Synthese 183 (3):375-388 (2011)

Authors
Mark Couch
Seton Hall University
Abstract
This paper will examine the nature of mechanisms and the distinction between the relevant and irrelevant parts involved in a mechanism’s operation. I first consider Craver’s account of this distinction in his book on the nature of mechanisms, and explain some problems. I then offer a novel account of the distinction that appeals to some resources from Mackie’s theory of causation. I end by explaining how this account enables us to better understand what mechanisms are and their various features.
Keywords Mechanisms  Constitutive relevance  Capacities  Craver
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-011-9882-z
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Constitutive Relevance, Mutual Manipulability, and Fat-Handedness.Michael Baumgartner & Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):731-756.
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.
Levels of Organization: A Deflationary Account.Markus Eronen - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (1):39-58.

View all 30 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Three Problems for the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance in Mechanisms.Bert Leuridan - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (2):399-427.
Constitutive Explanatory Relevance.Carl Craver - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:3-20.
Nature and Main Kinds of Psychopathological Mechanisms.Panagiotis Oulis - 2010 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 3 (2):27-34.
Mechanisms, Laws, and Regularities.Holly Andersen - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):325-331.
Difference Mechanisms: Explaining Variation with Mechanisms.James Tabery - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (5):645-664.
Social Boundary Mechanisms.Charles Tilly - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (2):211-236.
Natural Selection as a Mechanism.D. Benjamin Barros - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (3):306-322.
Social Mechanisms and Causal Inference.Daniel Steel - 2004 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 34 (1):55-78.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2011-10-20

Total views
620 ( #10,684 of 2,446,658 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #31,362 of 2,446,658 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes