This mode searches for entries containing all the entered words in their title, author, date, comment field, or in any of many other fields showing on OPC pages.
This mode searches for entries containing the text string you entered in their author field. Note that the database does not have first names for all authors, so it is preferable to search only by surnames. If you search for a full name or a name with an initial, enter it in the format used internally, namely the "Lastname, Firstname" or "Lastname, F." format.
This mode differs from the all fields mode in two respects. First, some information not publicly available on the site is searched, e.g., abstracts and excerpts gathered by the crawler, which are not always accurate but can help broaden one's search. Second, you may prefix any term with a '+' or '-' to narrow the search to entries containing it or not containing it, respectively. Terms which are not prefixed by a '+' are not mandatory. Instead, they are weighed depending on their frequency in order to determine the best search results. You may also search for a literal string composed of several words by putting them in double quotation marks (").
Note that short and / or common words are ignored by the search engine.
Try PhilPapers to find published items which are available on a subscription basis.
Abstract: Due to the wide array of phenomena that are of interest to them, psychologists offer highly diverse and heterogeneous types of explanations. Initially, this suggests that the question "What is psychological explanation?" has no single answer. To provide appreciation of this diversity, we begin by noting some of the more common types of explanations that psychologists provide, with particular focus on classical examples of explanations advanced in three different areas of psychology: psychophysics, physiological psychology, and information-processing psychology. To analyze what is involved in these types of explanations, we consider the ways in which law-like representations of regularities and representations of mechanisms factor in psychological explanations. This consideration directs us to certain fundamental questions, e.g., "To what extent are laws necessary for psychological explanations?" and "What do psychologists have in mind when they appeal to mechanisms in explanation?" In answering such questions, it appears that laws do play important roles in psychological explanations, although most explanations in psychology appeal to accounts of mechanisms. Consequently, we provide a unifying account of what psychological explanation is.
Abstract: According to many philosophers, psychological explanation can legit- imately be given in terms of belief and desire, but not in terms of knowl- edge. To explain why someone does what they do (so the common wisdom holds) you can appeal to what they think or what they want, but not what they know. Timothy Williamson has recently argued against this view. Knowledge, Williamson insists, plays an essential role in ordinary psycho- logical explanation. Williamson’s argument works on two fronts. First, he argues against the claim that, unlike knowledge, belief is “composite” (rep- resentable as a conjunction of a narrow and a broad condition). Belief’s failure to be composite, Williamson thinks, undermines the usual motiva- tions for psychological explanation in terms of belief rather than knowl- edge. Unfortunately, we claim, the motivations Williamson argues against do not depend on the claim that belief is composite, so what he says leaves the case for a psychology of belief unscathed. Second, Williamson argues that knowledge can sometimes provide a better explanation of action than belief can. We argue that, in the cases considered, explanations that cite beliefs (but not knowledge) are no less successful than explanations that cite knowledge. Thus, we conclude that Williamson’s arguments fail both coming and going: they fail to undermine a psychology of belief, and they fail to motivate a psychology of knowledge
Abstract: I find myself ambivalent with respect to the line of argument that Schonbein offers. I certainly want to acknowledge and emphasize at the outset that Schonbein’s discussion has brought to the fore a number of central, compelling and intriguing issues regarding the nature of the dynamical approach to cognition. Though there is much that seems right in this essay, perhaps my view is that the paper invites more questions than it answers. My remarks here then are in the spirit of scouting some of the surrounding terrain in order to see just what Schonbein’s claim is and what arguments or options may be open to the dynamicist
Abstract: In the beginning, there was the DN (Deductive Nomological) model of explanation, articulated by Hempel and Oppenheim (1948). According to DN, scientific explanation is subsumption under natural law. Individual events are explained by deducing them from laws together with initial conditions (or boundary conditions), and laws are explained by deriving them from other more fundamental laws, as, for example, the simple pendulum law is derived from Newton's laws of motion
Abstract: Folk theories—untutored people’s (often implicit) theories about various features of the world—have been fashionable objects of inquiry in psychology for almost two decades now (e.g., Hirschfeld and Gelman 1994), and more recently they have been of interest in experimental philosophy (Nichols 2004). Folk theories of psy- chology, physics, biology, and ethics have all come under investigation. Folk meta- physics, however, has not been as extensively studied. That so little is known about folk metaphysics is unfortunate for (at least) two reasons. First, folk metaphysics is almost certainly implicit, and it is likely to be our default way of thinking about metaphysical problems. Moreover, one’s metaphysical commitments can have pro- found consequences—in scientiﬁc, religious, and ethical contexts, for example. Thus, folk metaphysics ought to be dragged out into the open and exposed to criticism. As Peirce eloquently remarked (1994, 1.129; see also 1994, 7.579)
