David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 33 (1):1-28 (2002)
In the 1950s and 1960s, an interfield interaction between molecular biologists and biochemists integrated important discoveries about the mechanism of protein synthesis. This extended discovery episode reveals two general reasoning strategies for eliminating gaps in descriptions of the productive continuity of mechanisms: schema instantiation and forward chaining/backtracking. Schema instantiation involves filling roles in an overall framework for the mechanism. Forward chaining and backtracking eliminate gaps using knowledge about types of entities and their activities. Attention to mechanisms highlights salient features of this historical episode while providing general reasoning strategies for mechanism discovery
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