Perspectives on Science 27 (1):88-116 (2019)

Authors
Luca Rivelli
Université Catholique de Louvain
Abstract
In this paper I will reconstruct and analyze a famous argument by Stuart Kauffman about complex systems and evolution, in order to highlight the use in theoretical biology of a kind of non-mechanistic and non-causal explanation which I propose to call, following Kauffman, ensemble explanation. The aim is to contribute to the ongoing philosophical debate about non-causal explanations in the special sciences, kinds of explanation apparently extraneous to the received causal-mechanistic view. Ensemble explanations resemble quite closely the explanations of the structural kind proposed by Philippe Huneman, which—unlike mechanistic explanations—do not explain by exposing the causal structure of a phenomenon, but...
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DOI 10.1162/posc_a_00301
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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.
Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?Marc Lange - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):485-511.
Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
Abstraction and the Organization of Mechanisms.Arnon Levy & William Bechtel - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (2):241-261.

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Citations of this work BETA

General Theory of Topological Explanations and Explanatory Asymmetry.Daniel Kostic - 2020 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 375 (1796):1-8.

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