Authors
Jonny Lee
University of Murcia
Joe Dewhurst
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
It is generally acknowledged by proponents of ‘new mechanism’ that mechanistic explanation involves adopting a perspective, but there is less agreement on how we should understand this perspective-taking or what its implications are for practising science. This paper examines the perspectival nature of mechanistic explanation through the lens of the ‘mechanistic stance’, which falls somewhere between Dennett’s more familiar physical and design stance. We argue this approach implies three distinct and significant ways in which mechanistic explanation can be interpreted as perspectival: ‘phenomenon perspectivism’, ‘pattern perspectivism’ and ‘hierarchy perspectivism’. We evaluate the strength of the perspective-dependency implied by each of these, and along the way, discuss their significance for wider debates within the new mechanism literature, such as the nature of function attribution and an ontic vs epistemic understanding of explanation.
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-020-00341-6
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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.
Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
The New Mechanical Philosophy.Stuart Glennan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.

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How Beliefs Are Like Colors.Devin Sanchez Curry - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7889-7918.

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