Authors
Michael Baumgartner
Bergen University
Alexander Gebharter
Marche Polytechnic University
Abstract
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 (MM) neither undermines the mechanistic paradigm nor reduces constitution to causation. However, it turns out that this modified theoretical embedding of (MM) makes it impossible to produce empirical evidence for constitutive relations. The paper ends by suggesting an additional criterion, the fat-handedness criterion, which, when combined with (MM), generates indirect empirical evidence for constitutive relevance.
Keywords Constitution  Mechanism  Mutual Manipulability  Interventionism
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Reprint years 2015, 2016
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axv003
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.

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Citations of this work BETA

The New Mechanical Philosophy.Stuart Glennan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3).
An Abductive Theory of Constitution.Michael Baumgartner & Lorenzo Casini - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (2):214-233.
Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.

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