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  1. Three Strategies for Salvaging Epistemic Value in Deep Neural Network Modeling.Philippe Verreault-Julien - manuscript
    Some how-possibly explanations have epistemic value because they are epistemically possible; we cannot rule out their truth. One paradoxical implication of that proposal is that epistemic value may be obtained from mere ignorance. For the less we know, then the more is epistemically possible. This chapter examines a particular class of problematic epistemically possible how-possibly explanations, viz. *epistemically opaque* how-possibly explanations. Those are how-possibly explanations justified by an epistemically opaque process. How could epistemically opaque how-possibly explanations have epistemic value if (...)
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  2. Explanatory idealizations.Andrew Wayne - manuscript
    A signal development in contemporary physics is the widespread use, in explanatory contexts, of highly idealized models. This paper argues that some highly idealized models in physics have genuine explanatory power, and it extends the explanatory role for such idealizations beyond the scope of previous philosophical work. It focuses on idealizations of nonlinear oscillator systems.
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  3. Scientific Models and Thought Experiments: Same Same but Different.Rawad El Skaf & Michael T. Stuart - forthcoming - In Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling. London: Routledge.
    The philosophical literatures on models and thought experiments have been developing exponentially, and independently, for decades. This independence is surprising, given how similar models and thought experiments are. They each have “lives of their own,” they sit between theory and experience, they are important for both pedagogy and cutting-edge science, they galvanize conceptual changes and paradigm shifts, and they involve entertaining imaginary scenarios and working out what happens. Recently, philosophers have begun to highlight these similarities. This entry aims at taking (...)
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  4. Modeling Action: Recasting the Causal Theory.Megan Fritts & Frank Cabrera - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Contemporary action theory is generally concerned with giving theories of action ontology. In this paper, we make the novel proposal that the standard view in action theory—the Causal Theory of Action—should be recast as a “model”, akin to the models constructed and investigated by scientists. Such models often consist in fictional, hypothetical, or idealized structures, which are used to represent a target system indirectly via some resemblance relation. We argue that recasting the Causal Theory as a model can not only (...)
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  5. Motivating a Scientific Modelling Continuum: The case of natural models in the Covid-19 pandemic.Ryan M. Nefdt - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science:1-22.
    The Covid-19 global pandemic had a profound effect on scientific practice. During this time, officials crucially relied on the work done by modellers. This raises novel questions for the philosophy of science. Here, I investigate the possibility of ‘natural models’ in predicting the virus’ trajectory for epidemiological purposes. I argue that to the extent that these can be consideredscientific models, they support the possibility of a continuum from scientific models to natural models differing in artifactual commitment. In making my case, (...)
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  6. Maps and Models.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - forthcoming - In Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling. London, UK:
    Maps and mapping raise questions about models and modeling and in science. This chapter archives map discourse in the founding generation of philosophers of science (e.g., Rudolf Carnap, Nelson Goodman, Thomas Kuhn, and Stephen Toulmin) and in the subsequent generation (e.g., Philip Kitcher, Helen Longino, and Bas van Fraassen). In focusing on these two original framing generations of philosophy of science, I intend to remove us from the heat of contemporary discussions of abstraction, representation, and practice of science and thereby (...)
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  7. A Complementary Account of Scientific Modelling: Modelling Mechanisms in Cancer Immunology.Martin Zach - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    According to a widely held view, scientific modelling consists in entertaining a set of model descriptions that specify a model. Rather than studying the phenomenon of interest directly, scientists investigate the phenomenon indirectly via a model in the hope of learning about some of the phenomenon’s features. I call this view the description-driven modelling (DDM) account. I argue that although an accurate description of much of scientific research, the DDM account is found wanting as regards the mechanistic modelling found in (...)
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  8. The puzzle of model-based explanation.N. Emrah Aydinonat - 2024 - In Tarja Knuuttila, Natalia Carrillo & Rami Koskinen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Scientific Modeling. Routledge.
