Mechanisms revisited

Synthese 183 (3):409-427 (2011)
This paper defends an interventionist treatment of mechanisms and contrasts this with Waskan (forthcoming). Interventionism embodies a difference-making conception of causation. I contrast such conceptions with geometrical/mechanical or “actualist” conceptions, associating Waskan’s proposals with the latter. It is argued that geometrical/mechanical conceptions of causation cannot replace difference-making conceptions in characterizing the behavior of mechanisms, but that some of the intuitions behind the geometrical/mechanical approach can be captured by thinking in terms of spatio-temporally organized difference-making information.
Keywords Mechanism  Interventionist theory of causation  Difference-making  Perception of causation
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-9870-3
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References found in this work BETA
Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
Jim Woodward (2002). What is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S366-S377.

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Citations of this work BETA
Arnon Levy (2013). Three Kinds of New Mechanism. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.

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