Results for 'Mechanism'

442 found
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  1. The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 43 (1):152-163.
    The concept of mechanism in biology has three distinct meanings. It may refer to a philosophical thesis about the nature of life and biology (‘mechanicism’), to the internal workings of a machine-like structure (‘machine mechanism’), or to the causal explanation of a particular phenomenon (‘causal mechanism’). In this paper I trace the conceptual evolution of ‘mechanism’ in the history of biology, and I examine how the three meanings of this term have come to be featured in (...)
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  2.  88
    In Defense of Methodological Mechanism: The Case of Apoptosis.Stavros Ioannidis & Stathis Psillos - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (6):601-619.
    This paper advances the thesis of methodological mechanism, the claim that to be committed to mechanism is to adopt a certain methodological postulate, i.e. to look for causal pathways for the phenomena of interest. We argue that methodological mechanism incorporates a minimal account of understanding mechanisms, according to which a mechanism just is a causal pathway described in the language of theory. In order to argue for this position we discuss a central example of a biological (...)
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  3. A Weakened Mechanism is Still a Mechanism: On the Causal Role of Absences in Mechanistic Explanation.Alexander Mebius - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):43-48.
    Much contemporary debate on the nature of mechanisms centers on the issue of modulating negative causes. One type of negative causability, which I refer to as “causation by absence,” appears difficult to incorporate into modern accounts of mechanistic explanation. This paper argues that a recent attempt to resolve this problem, proposed by Benjamin Barros, requires improvement as it overlooks the fact that not all absences qualify as sources of mechanism failure. I suggest that there are a number of additional (...)
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  4. The Elusive Higgs Mechanism.Chris Smeenk - 2006 - Philosophy of Science 73 (5):487-499.
    The Higgs mechanism is an essential but elusive component of the Standard Model of particle physics. Without it Yang‐Mills gauge theories would have been little more than a warm‐up exercise in the attempt to quantize gravity rather than serving as the basis for the Standard Model. This article focuses on two problems related to the Higgs mechanism clearly posed in Earman’s recent papers (Earman 2003, 2004a, 2004b): what is the gauge‐invariant content of the Higgs mechanism, and what (...)
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  5. Problems for Natural Selection as a Mechanism.Joyce C. Havstad - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (3):512-523.
    Skipper and Millstein analyze natural selection and mechanism, concluding that natural selection is not a mechanism in the sense of the new mechanistic philosophy. Barros disagrees and provides his own account of natural selection as a mechanism. This discussion identifies a missing piece of Barros's account, attempts to fill in that piece, and reconsiders the revised account. Two principal objections are developed: one, the account does not characterize natural selection; two, the account is not mechanistic. Extensive and (...)
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  6. Pain is Mechanism.Simon van Rysewyk - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Tasmania
    What is the relationship between pain and the body? I claim that pain is best explained as a type of personal experience and the bodily response during pain is best explained in terms of a type of mechanical neurophysiologic operation. I apply the radical philosophy of identity theory from philosophy of mind to the relationship between the personal experience of pain and specific neurophysiologic mechanism and argue that the relationship between them is best explained as one of type identity. (...)
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  7. Cajal’s Law of Dynamic Polarization: Mechanism and Design.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (2):11-0.
    Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the primary architect of the neuron doctrine and the law of dynamic polarization, is considered to be the founder of modern neuroscience. At the same time, many philosophers, historians, and neuroscientists agree that modern neuroscience embodies a mechanistic perspective on the explanation of the nervous system. In this paper, I review the extant mechanistic interpretation of Cajal’s contribution to modern neuroscience. Then, I argue that the extant mechanistic interpretation fails to capture the explanatory import of Cajal’s (...)
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  8. Hobbes’s Materialism and Epicurean Mechanism.Patricia Springborg - 2016 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 24 (5):814-835.
    ABSTRACT: Hobbes belonged to philosophical and scientific circles grappling with the big question at the dawn of modern physics: materialism and its consequences for morality. ‘Matter in motion’ may be a core principle of this materialism but it is certainly inadequate to capture the whole project. In wave after wave of this debate the Epicurean view of a fully determined universe governed by natural laws, that nevertheless allows to humans a sphere of libertas, but does not require a creator god (...)
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  9. On Nature and Normativity: Normativity, Teleology, and Mechanism in Biological Explanation.Lenny Moss & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):88-91.
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  10. Nietzsche and Mechanism. On the Use of History for Science.Pietro Gori - 2014 - In Helmut Heit & Lisa Heller (eds.), Handbuch Nietzsche und die Wissenschaften. de Gruyter. pp. 119-137.
    This paper is devoted to a comparison between Ernst Mach's and Friedrich Nietzsche's anti-metaphysical approach to scientific and philosophical concepts. By making reference to Mach’s early essay on the conservation of energy (Die Geschichte und die Wurzel des Satzes von der Erhaltung der Arbeit, 1872), I argue that Nietzsche shares with him the idea that the concepts we adopt are only useful fictions developed during the history of humankind and its culture. This idea is fundamental for the development of modern (...)
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  11.  31
    Hermann von Helmholtz's Mechanism: The Loss of Certainty. A Study on the Transition From Classical to Modern Philosophy of Nature.Gregor Schiemann - 2009 - Springer.
    Two seemingly contradictory tendencies have accompanied the development of the natural sciences in the past 150 years. On the one hand, the natural sciences have been instrumental in effecting a thoroughgoing transformation of social structures and have made a permanent impact on the conceptual world of human beings. This historical period has, on the other hand, also brought to light the merely hypothetical validity of scientific knowledge. As late as the middle of the 19th century the truth-pathos in the natural (...)
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  12. Review of S. Gaukroger, The Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility. [REVIEW]Charles T. Wolfe & Christoffer Basse Eriksen - 2016 - Intellectual History Review 26 (4).
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  13.  72
    Mechanism of Tantra in the Light of Buddhism: A Means to Enlightenment (Society for New Testament Studies).Shimi Cm & Rajiba Behera - 2018 - International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews 5 (3):1862 -1865.
    Tantra means knowledge of methodical and mechanical investigational-technique through which we develop our consciousness and faculties of consciousness. It is also a process through which we can able to be realized our inherent spiritual powers. The term “Tantra” has been derived from the Sanskrit term “Tan” which means to “Magnify” or to “Outspread”. People use Tantra in a very mechanical way to transform their personality from animalhood to divinity. Basically, in the school of Buddhism, Tantra has developed a system of (...)
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  14. Human and Machine Consciousness as a Boundary Effect in the Concept Analysis Mechanism.Richard Loosemore - 2012 - In Pei Wang & Ben Goertzel (eds.), Theoretical Foundations of Artificial General Intelligence. Springer. pp. 283--304.
    To solve the hard problem of consciousness we observe that any cognitive system of suffi- cient power must get into difficulty when it tries to analyze consciousness concepts, because the mechanism that does the analysis will “bottom out” in such a way as to make the sys- tem declare these concepts to be both real and ineffable. Rather than use this observation to dismiss consciousness as an artifact, we propose a unifying interpretation that allows consciousness to be explicable at (...)
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  15. Three Kinds of New Mechanism.Arnon Levy - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (1):99-114.
    I distinguish three theses associated with the new mechanistic philosophy – concerning causation, explanation and scientific methodology. Advocates of each thesis are identified and relationships among them are outlined. I then look at some recent work on natural selection and mechanisms. There, attention to different kinds of New Mechanism significantly affects of what is at stake.
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  16. The Functional Sense of Mechanism.Justin Garson - 2013 - Philosophy of Science 80 (3):317-333.