    Among the many functions of models, explanation is central to the functioning and aims of science. However, the discussions surrounding modeling and explanation in philosophy have largely remained separate from each other. This chapter seeks to bridge the gap by focusing on the puzzle of model-based explanation, asking how different philosophical accounts answer the following question: if idealizations and fictions introduce falsehoods into models, how can idealized and fictional models provide true explanations? The chapter provides a selective and critical overview (...)
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  9. Exploring, expounding & ersatzing: a three-level account of deep learning models in cognitive neuroscience.Vanja Subotić - 2024 - Synthese 203 (3):1-28.
    Deep learning (DL) is a statistical technique for pattern classification through which AI researchers train artificial neural networks containing multiple layers that process massive amounts of data. I present a three-level account of explanation that can be reasonably expected from DL models in cognitive neuroscience and that illustrates the explanatory dynamics within a future-biased research program (Feest Philosophy of Science 84:1165–1176, 2017 ; Doerig et al. Nature Reviews: Neuroscience 24:431–450, 2023 ). By relying on the mechanistic framework (Craver Explaining the (...)
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  10. Black Hole Coalescence: Observation and Model Validation.Jamee Elder - 2023 - In Lydia Patton & Erik Curiel (eds.), Working Toward Solutions in Fluid Dynamics and Astrophysics: What the Equations Don’t Say. Springer Verlag. pp. 79-104.
    This paper will discuss the recent LIGO-Virgo observations of gravitational waves and the binary black hole mergers that produce them. These observations rely on having prior knowledge of the dynamical behaviour of binary black hole systems, as governed by the Einstein Field Equations (EFEs). However, we currently lack any exact, analytic solutions to the EFEs describing such systems. In the absence of such solutions, a range of modelling approaches are used to mediate between the dynamical equations and the experimental data. (...)
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  11. Modal Modeling in Science: Modal Epistemology meets Philosophy of Science (Topical Collection of Synthese).Till Grüne-Yanoff & Ylwa Sjölin Wirling (eds.) - 2023 - Springer.
  12. Promises and Problems in the Adoption of Self-Sovereign Identity Management from a Consumer Perspective.Marco Hünseler & Eva Pöll - 2023 - IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology 671:85-100.
    Online identification is a common problem but so far resolved unsatisfactorily, as consumers cannot fully control how much data they share and with whom. Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) technology promises to help by making use of decentralized data repositories as well as advanced cryptographic algorithms and protocols. This paper examines the effects of SSIs on responsible, confident, and vulnerable consumers in order to develop the missing understanding of consumer needs in SSI adoption and define preconditions and necessary considerations for the development (...)
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  13. Fishbones, Wheels, Eyes, and Butterflies: Heuristic Structural Reasoning in the Search for Solutions to the Navier-Stokes Equations.Lydia Patton - 2023 - In Lydia Patton & Erik Curiel (eds.), Working Toward Solutions in Fluid Dynamics and Astrophysics: What the Equations Don’t Say. Springer Verlag. pp. 57-78.
    Arguments for the effectiveness, and even the indispensability, of mathematics in scientific explanation rely on the claim that mathematics is an effective or even a necessary component in successful scientific predictions and explanations. Well-known accounts of successful mathematical explanation in physical science appeals to scientists’ ability to solve equations directly in key domains. But there are spectacular physical theories, including general relativity and fluid dynamics, in which the equations of the theory cannot be solved directly in target domains, and yet (...)
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  14. Interdisciplinary model transfer and realism about physical analogy.Peter Tan - 2023 - Synthese 201 (2):1-27.
    Model transfer is the scientific practice of taking a model which was initially applied in one particular kind of target system in some particular scientific domain and applying it to represent a novel target system in a novel scientific domain. This paper motivates a realist interpretation of empirically successful model transfers and the implications of such an interpretation for the metaphysics of science. The paper uses two examples of empirically successful model transfer, the first of which is a strikingly successful (...)
