Results for 'Mechanistic explanation'

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  1. Mechanistic Explanation in Psychology.Mark Povich - forthcoming - In Hank Stam & Huib Looren De Jong (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Theoretical Psychology. (Eds.) Hank Stam and Huib Looren de Jong. Sage.
    Philosophers of psychology debate, among other things, which psychological models, if any, are (or provide) mechanistic explanations. This should seem a little strange given that there is rough consensus on the following two claims: 1) a mechanism is an organized collection of entities and activities that produces, underlies, or maintains a phenomenon, and 2) a mechanistic explanation describes, represents, or provides information about the mechanism producing, underlying, or maintaining the phenomenon to be explained (i.e. the explanandum phenomenon) (...)
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  2. Mechanistic Explanations and Teleological Functions.Andrew Rubner - forthcoming - The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    This paper defines and defends a notion of teleological function which is fit to figure in explanations concerning how organic systems, and the items which compose them, are able to perform certain activities, such as surviving and reproducing or pumping blood. According to this notion, a teleological function of an item (such as the heart) is a typical way in which items of that type contribute to some containing system's ability to do some activity. An account of what it is (...)
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  3. Mechanistic explanation: asymmetry lost.Samuel Schindler - 2013 - In Karakostas and Dieks (ed.), “Recent Progress in Philosophy of Science: Perspectives and Foundational Problems”. Springer.
    In a recent book and an article, Carl Craver construes the relations between different levels of a mechanism, which he also refers to as constitutive relations, in terms of mutual manipulability (MM). Interpreted metaphysically, MM implies that inter-level relations are symmetrical. MM thus violates one of the main desiderata of scientific explanation, namely explanatory asymmetry. Parts of Craver’s writings suggest a metaphysical interpretation of MM, and Craver explicitly commits to constitutive relationships being symmetrical. The paper furthermore explores the option (...)
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  4. Rethinking mechanistic explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
    Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids (...)
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  5.  39
    Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S342-S353.
    Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids (...)
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  6.  19
    Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Lindley Darden - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):342-353.
    Philosophers of science typically associate the causal‐mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon’s account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex‐systems approach avoids (...)
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  7. Mechanistic explanation without the ontic conception.Cory D. Wright - 2012 - European Journal of Philosophy of Science 2 (3):375-394.
    The ontic conception of scientific explanation has been constructed and motivated on the basis of a putative lexical ambiguity in the term explanation. I raise a puzzle for this ambiguity claim, and then give a deflationary solution under which all ontically-rendered talk of explanation is merely elliptical; what it is elliptical for is a view of scientific explanation that altogether avoids the ontic conception. This result has revisionary consequences for New Mechanists and other philosophers of science, (...)
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  8.  37
    Mechanistic explanation in engineering science.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):349-375.
    In this paper I apply the mechanistic account of explanation to engineering science. I discuss two ways in which this extension offers further development of the mechanistic view. First, functional individuation of mechanisms in engineering science proceeds by means of two distinct sub types of role function, behavior function and effect function, rather than role function simpliciter. Second, it offers refined assessment of the explanatory power of mechanistic explanations. It is argued that in the context of (...)
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  9.  25
    Pseudo‐mechanistic Explanations in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience.Bernhard Hommel - 2020 - Topics in Cognitive Science 12 (4):1294-1305.
    Pseudo‐mechanistic explanations in psychology and cognitive neuroscienceThis paper focuses on the level of systems/cognitive neuroscience. It argues that the great majority of explanations in psychology and cognitive neuroscience is “pseudo‐mechanistic.” On the basis of various case studies, Hommel argues that cognitive neuroscience should move beyond what he calls an “Aristotelian phase” to become a mature “Galilean” science seeking to discover actual mechanisms of cognitive phenomena.
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  10. Mechanistic Explanation: Integrating the Ontic and Epistemic.Phyllis Illari - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (2):237-255.
    Craver claims that mechanistic explanation is ontic, while Bechtel claims that it is epistemic. While this distinction between ontic and epistemic explanation originates with Salmon, the ideas have changed in the modern debate on mechanistic explanation, where the frame of the debate is changing. I will explore what Bechtel and Craver’s claims mean, and argue that good mechanistic explanations must satisfy both ontic and epistemic normative constraints on what is a good explanation. I (...)
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  11. Mechanistic Explanations and Deliberate Misrepresentations.Mikko Siponen, Tuula Klaavuniemi & Marco Nathan - unknown
    The philosophy of mechanisms has developed rapidly during the last 30 years. As mechanisms-based explanations are often seen as an alternative to nomological, law-based explanations, MBEs could be relevant in IS. We begin by offering a short history of mechanistic philosophy and set out to clarify the contemporary landscape. We then suggest that mechanistic models provide an alternative to variance and process models in IS. Finally, we highlight how MBEs typically contain deliberate misrepresentations. Although MBEs have recently been (...)
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  12.  33
    Mechanistic explanation for enactive sociality.Ekaterina Abramova & Marc Slors - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (2):401-424.
    In this article we analyze the methodological commitments of a radical embodied cognition approach to social interaction and social cognition, specifically with respect to the explanatory framework it adopts. According to many representatives of REC, such as enactivists and the proponents of dynamical and ecological psychology, sociality is to be explained by focusing on the social unit rather than the individuals that comprise it and establishing the regularities that hold on this level rather than modeling the sub-personal mechanisms that could (...)
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  13. New Mechanistic Explanation and the Need for Explanatory Constraints.L. R. Franklin-Hall - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Palgrave. pp. 41-74.
    This paper critiques the new mechanistic explanatory program on grounds that, even when applied to the kinds of examples that it was originally designed to treat, it does not distinguish correct explanations from those that blunder. First, I offer a systematization of the explanatory account, one according to which explanations are mechanistic models that satisfy three desiderata: they must 1) represent causal relations, 2) describe the proper parts, and 3) depict the system at the right ‘level.’ Second, I (...)
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  14.  93
    Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Biology: Cellular Networks.Dana Matthiessen - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):1-25.
    It is argued that once biological systems reach a certain level of complexity, mechanistic explanations provide an inadequate account of many relevant phenomena. In this article, I evaluate such claims with respect to a representative programme in systems biological research: the study of regulatory networks within single-celled organisms. I argue that these networks are amenable to mechanistic philosophy without need to appeal to some alternate form of explanation. In particular, I claim that we can understand the mathematical (...)
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  15. Dynamic mechanistic explanation: computational modeling of circadian rhythms as an exemplar for cognitive science.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):321-333.
    Two widely accepted assumptions within cognitive science are that (1) the goal is to understand the mechanisms responsible for cognitive performances and (2) computational modeling is a major tool for understanding these mechanisms. The particular approaches to computational modeling adopted in cognitive science, moreover, have significantly affected the way in which cognitive mechanisms are understood. Unable to employ some of the more common methods for conducting research on mechanisms, cognitive scientists’ guiding ideas about mechanism have developed in conjunction with their (...)
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  16.  45
    Mechanistic Explanation of Biological Processes.Derek John Skillings - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1139-1151.
    Biological processes are often explained by identifying the underlying mechanisms that generate a phenomenon of interest. I characterize a basic account of mechanistic explanation and then present three challenges to this account, illustrated with examples from molecular biology. The basic mechanistic account is insufficient for explaining nonsequential and nonlinear dynamic processes, is insufficient for explaining the inherently stochastic nature of many biological mechanisms, and fails to give a proper framework for analyzing organization. I suggest that biological processes (...)
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  17. Aristotelian Mechanistic Explanation.Monte Johnson - 2017 - In J. Rocca (ed.), Teleology in the Ancient World: philosophical and medical approaches. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 125-150.
    In some influential histories of ancient philosophy, teleological explanation and mechanistic explanation are assumed to be directly opposed and mutually exclusive alternatives. I contend that this assumption is deeply flawed, and distorts our understanding both of teleological and mechanistic explanation, and of the history of mechanistic philosophy. To prove this point, I shall provide an overview of the first systematic treatise on mechanics, the short and neglected work Mechanical Problems, written either by Aristotle or (...)
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  18. Mechanistic explanation at the limit.Jonathan Waskan - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):389-408.
    Resurgent interest in both mechanistic and counterfactual theories of explanation has led to a fair amount of discussion regarding the relative merits of these two approaches. James Woodward is currently the pre-eminent counterfactual theorist, and he criticizes the mechanists on the following grounds: Unless mechanists about explanation invoke counterfactuals, they cannot make sense of claims about causal interactions between mechanism parts or of causal explanations put forward absent knowledge of productive mechanisms. He claims that these shortfalls can (...)
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  19.  56
    Mechanistic Explanations in Physics and Beyond.Brigitte Falkenburg & Gregor Schiemann (eds.) - 2019 - Dordrecht, Niederlande: Springer.
    This volume offers a broad, philosophical discussion on mechanical explanations. Coverage ranges from historical approaches and general questions to physics and higher-level sciences . The contributors also consider the topics of complexity, emergence, and reduction. Mechanistic explanations detail how certain properties of a whole stem from the causal activities of its parts. This kind of explanation is in particular employed in explanatory models of the behavior of complex systems. Often used in biology and neuroscience, mechanistic explanation (...)
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  20.  51
    Extended Mechanistic Explanations: Expanding the Current Mechanistic Conception to Include More Complex Biological Systems.Sarah M. Roe & Bert Baumgaertner - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):517-534.
    Mechanistic accounts of explanation have recently found popularity within philosophy of science. Presently, we introduce the idea of an extended mechanistic explanation, which makes explicit room for the role of environment in explanation. After delineating Craver and Bechtel’s account, we argue this suggestion is not sufficiently robust when we take seriously the mechanistic environment and modeling practices involved in studying contemporary complex biological systems. Our goal is to extend the already profitable mechanistic picture (...)
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  21.  72
    Mechanistic Explanation in Physics.Laura Felline - 2021 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion for Philosophy of Physics. Routledge.
    The idea at the core of the New Mechanical account of explanation can be summarized in the claim that explaining means showing ‘how things work’. This simple motto hints at three basic features of Mechanistic Explanation (ME): ME is an explanation-how, that implies the description of the processes underlying the phenomenon to be explained and of the entities that engage in such processes. These three elements trace a fundamental contrast with the view inherited from Hume and (...)
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  22.  59
    Mechanistic Explanation in Social Contexts: Elster and the Problem of Local Scientific Growth.Johannes Persson - 2012 - Social Epistemology 26 (1):105-114.
    Jon Elster worries about the explanatory power of the social sciences. His main concern is that they have so few well-established laws. Elster develops an interesting substitute: a special kind of mechanism designed to fill the explanatory gap between laws and mere description. However, his mechanisms suffer from a characteristic problem that I will explore in this article. As our causal knowledge of a specific problem grows we might come to know too much to make use of an Elsterian mechanism (...)
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  23.  78
    Mechanistic Explanations and Models in Molecular Systems Biology.Fred C. Boogerd, Frank J. Bruggeman & Robert C. Richardson - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (4):725-744.
    Mechanistic models in molecular systems biology are generally mathematical models of the action of networks of biochemical reactions, involving metabolism, signal transduction, and/or gene expression. They can be either simulated numerically or analyzed analytically. Systems biology integrates quantitative molecular data acquisition with mathematical models to design new experiments, discriminate between alternative mechanisms and explain the molecular basis of cellular properties. At the heart of this approach are mechanistic models of molecular networks. We focus on the articulation and development (...)
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  24.  66
    Can mechanistic explanation be reconciled with scale-free constitution and dynamics?William Bechtel - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 53:84-93.
  25.  7
    Mechanistic Explanation, Interdisciplinary Integration and Interpersonal Social Coordination.Matti Sarkia - forthcoming - Social Epistemology.
    Prominent research programs dealing with the nature and mechanisms of interpersonal social coordination have emerged in cognitive science, developmental psychology and evolutionary anthropology. I argue that the mechanistic approach to explanation in contemporary philosophy of science can facilitate interdisciplinary integration and division of labor between these different disciplinary research programs. By distinguishing phenomenal models from mechanistic models and structural decomposition from functional decomposition in the process of mechanism discovery, I argue that behavioral and cognitive scientists can make (...)
