Results for 'models in biology'

999 found
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  1.  73
    Underdetermination and Models in Biology.Petr Jedlička - 2017 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 39 (2):167-186.
    Since the early 20th century underdetermination has been one of the most contentious problems in the philosophy of science. In this article I relate the underdetermination problem to models in biology and defend two main lines of argument: First, the use of models in this discipline lends strong support to the underdetermination thesis. Second, models and theories in biology are not determined strictly by the logic of representation of the studied phenomena, but also by other (...)
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  2. How-Possibly Explanation in Biology: Lessons From Wilhelm His’s ‘Simple Experiments’ Models.Christopher Pearson - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (4).
    A common view of how-possibly explanations in biology treats them as explanatorily incomplete. In addition to this interpretation of how-possibly explanation, I argue that there is another interpretation, one which features what I term “explanatory strategies.” This strategy-centered interpretation of how-possibly explanation centers on there being a different explanatory context within which how-possibly explanations are offered. I contend that, in conditions where this strategy context is recognized, how-possibly explanations can be understood as complete explanations. I defend this alternative interpretation (...)
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  3.  76
    The Challenges of Purely Mechanistic Models in Biology and the Minimum Need for a 'Mechanism-Plus-X' Framework.Sepehr Ehsani - 2018 - Dissertation, University College London
    Ever since the advent of molecular biology in the 1970s, mechanical models have become the dogma in the field, where a "true" understanding of any subject is equated to a mechanistic description. This has been to the detriment of the biomedical sciences, where, barring some exceptions, notable new feats of understanding have arguably not been achieved in normal and disease biology, including neurodegenerative disease and cancer pathobiology. I argue for a "mechanism-plus-X" paradigm, where mainstay elements of mechanistic (...)
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  4. The Biosemiotic Approach in Biology : Theoretical Bases and Applied Models.Joao Queiroz, Claus Emmeche, Kalevi Kull & Charbel El-Hani - 2011 - In George Terzis & Robert Arp (eds.), Information and Living Systems -- Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives. MIT Press. pp. 91-130.
    Biosemiotics is a growing fi eld that investigates semiotic processes in the living realm in an attempt to combine the fi ndings of the biological sciences and semiotics. Semiotic processes are more or less what biologists have typically referred to as “ signals, ” “ codes, ”and “ information processing ”in biosystems, but these processes are here understood under the more general notion of semiosis, that is, the production, action, and interpretation of signs. Thus, biosemiotics can be seen as (...) interpreted as a study of living sign systems — which also means that semiosis or sign process can be seen as the very nature of life itself. In other words, biosemiotics is a field of research investigating semiotic processes (meaning, signification, communication, and habit formation in living systems) and the physicochemical preconditions for sign action and interpretation. -/- (...). (shrink)
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  5.  41
    Interactive Models in Synthetic Biology: Exploring Biological and Cognitive Inter-Identities.Leonardo Bich - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
    The aim of this article is to investigate the relevance and implications of synthetic models for the study of the interactive dimension of minimal life and cognition, by taking into consideration how the use of artificial systems may contribute to an understanding of the way in which interactions may affect or even contribute to shape biological identities. To do so, this article analyzes experimental work in synthetic biology on different types of interactions between artificial and natural systems, more (...)
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  6. Models in the Geosciences.Alisa Bokulich & Naomi Oreskes - 2017 - In Lorenzo Magnani & Tommaso Wayne Bertolotti (eds.), Springer Handbook of Model-Based Science. Springer. pp. 891-911.
    The geosciences include a wide spectrum of disciplines ranging from paleontology to climate science, and involve studies of a vast range of spatial and temporal scales, from the deep-time history of microbial life to the future of a system no less immense and complex than the entire Earth. Modeling is thus a central and indispensable tool across the geosciences. Here, we review both the history and current state of model-based inquiry in the geosciences. Research in these fields makes use of (...)
