The Downs and Ups of Mechanistic Research: Circadian Rhythm Research as an Exemplar [Book Review]

Erkenntnis 73 (3):313 - 328 (2010)
In the context of mechanistic explanation, reductionistic research pursues a decomposition of complex systems into their component parts and operations. Using research on the mechanisms responsible for circadian rhythms, I consider both the gains that have been made by discovering genes and proteins that figure in these intracellular oscillators and also highlight the increasingly recognized need to understand higher-level integration, both between cells in the central oscillator and between the central and peripheral oscillators. This history illustrates a common need to complement reductionistic inquiry with investigations at higher-levels. Unlike most other accounts of reduction, the mechanistic framework accommodates this complementary relationship between reductionistic and systems approaches
Keywords Philosophy   Logic   Ethics   Ontology   Epistemology   Philosophy
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,660
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Ingo Brigandt (2013). Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
Tarja Knuuttila & Andrea Loettgers (2013). Basic Science Through Engineering? Synthetic Modeling and the Idea of Biology-Inspired Engineering. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (2):158-169.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
William Bechtel (2013). From Molecules to Behavior and the Clinic: Integration in Chronobiology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 44 (4):493-502.
William Bechtel (2010). The Cell: Locus or Object of Inquiry? Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 41 (3):172-182.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

227 ( #13,319 of 1,938,858 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

19 ( #25,673 of 1,938,858 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.