Results for 'mechanism'

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  1. Mechanism, Purpose, and Explanatory Exclusion.Jaegwon Kim - 1989 - Philosophical Perspectives 3:77-108.
  2.  81
    Making Mechanism Interesting.Alex Rosenberg - 2018 - Synthese 195 (1):11-33.
    I note the multitude of ways in which, beginning with the classic paper by Machamer et al., the mechanists have qualify their methodological dicta, and limit the vulnerability of their claims by strategic vagueness regarding their application. I go on to generalize a version of the mechanist requirement on explanations due to Craver and Kaplan :601–627, 2011) in cognitive and systems neuroscience so that it applies broadly across the life sciences in accordance with the view elaborated by Craver and Darden (...)
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  3. The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):152-163.
    The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology (‘mechanicism’), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure (‘machine mechanism’), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon (‘causal mechanism’). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of ‘mechanism’ in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in (...)
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  4. Mechanism and Biological Explanation.William Bechtel - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (4):533-557.
  5. Mechanism and Explanation.Mario Bunge - 1997 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 27 (4):410-465.
    The aim of this article is to elucidate the notions of explanation and mechanism, in particular of the social kind. A mechanism is defined as what makes a concrete system tick, and it is argued that to propose an explanation proper is to exhibit a lawful mechanism. The so-called covering law model is shown to exhibit only the logical aspect of explanation: it just subsumes particulars under universals. A full or mechanismic explanation involves mechanismic law statements, not (...)
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  6. Mechanism, Vitalism and Organicism in Late Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Biology: The Importance of Historical Context.Garland E. Allen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):261-283.
    The term ‘mechanism’ has been used in two quite different ways in the history of biology. Operative, or explanatory mechanism refers to the step-by-step description or explanation of how components in a system interact to yield a particular outcome . Philosophical Mechanism, on the other hand, refers to a broad view of organisms as material entities, functioning in ways similar to machines — that is, carrying out a variety of activities based on known chemical and physical processes. (...)
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  7.  87
    A Mechanism for Cognitive Dynamics: Neuronal Communication Through Neuronal Coherence.Pascal Fries - 2005 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 9 (10):474-480.
  8.  56
    A Mechanism and its Metaphysics: An Evolutionary Account of the Social and Conceptual Development of Science. [REVIEW]David L. Hull - 1988 - Biology and Philosophy 3 (2):123-155.
    The claim that conceptual systems change is a platitude. That our conceptual systems are theory-laden is no less platitudinous. Given evolutionary theory, biologists are led to divide up the living world into genes, organisms, species, etc. in a particular way. No theory-neutral individuation of individuals or partitioning of these individuals into natural kinds is possible. Parallel observations should hold for philosophical theories about scientific theories. In this paper I summarize a theory of scientific change which I set out in considerable (...)
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  9. Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ dia- grams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic (...)
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  10. Mechanism, Truth, and Penrose's New Argument.Stewart Shapiro - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (1):19-42.
    Sections 3.16 and 3.23 of Roger Penrose's Shadows of the mind (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994) contain a subtle and intriguing new argument against mechanism, the thesis that the human mind can be accurately modeled by a Turing machine. The argument, based on the incompleteness theorem, is designed to meet standard objections to the original Lucas-Penrose formulations. The new argument, however, seems to invoke an unrestricted truth predicate (and an unrestricted knowability predicate). If so, its premises are inconsistent. The (...)
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  11. 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.
    After a decade of intense debate about mechanisms, there is still no consensus characterization. In this paper we argue for a characterization that applies widely to mechanisms across the sciences. We examine and defend our disagreements with the major current contenders for characterizations of mechanisms. Ultimately, we indicate that the major contenders can all sign up to our characterization.
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  12.  49
    Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
    Explanations in the life sciences frequently involve presenting a model of the mechanism taken to be responsible for a given phenomenon. Such explanations depart in numerous ways from nomological explanations commonly presented in philosophy of science. This paper focuses on three sorts of differences. First, scientists who develop mechanistic explanations are not limited to linguistic representations and logical inference; they frequently employ diagrams to characterize mechanisms and simulations to reason about them. Thus, the epistemic resources for presenting mechanistic explanations (...)
