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  1. Principled Mechanistic Explanations in Biology: A Case Study of Alzheimer's Disease.Sepehr Ehsani - manuscript
    Following an analysis of the state of investigations and clinical outcomes in the Alzheimer's research field, I argue that the widely-accepted 'amyloid cascade' mechanistic explanation of Alzheimer's disease appears to be fundamentally incomplete. In this context, I propose that a framework termed 'principled mechanism' (PM) can help with remedying this problem. First, using a series of five 'tests', PM systematically compares different components of a given mechanistic explanation against a paradigmatic set of criteria, and hints at various ways of making (...)
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  2. Mechanistic Explanation without Mechanisms.John Matthewson & Brett Calcott - manuscript
    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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  3. La chimie de Robert Boyle et la philosophie contemporaine de la chimie: Rencontre et perspectives.Marina P. Banchetti - forthcoming - In La chimie, cette inconnue?
  4. Narrative Explanations: The Case for Causality.Georg Gangl - forthcoming - Journal of the Philosophy of History 13:1-25.
    In this paper I argue that historiography employs causal narrative explanations just as other historical sciences such as evolutionary biology or paleontology do. There is a logic of explanation common to all these sciences that centers on causal explanation of unique and unrepeatable events. The explanandum of historiography can further be understood as mechanism in the sense developed by Stuart Glennan and others in recent years. However, causal explanation is not the only way historiography relates to the past. Arthur Danto (...)
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  5. Causal Efficacy: A Comparison of Rival Views.R. D. Ingthorsson - forthcoming - In Yafeng Shah (ed.), Alternative Approaches to Causation: Beyond Difference Making and Mechanism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The idea that causation involves the production of changes due to the exertion of influence of something on something else—the core idea of causal realism—used to be the default view. Today this idea is at the heart of (i) transmission/causal process accounts, (ii) mechanistic accounts, and (iii) powers-based accounts. However, as I have previously argued (Ingthorsson 2021) the above-mentioned approaches are based—to varying degree—on the very problematic assumption that causal influence is essentially unidirectional; that it passes from whatever is the (...)
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  6. Discovering Patterns: On the Norms of Mechanistic Inquiry.Lena Kästner & Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - Erkenntnis 3:1-26.
    What kinds of norms constrain mechanistic discovery and explanation? In the mechanistic literature, the norms for good explanations are directly derived from answers to the metaphysical question of what explanations are. Prominent mechanistic accounts thus emphasize either ontic or epistemic norms. Still, mechanistic philosophers on both sides agree that there is no sharp distinction between the processes of discovery and explanation. Thus, it seems reasonable to expect that ontic and epistemic accounts of explanation will be accompanied by ontic and epistemic (...)
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  7. A Psychological “How-Possibly” Model of Repression.Beate Krickel - forthcoming - Neuropsychoanalysis.
    In recent philosophical and (neuro)psychological discussions of phenomena such as motivated forgetting, memory inhibition, self-deception, and implicit bias, various authors have suggested that repression might be a useful notion to make sense of these phenomena, or that these phenomena indeed provide evidence for repression. However, surprisingly, these claims usually do not rely on any explicit model of repression. Consequently, it remains unclear whether invoking repression in these discussions is justified. In this paper, I propose a psychological “how-possibly” model that can (...)
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  8. Review of Stavros Ioannidis and Stathis Psillos, Mechanisms in Science: Method or Metaphysics?[REVIEW]Mark Povich - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
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  9. Mechanistic Explanation in Psychology.Mark Povich - forthcoming - In Hank Stam & Huib Looren De Jong (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Theoretical Psychology. (Eds.) Hank Stam and Huib Looren de Jong. Sage.
    Philosophers of psychology debate, among other things, which psychological models, if any, are (or provide) mechanistic explanations. This should seem a little strange given that there is rough consensus on the following two claims: 1) a mechanism is an organized collection of entities and activities that produces, underlies, or maintains a phenomenon, and 2) a mechanistic explanation describes, represents, or provides information about the mechanism producing, underlying, or maintaining the phenomenon to be explained (i.e. the explanandum phenomenon) (Bechtel and Abrahamsen (...)
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  10. Modelling mechanisms of democratic transition in the Arab uprisings.Bertold Schweitzer - forthcoming - Middle East Critique 24 (1).
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  11. The Principle of Sufficient Reason in Early Modern Philosophy of Science: Leibniz, Du Châtelet, and Euler.Aaron Wells - forthcoming - In Fatema Amijee & Michael Della Rocca (eds.), The Principle of Sufficient Reason: A History. Oxford University Press.
    I distinguish three ways in which early modern rationalists seek to apply the principle of sufficient reason to empirical science, and critically assess some of their attempts to do so. I focus especially on how these thinkers assume substantive theories of explanation and intelligibility--which are indebted to the mechanist and experimentalist traditions--in many of their deployments of this rationalist principle. A recurring problem is that these philosophers deploy their standards of intelligibility inconsistently: some of their own favored explanations do not (...)
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  12. The Ontic-Epistemic Debates of Explanation Revisited: The Three-Dimensional Approach.Jinyeong Gim - 2024 - Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce) 74:99-169.
    After Wesley Salmon’s causal-mechanical stance on explanation in the 1980s, the ontic-epistemic debate of scientific explanations appeared to be resolved in the philosophy of science. However, since the twenty-first century, this debate has been rekindled among philosophers who focus on mechanistic explanations. Nevertheless, its issues have evolved, necessitating scrutiny of the new trends in this debate and a comparison with the original controversy between Carl Hempel and Salmon. The primary objective of this paper is to elucidate three categorical dimensions in (...)
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  13. The New Mechanistic Approach and Cognitive Ontology—Or: What role do (neural) mechanisms play in cognitive ontology?Beate Krickel - 2024 - Minds and Machines 34 (3):1-19.
    Cognitive ontology has become a popular topic in philosophy, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. At its center is the question of which cognitive capacities should be included in the ontology of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. One common strategy for answering this question is to look at brain structures and determine the cognitive capacities for which they are responsible. Some authors interpret this strategy as a search for neural mechanisms, as understood by the so-called new mechanistic approach. In this article, (...)
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  14. Phenomenological Laws and Mechanistic Explanations.Gabriel Siegel & Carl F. Craver - 2024 - Philosophy of Science 91 (1):132-150.
    In light of recent criticisms by Woodward (2017) and Rescorla (2018), we examine the relationship between mechanistic explanation and phenomenological laws. We disambiguate several uses of the phrase “phenomenological law” and show how a mechanistic theory of explanation sorts them into those that are and are not explanatory. We also distinguish the problem of phenomenological laws from arguments about the explanatory power of purely phenomenal models, showing that Woodward and Rescorla conflate these problems. Finally, we argue that the temptation to (...)
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  15. Daniel S. Brooks, James DiFrisco, and William C. Wimsatt (Eds.): Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences: MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 2021, 336 pp., $60.000 (paperback), ISBN 9780262045339. [REVIEW]Ingo Brigandt - 2023 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 54 (2):353-356.
  16. Clarifying the Relation Between Mechanistic Explanations and Reductionism.Mark Couch - 2023 - Frontiers in Psychology 14:984949.
    The topic of mechanistic explanation in neuroscience has been a subject of recent discussion. There is a lot of interest in understanding what these explanations involve. Furthermore, there is disagreement about whether neurological mechanisms themselves should be viewed as reductionist in nature. In this paper I will explain how these two issues are related. I will, first, describe how mechanisms support a form of antireductionism. This is because the mechanisms that exist should be seen as involving part-whole relations, where the (...)
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  17. Decoupling Topological Explanations from Mechanisms.Daniel Kostic & Kareem Khalifa - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (2):245 - 268.
