Publication
Title
Can mechanisms really replace laws of nature?
Author
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
Language
English
Source (journal)
Philosophy of science : journal of the Philosophy of Science Association. - East Lansing, Mich., 1934, currens
Publication
East Lansing, Mich. : 2010
ISSN
0031-8248
1539-767X [e-ISSN]
Volume/pages
77:3(2010), p. 317-340
ISI
000278592100001
Full text (Publishers DOI)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Publication type
Subject
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 19.02.2014
Last edited 22.04.2017