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  13.  23
    Mechanism, Mentalism and Metamathematics: An Essay on Finitism.Judson Webb - 1980 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  14. Mechanism and Explanation in Cognitive Neuroscience.Jeffrey S. Poland & Barbara Von Eckardt - 2004 - Philosophy of Science 71 (5):972-984.
    The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of the Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000) mechanism approach to gaining an understanding of explanation in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that although the mechanism approach can capture many aspects of explanation in cognitive neuroscience, it cannot capture everything. In particular, it cannot completely capture all aspects of the content and significance of mental representations or the evaluative features constitutive of psychopathology.
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  15. Mechanism and Responsibility.Daniel C. Dennett - 1973 - In Ted Honderich (ed.), Essays on Freedom of Action. Routledge and Kegan Paul. pp. 157--84.
     
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  16. Mechanism: A Rejoinder.John R. Lucas - 1970 - Philosophy 45 (April):149-51.
    PROFESSOR LEWIS 1 and Professor Coder 2 criticize my use of Gödel's theorem to refute Mechanism. 3 Their criticisms are valuable. In order to meet them I need to show more clearly both what the tactic of my argument is at one crucial point and the general aim of the whole manoeuvre.
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  17. The Elusive Higgs Mechanism.Chris Smeenk - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499.
    The Higgs mechanism is an essential but elusive component of the Standard Model of particle physics. Without it Yang‐Mills gauge theories would have been little more than a warm‐up exercise in the attempt to quantize gravity rather than serving as the basis for the Standard Model. This article focuses on two problems related to the Higgs mechanism clearly posed in Earman’s recent papers (Earman 2003, 2004a, 2004b): what is the gauge‐invariant content of the Higgs mechanism, and what (...)
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  18. 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 (...)
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  19.  6
    Mechanism and Materialism: British Natural Philosophy in the Age of Reason.P. M. Heimann - 1971 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 22 (3):297-306.
  20. One Mechanism, Many Models: A Distributed Theory of Mechanistic Explanation.Eric Hochstein - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1387-1407.
    There have been recent disagreements in the philosophy of neuroscience regarding which sorts of scientific models provide mechanistic explanations, and which do not. These disagreements often hinge on two commonly adopted, but conflicting, ways of understanding mechanistic explanations: what I call the “representation-as” account, and the “representation-of” account. In this paper, I argue that neither account does justice to neuroscientific practice. In their place, I offer a new alternative that can defuse some of these disagreements. I argue that individual models (...)
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  21.  31
    On Mechanism in Hegel's Social and Political Philosophy.Nathan Ross - 2008 - Routledge.
    The critique of mechanism in the political philosophy of Herder and German romanticism -- The political function of machine metaphors in Hegel's early writings -- Mechanism in religious practice -- The mechanization of labor and the birth of modern ethicality in Hegel's Jena political writings -- Mechanism and the problem of self-determination in Hegel's logic -- The modern state as absolute mechanism : Hegel's logical insight into the relation of civil society and the state.
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  22. What is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  23.  17
    Mechanism Hierarchy Realism and Function Perspectivalism.Joe Dewhurst & Alistair M. C. Isaac - unknown
    Mechanistic explanation involves the attribution of functions to both mechanisms and their component parts, and function attribution plays a central role in the individuation of mechanisms. Our aim in this paper is to investigate the impact of a perspectival view of function attribution for the broader mechanist project, and specifically for realism about mechanistic hierarchies. We argue that, contrary to the claims of function perspectivalists such as Craver, one cannot endorse both function perspectivalism and mechanistic hierarchy realism: if functions are (...)
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  24. Mechanism or Bust? Explanation in Psychology.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):1037-1059.