    We provide three innovations to recent debates about whether topological or “network” explanations are a species of mechanistic explanation. First, we more precisely characterize the requirement that all topological explanations are mechanistic explanations and show scientific practice to belie such a requirement. Second, we provide an account that unifies mechanistic and non-mechanistic topological explanations, thereby enriching both the mechanist and autonomist programs by highlighting when and where topological explanations are mechanistic. Third, we defend this view against some powerful mechanist objections. (...)
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  18. Different Types of Mechanistic Explanation and Their Ontological Implications.Beate Krickel - 2023 - In João L. Cordovil, Gil Santos & Davide Vecchi (eds.), New Mechanism Explanation, Emergence and Reduction. Springer. pp. 9-28.
    One assumption of the new mechanistic approach is that there are two kinds of mechanistic explanations: etiological and constitutive ones. While the former explain phenomena in terms of their preceding causes, the latter are supposed to refer to mechanisms that constitute phenomena. Based on arguments by Kaiser and Krickel (Br J Philos Sci 68(3):745–779, 2017) and Krickel (The mechanical world, vol. 13, Springer International Publishing, 2018), I will show that this view is too narrow. Indeed, three different types of explanation (...)
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  19. The Unconscious Mind Worry: A Mechanistic-Explanatory Strategy.Beate Krickel - 2023 - Philosophy of Science 90 (1):39-59.
    Recent findings in different areas of psychology and cognitive science have brought the unconscious mind back to center stage. However, the unconscious mind worry remains: What renders unconscious phenomena mental? I suggest a new strategy for answering this question, which rests on the idea that categorizing unconscious phenomena as “mental” should be scientifically useful relative to the explanatory research goals. I argue that this is the case if by categorizing an unconscious phenomenon as “mental” one picks out explanatorily relevant similarities (...)
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  20. How and when are topological explanations complete mechanistic explanations? The case of multilayer network models.Beate Krickel, Leon de Bruin & Linda Douw - 2023 - Synthese 202 (1):1-21.
    The relationship between topological explanation and mechanistic explanation is unclear. Most philosophers agree that at least some topological explanations are mechanistic explanations. The crucial question is how to make sense of this claim. Zednik (Philos Psychol 32(1):23–51, 2019) argues that topological explanations are mechanistic if they (i) describe mechanism sketches that (ii) pick out organizational properties of mechanisms. While we agree with Zednik’s conclusion, we critically discuss Zednik’s account and show that it fails as a general account of how and (...)
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  21. On the epistemic contribution of financial models.Alexander Mebius - 2023 - Journal of Economic Methodology 30 (1):49-62.
    Financial modelling is an essential tool for studying the possibility of financial transactions. This paper argues that financial models are conventional tools widely used in formulating and establishing possibility claims about a prospective investment transaction, from a set of governing possibility assumptions. What is distinctive about financial models is that they articulate how a transaction possibly could occur in a non-actual investment scenario given a limited base of possibility conditions assumed in the model. For this reason, it is argued that (...)
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  22. Linguistic Competence and New Empiricism in Philosophy and Science.Vanja Subotić - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Belgrade
    The topic of this dissertation is the nature of linguistic competence, the capacity to understand and produce sentences of natural language. I defend the empiricist account of linguistic competence embedded in the connectionist cognitive science. This strand of cognitive science has been opposed to the traditional symbolic cognitive science, coupled with transformational-generative grammar, which was committed to nativism due to the view that human cognition, including language capacity, should be construed in terms of symbolic representations and hardwired rules. Similarly, linguistic (...)
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  23. Socializing Psychiatric Kinds : A Pluralistic Explanatory Account of the Nature and Classification of Psychopathology.Tuomas Vesterinen - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Helsinki
    This thesis investigates the nature of psychiatric disorders, and to what extent they can form a basis for classification, explanation, and treatment interventions. These questions are important in the light of the “crisis of validity” in psychiatry, according to which current diagnostic categories do not pick out real disorders. I address the questions by defending an account of psychiatric disorders that can better accommodate social aspects and non-epistemic values than the symptom-based model of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental (...)
