Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563 (2007)
We argue that intelligible appeals to interlevel causes (top-down and bottom-up) can be understood, without remainder, as appeals to mechanistically mediated effects. Mechanistically mediated effects are hybrids of causal and constitutive relations, where the causal relations are exclusively intralevel. The idea of causation would have to stretch to the breaking point to accommodate interlevel causes. The notion of a mechanistically mediated effect is preferable because it can do all of the required work without appealing to mysterious interlevel causes. When interlevel causes can be translated into mechanistically mediated effects, the posited relationship is intelligible and should raise no special philosophical objections. When they cannot, they are suspect.
|Keywords||Philosophy Evolutionary Biology Philosophy of Biology|
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References found in this work BETA
Making Things Happen: A Theory of Causal Explanation.James Woodward - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
Scientific Explanation and the Causal Structure of the World.Wesley Salmon - 1984 - Princeton University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA
In Search of Mitochondrial Mechanisms: Interfield Excursions Between Cell Biology and Biochemistry.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2007 - Journal of the History of Biology 40 (1):1-33.
Topological Explanations and Robustness in Biological Sciences.Philippe Huneman - 2010 - Synthese 177 (2):213-245.
After the Philosophy of Mind: Replacing Scholasticism with Science.Anthony Chemero & Michael Silberstein - 2008 - Philosophy of Science 75 (1):1-27.
Mechanisms, Causes, and the Layered Model of the World.Stuart Glennan - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):362-381.
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