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Can mechanisms really replace laws of nature?

Bert Leuridan UGent (2010) PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 77(3). p.317-340
abstract
Today, mechanisms and mechanistic explanation are very popular in philosophy of science and are deemed a welcome alternative to laws of nature and deductive-nomological explanation. Starting from Mitchell's pragmatic notion of laws, I cast doubt on their status as a genuine alternative. I argue that (1) all complex-systems mechanisms onto-logically must rely on stable regularities, while (2) the reverse need not hold. Analogously, (3) models of mechanisms must incorporate pragmatic laws, while (4) such laws themselves need not always refer to underlying mechanisms. Finally, I show that Mitchell's account is more encompassing than the mechanistic account
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
causality, laws of nature, EXPLANATION, SCIENCE, BIOLOGY, mechanisms, experiments
journal title
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Philos. Sci.
volume
77
issue
3
pages
317 - 340
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000278592100001
JCR category
HISTORY & PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
JCR impact factor
0.602 (2010)
JCR rank
17/50 (2010)
JCR quartile
2 (2010)
ISSN
0031-8248
DOI
10.1086/652959
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
999416
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-999416
date created
2010-07-01 10:02:11
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:46:31
@article{999416,
  abstract     = {Today, mechanisms and mechanistic explanation are very popular in philosophy of science and are deemed a welcome alternative to laws of nature and deductive-nomological explanation. Starting from Mitchell's pragmatic notion of laws, I cast doubt on their status as a genuine alternative. I argue that (1) all complex-systems mechanisms onto-logically must rely on stable regularities, while (2) the reverse need not hold. Analogously, (3) models of mechanisms must incorporate pragmatic laws, while (4) such laws themselves need not always refer to underlying mechanisms. Finally, I show that Mitchell's account is more encompassing than the mechanistic account},
  author       = {Leuridan, Bert},
  issn         = {0031-8248},
  journal      = {PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE},
  keyword      = {causality,laws of nature,EXPLANATION,SCIENCE,BIOLOGY,mechanisms,experiments},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {317--340},
  title        = {Can mechanisms really replace laws of nature?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/652959},
  volume       = {77},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Leuridan, Bert. 2010. “Can Mechanisms Really Replace Laws of Nature?” Philosophy of Science 77 (3): 317–340.
APA
Leuridan, B. (2010). Can mechanisms really replace laws of nature? PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, 77(3), 317–340.
Vancouver
1.
Leuridan B. Can mechanisms really replace laws of nature? PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 2010;77(3):317–40.
MLA
Leuridan, Bert. “Can Mechanisms Really Replace Laws of Nature?” PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 77.3 (2010): 317–340. Print.