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Autonomy, Laws of Nature, and the Mind–Body Problem

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

Abstract

I started this book with a quote by Peter Machamer et al. (2000). They posited that without thinking about mechanisms we cannot understand the life sciences: we can neither reveal their ontological commitments, nor handle the various philosophical problems arising in that scientific context. In this book I have argued that one cannot understand the new mechanistic approach without thinking about the metaphysics of mechanisms. In this chapter, I summarize the conclusions of the book and thereby provide a summary of the metaphysical theory of mechanisms developed. Furthermore, I discuss the question whether the resulting approach can be used to argue for anti-reductionism with regard to higher-level sciences and the mind, and I highlight a few differences between the new mechanistic thinking and more traditional law-based approaches to the metaphysics of explanation in order to show that the new mechanistic approach indeed provides new perspectives on the metaphysics of the life sciences.

References

  1. Bechtel, W. (2007). Reducing psychology while maintaining its autonomy via mechanistic explanations. In M. Schouten & H. Looren de Jong (Eds.), The matter of the mind: Philosophical essays on psychology, neuroscience and reduction (pp. 172–198). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.  https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Craver, C. F. (2007). Explaining the brain: Mechanisms and the mosaic unity of neuroscience. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Machamer, P., Darden, L., & Craver, C. F. (2000). Thinking about mechanisms. Philosophy of Science, 67, 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

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

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