Constraints on Localization and Decomposition as Explanatory Strategies in the Biological Sciences

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):958-970 (2013)
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Abstract

Several articles have recently appeared arguing that there really are no viable alternatives to mechanistic explanation in the biological sciences (Kaplan and Bechtel; Kaplan and Craver). We argue that mechanistic explanation is defined by localization and decomposition. We argue further that systems neuroscience contains explanations that violate both localization and decomposition. We conclude that the mechanistic model of explanation needs to either stretch to now include explanations wherein localization or decomposition fail or acknowledge that there are counterexamples to mechanistic explanation in the biological sciences

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Citations of this work

Explanation in Computational Neuroscience: Causal and Non-causal.M. Chirimuuta - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3):849-880.
Getting over Atomism: Functional Decomposition in Complex Neural Systems.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):743-772.
Dynamical Models and Explanation in Neuroscience.Lauren N. Ross - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (1):32-54.

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