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Stuart Glennan [16]Stuart S. Glennan [6]
  1. Meinard Kuhlmann & Stuart Glennan (forthcoming). On the Relation Between Quantum Mechanical and Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies and Explanatory Strategies. European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-23.
    Advocates of the New Mechanicism in philosophy of science argue that scientific explanation often consists in describing mechanisms responsible for natural phenomena. Despite its successes, one might think that this approach does not square with the ontological strictures of quantum mechanics. New Mechanists suppose that mechanisms are composed of objects with definite properties, which are interconnected via local causal interactions. Quantum mechanics calls these suppositions into question. Since mechanisms are hierarchical it appears that even macroscopic mechanisms must supervene on a (...)
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  2. Stuart Glennan, Aspects of Human Historiographic Explanation: A View From the Philosophy of Science.
    While some philosophers of history have argued that explanations in human history are of a fundamentally different kind than explanations in the natural sciences, I shall argue that this is not the case. Human beings are part of nature, human history is part of natural history, and human historical explanation is a species of natural historical explanation. In this paper I shall use a case study from the history of the American Civil War to show the variety of close parallels (...)
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  3. Stuart Glennan, Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden: In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences.
    Carl Craver and Lindley Darden are two of the foremost proponents of a recent approach to the philosophy of biology that is often called the New Mechanism. In this book they seek to make available to a broader readership insights gained from more than two decades of work on the nature of mechanisms and how they are described and discovered. The book is not primarily aimed at specialists working on the New Mechanism, but rather targets scientists, students and teachers who (...)
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  4. Stuart Glennan (2011). Singular and General Causal Relations: A Mechanist Perspective. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oup Oxford.
    My aim in this paper is to make a case for the singularist view from the perspective of a mechanical theory of causation (Glennan 1996, 1997, 2010, forthcoming), and to explain what, from this perspective, causal generalizations mean, and what role they play within the mechanical theory.
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  5. Stuart Glennan (2010). Ephemeral Mechanisms and Historical Explanation. Erkenntnis 72 (2):251 - 266.
    While much of the recent literature on mechanisms has emphasized the superiority of mechanisms and mechanistic explanation over laws and nomological explanation, paradigmatic mechanisms—e.g., clocks or synapses—actually exhibit a great deal of stability in their behavior. And while mechanisms of this kind are certainly of great importance, there are many events that do not occur as a consequence of the operation of stable mechanisms. Events of natural and human history are often the consequence of causal processes that are ephemeral and (...)
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  6. Stuart Glennan (2010). Mechanisms, Causes, and the Layered Model of the World. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):362-381.
    Most philosophical accounts of causation take causal relations to obtain between individuals and events in virtue of nomological relations between properties of these individuals and events. Such views fail to take into account the consequences of the fact that in general the properties of individuals and events will depend upon mechanisms that realize those properties. In this paper I attempt to rectify this failure, and in so doing to provide an account of the causal relevance of higher-level properties. I do (...)
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  7. Stuart Glennan (2009). Mechanisms. In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Peter Menzies (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oup Oxford.
    This book chapter contains an overview of recent work on mechanisms -- especially the work of myself, Bechtel, Craver, Darden and Machamer. The essay discusses the competing analyses of the concept of mechanism and applications of this work to other areas of research in the philosophy of science, including laws, causation, reduction, explanation, and discovery. Note: Link is to the catalog entry in WorldCat's catalog. Please see your local librarian for assistance in borrowing this item via interlibrary loan.
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  8. Stuart Glennan (2009). Productivity, Relevance and Natural Selection. Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):325-339.
    Recent papers by a number of philosophers have been concerned with the question of whether natural selection is a causal process, and if it is, whether the causes of selection are properties of individuals or properties of populations. I shall argue that much confusion in this debate arises because of a failure to distinguish between causal productivity and causal relevance. Causal productivity is a relation that holds between events connected via continuous causal processes, while causal relevance is a relationship that (...)
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  9. Stuart Glennan, Whose Science and Whose Religion? Reflections on the Relations Between Scientific and Religious Worldviews.
    Arguments about the relationship between science and religion often proceed by identifying a set of essential characteristics of scientific and religious worldviews and arguing on the basis of these characteristics for claims about a relationship of conflict or compatibility between them. Such a strategy is doomed to failure because science, to some extent, and religion, to a much larger extent, are cultural phenomena that are too diverse in their expressions to be characterized in terms of a unified worldview. In this (...)
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  10. Stuart Glennan, Explanation.
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  11. Stuart Glennan (2005). Modeling Mechanisms. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):443-464.
    Philosophers of science increasingly believe that much of science is concerned with understanding the mechanisms responsible for the production of natural phenomena. An adequate understanding of scientific research requires an account of how scientists develop and test models of mechanisms. This paper offers a general account of the nature of mechanical models, discussing the representational relationship that holds between mechanisms and their models as well as the techniques that can be used to test and refine such models. The analysis is (...)
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  12. Stuart S. Glennan (2005). The Modeler in the Crib. Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):217-227.
    A number of developmental psychologists have argued for a theory they call the theory theory - a theory of cognitive development that suggests that infants and small children make sense of their world by constructing cognitive representations that have many of the attributes of scientific theories. In this paper I argue that there are indeed close parallels between the activities of children and scientists, but that these parallels will be better understood if one recognizes that both scientists and children are (...)
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  13. Stuart Glennan (2002). Contextual Unanimity and the Units of Selection Problem. Philosophy of Science 69 (1):118-137.
    Sober and Lewontin's critique of genic selectionism is based upon the principle that a unit of selection should make a context‐independent contribution to fitness. Critics have effectively shown that this principle is flawed. In this paper I show that the context independence principle is an instance of a more general principle for characterizing causes,called the contextual unanimity principle. I argue that this latter principle, while widely accepted, is erroneous. What is needed is to replace the approach to causality characterized by (...)
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  14. Stuart Glennan (2002). Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
    Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids certain (...)
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  15. Joseph Bessie & Stuart Glennan, Elements of Deductive Inference : An Introduction to Symbolic Logic.
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  16. Stuart Glennan, A Model of Models.
    Although many philosophers of science have recognized the importance of modeling in contemporary science, relatively little work has been done in developing a general account of models. The most widely accepted account, put forth by advocates of the semantic conception of theories, misleadingly identifies scientific models with the models of mathematical logic. I present an alternative theory of scientific models in which models are defined by their representational relation to a physical system. I explore in some detail a particular sort (...)
     
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  17. Juli T. Eflin, Stuart Glennan & George Reisch, The Nature of Science: A Perspective From the Philosophy of Science.
    In a recent article in this journal, Brian Alters (1997) argued that, given the many ways in which the nature of science (NOS) is described and poor student responses to NOS instruments such as Nature of Scientific Knowledge Scale (NSKS), Nature of Science Scale (NOSS), Test on Understanding Science (TOUS), and others, it is time for science educators to reconsider the standard lists of tenets for the NOS. Alters suggested that philosophers of science are authorities on the NOS and that (...)
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  18. Stuart S. Glennan (1997). Capacities, Universality, and Singularity. Philosophy of Science 64 (4):605-626.
    In this paper I criticize Cartwright's analysis of capacities and offer an alternative analysis. I argue that Cartwright's attempt to connect capacities to her condition CC fails because individuals can exercise capacities only in certain contexts. My own analysis emphasizes three features of capacities: 1) Capacities belong to individuals; 2) Capacities are typically not metaphysically fundamental properties of individuals, but can be explained by referring to structural properties of individuals; and 3) Laws are best understood as ascriptions of capacities.
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  19. Stuart S. Glennan (1997). Probable Causes and the Distinction Between Subjective and Objective Chance. Noûs 31 (4):496-519.
    In this paper I present both a critical appraisal of Humphreys' probabilistic theory of causality and a sketch of an alternative view of the relationship between the notions of probability and of cause. Though I do not doubt that determinism is false, I claim that the examples used to motivate Humphreys' theory typically refer to subjective rather than objective chance. Additionally, I argue on a number of grounds that Humphreys' suggestion that linear regression models be used as a canonical form (...)
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  20. Stuart S. Glennan (1996). Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation. Erkenntnis 44 (1):49--71.
    In this paper I offer an analysis of causation based upon a theory of mechanisms-complex systems whose internal parts interact to produce a system's external behavior. I argue that all but the fundamental laws of physics can be explained by reference to mechanisms. Mechanisms provide an epistemologically unproblematic way to explain the necessity which is often taken to distinguish laws from other generalizations. This account of necessity leads to a theory of causation according to which events are causally related when (...)
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  21. Stuart S. Glennan (1995). Computationalism and the Problem of Other Minds. Philosophical Psychology 8 (4):375-88.
    In this paper I discuss Searle's claim that the computational properties of a system could never cause a system to be conscious. In the first section of the paper I argue that Searle is correct that, even if a system both behaves in a way that is characteristic of conscious agents (like ourselves) and has a computational structure similar to those agents, one cannot be certain that that system is conscious. On the other hand, I suggest that Searle's intuition that (...)
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  22. Stuart S. Glennan (1994). Why There Can't Be a Logic of Induction. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:78 - 86.
    In this paper I offer a criticism of Carnap's inductive logic which also applies to other formal methods of inductive inference. Criticisms of Carnap's views have typically centered upon the justification of his particular choice of inductive method. I argue that the real problem is not that there is an agreed upon method for which no justification can be found, but that different methods are justified in different circumstances.
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