Stuart Glennan, The New Mechanical Philosophy, New York: Oxford University Press, 2017, 266 pp., $40.00.

  • Christopher A. RickelsEmail author
Book Review

The New Mechanical Philosophy is the culmination of Stuart Glennan’s account of mechanism and mechanistic explanation. Glennan is one among many ‘New Mechanists’ within the past twenty or so years in the philosophy of science. While mechanism and mechanical philosophy has its historical antecedents in seventeenth-century natural philosophy—and Glennan presents Galileo, Hobbes, Descartes, Gassendi, and Boyle (p. 6) as historical exemplars—it is Bechtel and Richardson’s Discovering Complexity (1993, Princeton: Princeton University Press), Glennan’s own ‘Mechanisms and the Nature of Causation’ (1996, Erkenntnis 44: 49–7), and Machamer, Darden, and Craver’s ‘Thinking about Mechanisms’ (2000, Philosophy of Science 67: 1–25) that frame Glennan’s account. In The New Mechanical Philosophy, Glennan’s express interest is “to provide a systematic exposition of the New Mechanical Philosophy—its central motivations, problems, and prospects” (p. 1). Furthermore, he intends to offer an account of...


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gateway Community and Technical CollegeCovingtonUSA

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