Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12077
Author(s):
Bechtel, William
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preprint description
To demonstrate that a proposed mechanism could explain a phenomenon, biologists must recompose the mechanism. Traditionally they have relied on mentally rehearsing the operations, often aided by a mechanism diagram. Such a strategy has reached its limits in contemporary biology. For example, through mental rehearsal alone researchers cannot determine whether a feedback mechanism will generate sustained oscillation. Accordingly, mechanistic inclined biologists are enriching their strategies, relying on computational simulation and graph-theoretical analyses of networks. The limitations of traditional approaches and the additional strategies biologists are employing are illustrated in research on glycolytic and circadian oscillations.

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