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  15. Review of Collin Rice's Leveraging Distortions: Explanation, Idealization, and Universality in Science[REVIEW]William D'Alessandro - 2022 - BJPS Review of Books.
  16. Unrealistic Models in Mathematics.William D'Alessandro - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint.
    Models are indispensable tools of scientific inquiry, and one of their main uses is to improve our understanding of the phenomena they represent. How do models accomplish this? And what does this tell us about the nature of understanding? While much recent work has aimed at answering these questions, philosophers' focus has been squarely on models in empirical science. I aim to show that pure mathematics also deserves a seat at the table. I begin by presenting two cases: Cramér’s random (...)
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  17. Reichenbach’s empirical axiomatization of relativity.Joshua Eisenthal & Lydia Patton - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-24.
    A well known conception of axiomatization has it that an axiomatized theory must be interpreted, or otherwise coordinated with reality, in order to acquire empirical content. An early version of this account is often ascribed to key figures in the logical empiricist movement, and to central figures in the early “formalist” tradition in mathematics as well. In this context, Reichenbach’s “coordinative definitions” are regarded as investing abstract propositions with empirical significance. We argue that over-emphasis on the abstract elements of this (...)
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  18. Introduction.Kareem Kareem Khalifa, Insa Lawler & Elay Shech - 2022 - In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge.
    This chapter gives an overview of the various themes and issues discussed in the volume. It includes summaries of all chapters and places the contributions, some of which are part of a critical conversation format, in the context of the larger literature and debates.
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  19. Teleosemantics and the free energy principle.Stephen Francis Mann & Ross Pain - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):1-25.
    The free energy principle is notoriously difficult to understand. In this paper, we relate the principle to a framework that philosophers of biology are familiar with: Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantics. We argue that: systems that minimise free energy are systems with a proper function; and Karl Friston’s notion of implicit modelling can be understood in terms of Millikan’s notion of mapping relations. Our analysis reveals some surprising formal similarities between the two frameworks, and suggests interesting lines of future research. We hope (...)
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  20. On the Relationship Between Modelling Practices and Interpretive Stances in Quantum Mechanics.Quentin Ruyant - 2022 - Foundations of Science 27 (2):387-405.
    The purpose of this article is to establish a connection between modelling practices and interpretive approaches in quantum mechanics, taking as a starting point the literature on scientific representation. Different types of modalities play different roles in scientific representation. I postulate that the way theoretical structures are interpreted in this respect affects the way models are constructed. In quantum mechanics, this would be the case in particular of initial conditions and observables. I examine two formulations of quantum mechanics, the standard (...)
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  21. Understanding from Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (1):109-133.
    Simple idealized models seem to provide more understanding than opaque, complex, and hyper-realistic models. However, an increasing number of scientists are going in the opposite direction by utilizing opaque machine learning models to make predictions and draw inferences, suggesting that scientists are opting for models that have less potential for understanding. Are scientists trading understanding for some other epistemic or pragmatic good when they choose a machine learning model? Or are the assumptions behind why minimal models provide understanding misguided? In (...)
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  22. How Values Shape the Machine Learning Opacity Problem.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - In Insa Lawler, Kareem Khalifa & Elay Shech (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation. Routledge. pp. 306-322.
    One of the main worries with machine learning model opacity is that we cannot know enough about how the model works to fully understand the decisions they make. But how much is model opacity really a problem? This chapter argues that the problem of machine learning model opacity is entangled with non-epistemic values. The chapter considers three different stages of the machine learning modeling process that corresponds to understanding phenomena: (i) model acceptance and linking the model to the phenomenon, (ii) (...)
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  23. Inductive Risk, Understanding, and Opaque Machine Learning Models.Emily Sullivan - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (5):1065-1074.
