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The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy





ISBN 9781138841697
Published July 9, 2017 by Routledge
492 Pages

 
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Book Description

Scientists studying the burning of stars, the evolution of species, DNA, the brain, the economy, and social change, all frequently describe their work as searching for mechanisms. Despite this fact, for much of the twentieth century philosophical discussions of the nature of mechanisms remained outside philosophy of science.





The Routledge Handbook of Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophy is an outstanding reference source to the key topics, problems, and debates in this exciting subject and is the first collection of its kind. Comprising over thirty chapters by a team of international contributors, the Handbook is divided into four Parts:







  • Historical perspectives on mechanisms


  • The nature of mechanisms


  • Mechanisms and the philosophy of science


  • Disciplinary perspectives on mechanisms.




Within these Parts central topics and problems are examined, including the rise of mechanical philosophy in the seventeenth century; what mechanisms are made of and how they are organized; mechanisms and laws and regularities; how mechanisms are discovered and explained; dynamical systems theory; and disciplinary perspectives from physics, chemistry, biology, biomedicine, ecology, neuroscience, and the social sciences.





Essential reading for students and researchers in philosophy of science, the Handbook will also be of interest to those in related fields, such as metaphysics, philosophy of psychology, and history of science.

Table of Contents

Preface William C. Wimsatt



1. Introduction: Mechanisms and Mechanical Philosophies Stuart Glennan and Phyllis Illari



Part 1: Historical Perspectives on Mechanisms



2. Mechanisms: Ancient Sources Tiberiu Popa



3. From the Mechanical Philosophy to Early Modern Mechanisms Sophie Roux



4. The Origins of the Reaction Mechanism William Goodwin



5. Mechanism, Organicism and Vitalism Garland E. Allen



6. Mechanisms and the Mental Marcin Milkowski



Part 2: The Nature of Mechanisms



7. Varieties of Mechanisms Stuart Glennan and Phyllis Illari



8. Mechanisms, Phenomena, and Functions Justin Garson



9. The Components and Boundaries of Mechanisms Marie I. Kaiser



10. Mechanisms and the Metaphysics of Causation Lucas Matthews and James Tabery



11. Mechanisms, Counterfactuals and Laws Stavros Ioannidis and Stathis Psillos



12. What Would Hume Say? Regularities, Laws, and Mechanisms Holly Anderson



13. Probability and Chance in Mechanisms Marshall Abrams



14. Mechanistic Levels, Reduction and Emergence Mark Povich and Carl F. Craver



15. Mechanisms and Natural Kinds Emma Tobin



Part 3: Mechanisms and the Philosophy of Science



16. Mechanistic Explanation and its Limits Marta Halina



17. Models of Mechanisms John Matthewson



18. Explaining Visually: Mechanism Diagrams Adele Abrahamsen, Benjamin Sheredos, and William Bechtel



19. Strategies for Discovering Mechanisms Lindley Darden



20. Mechanisms and Dynamical Systems David Michael Kaplan



Part 4: Disciplinary Perspectives on Mechanisms



21. Mechanisms in Physics Meinard Kuhlmann



22. Mechanisms in Evolutionary Biology Lane DesAutels



23. Mechanisms in Molecular Biology Tudor M. Baetu



24. Mechanisms and Biomedicine Brendan Clarke and Federica Russo



25. Developmental Mechanisms Alan C. Love



26. Mechanisms in Ecology Viorel Pâslaru



27. Systems Biology and Mechanistic Explanation Ingo Brigandt, Sara Green, and Maureen A. O’Malley



28. Mechanistic Explanation in Neuroscience Catherine Stinson and Jacqueline Sullivan



29. Mechanisms in Cognitive Science Carlos Zednik



30. Social Mechanisms Petri Ylikoski



31. Disaggregating Historical Explanation: The Move to Social Mechanisms Daniel Little



32. Mechanisms in Economics Caterina Marchionni



33. Computational Mechanisms Gualtiero Piccinini



34. Mechanisms and Engineering Science Dingmar van Eck.



Index

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Editor(s)

Biography

Stuart Glennan is the Harry T. Ice Professor of Philosophy and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Butler University, USA.





Phyllis Illari is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Science in the Science and Technology Studies Department at University College London, UK.