Results for 'metaphysical explanation'

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  1. Metaphysical Explanation: The Kitcher Picture.Sam Baron & James Norton - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):187-207.
    This paper offers a new account of metaphysical explanation. The account is modelled on Kitcher’s unificationist approach to scientific explanation. We begin, in Sect. 2, by briefly introducing the notion of metaphysical explanation and outlining the target of analysis. After that, we introduce a unificationist account of metaphysical explanation before arguing that such an account is capable of capturing four core features of metaphysical explanations: irreflexivity, non-monotonicity, asymmetry and relevance. Since the unificationist (...)
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  2. Metaphysical Explanation by Constraint.Michael Bertrand - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (6):1325-1340.
    It is often thought that metaphysical grounding underwrites a distinctive sort of metaphysical explanation. However, it would be a mistake to think that all metaphysical explanations are underwritten by metaphysical grounding. In service of this claim, I offer a novel kind of metaphysical explanation called metaphysical explanation by constraint, examples of which have been neglected in the literature. I argue that metaphysical explanations by constraint are not well understood as grounding (...)
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  3. Metaphysical Explanation: An Empirical Investigation.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - 2024 - Philosophies 9 (3):85.
    The literature on metaphysical explanation contains three widely accepted assumptions. First, that the notion of metaphysical explanation with which philosophers are interested is a notion with which the folk are familiar: it is at least continuous with the folk notion. Second, that metaphysical explanations are true propositions of a certain form that are true, (or false), simpliciter. Third, that it is at least the case that mostly, if x metaphysically explains y, then y does not (...)
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  4.  96
    Metaphysical Explanations for Modal Normativists.Theodore Locke - 2020 - Metaphysics 3 (1):33-54.
    I expand modal normativism, a theory of metaphysical modality, to give a normativist account of metaphysical explanation. According to modal normativism, basic modal claims do not have a descriptive function, but instead have the normative function of enabling language users to express semantic rules that govern the use of ordinary non-modal vocabulary. However, a worry for modal normativism is that it doesn’t keep up with all of the important and interesting metaphysics we can do by giving and (...)
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  5. A psychologistic theory of metaphysical explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2777-2802.
    Many think that sentences about what metaphysically explains what are true iff there exist grounding relations. This suggests that sceptics about grounding should be error theorists about metaphysical explanation. We think there is a better option: a theory of metaphysical explanation which offers truth conditions for claims about what metaphysically explains what that are not couched in terms of grounding relations, but are instead couched in terms of, inter alia, psychological facts. We do not argue that (...)
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  6. Everyday Metaphysical Explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Kristie Miller and James Norton present a new account of metaphysical explanation, not as a philosophical technicality but as a feature of everyday life. This is the notion that we all use in ordinary contexts when we give explanations of a certain sort: Miller and Norton build their account on investigation of these explanatory practices.
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  7. Metaphysical Explanation and the Cosmological Argument.Thomas Oberle - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    A premise of the Leibnizian cosmological argument from contingency says that no contingent fact can explain why there are any contingent facts at all. David Hume and Paul Edwards famously denied this premise, arguing that if every fact has an explanation in terms of further facts ad infinitum, then they all do. This is known as the Hume–Edwards Principle (HEP). In this paper, I examine the cosmological argument from contingency within a framework of metaphysical explanation or ground (...)
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  8.  58
    Metaphysical Explanation Separated from Grounding.Márta Ujvári - 2020 - Metaphysica 21 (1):55-69.
    Grounding is typically associated to metaphysical explanation on the basis of the explanatory role’s being characteristic of grounding as well. Some even say that all what metaphysical explanation does is tracking the grounding relation. However, recently Maurin has argued that grounding does not “inherit” its properties from metaphysical explanation and, consequently, we should be “separatists”. In this paper separatism will be defended from the perspective of metaphysical explanation thus giving a turn to (...)
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  9. Grounding and metaphysical explanation: it’s complicated.Anna-Sofia Maurin - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1573-1594.
    Grounding theorists insist that grounding and explanation are intimately related. This claim could be understood as saying either that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation or it could be interpreted as saying that grounding plays an important—possibly an indispensable—role in metaphysical explanation. Or both. I argue that saying that grounding ‘inherits’ its properties from explanation can only be justified if grounding is explanatory by nature, but that this view is untenable. We ought therefore to be (...)
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  10.  26
    Metaphysical explanations: The case of singleton sets revisited.Kai Michael Büttner - 2024 - Theoria 90 (1):98-108.
    Many contemporary metaphysicians believe that the existence of a contingent object such as Socrates metaphysically explains the existence of the corresponding set {Socrates}. This paper argues that this belief is mistaken. The argument proposed takes the form of a dilemma. The expression “{Socrates}” is a shorthand either for the expression “the set that contains all and only those objects that are identical to Socrates” or for the expression “the set that contains Socrates and nothing else”. However, Socrates' existence does not (...)
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  11. Grounding and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2016 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 116 (3):395-402.
    Attempts to elucidate grounding are often made by connecting grounding to metaphysical explanation, but the notion of metaphysical explanation is itself opaque, and has received little attention in the literature. We can appeal to theories of explanation in the philosophy of science to give us a characterization of metaphysical explanation, but this reveals a tension between three theses: that grounding relations are objective and mind-independent; that there are pragmatic elements to metaphysical (...); and that grounding and metaphysical explanation share a close connection. Holding fixed the mind-independence of grounding, I show that neither horn of the resultant dilemma can be blunted. Consequently, we should reject the assumption that grounding relations are mind-independent. (shrink)
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  12. Impossible Worlds and Metaphysical Explanation: Comments on Kment’s Modality and Explanatory Reasoning.Nina Emery & Christopher S. Hill - 2017 - Analysis 77 (1):134-148.
    In this critical notice of Kment's _Modality and Explanatory Reasoning_, we focus on Kment’s arguments for impossible worlds and on a key part of his discussion of the interactions between modality and explanation – the analogy that he draws between scientific and metaphysical explanation.
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  13. Magnitudes: Metaphysics, Explanation, and Perception.Christopher Peacocke - 2015 - In Danièle Moyal-Sharrock, Volker Munz & Annalisa Coliva (eds.), Mind, Language and Action: Proceedings of the 36th International Wittgenstein Symposium. Boston: De Gruyter. pp. 357-388.
    I am going to argue for a robust realism about magnitudes, as irreducible elements in our ontology. This realistic attitude, I will argue, gives a better metaphysics than the alternatives. It suggests some new options in the philosophy of science. It also provides the materials for a better account of the mind’s relation to the world, in particular its perceptual relations.
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  14. Non‐cognitivism about Metaphysical explanation.Kristie Miller & James Norton - 2022 - Analytic Philosophy 64 (2):1-20.
    This article introduces a non‐cognitivist account of metaphysical explanation according to which the core function of judgements of the form ⌜x because y⌝ is not to state truth‐apt beliefs. Instead, their core function is to express attitudes of commitment to, and recommendation of the acceptance of certain norms governing interventional conduct at contexts.
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  15. Universals, Metaphysical Explanations, and Pragmatism.Robert Kraut - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (11):590-609.
  16.  76
    Metaphysical Explanation and “Partcularization” in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed.Owen Goldin - 1992 - Journal of Philosophical Research 17:189-213.
    Within The Guide of the Perplexed Maimonides presents an argument that is intended to render probable the temporal creation of the cosmos. In one of these arguments Maimonides adopts the Kalamic strategy of arguing for the necessity of there being a “particularizing” agent. Maimonides argues that even one who grants Aristotelian science can still ask why the heavenly realm is as it is, to which there is no reply forthcoming but “God so willed it.” The argument is effective against the (...)
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  17.  8
    Metaphysical Explanation and “Partcularization” in Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed.Owen Goldin - 1992 - Journal of Philosophical Research 17:189-213.
    Within The Guide of the Perplexed Maimonides presents an argument that is intended to render probable the temporal creation of the cosmos. In one of these arguments Maimonides adopts the Kalamic strategy of arguing for the necessity of there being a “particularizing” agent. Maimonides argues that even one who grants Aristotelian science can still ask why the heavenly realm is as it is, to which there is no reply forthcoming but “God so willed it.” The argument is effective against the (...)
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  18. We Need Non-factive Metaphysical Explanation.Michael Bertrand - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):991-1011.
    Suppose that A explains B. Do A and B need to be true? Provided that we have metaphysical explanation in mind, orthodoxy answers “yes:” metaphysical explanation is factive. This article introduces and defends a non-factive notion of metaphysical explanation. I argue that we need a non-factive notion of explanation in order to make sense of explanationist arguments where we motivate a view by claiming that it offers better explanations than its competitors. After presenting (...)
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  19. Questions and Answers: Metaphysical Explanation and the Structure of Reality.Naomi Thompson - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (1):98-116.