    This article presents a distinct sense of ‘mechanism’, which I call the functional sense of mechanism. According to this sense, mechanisms serve functions, and this fact places substantive restrictions on the kinds of system activities ‘for which’ there can be a mechanism. On this view, there are no mechanisms for pathology; pathologies result from disrupting mechanisms for functions. Second, on this sense, natural selection is probably not a mechanism for evolution because it does not serve a (...)
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  17. The Feeling of Personal Ownership of One’s Mental States: A Conceptual Argument and Empirical Evidence for an Essential, but Underappreciated, Mechanism of Mind.Stan Klein - 2015 - Psychology of Consciousness: Research, Practice, and Theory 2 (4):355-376.
    I argue that the feeling that one is the owner of his or her mental states is not an intrinsic property of those states. Rather, it consists in a contingent relation between consciousness and its intentional objects. As such, there are (a variety of) circumstances, varying in their interpretive clarity, in which this relation can come undone. When this happens, the content of consciousness still is apprehended, but the feeling that the content “belongs to me” no longer is secured. I (...)
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  18. Psychological Mechanism of Corruption: A Comprehensive Review. [REVIEW]Juneman Abraham, Julia Suleeman & Bagus Takwin - forthcoming - Asian Journal of Scientific Research.
    Corruption prevention can be more effective if it does not rely merely on legal enforcement. This theoretical review aimed to propose a hypothetical psychological model capable of explaining the behavior of corruption. Moral disengagement is a variable that is considered ontologically closest in “distance” to the variable of corruption behavior. Counterfeit self, implicit self-theory, ethical mindset and moral emotion are taken into account as the pivotal factors of the corruption behavior and its mechanism of moral disengagement. Counterfeit self along (...)
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  19. A Mechanism for Spatial Perception on Human Skin.Francesca Fardo, Brianna Beck, Tony Cheng & Patrick Haggard - 2018 - Cognition 178:236-243.
    Our perception of where touch occurs on our skin shapes our interactions with the world. Most accounts of cutaneous localisation emphasise spatial transformations from a skin-based reference frame into body-centred and external egocentric coordinates. We investigated another possible method of tactile localisation based on an intrinsic perception of ‘skin space’. The arrangement of cutaneous receptive fields (RFs) could allow one to track a stimulus as it moves across the skin, similarly to the way animals navigate using path integration. We applied (...)
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  20. Problems for the Purported Cognitive Penetration of Perceptual Color Experience and Macpherson’s Proposed Mechanism.Steven Gross, Thitaporn Chaisilprungraung, Elizabeth Kaplan, Jorge Aurelio Menendez & Jonathan Flombaum - 2014 - Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication.
    Fiona Macpherson (2012) argues that various experimental results provide strong evidence in favor of the cognitive penetration of perceptual color experience. Moreover, she proposes a mechanism for how such cognitive penetration occurs. We argue, first, that the results on which Macpherson relies do not provide strong grounds for her claim of cognitive penetrability; and, second, that, if the results do reflect cognitive penetrability, then time-course considerations raise worries for her proposed mechanism. We base our arguments in part on (...)
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  21. The Status of Mechanism in Locke’s Essay.Lisa Downing - 1998 - Philosophical Review 107 (3):381-414.
    The prominent place 0f corpuscularizm mechanism in L0ckc`s Essay is nowadays universally acknowledged} Certainly, L0ckc’s discussions 0f the primary/secondary quality distinction and 0f real essences cannot be understood without reference to the corpuscularizm science 0f his day, which held that all macroscopic bodily phenomena should bc explained in terms 0f the motions and impacts 0f submicroscopic particles, 0r corpuscles, each of which can bc fully characterized in terms of 21 strictly limited range 0f (primary) properties: size, shape, motion (or (...)
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  22. A Pressure-Reversible Cellular Mechanism of General Anesthetics Capable of Altering a Possible Mechanism of Consciousness.Kunjumon Vadakkan - 2015 - Springerplus 4:1-17.
