When mechanistic models explain

Synthese 153 (3):355-376 (2006)
Authors
Carl F. Craver
Washington University in St. Louis
Abstract
Not all models are explanatory. Some models are data summaries. Some models sketch explanations but leave crucial details unspecified or hidden behind filler terms. Some models are used to conjecture a how-possibly explanation without regard to whether it is a how-actually explanation. I use the Hodgkin and Huxley model of the action potential to illustrate these ways that models can be useful without explaining. I then use the subsequent development of the explanation of the action potential to show what is required of an adequate mechanistic model. Mechanistic models are explanatory
Keywords CHANNELS
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-006-9097-x
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References found in this work BETA

The Sciences of the Artificial.Herbert A. Simon - 1969 - [Cambridge, M.I.T. Press.
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
What is a Mechanism? Thinking About Mechanisms Across the Sciences.Phyllis Illari & Jon Williamson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (1):119-135.

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