    Under what conditions does machine learning (ML) model opacity inhibit the possibility of explaining and understanding phenomena? In this article, I argue that nonepistemic values give shape to the ML opacity problem even if we keep researcher interests fixed. Treating ML models as an instance of doing model-based science to explain and understand phenomena reveals that there is (i) an external opacity problem, where the presence of inductive risk imposes higher standards on externally validating models, and (ii) an internal opacity (...)
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  24. Aristotle and Linearity in Substance, Measure, and Motion.Paul Taborsky - 2022 - Axiomathes 32 (6):1375-1399.
    The model of a closed linear measure space, which can be used to model Aristotle’s treatment of motion (kinesis), can be analogically extended to the qualitative ‘spaces’ implied by his theory of contraries in Physics I and in Metaphysics Iota, and to the dimensionless ‘space’ of the unity of matter and form discussed in book Eta of the Metaphysics. By examining Aristotle’s remarks on contraries, the subject of change, continuity, and the unity of matter and form, Aristotle’s thoughts on motion, (...)
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  25. Two Dimensions of Opacity and the Deep Learning Predicament.Florian J. Boge - 2021 - Minds and Machines 32 (1):43-75.
    Deep neural networks have become increasingly successful in applications from biology to cosmology to social science. Trained DNNs, moreover, correspond to models that ideally allow the prediction of new phenomena. Building in part on the literature on ‘eXplainable AI’, I here argue that these models are instrumental in a sense that makes them non-explanatory, and that their automated generation is opaque in a unique way. This combination implies the possibility of an unprecedented gap between discovery and explanation: When unsupervised models (...)
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  26. g as bridge model.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1067-1078.
    Psychometric g—a statistical factor capturing intercorrelations between scores on different IQ tests—is of theoretical interest despite being a low-fidelity model of both folk psychological intelligence and its cognitive/neural underpinnings. Psychometric g idealizes away from those aspects of cognitive/neural mechanisms that are not explanatory of the relevant variety of folk psychological intelligence, and it idealizes away from those varieties of folk psychological intelligence that are not generated by the relevant cognitive/neural substrate. In this manner, g constitutes a high-fidelity bridge model of (...)
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  27. A New Role for Mathematics in Empirical Sciences.Atoosa Kasirzadeh - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (4):686-706.
    Mathematics is often taken to play one of two roles in the empirical sciences: either it represents empirical phenomena or it explains these phenomena by imposing constraints on them. This article identifies a third and distinct role that has not been fully appreciated in the literature on applicability of mathematics and may be pervasive in scientific practice. I call this the “bridging” role of mathematics, according to which mathematics acts as a connecting scheme in our explanatory reasoning about why and (...)
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  28. Scientific understanding and felicitous legitimate falsehoods.Insa Lawler - 2021 - Synthese 198 (7):6859-6887.
    Science is replete with falsehoods that epistemically facilitate understanding by virtue of being the very falsehoods they are. In view of this puzzling fact, some have relaxed the truth requirement on understanding. I offer a factive view of understanding that fully accommodates the puzzling fact in four steps: (i) I argue that the question how these falsehoods are related to the phenomenon to be understood and the question how they figure into the content of understanding it are independent. (ii) I (...)
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  29. Model Explanation Versus Model-Induced Explanation.Insa Lawler & Emily Sullivan - 2021 - Foundations of Science 26 (4):1049-1074.
    Scientists appeal to models when explaining phenomena. Such explanations are often dubbed model explanations or model-based explanations. But what are the precise conditions for ME? Are ME special explanations? In our paper, we first rebut two definitions of ME and specify a more promising one. Based on this analysis, we single out a related conception that is concerned with explanations that are induced from working with a model. We call them ‘model-induced explanations’. Second, we study three paradigmatic cases of alleged (...)
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  30. Lange on Minimal Model Explanations: A Defense of Batterman and Rice.Travis McKenna - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (4):731-741.
