Minds and Machines 23 (3):309-337 (2013)

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Abstract
Inter-level mechanistic explanations in the sciences have long been a focus of philosophical interest, but attention has recently turned to the compositional character of these explanations which work by explaining higher level entities, whether processes, individuals or properties, using the lower level entities they take to compose them. However, we still have no theoretical account of the constitution or parthood relations between individuals deployed in such explanations, nor any accounts of multiple constitution. My primary focus in this paper is to outline a positive account of the constitution/part-whole relations between individuals posited in inter-level mechanistic explanations that takes constituents in the sciences to be ‘working parts’. Using this account, I then go on to illuminate the nature, and varieties, of multiple constitution that we find in the sciences and provide a starting theoretical framework for multiple constitution as well
Keywords Parthood  Constitution  Mechanism  Implementation  Realization  Neuroscience  Neuron  Craver  Mereology  Functionalism
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DOI 10.1007/s11023-013-9311-9
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References found in this work BETA

The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.

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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.
The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena.Marie I. Kaiser & Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (3).
Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.
Realization Relations in Metaphysics.Umut Baysan - 2015 - Minds and Machines (3):1-14.

View all 16 citations / Add more citations

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