Synthesizing activities and interactions in the concept of a mechanism

Philosophy of Science 71 (1):1-15 (2003)
Authors
James Tabery
University of Utah
Abstract
Stuart Glennan, and the team of Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl Craver have recently provided two accounts of the concept of a mechanism. The main difference between these two versions rests on how the behavior of the parts of the mechanism is conceptualized. Glennan considers mechanisms to be an interaction of parts, where the interaction between parts can be characterized by direct, invariant, change-relating generalizations. Machamer, Darden, and Craver criticize traditional conceptualizations of mechanisms which are based solely on parts interacting and introduce a new conceptactivity. This essay is an attempt at carving out a relationship between these two philosophical interpretations of a mechanism. I will claim that, rather than being in conflict, Glennan's concept of interaction and Machamer, Darden, and Craver's notion of activity actually complement one another, each emphasizing a missing element of the other.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1086/381409
Options
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: 33,142
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.
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.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
Beyond Reduction: Mechanisms, Multifield Integration and the Unity of Neuroscience.Carl F. Craver - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 36 (2):373-395.

View all 47 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Concepts of Mechanism: Componential Causal System and Abstract Form of Interaction.Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):143 – 160.
A Glimpse of The.Stathis Psillos - 2004 - Perspectives on Science 12 (3).
The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.
Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection.Robert Skipper & Roberta Millstein - 2004 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
106 ( #55,412 of 2,242,038 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #413,407 of 2,242,038 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature