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Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver (2000). Thinking About Mechanisms.

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  1. Is Genetic Drift a Force?Charles H. Pence - manuscript
    One hotly debated philosophical question in the analysis of evolutionary theory concerns whether or not evolution and the various factors which constitute it may profitably be considered as analogous to “forces” in the traditional, Newtonian sense. Several compelling arguments assert that the force picture is incoherent, due to the peculiar nature of genetic drift. I consider two of those arguments here – that drift lacks a predictable direction, and that drift is constitutive of evolutionary systems – and show that they (...)
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  2.  10
    On the Possibility of Crucial Experiments in Biology.Tudor Baetu - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    The article analyses in detail the Meselson–Stahl experiment, identifying two novel difficulties for the crucial experiment account, namely, the fragility of the experimental results and the fact that the hypotheses under scrutiny were not mutually exclusive. The crucial experiment account is rejected in favour of an experimental-mechanistic account of the historical significance of the experiment, emphasizing that the experiment generated data about the biochemistry of DNA replication that is independent of the testing of the semi-conservative, conservative, and dispersive hypotheses. _1_ (...)
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  3. Code Biology, Peircean Biosemiotics, and Rosen’s Relational Biology.Marcello Barbieri - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-9.
    The classical theories of the genetic code claimed that its coding rules were determined by chemistry—either by stereochemical affinities or by metabolic reactions—but the experimental evidence has revealed a totally different reality: it has shown that any codon can be associated with any amino acid, thus proving that there is no necessary link between them. The rules of the genetic code, in other words, obey the laws of physics and chemistry but are not determined by them. They are arbitrary, or (...)
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  4.  8
    Analysing Network Models to Make Discoveries About Biological Mechanisms.William Bechtel - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Systems biology provides alternatives to the strategies to developing mechanistic explanations traditionally pursued in cell and molecular biology and much discussed in accounts of mechanistic explanation. Rather than starting by identifying a mechanism for a given phenomenon and decomposing it, systems biologists often start by developing cell-wide networks of detected connections between proteins or genes and construe clusters of highly interactive components as potential mechanisms. Using inference strategies such as ‘guilt-by-association’, researchers advance hypotheses about functions performed of these mechanisms. I (...)
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  5.  5
    Representation and the Active Consumer.Patrick Butlin - forthcoming - Synthese:1-18.
    One of the central tasks for naturalistic theories of representation is to say what it takes for something to be a representation, and some leading theories have been criticised for being too liberal. Prominent discussions of this problem have proposed a producer-oriented solution; it is argued that representations must be produced by systems employing perceptual constancy mechanisms. However, representations may be produced by simple transducers if they are consumed in the right way. It is characteristic of representations to be consumed (...)
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  6.  4
    Reasoning Patterns in Galileo’s Analysis of Machines and in Expert Protocols: Roles for Analogy, Imagery, and Mental Simulation.John J. Clement - forthcoming - Topoi:1-13.
    Reasoning patterns found in Galileo’s treatise on machines, On Mechanics, are compared with patterns identified in case studies of scientifically trained experts thinking aloud, and many similarities are found. At one level the primary patterns identified are ordered analogy sequences and special diagrammatic techniques to support them. At a deeper level I develop constructs to describe patterns that can support embodied, imagistic, mental simulations as a central underlying process. Additionally, a larger hypothesized pattern of ‘progressive imagistic generalization’—Galileo’s development of a (...)
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  7.  4
    Performance-Similarity Reasoning as a Source for Mechanism Schema Evaluation.Raoul Gervais - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    In this paper, I explicate and discuss performance-similarity reasoning as a strategy for mechanism schema evaluation, understood in Lindley Darden’s sense. This strategy involves inferring hypotheses about the mechanism responsible for cognitive capacities from premises describing the performance of those capacities; performance-similarity reasoning is a type of Inference to the Best Explanation, or IBE. Two types of such inferences are distinguished: one in which the performance of two systems is compared, and another when the performance of two systems under intervention (...)
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  8.  6
    Breaking Explanatory Boundaries: Flexible Borders and Plastic Minds.Michael D. Kirchhoff & Russell Meyer - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-20.
    In this paper, we offer reasons to justify the explanatory credentials of dynamical modeling in the context of the metaplasticity thesis, located within a larger grouping of views known as 4E Cognition. Our focus is on showing that dynamicism is consistent with interventionism, and therefore with a difference-making account at the scale of system topologies that makes sui generis explanatory differences to the overall behavior of a cognitive system. In so doing, we provide a general overview of the interventionist approach. (...)
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  9.  24
    Social Intelligence: How to Integrate Research? A Mechanistic Perspective.Marcin Miłkowski - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-10.
    Is there a field of social intelligence? Many various disciplines approach the subject and it may only seem natural to suppose that different fields of study aim at explaining different phenomena; in other words, there is no special field of study of social intelligence. In this paper, I argue for an opposite claim. Namely, there is a way to integrate research on social intelligence, as long as one accepts the mechanistic account to explanation. Mechanistic integration of different explanations, however, comes (...)
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  10.  15
    Models Don’T Decompose That Way: A Holistic View of Idealized Models.Collin Rice - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Many accounts of scientific modelling assume that models can be decomposed into the contributions made by their accurate and inaccurate parts. These accounts then argue that the inaccurate parts of the model can be justified by distorting only what is irrelevant. In this paper, I argue that this decompositional strategy requires three assumptions that are not typically met by our best scientific models. In response, I propose an alternative view in which idealized models are characterized as holistically distorted representations that (...)
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  11.  2
    Building General Knowledge of Mechanisms in Information Security.Jonathan M. Spring & Phyllis Illari - forthcoming - Philosophy and Technology:1-33.
    We show how more general knowledge can be built in information security, by the building of knowledge of mechanism clusters, some of which are multifield. By doing this, we address in a novel way the longstanding philosophical problem of how, if at all, we come to have knowledge that is in any way general, when we seem to be confined to particular experiences. We also address the issue of building knowledge of mechanisms by studying an area that is new to (...)
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  12.  19
    Philosophy of Psychiatry After Diagnostic Kinds.Kathryn Tabb - forthcoming - Synthese.
    A significant portion of the scholarship in analytic philosophy of psychiatry has been devoted to the problem of what kind of kind psychiatric disorders are. Efforts have included descriptive projects, which aim to identify what psychiatrists in fact refer to when they diagnose, and prescriptive ones, which argue over that to which diagnostic categories should refer. In other words, philosophers have occupied themselves with what I call “diagnostic kinds”. However, the pride of place traditionally given to diagnostic kinds in psychiatric (...)
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  13.  52
    Mechanistic Causation and Constraints: Perspectival Parts and Powers, Non-Perspectival Modal Patterns.Jason Winning - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Any successful account of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation must satisfy at least five key desiderata. In this paper, I lay out these five desiderata and explain why existing accounts of the metaphysics of mechanistic causation fail to satisfy them. I then present an alternative account which does satisfy the five desiderata. According to this alternative account, we must resort to a type of ontological entity that is new to metaphysics, but not to science: constraints. In this paper, I explain (...)
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  14.  16
    Why Be a Methodological Individualist?Julie Zahle & Harold Kincaid - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    In the recent methodological individualism-holism debate on explanation, there has been considerable focus on what reasons methodological holists may advance in support of their position. We believe it is useful to approach the other direction and ask what considerations methodological individualists may in fact offer in favor of their view about explanation. This is the background for the question we pursue in this paper: Why be a methodological individualist? We start out by introducing the methodological individualism-holism debate while distinguishing two (...)
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  15.  14
    Multiple Realization and Multiple “Ways” of Realization: A Progress Report.Kenneth Aizawa - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:3-9.
    One might have thought that if something has two or more distinct realizations, then that thing is multiply realized. Nevertheless, some philosophers have claimed that two or more distinct realizations do not amount to multiple realization, unless those distinct realizations amount to multiple “ways” of realizing the thing. Corey Maley, Gualtiero Piccinini, Thomas Polger, and Lawrence Shapiro are among these philosophers. Unfortunately, they do not explain why multiple realization requires multiple “ways” of realizing. More significantly, their efforts to articulate multiple (...)
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  16.  10
    Models Versus Theories as a Primary Carrier of Nursing Knowledge: A Philosophical Argument.Miriam Bender - 2018 - Nursing Philosophy 19 (1):e12198.
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  17.  14
    Stability, Breadth and Guidance.Thomas Blanchard, Nadya Vasilyeva & Tania Lombrozo - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (9):2263-2283.
    Much recent work on explanation in the interventionist tradition emphasizes the explanatory value of stable causal generalizations—i.e., causal generalizations that remain true in a wide range of background circumstances. We argue that two separate explanatory virtues are lumped together under the heading of `stability’. We call these two virtues breadth and guidance respectively. In our view, these two virtues are importantly distinct, but this fact is neglected or at least under-appreciated in the literature on stability. We argue that an adequate (...)
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  18.  10
    Molecular Pathways and the Contextual Explanation of Molecular Functions.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):24.
    Much of the recent philosophical debate on causation and causal explanation in the biological and biomedical sciences has focused on the notion of mechanism. Mechanisms, their nature and epistemic roles have been tackled by a range of so-called neo-mechanistic theories, and widely discussed. Without denying the merits of this approach, our paper aims to show how lately it has failed to give proper credit to processes, which are central to the field, especially of contemporary molecular biology. Processes can be summed (...)
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  19.  27
    The Central Executive System.Denis Buehler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):1969-1991.
    Executive functioning has been said to bear on a range of traditional philosophical topics, such as consciousness, thought, and action. Surprisingly, philosophers have not much engaged with the scientific literature on executive functioning. This lack of engagement may be due to several influential criticisms of that literature by Daniel Dennett, Alan Allport, and others. In this paper I argue that more recent research on executive functioning shows that these criticisms are no longer valid. The paper clears the way to a (...)
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  20.  59
    Explanation in Computational Neuroscience: Causal and Non-Causal.M. Chirimuuta - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):849-880.
    This article examines three candidate cases of non-causal explanation in computational neuroscience. I argue that there are instances of efficient coding explanation that are strongly analogous to examples of non-causal explanation in physics and biology, as presented by Batterman, Woodward, and Lange. By integrating Lange’s and Woodward’s accounts, I offer a new way to elucidate the distinction between causal and non-causal explanation, and to address concerns about the explanatory sufficiency of non-mechanistic models in neuroscience. I also use this framework to (...)
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  21.  18
    A New Defence of Doxasticism About Delusions: The Cognitive Phenomenological Defence.Peter Clutton - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (2):198-217.
    Clinicians and cognitive scientists typically conceive of delusions as doxastic—they view delusions as beliefs. But some philosophers have countered with anti-doxastic objections: delusions cannot be beliefs because they fail the necessary conditions of belief. A common response involves meeting these objections on their own terms by accepting necessary conditions on belief but trying to blunt their force. I take a different approach by invoking a cognitive-phenomenal view of belief and jettisoning the rational/behavioural conditions. On this view, the anti-doxastic claims can (...)
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  22.  3
    Newton on Islandworld: Ontic-Driven Explanations of Scientific Method.Adrian Currie & Kirsten Walsh - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (1):119-156.
    As philosophers, we are often in the business of explaining scientific method. That is, we ask why such-and-such investigation was carried out as it was, what worked and what didn't, and why. Here, we introduce a framework for understanding "ontic-driven" responses to these kinds of questions. Explanations of method are ontic-driven when they appeal to properties of the systems under investigation. We shall use our framework to develop a fruitful and plausible hypothesis: that several methodological differences between Isaac Newton's two (...)
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  23.  2
    Privileged Causal Cognition: A Mathematical Analysis.David Danks - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  24.  4
    The Mechanical Philosophy, Mechanisms, and Values.Lindley Darden - 2018 - Metascience 27 (1):55-58.
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  25.  39
    Mechanistic and Topological Explanations in Medicine: The Case of Medical Genetics and Network Medicine.Marie Darrason - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):147-173.
