Dna, inference, and information


Authors
Ulrich Stegmann
University of Aberdeen
Abstract
This paper assesses Sarkar's ([2003]) deflationary account of genetic information. On Sarkar's account, genes carry information about proteins because protein synthesis exemplifies what Sarkar calls a ‘formal information system’. Furthermore, genes are informationally privileged over non-genetic factors of development because only genes enter into arbitrary relations to their products (in virtue of the alleged arbitrariness of the genetic code). I argue that the deflationary theory does not capture four essential features of the ordinary concept of genetic information: intentionality, exclusiveness, asymmetry, and causal relevance. It is therefore further removed from what is customarily meant by genetic information than Sarkar admits. Moreover, I argue that it is questionable whether the account succeeds in demonstrating that information is theoretically useful in molecular genetics. Introduction Sarkar's Information System The Pre-theoretic Features of Genetic Information 3.1 Intentionality 3.2 Exclusiveness 3.3 Asymmetry 3.4 Causal relevance Theoretical Usefulness Conclusion CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this?
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axn041
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,966
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Concept of Information in Biology.John Maynard Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):177-194.
The Extended Replicator.Kim Sterelny, Kelly C. Smith & Michael Dickison - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):377-403.
On the Theoretical Role of "Genetic Coding".Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):26-44.

View all 8 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Inherited Representations Are Read in Development.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (1):1-31.
Varieties of Parity.Ulrich E. Stegmann - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (6):903-918.
Three Views of Theoretical Knowledge.W. Demopoulos - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (1):177-205.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-02-14

Total views
58 ( #130,354 of 2,236,013 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #986,099 of 2,236,013 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature