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Introduction

  • Beate Krickel
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Brain and Mind book series (SIBM, volume 13)

Abstract

The notions of mechanism and mechanistic explanation have returned to center stage in contemporary philosophy of science. At the turn of the millennium, Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and Carl Craver published a paper (‘MDC 2000’ for short) on mechanisms and mechanistic explanation in biology that initiated an extensive debate about mechanisms and mechanistic explanations in the philosophy of science more generally—and especially in the philosophy of the life sciences. Many authors subsequently contributed to the development and discussion of the new mechanistic thinking, and the research is still ongoing. In this chapter, the core ideas and motivation of the new mechanistic approach are summarized. As it turns out, many of these core ideas come with certain metaphysical commitments. Does the new mechanistic approach support a non-reductive physicalist view of the mind, higher-level sciences, or everyday objects? In order to answer this question, one has to lay bare the metaphysical commitments of the new mechanistic approach and bring them together in a coherent theory. This is the purpose of this book.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beate Krickel
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy IIRuhr-University BochumBochumGermany

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