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  24. Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness.Josh Weisberg - 2023 - Routledge. Edited by Josh Weisberg.
    Explanatory Optimism about the Hard Problem of Consciousness argues that despite the worries of explanatory pessimists, consciousness can be fully explained in “easy” scientific terms. The widespread intuition that consciousness poses a hard problem is plausibly based on how consciousness appears to us in first-person access. The book offers a debunking argument to undercut the justificatory link between the first-person appearances and our hard problem intuitions. -/- The key step in the debunking argument involves the development and defense of an (...)
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  25. Control Mechanisms: Explaining the Integration and Versatility of Biological Organisms.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2022 - Adaptive Behavior.
    Living organisms act as integrated wholes to maintain themselves. Individual actions can each be explained by characterizing the mechanisms that perform the activity. But these alone do not explain how various activities are coordinated and performed versatilely. We argue that this depends on a specific type of mechanism, a control mechanism. We develop an account of control by examining several extensively studied control mechanisms operative in the bacterium E. coli. On our analysis, what distinguishes a control mechanism from other mechanisms (...)
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  26. Organization needs organization: Understanding integrated control in living organisms.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 93:96-106.
    Organization figures centrally in the understanding of biological systems advanced by both new mechanists and proponents of the autonomy framework. The new mechanists focus on how components of mechanisms are organized to produce a phenomenon and emphasize productive continuity between these components. The autonomy framework focuses on how the components of a biological system are organized in such a way that they contribute to the maintenance of the organisms that produce them. In this paper we analyze and compare these two (...)
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  27. Mechanistic Explanation in Physics.Laura Felline - 2022 - In Eleanor Knox & Alastair Wilson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Physics. London, UK: Routledge.
    The idea at the core of the New Mechanical account of explanation can be summarized in the claim that explaining means showing ‘how things work’. This simple motto hints at three basic features of Mechanistic Explanation (ME): ME is an explanation-how, that implies the description of the processes underlying the phenomenon to be explained and of the entities that engage in such processes. These three elements trace a fundamental contrast with the view inherited from Hume and later from strict logical (...)
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  28. A Causal Bayes Net Analysis of Glennan’s Mechanistic Account of Higher-Level Causation.Alexander Gebharter - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (1):185-210.
    One of Stuart Glennan's most prominent contributions to the new mechanist debate consists in his reductive analysis of higher-level causation in terms of mechanisms (Glennan, 1996). In this paper I employ the causal Bayes net framework to reconstruct his analysis. This allows for specifying general assumptions which have to be satis ed to get Glennan's approach working. I show that once these assumptions are in place, they imply (against the background of the causal Bayes net machinery) that higher-level causation indeed (...)
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  29. Mechanisms in Science: Method or Metaphysics?Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Stathis Psillos.
    In recent years what has come to be called the 'New Mechanism' has emerged as a framework for thinking about the philosophical assumptions underlying many areas of science, especially in sciences such as biology, neuroscience, and psychology. This book offers a fresh look at the role of mechanisms, by situating novel analyses of central philosophical issues related to mechanisms within a rich historical perspective of the concept of mechanism as well as detailed case studies of biological mechanisms. It develops a (...)
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  30. Topological Explanations: An Opinionated Appraisal.Daniel Kostić - 2022 - In I. Lawler, E. Shech & K. Khalifa (eds.), Scientific Understanding and Representation: Modeling in the Physical Sciences. Routledge. pp. 96-115.
