According to a new movement within the philosophy of biology, living beings are to be conceived of not as substances or things but as processes. So-called process philosophy of biology, or process biology, draws on what is more generally known as process ontology: a long, albeit mostly marginalised, philosophical tradition of understanding reality in dynamical terms. In this seminar, Anne Sophie Meincke will show how the right version of process ontology and, hence, of process biology can help improve biological concepts of development and evolution. More particularly, she will argue that process biology offers valuable resources for a prospective Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, as currently advocated for by a growing number of biologists. The so far prevalent neo-Darwinian tendency to disregard development in favour of genetic explanations of evolutionary change is rooted in problematic thing ontological presumptions, whereas the recent (re-)discovery of the evolutionary relevance of development and organismal agency calls for acknowledging the processual nature of life and living beings.
About the speaker
Dr. Anne Sophie Meincke specializes in metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and action and the philosophy of biology, exploring in particular the intersections of these fields. Following postdoctoral positions at the universities of Innsbruck, Exeter and Southampton, Meincke is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Philosophy Department of the University of Vienna, Austria, where she conducts the ‘Elise Richter’-research project “Bio-Agency and Natural Freedom”, funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF). Her latest publications include the edited volumes Dispositionalism. Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science (Springer Synthese Library, 2020) and Biological Identity. Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Biology (Routledge, 2021, with John Dupré) as well as the paper “One or Two? A Process View of Pregnancy” (Philosophical Studies 2022) for which the Italian Society for Logic and Philosophy of Science (SILFS) awarded her the 2020 SILFS Prize for Women in Logic and Philosophy of Science. Meincke is also a recipient of the City of Innsbruck’s 2014 Prize for Scientific Research at the University of Innsbruck and an elected member of the Young Academy of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).
The CLEA seminars are taking place simultaneously at the VUB campus in Etterbeek, Brussels, and online (via Zoom) and are open to everyone interested!
When. Friday January 27, 2023 from 14:00 until 16:00h
Where. VUB campus Etterbeek, room D.1.07.
Online. You can follow the seminar online via Zoom. You may need a Meeting ID and passcode to enter.
Zoom link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82757798426?pwd=em9sQlJDVjJYTEFRNk01dEJLWGxGUT09 Meeting ID: 827 5779 8426Passcode: 122127
Video of the seminar
This seminar was supported by the John Templeton Foundation through the grant ID61733 The Origins of Goal-Directedness.