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  1. A Scheme Foiled: A Critique of Baron's Account of Extra-Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - forthcoming - Mind.
    Extra-mathematical explanations explain natural phenomena primarily by appeal to mathematical facts. Philosophers disagree about whether there are extra-mathematical explanations, the correct account of them if they exist, and their implications (e.g., for the philosophy of scientific explanation and for the metaphysics of mathematics) (Baker 2005, 2009; Bangu 2008; Colyvan 1998; Craver and Povich 2017; Lange 2013, 2016, 2018; Mancosu 2008; Povich 2019, 2020; Steiner 1978). In this discussion note, I present three desiderata for any account of extra-mathematical explanation and argue (...)
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  2. Purely Theoretical Explanations.Giacomo Andreoletti, Jonathan Tallant & Giuliano Torrengo - 2020 - Philosophia 49 (1):133-154.
    This paper introduces a new kind of explanation that we describe as ‘purely theoretical’. We first present an example, E, of what we take to be a case of purely theoretical explanation. We then show that the explanation we have in mind does not fit neatly into any of the existing categories of explanation. We take this to give us prima facie motivation for thinking that purely theoretical explanation is a distinctive kind of explanation. We then argue that it can (...)
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  3. There is Nothing to Identity.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7321-7337.
    Several have denied that there is, specifically, a criterion of identity for persons and some deny that there are, for any kind, diachronic criteria of identity. I argue, however, that there are no criteria of identity, either synchronic or diachronic, for any kind whatsoever. I begin by elaborating the notion of a criterion of identity in order to clarify what exactly is being denied when I maintain there are none. I examine the motivation of those who qualify in some way (...)
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  4. A Teoria da Demonstração Científica de Aristóteles em Segundos Analíticos 1.2-9 e 1.13.Davi Bastos - 2020 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 30:e03021.
    I defend an interpretation of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics Book I which distinguishes between two projects in different passages of that work: (i) to explain what a given science is and (ii) to explain what properly scientific knowledge is. I present Aristotle’s theory in answer to ii, with special attention to his definition of scientific knowledge in 71b9-12 and showing how this is developed on chapters I.2-9 and I.13 into a solid Theory of Scientific Demonstration. The main point of this theory (...)
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  5. Optimalism and the Grounds of Existential Truths.Yannic Kappes - 2017 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 124 (2):263-271.
  6. Anything at All - The Deepest and the Shallowest Question.Yannic Kappes & Benjamin Schnieder - 2016 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 123 (2):543-565.
  7. Minimal Models and the Generalized Ontic Conception of Scientific Explanation.Mark Povich - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):117-137.
    Batterman and Rice ([2014]) argue that minimal models possess explanatory power that cannot be captured by what they call ‘common features’ approaches to explanation. Minimal models are explanatory, according to Batterman and Rice, not in virtue of accurately representing relevant features, but in virtue of answering three questions that provide a ‘story about why large classes of features are irrelevant to the explanandum phenomenon’ ([2014], p. 356). In this article, I argue, first, that a method (the renormalization group) they propose (...)
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  8. The Possibilities of History.Daniel Nolan - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):441-456.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 441 - 456 Several kinds of historical alternatives are distinguished. Different kinds of historical alternatives are valuable to the practice of history for different reasons. Important uses for historical alternatives include representing different sides of historical disputes; distributing chances of different outcomes over alternatives; and offering explanations of why various alternatives did _not_ in fact happen. Consideration of counterfactuals about what would have happened had things been different in particular ways plays particularly useful (...)
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  9. Causality and Scientific Explanation. Volume I: Medieval and Early Classical Science William A. Wallace. [REVIEW]James A. Weisheipl - 1974 - Isis 65 (1):99-100.
  10. How General Do Theories of Explanation Need To Be?Bernhard Nickel - 2010 - Noûs 44 (2):305-328.
    Theories of explanation seek to tell us what distinctively explanatory information is. The most ambitious ones, such as the DN-account, seek to tell us what an explanation is, tout court. Less ambitious ones, such as causal theories, restrict themselves to a particular domain of inquiry. The least ambitious theories constitute outright skepticism, holding that there is no reasonably unified phenomenon to give an account of. On these views, it is impossible to give any theories of explanation at all. I argue (...)
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  11. Causation and Explanation.Stathis Psillos - 2002 - Routledge.
    What is the nature of causation? How is causation linked with explanation? And can there be an adequate theory of explanation? These questions and many others are addressed in this unified and rigorous examination of the philosophical problems surrounding causation, laws and explanation. Part 1 of this book explores Hume's views on causation, theories of singular causation, and counterfactual and mechanistic approaches. Part 2 considers the regularity view of laws and laws as relations among universals, as well as recent alternative (...)
