Cancer and the goals of integration

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):466-476 (2013)
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Abstract

Cancer is not one, but many diseases, and each is a product of a variety of causes acting at distinct temporal and spatial scales, or ‘‘levels’’ in the biological hierarchy. In part because of this diversity of cancer types and causes, there has been a diversity of models, hypotheses, and explanations of carcinogenesis. However, there is one model of carcinogenesis that seems to have survived the diversification of cancer types: the multi-stage model of carcinogenesis. This paper examines the history of the multistage theory, and uses the theory as a case study in the limits and goals of unification as a theoretical virtue, comparing and contrasting it with ‘‘integrative’’ research.

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Anya Plutynski
Washington University in St. Louis

Citations of this work

Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.
On the Nature of Cross-Disciplinary Integration: A Philosophical Framework.Michael O'Rourke, Stephen Crowley & Chad Gonnerman - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 56:62-70.
Dimensions of Integration in Interdisciplinary Explanations of the Origin of Evolutionary Novelty.Alan C. Love & Gary L. Lugar - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):537-550.

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