Results for 'MECHANISMS'

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  1.  20
    The Components and Boundaries of Mechanisms.Marie I. Kaiser - 2017 - In S. Glennan & P. Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Mechanisms are said to consist of two kinds of components, entities and activities. In the first half of this chapter, I examine what entities and activities are, how they relate to well-known ontological categories, such as processes or dispositions, and how entities and activities relate to each other (e.g., can one be reduced to the other or are they mutually dependent?). The second part of this chapter analyzes different criteria for individuating the components of mechanisms and discusses how (...)
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  2.  13
    Mechanisms, Counterfactuals and Laws.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - forthcoming - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge.
    In this chapter we examine the relation between mechanisms and laws/counterfactuals by revisiting the main notions of mechanism found in the literature. We distinguish between two different conceptions of ‘mechanism’: mechanisms-of underlie or constitute a causal process; mechanisms-for are complex systems that function so as to produce a certain behavior. According to some mechanists, a mechanism fulfills both of these roles simultaneously. The main argument of the chapter is that there is an asymmetrical dependence between both kinds (...)
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  3.  39
    What Would Hume Say? Regularities, Laws, and Mechanisms.Holly Andersen - forthcoming - In Phyllis Ilari & Stuart Glennan (eds.), Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanistic Philosophy.
    This chapter examines the relationship between laws and mechanisms as approaches to characterising generalizations and explanations in science. I give an overview of recent historical discussions where laws failed to satisfy stringent logical criteria, opening the way for mechanisms to be investigated as a way to explain regularities in nature. This followed by a critical discussion of contemporary debates about the role of laws versus mechanisms in describing versus explaining regularities. I conclude by offering new arguments for (...)
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  4.  44
    A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?Alexander Gebharter - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (1):138-153.
    In this article I tackle the question of how the hierarchical order of mechanisms can be represented within a causal graph framework. I illustrate an answer to this question proposed by Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson and provide an example that their formalism does not support two important features of nested mechanisms: (i) a mechanism’s submechanisms are typically causally interacting with other parts of said mechanism, and (ii) intervening in some of a mechanism’s parts should have some influence (...)
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  5. Thinking Dynamically About Biological Mechanisms: Networks of Coupled Oscillators. [REVIEW]William Bechtel & Adele A. Abrahamsen - 2013 - Foundations of Science 18 (4):707-723.
    Explaining the complex dynamics exhibited in many biological mechanisms requires extending the recent philosophical treatment of mechanisms that emphasizes sequences of operations. To understand how nonsequentially organized mechanisms will behave, scientists often advance what we call dynamic mechanistic explanations. These begin with a decomposition of the mechanism into component parts and operations, using a variety of laboratory-based strategies. Crucially, the mechanism is then recomposed by means of computational models in which variables or terms in differential equations correspond (...)
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  6. Mechanisms: What Are They Evidence for in Evidence-Based Medicine.Holly Andersen - 2012 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):992-999.
    Even though the evidence‐based medicine movement (EBM) labels mechanisms a low quality form of evidence, consideration of the mechanisms on which medicine relies, and the distinct roles that mechanisms might play in clinical practice, offers a number of insights into EBM itself. In this paper, I examine the connections between EBM and mechanisms from several angles. I diagnose what went wrong in two examples where mechanistic reasoning failed to generate accurate predictions for how a dysfunctional mechanism (...)
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  7. Mechanisms and Constitutive Relevance.Mark B. Couch - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):375-388.
    This paper will examine the nature of mechanisms and the distinction between the relevant and irrelevant parts involved in a mechanism’s operation. I first consider Craver’s account of this distinction in his book on the nature of mechanisms, and explain some problems. I then offer a novel account of the distinction that appeals to some resources from Mackie’s theory of causation. I end by explaining how this account enables us to better understand what mechanisms are and their (...)
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  8. Mechanisms of Auditory Verbal Hallucination in Schizophrenia.Wayne Wu & Raymond Cho - 2013 - Frontiers in Schizophrenia 4.
