Philosophy of Science 87 (1):70-90 (2020)

Authors
Oliver Lean
University of Bristol
Abstract
Binding specificity is a centrally important concept in molecular biology, yet it has received little philosophical attention. Here I aim to remedy this by analyzing binding specificity as a causal property. I focus on the concept’s role in drug design, where it is highly prized and hence directly studied. From a causal perspective, understanding why binding specificity is a valuable property of drugs contributes to an understanding of causal selection—of how and why scientists distinguish between causes, not just causes from noncauses. In particular, the specificity of drugs is precisely what underwrites their value as experimental interventions on biological processes.
Keywords causation  drug design  molecular biology
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DOI 10.1086/706093
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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.
The New Mechanical Philosophy.Stuart Glennan - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Genetics and Philosophy : An Introduction.Paul Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2013 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Causes That Make a Difference.C. Kenneth Waters - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (11):551-579.

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Citations of this work BETA

Host Specificity in Biological Control.Thomas Blanchard - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Philosophy of Developmental Biology.Marcel Weber - 2022 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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