David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Foundations of Science 10 (4):371-393 (2005)
This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is independent of the notion of law, and can easily be adapted to account for such characteristics of mechanisms. The idea of tropes as mechanisms is worked out in some detail. According to the resulting picture, there is still an opportunity to link mechanisms and laws. But while the predominant law view conceives of mechanistic approaches as special kinds of law accounts, this study indicates that the converse may be true. Law accounts are special cases of mechanistic accounts, and they work only in those worlds where the mechanisms are of the right kind.
|Keywords||mechanisms mechanistic explanation tropes Elster|
|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
Nils-Eric Sahlin, Annika Wallin & Johannes Persson (2010). Decision Science: From Ramsey to Dual Process Theories. Synthese 172 (1):129 - 143.
Johannes Persson (2012). Mechanistic Explanation in Social Contexts: Elster and the Problem of Local Scientific Growth. Social Epistemology 26 (1):105-114.
Steve Fleetwood (2009). The Ontology of Things, Properties and Powers. Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):343-366.
Similar books and articles
Stuart S. Glennan (1996). Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation. Erkenntnis 44 (1):49--71.
Mauro Nervi (2010). Mechanisms, Malfunctions and Explanation in Medicine. Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):215-228.
Holly Andersen (2011). Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
Bert Leuridan (2010). Can Mechanisms Really Replace Laws of Nature? Philosophy of Science 77 (3):317-340.
William P. Bechtel, Mental Mechanisms: Philosophical Perspectives on the Sciences of Cognition and the Brain.
Stuart Glennan (2010). Ephemeral Mechanisms and Historical Explanation. Erkenntnis 72 (2):251 - 266.
Cory D. Wright & William P. Bechtel (2007). Mechanisms and Psychological Explanation. In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
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.
Petri Ylikoski (2005). The Third Dogma Revisited. Foundations of Science 10 (4):395–419.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads17 ( #98,934 of 1,102,845 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #61,870 of 1,102,845 )
How can I increase my downloads?