KLI Colloquia are informal, public talks that are followed by extensive dissussions. Speakers are KLI fellows or visiting researchers who are interested in presenting their work to an interdisciplinary audience and discussing it in a wider research context. We offer three types of talks:

1. Current Research Talks. KLI fellows or visiting researchers present and discuss their most recent research with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

2. Future Research Talks. Visiting researchers present and discuss future projects and ideas togehter with the KLI fellows and the Vienna scientific community.

3. Professional Developmental Talks. Experts about research grants and applications at the Austrian and European levels present career opportunities and strategies to late-PhD and post-doctoral researchers.

  • The presentation language is English.
  • If you are interested in presenting your current or future work at the KLI, please contact the Scientific Director or the Executive Manager.

Event Details

Lorenzo Baravalle
KLI Colloquia
Invariance and Unification in Cultural Evolution Theory
Lorenzo BARAVALLE (Federal University of ABC, São Paulo & KLI)
2016-07-14 16:30 - 2016-07-14 18:00
Organized by KLI

Topic description:
Inspired by Woodward’s account of causation and explanation and Sober’s conception of the theory of natural selection as a theory of forces, Caponi has recently defended that biology – and, especially, evolutionary biology – is grounded on a “mosaic of invariants”, that is, a net of causal regularities which, although not stable and universal enough to constitute genuine causal laws, may guarantee the explanatory autonomy of this discipline by supporting a number of relevant counterfactuals. In spite of lacking proper causal laws, evolutionary biology is a unitary theory because invariants are, in some sense, unified by other kinds of laws – the zero force laws, like the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, and the consequence laws, like the laws of population genetics –, which connect them within a more general theoretical framework. Might the explanatory structure of a hypothetical unified theory of cultural evolution be conceived in a similar way? The goal of my talk is to explore such possibility.


Biographical note:
Lorenzo is currently Assistant Professor of Epistemology at the Federal University of ABC (São Paulo, Brazil) and Researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the University of São Paulo. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Philosophy from the University of Turin (2005) and PhD degree in Philosophy from the University Rovira i Virgili of Terragona (2010), obtained after having followed a postgraduate interdisciplinary programme in Cognitive Science and Language at the University of Barcelona. From 2011 to 2013 he was postdoctoral fellow at the University of São Paulo. His research interests are in Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology and Cultural Evolution.