Intervals of quasi-decompositionality and mechanistic explanations

Quaderns de Filosofia 6 (1):15 (2019)

Authors
Abstract
It is commonly assumed that the concept of mechanism is a keytool for the scientific understanding of observable phenomena. However, there is no single definition of mechanism in the current philosophy of science. In fact, philosophers have developed several characterizations of what seemed to be a clear intuitive concept for scientists. In this paper, I will analyze these philosophical conceptions of mechanism, highlighting their problematic aspects and proposing a new mechanistic approach based on the idea that the pertinent levels of organization for a mechanistic explanation can be identified with intervals of quasi-decompositionality. I argue that this approach allows us to consider that activities are directly derived from the entities’ structure. Consequently, a mechanistic explanation implies an arbitrary but not capricious choice of an organizational level. According to this approach, inter-level causation is merely apparent and there is no place for emergent properties.
Keywords mechanisms  emergent properties  quasi-decompositionality  systems
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.7203/qfia.6.1.14822
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: 48,997
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

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

View all 23 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Intervals of Quasi-Decompositionality and Emergent Properties.Emilio Cáceres Vázquez & Cristian Saborido - 2017 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 32 (1):89-108.
Extended Mechanistic Explanations: Expanding the Current Mechanistic Conception to Include More Complex Biological Systems.Sarah M. Roe & Bert Baumgaertner - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (4):517-534.
The Completeness of Mechanistic Explanations.Tudor M. Baetu - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):775-786.
II—Mechanistic Explanation: Its Scope and Limits.James Woodward - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):39-65.
Systems Biology and Mechanistic Explanation.Ingo Brigandt, Sara Green & Maureen O'Malley - 2018 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. New York: Routledge. pp. 362–374.
Mechanistic Explanation in Engineering Science.Dingmar van Eck - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):349-375.
The Role of Unification in Micro-Explanations of Physical Laws.Erik Weber & Merel Lefevere - 2014 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 29 (1):41-56.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-06-21

Total views
8 ( #893,536 of 2,310,653 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #518,176 of 2,310,653 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature