Advanced search
1 file | 225.72 KB

Difference making, explanatory relevance, and mechanistic models

Dingmar van Eck (UGent) and Raoul Gervais (UGent)
Author
Organization
Abstract
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.
Keywords
difference making, mechanistic explanation, explanatory relevance, malfunction explanation

Downloads

  • van eck & Gervais 2016.pdf
    • full text
    • |
    • open access
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 225.72 KB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
van Eck, Dingmar, and Raoul Gervais. 2016. “Difference Making, Explanatory Relevance, and Mechanistic Models.” Theoria-revista De Teoria Historia Y Fundamentos De La Ciencia 31 (1): 125–134.
APA
van Eck, D., & Gervais, R. (2016). Difference making, explanatory relevance, and mechanistic models. THEORIA-REVISTA DE TEORIA HISTORIA Y FUNDAMENTOS DE LA CIENCIA, 31(1), 125–134.
Vancouver
1.
van Eck D, Gervais R. Difference making, explanatory relevance, and mechanistic models. THEORIA-REVISTA DE TEORIA HISTORIA Y FUNDAMENTOS DE LA CIENCIA. 2016;31(1):125–34.
MLA
van Eck, Dingmar, and Raoul Gervais. “Difference Making, Explanatory Relevance, and Mechanistic Models.” THEORIA-REVISTA DE TEORIA HISTORIA Y FUNDAMENTOS DE LA CIENCIA 31.1 (2016): 125–134. Print.
@article{5877477,
  abstract     = {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.},
  author       = {van Eck, Dingmar and Gervais, Raoul},
  issn         = {0495-4548},
  journal      = {THEORIA-REVISTA DE TEORIA HISTORIA Y FUNDAMENTOS DE LA CIENCIA},
  keyword      = {difference making,mechanistic explanation,explanatory relevance,malfunction explanation},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {125--134},
  title        = {Difference making, explanatory relevance, and mechanistic models},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1387/theoria.13282},
  volume       = {31},
  year         = {2016},
}

Altmetric
View in Altmetric
Web of Science
Times cited: