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Process and practice: understanding the nature of molecules

Güttinger, Stephan ORCID: 0000-0001-9448-973X (2021) Process and practice: understanding the nature of molecules. HYLE: International Journal for Philosophy of Chemistry, 27 (1). 47 - 66. ISSN 1433-5158

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In recent years philosophers of biology have made renewed efforts to develop and defend a process ontology. These efforts have often focused on the example of living systems, which provide a strong case for a processual view of biological entities. Here I will analyze a different kind of biological entity, namely macromolecules. Looking at protein biology, I will show that contemporary theories in this field present us with a substance-like picture of macromolecules. Whilst this poses a challenge for existing process accounts, I will argue that the challenge can be overcome if metaphysicians abandon their focus on theory and follow a practice-informed scientific metaphysics. Turning to the practice of protein biology, and in particular the use of what I will refer to as ‘energy-level management’ practices, will suggest that macromolecules are processes, much like organisms.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 HYLE and The Author
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 29 Mar 2021 10:15
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 04:42

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