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Cerezo Maria | Fellow Visitor
2019-07-30 - 2019-09-02 | Research area: Philosophy of Biology
Interactions between Metaphysics and Biology: Some Study-Cases in Molecular, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology

Recent work on Philosophy of Biology has focused on issues that can be considered to be at the intersection between Metaphysics and Biology: issues such as individuation of biological entities, the consideration of biological entities as things or as processes, recourse to 3D and 4D theories of persistence to account for the persistence and dynamical nature of biological systems (organisms, tissues, species, ecosystems and so on) are some examples. But there is little reflection on the nature of such interactions between Metaphysics and Biology. The aim of the project is to offer a categorization of the interactions between Metaphysics and Biology, paying attention, in particular, to some philosophical issues that have arisen recently in Molecular, Developmental and Evolutionary Biology. Our hypothesis is that there are three forms of interaction, to be characterised by three propositions: “with”, “for” and “from”, depending on the particular way in which the crossfertilization of  disciplines takes place.
The relevance of the project derives from two factors: a) the strong interdisciplinarity presupposed to develop it: the interaction between the two disciplines requires real attention to both biological empirical advances and to contemporary philosophical theories; b) in the last decades there have been several individual and group research projects playing such interaction (among others, three paradigmatic examples are the following: project on biological processes at Exeter developed by J. Dupré and D. Nicholson; work on inmuno-individuation at Burdeaux developed by T. Pradeu and his group, and project “From biological practice to scientific metaphysics” developed by A. Love, K. Waters and M. Weber).