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    Mechanistic explanations and components of social mechanisms.Saúl Pérez-González - 2020 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 10 (3):1-18.
    The past two decades have witnessed an increase in interest in social mechanisms and mechanistic explanations of social macro-phenomena. This paper addresses the question of what the components of social mechanisms in mechanistic explanations of social macro-phenomena must be. Analytical sociology’s initial position and the main new proposals by analytical sociologists are discussed. It is argued that all of them are faced with outstanding difficulties. Subsequently, a minimal requirement regarding the components of social mechanisms is introduced. It is (...)
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  27.  43
    Integrating mechanistic explanations through epistemic perspectives.Lena Kästner - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:68-79.
  28.  83
    Mechanistic Explanation and Explanatory Proofs in Mathematics.Joachim Frans & Erik Weber - 2014 - Philosophia Mathematica 22 (2):231-248.
    Although there is a consensus among philosophers of mathematics and mathematicians that mathematical explanations exist, only a few authors have proposed accounts of explanation in mathematics. These accounts fit into the unificationist or top-down approach to explanation. We argue that these models can be complemented by a bottom-up approach to explanation in mathematics. We introduce the mechanistic model of explanation in science and discuss the possibility of using this model in mathematics, arguing that using it (...)
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  29. Mechanistic explanation and organismic biology.Ernest Nagel - 1950 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 11 (3):327-338.
  30. Heuristics, Descriptions, and the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.Carlos Zednik - 2015 - In P. Braillard & C. Malaterre (eds.), Explanation in Biology. An Enquiry into the Diversity of Explanatory Patterns in the Life Sciences. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 295-318.
    The philosophical conception of mechanistic explanation is grounded on a limited number of canonical examples. These examples provide an overly narrow view of contemporary scientific practice, because they do not reflect the extent to which the heuristic strategies and descriptive practices that contribute to mechanistic explanation have evolved beyond the well-known methods of decomposition, localization, and pictorial representation. Recent examples from evolutionary robotics and network approaches to biology and neuroscience demonstrate the increasingly important role played by (...)
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  31. Mechanistic Explanation without Mechanisms.John Matthewson & Brett Calcott - manuscript
    We provide an account of mechanistic representation and explanation that has several advantages over previous proposals. In our view, explaining mechanistically is not simply giving an explanation of a mechanism. Rather, an explanation is mechanistic because of particular relations that hold between a mechanical representation, or model, and the target of explanation. Under this interpretation, mechanistic explanation is possible even when the explanatory target is not a mechanism. We argue that taking this (...)
     
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  32. Mechanistic Explanation versus Deductive-Nomological Explanation.F. Michael Akeroyd - 2008 - Foundations of Chemistry 10 (1):39-48.
    This paper discusses the important paper by Paul Thagard on the pathway version of mechanistic explanation that is currently used in chemical explanation. The author claims that this method of explanation has a respectable pedigree and can be traced back to the Chemical Revolution in the arguments used by the Lavoisier School in their theoretical duels with Richard Kirwan, the proponent of a revised phlogistonian theory. Kirwan believed that complex chemical reactions could be explained by recourse (...)
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    Mechanistic explanations and the ethics of nudging.Stefano Calboli & Vincenzo Fano - 2022 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 13 (3):175-186.
    _Abstract_: Nudges have proven to be effective tools for steering citizens toward desirable behaviors and make valuable additions to any policy-maker’s toolbox. Disappointingly, however, there are no mechanistic explanations for how nudges work, leaving policy-makers unable to explain what happens when they are implemented. This paper identifies some neglected ethical implications of the resulting citizens lack of awareness of such mechanisms. We first examine mechanistic explanations in relation to citizens’ understanding on how they work. Then, we look at (...)
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  34. Phenomenological Laws and Mechanistic Explanations.Gabriel Siegel & Carl F. Craver - 2024 - Philosophy of Science 91 (1):132-150.
