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Structural and organisational for being a machine

Militello, Guglielmo and Moreno, Alvaro (2018) Structural and organisational for being a machine. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Although the analogy between macroscopic machines and biological molecular devices plays an important role in the conceptual framework of both neo-mechanistic accounts and nanotechnology, it has recently been claimed that certain complex molecular devices (consisting of biological or synthetic macromolecular aggregates) cannot be considered machines since they are subject to physicochemical forces that are different from those of macroscopic machines. However, the structural and physicochemical conditions that allow both macroscopic machines and microscopic devices to work and perform new functions, through a combination of elemental functional parts, have not yet been examined. In order to fill this void, this paper has a threefold aim: first, to clarify the structural and organisational conditions of macroscopic machines and microscopic devices; second, to determine whether the machine-like analogy fits nanoscale devices; and third, to assess whether the machine-like analogy is appropriate for describing the behaviour of some biological macromolecules. Finally, the paper gives an account of ‘machine’ which, while acknowledging the physicochemical and organisational differences between man-made machines and biological microscopic devices, nevertheless identifies a common conceptual core that allows us to consider the latter ‘machines’.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Militello, Guglielmoguglielmo.militello@ehu.eus0000-0003-2657-3977
Moreno, Alvaroalvaro.moreno@ehu.eus0000-0002-2612-8403
Keywords: Machine-like systems • Macroscopic machines • Molecular machines • Mechanistic explanations • Nanotechnology • Biomolecular machines
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Mr. Guglielmo Militello
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2019 14:23
Last Modified: 22 Feb 2019 14:23
Item ID: 15758
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-018-9645-z
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Chemistry
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 20 September 2018
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15758

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