Workshop “Can Biological Practice Inform Metaphysics?” (15–16 June 2017, Cologne)

The workshop “Can Biological Practice Inform Metaphysics?”, organized by the DFG Research Group “Causation | Laws | Dispositions | Explanation” in collaboration with the Templeton Project “From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics”, will take place in Cologne on June 15 and 16, 2017:

Philosophers of science have increasingly shifted their focus away from scientific theories to scientific practice. This workshop seeks to explore what, if anything, the explanatory and investigative strategies of the biological sciences can tell us about reality. Some philosophers draw heavily from biological practices to develop accounts of individuality, the nature of kinds, causal variables, and causal selection. We wish to investigate the relationship between biological practice and metaphysics. Does the former offer a fruitful approach to the latter? What, exactly, does it mean for a metaphysical claim to account for biological practice? Does informing metaphysics with biological practice require that we rethink common views about what counts as metaphysics, what counts as a biological practice, and what sorts of methodological approaches are appropriate? This workshop aims to make explicit methodological and conceptual commitments implicit to the work of philosophers of biology who draw from biological practices.

All participants are welcome, but registration is required beforehand. A restricted number of travel grants for PhD students and advanced M.A. students are available.

For more information, see the event website.