Rethinking mechanistic explanation

Abstract
Philosophers of science typically associate the causal-mechanical view of scientific explanation with the work of Railton and Salmon. In this paper I shall argue that the defects of this view arise from an inadequate analysis of the concept of mechanism. I contrast Salmon's account of mechanisms in terms of the causal nexus with my own account of mechanisms, in which mechanisms are viewed as complex systems. After describing these two concepts of mechanism, I show how the complex-systems approach avoids certain objections to Salmon's account of causal-mechanical explanation. I conclude by discussing how mechanistic explanations can provide understanding by unification
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DOI 10.1086/341857
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References found in this work BETA
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explanatory Unification.Philip Kitcher - 1981 - Philosophy of Science 48 (4):507-531.

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Citations of this work BETA
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
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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