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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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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
Bogen, Jim
Machamer, Peter
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 15:19
Item ID: 5151

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