18 found
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  1.  70
    The Covering Law Model Applied to Dynamical Cognitive Science: A Comment on Joel Walmsley.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (1):33-39.
    In a 2008 paper, Walmsley argued that the explanations employed in the dynamical approach to cognitive science, as exemplified by the Haken, Kelso and Bunz model of rhythmic finger movement, and the model of infant preservative reaching developed by Esther Thelen and her colleagues, conform to Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim’s deductive-nomological model of explanation (also known as the covering law model). Although we think Walmsley’s approach is methodologically sound in that it starts with an analysis of scientific practice rather (...)
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  2.  29
    Plausibility Versus Richness in Mechanistic Models.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (1):139-152.
    In this paper we argue that in recent literature on mechanistic explanations, authors tend to conflate two distinct features that mechanistic models can have or fail to have: plausibility and richness. By plausibility, we mean the probability that a model is correct in the assertions it makes regarding the parts and operations of the mechanism, i.e., that the model is correct as a description of the actual mechanism. By richness, we mean the amount of detail the model gives about the (...)
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  3.  45
    Mechanistic and Non-Mechanistic Varieties of Dynamical Models in Cognitive Science: Explanatory Power, Understanding, and the ‘Mere Description’ Worry.Raoul Gervais - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):43-66.
    In the literature on dynamical models in cognitive science, two issues have recently caused controversy. First, what is the relation between dynamical and mechanistic models? I will argue that dynamical models can be upgraded to be mechanistic as well, and that there are mechanistic and non-mechanistic dynamical models. Second, there is the issue of explanatory power. Since it is uncontested the mechanistic models can explain, I will focus on the non-mechanistic variety of dynamical models. It is often claimed by proponents (...)
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  4.  28
    Non-Cognitive Values and Objectivity in Scientific Explanation: Egalitarianism and the Case of the Movius Line.Raoul Gervais - 2013 - Perspectives on Science 21 (4):429-452.
    In the debate about values in science, it is a time-honored tradition to distinguish between the normative question of whether non-cognitive values should play a role in science and the descriptive question of whether they in fact do so or not.1 Among philosophers of science, it is now an accepted view that the descriptive question has been settled. That is, it is no longer disputed that non-cognitive values play a role in science. Hence, all that is left to do on (...)
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  5.  29
    A Framework for Inter-Level Explanations: Outlines for a New Explanatory Pluralism.Raoul Gervais - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 48:1-9.
  6.  42
    Introductory Essay: Metaphysics and Science: A Fickle Relationship.Raoul Gervais - 2015 - Philosophica 90.
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  7.  8
    Introduction: Objectivity in Science.Jan Sprenger, Raoul Gervais & Matteo Colombo - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4641-4642.
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  8.  16
    Difference Making, Explanatory Relevance, and Mechanistic Models.Dingmar van Eck & Raoul Gervais - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):125-134.
    In this paper we consider mechanistic explanations for biologic malfunctions. Drawing on Lipton’s work on difference making, we offer three reasons why one should distinguish i) mechanistic features that only make a difference to the malfunction one aims to explain, from ii) features that make a difference to both the malfunction and normal functioning. Recognition of the distinction is important for a) repair purposes, b) mechanism discovery, and c) understanding. This analysis extends current mechanistic thinking, which fails to appreciate the (...)
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  9.  20
    Inferential Explanations in Biology.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):356-364.
    Among philosophers of science, there is now a widespread agreement that the DN model of explanation is poorly equipped to account for explanations in biology. Rather than identifying laws, so the consensus goes, researchers explain biological capacities by constructing a model of the underlying mechanism.We think that the dichotomy between DN explanations and mechanistic explanations is misleading. In this article, we argue that there are cases in which biological capacities are explained without constructing a model of the underlying mechanism. Although (...)
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  10.  5
    Performance-Similarity Reasoning as a Source for Mechanism Schema Evaluation.Raoul Gervais - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    In this paper, I explicate and discuss performance-similarity reasoning as a strategy for mechanism schema evaluation, understood in Lindley Darden’s sense. This strategy involves inferring hypotheses about the mechanism responsible for cognitive capacities from premises describing the performance of those capacities; performance-similarity reasoning is a type of Inference to the Best Explanation, or IBE. Two types of such inferences are distinguished: one in which the performance of two systems is compared, and another when the performance of two systems under intervention (...)
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  11.  9
    Games, Pluralism, and Scientific Explanation.Raoul Gervais - 2017 - Metascience 26 (1):87-89.
  12.  11
    Bergamo (Italy). His Last Book is Isaac Newton on Mathematical Certainty and Method (MIT, 2009). He is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Historia Mathematica. Lucian Petrescu is a Ph. D. Student at Ghent University. Previously, He has Studied at the University of Bucharest (BA), at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and at the University of Paris-Sorbonne (MA). [REVIEW]Raoul Gervais & Niccolò Guicciardini - 2013 - Perspectives on Science 21 (4).
  13.  8
    Op het snijvlak van cognitie, wetenschap en filosofie: inter-theoretische relaties in de twintigste eeuw.Raoul Gervais - 2012 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 104 (1):21-38.
    This article provides a critical survey of the debate on intertheoretic relations, with particular emphasis on the cognitive sciences. I begin by distinguishing two opposing sides, reductionism and antireductionism, and proceed by tracking the changes these positions underwent in the twentieth century. It appears that these changes consist to a significant degree in smoothing out the rough edges of both, so that the original positions can be understood as crude extremes. The monistic accounts of intertheoretic relations were traded in for (...)
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  14.  5
    The Role of Orientation Experiments in Discovering Mechanisms.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 54:46-55.
  15.  2
    Inferential Explanations in Biology.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (3):356-364.
    Among philosophers of science, there is now a widespread agreement that the DN model of explanation is poorly equipped to account for explanations in biology. Rather than identifying laws, so the consensus goes, researchers explain biological capacities by constructing a model of the underlying mechanism.We think that the dichotomy between DN explanations and mechanistic explanations is misleading. In this article, we argue that there are cases in which biological capacities are explained without constructing a model of the underlying mechanism. Although (...)
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  16.  1
    Phenomenological Understanding and Electric Eels.Raoul Gervais - 2017 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 32 (3):293.
    Explanations are supposed to provide us with understanding. It is common to make a distinction between genuine, scientific understanding, and the phenomenological, or ‘aha’ notion of understanding, where the former is considered epistemically relevant, the latter irrelevant. I argue that there is a variety of phenomenological understanding that does play a positive epistemic role. This phenomenological understanding involves a similarity between bodily sensations that is used as evidence for mechanistic hypotheses. As a case study, I will consider 17th and 18th (...)
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  17.  2
    Inferential Explanations in Biology.Raoul Gervais & Erik Weber - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (3):356-364.
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  18. Geld, verklarende diepte, Darwin.Raoul Gervais & Jan de Winter - 2010 - Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 102 (2):145-147.
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