Synthetic Modeling and Mechanistic Account: Material Recombination and Beyond

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):874-885 (2013)
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Recently, Bechtel and Abrahamsen have argued that mathematical models study the dynamics of mechanisms by recomposing the components and their operations into an appropriately organized system. We will study this claim through the practice of combinational modeling in circadian clock research. In combinational modeling, experiments on model organisms and mathematical/computational models are combined with a new type of model—a synthetic model. We argue that the strategy of recomposition is more complicated than what Bechtel and Abrahamsen indicate. Moreover, synthetic modeling as a kind of material recomposition strategy also points beyond the mechanistic paradigm

Author Profiles

Andrea Loettgers
University of Vienna
Tarja Knuuttila
University of Vienna


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