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  7. Stepping Beyond the Newtonian Paradigm in Biology. Towards an Integrable Model of Life: Accelerating Discovery in the Biological Foundations of Science.Plamen L. Simeonov, Edwin Brezina, Ron Cottam, Andreé C. Ehresmann, Arran Gare, Ted Goranson, Jaime Gomez‐Ramirez, Brian D. Josephson, Bruno Marchal, Koichiro Matsuno, Robert S. Root-­Bernstein, Otto E. Rössler, Stanley N. Salthe, Marcin Schroeder, Bill Seaman & Pridi Siregar - 2012 - In Plamen L. Simeonov, Leslie S. Smith & Andreé C. Ehresmann (eds.), Integral Biomathics: Tracing the Road to Reality. Springer. pp. 328-427.
    The INBIOSA project brings together a group of experts across many disciplines who believe that science requires a revolutionary transformative step in order to address many of the vexing challenges presented by the world. It is INBIOSA’s purpose to enable the focused collaboration of an interdisciplinary community of original thinkers. This paper sets out the case for support for this effort. The focus of the transformative research program proposal is biology-centric. We admit that biology to date has been (...)
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  8. Embryological Models in Ancient Philosophy.Devin Henry - 2005 - Phronesis 50 (1):1 - 42.
    Historically embryogenesis has been among the most philosophically intriguing phenomena. In this paper I focus on one aspect of biological development that was particularly perplexing to the ancients: self-organisation. For many ancients, the fact that an organism determines the important features of its own development required a special model for understanding how this was possible. This was especially true for Aristotle, Alexander, and Simplicius, who all looked to contemporary technology to supply that model. However, they did not all agree on (...)
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  9. Experimental Modeling in Biology: In Vivo Representation and Stand-Ins As Modeling Strategies.Marcel Weber - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):756-769.
    Experimental modeling in biology involves the use of living organisms (not necessarily so-called "model organisms") in order to model or simulate biological processes. I argue here that experimental modeling is a bona fide form of scientific modeling that plays an epistemic role that is distinct from that of ordinary biological experiments. What distinguishes them from ordinary experiments is that they use what I call "in vivo representations" where one kind of causal process is used to stand in for a (...)
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  10. Laws, Models, and Theories in Biology: A Unifying Interpretation.Pablo Lorenzano - 2020 - In Lorenzo Baravalle & Luciana Zaterka (eds.), Life and Evolution, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences. pp. 163-207.
    Three metascientific concepts that have been object of philosophical analysis are the concepts oflaw, model and theory. The aim ofthis article is to present the explication of these concepts, and of their relationships, made within the framework of Sneedean or Metatheoretical Structuralism (Balzer et al. 1987), and of their application to a case from the realm of biology: Population Dynamics. The analysis carried out will make it possible to support, contrary to what some philosophers of science in general and (...)
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  11. Using Blinking Fractals for Mathematical Modelling of Processes of Growth in Biological Systems.Yaroslav Sergeyev - 2011 - Informatica 22 (4):559–576.
    Many biological processes and objects can be described by fractals. The paper uses a new type of objects – blinking fractals – that are not covered by traditional theories considering dynamics of self-similarity processes. It is shown that both traditional and blinking fractals can be successfully studied by a recent approach allowing one to work numerically with infinite and infinitesimal numbers. It is shown that blinking fractals can be applied for modeling complex processes of growth of biological systems including their (...)
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  12. Mathematical Modeling in Biology: Philosophy and Pragmatics.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2012 - Frontiers in Plant Evolution and Development 2012:1-3.
    Philosophy can shed light on mathematical modeling and the juxtaposition of modeling and empirical data. This paper explores three philosophical traditions of the structure of scientific theory—Syntactic, Semantic, and Pragmatic—to show that each illuminates mathematical modeling. The Pragmatic View identifies four critical functions of mathematical modeling: (1) unification of both models and data, (2) model fitting to data, (3) mechanism identification accounting for observation, and (4) prediction of future observations. Such facets are explored using a recent exchange between two (...)
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  13. Reflections on a Theory of Organisms: Holism in Biology.Walter M. Elsasser - 1987 - Published for the Johns Hopkins Dept. Of Earth and Planetary Sciences by the Johns Hopkins University Press.
    Are living organisms--as Descartes argued--just machines? Or is the nature of life such that it can never be fully explained by mechanistic models? In this thought-provoking and controversial book, eminent geophysicist Walter M. Elsasser argues that the behavior of living organisms cannot be reduced to physico-chemical causality. Suggesting that molecular biology today is at the same point as Newtonian physics on the eve of the quantum revolution, Elsasser lays the foundation for a theoretical biology that points the (...)
