21 found
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  1.  1
    The Philosophy of Science and Engineering Design.Dingmar van Eck - 2016 - Springer Verlag.
    This book discusses the relationship between the philosophy of science and philosophy of engineering, and demonstrates how philosophers of engineering design as well as design researchers can benefit from the conceptual toolkit that the philosophy of science has to offer. In this regard, it employs conceptual tools from the philosophical literature on scientific explanation to address key issues in engineering design and philosophy of engineering design. Specifically, the book focuses on assessing the explanatory value of function ascriptions used in engineering (...)
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  2. Ontic Explanation Is Either Ontic or Explanatory, but Not Both.Cory Wright & Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 5:997–1029.
    What features will something have if it counts as an explanation? And will something count as an explanation if it has those features? In the second half of the 20th century, philosophers of science set for themselves the task of answering such questions, just as a priori conceptual analysis was generally falling out of favor. And as it did, most philosophers of science just moved on to more manageable questions about the varieties of explanation and discipline-specific scientific explanation. Often, such (...)
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  3. Reconciling Ontic and Epistemic Constraints on Mechanistic Explanation, Epistemically.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - Axiomathes 25 (1):5-22.
    In this paper I address the current debate on ontic versus epistemic conceptualizations of mechanistic explanation in the mechanisms literature. Illari recently argued that good explanations are subject to both ontic and epistemic constraints: they must describe mechanisms in the world in such fashion that they provide understanding of their workings. Elaborating upon Illari’s ‘integration’ account, I argue that causal role function discovery of mechanisms and their components is an epistemic prerequisite for achieving these two aims. This analysis extends Illari’s (...)
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  4.  33
    Function Ascription and Explanation: Elaborating an Explanatory Utility Desideratum for Ascriptions of Technical Functions.Dingmar van Eck & Erik Weber - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (6):1367-1389.
    Current philosophical theorizing about technical functions is mainly focused on specifying conditions under which agents are justified in ascribing functions to technical artifacts. Yet, assessing the precise explanatory relevance of such function ascriptions is, by and large, a neglected topic in the philosophy of technical artifacts and technical functions. We assess the explanatory utility of ascriptions of technical functions in the following three explanation-seeking contexts: why was artifact x produced?, why does artifact x not have the expected capacity to ϕ?, (...)
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  5.  32
    Mechanistic Explanation in Engineering Science.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):349-375.
    In this paper I apply the mechanistic account of explanation to engineering science. I discuss two ways in which this extension offers further development of the mechanistic view. First, functional individuation of mechanisms in engineering science proceeds by means of two distinct sub types of role function, behavior function and effect function, rather than role function simpliciter. Second, it offers refined assessment of the explanatory power of mechanistic explanations. It is argued that in the context of malfunction explanations of technical (...)
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  6.  16
    Mechanistic Explanation, Cognitive Systems Demarcation, and Extended Cognition.Dingmar van Eck & Huib Looren de Jong - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:11-21.
  7.  35
    Rethinking the Explanatory Power of Dynamical Models in Cognitive Science.Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (8):1131-1161.
    ABSTRACTIn this paper I offer an interventionist perspective on the explanatory structure and explanatory power of dynamical models in cognitive science: I argue that some “pure” dynamical models – ones that do not refer to mechanisms at all – in cognitive science are “contextualized causal models” and that this explanatory structure gives such models genuine explanatory power. I contrast this view with several other perspectives on the explanatory power of “pure” dynamical models. One of the main results is that dynamical (...)
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  8.  18
    Mechanism Discovery and Design Explanation: Where Role Function Meets Biological Advantage Function.Dingmar van Eck & Julie Mennes - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):413-434.
    In the recent literature on explanation in biology, increasing attention is being paid to the connection between design explanation and mechanistic explanation, viz. the role of design principles and heuristics for mechanism discovery and mechanistic explanation. In this paper we extend the connection between design explanation and mechanism discovery by prizing apart two different types of design explanation and by elaborating novel heuristics that one specific type offers for mechanism discovery across species. We illustrate our claims in terms of two (...)
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  9. Incommensurability and Rationality in Engineering Design: The Case of Functional Decomposition.Dingmar van Eck - 2011 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 15 (2):118-136.
    In engineering design research different models of functional decomposition are advanced side-by-side. In this paper I explain and validate this co-existence of models in terms of the Kuhnian thesis of methodological incommensurability. I advance this analysis in terms of the thesis’ construal of theory choice in terms of values, expanding this notion to the engineering domain. I further argue that the implicated threat of the thesis to rational theory choice has no force in the functional decomposition case: co-existence of different (...)
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  10.  19
    Constitutive Relevance in Cognitive Science: The Case of Eye Movements and Cognitive Mechanisms.Dingmar van Eck - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 73:44-53.
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  11.  11
    On the Structure and Epistemic Value of Function Ascriptions in Biology and Engineering Sciences.Erik Weber, Dingmar van Eck & Julie Mennes - 2019 - Foundations of Science 24 (3):559-581.
    In this paper we chart epistemological similarities between shared function talk in biology and the engineering sciences, focusing on the notions of biological advantage function and technical advantage function. We start by showing that biological advantage function ascriptions are common in biology and that technical advantage function ascriptions are common in engineering science. We then proceed to show that these ascriptions have a very similar structure and that their epistemic value also is similar: both biological advantage function and technical advantage (...)
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  12.  33
    Design Explanation and Idealization.Dingmar van Eck & Julie Mennes - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (5):1051-1071.
    In this paper we assess the explanatory role of idealizations in ‘design explanations’, a type of functional explanation used in biology. In design explanations, idealizations highlight which factors make a difference to phenomena to be explained: hypothetical, idealized, organisms are invoked to make salient which traits of extant organisms make a difference to organismal fitness. This result negates the view that idealizations serve only pragmatic benefits, and complements the view that idealizations highlight factors that do not make a difference. This (...)
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  13.  32
    Validating Function-Based Design Methods: An Explanationist Perspective.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - Philosophy and Technology 28 (4):511-531.
    Analysis of the adequacy of engineering design methods, as well as analysis of the utility of concepts of function often invoked in these methods, is a neglected topic in both philosophy of technology and in engineering proper. In this paper, I present an approach—dubbed an explanationist perspective—for assessing the adequacy of function-based design methods. Engineering design is often intertwined with explanation, for instance, in reverse engineering and subsequent redesign, knowledge base-assisted designing, and diagnostic reasoning. I argue that the presented approach (...)
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  14. 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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  15.  12
    Dissolving the 'Problem of the Absent Artifact': Design Representations as Means for Counterfactual Understanding and Knowledge Generalisation.Dingmar van Eck - unknown
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  16.  14
    Investigating the Unity and Disunity of Scientific Explanation.Erik Weber, Henk W. de Regt & Dingmar van Eck - 2021 - Foundations of Science 26 (4):1021-1024.
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  17.  77
    Difference Making, Explanatory Relevance, and Mechanistic Models.Dingmar van Eck & Raoul Gervais - 2016 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 31 (1):125-134.
    In this paper we consider mechanistic explanations for biologic malfunctions. Drawing on Lipton’s work on difference making, we offer three reasons why one should distinguish i) mechanistic features that only make a difference to the malfunction one aims to explain, from ii) features that make a difference to both the malfunction and normal functioning. Recognition of the distinction is important for a) repair purposes, b) mechanism discovery, and c) understanding. This analysis extends current mechanistic thinking, which fails to appreciate the (...)
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  18.  11
    IBE in Engineering Science - the Case of Malfunction Explanation.Kristian González Barman & Dingmar van Eck - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-19.
    In this paper we investigate how inference to the best explanation works in engineering science, focussing on the context of malfunction explanation. While IBE has gotten a lot of attention in the philosophy of science literature, few, if any, philosophical work has focussed on IBE in engineering science practice. We first show that IBE in engineering science has a similar structure as IBE in other scientific domains in the sense that in both settings IBE hinges on the weighing of explanatory (...)
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  19.  26
    The Conceptual Elusiveness of Engineering Functions:: A Philosophical Analysis.Pieter E. Vermaas, Dingmar van Eck & Peter Kroes - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (2):159-185.
    In this paper, we describe the conceptual elusiveness of the notion of function as used in engineering practice. We argue that it should be accepted as an ambiguous notion, and then review philosophical argumentations in which engineering functions occur in order to identify the consequences of this ambiguity. Function is a key notion in engineering, yet is used by engineers systematically in a variety of meanings. First, we demonstrate that this ambiguous use is rational for engineers by considering the role (...)
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  20.  20
    A Comprehensive Guide to the New Mechanistic Philosophy: Stuart Glennan: The New Mechanical Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017, 288pp, £30 HB.Dingmar van Eck - 2018 - Metascience 27 (3):461-464.
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  21.  58
    Reviews. [REVIEW]Joshua Knobe, Dingmar Van Eck, Susan Blackmore, Henk Bij De Weg, John Barresi, Roblin Meeks, Julian Kiverstein & Drew Rendall - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (6):785 – 817.