Authors
Sune Holm
University of Copenhagen
Maria Serban
University of East Anglia
Abstract
One reason for the popularity of Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance is that it seems to make good sense of the experimental practices and constitutive reasoning in the life sciences. Two recent papers propose a theoretical alternative to in light of several important conceptual objections. Their alternative approach, the no de-coupling account, conceives of constitution as a dependence relation that once postulated provides the best explanation of the impossibility of breaking the common cause coupling of a macro-level mechanism and its micro-level components. This entails an abductive view of constitutive inference. Proponents of the NDC or abductive account recognize that their discussion leaves open a big question concerning the practical dimension of the notion of constitutive relevanssssce: Is it possible to faithfully reconstruct constitutional reasoning in science in terms of a failure to de-couple, via interlevel experiments, phenomena from their mechanistic constituents? Focusing on the field of memory and long-term potential research, this article argues that the abductive account provides a more adequate description of interlevel experiments in neuroscience. We also suggest that the account highlights some significant practical recommendations of how to interpret the findings of interlevel experiments. 1Introduction 2Mutual Manipulability and Constitutive Relevance 2.1Constitutive relevance through an interventionist lens 2.2Mutual manipulability: A methodological application 3Trouble for the Mutual Manipulability Account 4The Abductive Account of Constitution 5The Abductive Account: A Methodological Application 5.1Long-term potential and memory experiments 5.2A comparative summary 6Conclusions
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/axy043
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
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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