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Triviño Vanessa | Other
2015-03-09 - 2015-06-30 | Research area: EvoDevo
Contemporary Questions in Metaphysics of Bioloy: Emergence, Dispositions, and Persistence in Organisms
The notion of fitness is the key concept invoked in classical evolutionary biology to explain evolutionary change; and evolvability is studied in evolutionary and developmental biology (evo-devo) as the way to explain the production of phenotypic adaptive mutations in organisms or systems of development. Due to their centrality and relevance in the different fields of Philosophy of Biology, the concepts of “fitness” and “evolvability” need to be clarified in order to achieve a better understanding of evolution. The general aim of my project is to establish associations between Metaphysics and Philosophy of Biology in order to see to what extent the arguments developed in one particular field can be useful to clarify the arguments developed in the other. In particular, I will try to show in what sense metaphysical concepts such as “emergence” and “dispositions” can be helpful to clarify the biological concepts of “fitness” and “evolvability”; and vice-versa, that is, how the study of biological concepts such as "fitness" and "evolvability" can shed light on metaphysical debates such as the existence or absence of emergent properties.