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The Importance of Constraints and Control in Biological Mechanisms: Insights from Cancer Research

Bechtel, William (2018) The Importance of Constraints and Control in Biological Mechanisms: Insights from Cancer Research. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Research on diseases such as cancer reveals that primary mechanisms, which have been the focus of study by the new mechanists in philosophy of science, are often subject to control by other mechanisms. Cancer cells employ the same primary mechanisms as healthy cells, but control them differently. I use cancer research to highlight just how widespread control is in individual cells. To provide a framework for understanding control, I reconceptualize mechanisms as imposing constraints on flows of free energy, with control mechanisms operating on flexible constraints in primary mechanisms. Control mechanisms themselves often form complex, integrated networks.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bechtel, Williambechtel@ucsd.edu
Keywords: Constraints; Control; Mechanisms; Cancer Biology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Professor William Bechtel
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2018 17:16
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2018 17:16
Item ID: 14517
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 1 April 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/14517

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