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Cerezo Maria | Fellow Visitor
2021-08-23 - 2021-09-03 | Research area: Philosophy of Biology
Two Issues in Philosophy of Biology: Processes and Dispositions in the Analysis of Biological Entities

In the two years previous to these pandemic times, I spent a short period of my summer break doing research at the KLI. In August 2018, I applied for a joint Visiting Fellowship together with Marta Bertolaso. We stayed at KLI for about one week, working on a project on processes and cancer. In August 2019, I applied for a Visiting Fellowship of one month at KLI, during which I wrote a paper on that same issue. On both occasions I gave a talk to KLI researchers. My experience was great, since I had the opportunity to make progress in my work. My intention on this occasion is to stay for a short period (August 23rd to September 3rd) to continue this work.
Since this project is a continuation of previous ones, I include the same state of the art as the previous application, and only specify further what I intend to do this time.
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 se 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).