Authors
Ken Aizawa
Rutgers University - Newark
Carl Gillett
Northern Illinois University
Abstract
In the New Mechanist literature, most attention has focused on the compositional explanation of processes/activities of wholes by processes/activities of their parts. These are sometimes called “constitutive mechanistic explanations.” In this paper, we defend moving beyond this focus to a Pluralism about compositional explanation by highlighting two additional species of such explanations. We illuminate both Analytic compositional explanations that explain a whole using a compositional relation to its parts, and also Standing compositional explanations that explain a property of a whole using a compositional relation to the properties of its parts. We also highlight how adopting a Pluralism about compositional explanations justifies a more Pluralist view of the ontological posits of such explanations and opens up a range of new research questions.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2019.101202
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