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Mechanistic Information and Causal Continuity

Bogen, Jim and Machamer, Peter (2010) Mechanistic Information and Causal Continuity. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    Some biological processes (our examples are DNA expression and a reflex response in the leech) move from step to step in a way that cannot be completely understood solely in terms of causes and correlations. This paper develops a notion of mechanistic information that can be used to explain the continuities of such processes. We compare them to processes (including the Krebs cycle) that do not involve information. We compare our conception of mechanistic information to some familiar notions including Crick’s idea of genetic information, Shannon-Weaver information, and Millikan’s biosemantic information.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: information, mechanisms, mechanistic information, DNA expression, sensori-motor reflexes, Krebs cycle, causal explanation, causal continuity, teleology, function.
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
    Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
    General Issues > Causation
    General Issues > Explanation
    Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
    Depositing User: jim bogen
    Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2010
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:19
    Item ID: 5151
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/5151

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