    This chapter provides a systematic overview of topological explanations in the philosophy of science literature. It does so by presenting an account of topological explanation that I (Kostić and Khalifa 2021; Kostić 2020a; 2020b; 2018) have developed in other publications and then comparing this account to other accounts of topological explanation. Finally, this appraisal is opinionated because it highlights some problems in alternative accounts of topological explanations, and also it outlines responses to some of the main criticisms raised by the (...)
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  31. Philosophy of science in practice in ecological model building.Luana Poliseli, Jeferson G. E. Coutinho, Blandina Viana, Federica Russo & Charbel N. El-Hani - 2022 - Biology and Philosophy 37 (4):0-0.
    This article addresses the contributions of the literature on the new mechanistic philosophy of science for the scientific practice of model building in ecology. This is reflected in a one-to-one interdisciplinary collaboration between an ecologist and a philosopher of science during science-in-the-making. We argue that the identification, reconstruction and understanding of mechanisms is context-sensitive, and for this case study mechanistic modeling did not present a normative role but a heuristic one. We expect our study to provides useful epistemic tools for (...)
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  32. Minds in the Metaverse: Extended Cognition Meets Mixed Reality.Paul Smart - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (4):1–29.
    Examples of extended cognition typically involve the use of technologically low-grade bio-external resources (e.g., the use of pen and paper to solve long multiplication problems). The present paper describes a putative case of extended cognizing based around a technologically advanced mixed reality device, namely, the Microsoft HoloLens. The case is evaluated from the standpoint of a mechanistic perspective. In particular, it is suggested that a combination of organismic (e.g., the human individual) and extra-organismic (e.g., the HoloLens) resources form part of (...)
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  33. Toward a Mechanistic Account of Extended Cognition.Paul R. Smart - 2022 - Philosophical Psychology 35 (8):1107-1135.
    There have been a number of attempts to apply mechanism-related concepts to the notion of extended cognition. Such accounts appeal to the idea that extended cognitive routines are realized by mechanisms that transcend some salient border or boundary. The present paper describes some of the challenges confronting the effort to develop a mechanistic account of extended cognition. In particular, it describes five problems that must be resolved if we are to make sense of the idea that extended cognition can be (...)
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  34. Phenomenal transparency and the extended mind.Paul Smart, Gloria Andrada & Robert William Clowes - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-25.
    Proponents of the extended mind have suggested that phenomenal transparency may be important to the way we evaluate putative cases of cognitive extension. In particular, it has been suggested that in order for a bio-external resource to count as part of the machinery of the mind, it must qualify as a form of transparent equipment or transparent technology. The present paper challenges this claim. It also challenges the idea that phenomenological properties can be used to settle disputes regarding the constitutional (...)
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  35. Revisiting abstraction and idealization: how not to criticize mechanistic explanation in molecular biology.Martin Zach - 2022 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 12 (1):1-20.
    Abstraction and idealization are the two notions that are most often discussed in the context of assumptions employed in the process of model building. These notions are also routinely used in philosophical debates such as that on the mechanistic account of explanation. Indeed, an objection to the mechanistic account has recently been formulated precisely on these grounds: mechanists cannot account for the common practice of idealizing difference-making factors in models in molecular biology. In this paper I revisit the debate and (...)
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  36. Mechanism, autonomy and biological explanation.Leonardo Bich & William Bechtel - 2021 - Biology and Philosophy 36 (6):1-27.
    The new mechanists and the autonomy approach both aim to account for how biological phenomena are explained. One identifies appeals to how components of a mechanism are organized so that their activities produce a phenomenon. The other directs attention towards the whole organism and focuses on how it achieves self-maintenance. This paper discusses challenges each confronts and how each could benefit from collaboration with the other: the new mechanistic framework can gain by taking into account what happens outside individual mechanisms, (...)
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  37. First principles in the life sciences: the free-energy principle, organicism, and mechanism.Matteo Colombo & Cory Wright - 2021 - Synthese 198 (14):3463–3488.
