Course details

8.3469

Mechanisms and their Role in Scientific Explanations

S
WS 2020 Dr. techn. Gregor Michael Hörzer
2h/wk
4 ECTS
B.Sc modules:
CS-BWP-PHIL - Philosophy for Cognitive Science
KOGW-WPM-PHIL - Philosophy of Mind and Cognition
M.Sc modules:
CS-MWP-PHIL - Philosophy for Cognitive Science
KOGW-MWPM-PHIL - Major subject Philosophy of Mind and Cognition
Mon: 14-16

The seminal paper of Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000), along with some other important contributions (e.g. Glennan 1996), initiated a movement in the philosophy of science in general, and in the philosophy of the life sciences in particular, towards an account of explanations in which mechanisms play a crucial role. In this course, students get to know the central claims of advocates of the new mechanist framework, to understand some of the major difficulties of such accounts, and how different authors have tried to account for these difficulties. Machamer, P., Darden, L. and Craver, C. (2000): Thinking about mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 67 (1), 1-25. Glennan, S. (1996): Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation. Erkenntnis 44(1), 49-71.