Results for 'Structural explanation'

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  1.  63
    A Structural Explanation of Injustice in Conversations: It's About Norms.Saray Ayala-López - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):726-748.
    In contrast to individualistic explanations of social injustice that appeal to implicit attitudes, structural explanations are unintuitive: they appeal to entities that lack clear ontological status, and the explanatory mechanism is similarly unclear. This makes structural explanations unappealing. The present work proposes a structural explanation of one type of injustice that happens in conversations, discursive injustice. This proposal meets two goals. First, it satisfactorily accounts for the specific features of this particular kind of injustice; and second, (...)
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  2. What is a (Social) Structural Explanation?Sally Haslanger - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):113-130.
    A philosophically useful account of social structure must accommodate the fact that social structures play an important role in structural explanation. But what is a structural explanation? How do structural explanations function in the social sciences? This paper offers a way of thinking about structural explanation and sketches an account of social structure that connects social structures with structural explanation.
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  3. Structural Explanations in Minkowski Spacetime: Which Account of Models?Mauro Dorato & Laura Felline - 2010 - In V. Petkov (ed.), Space, Time, and Spacetime. Springer. pp. 193-207.
    In this paper we argue that structural explanations are an effective way of explaining well known relativistic phenomena like length contraction and time dilation, and then try to understand how this can be possible by looking at the literature on scientific models. In particular, we ask whether and how a model like that provided by Minkowski spacetime can be said to represent the physical world, in such a way that it can successfully explain physical phenomena structurally. We conclude by (...)
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  4. Structural Explanation in Social Theory.Frank Jackson & Philip Pettit - 1992 - In K. Lennon & D. Charles (eds.), Reduction, Explanation, and Realism. Oxford University Press. pp. 97--131.
  5. Mechanisms Meet Structural Explanation.Laura Felline - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):99-114.
    This paper investigates the relationship between structural explanation and the New Mechanistic account of explanation. The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly, to argue that some phenomena in the domain of fundamental physics, although mechanically brute, are structurally explained; and secondly, by elaborating on the contrast between SE and mechanistic explanation to better clarify some features of SE. Finally, this paper will argue that, notwithstanding their apparently antithetical character, SE and ME can be reconciled within (...)
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  6.  78
    Structural Explanation.Ernan McMullin - 1978 - American Philosophical Quarterly 15 (2):139 - 147.
  7. Minimal Structure Explanations, Scientific Understanding and Explanatory Depth.Daniel Kostić - 2018 - Perspectives on Science (1):48-67.
    In this paper, I outline a heuristic for thinking about the relation between explanation and understanding that can be used to capture various levels of “intimacy”, between them. I argue that the level of complexity in the structure of explanation is inversely proportional to the level of intimacy between explanation and understanding, i.e. the more complexity the less intimacy. I further argue that the level of complexity in the structure of explanation also affects the explanatory depth (...)
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  8. Radical epistemology, structural explanations, and epistemic weaponry.Richard Pettigrew - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (1):289-304.
    When is a belief justified? There are three families of arguments we typically use to support different accounts of justification: arguments from our intuitive responses to vignettes that involve the concept; arguments from the theoretical role we would like the concept to play in epistemology; and arguments from the practical, moral, and political uses to which we wish to put the concept. I focus particularly on the third sort, and specifically on arguments of this sort offered by Clayton Littlejohn in (...)
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  9. Structural Explanations and Norms: Comments on Haslanger.Amie Thomasson - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (1):131-139.
    Sally Haslanger undertakes groundbreaking work in developing an account of structural explanations and the social structures that figure in them. A chief virtue of the account is that it can show the importance of structural explanations while also respecting the role of individual autonomy in explaining many decisions, by demonstrating the way in which social structures may set up a ‘choice architecture’ in which these choices are made. This paper gives an overview of this achievement, and goes on (...)
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  10.  48
    Social Structural Explanation.Valerie Soon - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (10):e12782.
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  11. Dynamical Versus Structural Explanations in Scientific Revolutions.Mauro Dorato - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2307-2327.
    By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same (...)
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  12. Structural Explanation From Special Relativity to Quantum Information Theory.Laura Felline - 2010 - In M. D'Agostino, G. Giorello & F. Laudisa (eds.), SILFS New Essays in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Pubblications.
  13. Darcy's Law and Structural Explanation in Hydrology.James R. Hofmann & Paul A. Hofmann - 1992 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1992:23 - 35.
    Darcy's law is a phenomenological relationship for fluid flow rate that finds one of its principle applications in hydrology. Theoretical hydrologists rely upon a multiplicity of conceptual models to carry out approximate derivations of Darcy's law. These derivations provide structural explanations of the law; they require the application of fundamental principles, such as conservation of momentum, to idealized models of the porous media within which the flow occurs. In practice, recognition of the idealized conditions incorporated into models facilitates the (...)
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  14.  37
    The Structures of Social Structural Explanation: Comments on Haslanger’s What is (Social) Structural Explanation?Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (50):173-199.
    In a recent paper, Sally Haslanger argues for the importance of structural explanation. Roughly, a structural explana- tion of the behaviour of a given object appeals to features of the struc- tures—physical, social, or otherwise—the object is embedded in. It is opposed to individualistic explanations, where what is appealed to is just the object and its properties. For example, an individualistic explanation of why someone got the grade they did might appeal to features of the essay (...)
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  15.  9
    Structural Explanation of Developmental Change.Kurt W. Fischer - 1978 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (2):186-187.
  16.  53
    Outlines of a Theory of Structural Explanations.Philippe Huneman - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):665-702.
    This paper argues that in some explanations mathematics are playing an explanatory rather than a representational role, and that this feature unifies many types of non-causal or non-mechanistic explanations that some philosophers of science have been recently exploring under various names. After showing how mathematics can play either a representational or an explanatory role by considering two alternative explanations of a same biological pattern—“Bergmann’s rule”—I offer an example of an explanation where the bulk of the explanatory job is done (...)
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  17. Reasons Explanations (of Actions) as Structural Explanations.Megan Fritts - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12683-12704.
    Non-causal accounts of action explanation have long been criticized for lacking a positive thesis, relying primarily on negative arguments to undercut the standard Causal Theory of Action The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2016). Additionally, it is commonly thought that non-causal accounts fail to provide an answer to Donald Davidson’s challenge for theories of reasons explanations of actions. According to Davidson’s challenge, a plausible non-causal account of reasons explanations must provide a way of connecting an agent’s reasons, not only to (...)
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  18.  23
    Individualistic and Structural Explanations in Ásta’s Categories We Live By.Aaron M. Griffith - 2019 - Journal of Social Ontology 5 (2):251-260.
    Ásta’s Categories We Live By is a superb addition to the literature on social metaphysics. In it she offers a powerful framework for understanding the creation and maintenance of social categories. In this commentary piece, I want to draw attention to Ásta’s reliance on explanatory individualism – the view that the social world is best explained by the actions and attitudes of individuals. I argue that this reliance makes it difficult for Ásta to explain how many social categories are maintained (...)
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  19.  27
    Epistemic Context and Structural Explanation of Belief.Olivier Ouzilou - 2014 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 44 (5):630-645.
    Social science studies often explain the emergence of collective beliefs by reference to factors that are supposed to be part of the social context. How do these macro-factors shape the beliefs of individuals? How can structural factors provide evidence supporting a given belief? In answering these questions, I propose a link connecting macro-factors and beliefs by introducing the notion of “evidential categorization.” I expect to show that our structural explanations of beliefs often contain an analysis of the socially (...)
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  20. A Modest Proposal for Interpreting Structural Explanations.Mariam Thalos - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):279-295.
    Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly (...)
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  21.  60
    Symposium on Explanations and Social Ontology 3: Can We Dispense with Structural Explanations of Social Facts?Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel - 2002 - Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):259-275.
    Some social scientists and philosophers (e.g., James Coleman and Jon Elster) claim that all social facts are best explained by means of a micro-explanation. They defend a micro-reductionism in the social sciences: to explain is to provide a mechanism on the individual level. The first aim of this paper is to challenge this view and defend the view that it has to be substituted for an explanatory pluralism with two components: (1) structural explanations of P-, O- and T-contrasts (...)
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  22. 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 (...)
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  23. Idealization and Structural Explanation in Physics.Martin King - 2014
  24. The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - New York, NY, USA: Harcourt, Brace & World.
    Introduction: Science and Common Sense Long before the beginnings of modern civilization, men ac- quired vast funds of information about their environment. ...
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  25. Bell's Theorem, Ideology, and Structural Explanation.R. I. G. Hughes - 1989 - In James T. Cushing & Ernan McMullin (eds.), Philosophical Consequences of Quantum Theory. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 195--207.
  26.  7
    The Island Status of Clausal Complements: Evidence in Favor of an Information Structure Explanation.Ben Ambridge & Adele E. Goldberg - 2008 - Cognitive Linguistics 19 (3).
