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Explanation: a mechanist alternative.
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 nomologicalExpand
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Mental Mechanisms: Philosophical Perspectives on Cognitive Neuroscience
Contents: Naturalism and Mechanism: Outlines of a New Philosophy of Science. From Mental Phenomena to Operations: Delineating and Decomposing Memory. From Working Parts to Operations: Decomposing andExpand
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Top-down Causation Without Top-down Causes
We argue that intelligible appeals to interlevel causes (top-down and bottom-up) can be understood, without remainder, as appeals to mechanistically mediated effects. Mechanistically mediated effectsExpand
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Representations and Cognitive Explanations: Assessing the Dynamicist's Challenge in Cognitive Science
We focus on two issues raised by DST: the role for representations in mental models and the conception of explanation invoked. Expand
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Discovering Complexity: Decomposition and Localization as Strategies in Scientific Research
In Discovering Complexity, William Bechtel and Robert Richardson examine two heuristics that guided the development of mechanistic models in the life sciences: decomposition and localization, and show how different choices result in divergent explanatory models. Expand
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Connectionism and the Mind
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Discovering Cell Mechanisms: The Creation of Modern Cell Biology
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Mechanism and Biological Explanation*
  • W. Bechtel
  • Computer Science
  • Philosophy of Science
  • 1 October 2011
This article argues that the basic account of mechanism and mechanistic explanation, involving sequential execution of qualitatively characterized operations, is itself insufficient to explain biological phenomena such as the capacity of living organisms to maintain themselves as systems distinct from their environment. Expand
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What is psychological explanation
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Abstraction and the Organization of Mechanisms
We discuss the connection between organization, abstraction, and mechanistic explanation and illustrate our claims by looking at an example from recent research on so-called network motifs. Expand
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