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Open-Ended Control vs. Closed-Ended Control: Limits of Mechanistic Explanation

Winning, Jason (2021) Open-Ended Control vs. Closed-Ended Control: Limits of Mechanistic Explanation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Some recent discussions of mechanistic explanation have focused on control operations. But control is often associated with teleological or normative-sounding concepts like goals and set-points, prompting the question: Does an explanation that refers to parts or mechanisms “controlling” each other thereby fail to be mechanistic? In this paper I introduce and explain a distinction between what I call open-ended and closed-ended control operations. I then argue that explanations that enlist control operations to do explanatory work can count as mechanistic only if such control operations are closed-ended, not open-ended.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Winning, Jasonjason.winning@gmail.com0000-0002-9871-2684
Keywords: Mechanistic Explanation; Control; Mechanisms; Control Mechanisms; Mechanistic Operations; Teleological Explanation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Jason Winning
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2022 03:15
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2022 03:15
Item ID: 20803
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: November 2021
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20803

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