Single Idea 17489

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

Full Idea

There are two sorts of mechanisms: systems consist of collections of parts that interact to produce some behaviour, and processes are sequences of activities which produce some outcome.

Gist of Idea

Mechanisms are either systems of parts or sequences of activities


Stuart Glennan (Mechanisms [2008], 'Intro')

Book Reference

'Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science', ed/tr. Psillos,S/Curd,M [Routledge 2010], p.376

A Reaction

[compressed] The second one is important because it is more generic, and under that account all kinds the features of the world that need to be explained can be subsumed. E.g. hyperinflation in an economy is a 'mechanism'.