    ABSTRACT Proponents of mechanistic explanation have recently suggested that all explanation in the cognitive sciences is mechanistic, even functional explanation. This last claim is surprising, for functional explanation has traditionally been conceived as autonomous from the structural details that mechanistic explanations emphasize. I argue that functional explanation remains autonomous from mechanistic explanation, but not for reasons commonly associated with the phenomenon of multiple realizability. 1Introduction 2Mechanistic Explanation: A Quick Primer 3Functional Explanation: An Example 4Autonomy as Lack of Constraint 5The Price (...)
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  25. Explanation: Mechanism, Modularity, and Situated Cognition.William Bechtel - 2009 - In Murat Aydede & P. Robbins (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Situated Cognition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 155--170.
  26.  7
    Mind, Mechanism, and Adaptive Behavior.C. L. Hull - 1937 - Psychological Review 44 (1):1-32.
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  27.  29
    Mechanism and Materialism in Early Modern German Philosophy.Paola Rumore - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):917-939.
    ABSTRACTThe paper focuses on the gradual separation between materialism and mechanism in early modern German philosophy. In Germany the distinction between the two concepts, originally introduced by Leibniz, was definitively stated by Wolff who was the first to provide a definition of the new philosophical term Materialismus, and of the related philosophical sect. In the first part I describe the initial identification of mechanism and materialism in German philosophy between the last decades of the seventeenth century and 1720. (...)
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  28. Mechanism.Carl Craver & William Bechtel - 2006 - In J. Pfeifer & Sahotra Sarkar (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Psychology Press. pp. 469--478.
  29. Mechanism and Purpose: A Case for Natural Teleology.Denis Walsh - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):173-181.
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  30. A Mechanism for Spatial Perception on Human Skin.Francesca Fardo, Brianna Beck, Tony Cheng & Patrick Haggard - 2018 - Cognition 178:236-243.
    Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied (...)
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  31. The Conceivability of Mechanism.Norman Malcolm - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (January):45-72.
  32.  19
    Towards Mechanism 2.0: Expanding the Scope of Mechanistic Explanation.Arnon Levy & William Bechtel - unknown
    Accounts of mechanistic explanation, especially as applied to biology and sometimes going under the heading of “new mechanism,” provided an attractive alternative to nomological accounts that preceded them. These accounts were motivated by selected examples, drawn primarily from cell and molecular biology and neuroscience. However, the range of examples that scientists take to be mechanistic explanations is far broader. We focus on examples that differ from those traditionally recruited by Mechanists. Our contention is that attention to additional examples will (...)
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  33. Mechanism, Superaddition and the Proof of God's Existence in Locke's Essays.Michael Ayers - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (2):210-251.
  34.  23
    What Is a Mechanism? A Counterfactual Account.Jim Woodward - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S366-S377.
    This paper presents a counterfactual account of what a mechanism is. Mechanisms consist of parts, the behavior of which conforms to generalizations that are invariant under interventions, and which are modular in the sense that it is possible in principle to change the behavior of one part independently of the others. Each of these features can be captured by the truth of certain counterfactuals.
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  35. Embodied Cognition, Representationalism, and Mechanism: A Review and Analysis.Jonathan S. Spackman & Stephen C. Yanchar - 2014 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 44 (1):46-79.
    Embodied cognition has attracted significant attention within cognitive science and related fields in recent years. It is most noteworthy for its emphasis on the inextricable connection between mental functioning and embodied activity and thus for its departure from standard cognitive science's implicit commitment to the unembodied mind. This article offers a review of embodied cognition's recent empirical and theoretical contributions and suggests how this movement has moved beyond standard cognitive science. The article then clarifies important respects in which embodied cognition (...)
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  36. Three Kinds of New Mechanism.Arnon Levy - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.
    I distinguish three theses associated with the new mechanistic philosophy – concerning causation, explanation and scientific methodology. Advocates of each thesis are identified and relationships among them are outlined. I then look at some recent work on natural selection and mechanisms. There, attention to different kinds of New Mechanism significantly affects of what is at stake.
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  37.  86
    The Mechanism of Reference.Colin McGinn - 1981 - Synthese 49 (2):157--186.
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  38.  37
    Beyond Mechanism: Putting Life Back Into Biology.Brian G. Henning & Adam Scarfe - 2013 - Lexington Books.
    It has been said that new discoveries and developments in the human, social, and natural sciences hang “in the air” (Bowler, 1983; 2008) prior to their consummation. While neo-Darwinist biology has been powerfully served by its mechanistic metaphysic and a reductionist methodology in which living organisms are considered machines, many of the chapters in this volume place this paradigm into question. Pairing scientists and philosophers together, this volume explores what might be termed “the New Frontiers” of biology, namely contemporary areas (...)
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  39.  28
    Mechanism, Mentalism and Metamathematics: An Essay on Finitism.Stewart Shapiro - 1980 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 51 (2):472.
  40.  21
    Mechanism, Vitalism and Organicism in Late Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Biology: The Importance of Historical Context.Garland E. Allen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):261-283.
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  41. Incompleteness, Mechanism, and Optimism.Stewart Shapiro - 1998 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 4 (3):273-302.
  42.  17
    Mechanism or Bust? Explanation in Psychology.Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axv062.
  43. The Functional Sense of Mechanism.Justin Garson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (3):317-333.
    This article presents a distinct sense of ‘mechanism’, which I call the functional sense of mechanism. According to this sense, mechanisms serve functions, and this fact places substantive restrictions on the kinds of system activities ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. On this view, there are no mechanisms for pathology; pathologies result from disrupting mechanisms for functions. Second, on this sense, natural selection is probably not a mechanism for evolution because it does not serve a (...)
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  44.  58
    Ideas and Mechanism: Essays on Early Modern Philosophy.Margaret Dauler Wilson - 1999 - Princeton University Press.
    IDEAS. and. MECHANISM. Essays on Early Modern Philosophy MARGARET DAULER WILSON For more than three decades, Margaret Wilson's essays on early modern philosophy have influenced scholarly debate. Many are considered  ...
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  45.  79
    Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics.Hsiang-Ke Chao, Szu-Ting Chen & Roberta L. Millstein - 2013 - Springer.
    This volume addresses fundamental issues in the philosophy of science in the context of two most intriguing fields: biology and economics. Written by authorities and experts in the philosophy of biology and economics, Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics provides a structured study of the concepts of mechanism and causality in these disciplines and draws careful juxtapositions between philosophical apparatus and scientific practice. By exploring the issues that are most salient to the contemporary philosophies of biology and (...)
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  46. Mechanism Schemas and the Relationship Between Biological Theories.Tudor M. Baetu - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
  47.  16
    Mechanism Discovery and Design Explanation: Where Role Function Meets Biological Advantage Function.Dingmar van Eck & Julie Mennes - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):413-434.
    In the recent literature on explanation in biology, increasing attention is being paid to the connection between design explanation and mechanistic explanation, viz. the role of design principles and heuristics for mechanism discovery and mechanistic explanation. In this paper we extend the connection between design explanation and mechanism discovery by prizing apart two different types of design explanation and by elaborating novel heuristics that one specific type offers for mechanism discovery across species. We illustrate our claims in (...)
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  48. Causal Mechanism and Probability: A Normative Approach.Clark Glymour - unknown
    & Carnegie Mellon University Abstract The rationality of human causal judgments has been the focus of a great deal of recent research. We argue against two major trends in this research, and for a quite different way of thinking about causal mechanisms and probabilistic data. Our position rejects a false dichotomy between "mechanistic" and "probabilistic" analyses of causal inference -- a dichotomy that both overlooks the nature of the evidence that supports the induction of mechanisms and misses some important probabilistic (...)
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  49.  31
    Mechanism, Emergence, and Miscibility: The Autonomy of Evo-Devo.Denis M. Walsh - 2013 - In Philippe Huneman (ed.), Functions: Selection and Mechanisms. Springer. pp. 43--65.
  50. Mechanism and Biological Explanation.Francisco Varela & Humberto Maturana - 1972 - Philosophy of Science 39 (3):378-382.
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