    Different anesthetics are known to modulate different types of membrane-bound receptors. Their common mechanism of action is expected to alter the mechanism for consciousness. Consciousness is hypothesized as the integral of all the units of internal sensations induced by reactivation of inter-postsynaptic membrane functional LINKs during mechanisms that lead to oscillating potentials. The thermodynamics of the spontaneous lateral curvature of lipid membranes induced by lipophilic anesthetics can lead to the formation of non-specific inter-postsynaptic membrane functional LINKs by different (...)
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  23. HCI Model with Learning Mechanism for Cooperative Design in Pervasive Computing Environment.Hong Liu, Bin Hu & Philip Moore - 2015 - Journal of Internet Technology 16.
    This paper presents a human-computer interaction model with a three layers learning mechanism in a pervasive environment. We begin with a discussion around a number of important issues related to human-computer interaction followed by a description of the architecture for a multi-agent cooperative design system for pervasive computing environment. We present our proposed three- layer HCI model and introduce the group formation algorithm, which is predicated on a dynamic sharing niche technology. Finally, we explore the cooperative reinforcement learning and (...)
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  24. Minds Everywhere: Margaret Cavendish's Anti-Mechanist Materialism.Stewart Duncan - manuscript
    This paper considers Margaret Cavendish's distinctive anti-mechanist materialism, focusing on her 1664 Philosophical Letters, in which she discusses the views of Hobbes, Descartes, and More, among others. The paper examines Cavendish's views about natural, material souls: the soul of nature, the souls of finite individuals, and the relation between them. After briefly digressing to look at Cavendish's views about divine, supernatural souls, the paper then turns to the reasons for Cavendish's disagreement with mechanist accounts. There are disagreements over the explanation (...)
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  25. Régis's Scholastic Mechanism.Walter Ott - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 39 (1):2-14.
    Unlike many of Descartes’s other followers, Pierre-Sylvain Re´gis resists the temptations of occasionalism. By marrying the ontology of mechanism with the causal structure of concurrentism, Re´gis arrives at a novel view that both acknowledges God’s role in natural events and preserves the causal powers of bodies. I set out Re´gis’s position, focusing on his arguments against occasionalism and his responses to Malebranche’s ‘no necessary connection’ and divine concursus arguments.
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  26.  50
    Hume on the Laws of Dynamics: The Tacit Assumption of Mechanism.Matias Kimi Slavov - 2016 - Hume Studies 42 (1-2):113-136.
    I shall argue that when Hume refers to the laws of dynamics, he tacitly assumes a mechanism. Nevertheless, he remains agnostic on whether the hidden micro-constitution of bodies is machinelike. Hence this article comes to the following conclusion. Hume is not a full-blown mechanical philosopher. Still his position on dynamic laws and his concept of causation instantiate a tacitly mechanical understanding of the interactions of bodies.
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  27. Occasionalism and Strict Mechanism: Malebranche, Berkeley, Fontenelle.Lisa Downing - 2005 - In Christia Mercer (ed.), Early Modern Philosophy: Mind, Matter, and Metaphysics. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 206-230.
    The rich connections between metaphysics and natural philosophy in the early modern period have been widely acknowledged and productively mined, thanks in no small part to the work of Margaret Wilson, whose book, Descartes, served as an inspirational example for a generation of scholars. The task of this paper is to investigate one particular such connection, namely, the relation between occasionalist metaphysics and strict mechanism. My focus will be on the work of Nicholas Malebranche, the most influential Cartesian philosopher (...)
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  28.  79
    Mechanism of Development of Pre-Eclampsia Linking Breathing Disorders to Endothelial Dysfunction.Jerath Ravinder, Vernon A. Barnes & Hossam E. Fadel - 2009 - Medical Hypotheses 73:163-166.
    High blood pressure is an important component of pre-eclampsia. The underlying mechanism of development of hypertension in pre-eclampsia is complicated and still remains obscure. Several theories have been advanced including endothelial dysfunction, uteroplacental insufficiency leading to generalized vasoconstriction, increased cardiac output, and sympathetic hyperactivity. Increased blood flow and pressure are thought to lead to capillary dilatation, which damages end-organ sites, leading to hypertension, proteinuria and edema. Additional theories have been put forward based on epidemiological research, implicating immunological and genetic (...)
