Mechanistic Constitution in Neurobiological Explanations

Abstract

This paper discusses the constitution relation within the framework of the mechanistic approach to neurobiological explanation. It develops a regularity theory of constitution as an alternative to the manipulationist theory of constitution advocated by some of the proponents of the mechanistic approach. After the main problems of the manipulationist account of constitution have been reviewed, the regularity account is developed based on the notion of a minimal type relevance theory. A minimal type relevance theory expresses a minimally necessary condition of a given type that consists of a disjunction of minimally sufficient conditions of that type. Afterwards, the attained definition is successfully applied in an analysis of the logical structure of the explanation of spatial learning and memory in rats as a paradigm neurobiological explanation. The overall result is a more robust and more precise version of the mechanistic approach to neurobiological explanations

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References found in this work

Philosophical Papers.David Kellogg Lewis - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.

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Citations of this work

Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3).
An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):214-233.
Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.

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