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  27.  6
    A Modest Proposal for Interpreting Structural Explanations.Mariam Thalos - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):279-295.
    Social sciences face a well-known problem, which is an instance of a general problem faced as well by psychological and biological sciences: the problem of establishing their legitimate existence alongside physics. This, as will become clear, is a problem in metaphysics. I will show how a new account of structural explanations, put forward by Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit, which is designed to solve this metaphysical problem with social sciences in mind, fails to treat the problem in any importantly (...)
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  28. Equilibrium Explanation as Structural Non-Mechanistic Explanation: The Case Long-Term Bacterial Persistence in Human Hosts.Javier Suárez & Roger Deulofeu - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 3 (38):95-120.
    Philippe Huneman has recently questioned the widespread application of mechanistic models of scientific explanation based on the existence of structural explanations, i.e. explanations that account for the phenomenon to be explained in virtue of the mathematical properties of the system where the phenomenon obtains, rather than in terms of the mechanisms that causally produce the phenomenon. Structural explanations are very diverse, including cases like explanations in terms of bowtie structures, in terms of the topological properties of the (...)
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  29.  18
    The Function of Microstructure in Boyle’s Chemical Philosophy: ‘Chymical Atoms' and Structural Explanation.Marina Banchetti-Robino - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1):51-59.
    One of several important issues that inform contemporary philosophy of chemistry is the issue of structural explanation, precisely because modern chemistry is primarily concerned with microstructure. This paper argues that concern over microstructure, albeit understood differently than it is today, also informs the chemical philosophy of Robert Boyle. According to Boyle, the specific microstructure of ‘chymical atoms’, understood in geometric terms, accounts for the unique essential properties of different chemical substances. Because he considers the microstructure of ‘chymical atoms’ (...)
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  30.  69
    The Structure and Function of Explanations.Tania Lombrozo - 2006 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (10):464-470.
    Generating and evaluating explanations is spontaneous, ubiquitous and fundamental to our sense of understanding. Recent evidence suggests that in the course of an individual’s reasoning, engaging in explanation can have profound effects on the probability assigned to causal claims, on how properties are generalized and on learning. These effects follow from two properties of the structure of explanations: explanations accommodate novel information in the context of prior beliefs, and do so in a way that fosters generalization. The study of (...)
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  31. The Structure of Essentialist Explanations of Necessity.Michael Wallner - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):4-13.
    Fine, Lowe and Hale accept the view that necessity is to be explained by essences: Necessarily p iff, and because, there is some x whose essence ensures that p. Hale, however, believes that this strategy is not universally applicable; he argues that the necessity of essentialist truths cannot itself be explained by once again appealing to essentialist truths. As a consequence, Hale holds that there are basic necessities that cannot be explained. Thus, Hale style essentialism falls short of what Wilsch (...)
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  32.  6
    The Function of Microstructure in Boyle's Chemical Philosophy: 'Chymical Atoms' and Structural Explanation.Marina P. Banchetti - 2019 - Foundations of Chemistry 21 (1):51-59.
    One of several important issues that inform contemporary philosophy of chemistry is the issue of structural explanation, precisely because modern chemistry is primarily concerned with microstructure. This paper argues that concern over microstructure, albeit understood differently than it is today, also informs the chemical philosophy of Robert Boyle (1627–1691). According to Boyle, the specific microstructure of ‘chymical atoms’, understood in geometric terms, accounts for the unique essential properties of different chemical substances. Because he considers the microstructure of ‘chymical (...)
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  33.  57
    Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Ronald N. Giere - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (3):444.
  34. Bowtie Structures, Pathway Diagrams, and Topological Explanation.Nicholaos Jones - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (5):1135-1155.
    While mechanistic explanation and, to a lesser extent, nomological explanation are well-explored topics in the philosophy of biology, topological explanation is not. Nor is the role of diagrams in topological explanations. These explanations do not appeal to the operation of mechanisms or laws, and extant accounts of the role of diagrams in biological science explain neither why scientists might prefer diagrammatic representations of topological information to sentential equivalents nor how such representations might facilitate important processes of explanatory (...)
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  35. On Structural Accounts of Model-Explanations.Martin King - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2761-2778.
    The focus in the literature on scientific explanation has shifted in recent years towards model-based approaches. In recent work, Alisa Bokulich has argued that idealization has a central role to play in explanation. Bokulich claims that certain highly-idealized, structural models can be explanatory, even though they are not considered explanatory by causal, mechanistic, or covering law accounts of explanation. This paper focuses on Bokulich’s account in order to make the more general claim that there are problems (...)
