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Mechanistic Levels, Reduction, and Emergence

In Stuart Glennan & Phyllis McKay Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 185-97 (2017)

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  1. Mechanisms and Relations.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2018 - Erkenntnis 86 (1):95-111.
    Mechanisms are organized collections of objects and activities that underlie certain phenomena/behaviours. In this article, I shall argue that the organizations of mechanisms should be thought of as external relations, namely, as relations that do not entirely depend on their relata’s existence, nor on their natures, nor on their intrinsic properties. After having introduced in the first two sections mechanisms and the ontology of relations, I shall analyse the organizations of mechanisms along four different dimensions: spatial, temporal, causal and hierarchical. (...)
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  • The Causal Situationist Account of Constitutive Relevance.Emily Prychitko - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1829-1843.
    An epistemic account of constitutive relevance lists the criteria by which scientists can identify the components of mechanisms in empirical practice. Three prominent claims from Craver form a promising basis for an account. First, constitutive relevance is established by means of interlevel experiments. Second, interlevel experiments are executions of interventions. Third, there is no interlevel causation between a mechanism and its components. Currently, no account on offer respects all three claims. I offer my causal situationist account of constitutive relevance that (...)
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  • Model-Based Cognitive Neuroscience: Multifield Mechanistic Integration in Practice.Mark Povich - 2019 - Theory & Psychology 5 (29):640–656.
    Autonomist accounts of cognitive science suggest that cognitive model building and theory construction (can or should) proceed independently of findings in neuroscience. Common functionalist justifications of autonomy rely on there being relatively few constraints between neural structure and cognitive function (e.g., Weiskopf, 2011). In contrast, an integrative mechanistic perspective stresses the mutual constraining of structure and function (e.g., Piccinini & Craver, 2011; Povich, 2015). In this paper, I show how model-based cognitive neuroscience (MBCN) epitomizes the integrative mechanistic perspective and concentrates (...)
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