    Recent work on the mechanisms underlying auditory verbal hallucination (AVH) has been heavily informed by self-monitoring accounts that postulate defects in an internal monitoring mechanism as the basis of AVH. A more neglected alternative is an account focusing on defects in auditory processing, namely a spontaneous activation account of auditory activity underlying AVH. Science is often aided by putting theories in competition. Accordingly, a discussion that systematically contrasts the two models of AVH can generate sharper questions that will lead (...)
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  9. A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part I.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):274-283.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning distinct senses. The ‘new (...)
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  10.  21
    Another Problem with RBN Models of Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter - 2016 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 31 (2):177-188.
    Casini, Illari, Russo, and Williamson (2011) suggest to model mechanisms by means of recursive Bayesian networks (RBNs) and Clarke, Leuridan, and Williamson (2014) extend their modelling approach to mechanisms featuring causal feedback. One of the main selling points of the RBN approach should be that it provides answers to questions concerning manipulation and control. In this paper I demonstrate that the method to compute the effects of interventions the authors mentioned endorse leads to absurd results under the additional (...)
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  11. A Field Guide to Mechanisms: Part II.Holly Andersen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (4):284-293.
    In this field guide, I distinguish five separate senses with which the term ‘mechanism’ is used in contemporary philosophy of science. Many of these senses have overlapping areas of application but involve distinct philosophical claims and characterize the target mechanisms in relevantly different ways. This field guide will clarify the key features of each sense and introduce some main debates, distinguishing those that transpire within a given sense from those that are best understood as concerning two distinct senses. The (...)
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  12.  55
    Immunizing Strategies and Epistemic Defense Mechanisms.Maarten Boudry & Johan Braeckman - 2011 - Philosophia 39 (1):145-161.
    An immunizing strategy is an argument brought forward in support of a belief system, though independent from that belief system, which makes it more or less invulnerable to rational argumentation and/or empirical evidence. By contrast, an epistemic defense mechanism is defined as a structural feature of a belief system which has the same effect of deflecting arguments and evidence. We discuss the remarkable recurrence of certain patterns of immunizing strategies and defense mechanisms in pseudoscience and other belief systems. Five (...)
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  13.  27
    Understanding Mechanisms in the Health Sciences.Raffaella Campaner - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):5-17.
    This article focuses on the assessment of mechanistic relations with specific attention to medicine, where mechanistic models are widely employed. I first survey recent contributions in the philosophical literature on mechanistic causation, and then take issue with Federica Russo and Jon Williamson’s thesis that two types of evidence, probabilistic and mechanistic, are at stake in the health sciences. I argue instead that a distinction should be drawn between previously acquired knowledge of mechanisms and yet-to-be-discovered knowledge of mechanisms and (...)
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  14.  27
    A Modeling Approach for Mechanisms Featuring Causal Cycles.Alexander Gebharter & Gerhard Schurz - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):934-945.
    Mechanisms play an important role in many sciences when it comes to questions concerning explanation, prediction, and control. Answering such questions in a quantitative way requires a formal represention of mechanisms. Gebharter (2014) suggests to represent mechanisms by means of one or more causal arrows of an acyclic causal net. In this paper we show how this approach can be extended in such a way that it can also be fruitfully applied to mechanisms featuring causal feedback.
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  15.  56
    Modelling Mechanisms with Causal Cycles.Brendan Clarke, Bert Leuridan & Jon Williamson - 2013 - Synthese 191 (8):1-31.
    Mechanistic philosophy of science views a large part of scientific activity as engaged in modelling mechanisms. While science textbooks tend to offer qualitative models of mechanisms, there is increasing demand for models from which one can draw quantitative predictions and explanations. Casini et al. (Theoria 26(1):5–33, 2011) put forward the Recursive Bayesian Networks (RBN) formalism as well suited to this end. The RBN formalism is an extension of the standard Bayesian net formalism, an extension that allows for modelling (...)
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  16.  13
    Sustainable Supply Chains: Governance Mechanisms to Greening Suppliers. [REVIEW]Cristina Gimenez & Vicenta Sierra - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 116 (1):189-203.
