The Components and Boundaries of Mechanisms

In S. Glennan & P. Illari (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy. New York, USA: Routledge (2017)
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Mechanisms are said to consist of two kinds of components, entities and activities. In the first half of this chapter, I examine what entities and activities are, how they relate to well-known ontological categories, such as processes or dispositions, and how entities and activities relate to each other (e.g., can one be reduced to the other or are they mutually dependent?). The second part of this chapter analyzes different criteria for individuating the components of mechanisms and discusses how real the boundaries of mechanisms are.

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Marie I. Kaiser
Bielefeld University


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