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Will and Mechanisms
Will and Mechanisms is a profound philosophical study on explaining, especially on explaining human action. Whereas the term "will" refers to the mysterious power of human beings to make genuine decisions, the term "mechanism" refers to the idea of mechanical explanation, which is often seen as a unifying explanatory device for all fields of science. By highlighting these two terms, the author brings out the notorious tension that arises when one tries to find a place for a freely acting human being in the world of causal ralations and laws. After all, throughout the history of science there have been problems in fitting the two into the same wider picture. However, the humble aim of this study is to release this tension, and this is carried out by carefully concentrating on both sides one at a time. Eventually, the author finds himself considering the most fundmental questions concerning the natures of explaining and acting, and through this he ends up distinguishing various perspectives, which one may use to view human action. These perspectives are not only proven to exist by contemplating various instances of our everyday life, but to exist of necessity, since otherwise the world would be contradictory to an untenable extent.
|Sarja:||Reports from the Department of Philosophy, Vol. 28|