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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IR scholars have pointed out that norm diffusion is a powerful explanatory mechanism to understand how military and civilian leaders) make certain decisions.
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.
It was the mid-1980s and the real beginning of a movement to disrupt the dominant paradigm at the time: the focus on individual differences in children's cognitive development as the primary explanatory mechanism for the influence of media on youth.
Is the "matrix of cultural anxiety" really a sufficient explanatory mechanism for the "emergence" (recovery?) of the doctrine of double predestination (34)?
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.
as an epistemological attempt to explain how the immanent world of nature could have displaced the divine as an explanatory mechanism" (4-5).
It is possible that intermediate vaginal flora are more conducive to HIV viral shedding than BV, yet the explanatory mechanism is unclear.
While some researchers believe that biochemical changes associated with completing recommended amounts of exercise (i.e., 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.