Abstract: A debate has been raging in the philosophy of mind for at least the past two decades. It concerns whether the mental can make a causal difference to the world. Suppose that I am reading the newspaper and it is getting dark. I switch on the light, and continue with my reading. One explanation of why my switching on of the light occurred is that a desiring with a particular content (that I continue reading), a noticing with a particular content (that it is getting dark), and a believing with a particular content (that by switching on the light I could continue reading) occurred in me, and these events caused my switching on of the light. This explanation works by citing the intentional contents of mental phenomena as causes of that action. It is because the intentional causes have the contents that they do, and because those contents play a causal role in bringing about my action, that my action is causally explained
Abstract: Cummins (1982) argues that etiological considerations are not onlyinsufficient butirrelevant for the determination offunction. I argue that his claim of irrelevance rests on a misrepresentation of the use of functions in evolutionary explanations. I go on to suggest how accepting anetiological constraint on functional analysis might help resolve some problems involving the use of functional explanations
Abstract: If we assume that a conceptual connection does hold between reasons and action, the arguments for both theses are strikingly simple. In defense of the first thesis, all that need be added is Hume's Principle: between cause and effect only a (logically) contingent relation holds. For given Hume's Principle, and the conceptual connection (which after all is not a contingent one), it follows that no causal connection holds. In defense of the second thesis, all that need be added is one assumption and one observation. The assumption is that the covering-law model of explanation is adequate to the natural sciences; the observation is that if a conceptual connection does hold, then covering-laws are not required to explain a person's action given the presence of the relevant beliefs and desires (because the presence of the latter entail the performance of the former). Together the assumption and the observation undermine the view that one model of explanation will fit both natural science and human psychology
Abstract: In this essay I defend a theory of psychological explanation that is based on the joint commitment to direct reference and computationalism. I offer a new solution to the problem of Frege Cases. Frege Cases involve agents who are unaware that certain expressions corefer (e.g. that 'Cicero' and 'Tully' corefer), where such knowledge is relevant to the success of their behavior, leading to cases in which the agents fail to behave as the intentional laws predict. It is generally agreed that Frege Cases are a major problem, if not the major problem, that this sort of theory faces. In this essay, I hope to show that the theory can surmount the Frege Cases
Abstract: In his Knowledge and its Limits (2000) Timothy Williamson argues that knowledge can be causally efficacious and as such figure in psychological explanation. His argument for this claim figures as a response to a key objection to his overall thesis that knowing is a mental state. In this paper I argue that although Williamson succeeds in establishing that knowledge in some cases is essential to the power of certain causal explanations of actions, he fails to do this in a way that establishes knowledge itself as a causal factor. The argument thus fails to support his overall claim that knowledge should be conceived as a state of mind.
Abstract: Psychoneural reductionists sometimes claim that sufficient amounts of lower-level explanatory achievement preclude further contributions from higher-level psychological research. Ostensibly, with nothing left to do, the effect of such preclusion on psychological explanation is extinction. Reductionist arguments for preclusion have recently involved a reorientation within the philosophical foundations of neuroscience---namely, away from the philosophical foundations and toward the neuroscience. In this chapter, I review a successful reductive explanation of an aspect of reward function in terms of dopaminergic operations of the mesocorticolimbic system in order to demonstrate why preclusion/extinction claims are dubious.
Abstract: As much as assumptions about mechanisms and mechanistic explanation have deeply affected psychology, they have received disproportionately little analysis in philosophy. After a historical survey of the influences of mechanistic approaches to explanation of psychological phenomena, we specify the nature of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. Contrary to some treatments of mechanistic explanation, we maintain that explanation is an epistemic activity that involves representing and reasoning about mechanisms. We discuss the manner in which mechanistic approaches serve to bridge levels rather than reduce them, as well as the different ways in which mechanisms are discovered. Finally, we offer a more detailed example of an important psychological phenomenon for which mechanistic explanation has provided the main source of scientific understanding