Explaining human freedom and dignity mechanistically: From receptive to active mechanisms
|Abstract||Mechanistic explanation is the dominant approach to explanation in the life sciences, but it has been challenged as incompatible with a conception of humans as agents whose capacity for self-direction endows them with freedom and dignity. We argue that the mechanical philosophy, properly construed, has sufficient resources to explain how such characteristics can arise in a material world. Biological mechanisms must be regarded as active, not only reactive, and as organized so as to maintain themselves far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Notions from systems biology make key contributions, particularly Gánti’s chemoton, Ruiz-Mirazo and Moreno’s basic autonomy, and Barandiaran and Moreno’s adaptive autonomous agents. The reconstrual is then extended to mental life by conceiving of cognitive mechanisms as control components in inherently active systems, as illustrated in models offered by Randall Beer and Cees van Leeuwen|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|External links||This entry has no external links. Add one.|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Carl F. Craver (2001). Role Functions, Mechanisms, and Hierarchy. Philosophy of Science 68 (1):53-74.
Mauro Nervi (2010). Mechanisms, Malfunctions and Explanation in Medicine. Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):215-228.
Adele Abrahamsen & William Bechtel, From Reactive to Endogenously Active Dynamical Conceptions of the Brain.
William P. Bechtel, Mental Mechanisms: Philosophical Perspectives on the Sciences of Cognition and the Brain.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2011). Models and Mechanisms in Psychological Explanation. Synthese 183 (3):313-338.
William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen (2007). Explaining Human Freedom and Dignity Mechanistically. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:43-66.
Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.
Added to index2009-01-28
Recent downloads (6 months)0
How can I increase my downloads?