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  29. Conscience: The Mechanism of Morality.Jeffrey White - manuscript
    Conscience is oft-referred to yet not understood. This text develops a theory of cognition around a model of conscience, the ACTWith model. It represents a synthesis of results from contemporary neuroscience with traditional philosophy, building from Jamesian insights into the emergence of the self to narrative identity, all the while motivated by a single mechanism as represented in the ACTWith model. Emphasis is placed on clarifying historical expressions and demonstrations of conscience - Socrates, Heidegger, Kant, M.L. King - in (...)
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  30. Physiology of Long Pranayamic Breathing: Neural Respiratory Elements May Provide a Mechanism That Explains How Slow Deep Breathing Shifts the Autonomic Nervous System.Jerath Ravinder, James W. Edry, Vernon A. Barnes & Vandna Jerath - 2006 - Medical Hypotheses 67 (3):566-571.
    Pranayamic breathing, defined as a manipulation of breath movement, has been shown to contribute to a physiologic response characterized by the presence of decreased oxygen consumption, decreased heart rate, and decreased blood pressure, as well as increased theta wave amplitude in EEG recordings, increased parasympathetic activity accompanied by the experience of alertness and reinvigoration. The mechanism of how pranayamic breathing interacts with the nervous system affecting metabolism and autonomic functions remains to be clearly understood. It is our hypothesis that (...)
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  31. Mechanism Schemas and the Relationship Between Biological Theories.Tudor M. Baetu - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press.
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  32. The Physicalist Worldview as Neurotic Ego-Defense Mechanism.Bernardo Kastrup - 2016 - SAGE Open 6 (4):1-7.
    The physicalist worldview is often portrayed as a dispassionate interpretation of reality motivated purely by observable facts. In this article, ideas of both depth and social psychology are used to show that this portrayal may not be accurate. Physicalism—whether it ultimately turns out to be philosophically correct or not—is hypothesized to be partly motivated by the neurotic endeavor to project onto the world attributes that help one avoid confronting unacknowledged aspects of one’s own inner life. Moreover, contrary to what most (...)
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  33. Mechanism and Essentialism in Locke's Thought.Lisa Downing - 2013 - In Stewart Duncan & Antonia LoLordo (eds.), Debates in Modern Philosophy: Essential Readings and Contemporary Responses. Routledge. pp. 159.
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  34.  14
    Mechanism and the Good.José A. Benardete - 1976 - Philosophical Forum 7 (3):294.
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  35. The Uses of Mechanism: Corpuscularianism in Drafts a and B of Locke's Essay.Lisa Downing - 2001 - In William Newman, John Murdoch & Cristoph Lüthy (eds.), Late Medieval and Early Modern Corpuscularian Matter Theory. E.J. Brill. pp. 515-534.
    That corpuscularianism played a critical role in Locke’s philosophical thought has perhaps now attained the status of a truism. In particular, it is universally acknowledged that the primary/secondary quality distinction and the conception of real essence found in the Essay Concerning Human Understanding cannot be understood apart from the corpuscularian science of Locke’s time.1 When Locke provides lists of the primary qualities of bodies,2 the qualities that “are really in them whether we perceive them or no,” those lists show strong (...)
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  36.  22
    Generosity And Mechanism In Descartes's Passions.Emer O'hagan - 2005 - Minerva 9:236-260.
    Descartes’s mechanistic account of the passions is sometimes dismissed as one which lacks the resources toadequately explain the cognitive aspect of emotion. By some, he is taken to be “feeling theorist”, reducing thepassions to a mere awareness of the physiological state of the soul-body union. If this reading of Descartes’spassions is correct, his theory fails not only because it cannot account for the intentional nature of the passions,but also because the passions cannot play the role in Descartes’s moral theory they (...)
