David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563 (2007)
We argue that intelligible appeals to interlevel causes (top-down and bottom-up) can be understood, without remainder, as appeals to mechanistically mediated effects. Mechanistically mediated effects are hybrids of causal and constitutive relations, where the causal relations are exclusively intralevel. The idea of causation would have to stretch to the breaking point to accommodate interlevel causes. The notion of a mechanistically mediated effect is preferable because it can do all of the required work without appealing to mysterious interlevel causes. When interlevel causes can be translated into mechanistically mediated effects, the posited relationship is intelligible and should raise no special philosophical objections. When they cannot, they are suspect.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
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References found in this work BETA
James Woodward (2003). Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation. Oxford University Press.
Wesley Salmon (1984). Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World. Princeton University Press.
Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver (2000). Thinking About Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
David Lewis (2000). Causation as Influence. Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.
Citations of this work BETA
William Bechtel (2011). Mechanism and Biological Explanation. Philosophy of Science 78 (4):533-557.
William Bechtel & Oron Shagrir (2015). The Non‐Redundant Contributions of Marr's Three Levels of Analysis for Explaining Information‐Processing Mechanisms. Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (2):312-322.
Anthony Chemero & Michael Silberstein (2008). After the Philosophy of Mind: Replacing Scholasticism with Science. Philosophy of Science 75 (1):1-27.
Stuart Glennan (2010). Mechanisms, Causes, and the Layered Model of the World. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):362-381.
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