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Stavros Ioannidis
University of Athens
  1. No Laws and (Thin) Powers in, No (Governing) Laws Out.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-26.
    Non-Humean accounts of the metaphysics of nature posit either laws or powers in order to account for natural necessity and world-order. We argue that such monistic views face fundamental problems. On the one hand, neo-Aristotelians cannot give unproblematic power-based accounts of the functional laws among quantities offered by physical theories, as well as of the place of conservation laws and symmetries in a lawless ontology; in order to capture these characteristics, commitment to governing laws is indispensable. On the other hand, (...)
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  2. In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological mechanism, the mechanism of (...)
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  3. Mechanisms, Counterfactuals and Laws.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2018 - In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 144-156.
    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 of mechanisms and (...)
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  4. How Development Changes Evolution: Conceptual and Historical Issues in Evolutionary Developmental Biology.Stavros Ioannidis - 2008 - Biology and Philosophy 23 (4):567-578.
    Evolutionary developmental biology (Evo-Devo) is a new and rapidly developing field of biology which focuses on questions in the intersection of evolution and development and has been seen by many as a potential synthesis of these two fields. This synthesis is the topic of the books reviewed here. Integrating Evolution and Development (edited by Roger Sansom and Robert Brandon), is a collection of papers on conceptual issues in Evo-Devo, while From Embryology to Evo-Devo (edited by Manfred Laubichler and Jane Maienschein) (...)
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  5.  12
    Relations in the Metaphysics of Science.Elina Pechlivanidi, Stathis Psillos & Stavros Ioannidis - 2022 - Metaphysica 23 (2):145-175.
    In this paper we examine the status of relations in two prominent views in metaphysics of science, i.e. dispositionalism and structuralism, and argue that the current consensus about the metaphysics of relations, according to which relations are to be viewed as internal and as constituting no addition of being over and above their relata, needs to be re-examined. After discussing what we call internalism and externalism about relations, we show that dispositionalism and structuralism lead to opposite but equally controversial accounts (...)
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  6. Mechanisms, Then and Now: From Metaphysics to Practice.Stathis Psillos & Stavros Ioannidis - 2019 - In Brigitte Falkenburg & Gregor Schiemann (eds.), Mechanistic Explanations in Physics and Beyond. Cham: Springer Nature. pp. 11-31.
    For many old and new mechanists, Mechanism is both a metaphysical position and a thesis about scientific methodology. In this paper we discuss the relation between the metaphysics of mechanisms and the role of mechanical explanation in the practice of science, by presenting and comparing the key tenets of Old and New Mechanism. First, by focusing on the case of gravity, we show how the metaphysics of Old Mechanism constrained scientific explanation, and discuss Newton’s critique of Old Mechanism. Second, we (...)
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  7. Regulatory Evolution and Theoretical Arguments in Evolutionary Biology.Stavros Ioannidis - 2013 - Science & Education 22 (2):279-292.
    The cis-regulatory hypothesis is one of the most important claims of evolutionary developmental biology. In this paper I examine the theoretical argument for cis-regulatory evolution and its role within evolutionary theorizing. I show that, although the argument has some weaknesses, it acts as a useful example for the importance of current scientific debates for science education.
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  8. Mechanistic Causation: Difference-Making is Enough.Stathis Psillos & Stavros Ioannidis - 2019 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 3 (38):53-75.
    In this paper we defend the view that mechanisms are underpinned by networks of difference-making relations. First, we distinguish and criticise two different kinds of arguments in favour of an activity-based understanding of mechanism: Glennan’s metaphysics- first approach and Illari and Williamson’s science-first approach. Second, we present an alternative difference-making view of mechanism and illustrate it by looking at the history of the case of scurvy prevention. We use the case of scurvy to argue that evidence for a mechanism just (...)
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  9. Rani Lill Anjum & Stephen Mumford What Tends to Be: The Philosophy of Dispositional Modality. London & New York: Routledge, Hbk Pp. X+193. [REVIEW]Stathis Psillos & Stavros Ioannidis - 2019 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 201903.
