because without cause non causal explanations in science and mathematics oxford studies in philosophy of science

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Because Without Cause

Author : Marc Lange
ISBN : 9780190269494
Genre : Science
File Size : 51. 38 MB
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Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. Some mathematical proofs explain why the theorems being proved hold. In this book, Marc Lange proposes philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics. These topics have been unjustly neglected in the philosophy of science and mathematics. One important kind of non-causal scientific explanation is termed explanation by constraint. These explanations work by providing information about what makes certain facts especially inevitable - more necessary than the ordinary laws of nature connecting causes to their effects. Facts explained in this way transcend the hurly-burly of cause and effect. Many physicists have regarded the laws of kinematics, the great conservation laws, the coordinate transformations, and the parallelogram of forces as having explanations by constraint. This book presents an original account of explanations by constraint, concentrating on a variety of examples from classical physics and special relativity. This book also offers original accounts of several other varieties of non-causal scientific explanation. Dimensional explanations work by showing how some law of nature arises merely from the dimensional relations among the quantities involved. Really statistical explanations include explanations that appeal to regression toward the mean and other canonical manifestations of chance. Lange provides an original account of what makes certain mathematical proofs but not others explain what they prove. Mathematical explanation connects to a host of other important mathematical ideas, including coincidences in mathematics, the significance of giving multiple proofs of the same result, and natural properties in mathematics. Introducing many examples drawn from actual science and mathematics, with extended discussions of examples from Lagrange, Desargues, Thomson, Sylvester, Maxwell, Rayleigh, Einstein, and Feynman, Because Without Cause's proposals and examples should set the agenda for future work on non-causal explanation.

Because Without Cause

Author : Marc Lange
ISBN : 9780190269487
Genre :
File Size : 24. 42 MB
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Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. Some mathematical proofs explain why the theorems being proved hold. In this book, Marc Lange proposes philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics. These topics have been unjustly neglected in the philosophy of science and mathematics. One important kind of non-causal scientific explanation is termed explanation by constraint. These explanations work by providing information about what makes certain facts especially inevitable - more necessary than the ordinary laws of nature connecting causes to their effects. Facts explained in this way transcend the hurly-burly of cause and effect. Many physicists have regarded the laws of kinematics, the great conservation laws, the coordinate transformations, and the parallelogram of forces as having explanations by constraint. This book presents an original account of explanations by constraint, concentrating on a variety of examples from classical physics and special relativity. This book also offers original accounts of several other varieties of non-causal scientific explanation. Dimensional explanations work by showing how some law of nature arises merely from the dimensional relations among the quantities involved. Really statistical explanations include explanations that appeal to regression toward the mean and other canonical manifestations of chance. Lange provides an original account of what makes certain mathematical proofs but not others explain what they prove. Mathematical explanation connects to a host of other important mathematical ideas, including coincidences in mathematics, the significance of giving multiple proofs of the same result, and natural properties in mathematics. Introducing many examples drawn from actual science and mathematics, with extended discussions of examples from Lagrange, Desargues, Thomson, Sylvester, Maxwell, Rayleigh, Einstein, and Feynman, Because Without Cause's proposals and examples should set the agenda for future work on non-causal explanation.

Because Without Cause

Author : Marc Lange
ISBN : 0190269502
Genre : Conditional expectations
File Size : 55. 79 MB
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Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. In addition, mathematicians regard some proofs as explaining why the theorems being proved do in fact hold. This book proposes new philosophical accounts of many kinds of non-causal explanations in science and mathematics.

Mathematics And Scientific Representation

Author : Christopher Pincock
ISBN : 9780190208578
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 37. 18 MB
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Mathematics plays a central role in much of contemporary science, but philosophers have struggled to understand what this role is or how significant it might be for mathematics and science. In this book Christopher Pincock tackles this perennial question in a new way by asking how mathematics contributes to the success of our best scientific representations. In the first part of the book this question is posed and sharpened using a proposal for how we can determine the content of a scientific representation. Several different sorts of contributions from mathematics are then articulated. Pincock argues that each contribution can be understood as broadly epistemic, so that what mathematics ultimately contributes to science is best connected with our scientific knowledge. In the second part of the book, Pincock critically evaluates alternative approaches to the role of mathematics in science. These include the potential benefits for scientific discovery and scientific explanation. A major focus of this part of the book is the indispensability argument for mathematical platonism. Using the results of part one, Pincock argues that this argument can at best support a weak form of realism about the truth-value of the statements of mathematics. The book concludes with a chapter on pure mathematics and the remaining options for making sense of its interpretation and epistemology. Thoroughly grounded in case studies drawn from scientific practice, this book aims to bring together current debates in both the philosophy of mathematics and the philosophy of science and to demonstrate the philosophical importance of applications of mathematics.

