Exporting causal knowledge in evolutionary and developmental biology

Philosophy of Science 75 (5):697-706 (2008)
Abstract
In this article I consider the challenges for exporting causal knowledge raised by complex biological systems. In particular, James Woodward’s interventionist approach to causality identified three types of stability in causal explanation: invariance, modularity, and insensitivity. I consider an example of robust degeneracy in genetic regulatory networks and knockout experimental practice to pose methodological and conceptual questions for our understanding of causal explanation in biology. †To contact the author, please write to: Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, 1017 Cathedral of Learning, Pittsburgh, PA 15260; e‐mail: smitchel@pitt.edu.
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