David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Paul Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier (2007)
As much as assumptions about mechanisms and mechanistic explanation have deeply affected psychology, they have received disproportionately little analysis in philosophy. After a historical survey of the influences of mechanistic approaches to explanation of psychological phenomena, we specify the nature of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation. Contrary to some treatments of mechanistic explanation, we maintain that explanation is an epistemic activity that involves representing and reasoning about mechanisms. We discuss the manner in which mechanistic approaches serve to bridge levels rather than reduce them, as well as the different ways in which mechanisms are discovered. Finally, we offer a more detailed example of an important psychological phenomenon for which mechanistic explanation has provided the main source of scientific understanding.
|Keywords||mechanism mechanistic explanation reduction psychological explanation levels psychology|
|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
Steven Horst (2009). Naturalisms in Philosophy of Mind. Philosophy Compass 4 (1):219-254.
Jonathan Waskan (2011). Mechanistic Explanation at the Limit. Synthese 183 (3):389-408.
Phyllis Illari (2013). Mechanistic Explanation: Integrating the Ontic and Epistemic. Erkenntnis 78 (2):237-255.
Similar books and articles
William Bechtel & Cory D. Wright (2009). What is Psychological Explanation? In P. Calvo & J. Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge. 113--130.
Daniel A. Weiskopf (2011). Models and Mechanisms in Psychological Explanation. Synthese 183 (3):313-338.
Cory D. Wright (2007). Is Psychological Explanation Going Extinct? In Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice Schouten (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Antti Revonsuo (1999). Neuroscience and the Explanation of Psychological Phenomena. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):847-849.
Denis Forest (2009). Comments on William Bechtel's “Looking Down, Around, and Up: Mechanistic Explanation in Psychology”. Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):565-573.
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.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads402 ( #430 of 1,096,735 )
Recent downloads (6 months)110 ( #326 of 1,096,735 )
How can I increase my downloads?