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  37.  72
    Plasma Brain Dynamics (PBD): A Mechanism for EEG Waves Under Human Consciousness.Z. G. ma - 2017 - Cosmos and History 13 (2):185-203.
    EEG signals are records of nonlinear solitary waves in human brains. The waves have several types (e.g., α, β, γ, θ, δ) in response to different levels of consciousness. They are classified into two groups: Group-1 consists of complex storm-like waves (α, β, and γ); Group-2 is composed of simple quasilinear waves (θ and δ). In order to elucidate the mechanism of EEG wave formation and propagation, this paper extends the Vlasov-Maxwell equations of Plasma Brain Dynamics (PBD) to a (...)
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  38. A Mechanism for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.Rowan Grigg - unknown
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  39. The Ontic Account of Scientific Explanation.Carl F. Craver - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver R. Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the Special Sciences: The Case of Biology and History. Springer Verlag. pp. 27-52.
    According to one large family of views, scientific explanations explain a phenomenon (such as an event or a regularity) by subsuming it under a general representation, model, prototype, or schema (see Bechtel, W., & Abrahamsen, A. (2005). Explanation: A mechanist alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 36(2), 421–441; Churchland, P. M. (1989). A neurocomputational perspective: The nature of mind and the structure of science. Cambridge: MIT Press; Darden (2006); Hempel, C. G. (1965). Aspects of scientific (...)
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  40. Empiricism Without Magic: Transformational Abstraction in Deep Convolutional Neural Networks.Cameron Buckner - 2018 - Synthese (12):1-34.
    In artificial intelligence, recent research has demonstrated the remarkable potential of Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (DCNNs), which seem to exceed state-of-the-art performance in new domains weekly, especially on the sorts of very difficult perceptual discrimination tasks that skeptics thought would remain beyond the reach of artificial intelligence. However, it has proven difficult to explain why DCNNs perform so well. In philosophy of mind, empiricists have long suggested that complex cognition is based on information derived from sensory experience, often appealing to (...)
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  41. The Usefulness of Substances. Knowledge, Science and Metaphysics in Nietzsche and Mach.Pietro Gori - 2009 - Nietzsche Studien 38:111-155.
    In this paper I discuss the role played by Ernst Mach on Nietzsche’s thought. Starting from the contents of his Beiträge zur Analyse der Empfindungen, I’ll show the close similarities between their view on both human knowledge and the scientific world description. In his writing on science Nietzsche shares Mach’s critique to the 19th century mechanism and its metaphysical ground, as much as his way of defining the substantial notions such as matter, ego and free will. Moreover, my investigation (...)
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  42. Mechanisms and Laws: Clarifying the Debate.Marie I. Kaiser & C. F. Craver - 2013 - In H.-K. Chao, S.-T. Chen & R. Millstein (eds.), Mechanism and Causality in Biology and Economics. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 125-145.
    Leuridan (2011) questions whether mechanisms can really replace laws at the heart of our thinking about science. In doing so, he enters a long-standing discussion about the relationship between the mech-anistic structures evident in the theories of contemporary biology and the laws of nature privileged especially in traditional empiricist traditions of the philosophy of science (see e.g. Wimsatt 1974; Bechtel and Abrahamsen 2005; Bogen 2005; Darden 2006; Glennan 1996; MDC 2000; Schaffner 1993; Tabery 2003; Weber 2005). In our view, Leuridan (...)
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  43.  38
    On Believing That Time Does Not Flow, but Thinking That It Seems To.Kristie Miller, Alex Holcombe & Andrew James Latham - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
    Hoerl and McCormack posit two systems – the temporal updating system and the temporal reasoning system – and suggest that they explain an inherent contradiction in people’s naïve theory of time. We suggest there is no contradiction. Something does, however, require explanation: the tension between certain sophisticated beliefs about time, and certain phenomenological states or beliefs about those phenomenological states. The temporal updating mechanism posited by Hoerl and McCormack may contribute to this tension.
