Role Functions, Mechanisms, and Hierarchy

@article{Craver2001RoleFM,
  title={Role Functions, Mechanisms, and Hierarchy},
  author={C. Craver},
  journal={Philosophy of Science},
  year={2001},
  volume={68},
  pages={53 - 74}
}
  • C. Craver
  • Published 2001
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy of Science
Many areas of science develop by discovering mechanisms and role functions. Cummins' (1975) analysis of role functions-according to which an item's role function is a capacity of that item that appears in an analytic explanation of the capacity of some containing system-captures one important sense of "function" in the biological sciences and elsewhere. Here I synthesize Cummins' account with recent work on mechanisms and causal/mechanical explanation. The synthesis produces an analysis of… Expand
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