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  12. If, since and because: a study in conditional connection.Storrs McCall - 1983 - Logique Et Analyse 26 (3):309.
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  13. Scientific Explanation and the Philosophy of Language.Robert Evans Brumett - 1976 - Dissertation, The Ohio State University
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  14. Theoretical Limitations on Scientific Explanation.Robby Ray Brady - 1975 - Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
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  15. Proof and Explanation: The Virginia Lectures.John Wisdom - 1991 - University Press of America.
    This book is based on previously unpublished lectures that Wisdom delivered at the University of Virginia. Its content goes significantly beyond that of his other books. Here he is concerned with how misunderstandings about what it is to prove something or what it is to explain something can infect our thinking in many different fields.
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  16. On Allan Franklin's Conjectural Realism.Marco Buzzoni - 2000 - Epistemologia 23 (1):77-98.
  17. 12. Knowledge, Inference, and Explanation.Gilbert Harman - 2003 - In Steven Luper (ed.), Essential Knowledge: Readings in Epistemology. Longman. pp. 106.
  18. Phenomenological Laws and Their Application to Scientific Epistemic Explanation Problems.Erik Weber - 1990 - Logique Et Analyse 129 (29):175-189.
  19. Abstract Argumentation and Explanation Applied to Scientific Debates.Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2013 - Synthese 190 (12):2195-2217.
    argumentation has been shown to be a powerful tool within many fields such as artificial intelligence, logic and legal reasoning. In this paper we enhance Dung’s well-known abstract argumentation framework with explanatory capabilities. We show that an explanatory argumentation framework (EAF) obtained in this way is a useful tool for the modeling of scientific debates. On the one hand, EAFs allow for the representation of explanatory and justificatory arguments constituting rivaling scientific views. On the other hand, different procedures for selecting (...)
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  20. Primitiveness, Metaontology, and Explanatory Power.Jiri Benovsky - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (2):341-358.
    Metaphysical theories heavily rely on the use of primitives to which they typically appeal. I will start by examining and evaluating some traditional well-known theories and I will discuss the role of primitives in metaphysical theories in general. I will then turn to a discussion of claims of between theories that, I think, depend on equivalences of primitives, and I will explore the nature of primitives. I will then claim that almost all explanatory power of metaphysical theories comes from their (...)
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  21. Depth: An Account of Scientific Explanation. [REVIEW]Lina Jansson - 2008 - Philosophical Review 121 (4):625-630.
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  22. Explanation in Historiography.Cynthia Macdonald & Graham Macdonald - 2008 - In A. Tucker (ed.), A Companion to the Philosophy of History and Historiography. Blackwell.
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  23. Awareness and Inference: An Approach to Realism.Marten ten Hoor - 1936 - Journal of Philosophy 33 (22):589 - 596.
  24. Scientific Realism and Explanation.Robert Almeder - 1989 - American Philosophical Quarterly 26 (3):173 - 185.
    Assuming for the sake of discussion that there is an external world, The "core" thesis of scientific realism is that some of our empirical beliefs (including the so-Called theoretical beliefs) succeed in correctly describing, In some important measure, The external world. Classical scientific realism also asserts that we are able to say justifiably just "which" of our beliefs so succeed in correctly describing the external world. This paper does not examine this last claim. Rather it seeks to defend the core (...)
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  25. Prediction and Explanation in Historical Natural Science.Carol E. Cleland - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (3):551-582.
    In earlier work ( Cleland [2001] , [2002]), I sketched an account of the structure and justification of ‘prototypical’ historical natural science that distinguishes it from ‘classical’ experimental science. This article expands upon this work, focusing upon the close connection between explanation and justification in the historical natural sciences. I argue that confirmation and disconfirmation in these fields depends primarily upon the explanatory (versus predictive or retrodictive) success or failure of hypotheses vis-à-vis empirical evidence. The account of historical explanation that (...)
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  26. Moral and Scientific Explanation: Re-Examining the Harman/Sturgeon Debate.Edward Slowik - 1999 - Cogito 13 (1):39-44.
    This paper examines the status of explanation in the natural sciences and ethics by focusing on the important role of empirical evidence and theoretical properties. As a means of exploring these issues, the debate between Nicholas Sturgeon and Gilbert Harman will serve as a central point in the discussion, since Sturgeon has provided several arguments against Harman's attempt to draw a distinction between scientific and moral explanation. Specifically, Sturgeon holds that the special function of observation and testing, which we commonly (...)
