Realization

Edited by Ronald Endicott (North Carolina State University)
About this topic
Summary

Although formal notions of realization were already used by computer scientists and mathematicians, Hilary Putnam popularized the idiom for philosophers in the 1960s as a way to describe relations implicated by the machine functionalist view of the mind. Specifically, Putnam said that an abstract machine as well as a machine table or description is realized by a physical machine. Philosophers then began to use the idiom in a more general way to designate various types of inter-level relations, not just the relation between mental states and brain states, but persons and bodies, biological items in relation to more basic structural or chemical items, and so on. More recently, philosophers present concepts of realization as a better way to account for inter-level relations than competing concepts of supervenience, emergence, and grounding.

Key works One may categorize different concepts of realization in terms of three basic conceptual traditions. First there is a semantic tradition whereby “to be realized” names a semantic relation, e.g., the satisfaction of a predicate by an object (Lewis 1972). Second there is a mathematical tradition whereby “to be realized” names a mapping or correspondence relation, e.g., a one-to-one mapping between the states of an abstract machine and a concrete physical machine (Putnam 1960; Chalmers 1994). Third there is a metaphysical tradition whereby “to be realized” names a relation of determination or a related notion of inter-level production. This metaphysical tradition itself divides into several different views. There is realization understood in terms of parts and wholes (Cummins 1983; Gillett 2002). There is realization by functional roles and occupation (Papineau 1993; Melnyk 1994; Kim 1998), or broader notions of function (Polger 2004). There is fusion of part-whole realization with functional role and occupation realization (Endicott 2011). There is realization understood in terms of determinables and determinates (Macdonald & Macdonald 1986; Yablo 1992). There is wide versus narrow realization (Wilson 2001). There is realization by a contextually sensitive INUS condition that allows for a type of converse to multiple realizability (Endicott 1994). And there is realization understood in terms of subsets of causal powers (Wilson 1999, 2011; Shoemaker 2001, 2007). Philosophers have also argued that concepts of realization are better at preserving physicalist intutions over rival concepts of supervenience (Melnyk 1994, 2003; Wilson 1999; Witmer 2001), debated the connection between concepts of realization and subsequent judgments about multiple realizability (Shapiro 2004; Gillett 2002; Aizawa & Gillett 2009), discussed the ontology of realization (Shapiro 2008; Endicott 2010; Gillett 2011), and made proposals about the different theoretical role for different concepts of realization (Gillett 2002; Polger 2007; Endicott 2012).
Introductions

There are a few general introductions: Ronald Endicott's (2005) encyclopedia article on multiple realizability contains a section dedicated to concepts of realization; and Carl Craver and Robert Wilson's (2006) entry in a handbook on the philosophy of psychology and cognitive science addresses some basic views on realization in both philosophy and the sciences. A paper by Thomas Polger (2007) also covers some broad territory regarding different concepts of realization.

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  1. What's Wrong With Brute Supervenience? A Defense of Horgan on Physicalism and Superdupervenience.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Analytic Philosophy 59 (2):256-280.
    This paper offers a qualified defense of Terry Horgan’s view of brute, inexplicable supervenience theses as physically unacceptable—as having no place in physicalist metaphysics—and his corresponding emphasis on the importance of “superdupervenience”, metaphysical supervenience that can be explained in a “materialistically acceptable” way. I argue, in response to Tom Polger, that it may be possible to ground the physical unacceptability of brute supervenience in its relation physically unacceptable properties supervening on physical properties; moreover, I argue that Horgan’s emphasis on the (...)
  2. Review of Karen Bennett's Making Things Up. [REVIEW]Louis deRosset - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2018.
    A review of Karen Bennett's /Making Things Up/.
  3. Physicalism Deconstructed: Levels of Reality and the Mind–Body Problem.Kevin Morris - 2018 - Cambridge University Press.
