistemic luck. First, I argue that understanding requires reliable explanatory evaluation, yet the putative examples of lucky understanding underspecify the extent to which subjects possess this ability. In the course of defending this claim, I (...)
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  9. Understanding, Knowledge, and Scientific Antirealism.Kareem Khalifa - 2011 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 83 (1):93-112.
    Epistemologists have recently debated whether understanding is a species of knowledge. However, because they have offered little in the way of a detailed analysis of understanding, they lack the resources to resolve this issue. In this paper, I propose that S understands why p if and only if S has the non-Gettierised true belief that p, and for some proposition q, S has the non-Gettierised true belief that q is the best available explanation of p, S can correctly explain p (...)
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  10.  46
    Understanding as Explanatory Knowledge: The Case of Bjorken Scaling.Kareem Khalifa & Michael Gadomski - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):384-392.
    In this paper, we develop and refine the idea that understanding is a species of explanatory knowledge. Specifically, we defend the idea that S understands why p if and only if S knows that p, and, for some q, S’s true belief that q correctly explains p is produced/maintained by reliable explanatory evaluation. We then show how this model explains the reception of James Bjorken’s explanation of scaling by the broader physics community in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The (...)
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  11. Realism and Antirealism.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2016 - In A. Rosenberg & L. McIntyre (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Social Science. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 254-269.
    Our best social scientific theories try to tell us something about the social world. But is talk of a “social world” a metaphor that we ought not take too seriously? In particular, do the denizens of the social world—cultural values like the Protestant work ethic, firms like ExxonMobil, norms like standards of dress and behavior, institutions like the legal system, teams like FC Barcelona, conventions like marriages—exist? The question is not merely academic. Social scientists use these different social entities to (...)
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  12. Must Understanding Be Coherent?Kareem Khalifa - 2016 - In Stephen Grimm, Christoph Baumberger & Sabine Ammon (eds.), Explaining understanding: new perspectives from epistemology and philosophy of science. London, UK: Routledge. pp. 139-164.
    Several authors suggest that understanding and epistemic coherence are tightly connected. Using an account of understanding that makes no appeal to coherence, I explain away the intuitions that motivate this position. I then show that the leading coherentist epistemologies only place plausible constraints on understanding insofar as they replicate my own account’s requirements. I conclude that understanding is only superficially coherent.
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  13.  25
    Correction To: Estimating the Reproducibility of Experimental Philosophy.Florian Cova, Brent Strickland, Angela Abatista, Aurélien Allard, James Andow, Mario Attie, James Beebe, Renatas Berniūnas, Jordane Boudesseul, Matteo Colombo, Fiery Cushman, Rodrigo Diaz, Noah N’Djaye Nikolai van Dongen, Vilius Dranseika, Brian D. Earp, Antonio Gaitán Torres, Ivar Hannikainen, José V. Hernández-Conde, Wenjia Hu, François Jaquet, Kareem Khalifa, Hanna Kim, Markus Kneer, Joshua Knobe, Miklos Kurthy, Anthony Lantian, Shen-yi Liao, Edouard Machery, Tania Moerenhout, Christian Mott, Mark Phelan, Jonathan Phillips, Navin Rambharose, Kevin Reuter, Felipe Romero, Paulo Sousa, Jan Sprenger, Emile Thalabard, Kevin Tobia, Hugo Viciana, Daniel Wilkenfeld & Xiang Zhou - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-4.
    Appendix 1 was incomplete in the initial online publication. The original article has been corrected.
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  14. Social Constructivism and the Aims of Science.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (1):45 – 61.
    In this essay, I provide normative guidelines for developing a philosophically interesting and plausible version of social constructivism as a philosophy of science, wherein science aims for social-epistemic values rather than for truth or empirical adequacy. This view is more plausible than the more radical constructivist claim that scientific facts are constructed. It is also more interesting than the modest constructivist claim that representations of such facts emerge in social contexts, as it provides a genuine rival to the scientific axiologies (...)
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  15. Default Privilege and Bad Lots: Underconsideration and Explanatory Inference.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (1):91 – 105.
    The underconsideration argument against inference to the best explanation and scientific realism holds that scientists are not warranted in inferring that the best theory is true, because scientists only ever conceive of a small handful of theories at one time, and as a result, they may not have considered a true theory. However, antirealists have not developed a detailed alternative account of why explanatory inference nevertheless appears so central to scientific practice. In this paper, I provide new defences against some (...)
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  16.  16
    Inference to the Best Explanation: Fundamentalism's Failures.Kareem Khalifa, Jared A. Millson & Mark Risjord - 2017 - In Kevin McCain & Ted Poston (eds.), Best Explanations: New Essays on Inference to the Best Explanation. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 80-96.
    Many epistemologists take Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) to be “fundamental.” For instance, Lycan (1988, 128) writes that “all justified reasoning is fundamentally explanatory reasoning.” Conee and Feldman (2008, 97) concur: “fundamental epistemic principles are principles of best explanation.” Call them fundamentalists. They assert that nothing deeper could justify IBE, as is typically assumed of rules of deductive inference, such as modus ponens. However, logicians account for modus ponens with the valuation rule for the material conditional. By contrast, fundamentalists (...)
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  17.  55
    Contrastive Explanations as Social Accounts.Kareem Khalifa - 2010 - Social Epistemology 24 (4):263-284.
    Explanatory contrastivists hold that we often explain phenomena of the form p rather than q. In this paper, I present a new, social‐epistemological model of contrastive explanation—accountabilism. Specifically, my view is inspired by social‐scientific research that treats explanations fundamentally as accounts; that is, communicative actions that restore one's social status when charged with questionable behaviour. After developing this model, I show how accountabilism provides a more comprehensive model of contrastive explanation than the causal models of contrastive explanation that are currently (...)
