mechanism
The belief that everything can be explained in ways modelled on 17th-century conceptions of scientific explanation. This took its paradigm from the quantitative laws governing the interactions of particles, in terms of which the other properties of materials could ultimately be understood (see atomism, corpuscularianism, Galilean world view ). Mechanism in biology is the view that animals are to be regarded as material systems, and it is as a result hostile to final causes or teleology . Modern physicalism has a more sophisticated conception both of scientific explanation, and of the possibility of reconciling it with teleological explanation, thought of as founded on a basis of natural selection.

Philosophy dictionary. . 2011.

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  • Mechanism — • There is no constant meaning in the history of philosophy for the word Mechanism. Originally, the term meant that cosmological theory which ascribes the motion and changes of the world to some external force Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • mechanism — mech‧a‧nis‧m [ˈmekənɪzm] noun [countable] a system used to achieve something or deal with a problem: • The increased lending can be done through existing lending mechanisms. • There is a move to introduce free market mechanisms in the airline… …   Financial and business terms

  • Mechanism — may refer to: Mechanism (engineering), rigid bodies connected by joints in order to accomplish a desired force and/or motion transmission Mechanism (biology), explaining how a feature is created Mechanism (philosophy), a theory that all natural… …   Wikipedia

  • Mechanism — Mech an*ism, n. [Cf. F. m[ e]canisme, L. mechanisma. See {Mechanic}.] 1. The arrangement or relation of the parts of a machine; the parts of a machine, taken collectively; the arrangement or relation of the parts of anything as adapted to produce …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mechanism — [mek′ə niz΄əm] n. [ModL mechanismus < Gr mēchanē, MACHINE] 1. the working parts or arrangement of parts of a machine; works [the mechanism of a clock] 2. a) a system whose parts work together like those of a machine [the mechanism of the… …   English World dictionary

  • mechanism — [n1] machine, device apparatus, appliance, black box*, components, contrivance, doohickey*, gadget, gears, gimmick, innards, instrument, machinery, motor, structure, system, tool, workings, works; concept 463 mechanism [n2] means, method agency,… …   New thesaurus

  • mechanism — index appliance, contrivance, expedient, facility (instrumentality), forum (medium), instrument ( …   Law dictionary

  • mechanism — 1660s, from Mod.L. mechanismus, from Gk. mekhane machine, instrument (see MACHINE (Cf. machine) (n.)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • mechanism — *machine, machinery, apparatus, engine, motor …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mechanism — ► NOUN 1) a piece of machinery. 2) the way in which something works or is brought about …   English terms dictionary

  • mechanism — noun 1 part of a machine ADJECTIVE ▪ firing, locking, steering, trigger, winding VERB + MECHANISM ▪ activate ▪ This ac …   Collocations dictionary

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