Single Idea 16553

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

Full Idea

We emphasise the activities in mechanisms. This is explicitly dualist. Substantivalists speak of entities with dispositions to act. Process ontologists reify activities and try to reduce entities to processes. We try to capture both intuitions.

Gist of Idea

Our account of mechanism combines both entities and activities


Machamer,P/Darden,L/Craver,C (Thinking About Mechanisms [2000], 3)

Book Reference

-: 'Philosophy of Science' [-], p.4

A Reaction

[A quotation of selected fragments] The problem here seems to be the raising of an 'activity' to a central role in ontology, when it doesn't seem to be primitive, and will typically be analysed in a variety of ways.

Related Idea

Idea 16554 Activities have place, rate, duration, entities, properties, modes, direction, polarity, energy and range [Machamer/Darden/Craver]