Authors
Beate Krickel
Technische Universität Berlin
Abstract
According to the new mechanistic approach, an acting entity is at a lower mechanistic level than another acting entity if and only if the former is a component in the mechanism for the latter. Craver and Bechtel :547–563, 2007. doi:10.1007/s10539-006-9028-8) argue that a consequence of this view is that there cannot be causal interactions between acting entities at different mechanistic levels. Their main reason seems to be what I will call the Metaphysical Argument: things at different levels of a mechanism are related as part and whole; wholes and their parts cannot be related as cause and effect; hence, interlevel causation in mechanisms is impossible. I will analyze this argument in more detail and show under which conditions it is valid. This analysis will reveal that interlevel causation in mechanisms is indeed possible, if we take seriously the idea that the relata of the mechanistic level relation are acting entities and accept a slightly modified notion of a mechanistic level that is highly plausible in the light of the first clarification.
Keywords Interlevel causation  mechanisms  mechanistic explanation  levels of science
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DOI 10.1007/s10838-017-9373-0
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.

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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.
The Extended Mind: State of the Question.Shaun Gallagher - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (4):421-447.
Replies to Barrett, Corris and Chemero, and Hutto.Shaun Gallagher - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (3):839-851.
Mechanistic Explanation for Enactive Sociality.Ekaterina Abramova & Marc Slors - 2019 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 18 (2):401-424.
Dynamical Causes.Russell Meyer - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):1-21.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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