Séminaire Metascience : Laura Felline & Iulian Toader
Laura Felline (Roma 3)
Mechanisms meet Structural explanation: a solution to the bottoming-out problem
Abstract. Many phenomena in fundamental physics, although mechanically unexplainable, are nonetheless explained by science. In particular, some of them are explained via structural explanations. The opposition between structural and mechanistic explanation is used to better qualify the non-causal and fundamental character of structural explanation. Although in a sense opposite to each other, mechanistic and structural explanations might be assimilated by a more general account of epistemic model-based explanation, providing information about the pattern of counterfactual dependences between explanans and explanandum. Finally, some arguments considered decisive in ruling out the mechanistic account as a general account of causation and causal explanation are evaluated and found inconclusive.
Iulian Toader (Bucarest)
Structural Knives and Modal Bumps
Abstract: Some structural realists include modal facts in the actual world and take its structure to be inherently modal. They also maintain that this modal structure is represented by the shared structure of the models of our scientific theories, in the sense that the shared structure encodes all physical possibilities. In my talk, I argue that these claims cannot stand together: if the representational claim is true, then modal facts cannot be included in the actual world.