Systems Biology: Negotiating Between Holism and Reductionism

  • Bechtel W
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“New tools such as graph theory, mathematical modeling, and dynamical systems theory provide holists with a research program that they previously lacked. Beyond merely criticizing extant mechanistic accounts for failing to take into account the context of the system in which mechanisms operate, they can represent and analyze the behavior of complex systems. The new challenge, though, is to integrate systems- level theorizing with accounts of the underlying mechanism. The need for this stems from the fact that for systems theorists to go beyond describing possible systems they need to demonstrate that the system they identify is actually realized in the biological system in question.




Bechtel, W. (2017). Systems Biology: Negotiating Between Holism and Reductionism (pp. 25–36).

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