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Thinking Again about Biological Mechanisms

Lindley Darden
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 75, No. 5, Proceedings of the 2006 Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science AssociationPart II: Symposia PapersEdited by Cristina Bicchieri and Jason Alexander (December 2008), pp. 958-969
DOI: 10.1086/594538
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/594538
Page Count: 12
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Thinking Again about Biological Mechanisms
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Abstract

The new research program to understand mechanisms in biology has developed rapidly in the last 10 years. Reconsideration of the characterization of mechanisms in biology in the light of this recent work is now in order. This article discusses the perspectival aspect of the characterization of mechanisms (and ways of mitigating rampant perspectivalism), refinements in claims about working entities and kinds of activities, challenges and responses to claims about regularity, productive continuity, and the organizational aspects of a mechanism, and issues about representations of mechanisms in schemas and sketches.

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