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  1. The Sum of the Parts: Large-Scale Modeling in Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross & Sara Green - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (10).
    Systems biologists often distance themselves from reductionist approaches and formulate their aim as understanding living systems “as a whole.” Yet, it is often unclear what kind of reductionism they have in mind, and in what sense their methodologies would offer a superior approach. To address these questions, we distinguish between two types of reductionism which we call “modular reductionism” and “bottom-up reductionism.” Much knowledge in molecular biology has been gained by decomposing living systems into functional modules or through detailed studies (...)
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  2.  24
    What Systems Biology Can Tell Us About Disease.Fridolin Gross - 2011 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 33 (4).
    - A recent debate has touched upon the question of whether diseases can be understood as dysfunctional mechanisms or whether there are "pathological" mechanisms that deserve to be investigated and explained independently (Nervi 2010; Moghaddam Taaheri 2011). Here I suggest that both views tell us something important about disease but that in many instances only a systemic view can shed light on the relationship between physiology and pathology. I provide examples from the literature in systems biology in support of my (...)
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  3. Between Mechanical Clocks and Emergent Flocks: Complexities in Biology.Fridolin Gross - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12073-12102.
    Even though complexity is a concept that is ubiquitously used by biologists and philosophers of biology, it is rarely made precise. I argue that a clarification of the concept is neither trivial nor unachievable, and I propose a unifying framework based on the technical notion of “effective complexity” that allows me to do justice to conflicting intuitions about biological complexity, while taking into account several distinctions in the usage of the concept that are often overlooked. In particular, I propose a (...)
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  4.  26
    Pluralization through epistemic competition: scientific change in times of data-intensive biology.Fridolin Gross, Nina Kranke & Robert Meunier - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (1):1.
    We present two case studies from contemporary biology in which we observe conflicts between established and emerging approaches. The first case study discusses the relation between molecular biology and systems biology regarding the explanation of cellular processes, while the second deals with phylogenetic systematics and the challenge posed by recent network approaches to established ideas of evolutionary processes. We show that the emergence of new fields is in both cases driven by the development of high-throughput data generation technologies and the (...)
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  5.  13
    Occam’s Razor in Molecular and Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1134-1145.
    Occam’s razor refers to the idea that among competing explanations the simplest should be preferred. This principle has been understood and defended in different ways. Some systems biologists argue that traditional molecular biology is misguided because it relies on an unjustified application of Occam’s razor. I analyze which version of the principle is relevant in this context and ask whether the allegation stands up to scrutiny by looking at actual research. I defend the traditional approach by arguing that its use (...)
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  6.  23
    Meeting Disciplinary Boundaries: Towards a More Inclusive Philosophy of the Life Sciences.Pierre-Olivier Méthot, Miles MacLeod, Susanne Bauer, Fridolin Gross & Antonine Nicoglou - 2010 - Biological Theory (3):292-294.
  7.  6
    A lban F rei, Sichtbare Netzwerke. Forschungspolitik und Life - Sciences zwischen 1990 und 2016 in der Schweiz. Eine Fallstudie zu SystemsX.ch, Zürich: Chronos Verlag, 2018, 272 pp., CHF 38.00/EUR 38.00. [REVIEW]Fridolin Gross - 2019 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 41 (3):37.
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    Meeting Disciplinary Boundaries: Towards a More Inclusive Philosophy of the Life Sciences.Antonine Nicoglou, Fridolin Gross, Susanne Bauer, Miles MacLeod & Pierre-Olivier Méthot - 2010 - Biological Theory 5 (3):292-294.
  9.  3
    Heuristic Strategies in Systems Biology.Fridolin Gross - 2016 - Humana Mente 9 (30).
    Systems biology is sometimes presented as providing a superior approach to the problem of biological complexity. Its use of ‘unbiased’ methods and formal quantitative tools might lead to the impression that the human factor is effectively eliminated. However, a closer look reveals that this impression is misguided. Systems biologists cannot simply assemble molecular information and compute biological behavior. Instead, systems biology’s main contribution is to accelerate the discovery of mechanisms by applying models as heuristic tools. These models rely on a (...)
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