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Biological modalities

Defense Thèse de doctorat : Univ. Genève, 2017 - L. 878 - 2017/03/20
Abstract Biological modalities (e.g., biological possibility, necessity and counterfactuality) play an important explanatory role in biological practice. However, biological modalities lack truth conditions and the inferential relationship between biological and other modalities is unclear. This thesis addresses these problems, first, by improving upon Daniel Dennett's Library of Mendel. Second, a family of modal logics is introduced. In the simplest model, states are interpreted as codons, the binary relation is interpreted as single substitution mutation and the valuation induces a partition of blocks of codons that code for some amino acid. In addition, the proposed framework allows for a grading of biological possibility and captures various competing notions of biological possibility. Applications include a model checker and a lawless Lewis-style semantics for biological counterfactuals. In short, this thesis lays the groundwork for a theory of biological modalities.
Keywords Biological modalitiesBiological possibilityBiological necessityBiological counterfactualityGraded modalitiesModal logicDennettLewisPhilosophy of biologyBioinformatics
URN: urn:nbn:ch:unige-931358
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Thesis (5.2 MB) - public document Free access
Projects FNS: 140885 Counterfactual reasoning in biology
FNS: 158599 A modal logic for biological modalities and its applications
(ISO format)
HUBER, Maximilian. Biological modalities. Université de Genève. Thèse, 2017. doi: 10.13097/archive-ouverte/unige:93135 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:93135

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Deposited on : 2017-04-05

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