    There seems to be widespread agreement that there are two modal values: necessity and possibility. X is necessary if it is not possible that not-X; and Y is possible if it is not necessary that not-Y. In their path-breaking book, Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford defend the radical idea that there is a third modal value, weaker than necessity and stronger than possibility. This third value is dubbed 'dispositional modality' (DM) or 'tendency' and is taken to be an irreducible (...)
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  10. Some Foundational Debates in Philosophy of Biology: Francisco J. Ayala and Robert Arp : Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Oxford: Blackwell, 2009, Xii+426pp, £21.99. [REVIEW]Stavros Ioannidis - 2010 - Metascience 20 (2):351-354.
    What are the main debates in philosophy of biology today? The present book (part of the series Contemporary Debates in Philosophy) attempts to identify and discuss some of the most important of these. The endeavour is, I think, successful; the collection is a valuable contribution to the literature of philosophy of biology. Before discussing some particular lines of thought in the book, some brief remarks on its structure and organization: the book consists of ten parts, each of which is centred (...)
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  11.  26
    Causal Necessitation and Dispositional Modality.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):289-298.
    Rani Lill Anjum and Stephen Mumford have recently defended a new kind of modality, which they call ‘dispositional modality’. The key reason to adopt dispositional modality, according to them, is that causes never necessitate their effects. Anjum and Mumford’s chief argument against causal necessitation makes use of what they call the ‘antecedent-strengthening test’ : C causally necessitates E iff C & φ causes E, for any possible φ. This test, they claim, fails in all cases of alleged causal necessitation. In (...)
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  12. The Philosophy of Stem Cells: Melinda Bonnie Fagan: Philosophy of Stem Cell Biology: Knowledge in Flesh and Blood. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013, Xx+274pp, £66.00 HB. [REVIEW]Stavros Ioannidis - 2015 - Metascience 24 (2):285-288.
    Melinda Fagan’s book on the philosophy of stem cell biology is a superb discussion of this exciting field of contemporary science, and the first book-length philosophical treatment of the subject. It contains a detailed and insightful examination of stem cell science, its structure, methods, and challenges.The book does not require any previous knowledge of stem cell biology—all the relevant scientific details and concepts, the central experimental procedures and results, as well as the historical development of the field, are presented in (...)
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  13. Book Notice of Rosenberg & Arp (Eds) Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology. [REVIEW]Stavros Ioannidis - 2011 - Metascience 21 (1):249-250.
  14.  32
    Levels of Reality in Science and Philosophy: Re-Examining the Multi-Level Structure of Reality.Meir Hemmo, Stavros Ioannidis, Orly Shenker & Gal Vishne (eds.) - 2022 - Springer.
    This book offers a unique perspective on one of the deepest questions about the world we live in: is reality multi-leveled, or can everything be reduced to some fundamental ‘flat’ level? This deep philosophical issue has widespread implications in philosophy, since it is fundamental to how we understand the world and the basic entities in it. Both the notion of ‘levels’ within science and their ontological implications are issues that are underexplored in the philosophical literature. The volume reconsiders the view (...)
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  15. Governing Laws and the Inference Problem.Stavros Ioannidis, Vassilis Livanios & Stathis Psillos - 2021 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 98 (3):395-411.
    How do non-Humean laws govern regularities in nature? According to the Inference Problem, non-Humean accounts of governing face a central problem: it is not clear how such laws do perform their governing function. Recently, Jonathan Schaffer has argued that the introduction of a law-to-regularity axiom is sufficient to solve the Inference Problem. The authors argue that Schaffer’s solution faces a devastating dilemma: either the required axiom cannot, on its own, differentiate the non-Humean account from a Humean account of laws or, (...)
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    Mechanisms in Science: Method or Metaphysics?Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2022 - New York, NY, USA: Cambridge University Press.
    In recent years what has come to be called the 'New Mechanism' has emerged as a framework for thinking about the philosophical assumptions underlying many areas of science, especially in sciences such as biology, neuroscience, and psychology. This book offers a fresh look at the role of mechanisms, by situating novel analyses of central philosophical issues related to mechanisms within a rich historical perspective of the concept of mechanism as well as detailed case studies of biological mechanisms. It develops a (...)
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