    In light of recent criticisms by Woodward (2017) and Rescorla (2018), we examine the relationship between mechanistic explanation and phenomenological laws. We disambiguate several uses of the phrase “phenomenological law” and show how a mechanistic theory of explanation sorts them into those that are and are not explanatory. We also distinguish the problem of phenomenological laws from arguments about the explanatory power of purely phenomenal models, showing that Woodward and Rescorla conflate these problems. Finally, we argue (...)
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  35. Mechanistic explanation and the nature-nurture controversy.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Bulletin d'Histoire Et d'pistmologie Des Sciences de La Vie 12:75-100.
    Both in biology and psychology there has been a tendency on the part of many investigators to focus solely on the mature organism and ignore development. There are many reasons for this, but an important one is that the explanatory framework often invoked in the life sciences for understanding a given phenomenon, according to which explanation consists in identifying the mechanism that produces that phenomenon, both makes it possible to side-step the development issue and to provide inadequate resources for (...)
     
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  36.  18
    Mechanistic explanation, cognitive systems demarcation, and extended cognition.Dingmar van Eck & Huib Looren de Jong - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 59:11-21.
  37.  3
    Mechanistic Explanations in Physics: History, Scope, and Limits.Brigitte Falkenburg - 2023 - In João L. Cordovil, Gil Santos & Davide Vecchi (eds.), New Mechanism Explanation, Emergence and Reduction. Springer. pp. 191-211.
    Despite the scientific revolutions of the twentieth century, mechanistic explanations show a striking methodological continuity from early modern science to current scientific practice. They are rooted in the traditional method of analysis and synthesis, which was the background of Galileo’s resolutive-compositive method and Newton’s method of deduction from the phenomena. In early modern science as well as in current scientific practice, analysis aims at tracking back from the phenomena to the principles, i.e., from wholes to parts, and from effects (...)
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  38. II—James Woodward: Mechanistic Explanation: Its Scope and Limits.James Woodward - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):39-65.
    This paper explores the question of whether all or most explanations in biology are, or ideally should be, ‘mechanistic’. I begin by providing an account of mechanistic explanation, making use of the interventionist ideas about causation I have developed elsewhere. This account emphasizes the way in which mechanistic explanations, at least in the biological sciences, integrate difference‐making and spatio‐temporal information, and exhibit what I call fine‐tunedness of organization. I also emphasize the role played by modularity conditions (...)
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  39.  16
    Mechanistic Explanations and Teleological Functions.Andrew Rubner - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  40. Functional analysis and mechanistic explanation.David Barrett - 2014 - Synthese 191 (12):2695-2714.
    Piccinini and Craver (Synthese 183:283–311, 2011) argue for the surprising view that psychological explanation, properly understood, is a species of mechanistic explanation. This contrasts with the ‘received view’ (due, primarily, to Cummins and Fodor) which maintains a sharp distinction between psychological explanation and mechanistic explanation. The former is typically construed as functional analysis, the analysis of some psychological capacity into an organized series of subcapacities without specifying any of the structural features that underlie the (...)
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  41.  17
    New Mechanism Explanation, Emergence and Reduction.João L. Cordovil, Gil Santos & Davide Vecchi (eds.) - 2023 - Springer.
    This Open Access book addresses the epistemological and ontological significance as well as the scope of new mechanism. In particular, this book addresses the issues of what is "new" about new mechanism, the epistemological and ontological reasons underlying the adoption of mechanistic instead of other modelling strategies as well as the possibility of mechanistic explanation to accommodate a non-trivial notion of emergence. Arguably, new mechanism has been particularly successful in making sense of scientific practice in the molecular (...)
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    Fictional mechanism explanations: clarifying explanatory holes in engineering science.Kristian González Barman - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (2):1-19.
    This paper discusses a class of mechanistic explanations employed in engineering science where the activities and organization of nonstandard entities are cited as core factors responsible for failures. Given the use of mechanistic language by engineers and the manifestly mechanistic structure of these explanations, I consider several interpretations of these explanations within the new mechanical framework. I argue that these interpretations fail to solve several philosophical problems and propose an account of fictional mechanism explanations instead. According to (...)
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  43. Functional Analyses, Mechanistic Explanations, and Explanatory Tradeoffs.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2013 - Journal of Cognitive Science 14:229-251.
    Recently, Piccinini and Craver have stated three theses concerning the relations between functional analysis and mechanistic explanation in cognitive sciences: No Distinctness: functional analysis and mechanistic explanation are explanations of the same kind; Integration: functional analysis is a kind of mechanistic explanation; and Subordination: functional analyses are unsatisfactory sketches of mechanisms. In this paper, I argue, first, that functional analysis and mechanistic explanations are sub-kinds of explanation by scientific (idealized) models. From that (...)
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  44. Mechanisms without mechanistic explanation.Naftali Weinberger - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2323-2340.
    Some recent accounts of constitutive relevance have identified mechanism components with entities that are causal intermediaries between the input and output of a mechanism. I argue that on such accounts there is no distinctive inter-level form of mechanistic explanation and that this highlights an absence in the literature of a compelling argument that there are such explanations. Nevertheless, the entities that these accounts call ‘components’ do play an explanatory role. Studying causal intermediaries linking variables Xand Y provides knowledge (...)
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  45.  57
    From interventions to mechanistic explanations.Tudor M. Baetu - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    An important strategy in the discovery of biological mechanisms involves the piecing together of experimental results from interventions. However, if mechanisms are investigated by means of ideal interventions, as defined by James Woodward and others, then the kind of information revealed is insufficient to discriminate between modular and non-modular causal contributions. Ideal interventions suffice for constructing webs of causal dependencies that can be used to make some predictions about experimental outcomes, but tell us little about how causally relevant factors are (...)
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  46.  76
    The Joint Account of Mechanistic Explanation.Melinda Bonnie Fagan - 2012 - Philosophy of Science 79 (4):448-472.
    Many explanations in molecular biology, neuroscience, and other fields of experimental biology describe mechanisms underlying phenomena of interest. These mechanistic explanations account for higher-level phenomena in terms of causally active parts and their spatiotemporal organization. What makes such a mechanistic description explanatory? The best-developed answer, Craver's causal-mechanical account, has several weaknesses. It does not fully explicate the target of explanation, interlevel relation, or interactive nonmodular character of many biological mechanisms as we understand them. An alternative account of (...)
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  47. Causal and Mechanistic Explanations in Ecology.Jani Raerinne - 2010 - Acta Biotheoretica 59 (3):251-271.
    How are scientific explanations possible in ecology, given that there do not appear to be many—if any—ecological laws? To answer this question, I present and defend an account of scientific causal explanation in which ecological generalizations are explanatory if they are invariant rather than lawlike. An invariant generalization continues to hold or be valid under a special change—called an intervention—that changes the value of its variables. According to this account, causes are difference-makers that can be intervened upon to manipulate (...)
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  48. Systems Biology and Mechanistic Explanation.Ingo Brigandt, Sara Green & Maureen O'Malley - 2018 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 362-374.
    We address the question of whether and to what extent explanatory and modelling strategies in systems biology are mechanistic. After showing how dynamic mathematical models are actually required for mechanistic explanations of complex systems, we caution readers against expecting all systems biology to be about mechanistic explanations. Instead, the aim may be to generate topological explanations that are not standardly mechanistic, or to arrive at design principles that explain system organization and behaviour in general, but not (...)
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  49.  48
    Mechanisms without mechanistic explanation.Naftali Weinberger - 2017 - Synthese:1-18.
    Some recent accounts of constitutive relevance have identified mechanism components with entities that are causal intermediaries between the input and output of a mechanism. I argue that on such accounts there is no distinctive inter-level form of mechanistic explanation and that this highlights an absence in the literature of a compelling argument that there are such explanations. Nevertheless, the entities that these accounts call ‘components’ do play an explanatory role. Studying causal intermediaries linking variables Xand Y provides knowledge (...)
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  50.  7
    Mechanistic Explanations and Structure-Determined Systems Maturana and the Human Sciences.Paula Burghgraeve - 1992 - In G. van der Vijve (ed.), New Perspectives on Cybernetics. pp. 207--217.
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