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  27. Introduction.David-Hillel Ruben - 1993 - In D.-H. Ruben (ed.), Explanation. Oxford University Press.
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  28. The Ontology of Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben - 1989 - In Fred D'Agostino & I. C. Jarvie (eds.), Freedom and Rationality. Reidel. pp. 67--85.
    In an explanation, what does the explaining and what gets explained? What are the relata of the explanation relation? Candidates include: people, events, facts, sentences, statements, and propositions.
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  29. Confusion and Dependence in Uses of History.David Slutsky - 2012 - Synthese 184 (3):261-286.
    Many people argue that history makes a special difference to the subjects of biology and psychology, and that history does not make this special difference to other parts of the world. This paper will show that historical properties make no more or less of a difference to biology or psychology than to chemistry, physics, or other sciences. Although historical properties indeed make a certain kind of difference to biology and psychology, this paper will show that historical properties make the same (...)
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  30. Causal Pluralism Without Levels: Comments on Humphreys.James Bohman - 1996 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 34 (S1):115-127.
  31. Resisting Explanation.G. Randolph Mayes - 2000 - Argumentation 14 (4):361-380.
    Although explanation is widely regarded as an important concept in the study of rational inquiry, it remains largely unexplored outside the philosophy of science. This, I believe, is not due to oversight as much as to institutional resistance. In analytic philosophy it is basic that epistemic rationality is a function of justification and that justification is a function of argument. Explanation, however, is not argument nor is belief justification its function. I argue here that the task of incorporating explanation into (...)
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  32. Dimensional Explanations.Marc Lange - 2009 - Noûs 43 (4):742-775.
  33. Scientific Explanation and Moral Explanation.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2011 - Noûs 45 (3):472-503.
    Moral philosophers are, among other things, in the business of constructing moral theories. And moral theories are, among other things, supposed to explain moral phenomena. Consequently, one’s views about the nature of moral explanation will influence the kinds of moral theories one is willing to countenance. Many moral philosophers are (explicitly or implicitly) committed to a deductive model of explanation. As I see it, this commitment lies at the heart of the current debate between moral particularists and moral generalists. In (...)
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  34. Selection and Explanation.Alexander Bird - 2006 - In Rethinking Explanation. Springer. pp. 131--136.
    Selection explanations explain some non-accidental generalizations in virtue of a selection process. Such explanations are not particulaizable - they do not transfer as explanations of the instances of such generalizations. This is unlike many explanations in the physical sciences, where the explanation of the general fact also provides an explanation of its instances (i.e. standard D-N explanations). Are selection explanations (e.g. in biology) therefore a different kind of explanation? I argue that to understand this issue, we need to see that (...)
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  35. Peirce on Explanation.David Boersema - 2003 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 17 (3):224-236.
    There has been a recent focused effort in philosophical scholarship to bridge the perceived divide between pragmatism and analytic philosophy. This divide, it has been suggested, is over philosophical doctrines, methods, and even aims. This is not to say there has not been fruitful—even if antagonistic—dialogue between these two philosophical traditions. Clearly there has been, e.g., Russell's famous (or infamous) disputes with James and Dewey. Clearly also, there has been direct philosophical influence from one tradition to the other, e.g., Peirce (...)
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  36. Lipton on Compatible Contrasts.John W. Carroll - 1997 - Analysis 57 (3):170–178.
  37. Epistemic Operators.Fred Dretske - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (24):1007-1023.
  38. A Critique of Localized Realism.Mohamed Elsamahi - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1350-1360.
    A Critique of Localized Realism Abstract In an attempt to avert Laudan’s pessimistic induction, Worrall and Psillos introduce a narrower version of scientific realism. According to this version, which can be referred to as “localized realism”, realists need not accept every component in a successful theory. They are supposed only to accept those components that led to the theory’s empirical success. Consequently, realists can avoid believing in dubious entities like the caloric and ether. This paper examines and critiques localized realism. (...)
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  39. Manipulative Success and the Unreal.Axel Gelfert - 2003 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 17 (3):245-263.
    In its original form due to Ian Hacking, entity realism postulates a criterion of manipulative success which replaces explanatory virtue as the criterion of justified scientific belief. The article analyses the foundations on which this postulate rests and identifies the conditions on which one can derive a form of entity realism from it. It then develops in detail an extensive class of counterexamples, drawing on the notion of quasi-particles in condensed matter physics. While the phenomena associated with quasi-particles pass the (...)
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  40. Causal Explanation and Scientific Realism.Christopher Hitchcock - 1992 - Erkenntnis 37 (2):151 - 178.
