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Synthetic Biology and Genetic Causation

Oftedal, Gry, Parkkinen, Veli-Pekka (2013) Synthetic Biology and Genetic Causation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 44 (2). pp. 208-216. ISSN 1369-8486. (doi:10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.016) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:52434)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://doi.org/10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.016

Abstract

Synthetic biology research is often described in terms of programming cells through the introduction of synthetic genes. Genetic material is seemingly attributed with a high level of causal responsibility. We discuss genetic causation in synthetic biology and distinguish three gene concepts differing in their assumptions of genetic control. We argue that synthetic biology generally employs a difference-making approach to establishing genetic causes, and that this approach does not commit to a specific notion of genetic program or genetic control. Still, we suggest that a strong program concept of genetic material can be used as a successful heuristic in certain areas of synthetic biology. Its application requires control of causal context, and may stand in need of a modular decomposition of the target system. We relate different modularity concepts to the discussion of genetic causation and point to possible advantages of and important limitations to seeking modularity in synthetic biology systems.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2013.03.016
Uncontrolled keywords: Causal selection; Difference-making; Genetic causation; Genetic program; Modularity; Synthetic biology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Philosophy
Depositing User: Jacqui Martlew
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2015 15:34 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 16:31 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/52434 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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