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

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  1.  3
    Multiple Realization and Multiple “Ways” of Realization: A Progress Report.Kenneth Aizawa - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  2.  4
    On the Possibility of Crucial Experiments in Biology.Baetu Tudor - 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.  2
    On Pain Experience, Multidisciplinary Integration and the Level-Laden Conception of Science.Tudor M. Baetu - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    Multidisciplinary models aggregating ‘lower-level’ biological and ‘higher-level’ psychological and social determinants of a phenomenon raise a puzzle. How is the interaction between the physical, the psychological and the social conceptualized and explained? Using biopsychosocial models of pain as an illustration, I argue that these models are in fact level-neutral compilations of empirical findings about correlated and causally relevant factors, and as such they neither assume, nor entail a conceptual or ontological stratification into levels of description, explanation or reality. If inter-level (...)
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  4.  13
    Using Computational Models to Discover and Understand Mechanisms.William Bechtel - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
  5.  2
    Models Versus Theories as a Primary Carrier of Nursing Knowledge: A Philosophical Argument.Miriam Bender - forthcoming - Nursing Philosophy:e12198.
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  6.  7
    The Central Executive System.Denis Buehler - forthcoming - Synthese:1-23.
    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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  7.  14
    Contingency and the Order of Nature.Nancy Cartwright - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences.
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  8.  27
    Explanation in Computational Neuroscience: Causal and Non-Causal.M. Chirimuuta - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    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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  9.  8
    Why One Model is Never Enough: A Defense of Explanatory Holism.Hochstein Eric - forthcoming - Biology and Philosophy:1-21.
    Traditionally, a scientific model is thought to provide a good scientific explanation to the extent that it satisfies certain scientific goals that are thought to be constitutive of explanation. Problems arise when we realize that individual scientific models cannot simultaneously satisfy all the scientific goals typically associated with explanation. A given model’s ability to satisfy some goals must always come at the expense of satisfying others. This has resulted in philosophical disputes regarding which of these goals are in fact necessary (...)
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  10. 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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  11.  4
    Indeterminism in the Brain.Bryce Gessell - forthcoming - Biology and Philosophy:1-19.
    Does the brain behave indeterministically? I argue that accounting for ion channels, key functional units in the brain, requires indeterministic models. These models are probabilistic, so the brain does behave indeterministically in a weak sense. I explore the implications of this point for a stronger sense of indeterminism. Ultimately I argue that it is not possible, either empirically or through philosophical argument, to show that the brain is indeterministic in that stronger sense.
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  12.  3
    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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  13.  1
    Structures, Dynamics and Mechanisms in Neuroscience: An Integrative Account.Holger Lyre - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  14.  14
    Functional Individuation, Mechanistic Implementation: The Proper Way of Seeing the Mechanistic View of Concrete Computation.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    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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  15. Abstraction in Ecology: Reductionism and Holism as Complementary Heuristics.Jani Raerinne - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science:1-22.
    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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  16.  2
    The Brain as an Input–Output Model of the World.Oron Shagrir - forthcoming - Minds and Machines:1-23.
    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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  17.  22
    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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  18. 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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  19.  60
    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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  20.  42
    Making Mechanism Interesting.Alexander 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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  21.  8
    Explaining Engineered Computing Systems’ Behaviour: The Role of Abstraction and Idealization.Nicola Angius & Guglielmo Tamburrini - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (2):239-258.
    This paper addresses the methodological problem of analysing what it is to explain observed behaviours of engineered computing systems, focusing on the crucial role that abstraction and idealization play in explanations of both correct and incorrect BECS. First, it is argued that an understanding of explanatory requests about observed miscomputations crucially involves reference to the rich background afforded by hierarchies of functional specifications. Second, many explanations concerning incorrect BECS are found to abstract away from descriptions of physical components and processes (...)
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  22. Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1245–1272.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism, both of which are well-known accounts of the nature of scientific inference. In Sect. 2, I give a brief overview of Bayesianism and IBE. In Sect. 3, I argue that IBE in its most prominently defended forms is difficult to reconcile with Bayesianism because not all of the items that feature on popular lists of “explanatory virtues”—by means of which IBE ranks competing explanations—have confirmational import. (...)
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  23.  7
    Experimental Philosophy of Explanation Rising: The Case for a Plurality of Concepts of Explanation.Matteo Colombo - 2017 - Cognitive Science 41 (2):503-517.
