Editorial GuidePhilosophy of Science

Omic Empiricism

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Science Signaling  28 Apr 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 68, pp. eg6
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.268eg6

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The rise of omics signals a shift from hypothesis-driven to data-driven, “bottom-up” research, whereas systems biology stresses modeling and claims to move beyond reductionism. These trends are at opposite poles of a long-standing duality between empiricism and rationalism. Twenty-first-century biology might benefit from a consideration of how philosophers have approached and attempted to reconcile this duality.

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