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Causal Concepts Guiding Model Specification in Systems Biology

Matthiessen, Dana (2017) Causal Concepts Guiding Model Specification in Systems Biology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

In this paper I analyze the process by which modelers in systems biology arrive at an adequate representation of the biological structures thought to underlie data gathered from high-throughput experiments. Contrary to claims that causal claims and explanations are rare in systems biology, I argue that in many studies of gene regulatory networks modelers aim at a representation of causal structure. In addressing modeling challenges, they draw on assumptions informed by theory and pragmatic considerations in a manner that is guided by an interventionist conception of causal structure. While doubts have been raised about the applicability of this notion of causality to complex biological systems, it is here seen to be an adequate guide to inquiry.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Matthiessen, Danadam228@pitt.edu
Keywords: Models; Causation; Systems Biology; Cellular Networks; Causal Graphs
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Depositing User: Dana Matthiessen
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2023 13:58
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2023 13:58
Item ID: 22449
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Date: 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22449

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