    This paper brings together results from the philosophy and the psychology of explanation to argue that there are multiple concepts of explanation in human psychology. Specifically, it is shown that pluralism about explanation coheres with the multiplicity of models of explanation available in the philosophy of science, and it is supported by evidence from the psychology of explanatory judgment. Focusing on the case of a norm of explanatory power, the paper concludes by responding to the worry that if there is (...)
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  24.  95
    The Directionality of Distinctively Mathematical Explanations.Carl F. Craver & Mark Povich - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 63:31-38.
    In “What Makes a Scientific Explanation Distinctively Mathematical?” (2013b), Lange uses several compelling examples to argue that certain explanations for natural phenomena appeal primarily to mathematical, rather than natural, facts. In such explanations, the core explanatory facts are modally stronger than facts about causation, regularity, and other natural relations. We show that Lange's account of distinctively mathematical explanation is flawed in that it fails to account for the implicit directionality in each of his examples. This inadequacy is remediable in each (...)
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  25.  4
    The Form of Causation in Health, Disease and Intervention: Biopsychosocial Dispositionalism, Conserved Quantity Transfers and Dualist Mechanistic Chains.David W. Evans, Nicholas Lucas & Roger Kerry - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (3):353-363.
  26.  13
    Modulation : An Alternative to Instructions and Forces.Flament Fultot Martin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):887-916.
    It is widely believed that neural elements interact by communicating messages. Neurons, or groups of neurons, are supposed to send packages of data with informational content to other neurons or to the body. Thus, behavior is traditionally taken to consist in the execution of commands or instructions sent by the nervous system. As a consequence, neural elements and their organization are conceived as literally embodying and transmitting representations that other elements must in some way read and conform to. In opposition (...)
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  27.  23
    Uncovering Constitutive Relevance Relations in Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2645-2666.
    In this paper I argue that constitutive relevance relations in mechanisms behave like a special kind of causal relation in at least one important respect: Under suitable circumstances constitutive relevance relations produce the Markov factorization. Based on this observation one may wonder whether standard methods for causal discovery could be fruitfully applied to uncover constitutive relevance relations. This paper is intended as a first step into this new area of philosophical research. I investigate to what extent the PC algorithm, originally (...)
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  28.  2
    Mechanisms in Medicine.Donald Gillies - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):621-634.
    This paper begins by developing a causal theory of mechanisms in medicine, and illustrates the theory with the example of the mechanism of the disease anthrax as elucidated by Koch. The causal approach to mechanisms is then compared to the Machamer, Darden, Craver approach. At first sight the two approaches appear to be very different, but it is argued that the divergence is less than it initially seems. There are some differences, however, and it is argued that, where these differences (...)
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  29.  14
    The Multiple, Interacting Levels of Cognitive Systems Perspective on Group Cognition.Rob Goldstone & Georg Theiner - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (3):334-368.
    In approaching the question of whether groups of people can have cognitive capacities that are fundamentally different than the cognitive capacities of the individuals within the group, we lay out a Multiple, Interactive Levels of Cognitive Systems (MILCS) framework. The goal of MILCS is to explain the kinds of cognitive processes typically studied by cognitive scientists, such as perception, attention, memory, categorization, decision making, problem solving, and judgment. Rather than focusing on high-level constructs such as modules in an information processing (...)
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  30.  11
    In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological mechanism, the mechanism of (...)
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  31. Explanatory Asymmetries, Ground, and Ontological Dependence.Lina Jansson - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):17-44.
    The notions of ground and ontological dependence have made a prominent resurgence in much of contemporary metaphysics. However, objections have been raised. On the one hand, objections have been raised to the need for distinctively metaphysical notions of ground and ontological dependence. On the other, objections have been raised to the usefulness of adding ground and ontological dependence to the existing store of other metaphysical notions. Even the logical properties of ground and ontological dependence are under debate. In this article, (...)
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  32.  22
    The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3):745-779.
    ABSTRACT The central aim of this article is to specify the ontological nature of constitutive mechanistic phenomena. After identifying three criteria of adequacy that any plausible approach to constitutive mechanistic phenomena must satisfy, we present four different suggestions, found in the mechanistic literature, of what mechanistic phenomena might be. We argue that none of these suggestions meets the criteria of adequacy. According to our analysis, constitutive mechanistic phenomena are best understood as what we will call ‘object-involving occurrents’. Furthermore, on the (...)