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  36. The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.Ernest Nagel - 1962 - Philosophy 37 (142):372-374.
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  37.  41
    Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Wesley Salmon.James H. Fetzer - 1987 - Philosophy of Science 54 (4):597-610.
  38. The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.Ernest Nagel - 1981 - Science and Society 45 (4):475-480.
     
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  39. The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.Ernest Nagel - 1963 - Mind 72 (287):429-441.
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  40. The Structure of Scientific Theories, Explanation, and Unification. A Causal–Structural Account.Bert Leuridan - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):717-771.
    What are scientific theories and how should they be represented? In this article, I propose a causal–structural account, according to which scientific theories are to be represented as sets of interrelated causal and credal nets. In contrast with other accounts of scientific theories (such as Sneedian structuralism, Kitcher’s unificationist view, and Darden’s theory of theoretical components), this leaves room for causality to play a substantial role. As a result, an interesting account of explanation is provided, which sheds light (...)
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  41.  20
    The Structure of Science: Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation[REVIEW]Charles E. Caton - 1964 - Philosophical Review 73 (1):104-106.
  42. Theoreticity in Logical Empirism and in Structurality-Explanation on the Case Example of Neurobiological Constructivity.Stephan Kornmesser - 2008 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 39 (1):53-67.
  43.  47
    Integrated-Structure Emergence and its Mechanistic Explanation.Gil Santos - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8687-8711.
    This paper proposes an integrated-structure notion of interlevel emergence, from a dynamic relational ontological perspective. First, I will argue that only the individualist essentialism of atomistic metaphysics can block the possibility of interlevel emergence. Then I will show that we can make sense of emergence by recognizing the formation of structures of transformative and interdependent causal relations in the generation and development of a particular class of mereological complexes called integrated systems. Finally, I shall argue that even though the emergent (...)
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  44.  89
    Structural Formulas and Explanation in Organic Chemistry.W. M. Goodwin - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (2):117-127.
    Organic chemists have been able to develop a robust, theoretical understanding of the phenomena they study; however, the primary theoretical devices employed in this field are not mathematical equations or laws, as is the case in most other physical sciences. Instead it is diagrams, and in particular structural formulas and potential energy diagrams, that carry the explanatory weight in the discipline. To understand how this is so, it is necessary to investigate both the nature of the diagrams employed in (...)
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  45. Distinguished Lecture: Social Structure, Narrative and Explanation.Sally Haslanger - 2015 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 45 (1):1-15.
    Recent work on social injustice has focused on implicit bias as an important factor in explaining persistent injustice in spite of achievements on civil rights. In this paper, I argue that because of its individualism, implicit bias explanation, taken alone, is inadequate to explain ongoing injustice; and, more importantly, it fails to call attention to what is morally at stake. An adequate account of how implicit bias functions must situate it within a broader theory of social structures and (...) injustice; changing structures is often a precondition for changing patterns of thought and action and is certainly required for durable change. (shrink)
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  46. Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.
    We propose a new definition of actual causes, using structural equations to model counterfactuals. We show that the definition yields a plausible and elegant account of causation that handles well examples which have caused problems for other definitions and resolves major difficulties in the traditional account.
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  47.  90
    Social Explanation: Structures, Stories, and Ontology. A Reply to Díaz León, Saul, and Sterken.Sally Haslanger - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (50):245-273.
    In response to commentaries by Esa Díaz León, Jennifer Saul, and Ra- chel Sterken, I develop more fully my views on the role of structure in social and metaphysical explanation. Although I believe that social agency, quite generally, occurs within practices and structures, the relevance of structure depends on the sort of questions we are asking and what interventions we are considering. The emphasis on questions is also relevant in considering metaphysical and meta-metaphysical is- sues about realism with respect (...)
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  48. The Structure of Sensorimotor Explanation.Alfredo Vernazzani - 2018 - Synthese (11):4527-4553.
    The sensorimotor theory of vision and visual consciousness is often described as a radical alternative to the computational and connectionist orthodoxy in the study of visual perception. However, it is far from clear whether the theory represents a significant departure from orthodox approaches or whether it is an enrichment of it. In this study, I tackle this issue by focusing on the explanatory structure of the sensorimotor theory. I argue that the standard formulation of the theory subscribes to the same (...)
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  49. The Structure of Teleological Explanations in Aristotle: Theory and Practice.Mariska Leunissen - 2007 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 33:145-178.
  50.  33
    The Structure of Science. Problems in the Logic of Scientific Explanation.J. J. C. Smart - 1962 - Journal of Philosophy 59 (8):216-223.
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