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The Directionality of Topological Explanations

Kostic, Daniel and Khalifa, Kareem (2021) The Directionality of Topological Explanations. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Proponents of ontic conceptions of explanation require all explanations to be backed by causal, constitutive, or similar relations. Among their justifications is that only ontic conceptions can do justice to the ‘directionality’ of explanation, i.e., the requirement that if X explains Y, then not-Y does not explain not-X. Using topological explanations as an illustration, we argue that non-ontic conceptions of explanation have ample resources for securing the directionality of explanations. The different ways in which neuroscientists rely on multiplexes involving both functional and anatomical connectivity in their topological explanations vividly illustrate why ontic considerations are frequently (if not always) irrelevant to explanatory directionality. Therefore, directionality poses no problem to non-ontic conceptions of explanation.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kostic, Danieldaniel.kostic@gmail.com0000-0001-5729-1476
Khalifa, Kareemkkhalifa@middlebury.edu
Additional Information: Accepted for publication in Synthese
Keywords: Explanation; directionality; multiplexes; topological explanation; ontic conceptions of explanation; neuroscience
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Depositing User: Dr. Daniel Kostic
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2021 03:54
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2021 03:54
Item ID: 19231
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
Date: June 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19231

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