    One of the key challenges for firms is to manage sustainability along the supply chain. To extend sustainability to suppliers, organizations have developed different governance mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to analyze the effectiveness of two different mechanisms (i.e., supplier assessment and collaboration with suppliers) to improve one dimension of sustainability: environmental performance. Structural Equation Modeling and cluster analysis were used to analyze the relationships between supplier assessment, collaboration with suppliers, and environmental performance. The results suggest (...)
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  17.  40
    EnviroGenomarkers: The Interplay Between Mechanisms and Difference Making in Establishing Causal Claims.Federica Russo & Jon Williamson - 2012 - Medicine Studies 3 (4):249-262.
    According to Russo and Williamson :157–170, 2007, Hist Philos Life Sci 33:389–396, 2011a, Philos Sci 1:47–69, 2011b), in order to establish a causal claim of the form, ‘C is a cause of E’, one typically needs evidence that there is an underlying mechanism between C and E as well as evidence that C makes a difference to E. This thesis has been used to argue that hierarchies of evidence, as championed by evidence-based movements, tend to give primacy to evidence of (...)
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  18.  74
    Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?".Alexander Gebharter - manuscript
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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  19. On the Incompatibility of Biological Dynamical Mechanisms and Causal Graphs.Marcel Weber - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (5):959-971.
    I examine to what extent accounts of mechanisms based on formal interventionist theories of causality can adequately represent biological mechanisms with complex dynamics. Using a differential equation model for a circadian clock mechanism as an example, I first show that there exists an iterative solution that can be interpreted as a structural causal model. Thus, in principle it is possible to integrate causal difference-making information with dynamical information. However, the differential equation model itself lacks the right modularity properties (...)
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  20.  25
    Causal Mechanisms of Evolution and the Capacity for Niche Construction.Ward B. Watt - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (5):757-766.
    Ernst Mayr proposed a distinction between “proximate”, mechanistic, and “ultimate”, evolutionary, causes of biological phenomena. This dichotomy has influenced the thinking of many biologists, but it is increasingly perceived as impeding modern studies of evolutionary processes, including study of “niche construction” in which organisms alter their environments in ways supportive of their evolutionary success. Some still find value for this dichotomy in its separation of answers to “how?” versus “why?”questions about evolution. But “why is A?” questions about evolution necessarily take (...)
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  21.  34
    Tropes as Mechanisms.Johannes Persson - 2005 - Foundations of Science 10 (4):371-393.
    This paper is an attempt to further our understanding of mechanisms conceived of as ontologically separable from laws. What opportunities are there for a mechanistic perspective to be independent of, or even more fundamental than, a law perspective? Advocates of the mechanistic view often play with the possibility of internal and external reliability, or with the paralleling possibilities of enforcing, counteracting, redirecting, etc., the mechanisms’ power to produce To further this discussion I adopt a trope ontology. It is (...)
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  22.  33
    The Perception-Action Model: Counting Computational Mechanisms.Thor Grünbaum - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Milner and Goodale’s Two Visual Systems Hypothesis (TVSH) is regarded as common ground in recent discussions of visual consciousness. A central part of TVSH is a functional model of vision and action (a functional perception-action model, PAM for short). In this paper, I provide a brief overview of these current discussions and argue that PAM is ambiguous between a strong and a weak version. I argue that, given a standard way of individuating computational mechanisms, the available evidence cannot be (...)
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  23.  30
    Anomie and the Marketing Function: The Role of Control Mechanisms.Jean Johnson, Mike Krush & Amit Saini - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):863-863.
    The authors use the theoretical notion of anomie to examine the impact of top management’s control mechanisms on the environment of the marketing function. Based on a literature review and in-depth field interviews with marketing managers in diverse industries, a conceptual model is proposed that incorporates the two managerial control mechanisms, viz. output and process control, and relates their distinctive influence to anomie in the marketing function. Three contingency variables, i.e., resource scarcity, power, and ethics codification, are proposed (...)
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  24. Specific Mechanisms Versus General Theories in the Classification of Disorders.David Trafimow - 2011 - Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 4 (1):16-17.
