European Journal for Philosophy of Science

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 399–417 | Cite as

Adding logic to the toolbox of molecular biology

  • Giovanni Boniolo
  • Marcello D’Agostino
  • Mario Piazza
  • Gabriele Pulcini
Original paper in Philosophy of Biology


The aim of this paper is to argue that logic can play an important role in the “toolbox” of molecular biology. We show how biochemical pathways, i.e., transitions from a molecular aggregate to another molecular aggregate, can be viewed as deductive processes. In particular, our logical approach to molecular biology — developed in the form of a natural deduction system — is centered on the notion of Curry-Howard isomorphism, a cornerstone in nineteenth-century proof-theory.


Substructural logics Natural deduction Curry-Howard isomorphism State transitions Biochemical pathways Zsyntax 



G.P. acknowledges the support from FAPESP Post-Doc Grant 2013/22371-0, São Paulo State, Brazil.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giovanni Boniolo
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marcello D’Agostino
    • 3
  • Mario Piazza
    • 4
  • Gabriele Pulcini
    • 5
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze della SaluteUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  2. 2.Department of Experimental Oncology, Istituto Europeo di OncologiaMilanItaly
  3. 3.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of FerraraFerraraItaly
  4. 4.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Chieti-PescaraPescaraItaly
  5. 5.Centre for Logic, Epistemology and History of Science – State University of CampinasCampinasBrazil

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