    Medical explanations have often been thought on the model of biological ones and are frequently defined as mechanistic explanations of a biological dysfunction. In this paper, I argue that topological explanations, which have been described in ecology or in cognitive sciences, can also be found in medicine and I discuss the relationships between mechanistic and topological explanations in medicine, through the example of network medicine and medical genetics. Network medicine is a recent discipline that relies on the analysis of various (...)
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  26.  14
    Computing Mechanisms Without Proper Functions.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):569-588.
    The aim of this paper is to begin developing a version of Gualtiero Piccinini’s mechanistic account of computation that does not need to appeal to any notion of proper functions. The motivation for doing so is a general concern about the role played by proper functions in Piccinini’s account, which will be evaluated in the first part of the paper. I will then propose a potential alternative approach, where computing mechanisms are understood in terms of Carl Craver’s perspectival account of (...)
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  27.  33
    Redefining Physicalism.Guy Dove - 2018 - Topoi 37 (3):513-522.
    Philosophers have traditionally treated physicalism as an empirically informed metaphysical thesis. This approach faces a well-known problem often referred to as Hempel’s dilemma: formulations of physicalism tend to be either false or indeterminate. The generally preferred strategy to address this problem involves an appeal to a hypothetical complete and ideal physical theory. After demonstrating that this strategy is not viable, I argue that we should redefine physicalism as an interdisciplinary research program seeking to explain the mental in terms of the (...)
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  28.  18
    The Case for Multiple Realization in Biology.Wei Fang - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):3.
    Polger and Shapiro argue that their official recipe, a criterion for judging when the phenomenon of multiple realization exists, renders MR less widespread than its proponents have assumed. I argue that, although Polger and Shapiro’s criterion is a useful contribution, they arrive at their conclusion too hastily. Contrary to Polger and Shapiro, I claim that the phenomenon of multiple realization in the biological world, judged by their criterion, is not as scarce as they suggest. To show this, an updated official (...)
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  29. Mechanisms Meet Structural Explanation.Laura Felline - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):99-114.
    This paper investigates the relationship between structural explanation and the New Mechanistic account of explanation. The aim of this paper is twofold: firstly, to argue that some phenomena in the domain of fundamental physics, although mechanically brute, are structurally explained; and secondly, by elaborating on the contrast between SE and mechanistic explanation to better clarify some features of SE. Finally, this paper will argue that, notwithstanding their apparently antithetical character, SE and ME can be reconciled within a unified account of (...)
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  30.  28
    Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity.Sara Green, Maria Şerban, Raphael Scholl, Nicholaos Jones, Ingo Brigandt & William Bechtel - 2018 - Synthese 195 (4):1751-1777.
    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research strategies? When and how can network and mechanistic approaches interact in productive ways? In this paper we address these questions by focusing on how biological networks are represented and analyzed in a diverse class of case studies. Our examples span from (...)
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  31.  74
    Mutual Manipulability and Causal Inbetweenness.Totte Harinen - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):35-54.
    Carl Craver’s mutual manipulability criterion aims to pick out all and only those components of a mechanism that are constitutively relevant with respect to a given phenomenon. In devising his criterion, Craver has made heavy use of the notion of an ideal intervention, which is a tool for illuminating causal concepts in causal models. The problem is that typical mechanistic models contain non-causal relations in addition to causal ones, which is why the standard concept of an ideal intervention is not (...)
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  32.  4
    Mechanisms in Practice: A Methodological Approach.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2018 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 24 (5):1177-1183.
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  33.  11
    Intervening Into Mechanisms: Prospects and Challenges.Lena Kästner & Lise Marie Andersen - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (11):e12546.
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  34.  19
    Epistemology of Causal Inference in Pharmacology.Jürgen Landes, Barbara Osimani & Roland Poellinger - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):3-49.
    Philosophical discussions on causal inference in medicine are stuck in dyadic camps, each defending one kind of evidence or method rather than another as best support for causal hypotheses. Whereas Evidence Based Medicine advocates the use of Randomised Controlled Trials and systematic reviews of RCTs as gold standard, philosophers of science emphasise the importance of mechanisms and their distinctive informational contribution to causal inference and assessment. Some have suggested the adoption of a pluralistic approach to causal inference, and an inductive (...)
