Kercel – chapters in “Systems Biology: Principles, Methods and Concepts”

From an October 2006 post by Steve Kercel on the ROSEN-L discussion list:

Many of the issues that you have been discussing are addressed in
Systems Biology: Principles, Methods, and Concepts edited by
Andrzej Konopka, ISBN: 0824725204 published by CRC. ….

I have two chapters in the book. One discusses closure to efficient cause
from an engineering perspective, and the other shows where von Neumann
went off the rails.

I would encourage the members discussing closure to efficient cause to
read my chapter on the topic…..

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3 Responses to Kercel – chapters in “Systems Biology: Principles, Methods and Concepts”

  1. Andy says:

    In adiition to Steve’s chapters there is an introductory chapter that covers most epistemological issues in a comprehensive manner. In particular it addresses the use of metaphors in the context of Hertz-Rosen modeling relationship. A discussion of conflicting methodological attitudes is included as well. In particular it has been suggested if not demonstrated that only epistemological reductionism (includining its most “lethal” version; physicalism) goes against a pragmatically sound avenue to study convoluted organic systems. Other forms of reductionism appear to be harmless from the perspective of Rosen’s classification of complicated objects. (complicated mean large number of elements that may or may not contribute to Rosen’s complexity; I and others use the term “convolution” to really signify Rosen’s definition of complexity.)
    Try to glance through this book if you can. The Amazon URL is:
    Perhaps, with the help of this book, our discussion of Rosen’s methodology could be channeled into a small number of focused avenues. Nedless to say a vigorous discussion of Rosenean methodology is of paramount importance now when particle and statistical physicists begin to undo Rosen’s legacy via publishing huge numbers of books about networks of interacting particles
    being a foundation for understanding life. (As you may have concluded already I am not particularly found of these revisits of Boltzman.)

  2. Andy says:

    Hello again,
    Actually the epistemological reductionism should be fine (just reduction to available language/concept tools.)
    The “lethal” one is causal reductionism.
    Sorry for using the wrong word in the foreging comment.

  3. Tim Gwinn says:


    Thank you for your comments. I already own a copy of the book, so I had read your chapter (“Basic Concepts of Systems Biology”) some months ago, and will revisit it again. I should have mentioned it’s presence in my original post.