Mechanisms revisited

Synthese 183 (3):409-427 (2011)
Abstract
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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    References found in this work BETA
    Phil Dowe (2000). Physical Causation. Cambridge University Press.
    Ned Hall (2004). Two Concepts of Causation. In John Collins, Ned Hall & Laurie Paul (eds.), Causation and Counterfactuals. The Mit Press. 181--276.

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    Citations of this work BETA
    Arnon Levy (2013). Three Kinds of New Mechanism. Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.
    Alexander Mebius (2014). A Weakened Mechanism is Still a Mechanism: On the Causal Role of Absences in Mechanistic Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45:43-48.
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    Stathis Psillos (2011). The Idea of Mechanism. In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. 771--788.
    Alyssa Ney (2009). Physical Causation and Difference-Making. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (4):737-764.
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