Search results for 'mechanisms' (try it on Scholar)

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  1. Holly Andersen (2012). Mechanisms: What Are They Evidence for in Evidence-Based Medicine. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):992-999.
    Even though the evidence‐based medicine movement (EBM) labels mechanisms a low quality form of evidence, consideration of the mechanisms on which medicine relies, and the distinct roles that mechanisms might play in clinical practice, offers a number of insights into EBM itself. In this paper, I examine the connections between EBM and mechanisms from several angles. I diagnose what went wrong in two examples where mechanistic reasoning failed to generate accurate predictions for how a dysfunctional mechanism (...)
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  2. William Bechtel & Adele A. Abrahamsen (2013). Thinking Dynamically About Biological Mechanisms: Networks of Coupled Oscillators. [REVIEW] Foundations of Science 18 (4):707-723.
    Explaining the complex dynamics exhibited in many biological mechanisms requires extending the recent philosophical treatment of mechanisms that emphasizes sequences of operations. To understand how nonsequentially organized mechanisms will behave, scientists often advance what we call dynamic mechanistic explanations. These begin with a decomposition of the mechanism into component parts and operations, using a variety of laboratory-based strategies. Crucially, the mechanism is then recomposed by means of computational models in which variables or terms in differential equations correspond (...)
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  3.  17
    Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz (forthcoming). A Modeling Approach for Mechanisms Featuring Causal Cycles. Philosophy of Science.
    Mechanisms play an important role in many sciences when it comes to questions concerning explanation, prediction, and control. Answering such questions in a quantitative way requires a formal represention of mechanisms. Gebharter (2014) suggests to represent mechanisms by means of one or more causal arrows of an acyclic causal net. In this paper we show how this approach can be extended in such a way that it can also be fruitfully applied to mechanisms featuring causal feedback.
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  4. Wayne Wu & Raymond Cho (2013). Mechanisms of Auditory Verbal Hallucination in Schizophrenia. Frontiers in Schizophrenia 4.
    Recent work on the mechanisms underlying auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) has been heavily informed by self-monitoring accounts that postulate defects in an internal monitoring mechanism as the basis of AVH. A more neglected alternative is an account focusing on defects in auditory processing, namely a spontaneous activation account of auditory activity underlying AVH. Science is often aided by putting theories in competition. Accordingly, a discussion that systematically contrasts the two models of AVH can generate sharper questions that will lead (...)
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  5.  22
    Thor Grünbaum (forthcoming). The Perception-Action Model: Counting Computational Mechanisms. Mind and Language.
    Milner and Goodale’s Two Visual Systems Hypothesis (TVSH) is regarded as common ground in recent discussions of visual consciousness. A central part of TVSH is a functional model of vision and action (a functional perception-action model, PAM for short). In this paper, I provide a brief overview of these current discussions and argue that PAM is ambiguous between a strong and a weak version. I argue that, given a standard way of individuating computational mechanisms, the available evidence cannot be (...)
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  6. 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 (...)
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  7. Holly Andersen (2014). A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part I. Philosophy Compass 9 (4):274-283.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new (...)
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  8.  9
    Alexander Gebharter (2016). Another Problem with RBN Models of Mechanisms. Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 31 (2):177-188.
    Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson (2011) suggest to model mechanisms by means of recursive Bayesian networks (RBNs) and Clarke, Leuridan, and Williamson (2014) extend their modelling approach to mechanisms featuring causal feedback. One of the main selling points of the RBN approach should be that it provides answers to questions concerning manipulation and control. In this paper I demonstrate that the method to compute the effects of interventions the authors mentioned endorse leads to absurd results under the additional (...)
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  9. Holly Andersen (2014). A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part II. Philosophy Compass 9 (4):284-293.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The (...)
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  10.  50
    Maarten Boudry & Johan Braeckman (2011). Immunizing Strategies and Epistemic Defense Mechanisms. Philosophia 39 (1):145-161.
    An immunizing strategy is an argument brought forward in support of a belief system, though independent from that belief system, which makes it more or less invulnerable to rational argumentation and/or empirical evidence. By contrast, an epistemic defense mechanism is defined as a structural feature of a belief system which has the same effect of deflecting arguments and evidence. We discuss the remarkable recurrence of certain patterns of immunizing strategies and defense mechanisms in pseudoscience and other belief systems. Five (...)
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  11.  39
    Felipe Romero (2015). Why There Isn’T Inter-Level Causation in Mechanisms. Synthese 192 (11):3731-3755.
    The experimental interventions that provide evidence of causal relations are notably similar to those that provide evidence of constitutive relevance relations. In the first two sections, I show that this similarity creates a tension: there is an inconsistent triad between Woodward’s popular interventionist theory of causation, Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms, and a variety of arguments for the incoherence of inter-level causation. I argue for an interpretation of the views in which the tension is merely (...)
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  12.  53
    Marcel Weber (forthcoming). On the Incompatibility of Biological Dynamical Mechanisms and Causal Graphs. Philosophy of Science.
    I examine to what extent accounts of mechanisms based on formal interventionist theories of causality can adequately represent biological mechanisms with complex dynamics. Using a differential equation model for a circadian clock mechanism as an example, I first show that there exists an iterative solution that can be interpreted as a structural causal model. Thus, in principle it is possible to integrate causal difference-making information with dynamical information. However, the differential equation model itself lacks the right modularity properties (...)
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  13.  12
    Raffaella Campaner (2011). Understanding Mechanisms in the Health Sciences. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):5-17.
    This article focuses on the assessment of mechanistic relations with specific attention to medicine, where mechanistic models are widely employed. I first survey recent contributions in the philosophical literature on mechanistic causation, and then take issue with Federica Russo and Jon Williamson’s thesis that two types of evidence, probabilistic and mechanistic, are at stake in the health sciences. I argue instead that a distinction should be drawn between previously acquired knowledge of mechanisms and yet-to-be-discovered knowledge of mechanisms and (...)
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  14.  31
    Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (2012). EnviroGenomarkers: The Interplay Between Mechanisms and Difference Making in Establishing Causal Claims. Medicine Studies 3 (4):249-262.
    According to Russo and Williamson :157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1:47–69, 2011b), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘C is a cause of E’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to give primacy to evidence of (...)
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  15.  8
    Cristina Gimenez & Vicenta Sierra (2013). Sustainable Supply Chains: Governance Mechanisms to Greening Suppliers. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 116 (1):189-203.
    One of the key challenges for firms is to manage sustainability along the supply chain. To extend sustainability to suppliers, organizations have developed different governance mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of two different mechanisms (i.e., supplier assessment and collaboration with suppliers) to improve one dimension of sustainability: environmental performance. Structural Equation Modeling and cluster analysis were used to analyze the relationships between supplier assessment, collaboration with suppliers, and environmental performance. The results suggest (...)
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  16.  23
    Ward B. Watt (2013). Causal Mechanisms of Evolution and the Capacity for Niche Construction. Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):757-766.
    Ernst Mayr proposed a distinction between “proximate”, mechanistic, and “ultimate”, evolutionary, causes of biological phenomena. This dichotomy has influenced the thinking of many biologists, but it is increasingly perceived as impeding modern studies of evolutionary processes, including study of “niche construction” in which organisms alter their environments in ways supportive of their evolutionary success. Some still find value for this dichotomy in its separation of answers to “how?” versus “why?”questions about evolution. But “why is A?” questions about evolution necessarily take (...)
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  17.  38
    Brendan Clarke, Bert Leuridan & Jon Williamson (2013). Modelling Mechanisms with Causal Cycles. Synthese 191 (8):1-31.
    Mechanistic philosophy of science views a large part of scientific activity as engaged in modelling mechanisms. While science textbooks tend to offer qualitative models of mechanisms, there is increasing demand for models from which one can draw quantitative predictions and explanations. Casini et al. (Theoria 26(1):5–33, 2011) put forward the Recursive Bayesian Networks (RBN) formalism as well suited to this end. The RBN formalism is an extension of the standard Bayesian net formalism, an extension that allows for modelling (...)
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  18.  31
    Johannes Persson (2005). Tropes as Mechanisms. Foundations of Science 10 (4):371-393.
    This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is (...)
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  19.  32
    Alexander Gebharter, Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?".
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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  20.  29
    Amit Saini & Mike Krush (2008). Anomie and the Marketing Function: The Role of Control Mechanisms. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):845 - 863.
    The authors use the theoretical notion of anomie to examine the impact of top management’s control mechanisms on the environment of the marketing function. Based on a literature review and in-depth field interviews with marketing managers in diverse industries, a conceptual model is proposed that incorporates the two managerial control mechanisms, viz. output and process control, and relates their distinctive influence to anomie in the marketing function. Three contingency variables, i.e., resource scarcity, power, and ethics codification, are proposed (...)
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  21.  31
    Alexander Gebharter (2014). A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms? Philosophy of Science 81 (1):138-153.
    In this article I tackle the question of how the hierarchical order of mechanisms can be represented within a causal graph framework. I illustrate an answer to this question proposed by Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson and provide an example that their formalism does not support two important features of nested mechanisms: (i) a mechanism’s submechanisms are typically causally interacting with other parts of said mechanism, and (ii) intervening in some of a mechanism’s parts should have some influence (...)
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  22.  9
    Justin Garson (2015). Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden. In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences. [REVIEW] Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):180-83.
    Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden’s new book, In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries across the Life Sciences, is a fantastic and lucid introduction to the “new mechanism” tradition in the philosophy of science. Over the last 2 decades, but particularly since the turn of the century, this has become an influential framework for thinking about core problems in the history and philosophy of science, with a strong emphasis on biology. There are at least four major aims. First, the new (...)
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  23.  17
    Theodore T. Y. Chen (2001). Ethics Control Mechanisms: A Comparative Observation of Hong Kong Companies. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 30 (4):391 - 400.
    Managers with different cultural backgrounds and under different circumstances have different views on what is acceptable ethical behaviour. This study attempts to determine whether major companies in Hong Kong share the same views as North American academics on what management ethical standards ought to be, and if so, whether any control mechanisms have been established to instill ethical behaviour within their organizations. Notable differences between the practice in these companies and those from a similar survey conducted in North America (...)
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  24.  48
    Zenonas Norkus (2007). Troubles with Mechanisms: Problems of the 'Mechanistic Turn' in Historical Sociology and Social History. Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (2):160-200.
    This paper discusses the prospect of the "new social history" guided by the recent work of Charles Tilly on the methodology of social and historical explanation. Tilly advocates explanation by mechanisms as the alternative to the covering law explanation. Tilly's proposals are considered to be the attempt to reshape the practices of social and historical explanation following the example set by the explanatory practices of molecular biology, neurobiology, and other recent "success stories" in the life sciences. Recent work in (...)
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  25.  13
    Giovanni Boniolo (2013). On Molecular Mechanisms and Contexts of Physical Explanation. Biological Theory 7 (3):256-265.
    In this article, two issues regarding mechanisms are discussed. The first concerns the relationships between “mechanism description” and “mechanism explanation.” It is proposed that it is rather plausible to think of them as two distinct epistemic acts. The second deals with the different molecular biology explanatory contexts, and it is shown that some of them require physics and its laws.
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  26.  26
    Bert Leuridan (2012). What Are Mechanisms in Social Science? Metascience 21 (2):395-398.
    What are mechanisms in social science? Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9610-9 Authors Bert Leuridan, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2, Room 2.03, 9000 Ghent, Belgium Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  27.  15
    Joachim Keppler (2013). A New Perspective on the Functioning of the Brain and the Mechanisms Behind Conscious Processes. Frontiers in Psychology, Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 4 (Article 242):1-6.
    An essential prerequisite for the development of a theory of consciousness is the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms underlying conscious processes. In this article I present an approach that sheds new light on these mechanisms. This approach builds on stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a promising theoretical framework that provides a deeper understanding of quantum systems and reveals the origin of quantum phenomena. I outline the most important concepts and findings of SED and interpret the neurophysiological body of evidence in (...)
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  28.  10
    Andrea A. diSessa (2014). The Construction of Causal Schemes: Learning Mechanisms at the Knowledge Level. Cognitive Science 38 (5):795-850.
    This work uses microgenetic study of classroom learning to illuminate (1) the role of pre-instructional student knowledge in the construction of normative scientific knowledge, and (2) the learning mechanisms that drive change. Three enactments of an instructional sequence designed to lead to a scientific understanding of thermal equilibration are used as data sources. Only data from a scaffolded student inquiry preceding introduction of a normative model were used. Hence, the study involves nearly autonomous student learning. In two classes, students (...)
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  29.  5
    Samuel G. B. Johnson & Woo‐Kyoung Ahn (2015). Causal Networks or Causal Islands? The Representation of Mechanisms and the Transitivity of Causal Judgment. Cognitive Science 39 (7):1468-1503.
    Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge—an interconnected causal network, where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms—causal islands—such that events in different mechanisms are not thought to be related even when they belong to the same causal chain. To distinguish these possibilities, we tested whether people make transitive judgments about causal chains by inferring, given A causes B (...)
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  30.  12
    Michael Domjan, Brian Cusato & Ronald Villarreal (2000). Pavlovian Feed-Forward Mechanisms in the Control of Social Behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):235-249.
    The conceptual and investigative tools for the analysis of social behavior can be expanded by integrating biological theory, control systems theory, and Pavlovian conditioning. Biological theory has focused on the costs and benefits of social behavior from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. In contrast, control systems theory is concerned with how machines achieve a particular goal or purpose. The accurate operation of a system often requires feed-forward mechanisms that adjust system performance in anticipation of future inputs. Pavlovian conditioning is ideally (...)
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  31.  3
    Philipp Schmidinger (2010). Visiting Mechanisms to Eradicate Torture: A Foucaultian Analysis. [REVIEW] Human Rights Review 11 (3):317-355.
    In this Article, I examine the Visiting Mechanisms under the Convention against Torture (CAT) and the Optional Protocol thereto (OPCAT), applying an analytic approach resting on Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. I argue that international Visiting Mechanisms essentially constitute disciplinary apparatuses as depicted by Foucault. However, because they fail to recognise this functional similarity, they do not effectively apply the methods of inducing panoptic power. Most notably the concept of ‘hierarchical observation’ is hardly utilised at all. The two introduced (...)
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  32. Stefan Dragulinescu (2016). Inference to the Best Explanation and Mechanisms in Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (3):211-232.
    This article considers the prospects of inference to the best explanation as a method of confirming causal claims vis-à-vis the medical evidence of mechanisms. I show that IBE is actually descriptive of how scientists reason when choosing among hypotheses, that it is amenable to the balance/weight distinction, a pivotal pair of concepts in the philosophy of evidence, and that it can do justice to interesting features of the interplay between mechanistic and population level assessments.
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  33.  73
    Alexander Mebius (2015). Philosophical Controversies in the Evaluation of Medical Treatments : With a Focus on the Evidential Roles of Randomization and Mechanisms in Evidence-Based Medicine. Dissertation, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    This thesis examines philosophical controversies surrounding the evaluation of medical treatments, with a focus on the evidential roles of randomised trials and mechanisms in Evidence-Based Medicine. Current 'best practice' usually involves excluding non-randomised trial evidence from systematic reviews in cases where randomised trials are available for inclusion in the reviews. The first paper challenges this practice and evaluates whether adding of evidence from non-randomised trials might improve the quality and precision of some systematic reviews. The second paper compares the (...)
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  34. Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver (2000). Thinking About Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
    The concept of mechanism is analyzed in terms of entities and activities, organized such that they are productive of regular changes. Examples show how mechanisms work in neurobiology and molecular biology. Thinking in terms of mechanisms provides a new framework for addressing many traditional philosophical issues: causality, laws, explanation, reduction, and scientific change.
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  35. Daniel A. Weiskopf (2011). Models and Mechanisms in Psychological Explanation. Synthese 183 (3):313-338.
    Mechanistic explanation has an impressive track record of advancing our understanding of complex, hierarchically organized physical systems, particularly biological and neural systems. But not every complex system can be understood mechanistically. Psychological capacities are often understood by providing cognitive models of the systems that underlie them. I argue that these models, while superficially similar to mechanistic models, in fact have a substantially more complex relation to the real underlying system. They are typically constructed using a range of techniques for abstracting (...)
