Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The New Mechanical Philosophy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Stuart Glennan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198779711

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198779711.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 July 2018

Mechanisms

Mechanisms

Chapter:
(p.17) 2 Mechanisms
Source:
The New Mechanical Philosophy
Author(s):

Stuart Glennan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198779711.003.0002

This chapter introduces the account of minimal mechanism, according to which a mechanism consists of a set of parts or entities whose activities and interactions are organized so as to be responsible for some phenomenon. The concepts appealed to in this account—phenomena, entities, activities, organization—are elaborated, and the relation of minimal mechanism to other accounts is explored. Mechanisms are shown to be compounds that are organized in two dimensions, the horizontal dimension of causal dependence and a vertical or part-whole dimension called mechanistic constitution. I argue that almost all natural and social phenomena depend upon mechanisms so characterized, and that this fact leads to a new mechanical ontology, which alters the way we should think about traditional metaphysical categories like substances, processes, properties, dispositions, causes, and laws of nature.

Keywords:   minimal mechanism, ontology, phenomena, entity, activity, organization, process

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .