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Assembling Modules and Integrating Models:A Case of Discovery from Modern Immunology




模組 組裝 發現 證成 免疫學

Parallel abstracts

This paper proposes a module-based analysis of the discovery process in the current practice of immunologists, focusing on their published results. In their explanations of inflammatory response phenomena, immunologists usually start by scouring the available background knowledge on mechanistic modules and reassembling a select module(s) and its causally relevant components to construct a new mechanistic model. Then they employ their model to design interventional experiments, and, lastly, articulate the data modules with data models to illustrate the putative evidence. In the process, scientists not only establish the causal continuity of modules within mechanistic, experimental, and data models but achieve consistency among them. In this paper, I argue that in their research articles immunologists' discovery pattern consists of forming layers of justification by assembling modules into modes and integrating heterogenous models. The module-based analysis of discovery patterns disrupts the traditional dichotomy between hypothesis-driven and phenomena-driven analyses. Compared to previous philosophical accounts, it better characterizes the generation of discoveries, as evidenced in a detailed analysis of the presentation of research results in an immunology article.

Parallel keywords

module assembling discovery justification immunology


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