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  33.  7
    Crosscutting Psycho-Neural Taxonomies: The Case of Episodic Memory.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):191-208.
    I will begin by proposing a taxonomy of taxonomic positions regarding the mind–brain: localism, globalism, revisionism, and contextualism, and will go on to focus on the last position. Although some versions of contextualism have been defended by various researchers, they largely limit themselves to a version of neural contextualism: different brain regions perform different functions in different neural contexts. I will defend what I call “environmental-etiological contextualism,” according to which the psychological functions carried out by various neural regions can only (...)
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  34.  8
    From Mutual Manipulation to Cognitive Extension: Challenges and Implications.Michael David Kirchhoff - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (5):863-878.
    This paper examines the application of the mutual manipulability criterion as a way to demarcate constituents of cognitive systems from resources having a mere causal influence on cognitive systems. In particular, it is argued that on at least one interpretation of the mutual manipulability criterion, the criterion is inadequate because the criterion is conceptualized as identifying synchronic dependence between higher and lower ‘levels’ in mechanisms. It is argued that there is a second articulation of the mutual manipulability criterion available, and (...)
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  35.  86
    A Regularist Approach to Mechanistic Type-Level Explanation.Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:00-00.
    Most defenders of the new mechanistic approach accept ontic constraints for successful scientific explanation (Illari 2013; Craver 2014). The minimal claim is that scientific explanations have objective truthmakers, namely mechanisms that exist in the physical world independently of any observer and that cause or constitute the phenomena-to- be-explained. How can this idea be applied to type-level explanations? Many authors at least implicitly assume that in order for mechanisms to be the truthmakers of type-level explanation they need to be regular (Andersen (...)
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  36.  26
    Making Sense of Interlevel Causation in Mechanisms From a Metaphysical Perspective.Beate Krickel - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):453-468.
    According to the new mechanistic approach, an acting entity is at a lower mechanistic level than another acting entity if and only if the former is a component in the mechanism for the latter. Craver and Bechtel :547–563, 2007. doi:10.1007/s10539-006-9028-8) argue that a consequence of this view is that there cannot be causal interactions between acting entities at different mechanistic levels. Their main reason seems to be what I will call the Metaphysical Argument: things at different levels of a mechanism (...)
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  37. Analytical Sociology and its ‘Syntax’ for Explanation.Francisco J. León-Medina - 2017 - Social Science Information 56 (4):502-525.
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  38.  12
    Pragmatism, Ontology, and Philosophy of the Social Sciences in Practice.Simon Lohse - 2017 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 47 (1):3-27.
    In this article, I will discuss two prominent views on the relevance and irrelevance of ontological investigations for the social sciences, namely, ontological foundationalism and anti-ontological pragmatism. I will argue that both views are unsatisfactory. The subsequent part of the article will introduce an alternative role for ontological projects in the philosophy of the social sciences that fares better in this respect by paying attention to the ontological assumptions of actual social scientific theories, models, and related explanatory practices. I will (...)
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  39.  60
    Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Biology: Cellular Networks.Dana Matthiessen - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (1):1-25.
    It is argued that once biological systems reach a certain level of complexity, mechanistic explanations provide an inadequate account of many relevant phenomena. In this article, I evaluate such claims with respect to a representative programme in systems biological research: the study of regulatory networks within single-celled organisms. I argue that these networks are amenable to mechanistic philosophy without need to appeal to some alternate form of explanation. In particular, I claim that we can understand the mathematical modelling techniques of (...)
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  40.  5
    Is It Possible to Experimentally Determine the Extension of Cognition?Michael Baumgartner & Wendy Wilutzky - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (8):1104-1125.
    Various analytical tools originally developed for theories of mechanistic explanation have recently been imported into the ongoing debate on the hypothesis of extended cognition. One such tool that appears particularly relevant to that debate is Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitution, most of all because it promises to settle the debate on experimental grounds. This paper investigates whether it is possible to deliver on that promise. We first find that, far from grounding an experimental evaluation of HEC, MM is conceptually (...)
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  41.  11
    A Mechanistic Perspective on Canonical Neural Computation.Paz Abel Wajnerman - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (3):209-230.
    Although it has been argued that mechanistic explanation is compatible with abstraction, there are still doubts about whether mechanism can account for the explanatory power of significant abstract models in computational neuroscience. Chirimuuta has recently claimed that models describing canonical neural computations must be evaluated using a non-mechanistic framework. I defend two claims regarding these models. First, I argue that their prevailing neurocognitive interpretation is mechanistic. Additionally, a criterion recently proposed by Levy and Bechtel to legitimize mechanistic abstract models, and (...)
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  42. Is Genetic Drift a Force?Charles H. Pence - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    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 both fail to demonstrate (...)
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  43.  20
    The Silent Hexagon: Explaining Comb Structures.Tim Räz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    The paper presents, and discusses, four candidate explanations of the structure, and construction, of the bees’ honeycomb. So far, philosophers have used one of these four explanations, based on the mathematical Honeycomb Conjecture, while the other three candidate explanations have been ignored. I use the four cases to resolve a dispute between Pincock and Baker about the Honeycomb Conjecture explanation. Finally, I find that the two explanations focusing on the construction mechanism are more promising than those focusing exclusively on the (...)
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  44.  91
    Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-Level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2291-2305.
    In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo- Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level (...)
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  45.  5
    The Journey From Discovery to Scientific Change: Scientific Communities, Shared Models, and Specialised Vocabulary.Sarah M. Roe - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (1):47-67.
    Scientific communities as social groupings and the role that such communities play in scientific change and the production of scientific knowledge is currently under debate. I examine theory change as a complex social interaction among individual scientists and the scientific community, and argue that individuals will be motivated to adopt a more radical or innovative attitude when confronted with striking similarities between model systems and a more robust understanding of specialised vocabulary. Two case studies from the biological sciences, Barbara McClintock (...)
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  46.  63
    Mechanism or Bust? Explanation in Psychology.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1037-1059.
    ABSTRACT Proponents of mechanistic explanation have recently suggested that all explanation in the cognitive sciences is mechanistic, even functional explanation. This last claim is surprising, for functional explanation has traditionally been conceived as autonomous from the structural details that mechanistic explanations emphasize. I argue that functional explanation remains autonomous from mechanistic explanation, but not for reasons commonly associated with the phenomenon of multiple realizability. 1Introduction 2Mechanistic Explanation: A Quick Primer 3Functional Explanation: An Example 4Autonomy as Lack of Constraint 5The Price (...)
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  47.  5
    Sketching Biological Phenomena and Mechanisms.Sheredos Benjamin & Bechtel William - 2017 - Topics in Cognitive Science 9 (4):970-985.
    In many fields of biology, both the phenomena to be explained and the mechanisms proposed to explain them are commonly presented in diagrams. Our interest is in how scientists construct such diagrams. Researchers begin with evidence, typically developed experimentally and presented in data graphs. To arrive at a robust diagram of the phenomenon or the mechanism, they must integrate a variety of data to construct a single, coherent representation. This process often begins as the researchers create a first sketch, and (...)
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  48.  20
    Unification, the Answer to Resemblance Questions.Erik Weber & Merel Lefevere - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3501-3521.
    In the current literature on scientific explanation unification became unfashionable in favour of causal approaches. We want to bring unification back into the picture. In this paper we demonstrate that resemblance questions do occur in scientific practice and that they cannot be properly answered without unification. Our examples show that resemblance questions about particular facts demand what we call causal network unification, while resemblance questions about regularities require what we call mechanism unification. We clarify how these types of unification relate (...)
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  49.  24
    From Interventions to Mechanistic Explanations.Tudor M. Baetu - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10).
    An important strategy in the discovery of biological mechanisms involves the piecing together of experimental results from interventions. However, if mechanisms are investigated by means of ideal interventions, as defined by James Woodward and others, then the kind of information revealed is insufficient to discriminate between modular and non-modular causal contributions. Ideal interventions suffice for constructing webs of causal dependencies that can be used to make some predictions about experimental outcomes, but tell us little about how causally relevant factors are (...)
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  50.  86
    Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
    The first part of this paper argues that if Craver’s ([2007a], [2007b]) popular mutual manipulability account (MM) of mechanistic constitution is embedded within Woodward’s ([2003]) interventionist theory of causation--for which it is explicitly designed--it either undermines the mechanistic research paradigm by entailing that there do not exist relationships of constitutive relevance or it gives rise to the unwanted consequence that constitution is a form of causation. The second part shows how Woodward’s theory can be adapted in such a way that (...)
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