PhilSci Archive

Wishful Intelligibility, Black Boxes, and Epidemiological Explanation

DiMarco, Marina (2020) Wishful Intelligibility, Black Boxes, and Epidemiological Explanation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

[img]
Preview
Text
DiMarco_PSA_2020.pdf

Download (122kB) | Preview

Abstract

Epidemiological explanation often has a ``black box" character, meaning the intermediate steps between cause and effect are unknown. Filling in black boxes is thought to improve causal inferences by making them intelligible. I argue that adding information about intermediate causes to a black box explanation is an unreliable guide to pragmatic intelligibility because it may mislead us about the stability of a cause. I diagnose a problem that I call wishful intelligibility, which occurs when scientists misjudge the limitations of certain features of an explanation. Wishful intelligibility gives us a new reason to prefer black box explanations in some contexts.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
DiMarco, Marinamarina.dimarco@pitt.edu
Keywords: black box, opacity, epidemiology, understanding, explanation, intelligibility
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Epidemiology
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Medicine
General Issues > Values In Science
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email marinarosedimarco@gmail.com
Date Deposited: 18 Oct 2020 02:40
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2020 02:40
Item ID: 18252
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Medicine > Epidemiology
General Issues > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Medicine
General Issues > Values In Science
Date: 2020
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18252

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item