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  35.  5
    Relating Traditional and Academic Ecological Knowledge: Mechanistic and Holistic Epistemologies Across Cultures.David Ludwig & Luana Poliseli - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):43.
    Current debates about the integration of traditional and academic ecological knowledge struggle with a dilemma of division and assimilation. On the one hand, the emphasis on differences between traditional and academic perspectives has been criticized as creating an artificial divide that brands TEK as “non-scientific” and contributes to its marginalization. On the other hand, there has been increased concern about inadequate assimilation of Indigenous and other traditional perspectives into scientific practices that disregards the holistic nature and values of TEK. The (...)
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  36.  16
    Structures, Dynamics and Mechanisms in Neuroscience: An Integrative Account.Holger Lyre - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5141-5158.
    Proponents of mechanistic explanations have recently proclaimed that all explanations in the neurosciences appeal to mechanisms. The purpose of the paper is to critically assess this statement and to develop an integrative account that connects a large range of both mechanistic and dynamical explanations. I develop and defend four theses about the relationship between dynamical and mechanistic explanations: that dynamical explanations are structurally grounded, that they are multiply realizable, possess realizing mechanisms and provide a powerful top-down heuristic. Four examples shall (...)
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  37.  17
    Toward Analog Neural Computation.Corey J. Maley - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):77-91.
    Computationalism about the brain is the view that the brain literally performs computations. For the view to be interesting, we need an account of computation. The most well-developed account of computation is Turing Machine computation, the account provided by theoretical computer science which provides the basis for contemporary digital computers. Some have thought that, given the seemingly-close analogy between the all-or-nothing nature of neural spikes in brains and the binary nature of digital logic, neural computation could be a species of (...)
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  38.  16
    Autopoiesis, Biological Autonomy and the Process View of Life.Anne Sophie Meincke - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):5.
    In recent years, an increasing number of theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology have been opposing reductionist research agendas by appealing to the concept of biological autonomy which draws on the older concept of autopoiesis. In my paper, I investigate some of the ontological implications of this approach. The emphasis on autonomy and autopoiesis, together with the associated idea of organisational closure, might evoke the impression that organisms are to be categorised ontologically as substances: ontologically independent, well-individuated, discrete particulars. However, (...)
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  39.  6
    Structural and Organisational Conditions for Being a Machine.Guglielmo Militello & Álvaro Moreno - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):35.
    Although the analogy between macroscopic machines and biological molecular devices plays an important role in the conceptual framework of both neo-mechanistic accounts and nanotechnology, it has recently been claimed that certain complex molecular devices cannot be considered machines since they are subject to physicochemical forces that are different from those of macroscopic machines. However, the structural and physicochemical conditions that allow both macroscopic machines and microscopic devices to work and perform new functions, through a combination of elemental functional parts, have (...)
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  40.  9
    From Computer Metaphor to Computational Modeling: The Evolution of Computationalism.Marcin Miłkowski - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):515-541.
    In this paper, I argue that computationalism is a progressive research tradition. Its metaphysical assumptions are that nervous systems are computational, and that information processing is necessary for cognition to occur. First, the primary reasons why information processing should explain cognition are reviewed. Then I argue that early formulations of these reasons are outdated. However, by relying on the mechanistic account of physical computation, they can be recast in a compelling way. Next, I contrast two computational models of working memory (...)
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  41. From Wide Cognition to Mechanisms: A Silent Revolution.Marcin Miłkowski, Robert Clowes, Zuzanna Rucińska, Aleksandra Przegalińska, Tadeusz Zawidzki, Joel Krueger, Adam Gies, Marek McGann, Łukasz Afeltowicz, Witold Wachowski, Fredrik Stjernberg, Victor Loughlin & Mateusz Hohol - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
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  42.  22
    Functional Individuation, Mechanistic Implementation: The Proper Way of Seeing the Mechanistic View of Concrete Computation.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3477-3497.
