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Thomas Blanchard
University of Cologne
  1.  31
    Cause Without Default.Thomas Blanchard & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 175-214.
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  2.  61
    Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right.Thomas Blanchard - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (2):633-663.
    Theories of explanation need to account for a puzzling feature of our explanatory practices: the fact that we prefer explanations that are relatively abstract but only moderately so. Contra Franklin-Hall ([2016]), I argue that the interventionist account of explanation provides a natural and elegant explanation of this fact. By striking the right balance between specificity and generality, moderately abstract explanations optimally subserve what interventionists regard as the goal of explanation, namely identifying possible interventions that would have changed the explanandum.
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  3.  87
    Physics and Causation.Thomas Blanchard - 2016 - Philosophy Compass 11 (5):256-266.
    More than a century ago, Russell launched a forceful attack on causation, arguing not only that modern physics has no need for causal notions but also that our belief in causation is a relic of a pre-scientific view of the world. He thereby initiated a debate about the relations between physics and causation that remains very much alive today. While virtually everybody nowadays rejects Russell's causal eliminativism, many philosophers have been convinced by Russell that the fundamental physical structure of our (...)
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  4.  42
    Bayesian Occam's Razor Is a Razor of the People.Thomas Blanchard, Tania Lombrozo & Shaun Nichols - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (4):1345-1359.
    Occam's razor—the idea that all else being equal, we should pick the simpler hypothesis—plays a prominent role in ordinary and scientific inference. But why are simpler hypotheses better? One attractive hypothesis known as Bayesian Occam's razor is that more complex hypotheses tend to be more flexible—they can accommodate a wider range of possible data—and that flexibility is automatically penalized by Bayesian inference. In two experiments, we provide evidence that people's intuitive probabilistic and explanatory judgments follow the prescriptions of BOR. In (...)
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  5.  29
    Stable Causal Relationships Are Better Causal Relationships.Nadya Vasilyeva, Thomas Blanchard & Tania Lombrozo - 2018 - Cognitive Science 42 (4):1265-1296.
    We report three experiments investigating whether people’s judgments about causal relationships are sensitive to the robustness or stability of such relationships across a range of background circumstances. In Experiment 1, we demonstrate that people are more willing to endorse causal and explanatory claims based on stable (as opposed to unstable) relationships, even when the overall causal strength of the relationship is held constant. In Experiment 2, we show that this effect is not driven by a causal generalization’s actual scope of (...)
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  6.  55
    Stability, Breadth and Guidance.Thomas Blanchard, Nadya Vasilyeva & Tania Lombrozo - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2263-2283.
    Much recent work on explanation in the interventionist tradition emphasizes the explanatory value of stable causal generalizations—i.e., causal generalizations that remain true in a wide range of background circumstances. We argue that two separate explanatory virtues are lumped together under the heading of `stability’. We call these two virtues breadth and guidance respectively. In our view, these two virtues are importantly distinct, but this fact is neglected or at least under-appreciated in the literature on stability. We argue that an adequate (...)
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  7.  57
    How Physics Makes Us Free. [REVIEW]Thomas Blanchard - 2017 - Journal of Philosophy 114 (3):160-164.
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  8.  15
    Default Knowledge, Time Pressure, and the Theory-Theory of Concepts.Thomas Blanchard - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):206-207.
    I raise two issues for Machery's discussion and interpretation of the theory-theory. First, I raise an objection against Machery's claim that theory-theorists take theories to be default bodies of knowledge. Second, I argue that theory-theorists' experimental results do not support Machery's contention that default bodies of knowledge include theories used in their own proprietary kind of categorization process.
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  9.  44
    Bayesianism and Explanatory Unification: A Compatibilist Account.Thomas Blanchard - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (4):682-703.
    Proponents of IBE claim that the ability of a hypothesis to explain a range of phenomena in a unifying way contributes to the hypothesis’s credibility in light of these phenomena. I propose a Bayesian justification of this claim that reveals a hitherto unnoticed role for explanatory unification in evaluating the plausibility of a hypothesis: considerations of explanatory unification enter into the determination of a hypothesis’s prior by affecting its ‘explanatory coherence’, that is, the extent to which the hypothesis offers mutually (...)
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  10.  18
    Experiments on Causal Exclusion.Thomas Blanchard, Dylan Murray & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  11.  17
    Moral Responsibility and the Self.Thomas Blanchard - unknown
    Moral responsibility is an issue at the heart of the free-will debate. The question of how we can have moral responsibility in a deterministic world is an interesting and puzzling one. Compatibilists arguments have left open the possibility that the ability to do otherwise is not required for moral responsibility. The challenge, then, is to come up with what our attributions of moral responsibility are tracking. To do this, criteria which can adequately differentiate cases in which the agent is responsible (...)
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  12.  50
    Douglas Kutach: Causation and Its Basis in Fundamental Physics. [REVIEW]Thomas Blanchard - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):330-333,.
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