David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
We provide an account of mechanistic representation and explanation that has several advantages over previous proposals. In our view, explaining mechanistically is not simply giving an explanation of a mechanism. Rather, an explanation is mechanistic because of particular relations that hold between a mechanical representation, or model, and the target of explanation. Under this interpretation, mechanistic explanation is possible even when the explanatory target is not a mechanism. We argue that taking this view is not only coherent and plausible, it gives a more sophisticated view of the relationship between mechanical models and their targets. This allows us to address some ambiguities within the mechanist framework, and delivers a more intuitive way to interpret scientists' use of the term "mechanism".
|Keywords||Mechanisms Explanation Natural Selection|
|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
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Carlos Zednik (2011). The Nature of Dynamical Explanation. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263.
Phyllis McKay Illari & Jon Williamson (2011). Mechanisms Are Real and Local. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oup Oxford.
John Matthewson & Brett Calcott (2011). Mechanistic Models of Population-Level Phenomena. Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):737-756.
Jon Williamson (2010). Function and Organization: Comparing the Mechanisms of Protein Synthesis and Natural Selection. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):279-291.
Viorel Pâslaru (2009). Ecological Explanation Between Manipulation and Mechanism Description. Philosophy of Science 76 (5):821-837.
Stuart Glennan (2010). Ephemeral Mechanisms and Historical Explanation. Erkenntnis 72 (2):251 - 266.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2011). Models and Mechanisms in Psychological Explanation. Synthese 183 (3):313-338.
Cory D. Wright & William P. Bechtel (2007). Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation. In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
Added to index2009-08-12
Total downloads171 ( #3,538 of 1,096,603 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #38,815 of 1,096,603 )
How can I increase my downloads?