Graduate studies at Western
Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):365-383 (2011)
|Abstract||This paper tracks the commitments of mechanistic explanations focusing on the relation between activities at different levels. It is pointed out that the mechanistic approach is inherently committed to identifying causal connections at higher levels with causal connections at lower levels. For the mechanistic approach to succeed a mechanism as a whole must do the very same thing what its parts organised in a particular way do. The mechanistic approach must also utilise bridge principles connecting different causal terms of different theoretical vocabularies in order to make the identities of causal connections transparent. These general commitments get confronted with two claims made by certain proponents of the mechanistic approach: William Bechtel often argues that within the mechanistic framework it is possible to balance between reducing higher levels and maintaining their autonomy at the same time, whereas, in a recent paper, Craver and Bechtel argue that the mechanistic approach is able to make downward causation intelligible. The paper concludes that the mechanistic approach imbued with identity statements is no better candidate for anchoring higher levels to lower ones while maintaining their autonomy at the same time than standard reductive accounts are, and that what mechanistic explanations are able to do at best is showing that downward causation does not exist|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
William Bechtel (2007). Reducing Psychology While Maintaining its Autonomy Via Mechanistic Explanations. In M. Schouten & H. L. De Joong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell Publishing.
Cory D. Wright & William P. Bechtel (2007). Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation. In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
Philippe Huneman (2010). Topological Explanations and Robustness in Biological Sciences. Synthese 177 (2):213-245.
Stathis Psillos (2004). A Glimpse of the Secret Connexion: Harmonizing Mechanisms with Counterfactuals. Perspectives on Science 12 (3):288-319.
D. Benjamin Barros (2013). Negative Causation in Causal and Mechanistic Explanation. Synthese 190 (3):449-469.
Jonathan Waskan (2011). Mechanistic Explanation at the Limit. Synthese 183 (3):389-408.
Kari L. Theurer (2013). Compositional Explanatory Relations and Mechanistic Reduction. Minds and Machines 23 (3):287-307.
Erik Weber (2009). How Probabilistic Causation Can Account for the Use of Mechanistic Evidence. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (3):277-295.
William Bechtel (2010). The Downs and Ups of Mechanistic Research: Circadian Rhythm Research as an Exemplar. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis 73 (3):313 - 328.
Stathis Psillos (2004). A Glimpse of The. Perspectives on Science 12 (3).
Gualtiero Piccinini & Carl Craver (2011). Integrating Psychology and Neuroscience: Functional Analyses as Mechanism Sketches. [REVIEW] Synthese 183 (3):283-311.
Jeroen de Ridder (2006). Mechanistic Artefact Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 37 (1):81-96.
Added to index2011-03-16
Total downloads38 ( #35,977 of 740,413 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,960 of 740,413 )
How can I increase my downloads?