    It is widely believed that many of the competing accounts of scientific explanation have ramifications which are relevant to the scientific realism debate. I claim that the two issues are orthogonal. For definiteness, I consider Cartwright's argument that causal explanations secure belief in theoretical entities. In Section I, van Fraassen's anti-realism is reviewed; I argue that this anti-realism is, prima facie, consistent with a causal account of explanation. Section II reviews Cartwright's arguments. In Section III, it is argued that causal (...)
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  41. Reasons: Explanations or Evidence.Stephen Kearns & Daniel Star - 2008 - Ethics 119 (1):31-56.
  42. Explanatory Knowledge and Metaphysical Dependence.Jaegwon Kim - 1994 - Philosophical Issues 5:51-69.
  43. The Best Explanation of a Scientific Paper.Peter Lipton - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (3):406-410.
    Frederick Suppe would have us reject hypothetico-deductivism, Bayesianism, and Inference to the Best Explanation, on the grounds that none of these philosophical models can account for the argumentative structure that virtually all data-based papers in science share, a structure exemplified by W. Jason Morgan's landmark paper in plate tectonics. At the core of that putative universal structure is a strategy whereby recalcitrant data are given interpretations designed to show that the theory or scientific model being advanced need not take them (...)
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  44. Explanation and Epistemology.William G. Lycan - 2002 - In Paul K. Moser (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 413.
    Second, there is a form of ampliative inference that has come to be called ‘inference to the best explanation,’ or more briefly ‘explanatory inference.’ Roughly: From the fact that a certain hypothesis would explain the data at hand better than any other available hypothesis, we infer with some degree of confidence that that leading hypothesis is correct. There is no question but that this inference is often performed. Arguably, every human being performs it many times in a day, perhaps without (...)
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  45. The Explanation of Scientific Belief: Reply to W.E. Jones.Samir Okasha - 2000 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14 (3):305 – 306.
  46. The Metaphorical Conception of Scientific Explanation: Rereading Mary Hesse. [REVIEW]Maria Rentetzi - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):377 - 391.
    In 1997, five decades after the publication of the landmark Hempel-Oppenheim article "Studies in the Logic of Explanation"([1948], 1970) Wesley Salmon published Causality and Explanation, a book that re-addresses the issue of scientific explanation. He provided an overview of the basic approaches to scientific explanation, stressed their weaknesses, and offered novel insights. However, he failed to mention Mary Hesse's approach to the topic and analyze her standpoint. This essay brings front and center Hesse's approach to scientific explanation formulated in the (...)
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  47. Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben (ed.) - 1993 - Oxford University Press.
    The aim of this series is to bring together important recent writings in major areas of philosophical inquiry, selected from a variety of sources, mostly periodicals, which may not be conveniently available to the university student or the general reader. The editor of each volume contributes an introductory essay on the items chosen and on the questions with which they deal. A selective bibliography is appended as a guide to further reading. This volume presents a selection of the most important (...)
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  48. Scientific Explanation and the Sense of Understanding.J. D. Trout - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (2):212-233.
    Scientists and laypeople alike use the sense of understanding that an explanation conveys as a cue to good or correct explanation. Although the occurrence of this sense or feeling of understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for good explanation, it does drive judgments of the plausibility and, ultimately, the acceptability, of an explanation. This paper presents evidence that the sense of understanding is in part the routine consequence of two well-documented biases in cognitive psychology: overconfidence and hindsight. In light of (...)
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Explanation and Laws
  1. Humeanism and the Pragmatic Turn.Michael Townsen Hicks, Siegfried Jaag & Christian Loew - forthcoming - In Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford University Press.
    A central question in the philosophy of science is: What is a law of nature? Different answers to this question define an important schism: Humeans, in the wake of David Hume, hold that the laws of nature are nothing over and above what actually happens and reject irreducible facts about natural modality (Lewis, 1983, 1994; cf. Miller, 2015). According to Non-Humeans, by contrast, the laws are metaphysically fundamental (Maudlin, 2007) or grounded in primitive modal structures, such as dispositional essences of (...)
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  2. If Naturalism is True, Then Scientific Explanation is Impossible.Tomas Bogardus - forthcoming - Religious Studies:1-24.
    I begin by retracing an argument from Aristotle for final causes in science. Then, I advance this ancient thought, and defend an argument for a stronger conclusion: that no scientific explanation can succeed, if Naturalism is true. The argument goes like this: (1) Any scientific explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves a natural regularity. Next, I argue that (2) any explanation can be successful only if it crucially involves no element that calls out for explanation but lacks (...)
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