PhilSci Archive

Explicating Top-­‐Down Causation Using Networks and Dynamics

Bechtel, Williiam (2016) Explicating Top-­‐Down Causation Using Networks and Dynamics. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
bechtel.explicating top-down.4.0.forpreprint.pdf

Download (933kB) | Preview

Abstract

In many fields in the life sciences investigators refer to downward or top-down causal effects. Craver and Bechtel defended the view that such cases should be understood in terms of a constitution relation between levels in a mechanism and causation as solely an intra-level relation (occurring at any level). Craver and Bechtel, however, provided insufficient specification as to when entities constitute a higher-level mechanism. In this paper I appeal to graph-theoretic representations of networks that are now widely employed in systems biology and neuroscience to identify mechanisms with the modules that exhibit high clustering. As a result of the interconnections of nodes in these modules/mechanisms, they often exhibit complex dynamic behaviors that constrain how the individual components respond to external inputs, an important feature of cases viewed as involving top-down causation.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bechtel, Williiambechtel@ucsd.edu
Keywords: constraints; downward causation; endogenous dynamics; graph representations; mechanistic explanations; negative feedb
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Professor William Bechtel
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2016 03:50
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2016 03:50
Item ID: 12214
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Causation
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 20 June 2016
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12214

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item