    The free-energy principle states that all systems that minimize their free energy resist a tendency to physical disintegration. Originally proposed to account for perception, learning, and action, the free-energy principle has been applied to the evolution, development, morphology, anatomy and function of the brain, and has been called a postulate, an unfalsifiable principle, a natural law, and an imperative. While it might afford a theoretical foundation for understanding the relationship between environment, life, and mind, its epistemic status is unclear. Also (...)
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  38. Constitutive relevance & mutual manipulability revisited.Carl F. Craver, Stuart Glennan & Mark Povich - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8807-8828.
    An adequate understanding of the ubiquitous practice of mechanistic explanation requires an account of what Craver termed “constitutive relevance.” Entities or activities are constitutively relevant to a phenomenon when they are parts of the mechanism responsible for that phenomenon. Craver’s mutual manipulability account extended Woodward’s account of manipulationist counterfactuals to analyze how interlevel experiments establish constitutive relevance. Critics of MM argue that applying Woodward’s account to this philosophical problem conflates causation and constitution, thus rendering the account incoherent. These criticisms, we (...)
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  39. Wishful Intelligibility, Black Boxes, and Epidemiological Explanation.Marina DiMarco - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):824-834.
    Epidemiological explanation often has a “black box” character, meaning the intermediate steps between cause and effect are unknown. Filling in black boxes is thought to improve causal inferences by making them intelligible. I argue that adding information about intermediate causes to a black box explanation is an unreliable guide to pragmatic intelligibility because it may mislead us about the stability of a cause. I diagnose a problem that I call wishful intelligibility, which occurs when scientists misjudge the limitations of certain (...)
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  40. Toward Mechanism 2.1: A Dynamic Causal Approach.Wei Fang - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):796-809.
    I propose a dynamic causal approach to characterizing the notion of a mechanism. Levy and Bechtel, among others, have pointed out several critical limitations of the new mechanical philosophy, and pointed in a new direction to extend this philosophy. Nevertheless, they have not fully fleshed out what that extended philosophy would look like. Based on a closer look at neuroscientific practice, I propose that a mechanism is a dynamic causal system that involves various components interacting, typically nonlinearly, with one another (...)
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  41. Mechanistic Computational Individuation without Biting the Bullet.Nir Fresco & Marcin Miłkowski - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):431-438.
    Is the mathematical function being computed by a given physical system determined by the system’s dynamics? This question is at the heart of the indeterminacy of computation phenomenon (Fresco et al. [unpublished]). A paradigmatic example is a conventional electrical AND-gate that is often said to compute conjunction, but it can just as well be used to compute disjunction. Despite the pervasiveness of this phenomenon in physical computational systems, it has been discussed in the philosophical literature only indirectly, mostly with reference (...)
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  42. A Categorical Formalism of Mechanism.Jinyeong Gim - 2021 - Dissertation, Seoul National University
    All biological objects in living systems are composed of their components. They are also involved in biological mechanisms that produce regular phenomena. Mechanistic philosophy is a recent framework for understanding biological sciences. In this dissertation, I will suggest a categorical formalism of mechanism supported by algebraic constraints by virtue of a mathematical language, category theory. First, I formalize the essential groundwork for mechanistic explanations, component parts, and activities by assuming that mechanistic explanations do not allow for infinite decomposition of components, (...)
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  43. Explanation in Evo-Devo.Marie I. Kaiser - 2021 - In de la Rosa L. N. & Müller G. B. (eds.), Evolutionary Developmental Biology - A Reference Guide. Springer.
    Evo-devo is a multidisciplinary field that investigates the interplay between evolutionary and developmental processes and brings together different kinds of explanatory strategies. This chapter examines the structure of paradigmatic explanations in evo-devo (e.g., the explanation of the origin of an evolutionary novelty) and raises philosophical questions about explanation in evo-devo. Much research in evo-devo is concerned with studying the developmental mechanisms that constrain and facilitate phenotypic evolution, which suggests that a distinctive feature of evo-devo is that it constructs mechanistic explanations. (...)
