PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Scale-Dependency and Downward Causation in Biology

I argue that philosophical implications of multi-scale modeling discussed the context of physics are equally relevant for understanding biological research. The paper draws on recent examples of large-scale modeling in systems biology to clarify why pure bottom-up modeling is not possible when modeling biological systems such as the human heart or a developing embryo across multiple scales. Finally, I discuss whether multi-scale modeling could facilitate an understanding of the difficult concept of downward causation as it has been discussed in cancer research and systems biology.

Author Information:

Sara Green    


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