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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

On The Relation Between Quantum Mechanical And Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies And Explanatory Strategies, Meinard Kuhlmann, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

On The Relation Between Quantum Mechanical And Neo-Mechanistic Ontologies And Explanatory Strategies, Meinard Kuhlmann, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

Advocates of the New Mechanicism in philosophy of science argue that scientific explanation often consists in describing mechanisms responsible for natural phenomena. Despite its successes, one might think that this approach does not square with the ontological strictures of quantum mechanics. New Mechanists suppose that mechanisms are composed of objects with definite properties, which are interconnected via local causal interactions. Quantum mechanics calls these suppositions into question. Since mechanisms are hierarchical it appears that even macroscopic mechanisms must supervene on a set of “objects” that behave non- classically. In this paper we argue, in part by appeal to the theory ...


Aspects Of Human Historiographic Explanation: A View From The Philosophy Of Science, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

Aspects Of Human Historiographic Explanation: A View From The Philosophy Of Science, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

While some philosophers of history have argued that explanations in human history are of a fundamentally different kind than explanations in the natural sciences, I shall argue that this is not the case. Human beings are part of nature, human history is part of natural history, and human historical explanation is a species of natural historical explanation. In this paper I shall use a case study from the history of the American Civil War to show the variety of close parallels between natural and human historical explanation. In both instances, I shall argue that these explanations involve narrative descriptions of ...


Carl F. Craver And Lindley Darden: In Search Of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across The Life Sciences, Stuart Glennan Jul 2014

Carl F. Craver And Lindley Darden: In Search Of Mechanisms: Discoveries Across The Life Sciences, Stuart Glennan

Stuart Glennan

Carl Craver and Lindley Darden are two of the foremost proponents of a recent approach to the philosophy of biology that is often called the New Mechanism. In this book they seek to make available to a broader readership insights gained from more than two decades of work on the nature of mechanisms and how they are described and discovered. The book is not primarily aimed at specialists working on the New Mechanism, but rather targets scientists, students and teachers who are looking for a broad, philosophically and historically informed image of discovery in the life sciences.


The Nature Of Science: A Perspective From The Philosophy Of Science, Juli T. Eflin, Stuart Glennan, George Reisch Mar 2014

The Nature Of Science: A Perspective From The Philosophy Of Science, Juli T. Eflin, Stuart Glennan, George Reisch

Stuart Glennan

In a recent article in this journal, Brian Alters (1997) argued that, given the many ways in which the nature of science (NOS) is described and poor student responses to NOS instruments such as Nature of Scientific Knowledge Scale (NSKS), Nature of Science Scale (NOSS), Test on Understanding Science (TOUS), and others, it is time for science educators to reconsider the standard lists of tenets for the NOS. Alters suggested that philosophers of science are authorities on the NOS and that consequently, it would be wise to investigate their views of current NOS tenets. To that end, he conducted a ...