David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This paper argues that the increasingly dominant new mechanistic approach to scientific explanation, as developed to date, does not shed new light on explanatory practice. First, I systematize the explanatory account, one according to which explanations are mechanistic models that satisfy three desiderata: 1) they must represent causal relations, 2) describe the proper parts, and 3) depict the system at the right ‘level.’ Then I argue that even the most promising attempts to flesh out these constraints have fallen far short. Finally, I offer a diagnosis of the mechanistic project, locating a common source of both its virtues and shortcomings.
|Keywords||scientific explanation mechanisms causation|
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