Causes without Mechanisms: Experimental Regularities, Physical Laws, and Neuroscientific Explanation

  • Weber M
  • 37

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 20

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

This article examines the role of experimental generalizations and physical laws in neuroscientific explanations, using Hodgkin and Huxley's electrophysiological model from 1952 as a test case. I show that the fact that the model was partly fitted to experimental data did not affect its explanatory status, nor did the false mechanistic assumptions made by Hodgkin and Huxley. The model satisfies two important criteria of explanatory status: it contains invariant generalizations and it is modular (both in James Woodward's sense). Further, I argue that there is a sense in which the explanatory heteronomy thesis holds true for this case.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Marcel Weber

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free