explanatory mechanism

explanatory mechanism

any scientific account of the causal factors (or ‘causal powers’) underlying a general phenomenon, e.g. ‘natural selection’ (in EVOLUTIONARY THEORY), or contradictory modes of production and class conflict (in MARXISM). The term has gained in currency recently as a result of the influence within sociology of the SCIENTIFIC REALISM of Rom Harré (1970 and, with E. Madden, 1975) and Roy Bhaskar (1975,1979 and 1986), in which the formulation of ‘explanatory mechanisms’ is presented as the core of scientific EXPLANATION. This account of science and scientific explanation is preferred to those couched in terms of empirical regularities and general laws (e.g. the COVERING-LAW MODEL) for a number of reasons, above all that laws can be either empirical regularities or ‘universal’ and ‘transfactual’, but not both. The use of the term ‘explanatory mechanism’ both bypasses the problems associated with EMPIRICISM (see also POSITIVISM) and offers a way of recognizing the variety of forms taken by scientific explanatory accounts.
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While the data seem to add further weight to the reviving argument that oocyte quantity (and not just oocyte quality) are key determinants of IVF success, Venetis noted that the results also provide an explanatory mechanism of why cumulative delivery rates in IVF seem to be improved in cycles with a higher oocyte yield: the more chromosomally normal embryos there are, the more transfers are possible, with an inevitably better cumulative chance of pregnancy.
Is the "matrix of cultural anxiety" really a sufficient explanatory mechanism for the "emergence" (recovery?
It rests on the assumptions (1) that complex and statistically improbable things are more difficult to explain than those that are not and (2) that an explanatory mechanism must show how this complexity can be built up from simpler means.
Lal's explanatory mechanism for why liberalism has retreated seems compelling.
It is possible that intermediate vaginal flora are more conducive to HIV viral shedding than BV, yet the explanatory mechanism is unclear.
150 minutes of moderate exercise per week) is required for mood improvements (Dunn, Trivedi, Kampert, Clark, & Chambliss, 2008), others suggest that feelings of an improved body, induced by simply participating in this challenging behavior, is a principal explanatory mechanism (Annesi & Unruh, 2008).
Many continue to hold a faulty view of the principle of adaptation, there is widespread misunderstanding of whether evolution has a purpose, and inappropriate assumptions are common about the implications of evolution--along with general confusion regarding the distinction between "change through time" (evolution itself) and the accompanying explanatory mechanism (natural selection).
The second explanatory mechanism highlights the importance of trust as an advantage for established firms: "New organizations must rely heavily on social relations among strangers.
Haspelmath's attempt to regard grammaticalization as the main explanatory mechanism of grammaticalization itself is precisely the point that the opponents of grammaticalization take issue with.
Mikalson casts his net more narrowly than Harrison; his primary focus is on Herodotus' use of divine intervention as an explanatory mechanism for the events of the wars themselves.
This finding provides a potential explanatory mechanism for a recent observation that open colectomy appears to result in significantly greater cancer recurrence and cancer-related mortality, compared with minimally invasive colectomy, said Dr.
This finding provides a potential explanatory mechanism for a recent observation that has rocked the field of surgical oncology--namely, that open colectomy appears to result in significantly greater cancer recurrence and cancer-related mortality, compared with minimally invasive colectomy, said Dr.