Biology & Philosophy

, Volume 26, Issue 5, pp 773–791

Causal isolation robustness analysis: the combinatorial strategy of circadian clock research


    • University of Helsinki
  • Andrea Loettgers
    • California Institute of Technology

DOI: 10.1007/s10539-011-9279-x

Cite this article as:
Knuuttila, T. & Loettgers, A. Biol Philos (2011) 26: 773. doi:10.1007/s10539-011-9279-x


This paper distinguishes between causal isolation robustness analysis and independent determination robustness analysis and suggests that the triangulation of the results of different epistemic means or activities serves different functions in them. Circadian clock research is presented as a case of causal isolation robustness analysis: in this field researchers made use of the notion of robustness to isolate the assumed mechanism behind the circadian rhythm. However, in contrast to the earlier philosophical case studies on causal isolation robustness analysis (Weisberg and Reisman in Philos Sci 75:106–131, 2008; Kuorikoski et al. in Br J Philos Sci 61:541–567, 2010), robustness analysis in the circadian clock research did not remain in the level of mathematical modeling, but it combined it with experimentation on model organisms and a new type of model, a synthetic model.


ModelingRobustness analysisCausal isolationSynthetic biologyCircadian clock

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011