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Explanatory Reasoning in the Sciences (The Second Jerusalem-MCMP Workshop in the Philosophy of Science)

Idea and Motivation

“How does explanatory reasoning in science work?” and “what is a scientific explanation?” are central questions in the philosophy of science. This workshop explores aspects of these central questions with respect to explanatory reasoning in physics and cognitive science. In particular, the contributions to this workshop address the following questions among others: Are there non-mechanistic explanatory strategies? Are there any computational explanations? Is there non-causal explanatory reasoning? What role do ‘abstraction’ and ‘scale-invariance’ play in scientific explanations? Is there a place for (different kinds of) IBE or best-explanation arguments in the metaphysics of physics? Is it possible to develop an epistemic theory of causation underpinning causal explanatory reasoning? What role does the phenomena/data distinction play in explanatory reasoning?



Day 1 (Thursday, 23 February 2017)

09:30 - 10:00 Gathering and Refreshments
10:00 - 10:10 Opening
10:10 - 11:10 Lotem Elber: "Different Explanations, Same Explanatory Virtue: How Non-Mechanistic Models Explain in Cognitive Science"
11:10 - 12:10 Dan Baras: "Why Do Certain States of Affairs Call for Explanation?"
12:10 - 14:00 Lunch Break
14:00 - 15:00 Patricia Palacios: "What Makes Scale Invariant Models Explanatory? The Case of Stock Market Crashes"
15:00 - 16:00 Alexander Reutlinger: "Expanding the Counterfactual Theory of Explanation"
16:00 - 16:20 Coffee Break
16:20 - 17:20 Nir Fresco: "The Indeterminacy of Computation"
19:00 Dinner

Day 2 (Friday, 24 February 2017)

10:00 - 11:00 Guy Hetzroni: "Best-Explanation Arguments in the Absolute\Relational Debate and the Reality of Potentials"
11:00 - 12:00 Reuben Stern: "Causation, Explanation, and Context"
12:00 - 12:20 Coffee Break
12:20 - 13:20 Pascal Ströing: "Phenomena, Evidences and Scientific Explanation"
Afternoon tour for participants


Practical Information


Main University Building
Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
D-80539 München
Room M209

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The conference is supported by The Sydney M. Edelstein Center for History and Philosophy of Science, Technology and Medicine and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship.