David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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References found in this work BETA
Jon Elster (2012). Nuts and Bolts for the Social Sciences. Cambridge University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1999). The Dappled World: A Study of the Boundaries of Science. Cambridge University Press.
Nancy Cartwright (1983). How the Laws of Physics Lie. Oxford University Press.
Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver (2000). Thinking About Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Carl Gustav Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation. In Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. Free Press 504.
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 (2006). Compartment Causation. Synthese 149 (3):535 - 550.
Steve Fleetwood (2009). The Ontology of Things, Properties and Powers. Journal of Critical Realism 8 (3):343-366.
Johannes Persson (2012). Mechanistic Explanation in Social Contexts: Elster and the Problem of Local Scientific Growth. Social Epistemology 26 (1):105-114.
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