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How do networks explain? A neo-Hempelian approach to network explanations of the ecology of the microbiome

Díez, José and Suárez, Javier (2023) How do networks explain? A neo-Hempelian approach to network explanations of the ecology of the microbiome. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Despite the importance of network analysis in biological practice, dominant models of scientific explanation do not account satisfactorily for how this family of explanations gain their explanatory power in every specific application. This insufficiency is particularly salient in the study of the ecology of the microbiome. Drawing on Coyte et al. (2015) study of the ecology of the microbiome, Deulofeu et al (2021) argue that these explanations are neither mechanistic, nor purely mathematical, yet they are substantially empirical. Building on their criticisms, in the present work we make a step further elucidating this kind of explanations with a general analytical framework according to which scientific explanations are ampliative, specialized embeddings (ASE), which has recently been successfully applied to other biological subfields. We use ASE to reconstruct in detail the Coyte et al case study and on its basis, we claim that network explanations of the ecology of the microbiome, and other similar explanations in ecology, gain their epistemological force in virtue of their capacity to embed biological phenomena in non-accidental generalizations that are simultaneously ampliative and specialized.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Díez, Josédiez.ja@gmail.com0000-0002-1082-6020
Suárez, Javierjavier.suarez@uniovi.es0000-0001-5851-2277
Keywords: Topological explanation, microbiota, ecological theory, covering law, new-mechanism, Hempel, structuralism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr Javier Suárez
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2023 16:13
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2023 16:13
Item ID: 22394
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Mathematics > Explanation
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Ecology/Conservation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 10 August 2023
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22394

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