Philosophy of Science 78 (5):914-925 (2011)

Lane DesAutels
Missouri Western State University
This article addresses the question of whether we should conceive of mechanisms as productive of change in a regular way. I argue that, if mechanisms are characterized as fully regular, on the one hand, then not enough processes will count as mechanisms for them to be interesting or useful. If no appeal to regularity is made at all in their characterization, on the other hand, then mechanisms can no longer be useful for grounding prediction and supporting intervention strategies. I conclude that, if the New Mechanistic Philosophy is to be successful, a stochastic characterization of mechanisms must be adopted.
Keywords Mechanism  Regularity  Stochastic
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DOI 10.1086/662558
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Counterfactuals.David Lewis - 1973 - Foundations of Language 13 (1):145-151.
Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.

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Citations of this work BETA

A Regularist Approach to Mechanistic Type-Level Explanation.Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (4):00-00.

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