Filling in the mechanistic details: two-variable experiments as tests for constitutive relevance [Book Review]

This paper provides an account of the experimental conditions required for establishing whether correlating or causally relevant factors are constitutive components of a mechanism connecting input (start) and output (finish) conditions. I argue that two-variable experiments, where both the initial conditions and a component postulated by the mechanism are simultaneously manipulated on an independent basis, are usually required in order to differentiate between correlating or causally relevant factors and constitutively relevant ones. Based on a typical research project molecular biology, a flowchart model detailing typical stages in the formulation and testing of hypotheses about mechanistic components is also developed
Keywords Molecular biology  Experimentation  Mechanistic explanation  Causal relevance
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DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0045-3
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References found in this work BETA
William Bechtel (2005). Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.

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Citations of this work BETA
Tudor M. Baetu (2014). Chance, Experimental Reproducibility, and Mechanistic Regularity. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 27 (3):253-271.
Tudor M. Baetu (2014). Models and the Mosaic of Scientific Knowledge. The Case of Immunology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):49-56.

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Carl Craver (2007). Constitutive Explanatory Relevance. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:3-20.
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