ITA-Seminar: Tarja Knuuttila (Uni Wien), Philosophin, ERC Grant
Synthetic biologists use different kinds of model systems in their research practice: mathematical models, simulations, circuit diagrams, and synthetic constructs. This paper considers such multiple modeling practice through the case of modeling genetic circuits. Philosophers of science have traditionally approached modeling through the notion of representation. However, such a representational approach does not capture very well what is happening in synthetic biology, if only because synthetic biology seeks to understand what is biologically possible. While much of scientific modeling can be understood as an inquiry into various kinds of possibilities, the research practice of synthetic biology takes modeling beyond mere theoretical conceivability toward material actualizability.