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  14. Reducing the Dauer Larva: Molecular Models of Biological Phenomena in Caenorhabditis Elegans Research.Arciszewski Michal - manuscript
    One important aspect of biological explanation is detailed causal modeling of particular phenomena in limited experimental background conditions. Recognising this allows a new avenue for intertheoretic reduction to be seen. Reductions in biology are possible, when one fully recognises that a sufficient condition for a reduction in biology is a molecular model of 1) only the demonstrated causal parameters of a biological model and 2) only within a replicable experimental background. These intertheoretic identifications –which are ubiquitous in (...) and form the basis of ruthless reductions (Bickle 2003)- are criticised as merely “local” (Sullivan 2009) or “fragmentary” (Schaffner 2006). However, in an instructive case, a biological model is preserved in molecular terms, and a complex biological phenomenon has been successfully reduced. In doing this the molecular model remains valid in a broader range of background conditions and meaningfully unites disparate biological phenomena. (shrink)
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  15. ‘On the Different Ways of ‘‘Doing Theory’’ in Biology‘.Massimo Pigliucci - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (4): 287-297.
    ‘‘Theoretical biology’’ is a surprisingly heter- ogeneous field, partly because it encompasses ‘‘doing the- ory’’ across disciplines as diverse as molecular biology, systematics, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Moreover, it is done in a stunning variety of different ways, using anything from formal analytical models to computer sim- ulations, from graphic representations to verbal arguments. In this essay I survey a number of aspects of what it means to do theoretical biology, and how they compare with (...)
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  16. COMPARING PART-WHOLE REDUCTIVE EXPLANATIONS IN BIOLOGY AND PHYSICS.Alan C. Love & Andreas Hüttemann - 2011 - In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. pp. 183--202.
    Many biologists and philosophers have worried that importing models of reasoning from the physical sciences obscures our understanding of reasoning in the life sciences. In this paper we discuss one example that partially validates this concern: part-whole reductive explanations. Biology and physics tend to incorporate different models of temporality in part-whole reductive explanations. This results from differential emphases on compositional and causal facets of reductive explanations, which have not been distinguished reliably in prior philosophical analyses. Keeping these (...)
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  17. Diagrams as Locality Aids for Explanation and Model Construction in Cell Biology.Nicholaos Jones & Olaf Wolkenhauer - 2012 - Biology and Philosophy 27 (5):705-721.
    Using as case studies two early diagrams that represent mechanisms of the cell division cycle, we aim to extend prior philosophical analyses of the roles of diagrams in scientific reasoning, and specifically their role in biological reasoning. The diagrams we discuss are, in practice, integral and indispensible elements of reasoning from experimental data about the cell division cycle to mathematical models of the cycle’s molecular mechanisms. In accordance with prior analyses, the diagrams provide functional explanations of the cell cycle (...)
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  18. The Mathematical Theory of Categories in Biology and the Concept of Natural Equivalence in Robert Rosen.Franck Varenne - 2013 - Revue d'Histoire des Sciences 66 (1):167-197.
    The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the epistemological justification of a proposal initially made by the biomathematician Robert Rosen in 1958. In this theoretical proposal, Rosen suggests using the mathematical concept of “category” and the correlative concept of “natural equivalence” in mathematical modeling applied to living beings. Our questions are the following: According to Rosen, to what extent does the mathematical notion of category give access to more “natural” formalisms in the modeling of living beings? Is (...)
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  19. Empirical Protocols for Mediating Long-Range Coherence in Biological Systems.Richard L. Amoroso - 2013 - Journal of Consciousness Exploration and Research 4 (09):24-45.
    Delineating the framework for a fundamental model of long-range coherence in biological systems is said to rely on principles beyond parameters addressed by current physical science. Just as phenomena of quantum mechanics lay beyond tools of classical Newtonian mechanics we must now enter a 3rd regime of unified field, UF mechanics. In this paper we present a battery of nine empirical protocols for manipulating long-range coherence in complex self-organized living systems (SOLS) in a manner surmounting the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum (...)
