In Mariano Bizzarri (ed.), Systems Biology. New York: Springer, Humana Press. pp. 1-13 (2018)

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Abstract
In the last decade, Systems Biology has emerged as a conceptual and explanatory alternative to reductionist-based approaches in molecular biology. However, the foundations of this new discipline need to be fleshed out more carefully. In this paper, we claim that a relational ontology is a necessary tool to ground both the conceptual and explanatory aspects of Systems Biology. A relational ontology holds that relations are prior—both conceptually and explanatory—to entities, and that in the biological realm entities are defined primarily by the context they are embedded within—and hence by the web of relations they are part of.
Keywords systems biology  relational ontology  relational properties  ontological dependence
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On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Investigations.Stuart A. Kauffman - 2000 - Oxford University Press.
The Concept of Mechanism in Biology.Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):152-163.

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