1. Reassessing Woodward’s Account of Explanation: Regularities, Counterfactuals, and Noncausal Explanations.Juha Saatsi & Mark Pexton - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):613-624.
    We reassess Woodward’s counterfactual account of explanation in relation to regularity explananda. Woodward presents an account of causal explanation. We argue, by using an explanation of Kleiber’s law to illustrate, that the account can also cover some noncausal explanations. This leads to a tension between the two key aspects of Woodward’s account: the counterfactual aspect and the causal aspect. We explore this tension and make a case for jettisoning the causal aspect as constitutive of explanatory power in connection with regularity (...)
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    How dimensional analysis can explain.Mark Pexton - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2333-2351.
    Dimensional analysis can offer us explanations by allowing us to answer What-if–things-had-been-different? questions rather than in virtue of, say, unifying diverse phenomena, important as that is. Additionally, it is argued that dimensional analysis is a form of modelling as it involves several of the aspects crucial in modelling, such as misrepresenting aspects of a target system. By highlighting the continuities dimensional analysis has with forms of modelling we are able to describe more precisely what makes dimensional analysis explanatory and understand (...)
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    Reduction and emergence in the fractional quantum Hall state.Tom Lancaster & Mark Pexton - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 52 (Part B):343-357.
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    Emergence and topological order in classical and quantum systems.Tom McLeish, Mark Pexton & Tom Lancaster - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:155-169.
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    Can asymptotic models be explanatory?Mark Pexton - 2014 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 4 (2):233-252.
    Asymptotic models in which singular limits are taken are very common in physics. They are often used to investigate the general behaviour of systems undergoing rapid, discontinuous, changes. The singularities in the mathematics of these systems have no physical counterparts; these models operate by containing non-physically interpretable fictional elements. As such there is an intuition that states that asymptotics only offer descriptions of systems not explanations of them. By contrast, in different areas of science other models containing fictional elements which (...)
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    There are Non‐Causal Explanations of Particular Events.Mark Pexton - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (2):264-282.
    A defence of non-causal explanations of events is presented in cases where explanation is understood as modal explanation. In such cases the source of modal information is crucial. All explanations implicitly use contrast classes, and relative to a particular contrast we can privilege some difference makers over others. Thinking about changes in these privileged “actual” difference makers is then the source of modal information for any given explanandum. If an actual difference maker is non-causal, then we have a principled definition (...)
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    Emergence and Fundamentality in a Pancomputationalist Universe.Mark Pexton - 2015 - Minds and Machines 25 (4):301-320.
    The aim of this work is to apply information theoretic ideas to the notion of fundamentality. I will argue that if one adopts pancomputationalism as a metaphysics for the universe, then there are higher-level structures which are just as fundamental for computation as anything from microphysics.
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    Emergence and interacting hierarchies in shock physics.Mark Pexton - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (1):91-122.
    It is argued that explanations of shock waves display explanatory emergence in two different ways. Firstly, the use of discontinuities to model jumps in flow variables is an example of “physics avoidance”. This is where microphysical details can be ignored in an abstract model thus allowing us access to modal information which cannot be attained in principle in any other way. Secondly, Whitham’s interleaving criterion for continuous shock structure is an example of the way different characteristic scales interact in shock (...)
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    Manipulationism and causal exclusion.Mark Pexton - 2017 - Philosophica 92 (2).
    A new way of avoiding the causal exclusion argument in the context of manipulationism is proposed. In manipulationism, causal explanations are defined by counterfactual information accessed through manipulations. It is argued that the property of manipulability can be an emergent property of aggregate systems. Therefore, some causal explanations are non-reducible and causal exclusion is avoided. This emergentist notion of causal explanation addresses the question of how the special sciences can be based upon causal reasoning, even if fundamental physics is absent (...)
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