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  20.  71
    ANN Model for Predicting Protein Localization Sites in Cells.Mohammed Nafez Abu Samra, Bilal Ezz El-Din Abed, Hossam Abdel Nasser Zaqout & Samy S. Abu-Naser - 2020 - International Journal of Academic and Applied Research (IJAAR) 4 (9):43-50.
    To automate examination of massive amounts of sequence data for biological function, it is important to computerize interpretation based on empirical knowledge of sequence-function relationships. For this purpose, we have been constructing an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) by organizing various experimental and computational observations as a collection ANN models. Here we propose an ANN model which utilizes the Dataset for UCI Machine Learning Repository, for predicting localization sites of proteins. We collected data for 336 proteins with known localization sites (...)
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  21.  54
    Grounding Cognition: Heterarchical Control Mechanisms in Biology.William Bechtel & Leonardo Bich - 2021 - Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 376 (1820).
    We advance an account that grounds cognition, specifically decision-making, in an activity all organisms as autonomous systems must perform to keep themselves viable—controlling their production mechanisms. Production mechanisms, as we characterize them, perform activities such as procuring resources from their environment, putting these resources to use to construct and repair the organism's body and moving through the environment. Given the variable nature of the environment and the continual degradation of the organism, these production mechanisms must be regulated by control mechanisms (...)
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  22. Ontology-Based Knowledge Representation of Experiment Metadata in Biological Data Mining.Scheuermann Richard, Kong Megan, Dahlke Carl, Cai Jennifer, Lee Jamie, Qian Yu, Squires Burke, Dunn Patrick, Wiser Jeff, Hagler Herb, Herb Hagler, Barry Smith & David Karp - 2009 - In Jake Chen & Stefano Lonardi (eds.), Biological Data Mining. Boca Raton: Chapman Hall / Taylor and Francis. pp. 529-559.
    According to the PubMed resource from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, over 750,000 scientific articles have been published in the ~5000 biomedical journals worldwide in the year 2007 alone. The vast majority of these publications include results from hypothesis-driven experimentation in overlapping biomedical research domains. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of information being generated by the biomedical research enterprise has made it virtually impossible for investigators to stay aware of the latest findings in their domain of interest, let alone to (...)
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  23. Model Organisms Are Not (Theoretical) Models.Arnon Levy & Adrian Currie - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):327-348.
    Many biological investigations are organized around a small group of species, often referred to as ‘model organisms’, such as the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. The terms ‘model’ and ‘modelling’ also occur in biology in association with mathematical and mechanistic theorizing, as in the Lotka–Volterra model of predator-prey dynamics. What is the relation between theoretical models and model organisms? Are these models in the same sense? We offer an account on which the two practices are shown to have (...)
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  24. Mathematical Biology and the Existence of Biological Laws.Mauro Dorato - 2012 - In D. Dieks, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws and Structure. Springer.
    An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim (...)
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  25. The Risk GP Model: The Standard Model of Prediction in Medicine.Jonathan Fuller & Luis J. Flores - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 54:49-61.
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  26. The Phylogeography Debate and the Epistemology of Model-Based Evolutionary Biology.Alfonso Arroyo-Santos, Mark E. Olson & Francisco Vergara-Silva - 2014 - Biology and Philosophy 29 (6):833-850.
    Phylogeography, a relatively new subdicipline of evolutionary biology that attempts to unify the fields of phylogenetics and population biology in an explicit geographical context, has hosted in recent years a highly polarized debate related to the purported benefits and limitations that qualitative versus quantitative methods might contribute or impose on inferential processes in evolutionary biology. Here we present a friendly, non-technical introduction to the conflicting methods underlying the controversy, and exemplify it with a balanced selection of quotes (...)
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  27. Modelling Principles and Methodologies: Relations in Anatomical Ontologies.Fabian Neuhaus & Barry Smith - 2008 - In Albert Burger, Duncan Davidson & Richard Baldock (eds.), Anatomy Ontologies for Bioinformatics: Principles and Practice. Springer. pp. 289--306.
    It is now increasingly accepted that many existing biological and medical ontologies can be improved by adopting tools and methods that bring a greater degree of logical and ontological rigor. In this chapter we will focus on the merits of a logically sound approach to ontologies from a methodological point of view. As we shall see, one crucial feature of a logically sound approach is that we have clear and functional definitions of the relational expressions such as ‘is a’ and (...)
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  28. Philosophy of Experimental Biology.Jacob Stegenga - 2009 - Erkenntnis 71 (3):431-436.
    Philosophers have committed sins while studying science, it is said – philosophy of science focused on physics to the detriment of biology, reconstructed idealizations of scientific episodes rather than attending to historical details, and focused on theories and concepts to the detriment of experiments. Recent generations of philosophers of science have tried to atone for these sins, and by the 1980s the exculpation was in full swing. Marcel Weber’s Philosophy of Experimental Biology is a zenith mea culpa for (...)
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  29. Fisherian and Wrightian Perspectives in Evolutionary Genetics and Model-Mediated Imposition of Theoretical Assumptions.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2006 - Journal of Theoretical Biology 240:218-232.
    I investigate how theoretical assumptions, pertinent to different perspectives and operative during the modeling process, are central in determining how nature is actually taken to be. I explore two different models by Michael Turelli and Steve Frank of the evolution of parasite-mediated cytoplasmic incompatility, guided, respectively, by Fisherian and Wrightian perspectives. Since the two models can be shown to be commensurable both with respect to mathematics and data, I argue that the differences between them in the (1) mathematical (...)
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  30. Is It Really so Easy to Model Biological Evolution in Terms of Design-Free Cumulative Selection?Peter Punin - manuscript
    Abstract: Without directly taking sides in the design/anti-design debate, this paper defends the following position: the assertion that biological evolution “is” design-free presupposes the possibility to model biological evolution in a design-free way. Certainly, there are design-free models of evolution based on cumulative selection. But “to model” is a verb denoting “modeling” as the process leading to a model. So any modeling – trivially – needs “previous human design.” Nevertheless, contrary to other scientific activities which legitimately consider models (...)
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  31. Synthetic Biology and Biofuels.Catherine Kendig - 2014 - In Paul B. Thompson & David M. Kaplan (eds.), Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics. Springer.
    Synthetic biology is a field of research that concentrates on the design, construction, and modification of new biomolecular parts and metabolic pathways using engineering techniques and computational models. By employing knowledge of operational pathways from engineering and mathematics such as circuits, oscillators, and digital logic gates, it uses these to understand, model, rewire, and reprogram biological networks and modules. Standard biological parts with known functions are catalogued in a number of registries (e.g. Massachusetts Institute of Technology Registry of (...)
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  32. A Biologically Informed Hylomorphism.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - In William M. R. Simpson, Robert C. Koons & Nicholas J. Teh (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Contemporary Science. Routledge. pp. 185-210.
    Although contemporary metaphysics has recently undergone a neo-Aristotelian revival wherein dispositions, or capacities are now commonplace in empirically grounded ontologies, being routinely utilised in theories of causality and modality, a central Aristotelian concept has yet to be given serious attention – the doctrine of hylomorphism. The reason for this is clear: while the Aristotelian ontological distinction between actuality and potentiality has proven to be a fruitful conceptual framework with which to model the operation of the natural world, the distinction between (...)
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  33. Biological Autonomy.Attila Grandpierre & Menas Kafatos - 2012 - Philosophy Study 2 (9):631-649.
    We argue that genuine biological autonomy, or described at human level as free will, requires taking into account quantum vacuum processes in the context of biological teleology. One faces at least three basic problems of genuine biological autonomy: (1) if biological autonomy is not physical, where does it come from? (2) Is there a room for biological causes? And (3) how to obtain a workable model of biological teleology? It is shown here that the solution of all these three problems (...)
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  34. Causal Graphs and Biological Mechanisms.Alexander Gebharter & Marie I. Kaiser - 2014 - In Marie I. Kaiser, Oliver Scholz, Daniel Plenge & Andreas Hüttemann (eds.), Explanation in the special sciences: The case of biology and history. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 55-86.
    Modeling mechanisms is central to the biological sciences – for purposes of explanation, prediction, extrapolation, and manipulation. A closer look at the philosophical literature reveals that mechanisms are predominantly modeled in a purely qualitative way. That is, mechanistic models are conceived of as representing how certain entities and activities are spatially and temporally organized so that they bring about the behavior of the mechanism in question. Although this adequately characterizes how mechanisms are represented in biology textbooks, contemporary biological (...)