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  44. Animism and Natural Teleology from Avicenna to Boyle.Jeff Kochan - 2021 - Science in Context 34 (1):1-23.
    Historians have claimed that the two closely related concepts of animism and natural teleology were both decisively rejected in the Scientific Revolution. They tout Robert Boyle as an early modern warden against pre-modern animism. Discussing Avicenna, Aquinas, and Buridan, as well as Renaissance psychology, I instead suggest that teleology went through a slow and uneven process of rationalization. As Neoplatonic theology gained influence over Aristotelian natural philosophy, the meaning of animism likewise grew obscure. Boyle, as some historians have shown, exemplifies (...)
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  45. Animism, Aristotelianism, and the Legacy of William Gilbert’s De Magnete.Jeff Kochan - 2021 - Perspectives on Science 29 (2):157-188.
    William Gilbert’s 1600 book, De magnete, greatly influenced early modern natural philosophy. The book describes an impressive array of physical experiments, but it also advances a metaphysical view at odds with the soon to emerge mechanical philosophy. That view was animism. I distinguish two kinds of animism – Aristotelian and Platonic – and argue that Gilbert was an Aristotelian animist. Taking Robert Boyle as an example, I then show that early modern arguments against animism were often effective only against Platonic (...)
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  46. Correction to: Reply to Cartwright, Pemberton, Wieten: “mechanisms, laws and explanation”.Beate Krickel - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (3):1-2.
    A Correction to this paper has been published (changed to open access).
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  47. Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory without Homeostatic Mechanisms: Two Recent Attempts and their Costs.Yukinori Onishi & Davide Serpico - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie (N/A):61-82.
    The homeostatic property cluster theory is widely influential for its ability to account for many natural-kind terms in the life sciences. However, the notion of homeostatic mechanism has never been fully explicated. In 2009, Carl Craver interpreted the notion in the sense articulated in discussions on mechanistic explanation and pointed out that the HPC account equipped with such notion invites interest-relativity. In this paper, we analyze two recent refinements on HPC: one that avoids any reference to the causes of the (...)
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  48. Mechanisms and Relations.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):95-111.
    Mechanisms are organized collections of objects and activities that underlie certain phenomena/behaviours. In this article, I shall argue that the organizations of mechanisms should be thought of as external relations, namely, as relations that do not entirely depend on their relata’s existence, nor on their natures, nor on their intrinsic properties. After having introduced in the first two sections mechanisms and the ontology of relations, I shall analyse the organizations of mechanisms along four different dimensions: spatial, temporal, causal and hierarchical. (...)
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  49. Mechanisms and Consciousness: Integrating Phenomenology with Cognitive Science.Marek Pokropski - 2021 - New York, NY: Routledge.
    This book develops a new approach to naturalizing phenomenology. The author proposes to integrate phenomenology with the mechanistic framework that offers new methodological perspectives for studying complex mental phenomena such as consciousness. While mechanistic explanatory models are widely applied in cognitive science, their approach to describing subjective phenomena is limited. The author argues that phenomenology can fill this gap. He proposes two novel ways of integrating phenomenology and mechanism. First, he presents a new reading of phenomenological analyses as functional analyses. (...)
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  50. The Narrow Ontic Counterfactual Account of Distinctively Mathematical Explanation.Mark Povich - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (2):511-543.
    An account of distinctively mathematical explanation (DME) should satisfy three desiderata: it should account for the modal import of some DMEs; it should distinguish uses of mathematics in explanation that are distinctively mathematical from those that are not (Baron [2016]); and it should also account for the directionality of DMEs (Craver and Povich [2017]). Baron’s (forthcoming) deductive-mathematical account, because it is modelled on the deductive-nomological account, is unlikely to satisfy these desiderata. I provide a counterfactual account of DME, the Narrow (...)
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