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Design principles and mechanistic explanation

Fang, Wei (2023) Design principles and mechanistic explanation. [Preprint]

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In this essay I propose that what design principles in systems biology and systems neuroscience do is to present abstract characterizations of mechanisms, and thereby facilitate mechanistic explanation. To show this, one design principle in systems neuroscience, i.e., the multilayer perceptron, is examined. However, Braillard (2010) contends that design principles provide a sort of non-mechanistic explanation due to two related reasons: they are very general and describe non-causal dependence relationships. In response to this, I argue that, on the one hand, all mechanisms are more or less general (or abstract), and on the other, many (if not all) design principles are causal systems.

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Item Type: Preprint
Fang, Weiwesleyfang@outlook.com0000000198560599
Keywords: design explanation, mechanistic explanation, multilayer networks, multilayer perceptron, design principles
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dr. Wei Fang
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2022 13:07
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 13:07
Item ID: 21305
Subjects: General Issues > Explanation
Date: 2023

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