    Oulis pointed out that there is a great deal of interest in specific mechanisms relating to mental disorders and that these mechanisms should play a role in classification. Although specific mechanisms are important, more attention should be given to general theories. The following example from Salmon illustrates the difference.
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  25.  55
    Why There Isn’T Inter-Level Causation in Mechanisms.Felipe Romero - 2015 - Synthese 192 (11):3731-3755.
    The experimental interventions that provide evidence of causal relations are notably similar to those that provide evidence of constitutive relevance relations. In the first two sections, I show that this similarity creates a tension: there is an inconsistent triad between Woodward’s popular interventionist theory of causation, Craver’s mutual manipulability account of constitutive relevance in mechanisms, and a variety of arguments for the incoherence of inter-level causation. I argue for an interpretation of the views in which the tension is merely (...)
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  26.  10
    Causal Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Causation.Ruth Groff - 2016 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 46 (3).
    Lack of clarity about underlying philosophical commitments leads to lack of clarity at other levels of analysis. Here I show that the literature on so-called “causal mechanisms” is rife with conceptual problems, stemming from insufficient rigor with respect to the metaphysics of causation.
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  27.  2
    Making Sense of Interlevel Causation in Mechanisms From a Metaphysical Perspective.Beate Krickel - unknown
    According to the new mechanistic approach, an acting entity is at a lower mechanistic level than another acting entity if and only if the former is a component in the mechanism for the latter. Craver and Bechtel (2007) argue that a consequence of this view is that there cannot be causal interactions between acting entities at different mechanistic levels. Their main reason seems to be what I will call the Metaphysical Argument: things at different levels of a mechanism are related (...)
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  28.  12
    Inference to the Best Explanation and Mechanisms in Medicine.Stefan Dragulinescu - 2016 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 37 (3):211-232.
    This article considers the prospects of inference to the best explanation as a method of confirming causal claims vis-à-vis the medical evidence of mechanisms. I show that IBE is actually descriptive of how scientists reason when choosing among hypotheses, that it is amenable to the balance/weight distinction, a pivotal pair of concepts in the philosophy of evidence, and that it can do justice to interesting features of the interplay between mechanistic and population level assessments.
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  29.  21
    Ethics Control Mechanisms: A Comparative Observation of Hong Kong Companies. [REVIEW]Theodore T. Y. Chen - 2001 - Journal of Business Ethics 30 (4):391 - 400.
    Managers with different cultural backgrounds and under different circumstances have different views on what is acceptable ethical behaviour. This study attempts to determine whether major companies in Hong Kong share the same views as North American academics on what management ethical standards ought to be, and if so, whether any control mechanisms have been established to instill ethical behaviour within their organizations. Notable differences between the practice in these companies and those from a similar survey conducted in North America (...)
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  30.  1
    Causal Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Causation.Ruth Groff - 2016 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 47 (1).
    Lack of clarity about underlying philosophical commitments leads to lack of clarity at other levels of analysis. Here I show that the literature on so-called “causal mechanisms” is rife with conceptual problems, stemming from insufficient rigor with respect to the metaphysics of causation.
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  31.  14
    Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden. In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across the Life Sciences. [REVIEW]Justin Garson - 2015 - Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 5 (1):180-83.
    Carl F. Craver and Lindley Darden’s new book, In Search of Mechanisms: Discoveries across the Life Sciences, is a fantastic and lucid introduction to the “new mechanism” tradition in the philosophy of science. Over the last 2 decades, but particularly since the turn of the century, this has become an influential framework for thinking about core problems in the history and philosophy of science, with a strong emphasis on biology. There are at least four major aims. First, the new (...)
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  32.  20
    On Molecular Mechanisms and Contexts of Physical Explanation.Giovanni Boniolo - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (3):256-265.
    In this article, two issues regarding mechanisms are discussed. The first concerns the relationships between “mechanism description” and “mechanism explanation.” It is proposed that it is rather plausible to think of them as two distinct epistemic acts. The second deals with the different molecular biology explanatory contexts, and it is shown that some of them require physics and its laws.
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  33.  49
    Troubles with Mechanisms: Problems of the 'Mechanistic Turn' in Historical Sociology and Social History.Zenonas Norkus - 2007 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 1 (2):160-200.
