The operon model and scientific explanation

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2016
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Abstract
It is widely assumed that mechanistic explanations are causal explanations. Many prominent new mechanists endorse interventionism as the correct analysis of explanatory causal models in biology and other fields. This article argues that interventionism is not entirely satisfactory in this regard. A case study of Jacob and Monod’s operon model shows that at least some important mechanistic explanations in biology present significant contrasts with the interventionist account. This result motivates a more inclusive approach to mechanistic explanation, allowing for noncausal aspects.
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modern, contemporary, structure of theories, pluralism, biology, molecular biology, genetics, the same model that supports multiple explanation --> pluralism
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Downstream publication: Fagan, Melinda. (2016) "Interventionist Omissions: A Critical Case Study of Mechanistic Explanation in Biology." Philosophy of Science 83(5), 1082-1097.
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