Synthese 195 (4):1751-1777 (2018)

Authors
Ingo Brigandt
University of Alberta
Sara-Lee Green
Lund University
2 more
Abstract
The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research strategies? When and how can network and mechanistic approaches interact in productive ways? In this paper we address these questions by focusing on how biological networks are represented and analyzed in a diverse class of case studies. Our examples span from the investigation of organizational properties of biological networks using tools from graph theory to the application of dynamical systems theory to understand the behavior of complex biological systems. We show how network approaches support and extend traditional mechanistic strategies but also offer novel strategies for dealing with biological complexity.
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Reprint years 2016, 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1007/s11229-016-1307-6
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Making Things Happen. A Theory of Causal Explanation.Michael Strevens - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (1):233-249.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.

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Citations of this work BETA

Getting Over Atomism: Functional Decomposition in Complex Neural Systems.Daniel C. Burnston - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):743-772.
Philosophy of Immunology.Bartlomiej Swiatczak & Alfred I. Tauber - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 2020.

View all 13 citations / Add more citations

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