The Metaphysics of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena


Authors
Beate Krickel
Technische Universität Berlin
Abstract
The central aim of this article is to specify the ontological nature of constitutive mechanistic phenomena. After identifying three criteria of adequacy that any plausible approach to constitutive mechanistic phenomena must satisfy, we present four different suggestions, found in the mechanistic literature, of what mechanistic phenomena might be. We argue that none of these suggestions meets the criteria of adequacy. According to our analysis, constitutive mechanistic phenomena are best understood as what we will call ‘object-involving occurrents’. Furthermore, on the basis of this notion, we will clarify what distinguishes constitutive mechanistic explanations from etiological ones. 1 Introduction 2 Criteria of Adequacy 2.1 Descriptive adequacy 2.2 Constitutive–etiological distinction 2.3 Constitution 3 The Ontological Nature of Constitutive Mechanistic Phenomena 3.1 Phenomena as input–output relations 3.2 Phenomena as end states 3.3 Phenomena as dispositions 3.4 Phenomena as behaviours 4 Phenomena as Object-Involving Occurrents 4.1 What object-involving occurrents are and why we need them 4.2 The object in the phenomenon 4.3 The adequacy of option 5 Conclusion.
Keywords Mechanisms  Mechanistic Explanation  Constitution  Phenomenon  Part-Whole Relation
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axv058
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.

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Citations of this work BETA

Saving the Mutual Manipulability Account of Constitutive Relevance.Beate Krickel - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:58-67.
Making Sense of Interlevel Causation in Mechanisms From a Metaphysical Perspective.Beate Krickel - 2017 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 48 (3):453-468.
A Regularist Approach to Mechanistic Type-Level Explanation.Beate Krickel - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science (4):00-00.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

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