PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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A Bayesian Theory of Constitution

We develop a Bayesian theory of constitution that identifies as constituents those spatiotemporal parts of a phenomenon whose causal roles contain the phenomenon’s causal role. The proposal accomplishes two goals: first, it formally analyzes the notion of constitution present in theories of mechanistic explanation in a way that avoids the pitfalls of the currently dominant theory of constitution, viz. Craver’s (2007) mutual manipulability theory; second, by drawing on the conceptual resources of Bayesian networks, it paves the way for a Bayesian methodology for constitutional discovery.

Author Information:

Michael Baumgartner    
Philosophy
University of Geneva

Lorenzo Casini    
Philosophy
University of Geneva

 

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