    This paper develops an account of metaphysical explanation according to which metaphysical explanations are answers to what-makes-it-the-case-that questions. On this view, metaphysical explanations are not to be considered entirely objective, but are subject to epistemic constraints imposed by the context in which a relevant question is asked. The resultant account of metaphysical explanation is developed independently of any particular views about grounding. Toward the end of the paper an application of the view is proposed (...)
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  20. Metaphysical explanations and the counterfactual theory of explanation.Stefan Roski - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1971-1991.
    According to an increasingly popular view among philosophers of science, both causal and non-causal explanations can be accounted for by a single theory: the counterfactual theory of explanation. A kind of non-causal explanation that has gained much attention recently but that this theory seems unable to account for are grounding explanations. Reutlinger :239-256, 2017) has argued that, despite these appearances to the contrary, such explanations are covered by his version of the counterfactual theory. His idea is supported by (...)
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  21.  34
    On metaphysical explanations of psychological asymmetries.Natalja Deng - 2022 - In Christoph Hoerl, Teresa McCormack & Alison Fernandes (eds.), Temporal Asymmetries in Philosophy and Psychology. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    What is the relation between metaphysical and psychological insights into temporal asymmetries? This chapter examines that question on the basis of a case study concerning the temporal Doppler effect (Caruso, Van Boven, Chin, & Ward, 2013). Caruso et al. propose that future events seem closer than past ones at an equal objective temporal distance because we experience subjective movement through time. I explore ways of interpreting their discussion in the light of the metaphysical debate between A- and B-theorists (...)
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  22. Determination Relations and Metaphysical Explanations.Maşuk Şimşek - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    Ross Cameron (2022) argues that metaphysical infinitists should reject the generally accepted idea that metaphysical determination relations back metaphysical explanations. Otherwise it won’t be possible for them to come up with successful explanations for the existence of dependent entities in non-wellfounded chains of dependence. I argue that his argument suffers from what he calls the finitist dogma, although indirectly so. However, there is a better way of motivating Cameron’s conclusion. Assuming Cameron’s principle of Essence, explanations for the (...)
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  23. Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:1-22.
    I argue that, just like causal explanation requires laws of nature, so metaphysical explanation requires laws of metaphysics. I offer a minimal rendition of the argument for laws of metaphysics, assuming nothing about grounding or essences, and little about explanation. And I offer a positive and minimal functional conception of the laws of metaphysics, coupled with an argument that some laws of metaphysics are fundamental.
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  24.  85
    Metaphysical explanation and the philosophy of mathematics: Reflections on Jerrold Katz's realistic rationalism.Robert Kraut - 2001 - Philosophia Mathematica 9 (2):154-183.
    Mathematical practice prompts theories about aprioricity, necessity, abstracta, and non-causal epistemic connections. But it is not clear what to count as the data: mathematical necessity or the appearance of mathematical necessity, abstractness or apparent abstractness, a prioricity or apparent aprioricity. Nor is it clear whether traditional metaphysical theories provide explanation or idle redescription. This paper suggests that abstract objects, rather than doing explanatory work, provide codifications of the data to be explained. It also suggests that traditional rivals—conceptualism, nominalism, (...)
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  25. Metaphysical explanation.Herbert Hochberg - 1970 - Metaphilosophy 1 (2):139–166.
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  26. Judgements of Metaphysical Explanations are Context Sensitive.Andrew J. Latham & Kristie Miller - manuscript
    Empirical investigation of the conditions under which people prefer, or disprefer, causal explanation, has suggested to many that our judgements about what causally explains what are context sensitive in a number of ways. This has led many to suppose that whether or not a causal explanation obtains depends on various contextual factors, and that said explanations can obtain in one context, and not in another: they are both subjective and agent-relative. Surprisingly, most accounts of metaphysical explanation (...)
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  27. Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2018 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Metaphysics. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
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  28. Laws for Metaphysical Explanation.Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):302-321.
  29.  87
    Symposium: Metaphysical Explanation.Kenneth Barber - 1975 - Metaphilosophy 6 (3-4):259-260.
  30. Salience and metaphysical explanation.Phil Corkum - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10771-10792.
    Metaphysical explanations, unlike many other kinds of explanation, are standardly thought to be insensitive to our epistemic situation and so are not evaluable by cognitive values such as salience. I consider a case study that challenges this view. Some properties are distributed over an extension. For example, the property of being polka-dotted red on white, when instantiated, is distributed over a surface. Similar properties have been put to work in a variety of explanatory tasks in recent metaphysics, including: (...)
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  31. Essence, Necessity, and Non-Generative Metaphysical Explanation.Michael Wallner - 2022 - Argumenta 7 (2):439-462.
    Finean essentialists take metaphysical necessity to be metaphysically explained by essence. But whence the explanatory power of essence? A recent wave of criticism against the Finean account has put pressure on essentialists to answer this question. Wallner and Vaidya (2020) have responded by offering an axiomatic account of the explanatory power of essence. This paper discusses their account in light of some recent criticism by Bovey (2022). Building on work by Glazier (2017), Bovey succeeds in showing that Wallner and (...)
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  32. Reflections on Metaphysical Explanation.Rognvaldur Ingthorsson - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th Birthday. Lund, Sverige: Department of Philosophy, Lund University. pp. 135-142.
    The nature of metaphysical explanation is a question that should be constantly on every metaphysician’s mind, and yet it is rare to see explicit statements about the methodological approach that writers take. We tend to just enter the flow of ideas and words in a particular ‘discourse’ and see where it leads us. It is easier that way but can lead us astray. I can’t claim to be a role-model in this respect. I have offered a comment here, (...)
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  33.  78
    Plato on Metaphysical Explanation: Does 'Participating' Mean Nothing?Christine J. Thomas - 2014 - Studia Philosophica Estonica 7 (2):168.
    According to Aristotle, Plato's efforts at metaphysical explanation not only fail, they are nonsensical. In particular, Plato's appeals to Forms as metaphysically explanatory of the sensibles that participate in them is "empty talk" since "'participating' means nothing". I defend Plato against Aristotle's charge by identifying a particular, substantive model of metaphysical predication as the favored model of Plato's late ontology. The model posits two basic metaphysical predication relations: self-predication and participation. In order to understand the participation (...)
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  34.  37
    Realism, Deflationism, and Metaphysical Explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2023 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez (ed.), Thomasson on Ontology. Springer Verlag. pp. 61-83.
    Thomasson is a simple realist about the vast majority of entities: she thinks that they exist, and that their existence is to be accepted as a trivial consequence of the truth of various uncontroversial sentences (Thomasson, Ontology Made Easy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, p. 156). This position is to be taken in contrast to the explanatory realism familiar from dominant post-Quinean metaontology: the view that entities are posited to explain phenomena, and that (very roughly) we should believe in whatever (...)
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  35.  39
    Incommensurable paradigms and psycho-metaphysical explanation.J. Douglas Rabb - 1978 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 21 (1-4):201 – 212.
    The concept of ‘psycho‐metaphysical explanation’ is explained in terms of the philosophy of the German idealist J. G. Fichte, who uses this mode of explanation to account for the fact that the dispute between Idealism and Realism is one which cannot be resolved by means of rational argument. This paper presents a similar account of the contemporary dispute between competing paradigms of persons, i.e. between materialist and non-reductivist theories. Some practical and frightening implications are illustrated by showing (...)
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  36.  72
    The Empirical Presuppositions of Metaphysical Explanations in Economics.Harold Kincaid - 1995 - The Monist 78 (3):368-385.
    Discusses the empirical presuppositions of the metaphysical explanations in economics. Common arguments among philosophers of economics; Helen Boss’ arguments on productive-nonproductive distinction in economics; Domains of different economic theories; Methodological individualism in economics.
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  37. The Deductive-Nomological Account of Metaphysical Explanation.Tobias Wilsch - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):1-23.
    The paper explores a deductive-nomological account of metaphysical explanation: some truths metaphysically explain, or ground, another truth just in case the laws of metaphysics determine the latter truth on the basis of the former. I develop and motivate a specific conception of metaphysical laws, on which they are general rules that regulate the existence and features of derivative entities. I propose an analysis of the notion of ‘determination via the laws’, based on a restricted form of logical (...)
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  38. The causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation.Jonathan L. Shaheen - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):553-578.
    This paper argues that the semantic facts about ‘because’ are best explained via a metaphorical treatment of metaphysical explanation that treats causal explanation as explanation par excellence. Along the way, it defends a commitment to a unified causal sense of ‘because’ and offers a proprietary explanation of grounding skepticism. With the causal metaphor account of metaphysical explanation on the table, an extended discussion of the relationship between conceptual structure and metaphysics ends with a (...)
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  39.  76
    Chains of Being: Infinite Regress, Circularity, and Metaphysical Explanation.Ross P. Cameron - 2022 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    'Chains of Being' argues that there can be infinite chains of dependence or grounding. Cameron also defends the view that there can be circular relations of ontological dependence or grounding, and uses these claims to explore issues in logic and ontology.
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  40.  74
    How to be an antirealist about metaphysical explanation.Naomi Thompson - 2023 - Ratio 36 (4):260-273.
    Antirealism about metaphysical explanation is relatively underexplored. This paper maps out the territory for the antirealist, explaining what it would take to be an antirealist given various different conceptions of metaphysical explanation, and of the relationship between metaphysical explanation and grounding.
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  41. On scientific and metaphysical explanation of reality (1926).Eino Kaila - 2003 - Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 80 (1):49-67.
    Finland is internationally known as one of the leading centers of twentieth century analytic philosophy. This volume offers for the first time an overall survey of the Finnish analytic school. The rise of this trend is illustrated by original articles of Edward Westermarck, Eino Kaila, Georg Henrik von Wright, and Jaakko Hintikka. Contributions of Finnish philosophers are then systematically discussed in the fields of logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, history of philosophy, ethics and social philosophy. Metaphilosophical reflections on (...)
     
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  42.  53
    Scientific explanation and metaphysical explanation: Some reflections on the cosmological argument.John L. Russell - 1986 - Heythrop Journal 27 (2):163–170.
  43.  8
    Scientific Explanation and Metaphysical Explanation: Some Reflections on the Cosmological Argument.John L. Russell - 1986 - Heythrop Journal 27 (2):163-170.
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  44.  90
    The Moving Cause of Artefacts: the role of techne in metaphysical explanation.Margaret Cameron - 2019 - Ancient Philosophy Today 1 (1):64-83.
    The essence of artefacts is typically taken to be their function: they are defined in terms of the goals or aims of the artisans that make them. In this paper, an alternative theory is proposed tha...
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  45.  25
    Probing The Meaning Of Quantum Mechanics: Probability, Metaphysics, Explanation And Measurement.Diederik Aerts, Jonas Arenhart, Christian De Ronde & Giuseppe Sergioli (eds.) - 2023 - World Scientific.
    Quantum theory is perhaps our best confirmed theory for a description of the physical properties of nature. On top of demonstrating great empirical effectiveness, many technological developments in the 20th century (such as the interpretation of the periodic table of elements, CD players, holograms, and quantum state teleportation) were only made possible with Quantum theory.Despite its success in the past decades, even today it still remains without a universally accepted interpretation.This book provides an interdisciplinary perspective on the question; 'What is (...)
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  46. On the dispensability of grounding: Ground-breaking work on metaphysical explanation.James Norton - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Sydney
    Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much (...)
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  47.  2
    The problem of metaphysics and the meaning of metaphysical explanation: an essay in definitions.Hartley Burr Alexander - 1902 - Berlin,: Mayer & Müller.
    This book offers a unique perspective on the philosophical discipline of metaphysics. Hartley Burr Alexander presents his own definitions for key terms and concepts in metaphysical inquiry, challenging traditional approaches and revealing the limitations of language in this complex field of study. This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work is in the "public domain in the United States of America, and (...)
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  48. Socrates' New Aitia: Causal and Metaphysical Explanations in Plato's Phaedo.Ravi Sharma - 2009 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 36:137-178.
  49. Explanation and explanationism in science and metaphysics.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - In Matthew H. Slater & Zanja Yudell (eds.), Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science: New Essays. New York, NY, USA: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the status of inference to the best explanation in naturalistic metaphysics. The methodology of inference to the best explanation in metaphysics is studied from the perspective of contemporary views on scientific explanation and explanatory inferences in the history and philosophy of science. This reveals serious shortcomings in prevalent attempts to vindicate metaphysical "explanationism" by reference to similarities between science and naturalistic metaphysics. This critique is brought out by considering a common gambit of methodological (...)
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  50. The Metaphysics of Moral Explanations.Daniel Fogal & Olle Risberg - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15.
    It’s commonly held that particular moral facts are explained by ‘natural’ or ‘descriptive’ facts, though there’s disagreement over how such explanations work. We defend the view that general moral principles also play a role in explaining particular moral facts. More specifically, we argue that this view best makes sense of some intuitive data points, including the supervenience of the moral upon the natural. We consider two alternative accounts of the nature and structure of moral principles—’the nomic view’ and ‘moral platonism’—before (...)
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