Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Causality in the Sciences$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo, and Jon Williamson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574131

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. 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 www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 25 June 2019

Mechanistic information and causal continuity

Mechanistic information and causal continuity

Chapter:
(p.845) 39 Mechanistic information and causal continuity
Source:
Causality in the Sciences
Author(s):

Jim Bogen

Peter Machamer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.003.0039

Contrary to Griffiths and others, the chapter claims that properly conceived, the notion of informationis important to the philosophical and scientific understanding of causal continuities that connect the steps of some important biological processes. Far from being ‘little more than a metaphor that masquerades as a theoretical concept’ (as Sarkar claims), the chapter believes the relevant notion of information can be well enough understood to qualify as a useful and perfectly acceptable scientific concept. As the title suggests, this chaper's treatment of information develops from Machamer, Darden, and Craver's mechanistic account of causally productive causal processes. This chapter supposes that what is being called mechanistic information can be understood in terms of goals served by mechanisms, and the influence on connections among the initial and final stages of their operation. The chapter uses the examples of Crick's early conception of gene expression and a sensory‐motor reflex in the leech to illustrate our account and to contrast ours to some familiar ideas of information including Shannon and Weaver's, Millikan's teleosemantic notion, and Crick's own conception of information transmission as pattern replication.

Keywords:   mechanism, information, teleology, causal continuity

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 .