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  35. Review of Millikan, Ruth Garrett, Language: A Biological Model[REVIEW]Brian Epstein - 2006 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (5).
    Ruth Mil­likan is one of the most inter­est­ing and influ­en­tial philoso­phers alive. Her work is also hard to pen­e­trate. In this review, I try to present and assess her work on the nature of lan­guage, which is col­lected in this anthol­ogy. I also crit­i­cize her analy­sis of “nat­ural con­ven­tion” as well as her dis­cus­sion of illo­cu­tion­ary acts.
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  36. Complexity Biology-Based Information Structures Can Explain Subjectivity, Objective Reduction of Wave Packets, and Non-Computability.Alex Hankey - 2014 - Cosmos and History 10 (1):237-250.
    Background: how mind functions is subject to continuing scientific discussion. A simplistic approach says that, since no convincing way has been found to model subjective experience, mind cannot exist. A second holds that, since mind cannot be described by classical physics, it must be described by quantum physics. Another perspective concerns mind's hypothesized ability to interact with the world of quanta: it should be responsible for reduction of quantum wave packets; physics producing 'Objective Reduction' is postulated to form the basis (...)
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  37.  45
    Alife Models as Epistemic Artefacts.Xabier Barandiaran & Alvaro Moreno - 2006 - In Luis Rocha, Larry Yaeger & Mark Bedau (eds.), Artificial Life X : Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems. MIT Press. pp. 513-519.
    Both the irreducible complexity of biological phenomena and the aim of a universalized biology (life-as-it-could-be) have lead to a deep methodological shift in the study of life; represented by the appearance of ALife, with its claim that computational modelling is the main tool for studying the general principles of biological phenomenology. However this methodological shift implies important questions concerning the aesthetic, engineering and specially the epistemological status of computational models in scientific research: halfway between the well established categories (...)
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  38. Hysteria, Race, and Phlogiston. A Model of Ontological Elimination in the Human Sciences.David Ludwig - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 45 (1):68-77.
    Elimination controversies are ubiquitous in philosophy and the human sciences. For example, it has been suggested that human races, hysteria, intelligence, mental disorder, propositional attitudes such as beliefs and desires, the self, and the super-ego should be eliminated from the list of respectable entities in the human sciences. I argue that eliminativist proposals are often presented in the framework of an oversimplified “phlogiston model” and suggest an alternative account that describes ontological elimination on a gradual scale between criticism of empirical (...)
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  39. Modelling with Words: Narrative and Natural Selection.Dominic K. Dimech - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 62:20-24.
    I argue that verbal models should be included in a philosophical account of the scientific practice of modelling. Weisberg (2013) has directly opposed this thesis on the grounds that verbal structures, if they are used in science, only merely describe models. I look at examples from Darwin's On the Origin of Species (1859) of verbally constructed narratives that I claim model the general phenomenon of evolution by natural selection. In each of the cases I look at, a particular (...)
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  40. Schaffner’s Model of Theory Reduction: Critique and Reconstruction.Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (2):119-142.
    Schaffner’s model of theory reduction has played an important role in philosophy of science and philosophy of biology. Here, the model is found to be problematic because of an internal tension. Indeed, standard antireductionist external criticisms concerning reduction functions and laws in biology do not provide a full picture of the limits of Schaffner’s model. However, despite the internal tension, his model usefully highlights the importance of regulative ideals associated with the search for derivational, and embedding, deductive relations (...)
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  41.  59
    Mechanistic Idealization in Systems Biology.Dingmar van Eck & Cory Wright - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper adds to the philosophical literature on mechanistic explanation by elaborating two related explanatory functions of idealisation in mechanistic models. The first function involves explaining the presence of structural/organizational features of mechanisms by reference to their role as difference-makers for performance requirements. The second involves tracking counterfactual dependency relations between features of mechanisms and features of mechanistic explanandum phenomena. To make these functions salient, we relate our discussion to an exemplar from systems biological research on the mechanism for (...)
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  42. Generation of Biological Patterns and Form: Some Physical, Mathematical and Logical Aspects.Alfred Gierer - 1981 - Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology 37 (1):1-48.
