Date of Award

Summer 8-13-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf

Second Advisor

George Graham

Third Advisor

Andrea Scarantino

Abstract

Proponents of mechanistic explanation have argued that dynamical models are mere phenomenal models, in that they describe rather than explain the scientific phenomena produced by complex systems. I argue instead that dynamical models can, in fact, be explanatory. Using an example from neuroscientific research on epilepsy, I show that dynamical models can meet the explanatory demands met by mechanistic models, and as such occupy their own unique place within the space of explanatory scientific models.

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