PhilSci Archive

Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Biology: Cellular Networks

Matthiessen, Dana (2017) Mechanistic Explanation in Systems Biology: Cellular Networks. [Preprint]

[img]
Preview
Text
BJPS MechExpl preprint final draft.pdf

Download (209kB) | Preview

Abstract

It is argued that once biological systems reach a certain level of complexity, mechanistic explanations provide an inadequate account of many relevant phenomena. In this paper, I evaluate such claims with respect to a representative program in systems biological research: the study of regulatory networks within single-celled organisms. I argue that these networks are amenable to mechanistic philosophy without need to appeal to some alternate form of explanation. In particular, I claim that we can understand the mathematical modeling techniques of systems biologists as part of a broader practice of constructing and evaluating mechanism schemas. This argument is elaborated by considering the case of bacterial chemotactic networks, where some research has been interpreted as explaining phenomena by means of abstract design principles.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Matthiessen, Danadam228@pitt.edu
Keywords: Explanation; Mechanisms; Mechanistic Explanation; Design Explanation; Systems Biology
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dana Matthiessen
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2023 14:02
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2023 14:02
Item ID: 22454
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Complex Systems
General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2017
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/22454

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item