    Marc Lange has recently raised three objections to the account of minimal model explanations offered by Robert Batterman and Collin Rice. In this article, I suggest that these objections are misguided. I suggest that the objections raised by Lange stem from a misunderstanding of the what it is that minimal model explanations seek to explain. This misunderstanding, I argue, consists in Lange’s seeing minimal model explanations as relating special types of models to particular target systems rather than seeing minimal model (...)
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  31. Deflationary realism: Representation and idealisation in cognitive science.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2021 - Mind and Language 37 (5):1048-1066.
    Debate on the nature of representation in cognitive systems tends to oscillate between robustly realist views and various anti‐realist options. I defend an alternative view, deflationary realism, which sees cognitive representation as an offshoot of the extended application to cognitive systems of an explanatory model whose primary domain is public representation use. This extended application, justified by a common explanatory target, embodies idealisations, partial mismatches between model and reality. By seeing representation as part of an idealised model, deflationary realism avoids (...)
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  32. Close encounters with scientific analogies of the third kind.Francesco Nappo - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-20.
    Arguments from non-causal analogy form a distinctive class of analogical arguments in science not recognized in authoritative classifications by, e.g., Hesse and Bartha. In this paper, I illustrate this novel class of scientific analogies by means of historical examples from physics, biology and economics, at the same time emphasizing their broader significance for contemporary debates in epistemology.
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  33. Robustness reasoning in climate model comparisons.Ryan O’Loughlin - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85 (C):34-43.
  34. Série Investigações Filosóficas: Textos Selecionados de Filosofia da Ciência II [Philosophical Investigation Series: Selected Texts on Philosophy of Science II].Luana Poliseli (ed.) - 2021 - Pelotas: Editora da Universidade Federal de Pelotas.
    A Série Investigação Filosófica, uma iniciativa do Núcleo de Ensino e Pesquisa em Filosofia do Departamento de Filosofia da UFPel e do Grupo de Pesquisa Investigação Filosófica do Departamento de Filosofia da UNIFAP, sob o selo editorial do NEPFil online e da Editora da Universidade Federal de Pelotas, com auxílio financeiro da John Templeton Foundation, tem por objetivo precípuo a publicação da tradução para a língua portuguesa de textos selecionados a partir de diversas plataformas internacionalmente reconhecidas, tal como a Stanford (...)
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  35. Idealizations and Analogies: Explaining Critical Phenomena.Quentin Rodriguez - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 89 (C):235-247.
    The “universality” of critical phenomena is much discussed in philosophy of scientific explanation, idealizations and philosophy of physics. Lange and Reutlinger recently opposed Batterman concerning the role of some deliberate distortions in unifying a large class of phenomena, regardless of microscopic constitution. They argue for an essential explanatory role for “commonalities” rather than that of idealizations. Building on Batterman's insight, this article aims to show that assessing the differences between the universality of critical phenomena and two paradigmatic cases of “commonality (...)
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  36. The Quest for System-Theoretical Medicine in the COVID-19 Era.Felix Tretter, Olaf Wolkenhauer, Michael Meyer-Hermann, Johannes W. Dietrich, Sara Green, James Marcum & Wolfram Weckwerth - 2021 - Frontiers in Medicine 8:640974.
    Precision medicine and molecular systems medicine (MSM) are highly utilized and successful approaches to improve understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of many diseases from bench-to-bedside. Especially in the COVID-19 pandemic, molecular techniques and biotechnological innovation have proven to be of utmost importance for rapid developments in disease diagnostics and treatment, including DNA and RNA sequencing technology, treatment with drugs and natural products and vaccine development. The COVID-19 crisis, however, has also demonstrated the need for systemic thinking and transdisciplinarity and the limits (...)
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  37. Factive inferentialism and the puzzle of model-based explanation.Philippe Verreault-Julien - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10039-10057.
