European Journal for Philosophy of Science

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 119–135

What is a mechanism? Thinking about mechanisms across the sciences

Authors

    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Kent
  • Jon Williamson
    • Philosophy DepartmentUniversity of Kent
Original paper in Metaphysics of Science

DOI: 10.1007/s13194-011-0038-2

Cite this article as:
Illari, P.M. & Williamson, J. Euro Jnl Phil Sci (2012) 2: 119. doi:10.1007/s13194-011-0038-2

Abstract

After a decade of intense debate about mechanisms, there is still no consensus characterization. In this paper we argue for a characterization that applies widely to mechanisms across the sciences. We examine and defend our disagreements with the major current contenders for characterizations of mechanisms. Ultimately, we indicate that the major contenders can all sign up to our characterization.

Keywords

MechanismExplanationMDCGlennanBechtelAstrophysical mechanism

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2011