    How should thought and consciousness be understood within a view of the world as being through-and-through physical? Many philosophers have proposed non-reductive, levels-based positions, according to which the physical domain is fundamental, while thought and consciousness are higher-level processes, dependent on and determined by physical processes. In this book, Kevin Morris's careful philosophical and historical critique shows that it is very difficult to make good metaphysical sense of this idea - notions like supervenience, physical realization, and grounding all fail to (...)
Realization, Misc
  1. Introduction: The Character of Physicalism.Andreas Elpidorou - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):435-455.
    The aim of this editorial introduction is twofold. First, Sects. 1–8 offer a critical introduction to the metaphysical character of physicalism. In those sections, I present and evaluate different ways in which proponents of physicalism have made explicit the metaphysical dependence that is said to hold between the non-physical and the physical. Some of these accounts are found to be problematic; others are shown to be somewhat more promising. In the end, some important lessons are drawn and different options for (...)
  2. The Topological Realization.Daniel Kostić - 2018 - Synthese (1).
    In this paper, I argue that the newly developed network approach in neuroscience and biology provides a basis for formulating a unique type of realization, which I call topological realization. Some of its features and its relation to one of the dominant paradigms of realization and explanation in sciences, i.e. the mechanistic one, are already being discussed in the literature. But the detailed features of topological realization, its explanatory power and its relation to another prominent view of realization, namely the (...)
  3. Demystifying Emergence.David Yates - 2016 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 3:809-841.
    Are the special sciences autonomous from physics? Those who say they are need to explain how dependent special science properties could feature in irreducible causal explanations, but that’s no easy task. The demands of a broadly physicalist worldview require that such properties are not only dependent on the physical, but also physically realized. Realized properties are derivative, so it’s natural to suppose that they have derivative causal powers. Correspondingly, philosophical orthodoxy has it that if we want special science properties to (...)
  4. An Argument for Power Inheritance.Umut Baysan - 2016 - Philosophical Quarterly (263):pqv126.
    Abstract: Non-reductive physicalism is commonly understood as the view that mental properties are realized by physical properties. Here, I argue that the realization relation in question is a power inheritance relation: if a property P realizes a property Q, then the causal powers of Q are a subset of the causal powers of P. Whereas others have motivated this claim by appealing to its theoretical benefits, I argue that it is in fact entailed by two theses: (i) realization is a (...)
  5. The Unity and Priority Arguments for Grounding.Jessica M. Wilson - 2016 - In Ken Aizawa & Carl Gillett (eds.), Scientific Composition and Metaphysical Ground. Basinstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 171-204.
    Grounding, understood as a primitive posit operative in contexts where metaphysical dependence is at issue, is not able on its own to do any substantive work in characterizing or illuminating metaphysical dependence---or so I argue in 'No Work for a Theory of Grounding' (Inquiry, 2014). Such illumination rather requires appeal to specific metaphysical relations---type or token identity, functional realization, the determinable-determinate relation, the mereological part-whole relation, and so on---of the sort typically at issue in these contexts. In that case, why (...)
  6. Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
    In this wide-ranging study, Levine explores both sides of the mind-body dilemma, presenting the first book-length treatment of his highly influential ideas on the How does one explain the physical nature of an experience? This puzzle, the "explanatory gap" between mind and body, is the focus of this work by an influential scholar in the field.
  7. Essence and Dependence.Jessica Wilson M. - forthcoming - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality: Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    I first discuss Kit Fine's distinctive 'schema-based' approach to metaphysical theorizing, which aims to identify general principles accommodating any intelligible application of the notion(s), by attention to his accounts of essence and dependence. I then raise some specific concerns about the general principles Fine takes to schematically characterize these notions. In particular, I present various counterexamples to Fine's essence-based account of ontological dependence. The problem, roughly speaking, is that Fine supposes that an object's essence makes reference to just what it (...)
  8. Realization, Determination and Mental Causation.Agustín Vicente Benito - 2001 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 16 (1):77-94.
    The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relationship, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...)
  9. Realization, Explanation and the Mind-Body Relation.Jacqueline A. Sullivan - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):151-164.
    This volume brings together a number of perspectives on the nature of realization explanation and experimentation in the ‘special’ and biological sciences as well as the related issues of psychoneural reduction and cognitive extension. The first two papers in the volume may be regarded as offering direct responses to the questions: (1) What model of realization is appropriate for understanding the metaphysics of science? and (2) What kind of philosophical work is such a model ultimately supposed to do?
  10. A Taxonomy of Granular Partitions.Thomas E. Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In Daniel Montello (ed.), Spatial Information Theory. Foundations of Geographic Information Science. Berlin: Springer.
    In this paper we propose a formal theory of partitions (ways of dividing up or sorting or mapping reality) and we show how the theory can be applied in the geospatial domain. We characterize partitions at two levels: as systems of cells (theory A), and in terms of their projective relation to reality (theory B). We lay down conditions of well-formedness for partitions and we define what it means for partitions to project truly onto reality. We continue by classifying well-formed (...)
  11. Consciousness and the Prospects of Physicalism.Derk Pereboom - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    In this book, Derk Pereboom explores how physicalism might best be formulated and defended against the best anti-physicalist arguments. Two responses to the knowledge and conceivability arguments are set out and developed. The first exploits the open possibility that introspective representations fail to represent mental properties as they are in themselves; specifically, that introspection represents phenomenal properties as having certain characteristic qualitative natures, which these properties might actually lack. The second response draws on the proposal that currently unknown fundamental intrinsic (...)
  12. Understanding the Dimensions of Realization.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy 105 (4):213-222.
    Carl Gillett has defended what he calls the “dimensioned” view of the realization relation, which he contrasts with the traditional “flat” view of realization (2003, 2007; see also Gillett 2002). Intuitively, the dimensioned approach characterizes realization in terms of composition whereas the flat approach views realization in terms of occupiers of functional roles. Elsewhere we have argued that the general view of realization and multiple realization that Gillett advances is not able to discharge the theoretical duties of those relations (Shapiro (...)
  13. Hyper-Extending the Mind?Carl Gillett - 2007 - Philosophical Topics 351 (1/2):161-188.
  14. Mechanisms and Explanatory Realization Relations.Thomas W. Polger - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):193 - 212.
    My topic is the confluence of two recently active philosophical research programs. One research program concerns the metaphysics of realization. The other research program concerns scientific explanation in terms of mechanisms. In this paper I introduce a distinction between descriptive and explanatory approaches to realization. I then use this distinction to argue that a well-known account of realization, due to Carl Gillett, is incompatible with a well-known account of mechanistic explanation, due to Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl Craver (MDC, (...)
  15. Realization, Reductios, and Category Inclusion.Ronald P. Endicott - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (4):213-219.
    Thomas Polger and Laurence Shapiro argue that Carl Gillett's much publicized dimensioned theory of realization is incoherent, being subject to a reductio. Their argument turns on the fact that Gillett's definition of realization makes property instances the exclusive relata of the realization relation, while his belief in multiple realization implies its denial, namely, that properties are the relata of the realization relation on occasions of multiple realization. Others like Sydney Shoemaker have also expressed their view of realization in terms of (...)
  16. The Unreality of Realization.Chase B. Wrenn - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (2):305-322.
    This paper argues against the _realization principle_, which reifies the realization relation between lower-level and higher-level properties. It begins with a review of some principles of naturalistic metaphysics. Then it criticizes some likely reasons for embracing the realization principle, and finally it argues against the principle directly. The most likely reasons for embracing the principle depend on the dubious assumption that special science theories cannot be true unless special science predicates designate properties. The principle itself turns out to be false (...)
  17. Realization.Carl F. Craver & Robert A. Wilson - 2006 - In P. Thagard (ed.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
    For the greater part of the last 50 years, it has been common for philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists to invoke the notion of realization in discussing the relationship between the mind and the brain. In traditional philosophy of mind, mental states are said to be realized, instantiated, or implemented in brain states. Artificial intelligence is sometimes described as the attempt either to model or to actually construct systems that realize some of the same psychological abilities that we and (...)
  18. Constructival Plasticity.Ronald P. Endicott - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 74 (1):51-75.
    Some scientists and philosophers have claimed that there is a converse to multiple realizability. While a given higher-level property can be realized by different lower-level properties (multiple realizability), a given lower-level property can in turn serve to realize different higher-level properties (this converse I dubbed the unfortunately obscure "constructival plasticity" to emphasize the constructive metaphysics involved when realizing properties generate realized properties in the stated way). I begin by defining multiple realizabilty in a formal way, then turn to the relation (...)
  19. Does the Argument From Realization Generalize? Responses to Kim.Carl Gillett & Bradley Rives - 2001 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):79-98.
    By quantifying over properties we cannot create new properties any more than by quantifying over individuals we can create new individuals. Someone murdered Jones, and the murderer is either Smith or Jones or Wang. That “someone”, who murdered Jones, is not a person in addition to Smith, Jones, and Wang, and it would be absurd to posit a disjunctive person, Smith-or-Jones-or-Wang, with whom to identify the murderer. The same goes for second-order properties and their realizers. (Kim (1997a), p.201).
  20. Realization.Giovanna Hendel - 2001 - Critica 33 (98):41-70.
    So far no clear explication of the notion of realization has been offered, in spite of the frequent uses of the notion in the literature to discharge important jobs, such as that of accounting for the causal efficacy of the mental in a physical world, and that of providing a viable characterization of physicalism, and/or psychophysical reduction. I put forward an account of realization as an identity-like relation. I argue that such account has the following advantages: (a) it provides a (...)
  21. More on Making Mind Matter.Ernest Lepore & Barry Loewer - 1989 - Philosophical Topics 17 (1):175-191.
  22. Philosophical Materialism.Colin McGinn - 1980 - Synthese 44 (June):173-206.
  23. The Metaphysics of Irreducibility.Derk Pereboom & Hilary Kornblith - 1991 - Philosophical Studies 63 (August):125-45.
    During the 'sixties and 'seventies, Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor, and Richard Boyd, among others, developed a type of materialism that eschews reductionist claims.1 In this view, explana- tions, natural kinds, and properties in psychology do not reduce to counterparts in more basic sciences, such as neurophysiology or physics. Nevertheless, all token psychological entities-- states, processes, and faculties--are wholly constituted of physical entities, ultimately out of entities over which microphysics quantifies. This view quickly became the standard position in philosophy of mind, (...)
  24. Realization, Determination and Mental Causation.Agustín Vincente - 2001 - Theoria 16 (40):77-94.
    The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relation, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...)
  25. Determinables, Determinates, and Causal Relevance.Sven Walter - 2007 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37 (2):217-244.
  26. Realization: Metaphysics, Mind, and Science.Robert A. Wilson - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):985-996.
    This paper surveys some recent work on realization in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science.
  27. Mental Causation.Stephen Yablo - 1992 - Philosophical Review 101 (2):245-280.
Functional Realization
  1. In Defense of a Realization Formulation of Physicalism.Andrew Melnyk - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):483-493.
    In earlier work, I proposed and defended a formulation of physicalism that was distinctive in appealing to a carefully-defined relation of physical realization. Various philosophers have since presented challenges to this formulation. In the present paper, I aim to show that these challenges can be overcome.
  2. Review of The Multiple Realization Book by Thomas W. Polger & Lawrence A. Shapiro (Oxford: Oxford University Press). [REVIEW]Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 21.
  3. Developing The Explanatory Dimensions of Part-Whole Realization.Ronald P. Endicott - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (12):3347-3368.