    Highly idealized models may serve various epistemic functions, notably explanation, in virtue of representing the world. Inferentialism provides a prima facie compelling characterization of what constitutes the representation relation. In this paper, I argue that what I call factive inferentialism does not provide a satisfactory solution to the puzzle of model-based—factive—explanation. In particular, I show that making explanatory counterfactual inferences is not a sufficient guide for accurate representation, factivity, or realism. I conclude by calling for a more explicit specification of (...)
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  38. The Historical Distinctiveness of Central Europe: A Study in the Philosophy of History.Krzysztof Brzechczyn - 2020 - Bern: Peter Lang.
    The aim of this book is to explain economic dualism in the history of modern Europe. The emergence of the manorial-serf economy in the Bohemia, Poland, and Hungary in the 16th and the 17th centuries was the result of a cumulative impact of various circumstantial factors. The weakness of cities in Central Europe disturbed the social balance – so characteristic for Western-European societies – between burghers and the nobility. The political dominance of the nobility hampered the development of cities and (...)
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  39. Extrapolating from Laboratory Behavioral Research on Nonhuman Primates Is Unjustified.Parker Crutchfield - 2020 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 37 (4):628-645.
    Conducting research on animals is supposed to be valuable because it provides information on how human mechanisms work. But for the use of animal models to be ethically justified, it must be epistemically justified. The inference from an observation about an animal model to a conclusion about humans must be warranted for the use of animals to be moral. When researchers infer from animals to humans, it’s an extrapolation. Often non-human primates are used as animal models in laboratory behavioral research. (...)
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  40. Viewing-as explanations and ontic dependence.William D’Alessandro - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):769-792.
    According to a widespread view in metaphysics and philosophy of science, all explanations involve relations of ontic dependence between the items appearing in the explanandum and the items appearing in the explanans. I argue that a family of mathematical cases, which I call “viewing-as explanations”, are incompatible with the Dependence Thesis. These cases, I claim, feature genuine explanations that aren’t supported by ontic dependence relations. Hence the thesis isn’t true in general. The first part of the paper defends this claim (...)
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  41. Explanations and candidate explanations in physics.Martin King - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (1):1-17.
    There has been a growing trend to include non-causal models in accounts of scientific explanation. A worry addressed in this paper is that without a higher threshold for explanation there are no tools for distinguishing between models that provide genuine explanations and those that provide merely potential explanations. To remedy this, a condition is introduced that extends a veridicality requirement to models that are empirically underdetermined, highly-idealised, or otherwise non-causal. This condition is applied to models of electroweak symmetry breaking beyond (...)
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  42. Unifying the essential concepts of biological networks: biological insights and philosophical foundations.Daniel Kostic, Claus Hilgetag & Marc Tittgemeyer - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375 (1796):1-8.
    Over the last decades, network-based approaches have become highly popular in diverse fields of biology, including neuroscience, ecology, molecular biology and genetics. While these approaches continue to grow very rapidly, some of their conceptual and methodological aspects still require a programmatic foundation. This challenge particularly concerns the question of whether a generalized account of explanatory, organisational and descriptive levels of networks can be applied universally across biological sciences. To this end, this highly interdisciplinary theme issue focuses on the definition, motivation (...)
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  43. The Exploratory Status of Postconnectionist Models.Miljana Milojevic & Vanja Subotić - 2020 - Theoria: Beograd 2 (63):135-164.
    This paper aims to offer a new view of the role of connectionist models in the study of human cognition through the conceptualization of the history of connectionism – from the simplest perceptrons to convolutional neural nets based on deep learning techniques, as well as through the interpretation of criticism coming from symbolic cognitive science. Namely, the connectionist approach in cognitive science was the target of sharp criticism from the symbolists, which on several occasions caused its marginalization and almost complete (...)
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  44. Learning from Non-Causal Models.Francesco Nappo - 2020 - Erkenntnis 87 (5):2419-2439.
    This paper defends the thesis of learning from non-causal models: viz. that the study of some model can prompt justified changes in one’s confidence in empirical hypotheses about a real-world target in the absence of any known or predicted similarity between model and target with regards to their causal features. Recognizing that we can learn from non-causal models matters not only to our understanding of past scientific achievements, but also to contemporary debates in the philosophy of science. At one end (...)
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  45. Mechanist idealisation in systems biology.Dingmar van Eck & Cory Wright - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):1555-1575.
    This paper adds to the philosophical literature on mechanistic explanation by elaborating two related explanatory functions of idealisation in mechanistic models. The first function involves explaining the presence of structural/organizational features of mechanisms by reference to their role as difference-makers for performance requirements. The second involves tracking counterfactual dependency relations between features of mechanisms and features of mechanistic explanandum phenomena. To make these functions salient, we relate our discussion to an exemplar from systems biological research on the mechanism for countering (...)
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  46. Préface à "La diffusion de la Covid-19 - Que peuvent les modèles ?".Franck Varenne - 2020 - In Juliette Rouchier & Victorien Barbet (eds.), La diffusion de la Covid-19. Paris: pp. 3-10.
    Voilà un livre comme on pouvait l’espérer. Centré sur la Covid-19 et sur sa diffusion, il s’installe au cœur de questions brûlantes, encore urgentes pour tout un chacun, mais il garde aussi la tête froide, prend du recul, informe, enseigne et questionne, qui plus est de façon pédagogique. Davantage : au-delà du bilan critique, il propose des perspectives inédites, voire quelques suggestions solides. Il nous donne à réfléchir sur des chemins moins balisés. À le lire, on comprendra, par l’exemple, pourquoi (...)
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  47. Near-Decomposability and the Timescale Relativity of Causal Representations.Naftali Weinberger - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):841-856.
    A common strategy for simplifying complex systems involves partitioning them into subsystems whose behaviors are roughly independent of one another at shorter timescales. Dynamic causal models clarify how doing so reveals a system’s nonequilibrium causal relationships. Here I use these models to elucidate the idealizations and abstractions involved in representing a system at a timescale. The models reveal that key features of causal representations—such as which variables are exogenous—may vary with the timescale at which a system is considered. This has (...)
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  48. Mathematical Representation and Explanation: structuralism, the similarity account, and the hotchpotch picture.Ziren Yang - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This thesis starts with three challenges to the structuralist accounts of applied mathematics. Structuralism views applied mathematics as a matter of building mapping functions between mathematical and target-ended structures. The first challenge concerns how it is possible for a non-mathematical target to be represented mathematically when the mapping functions per se are mathematical objects. The second challenge arises out of inconsistent early calculus, which suggests that mathematical representation does not require rigorous mathematical structures. The third challenge comes from renormalisation group (...)
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  49. Explicating objectual understanding: taking degrees seriously.Christoph Baumberger - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 1:1-22.
    The paper argues that an account of understanding should take the form of a Carnapian explication and acknowledge that understanding comes in degrees. An explication of objectual understanding is defended, which helps to make sense of the cognitive achievements and goals of science. The explication combines a necessary condition with three evaluative dimensions: An epistemic agent understands a subject matter by means of a theory only if the agent commits herself sufficiently to the theory of the subject matter, and to (...)
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  50. What we cannot learn from analogue experiments.Karen Crowther, Niels S. Linnemann & Christian Wüthrich - 2019 - Synthese (Suppl 16):1-26.
    Analogue experiments have attracted interest for their potential to shed light on inaccessible domains. For instance, ‘dumb holes’ in fluids and Bose–Einstein condensates, as analogues of black holes, have been promoted as means of confirming the existence of Hawking radiation in real black holes. We compare analogue experiments with other cases of experiment and simulation in physics. We argue—contra recent claims in the philosophical literature—that analogue experiments are not capable of confirming the existence of particular phenomena in inaccessible target systems. (...)
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