Publication
Title
Difference making, explanatory relevance, and mechanistic models
Author
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.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Theoria / Universidad del País Vasco. Centro de Análisis, Lógica, e Informática Jurídica. - San Sebastián
Publication
San Sebastián : 2016
ISSN
0495-4548
Volume/pages
31:1(2016), p. 125-134
ISI
000371951700008
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.05.2016
Last edited 13.08.2017
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