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The Directionality of Topological Explanations

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

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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: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Kostic, Danieldaniel.kostic@gmail.com0000-0001-5729-1476
Khalifa, Kareemkkhalifa@middlebury.edu
Keywords: Explanation; directionality; multiplexes; topological explanation; ontic conceptions of explanation; neuroscience
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Systems Neuroscience
Depositing User: Dr. Daniel Kostic
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2021 18:50
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2021 18:50
Item ID: 19781
Official URL: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s112...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-021-03414-y
Subjects: General Issues > Scientific Metaphysics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
Specific Sciences > Neuroscience > Systems Neuroscience
Date: 1 November 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/19781

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