David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophical Research 32:3-20 (2007)
In what sense are the activities and properties of components in a mechanism explanatorily relevant to the behavior of a mechanism as a whole? I articulate this problem, the problem of constitutive relevance, and I show that it must be solved if we are to understand mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. I argue against some putative solutions to the problem of constitutive relevance, and I sketch a positive account according to which relevance is analyzed in terms ofrelationships of mutual manipulability between the behavior of a mechanism as a whole and the properties and activities of its components. My account is a causal-mechanical account in the sense that it is a particular expression of the idea that constitutive explanation is a matter of showing how an explanandum phenomenon is situated within the causal structure of the world. It is thus offered as a rival to epistemic (argument-centered) and psychological accounts of interlevel explanation
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
David Michael Kaplan (2012). How to Demarcate the Boundaries of Cognition. Biology and Philosophy 27 (4):545-570.
Petri Ylikoski (2013). Causal and Constitutive Explanation Compared. Erkenntnis 78 (2):277-297.
Kari L. Theurer (2013). Compositional Explanatory Relations and Mechanistic Reduction. Minds and Machines 23 (3):287-307.
Nicholaos Jones (2014). Bowtie Structures, Pathway Diagrams, and Topological Explanation. Erkenntnis 79 (5):1135-1155.
Similar books and articles
Sven Walter (2005). Program Explanations and Causal Relevance. Acta Analytica 20 (36):32-47.
J. Barrett (1995). Causal Relevance and Nonreductive Physicalism. Erkenntnis 42 (3):339-62.
Mark B. Couch (2011). Mechanisms and Constitutive Relevance. Synthese 183 (3):375-388.
Arnon Levy (2009). Explaining What? Review of Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience by Carl F. Craver. Biology and Philosophy 24 (1).
John L. King (1976). Statistical Relevance and Explanatory Classification. Philosophical Studies 30 (5):313 - 321.
Ruth Berger (1998). Understanding Science: Why Causes Are Not Enough. Philosophy of Science 65 (2):306-332.
Jaakko Kuorikoski & Petri Ylikoski (2010). Explanatory Relevance Across Disciplinary Boundaries: The Case of Neuroeconomics. Journal of Economic Methodology 17 (2):219–228.
Bert Leuridan (2012). Three Problems for the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance in Mechanisms. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):399-427.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads58 ( #41,588 of 1,699,804 )
Recent downloads (6 months)24 ( #29,086 of 1,699,804 )
How can I increase my downloads?