Three Problems for the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance in Mechanisms

In this article, I present two conceptual problems for Craver's mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms. First, constitutive relevance threatens to imply causal relevance despite Craver (and Bechtel)'s claim that they are strictly distinct. Second, if (as is intuitively appealing) parthood is defined in terms of spatio-temporal inclusion, then the mutual manipulability account is prone to counterexamples, as I show by a case of endosymbiosis. I also present a methodological problem (a case of experimental underdetermination) and formulate two partial, but fallible solutions based on the notions of parthood and synchronicity
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axr036
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References found in this work BETA
DM Hausman & J. Woodward (1999). Independence, Invariance and the Causal Markov Condition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 50 (4):521-583.
Daniel Steel (2006). Comment on Hausman & Woodward on the Causal Markov Condition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):219-231.

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Patrice Soom (2012). Mechanisms, Determination and the Metaphysics of Neuroscience. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (3):655-664.

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Carl Craver (2007). Constitutive Explanatory Relevance. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:3-20.

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