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  36.  11
    Jörg-Peter Ewert (1987). Neuroethology of Releasing Mechanisms: Prey-Catching in Toads. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (3):337.
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  37.  24
    Robyn Bluhm (2013). Physiological Mechanisms and Epidemiological Research. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (3):422 - 426.
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  38. John Matthewson & Brett Calcott, Mechanistic Explanation Without Mechanisms.
    We provide an account of mechanistic representation and explanation that has several advantages over previous proposals. In our view, explaining mechanistically is not simply giving an explanation of a mechanism. Rather, an explanation is mechanistic because of particular relations that hold between a mechanical representation, or model, and the target of explanation. Under this interpretation, mechanistic explanation is possible even when the explanatory target is not a mechanism. We argue that taking this view is not only coherent and plausible, it (...)
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  39.  4
    Frédérique Théry (2011). Characterizing Animal Development with Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms. Biological Theory 6 (1):16-24.
  40.  52
    Sasan Haghighi, In Search of Mechanisms in Neuroscience.
  41.  37
    Julian Reiss, Miriam Solomon & David Teira (2011). Mechanisms, Continental Approaches, Trials, and Evolutionary Medicine: New Work in the Philosophy of Medicine. Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):1-4.
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  42.  3
    N. Jack Kanak & John M. Knight (1974). The Re-Pairing Decrement in Verbal Discrimination Transfer: Further Evidence Favoring Associative Mechanisms. Journal of Experimental Psychology 103 (2):304.
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  43.  5
    Petri Ylikoski (2012). Micro, Macro, and Mechanisms. In Harold Kincaid (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Social Science. Oxford University Press 21.
    is chapter takes a fresh look at micro-macro relations in the social sciences from the point of view of the mechanistic account of explanation. Traditionally, micro- macro issues have been assimilated to the problem of methodological individualism. It is not my intention to resurrect this notoriously unfruitful controversy. On the contrary, the main thrust of this chapter is to show that the cul-de-sac of that debate can be avoided if we give up some of its presuppositions. The debate about methodological (...)
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  44.  2
    N. Jack Kanak & M. Faith Dean (1969). Transfer Mechanisms in Verbal Discrimination. Journal of Experimental Psychology 79 (2p1):300.
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  45.  3
    K. U. Smith & M. Bridgman (1943). The Neural Mechanisms of Movement Vision and Optic Nystagmus. Journal of Experimental Psychology 33 (3):165.
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  46.  1
    W. N. Kellogg (1941). Experimental Data on Different Neural Mechanisms for Learned and Unlearned Responses. Journal of Experimental Psychology 29 (4):334.
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  47.  1
    F. L. Wells (1924). Vocal and Manual Mechanisms in Choice Reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology 7 (1):59.
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  48. Sean Erwin (2014). Microbiopolitics: Security Mechanisms, the Hela Cell, and The Human Strain. Humanities and Technology Review 33.
    This paper examines the notion of the biopolitical body from the standpoint of Foucault’s logic of the security mechanism and the history he tells of vaccine technology. It then investigates how the increasing importance of the genetic code for determining the meaning and limits of the human in the field of 20th century cell biology has been a cause for ongoing transformation in the practices that currently extend vaccine research and development. I argue that these transformations mark the emergence of (...)
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  49. Carl F. Craver (2007). Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press.
    Carl Craver investigates what we are doing when we sue neuroscience to explain what's going on in the brain.
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  50. Alan M. Leslie, Ori Friedman & Tim P. German (2004). Core Mechanisms in ‘Theory of Mind’. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (12):528-533.
    Our ability to understand the thoughts and feelings of other people does not initially develop as a theory but as a mechanism. The ‘ theory of mind ’ mechanism is part of the core architecture of the human brain, and is specialized for learning about mental states. Impaired development of this mechanism can have drastic effects on social learning, seen most strikingly in the autistic spectrum disorders. ToMM kick-starts belief–desire attribution but effective reasoning about belief contents depends on a process (...)
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