    I examine a major objection to the mechanistic view of concrete computation, stemming from an apparent tension between the abstract nature of computational explanation and the tenets of the mechanistic framework: while computational explanation is medium-independent, the mechanistic framework insists on the importance of providing some degree of structural detail about the systems target of the explanation. I show that a common reply to the objection, i.e. that mechanistic explanation of computational systems involves only weak structural constraints, is not enough (...)
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  43.  60
    Towards a Cognitive Neuroscience of Intentionality.Alex Morgan & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):119-139.
    We situate the debate on intentionality within the rise of cognitive neuroscience and argue that cognitive neuroscience can explain intentionality. We discuss the explanatory significance of ascribing intentionality to representations. At first, we focus on views that attempt to render such ascriptions naturalistic by construing them in a deflationary or merely pragmatic way. We then contrast these views with staunchly realist views that attempt to naturalize intentionality by developing theories of content for representations in terms of information and biological function. (...)
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  44.  39
    The Search of “Canonical” Explanations for the Cerebral Cortex.Alessio Plebe - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):40.
    This paper addresses a fundamental line of research in neuroscience: the identification of a putative neural processing core of the cerebral cortex, often claimed to be “canonical”. This “canonical” core would be shared by the entire cortex, and would explain why it is so powerful and diversified in tasks and functions, yet so uniform in architecture. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the search for canonical explanations over the past 40 years, discussing the theoretical frameworks informing this research. (...)
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  45.  9
    Disentangling Mechanisms From Causes: And the Effects on Science.John Protzko - 2018 - Foundations of Science 23 (1):37-50.
    Despite the miraculous progress of science—it’s practitioners continue to run into mistakes, either discrediting research unduly or making leaps of causal inference where none are warranted. In this we isolate two of the reasons for such behavior involving the misplaced understanding of the role of mechanisms and mechanistic knowledge in the establishment of cause-effect relationships. We differentiate causal knowledge into causes, effects, mechanisms, cause-effect relationships, and causal stories. Failing to understand the role of mechanisms in this picture, including their absence (...)
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  46.  6
    Abstraction in Ecology: Reductionism and Holism as Complementary Heuristics.Jani Raerinne - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):395-416.
    In addition to their core explanatory and predictive assumptions, scientific models include simplifying assumptions, which function as idealizations, approximations, and abstractions. There are methods to investigate whether simplifying assumptions bias the results of models, such as robustness analyses. However, the equally important issue – the focus of this paper – has received less attention, namely, what are the methodological and epistemic strengths and limitations associated with different simplifying assumptions. I concentrate on one type of simplifying assumption, the use of mega (...)
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  47.  60
    Making Mechanism Interesting.Alex Rosenberg - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):11-33.
    I note the multitude of ways in which, beginning with the classic paper by Machamer et al., the mechanists have qualify their methodological dicta, and limit the vulnerability of their claims by strategic vagueness regarding their application. I go on to generalize a version of the mechanist requirement on explanations due to Craver and Kaplan :601–627, 2011) in cognitive and systems neuroscience so that it applies broadly across the life sciences in accordance with the view elaborated by Craver and Darden (...)
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  48.  12
    The Brain as an Input–Output Model of the World.Oron Shagrir - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):53-75.
    An underlying assumption in computational approaches in cognitive and brain sciences is that the nervous system is an input–output model of the world: Its input–output functions mirror certain relations in the target domains. I argue that the input–output modelling assumption plays distinct methodological and explanatory roles. Methodologically, input–output modelling serves to discover the computed function from environmental cues. Explanatorily, input–output modelling serves to account for the appropriateness of the computed function to the explanandum information-processing task. I compare very briefly the (...)
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  49.  15
    Importance and Explanatory Relevance: The Case of Mathematical Explanations.Gabriel Târziu - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):393-412.
    A way to argue that something plays an explanatory role in science is by linking explanatory relevance with importance in the context of an explanation. The idea is deceptively simple: a part of an explanation is an explanatorily relevant part of that explanation if removing it affects the explanation either by destroying it or by diminishing its explanatory power, i.e. an important part is an explanatorily relevant part. This can be very useful in many ontological debates. My aim in this (...)
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    Emotions, Concepts and the Indeterminacy of Natural Kinds.Henry Taylor - unknown
    A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to (...)
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