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  1.  99
    Measuring Causal Specificity.Paul E. Griffiths, Arnaud Pocheville, Brett Calcott, Karola Stotz, Hyunju Kim & Rob Knight - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):529-555.
    Several authors have argued that causes differ in the degree to which they are ‘specific’ to their effects. Woodward has used this idea to enrich his influential interventionist theory of causal explanation. Here we propose a way to measure causal specificity using tools from information theory. We show that the specificity of a causal variable is not well-defined without a probability distribution over the states of that variable. We demonstrate the tractability and interest of our proposed measure by measuring the (...)
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  2.  14
    Comparing Causes - an Information-Theoretic Approach to Specificity, Proportionality and Stability.Arnaud Pocheville, Paul Edmund Griffiths & Karola C. Stotz - 2017 - Proceedings of the 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science.
    The interventionist account of causation offers a criterion to distinguish causes from non-causes. It also aims at defining various desirable properties of causal relationships, such as specificity, proportionality and stability. Here we apply an information-theoretic approach to these properties. We show that the interventionist criterion of causation is formally equivalent to non-zero specificity, and that there are natural, information-theoretic ways to explicate the distinction between potential and actual causal influence. We explicate the idea that the description of causes should be (...)
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  3.  26
    Signals That Make a Difference.Brett Calcott, Arnaud Pocheville & Paul Griffiths - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (1):233-258.
    Recent work by Brian Skyrms offers a very general way to think about how information flows and evolves in biological networks—from the way monkeys in a troop communicate to the way cells in a body coordinate their actions. A central feature of his account is a way to formally measure the quantity of information contained in the signals in these networks. In this article, we argue there is a tension between how Skyrms talks of signalling networks and his formal measure (...)
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  4. Signals That Make a Difference.Brett Calcott, Paul E. Griffiths & Arnaud Pocheville - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx022.
    Recent work by Brian Skyrms offers a very general way to think about how information flows and evolves in biological networks — from the way monkeys in a troop communicate, to the way cells in a body coordinate their actions. A central feature of his account is a way to formally measure the quantity of information contained in the signals in these networks. In this paper, we argue there is a tension between how Skyrms talks of signalling networks and his (...)
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  5.  52
    Ecological Models for Gene Therapy. II. Niche Construction, Nongenetic Inheritance, and Ecosystem Perturbations.Arnaud Pocheville, Maël Montévil & Régis Ferrière - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (4):414-422.
    In this paper, we apply the perspective of intra-organismal ecology by investigating a family of ecological models suitable to describe a gene therapy to a particular metabolic disorder, the adenosine deaminase deficiency (ADA-SCID). The gene therapy is modeled as the prospective ecological invasion of an organ (here, bone marrow) by genetically modified stem cells, which then operate niche construction in the cellular environment by releasing an enzyme they synthesize. We show that depending on the chosen order (a choice that cannot (...)
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  6.  13
    Biological Information as Choice and Construction.Arnaud Pocheville - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (5):1012-1025.
    A causal approach to biological information is outlined. There are two aspects to this approach: information as determining a choice between alternative objects and information as determining the construction of a single object. The first aspect has been developed in earlier work to yield a quantitative measure of biological information that can be used to analyze biological networks. This article explores the prospects for a measure based on the second aspect and suggests some applications for such a measure. These two (...)
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  7.  69
    Ecological Models for Gene Therapy. I. Models for Intraorganismal Ecology.Arnaud Pocheville & Maël Montévil - 2014 - Biological Theory 9 (4):401-413.
    In this paper, we discuss the perspective of intra-organismal ecology by investigating a family of ecological models. We consider two types of models. First order models describe the population dynamics as being directly affected by ecological factors (here understood as nutrients, space, etc). They might be thought of as analogous to Aristotelian physics. Second order models describe the population dynamics as being indirectly affected, the ecological factors now affecting the derivative of the growth rate (that is, the population acceleration), possibly (...)
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