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Mark B. Couch [4]Mark B. Couch [1]Mark Couch [1]
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Profile: Mark Couch (Seton Hall University)
  1. Mark B. Couch (2011). Causal Role Theories of Functional Explanation. In James Fieser & Bradley Dowden (eds.), Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  2. Mark B. Couch (2011). Mechanisms and Constitutive Relevance. Synthese 183 (3):375-388.
    This paper will examine the nature of mechanisms and the distinction between the relevant and irrelevant parts involved in a mechanism’s operation. I first consider Craver’s account of this distinction in his book on the nature of mechanisms, and explain some problems. I then offer a novel account of the distinction that appeals to some resources from Mackie’s theory of causation. I end by explaining how this account enables us to better understand what mechanisms are and their various features.
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  3. Mark Couch (2009). Functional Explanation in Context. Philosophy of Science 76 (2):253-269.
    The claim that a functional kind is multiply realized is typically motivated by appeal to intuitive examples. We are seldom told explicitly what the relevant structures are, and people have often preferred to rely on general intuitions in these cases. This article deals with the problem by explaining how to understand the proper relation between structural kinds and the functions they realize. I will suggest that the structural kinds that realize a function can be properly identified by attending to the (...)
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  4. Mark B. Couch (2009). Multiple Realization in Comparative Perspective. Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):505-519.
    Arguments for multiple realization depend on the idea that the same kind of function is realized by different kinds of structures. It is important to such arguments that we know the kinds used in the arguments have been individuated properly. In the philosophical literature, though, claims about how to individuate kinds are frequently decided on intuitive grounds. This paper criticizes this way of approaching kinds by considering how practicing researchers think about the matter. I will consider several examples in which (...)
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  5. Mark B. Couch (2005). Functional Properties and Convergence in Biology. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):1041-1051.
    Evolutionary convergence is often appealed to in support of claims about multiple realization. The idea is that convergence shows that the same function can be realized by different kinds of structures. I argue here that the nature of convergence is more complicated than it might appear at first look. Broad claims about convergence are made by biologists during general discussions of the mechanisms of evolution. In their specialized work, though, biologists are often more limited in the claims they make. I (...)
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  6. Mark B. Couch (2004). Discussion: A Defense of Bechtel and Mundale. Philosophy of Science 71 (2):198-204.
    Kim claims that Bechtel and Mundale's case against multiple realization depends on the wrong kind of evidence. The latter argue that neuroscientific practice shows neural states across individuals and species are type identical. Kim replies that the evidence they cite to support this is irrelevant. I defend Bechtel and Mundale by showing why the evidence they cite is relevant and shows multiple realization does not occur.
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