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Real Patterns in Biological Explanation

Burnston, Daniel (2016) Real Patterns in Biological Explanation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

In discussion of mechanisms, philosophers often debate about whether quantitative descriptions of generalizations or qualitative descriptions of operations are explanatorily fundamental. I argue that these debates have erred by conflating the explanatory roles of generalizations and patterns. Patterns are types of quantitative relationships that hold between quantities in a mechanism, over time and/or across conditions. While these patterns must often be represented in addition to descriptions of operations in order to explain a phenomenon, they are not equivalent to generalizations, because their explanatory role does not depend on any specific facts about their scope or domain of invariance.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Burnston, Danieldburnsto@ucsd.edu
Keywords: Explanation, Explanatory Relations, Generalizations, Mechanisms, Operations, Patterns, Regularities
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Daniel Burnston
Date Deposited: 31 Oct 2016 12:55
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 12:55
Item ID: 12565
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2016
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12565

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