Working in the causal-mechanical tradition pioneered by WesleySalmon (1984, 1998), other philosophers turned to understandingmechanism elucidation as the avenue to scientific explanation inbiology (Bechtel and Abrahamsen 2005; Bechtel and Richardson 1993;Craver 2007; Darden 2006a; Glennan 2002; Machamer, Darden, and Craver2000; Sarkar 1998; Schaffner 1993; Woodward 2002, 2010). There aredifferences between the various accounts of a mechanism, but they holdin common the basic idea that a scientist provides a successfulexplanation of a phenomenon by identifying and manipulating variablesin the mechanisms thereby determining how those variables are situatedin and make a difference in the mechanism; the ultimate explanationamounts to the elucidation of how those mechanism components act andinteract to produce the phenomenon under investigation. As mentionedabove (see , see also entry on mechanisms in science), an elucidated mechanismallows for the explanatory features of understanding, prediction, andcontrol.
I myself was forced to call myself a molecularbiologist because when inquiring clergymen asked me what I did, I gottired of explaining that I was a mixture of crystallographer,biophysicist, biochemist, and geneticist, an explanation which in anycase they found too hard to grasp. (quoted in Stent 1969:36)
Synthesis - Biology-Online Dictionary
photosynthesis A. sunlight is absorbed by chlorophyll in a leafB. carbon dioxide is taken in from the airC. water is transported from the rootsD. glucose is synthesized and distributed throughout the plantE. oxygen is released
07/01/2018 · synthesis - definition and synonyms ..
Within the context of surrogate models, any successful solution tothe problem of extrapolation must explain how inferences can bejustified given causally relevant differences between models and theirtargets. It must also avoid what Daniel Steel (2008) calls the“extrapolator’s circle”, which arises whenattempting to determine whether the model and its target are similarenough in casually relevant respects. The problem is that determiningsimilarity in this sense seems to require prior knowledge of thecausal mechanisms in both model and target, but, of course, it isprecisely because we lack such knowledge that models are used in thefirst place. If we already knew how the causal mechanism worked in thetarget, we wouldn’t need the model to serve as the basis forextrapolation (for similar criticisms see Lafollette and Shanks1996).
synthesis - Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary
Without traditional laws of nature from which to deriveexplanations, philosophers of biology have been forced to rethink thenature of scientific explanation in biology and, in particular,molecular biology. Two accounts of explanation emerged: theunificationist and the causal-mechanical. Philip Kitcher (1989, 1993)developed a unificationist account of explanation, and he and SylviaCulp explicitly applied it to molecular biology (Culp and Kitcher1989). Among the premises of the “Watson-Crick” argumentschema were “transcription, post-transcriptional modificationand translation for the alleles in question”, along with detailsof cell biology and embryology for the organisms in question (Kitcher1989). An explanation of a particular pattern of distribution ofprogeny phenotypes in a genetic cross resulted from instantiating theappropriate deductive argument schema: the variables were filled withthe details from the particular case and the conclusion derived fromthe premises.