Difference making, explanatory relevance, and mechanistic models.

Citation data:

THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 31, Issue: 1, Page: 125-134

Publication Year:
2016
Usage 176
HTML Views 72
Downloads 64
Abstract Views 40
Captures 1
Readers 1
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12176
DOI:
10.1387/theoria.13282
Author(s):
Dingmar Van Eck, Raoul Gervais
Publisher(s):
UPV/EHU Press, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Tags:
Arts and Humanities
Most Recent Tweet View All Tweets
article description
In this paper we consider mechanistic explanations for biological malfunctions. Drawing on Lipton's (1993) work on difference making, we offer three reasons why one should distinguish i) mechanistic features that only make a difference to the malfunction one aims to explain, from ii) features that make a difference to both the malfunction and normal functioning. Recognition of the distinction is important for a) repair purposes, b) mechanism discovery, and c) understanding. This analysis extends current mechanistic thinking, which fails to appreciate the distinction. We illustrate our contribution with a case on sleeping disorders as arising from disruptions of circadian rhythms.

This article has 0 Wikipedia mention.