Single Idea 16529

[catalogued under 14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by mechanism]

Full Idea

Mechanisms are entities and activities organized such that they are productive of regular change from start or set-up to finish or termination conditions.

Gist of Idea

Mechanisms are systems organised to produce regular change


Machamer,P/Darden,L/Craver,C (Thinking About Mechanisms [2000], 1)

Book Reference

-: 'Philosophy of Science' [-], p.3

A Reaction

This is their initial formal definition of a mechanism. Note that a mere 'activity' can be included. Presumably the mechanism might have an outcome that was not the intended outcome. Does a random element disqualify it? Are hands mechanisms?