Mechanistic artefact explanation

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Abstract
One thing about technical artefacts that needs to be explained is how their physical make-up, or structure, enables them to fulfil the behaviour associated with their function, or, more colloquially, how they work. In this paper I develop an account of such explanations based on the familiar notion of mechanistic explanation. To accomplish this, I (1) outline two explanatory strategies that provide two different types of insight into an artefact’s functioning, and (2) show how human action inevi- tably plays a role in artefact explanation. I then use my own account to criticize other recent work on mechanistic explanation and conclude with some general implications for the philosophy of explanation.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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References found in this work BETA
Thinking About Mechanisms.Machamer, Peter K.; Darden, Lindley & Craver, Carl F.
Functional Analysis.Cummins, Robert

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Citations of this work BETA
A Refinement to the General Mechanistic Account.Hatleback, Eric Nelson & Spring, Jonathan M.
Computers.Piccinini, Gualtiero

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2010-09-02

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