    I use Carl Gillett’s much heralded dimensioned theory of realization as a platform to develop a plausible part–whole theory. I begin with some basic desiderata for a theory of realization that its key terms should be defined and that it should be explanatory. I then argue that Gillett’s original theory violates these conditions because its explanatory force rests upon an unspecified “in virtue of” relation. I then examine Gillett’s later version that appeals instead to theoretical terms tied to “mechanisms.” Yet (...)
  4. Boundaries of the Mind: The Individual in the Fragile Sciences - Cognition.Robert A. Wilson - 2004 - Cambridge University Press.
    Where does the mind begin and end? Most philosophers and cognitive scientists take the view that the mind is bounded by the skull or skin of the individual. Robert Wilson, in this provocative and challenging 2004 book, provides the foundations for the view that the mind extends beyond the boundary of the individual. The approach adopted offers a unique blend of traditional philosophical analysis, cognitive science, and the history of psychology and the human sciences. A forthcoming companion volume Genes and (...)
  5. The Dimensions of Realization: A Critique of the Standard View.C. Gillett - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):316-323.
  6. Natural Minds.Thomas W. Polger - 2004 - Bradford.
    In Natural Minds Thomas Polger advocates, and defends, the philosophical theory that mind equals brain -- that sensations are brain processes -- and in doing so brings the mind-brain identity theory back into the philosophical debate about consciousness. The version of identity theory that Polger advocates holds that conscious processes, events, states, or properties are type- identical to biological processes, events, states, or properties -- a "tough-minded" account that maintains that minds are necessarily indentical to brains, a position held by (...)
  7. A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism.Andrew Melnyk - 2003 - Cambridge University Press.
    A Physicalist Manifesto is a full treatment of the comprehensive physicalist view that, in some important sense, everything is physical. Andrew Melnyk argues that the view is best formulated by appeal to a carefully worked-out notion of realization, rather than supervenience; that, so formulated, physicalism must be importantly reductionist; that it need not repudiate causal and explanatory claims framed in non-physical language; and that it has the a posteriori epistemic status of a broad-scope scientific hypothesis. Two concluding chapters argue in (...)
  8. The Multiple Realization Book.Thomas W. Polger & Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Since Hilary Putnam offered multiple realization as an empirical hypothesis in the 1960s, philosophical consensus has turned against the idea that mental processes are identifiable with brain processes, and multiple realization has become the keystone of the 'antireductive consensus' across philosophy of science. Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro offer the first book-length investigation of multiple realization, which serves as a starting point to a series of philosophically sophisticated and empirically informed arguments that cast doubt on the generality of (...)
  9. Purple Haze: The Puzzle of Consciousness.Joseph Levine - 2001 - Oxford University Press USA.
    In this wide-ranging study, Levine explores both sides of the mind-body dilemma, presenting the first book-length treatment of his highly influential ideas on the How does one explain the physical nature of an experience? This puzzle, the "explanatory gap" between mind and body, is the focus of this work by an influential scholar in the field.
  10. Realization Relations in Metaphysics.Umut Baysan - 2015 - Minds and Machines (3):1-14.
    “Realization” is a technical term that is used by metaphysicians, philosophers of mind, and philosophers of science to denote some dependence relation that is thought to obtain between higher-level properties and lower-level properties. It is said that mental properties are realized by physical properties; functional and computational properties are realized by first-order properties that occupy certain causal/functional roles; dispositional properties are realized by categorical properties; so on and so forth. Given this wide usage of the term “realization”, it would be (...)
  11. Why the Counterfactualist Should Still Worry About Downward Causation.Lei Zhong - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (1):159-171.
    In Zhong (Philos Phenomenol Res 83:129–147, 2011; Analysis 72:75–85, 2012), I argued that, contrary to what many people might expect, the counterfactual theory of causation will generate (rather than solve) the exclusion problem. Recently some philosophers raise an incisive objection to this argument. They contend that my argument fails as it equivocates between different notions of a physical realizer (see Christensen and Kallestrup in Analysis 72:513–517, 2012). However, I find that their criticism doesn’t threaten the central idea of my view. (...)