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  44. Causal Graphs and Biological Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter & Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special sciences: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 55-86.
    Modeling mechanisms is central to the biological sciences – for purposes of explanation, prediction, extrapolation, and manipulation. A closer look at the philosophical literature reveals that mechanisms are predominantly modeled in a purely qualitative way. That is, mechanistic models are conceived of as representing how certain entities and activities are spatially and temporally organized so that they bring about the behavior of the mechanism in question. Although this adequately characterizes how mechanisms are represented in biology textbooks, contemporary biological research (...)
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  45. Causality in Medicine with Particular Reference to the Viral Causation of Cancers.Brendan Clarke - 2011 - Dissertation, University College London
    In this thesis, I give a metascientific account of causality in medicine. I begin with two historical cases of causal discovery. These are the discovery of the causation of Burkitt’s lymphoma by the Epstein-Barr virus, and of the various viral causes suggested for cervical cancer. These historical cases then support a philosophical discussion of causality in medicine. This begins with an introduction to the Russo- Williamson thesis (RWT), and discussion of a range of counter-arguments against it. Despite these, I argue (...)
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  46. Functional Kinds: A Skeptical Look.Cameron Buckner - 2015 - Synthese 192 (12):3915-3942.
    The functionalist approach to kinds has suffered recently due to its association with law-based approaches to induction and explanation. Philosophers of science increasingly view nomological approaches as inappropriate for the special sciences like psychology and biology, which has led to a surge of interest in approaches to natural kinds that are more obviously compatible with mechanistic and model-based methods, especially homeostatic property cluster theory. But can the functionalist approach to kinds be weaned off its dependency on laws? Dan Weiskopf has (...)
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  47. The Wax and the Mechanical Mind: Reexamining Hobbes's Objections to Descartes's Meditations.Marcus P. Adams - 2014 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 22 (3):403-424.
    Many critics, Descartes himself included, have seen Hobbes as uncharitable or even incoherent in his Objections to the Meditations on First Philosophy. I argue that when understood within the wider context of his views of the late 1630s and early 1640s, Hobbes's Objections are coherent and reflect his goal of providing an epistemology consistent with a mechanical philosophy. I demonstrate the importance of this epistemology for understanding his Fourth Objection concerning the nature of the wax and contend that Hobbes's brief (...)
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  48. Functionalism and the Metaphysics of Causal Exclusion.David Yates - 2012 - Philosophers' Imprint 12:1-25.
    Given their physical realization, what causal work is left for functional properties to do? Humean solutions to the exclusion problem (e.g. overdetermination and difference-making) typically appeal to counterfactual and/or nomic relations between functional property-instances and behavioural effects, tacitly assuming that such relations suffice for causal work. Clarification of the notion of causal work, I argue, shows not only that such solutions don't work, but also reveals a novel solution to the exclusion problem based on the relations between dispositional properties at (...)
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  49.  47
    Situatedness and Embodiment of Computational Systems.Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Entropy 19 (4):162.
    In this paper, the role of the environment and physical embodiment of computational systems for explanatory purposes will be analyzed. In particular, the focus will be on cognitive computational systems, understood in terms of mechanisms that manipulate semantic information. It will be argued that the role of the environment has long been appreciated, in particular in the work of Herbert A. Simon, which has inspired the mechanistic view on explanation. From Simon’s perspective, the embodied view on cognition seems natural but (...)
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  50. The Organism as Ontological Go-Between. Hybridity, Boundaries and Degrees of Reality in its Conceptual History.Charles T. Wolfe - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 1:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.shps.
    The organism is neither a discovery like the circulation of the blood or the glycogenic function of the liver, nor a particular biological theory like epigenesis or preformationism. It is rather a concept which plays a series of roles – sometimes overt, sometimes masked – throughout the history of biology, and frequently in very normative ways, also shifting between the biological and the social. Indeed, it has often been presented as a key-concept in life science and the ‘theorization’ of Life, (...)
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