Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1116-1126 (2015)

Authors
Lucas J. Matthews
Columbia University
Abstract
A strong case has been made for the role and value of mechanistic explanation in neuroscience and molecular biology. A similar demonstration in other domains of scientific investigation, however, remains an important challenge of scope for the new mechanists. This article helps answer that challenge by demonstrating one valuable role mechanisms play in phylogenetics. Using the transition/transversion rate parameter as a case example, this article argues that models embedded with mechanisms produce stronger phylogenetic tree hypotheses, as measured by maximum likelihood logL values. Two important implications for the new mechanistic account of explanation are considered
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DOI 10.1086/683444
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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.
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.
II—Mechanistic Explanation: Its Scope and Limits.James Woodward - 2013 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 87 (1):39-65.
Three Kinds of New Mechanism.Arnon Levy - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.
Discovering Cell Mechanisms: The Creation of Modern Cell Biology.William Bechtel - 2007 - Journal of the History of Biology 40 (1):185-187.

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Citations of this work BETA

On Closing the Gap Between Philosophical Concepts and Their Usage in Scientific Practice: A Lesson From the Debate About Natural Selection as a Mechanism.Lucas J. Matthews - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 55:21-28.

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