Laws And Lawmakers

Author : Marc Lange
ISBN : 9780199745036
Genre : Science
File Size : 25. 45 MB
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What distinguishes laws of nature from ordinary facts? What are the "lawmakers": the facts in virtue of which the laws are laws? How can laws be necessary, yet contingent? Lange provocatively argues that laws are distinguished by their necessity, which is grounded in primitive subjunctive facts, while also providing a non-technical and accessible survey of the field.

Reading Natural Philosophy

Author : David B. Malament
ISBN : 0812695070
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 76. 54 MB
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In this book, 13 leading philosophers of science focus on the work of Professor Howard Stein, best known for his study of the intimate connection between philosophy and natural science. Also included is a comprehensive bibliography of Howard Stein's writings.

Reconstructing Reality

Author : Margaret Morrison
ISBN : 9780199380275
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 84. 2 MB
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This text examines issues related to the way modelling and simulation enable us to reconstruct aspects of the world we are investigating. It also investigates the processes by which we extract concrete knowledge from those reconstructions and how that knowledge is legitimated.

Simulation And Similarity

Author : Michael Weisberg
ISBN : 9780199933662
Genre : Science
File Size : 37. 33 MB
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This book is an account of modeling and idealization in modern scientific practice, focusing on concrete, mathematical, and computational models. The main topics of this book are the nature of models, the practice of modeling, and the nature of the relationship between models and real-world phenomena. In order to elucidate the model/world relationship, Weisberg develops a novel account of similarity called weighted feature matching.

Explanation Beyond Causation

Author : Alexander Reutlinger
ISBN : 9780191083808
Genre : Science
File Size : 72. 49 MB
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Explanations are important to us in many contexts: in science, mathematics, philosophy, and also in everyday and juridical contexts. But what is an explanation? In the philosophical study of explanation, there is long-standing, influential tradition that links explanation intimately to causation: we often explain by providing accurate information about the causes of the phenomenon to be explained. Such causal accounts have been the received view of the nature of explanation, particularly in philosophy of science, since the 1980s. However, philosophers have recently begun to break with this causal tradition by shifting their focus to kinds of explanation that do not turn on causal information. The increasing recognition of the importance of such non-causal explanations in the sciences and elsewhere raises pressing questions for philosophers of explanation. What is the nature of non-causal explanations - and which theory best captures it? How do non-causal explanations relate to causal ones? How are non-causal explanations in the sciences related to those in mathematics and metaphysics? This volume of new essays explores answers to these and other questions at the heart of contemporary philosophy of explanation. The essays address these questions from a variety of perspectives, including general accounts of non-causal and causal explanations, as well as a wide range of detailed case studies of non-causal explanations from the sciences, mathematics, and metaphysics.

Best Explanations

Author : Kevin McCain
ISBN : 9780198746904
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 72. 35 MB
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Explanatory reasoning is ubiquitous. Not only are rigorous inferences to the best explanation used pervasively in the sciences, this kind of reasoning is common in everyday life. Despite its widespread use, inference to the best explanation is still in need of precise formulation, and itremains controversial. On the one hand, supporters of explanationism take inference to the best explanation to be a justifying form of inference; some even take all justification to be a matter of explanatory reasoning. On the other hand, critics object that inference to the best explanation is nota fundamental form of inference, and some argue that we should be skeptical of inference to the best explanation in general. This volume brings together twenty philosophers to explore various aspects of inference to the best explanation and the debates surrounding it. These specially commissionedessays constitute the cutting edge of research on the role explanatory considerations play in epistemology and philosophy of science.

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