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