    While many different mechanisms contribute to the generation of spatial order in biological development, the formation of morphogenetic fields which in turn direct cell responses giving rise to pattern and form are of major importance and essential for embryogenesis and regeneration. Most likely the fields represent concentration patterns of substances produced by molecular kinetics. Short range autocatalytic activation in conjunction with longer range “lateral” inhibition or depletion effects is capable of generating such patterns (Gierer and Meinhardt, 1972). Non-linear reactions are (...)
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  43. From Silico to Vitro: Computational Models of Complex Biological Systems Reveal Real-World Emergent Phenomena.Orly Stettiner - 2014 - In Vincent C. Muller (ed.), Computing and Philosophy, Selected Papaers from IACAP 2014. Springer. pp. 133-147.
    Computer simulations constitute a significant scientific tool for promoting scientific understanding of natural phenomena and dynamic processes. Substantial leaps in computational force and software engineering methodologies now allow the design and development of large-scale biological models, which – when combined with advanced graphics tools – may produce realistic biological scenarios, that reveal new scientific explanations and knowledge about real life phenomena. A state-of-the-art simulation system termed Reactive Animation (RA) will serve as a study case to examine the contemporary philosophical (...)
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  44. Scientific Realism, the Semantic View and Evolutionary Biology.Fabio Sterpetti - 2016 - In Emiliano Ippoliti, Fabio Sterpetti & Thomas Nickles (eds.), Models and Inferences in Science. Springer. pp. 55-76.
    The semantic view of theories is normally considered to be an ac-count of theories congenial to Scientific Realism. Recently, it has been argued that Ontic Structural Realism could be fruitfully applied, in combination with the semantic view, to some of the philosophical issues peculiarly related to bi-ology. Given the central role that models have in the semantic view, and the relevance that mathematics has in the definition of the concept of model, the fo-cus will be on population genetics, which (...)
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  45. Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
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  46. Holobiont Evolution: Mathematical Model with Vertical Vs. Horizontal Microbiome Transmission.Joan Roughgarden - 2020 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 12 (2).
    A holobiont is a composite organism consisting of a host together with its microbiome, such as a coral with its zooxanthellae. To explain the often intimate integration between hosts and their microbiomes, some investigators contend that selection operates on holobionts as a unit and view the microbiome’s genes as extending the host’s nuclear genome to jointly comprise a hologenome. Because vertical transmission of microbiomes is uncommon, other investigators contend that holobiont selection cannot be effective because a holobiont’s microbiome is an (...)
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  47.  83
    Scientific Knowledge in Aristotle’s Biology.Barbara Botter - 2015 - ATINER'S Conference Paper Series:1-15.
    Aristotle was the first thinker to articulate a taxonomy of scientific knowledge, which he set out in Posterior Analytics. Furthermore, the “special sciences”, i.e., biology, zoology and the natural sciences in general, originated with Aristotle. A classical question is whether the mathematical axiomatic method proposed by Aristotle in the Analytics is independent of the special sciences. If so, Aristotle would have been unable to match the natural sciences with the scientific patterns he established in the Analytics. In this paper, (...)
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  48. A Theory of Biological Pattern Formation.Alfred Gierer & Hans Meinhardt - 1972 - Kybernetik, Continued as Biological Cybernetics 12 (1):30 - 39.
    The paper addresses the formation of striking patterns within originally near-homogenous tissue, the process prototypical for embryology, and represented in particularly purist form by cut sections of hydra regenerating, by internal reorganisation of the pre-existing tissue, a complete animal with head and foot. The essential requirements are autocatalytic, self-enhancing activation, combined with inhibitory or depletion effects of wider range – “lateral inhibition”. Not only de-novo-pattern formation, but also well known, striking features of developmental regulation such as induction, inhibition, and proportion (...)
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  49. Introduction: Interdisciplinary Model Exchanges.Till Grüne-Yanoff & Uskali Mäki - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 48:52-59.
    The five studies of this special section investigate the role of models and similar representational tools in interdisciplinarity. These studies were all written by philosophers of science, who focused on interdisciplinary episodes between disciplines and sub-disciplines ranging from physics, chemistry and biology to the computational sciences, sociology and economics. The reasons we present these divergent studies in a collective form are three. First, we want to establish model-exchange as a kind of interdisciplinary event. The five case studies, which (...)
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  50.  35
    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 (...)
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