Explicating Top-­‐Down Causation Using Networks and Dynamics

Philosophy of Science 84 (2):253-274 (2017)
Abstract
In many fields in the life sciences investigators refer to downward or top-down causal effects. Craver and Bechtel defended the view that such cases should be understood in terms of a constitution relation between levels in a mechanism and causation as solely an intra-level relation. Craver and Bechtel, however, provided insufficient specification as to when entities constitute a higher-level mechanism. In this paper I appeal to graph-theoretic representations of networks that are now widely employed in systems biology and neuroscience to identify mechanisms with the modules that exhibit high clustering. As a result of the interconnections of nodes in these modules/mechanisms, they often exhibit complex dynamic behaviors that constrain how the individual components respond to external inputs, an important feature of cases viewed as involving top-down causation.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016, 2017
DOI 10.1086/690718
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,865
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

No Levels, No Problems: Downward Causation in Neuroscience.Markus Eronen - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1042-1052.
Mechanisms and Downward Causation.Max Kistler - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):595-609.
Against the Monolithic Way of Explicating Causation.Joonsung Kim - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 43:95-100.
How Causal is Downward Causation?Menno Hulswit - 2005 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):261 - 287.
Downward Causation in Fluid Convection.Robert C. Bishop - 2008 - Synthese 160 (2):229 - 248.
Mental Causation and the Causal Completeness of Physics.Wilson Mendonça - 2010 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 6 (1):121-132.
Zooming in on Downward Causation.William S. Robinson - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (1):117-136.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-06-23

Total downloads
43 ( #150,048 of 2,293,801 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #26,949 of 2,293,801 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature