Thinking about mechanisms

Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25 (2000)
Peter Machamer
University of Pittsburgh
Carl F. Craver
Washington University in St. Louis
Lindley Darden
University of Maryland, College Park
The concept of mechanism is analyzed in terms of entities and activities, organized such that they are productive of regular changes. Examples show how mechanisms work in neurobiology and molecular biology. Thinking in terms of mechanisms provides a new framework for addressing many traditional philosophical issues: causality, laws, explanation, reduction, and scientific change
Keywords Causation  Mechanism  Physics  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392759
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,932
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

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.
Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
Top-Down Causation Without Top-Down Causes.Carl F. Craver & William Bechtel - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):547-563.

View all 505 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total downloads
1,238 ( #957 of 2,272,772 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #10,886 of 2,272,772 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature