A dual decomposition strategy of both microbial and phenotypic components for a better understanding of causal claims


In our commentary on Lynch et al.’s target paper (Biol Philos, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-019-9702-2), we focus on decomposition as a research strategy. We argue that not only the presumptive microbial causes but also their supposed phenotypic effects need to be decomposed relative to each other. Such a dual decomposition strategy ought to improve the way in which causal claims in microbiome research can be made and understood.

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Many thanks to Thomas Pradeu and the ImmunoConcept group. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme—Grant Agreement No. 637647—IDEM (P.I.: Thomas Pradeu).

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Correspondence to Gregor P. Greslehner.

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Greslehner, G.P., Lemoine, M. A dual decomposition strategy of both microbial and phenotypic components for a better understanding of causal claims. Biol Philos 35, 1 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10539-019-9708-9

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  • Microbiome
  • Causality
  • Decomposition
  • Phenotype