David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of Science 70 (2):235-254 (2003)
A biochemical pathway is a sequence of chemical reactions in a biological organism. Such pathways specify mechanisms that explain how cells carry out their major functions by means of molecules and reactions that produce regular changes. Many diseases can be explained by defects in pathways, and new treatments often involve finding drugs that correct those defects. This paper presents explanation schemas and treatment strategies that characterize how thinking about pathways contributes to biomedical discovery. It discusses the significance of pathways for understanding the nature of diseases, explanations, and theories.
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