Systems biology is a vigorous and expanding discipline, in many ways a successor to genomics and perhaps unprecedented in its combination of biology with a great many other sciences, from physics to ecology, from mathematics to medicine, and from philosophy to chemistry. Studying the philosophical foundations of systems biology may resolve a longer standing issue, i.e., the extent to which Biology is entitled to its own scientific foundations rather than being dominated by existing philosophies.

Key Features

* Answers the question of what distinguishes the living from the non-living * An in-depth look to a vigorous and expanding discipline, from molecule to system * Explores the region between individual components and the system


Computational biologists, Molecular biologists, Cellular biologists, Systems biologists, Bioinformaticians, Philosophers of Science, Philosophers of Biology

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Towards philosophical foundations of Systems Biology: Introduction Research programs of Systems Biology 2. The methodologies of Systems Biology 3. Methodology is Philosophy 4. How can we understand metabolism? 5. On Building Reliable Pictures with Unreliable Data: an Evolutionary and Developmental Coda for the New Systems Biology? Theory / models 6. Mechanism and mechanical explanation in cell biology 7. Theories, Models, and Equations in Systems Biology 8. All models are wrong.......some more than others 9. Data without models merging with models without data Organization in biological systems 10. The biochemical factory that autonomously fabricates itself: a systems-biological view of the living cell 11. A systemic approach to the origin of biological organization 12. Organization and biological mechanisms: organized to maintain autonomy 13. The disappearance of function from 'self-organizing systems' Conclusion 14. Afterthoughts as foundations for Systems Biology


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© 2007
Elsevier Science
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