    This paper discusses the prospect of the "new social history" guided by the recent work of Charles Tilly on the methodology of social and historical explanation. Tilly advocates explanation by mechanisms as the alternative to the covering law explanation. Tilly's proposals are considered to be the attempt to reshape the practices of social and historical explanation following the example set by the explanatory practices of molecular biology, neurobiology, and other recent "success stories" in the life sciences. Recent work in (...)
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  34.  31
    What Are Mechanisms in Social Science?Bert Leuridan - 2012 - Metascience 21 (2):395-398.
    What are mechanisms in social science? Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9610-9 Authors Bert Leuridan, Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ghent University, Blandijnberg 2, Room 2.03, 9000 Ghent, Belgium Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  35.  17
    A New Perspective on the Functioning of the Brain and the Mechanisms Behind Conscious Processes.Joachim Keppler - 2013 - Frontiers in Psychology, Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 4 (Article 242):1-6.
    An essential prerequisite for the development of a theory of consciousness is the clarification of the fundamental mechanisms underlying conscious processes. In this article I present an approach that sheds new light on these mechanisms. This approach builds on stochastic electrodynamics (SED), a promising theoretical framework that provides a deeper understanding of quantum systems and reveals the origin of quantum phenomena. I outline the most important concepts and findings of SED and interpret the neurophysiological body of evidence in (...)
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  36.  11
    The Construction of Causal Schemes: Learning Mechanisms at the Knowledge Level.Andrea A. diSessa - 2014 - Cognitive Science 38 (5):795-850.
    This work uses microgenetic study of classroom learning to illuminate (1) the role of pre-instructional student knowledge in the construction of normative scientific knowledge, and (2) the learning mechanisms that drive change. Three enactments of an instructional sequence designed to lead to a scientific understanding of thermal equilibration are used as data sources. Only data from a scaffolded student inquiry preceding introduction of a normative model were used. Hence, the study involves nearly autonomous student learning. In two classes, students (...)
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  37.  8
    Causal Networks or Causal Islands? The Representation of Mechanisms and the Transitivity of Causal Judgment.Samuel G. B. Johnson & Woo‐Kyoung Ahn - 2015 - Cognitive Science 39 (7):1468-1503.
    Knowledge of mechanisms is critical for causal reasoning. We contrasted two possible organizations of causal knowledge—an interconnected causal network, where events are causally connected without any boundaries delineating discrete mechanisms; or a set of disparate mechanisms—causal islands—such that events in different mechanisms are not thought to be related even when they belong to the same causal chain. To distinguish these possibilities, we tested whether people make transitive judgments about causal chains by inferring, given A causes B (...)
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  38.  4
    Causal Mechanisms in Political Science.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2015 - Metascience 24 (3):453-456.
    Philosophers of social science have emphasized mechanistic approaches to causal inquiry for some time now, showing why focusing on the mechanisms behind correlations is preferable to focusing on correlations alone (cf. Johnson 2006, Little 1991, Reiss 2007, 2009, Steel 2004, see also King, Keohane, and Verba 1994 for an example of purely correlational research). In Process Tracing: from Metaphor to Analytic Tool, political scientists Andrew Bennett and Jeffrey Checkel present a concrete method for finding evidence of causal mechanisms, (...)
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  39.  12
    Pavlovian Feed-Forward Mechanisms in the Control of Social Behavior.Michael Domjan, Brian Cusato & Ronald Villarreal - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (2):235-249.
    The conceptual and investigative tools for the analysis of social behavior can be expanded by integrating biological theory, control systems theory, and Pavlovian conditioning. Biological theory has focused on the costs and benefits of social behavior from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. In contrast, control systems theory is concerned with how machines achieve a particular goal or purpose. The accurate operation of a system often requires feed-forward mechanisms that adjust system performance in anticipation of future inputs. Pavlovian conditioning is ideally (...)
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  40.  4
    Visiting Mechanisms to Eradicate Torture: A Foucaultian Analysis. [REVIEW]Philipp Schmidinger - 2010 - Human Rights Review 11 (3):317-355.