  12. Beyond Program Explanation. Cynthia & Graham Macdonald - 2007 - In Geoffrey Brennan, Robert Goodin, Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), Common Minds: Themes From the Philosophy of Philip Pettit. Clarendon Press.
  13. Against Structuralist Theories of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):681-707.
    Under what conditions does a physical system implement or realize a computation? Structuralism about computational implementation, espoused by Chalmers and others, holds that a physical system realizes a computation just in case the system instantiates a pattern of causal organization isomorphic to the computation’s formal structure. I argue against structuralism through counter-examples drawn from computer science. On my opposing view, computational implementation sometimes requires instantiating semantic properties that outstrip any relevant pattern of causal organization. In developing my argument, I defend (...)
  14. Realization, Explanation and the Mind-Body Relation.Jacqueline A. Sullivan - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):151-164.
    This volume brings together a number of perspectives on the nature of realization explanation and experimentation in the ‘special’ and biological sciences as well as the related issues of psychoneural reduction and cognitive extension. The first two papers in the volume may be regarded as offering direct responses to the questions: (1) What model of realization is appropriate for understanding the metaphysics of science? and (2) What kind of philosophical work is such a model ultimately supposed to do?
  15. A Theory of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1277-1307.
    I articulate and defend a new theory of what it is for a physical system to implement an abstract computational model. According to my descriptivist theory, a physical system implements a computational model just in case the model accurately describes the system. Specifically, the system must reliably transit between computational states in accord with mechanical instructions encoded by the model. I contrast my theory with an influential approach to computational implementation espoused by Chalmers, Putnam, and others. I deploy my theory (...)
  16. Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes.Andrew Melnyk - 2006 - In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell. pp. 31-50.
    The paper argues that a broadly functionalist picture of psychological phenomena is quite consistent with at least one interesting thesis of psychological reductionism.
  17. Resolving Arguments by Different Conceptual Traditions of Realization.Ronald P. Endicott - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 159 (1):41-59.
    There is currently a significant amount of interest in understanding and developing theories of realization. Naturally arguments have arisen about the adequacy of some theories over others. Many of these arguments have a point. But some can be resolved by seeing that the theories of realization in question are not genuine competitors because they fall under different conceptual traditions with different but compatible goals. I will first describe three different conceptual traditions of realization that are implicated by the arguments under (...)
  18. Guidelines for Theorizing About Realization.Kevin Morris - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (4):393-416.
    Realization can be roughly understood as a kind of role-playing, a relationship between a property that plays a role and a property characterized by that role. This rough sketch previously received only moderate elaboration; recently, however, several substantive theories of realization have been proposed. But are there any general constraints on a theory of realization? What is a theory of realization supposed to accomplish? I first argue that a view of realization is viable, in part, to the extent that physical (...)
  19. Realization and Physicalism.Robert Francescotti - 2010 - Philosophical Psychology 23 (5):601-616.
    Melnyk provides a rigorous analysis of the notion of realization with the aim of defining Physicalism. It is argued here that contrary to Melnyk's Realization Physicalism, the idea that mental phenomena are realized by physical phenomena fails to capture the physicalist belief that the former obtain in virtue of the latter. The conclusion is not that Physicalism is false, but that its truth is best explained with some notion other than realization in Melnyk's sense. I also argue that the problems (...)
  20. Mechanisms and Explanatory Realization Relations.Thomas W. Polger - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):193 - 212.
    My topic is the confluence of two recently active philosophical research programs. One research program concerns the metaphysics of realization. The other research program concerns scientific explanation in terms of mechanisms. In this paper I introduce a distinction between descriptive and explanatory approaches to realization. I then use this distinction to argue that a well-known account of realization, due to Carl Gillett, is incompatible with a well-known account of mechanistic explanation, due to Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl Craver (MDC, (...)
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