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Discovering complexity : decomposition and localization as strategies in scientific research

Author: William Bechtel; Robert C Richardson
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, ©2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : English : [MIT Press ed.]View all editions and formats
Summary:
In Discovering Complexity, William Bechtel and Robert Richardson examine two heuristics that guided the development of mechanistic models in the life sciences decomposition and localization Drawing on historical cases from disciplines including cell biology, cognitive neuroscience, and genetics, they identify a number of "choice points" that life scientists confront in developing mechanistic explanations and show
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Bechtel, William.
Discovering complexity $z 9780262290159
Named Person: Dekomposition
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: William Bechtel; Robert C Richardson
ISBN: 9780262514736 0262514737
OCLC Number: 499131381
Notes: Originally published: 1993.
Description: liv, 286 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Contents: Machine generated contents note: pt. I Scientific Discovery and Rationality --
ch. 1 Cognitive Strategies and Scientific Discovery --
1. Rationalizing Scientific Discovery --
2. Procedural Rationality --
ch. 2 Complex Systems and Mechanistic Explanations --
1. Mechanistic Explanation --
2. Decomposition and Localization --
3. Hierarchy and Organization --
4. Conclusion: Failure of Localization --
pt. II Emerging Mechanisms --
Introduction --
ch. 3 Identifying the Locus of Control --
1. Introduction: Identifying System and Context --
2. External Control; The Environment as a Control --
3. Internal Control: The System as a Control --
4. Fixing on a Locus of Control: The Cell in Respiration --
5. Conclusion: Localization of Function --
ch. 4 Direct Localization --
1. Introduction: Relocating Control --
2. Phrenology and Cerebral Localization --
3. Competing Models of Cellular Respiration --
4. Conclusion: Direct Localization and Competing Mechanisms --
ch. 5 Rejection of Mechanism --
1. Introduction: Mechanism and Its Opponents --
2. Flourens and the Integrity of the Nervous System --
3. Vitalist Opposition to Mechanistic Physiology --
4. Conclusion: Settling for Descriptions --
pt. III Elaborating Mechanisms --
Introduction --
ch. 6 Complex Localization --
1. Introduction: Constraints on Localization --
2. Top-Down Constraints --
3. Bottom-Up Constraints --
4. Conclusion: The Rise and Decline of Decomposability --
ch. 7 Integrated Mechanisms --
1. Introduction: Replacing a Direct Localization --
2. Direct Localization of Fermentation in Zymase --
3. Complex Linear Model of Fermentation --
4. Integrated System Responsible for Fermentation --
5. Conclusion: The Discovery of Integration --
ch. 8 Reconstituting the Phenomena --
1. Introduction: Biochemical Genetics --
2. Classical Genetics --
3. Developmental Genetics --
4. One Gene/One Enzyme --
5. Conclusion: Reconstituting the Phenomena --
pt. IV Emergent Mechanism --
Introduction --
ch. 9 "Emergent" Phenomena in Interconnected Networks --
1. Introduction: Dispensing with Modules --
2. Hierarchical Control: Hughlings Jackson's Analysis of the Nervous System --
3. Parallel Distributed Processing and Cognition --
4. Distributed Mechanisms for Genomic Regulation --
5. Conclusion: Mechanistic Explanations without functional Decomposition and Localization --
ch. 10 Constructing Causal Explanations --
1. Decomposition and Localization in Perspective --
2. Four Constraints on Development --
3. Conclusion: Looking Forward.
Responsibility: William Bechtel and Robert C. Richardson.

Abstract:

An analysis of two heuristic strategies for the development of mechanistic models, illustrated with historical examples from the life sciences.  Read more...

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"In Discovering Complexity, Bechtel and Richardson sketched a blueprint for a post-reductive philosophy of science grounded in historical examples and focused on major heuristics and biases in the Read more...

 
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