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  18.  37
    Erotetic Contextualism, Data-Generating Procedures, and Sociological Explanations of Social Mobility.Kareem Khalifa - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):38-54.
    Critics of the erotetic model of explanation question its ability to discriminate significant from spurious explanations. One response to these criticisms has been to impose contextual restrictions on a case-by-case basis. In this article, the author argues that these approaches have overestimated the role of interests at the expense of other contextual aspects characteristic of social-scientific explanation. For this reason, he shows how procedures of measuring occupational status and social mobility affected different aspects of one explanation that Peter Blau and (...)
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  19. Social Epistemology, by Adrian Haddock, Alan Millar, and Duncan Pritchard (Eds). [REVIEW]Kareem Khalifa - 2013 - Mind 122 (486):fzt068.
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  20.  6
    Inferentialist-Expressivism for Explanatory Vocabulary.Jared A. Millson, Kareem Khalifa & Mark Risjord - 2018 - In Ondřej Beran, Vojtěch Kolman & Ladislav Koreň (eds.), From Rules to Meanings: New Essays in Inferentialism. Routledge.
    In this essay, we extend earlier inferentialist-expressivist treatments of traditional logical, semantic, modal, and representational vocabulary (Brandom 1994, 2008, 2015; Peregrin 2014) to explanatory vocabulary. From this perspective, Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) appears to be an obvious starting point. In its simplest formulation, IBE has the form: A best explains why B, B; so A. It thereby captures one of the central inferential features of explanation. An inferentialist-expressivist treatment of “best explains” would treat it as a logical operator. (...)
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  21. General Theories of Explanation: Buyer Beware.José Díez, Kareem Khalifa & Bert Leuridan - 2013 - Synthese 190 (3):379-396.
    We argue that there is no general theory of explanation that spans the sciences, mathematics, and ethics, etc. More specifically, there is no good reason to believe that substantive and domain-invariant constraints on explanatory information exist. Using Nickel (Noûs 44(2):305–328, 2010 ) as an exemplar of the contrary, generalist position, we first show that Nickel’s arguments rest on several ambiguities, and then show that even when these ambiguities are charitably corrected, Nickel’s defense of general theories of explanation is inadequate along (...)
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  22.  47
    Why Pursue Unification? A Social-Epistemological Puzzle.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2015 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 30 (3):431-447.
    Many have argued that unified theories ought to be pursued wherever possible. We deny this on the basis of social-epistemological and decision-theoretic considerations. Consequently, those seeking a more ubiquitous role for unification must either attend to the scientific community’s social structure in greater detail than has been the case, and/or radically revise their conception of unification.
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  23.  24
    What Are Stylized Facts?Leticia Arroyo Abad & Kareem Khalifa - 2015 - Journal of Economic Methodology 22 (2):143-156.
    Economists use the term ‘stylized fact’ in many contexts, though the meaning of this phrase and the motivation for using such a concept is unclear. In this paper, we provide a philosophical analysis of stylized facts, which aims to be methodologically interesting and useful. While our framework applies to all principled uses of stylized facts, we illustrate its core features by applying it to Nicholas Kaldor's initial and exemplary use of stylized facts in growth economics.
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  24.  14
    EMU Defended: Reply to Newman.Kareem Khalifa - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):377-385.
    In his “EMU and Inference,” Mark Newman European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 4:55–74, 2014 provides several interesting challenges to my explanatory model of understanding :15–37, 2012). I offer three replies to Newman’s paper. First, Newman incorrectly attributes to EMU an overly restrictive view about the role of abilities in understanding. Second, his main argument against EMU rests on this incorrect attribution, and would still face difficulties even if this attribution were correct. Third, contrary to his stated ambitions, his own, (...)
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  25.  31
    Music, Philosophy, and Modernity (Review). [REVIEW]Kareem Khalifa - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):pp. 481-482.
    "Philosophy of music" is generally regarded as philosophical theorizing about music. Interpreting various German thinkers from the last three centuries through hermeneutical and neo-pragmatist lenses, Bowie reverses this order, focusing "on the philosophy which is conveyed by music itself" . In particular, Bowie uses music as a starting point for philosophical reflections on meaning and the role of philosophy in late modernity.Regarding meaning, Bowie uses ideas about music to argue that semantics should replace representation with expression, social practice, and inference (...)
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  26.  2
    Why Pursue Unification? A Social-Epistemological Puzzle.Randall Harp & Kareem Khalifa - 2015 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 30 (3):431-447.
    Many have argued that unified theories ought to be pursued wherever possible. We deny this on the basis of social-epistemological and decision-theoretic considerations. Consequently, those seeking a more ubiquitous role for unification must either attend to the scientific community’s social structure in greater detail than has been the case, and/or radically revise their conception of unification.
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  27.  5
    Music, Philosophy, and Modernity : BowieAndrew,1952-Music, Philosophy, and Modernity. [REVIEW]Kareem Khalifa - 2009 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 47 (3):481-482.
  28. 1. On Ad Hoc Hypotheses On Ad Hoc Hypotheses (Pp. 1-14).J. Christopher Hunt, Kareem Khalifa, Ryan Muldoon, Tony Smith, Michael Weisberg, Michelle G. Gibbons, Elliott O. Wagner, Andreas Wagner, Angela Potochnik & Brian McGill - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (1).
  29.  8
    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 in (...)
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