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14. Science / D. Explanation / 2. Types of Explanation / i. Explanations by mechanism

[explanation by revealing underlying mechanisms]

32 ideas
Galileo introduced geometrico-mechanical explanation, based on Archimedes [Galileo, by Machamer/Darden/Craver]
Explanation is deducing a phenomenon from some nature better known to us [Boyle]
A machine strikes us as being a rule of movement [Wittgenstein]
Salmon's mechanisms are processes and interactions, involving marks, or conserved quantities [Salmon, by Machamer/Darden/Craver]
Explanation at the quantum level will probably be by entirely new mechanisms [Salmon]
Does an item have a function the first time it occurs? [Salmon]
Explanations reveal the mechanisms which produce the facts [Salmon]
Causation produces productive mechanisms; to understand the world, understand these mechanisms [Salmon]
Salmon's interaction mechanisms needn't be regular, or involving any systems [Glennan on Salmon]
Explanations of particular events are not essentialist, as they don't reveal essential structures [Ellis]
The necessity of Newton's First Law derives from the nature of material things, not from a mechanism [Harré]
If the nature of particulars explains their powers, it also explains their relations and behaviour [Harré/Madden]
Powers and natures lead us to hypothesise underlying mechanisms, which may be real [Harré/Madden]
We want to know not just the cause, but how the cause operated [Lipton]
Mechanisms are not just push-pull systems [Machamer/Darden/Craver]
A mechanism explains a phenomenon by showing how it was produced [Machamer/Darden/Craver]
Mechanisms are systems organised to produce regular change [Machamer/Darden/Craver]
Our account of mechanism combines both entities and activities [Machamer/Darden/Craver]
Descriptions of explanatory mechanisms have a bottom level, where going further is irrelevant [Machamer/Darden/Craver]
Modern mechanism need parts with spatial, temporal and function facts, and diagrams [Glennan]
Mechanisms are either systems of parts or sequences of activities [Glennan]
Mechanistic philosophy of science is an alternative to the empiricist law-based tradition [Glennan]
17th century mechanists explained everything by the kinetic physical fundamentals [Glennan]
Unlike the lawlike approach, mechanistic explanation can allow for exceptions [Glennan]
General theories may be too abstract to actually explain the mechanisms [Portides]
Mechanisms can't explain on their own, as their models rest on pragmatic regularities [Leuridan]
We can show that regularities and pragmatic laws are more basic than mechanisms [Leuridan]
Mechanisms are ontologically dependent on regularities [Leuridan]
Mechanisms must produce macro-level regularities, but that needs micro-level regularities [Leuridan]
A structure won't give a causal explanation unless we know the powers of the structure [Mumford/Anjum]
Using mechanisms as explanatory schemes began in chemistry [Weisberg/Needham/Hendry]
Thick mechanisms map whole reactions, and thin mechanism chart the steps [Weisberg/Needham/Hendry]