    In this Article, I examine the Visiting Mechanisms under the Convention against Torture (CAT) and the Optional Protocol thereto (OPCAT), applying an analytic approach resting on Foucault’s Discipline and Punish. I argue that international Visiting Mechanisms essentially constitute disciplinary apparatuses as depicted by Foucault. However, because they fail to recognise this functional similarity, they do not effectively apply the methods of inducing panoptic power. Most notably the concept of ‘hierarchical observation’ is hardly utilised at all. The two introduced (...)
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  41. Philosophical Controversies in the Evaluation of Medical Treatments : With a Focus on the Evidential Roles of Randomization and Mechanisms in Evidence-Based Medicine.Alexander Mebius - 2015 - Dissertation, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
    This thesis examines philosophical controversies surrounding the evaluation of medical treatments, with a focus on the evidential roles of randomised trials and mechanisms in Evidence-Based Medicine. Current 'best practice' usually involves excluding non-randomised trial evidence from systematic reviews in cases where randomised trials are available for inclusion in the reviews. The first paper challenges this practice and evaluates whether adding of evidence from non-randomised trials might improve the quality and precision of some systematic reviews. The second paper compares the (...)
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  42. The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms.Margaret A. Boden - 2003 - Routledge.
    How is it possible to think new thoughts? What is creativity and can science explain it? And just how did Coleridge dream up the creatures of The Ancient Mariner? When The Creative Mind: Myths and Mechanisms was first published, Margaret A. Boden's bold and provocative exploration of creativity broke new ground. Boden uses examples such as jazz improvisation, chess, story writing, physics, and the music of Mozart, together with computing models from the field of artificial intelligence to uncover the (...)
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  43.  35
    Causal Nets, Interventionism, and Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter - 2017 - Cham: Springer.
    This monograph looks at causal nets from a philosophical point of view. The author shows that one can build a general philosophical theory of causation on the basis of the causal nets framework that can be fruitfully used to shed new light on philosophical issues. Coverage includes both a theoretical as well as application-oriented approach to the subject. The author first counters David Hume’s challenge about whether causation is something ontologically real. The idea behind this is that good metaphysical concepts (...)
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  44. Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
    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.
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  45. Models and Mechanisms in Psychological Explanation.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):313-338.
    Mechanistic explanation has an impressive track record of advancing our understanding of complex, hierarchically organized physical systems, particularly biological and neural systems. But not every complex system can be understood mechanistically. Psychological capacities are often understood by providing cognitive models of the systems that underlie them. I argue that these models, while superficially similar to mechanistic models, in fact have a substantially more complex relation to the real underlying system. They are typically constructed using a range of techniques for abstracting (...)
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  46.  12
    Neuroethology of Releasing Mechanisms: Prey-Catching in Toads.Jörg-Peter Ewert - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (3):337.
  47. Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation.Stuart S. Glennan - 1996 - Erkenntnis 44 (1):49--71.
    In this paper I offer an analysis of causation based upon a theory of mechanisms-complex systems whose internal parts interact to produce a system's external behavior. I argue that all but the fundamental laws of physics can be explained by reference to mechanisms. Mechanisms provide an epistemologically unproblematic way to explain the necessity which is often taken to distinguish laws from other generalizations. This account of necessity leads to a theory of causation according to which events are (...)
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  48.  32
    Physiological Mechanisms and Epidemiological Research.Robyn Bluhm - 2013 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 19 (3):422 - 426.
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  49.  6
    Characterizing Animal Development with Genetic Regulatory Mechanisms.Frédérique Théry - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (1):16-24.
  50. Mechanistic Explanation Without Mechanisms.John Matthewson & Brett Calcott - manuscript
    We provide an account of mechanistic representation and explanation that has several advantages over previous proposals. In our view, explaining mechanistically is not simply giving an explanation of a mechanism. Rather, an explanation is mechanistic because of particular relations that hold between a mechanical representation, or model, and the target of explanation. Under this interpretation, mechanistic explanation is possible even when the explanatory target is not a mechanism. We argue that taking this view is not only coherent and plausible, it (...)
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