The following describes one distinct sense of ‘mechanism’ which is prevalent in biology and biomedicine and which has important epistemic benefits. According to this sense, mechanisms are defined by the functions they facilitate. This construal has two important implications. Firstly, mechanisms that facilitate functions are capable of breaking. Secondly, on this construal, there are rigid constraints on the sorts of phenomena ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. In this sense, there are no ‘mechanisms for’ pathology, and natural selection is not a ‘mechanism of’ evolution, because it does not serve a function
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Understanding Pathology in the Context of Physiological Mechanisms: The Practicality of a Broken-Normal View.Sara Moghaddam-Taaheri - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (4):603-611.
Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection.Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.
Mechanistic Models of Population-Level Phenomena.John Matthewson & Brett Calcott - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (5):737-756.
Role Functions, Mechanisms, and Hierarchy.Carl F. Craver - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):53-74.
Towards a Pluralistic Concept of Function Function Statements in Biology.Rob Pranger - 1990 - Acta Biotheoretica 38 (1):63-71.
Adaptive Speciation: The Role of Natural Selection in Mechanisms of Geographic and Non-Geographic Speciation.Jason M. Byron - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):303-326.
Adaptive Speciation: The Role of Natural Selection in Mechanisms of Geographic and Non-Geographic Speciation.Jason M. Baker - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):303-326.
The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.
Functions, Warrant, History.Peter J. Graham - 2014 - In Abrol Fairweather & Owen Flanagan (eds.), Naturalizing Epistemic Virtue. Cambridge University Press. pp. 15-35.
Added to index2012-11-09
Total downloads41 ( #126,294 of 2,169,100 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #82,344 of 2,169,100 )
How can I increase my downloads?