chapter  7
24 Pages

Biological robustness

Design, organization, and mechanisms
ByMaria Serban, Sara Green

Recent engineering-based modelling efforts in systems biology suggest that some forms of biological robustness depend on relational features of the organization of living systems. To explain such features, abstract representations of patterns of organization or “design principles” within the framework of control theory have been proposed. We characterize the results of such model-based practices as “structural-causal explanations” and situate our account in the broader philosophical debate about explanation in biology.