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The Mechanical World

The aim of this book is to develop a metaphysical account of mechanisms. So far, the new mechanistic literature has mainly focused on epistemic issues such as scientific explanation, scientific discovery, and causal modelling. This book takes a difference stance: I will investigate in which sense mechanisms are things in the world; what our ontology has to look like in order for mechanisms to exist, and its implications for causation, levels, and part–whole relations; and how metaphysics and scientific explanation relate to each other. I will discuss whether the metaphysics of mechanisms is reductionist, and whether it leaves room for the causal efficacy of higher-level phenomena. Finally, I hope to provide a starting point for new projects on issues in the philosophy of mind, such as non-reductive physicalism as a solution to the mind–body problem.

"[E]ine ausgesprochen hilfreiche Lektüre, die nicht nur professionellen Philosophen, sondern auch Studierenden eine umfassende und zugleich zugängliche Einführung in die mechanistische Debatte und ihre metaphysischen Annahmen bietet." (Jens Harbecke in Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie, 2021)

further review: Stuart Glennan in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, 2018

Further books

Einführung in die Philosophie der Psychologie - Ein Lehrbuch für Einsteiger (under contract). De Gruyter. (with chapters by Sabrina Coninx)

Editorial work

Scientific Consultant for DeGruyter "Epistemic Studies - Philosophy of Science, Cognition and Mind"

Associate Editor with "Philosophy of the Mind Sciences"

Co-editor of topical collection in Synthese "Multiplexes and mechanisms in neuroscience and psychiatry" with Leon de Bruin and Linda Douw

Co-editor of Research Topic in Frontiers in Psychology "Situated Cognition and Its Critics: Recent Developments" with Albert Newen, Achim Stephan, Leon de Bruin

Articles, book chapters, etc.

Krickel, B. (forthcoming). Epiphänomenalismus, in: Hoffmann-Kolss, V. (ed.), Handbuch Philosophie des Geistes, Metzler Verlag.

Book chapter

Kaiser, M., Krickel, B. (forthcoming). Individuation of Cross-Cutting Causal Systems in Cognitive Science and Behavioral Ecology, in. F. Russo, P. Illari (eds.) Routledge Handbook of Causality and Causal Methods, Routledge.

Book chapter, peer reviewed


Krickel, B. (2024). A Psychological How-Possibly Model of Repression, Neuropsychoanalysis. doi: 10.1080/15294145.2024.2374237

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2024). The New Mechanistic Approach and Cognitive Ontology - Or: What role do (neural) mechanisms play in cognitive ontology?, Minds & Machines, 34, 17.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2024). Basieren (alle) psychischen Störungen auf der Unfähigkeit, auf Gründe angemessen zu reagieren? Ein Kommentar zu 'Philosophy of Mental Disorder'. Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 78 (1):114-119.


Krickel, B. (2023). Different Types of Mechanistic Explanation and Their Ontological Implications, in: J. Cordovil, G. Santos, D. Vecchi (eds.), New Mechanism: Emergence and Scientific Explanation - Epistemological and Ontological Significance of New Mechanism, Springer.

Book chapter, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2023). Why Diachronic Constitution won’t help - A Commentary on Kiverstein and Kirchhoff, in: Casper, M.-O., Artese, F. (eds.), Methodology of situated cognition research, Springer.

Commentary, peer reviewed

Krickel, B (2023). Extended cognition and the search for the mark of constitution – A promising strategy?, in: Casper, M.-O., Artese, F. (eds.), Methodology of situated cognition research, Springer.

Book chapter, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2023). The Unconscious Mind Worry : A Mechanistic-Explanatory Strategy. Philosophy of Science, 90(1), 39–59.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B., DeBruin, L. & Douw, L. (2023). How and when are topological explanations complete mechanistic explanations? - The case of multilayer network models”, Synthese.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2022). Der Sitz des Geistes und das Unbewusste - Philosophische Probleme im Lichte Situierter Ansätze. In: Fink, H., Rosenzweig, R. (Hrsg.). "Wo sitzt der Geist? Von Leib und Seele zur erweiterten Kognition", Kortizes.

Book chapter, popular science

Krickel, B. (2022). Auf der Suche nach dem Unbewussten. Gehirn&Geist, 11/2022, 13-18.

Popular science article

Kohár, M., & Krickel, B. (2021). Compare and Contrast: How to Assess the Completeness of Mechanistic Explanation. In F. Calzavarini & M. Viola (Eds.), Neural Mechanisms - New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience (pp. 395–424). Springer.

Book chapter, peer reviewed

Baumgartner, M., Casini, L., & Krickel, B. (2020). Horizontal Surgicality and Mechanistic Constitution. Erkenntnis, 85(2), 417–430.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2020). Extended cognition, the new mechanists’ mutual manipulability criterion, and the challenge of trivial extendedness. Mind & Language, 35(4), 539–561.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2020). Reply to Cartwright, Pemberton, Wieten: “mechanisms, laws and explanation.” European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 10(3), 43.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Craver, C. F., & Krickel, B. (2019). Mechanisms in Science. Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy, Oxford University Press.

Online bibliography, peer reviewed

Newen, A., & Krickel, B. (2019). German Research Foundation (DFG) Research Training Group 2185 “Situated Cognition.” Neuroforum, 25(1).

Journal article

Krickel, B. (2018). Are the states underlying implicit biases unconscious? – A Neo-Freudian answer. Philosophical Psychology, 31(7), 1007–1026.

Journal article, peer reviewed

Krickel, B. (2018). A Regularist Approach to Mechanistic Type-Level Explanation. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 69(4), 1123–1153.

Journal article, peer reviewed

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