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Type: Journal article
Title: Model Organisms as Cases: Understanding the Lingua Franca at the Heart of the Human Genome Project
Author: Ankeny, R.
Citation: Philosophy of Science, 2001; 68(3 SUPPL.):s251-s261
Publisher: Univ Chicago Press
Issue Date: 2001
ISSN: 0031-8248
Abstract: Through an examination of the actual research strategies and assumptions underlying the Human Genome Project (HGP), it is argued that the epistemic basis of the initial model organism programs is not best understood as reasoning via causal analog models (CAMs). In order to answer a series of questions about what is being modelled and what claims about the models are warranted, a descriptive epistemological method is employed that uses historical techniques to develop detailed accounts which, in turn, help to reveal forms of reasoning that are explicit, or more often implicit, in the practice of a particular field of scientific study. It is suggested that a more valid characterization of the reasoning structure at work here is a form of case-based reasoning. This conceptualization of the role of model organisms can guide our understanding and assessment of these research programs, their knowledge claims and progress, and their limitations, as well as how we educate the public about this type of biomedical research.
Keywords: Human genome; theory of knowledge
RMID: 0020063779
DOI: 10.1086/392913
Appears in Collections:History publications

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