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Ontology of biology studies the entities, processes, and mechanisms countenanced by the principal theories within the life sciences. On the one hand, the ontology of biology intersects scientific knowledge and metaphysical inquiry, aiming to put forward or refine theoretical conceptions of life, species, natural kinds, sexes, evolution, cultural evolution, natural selection, development, and their possible “ultimate nature”. On the other hand, the ontology of biology purports to explore the interaction between such theoretical conceptions and society, seeking to frame debates concerning issues such as the biodiversity crisis, genetically modified organisms, food diversity, genetic determinism, the relation between sex and gender.

 

Collaborations

  • Center for the Philosophy of Science, University of Lisbon
  • Department of Philosophy, Statale University of Milan
  • Centre of Natural and Human Sciences, Federal University of ABC, São Paulo

 

Ongoing Projects

  • [PI, Elena Casetta] 2016 April 1st – 2019 January 1st, Scientific Research and Technological Development Project funded by UE and MEC – Project reference: PTDC/IVC-HFC/1817/2014. Title: Which Biodiversity Definition for Biodiversity Conservation? Team members: 12. Funding: 121502 euros.
  • [Team member, Elena Casetta] October 2018 –, Scientific Research and Technological Development Project funded by UE and MEC – Project reference: PTDC/FER-HFC/30665/2017. Title: Emergence in the natural sciences: towards a new paradigm [PI, David Yates].
  • [Team member, Lorenzo Baravalle] 2017-2020. Title: The Manipulation of the Living: A Pragmatic Approach to the Epistemology of Biology, funded by the Chilean National Council for Scientific and Technological Development – FONDECYT [PI, Maurizio Esposito].

 

Relevant papers

Journal Articles

  • 2017, Beraldo-de-Araújo, A. & Baravalle, L., The Ontology of Digital Physics. Erkenntnis 82: 1211-1231.
  • 2017, Casetta, E., Borghini, A., Exploring Darwinian Worlds: From Darwin to the Extended Synthesis, Acta Biotheoretica 65, 1: 87–94.
  • 2015, E. Casetta, Marques da Silva, J., Biodiversity Surgery. Some Epistemological Challenges in Facing Extinction, Axiomathes 25, 3: 239–251.
  • 2014, Borghini, A., Nathan, M., Development and Natural Kinds: Some Lessons from Biology, Synthese191: 539-556.

Book Chapters and Encyclopedia Entries

  • Baravalle, L. & Vecchi, D., Drift as a Force of Evolution: A Manipulationist Account. In: Baravalle, L. & Zaterka, L., eds., Life and Evolution. Latin American Essays on the History and Philosophy of Biology, Dordrecht, Springer.
  • 2015, Casetta, E., Marques da Silva, J., Facing the Big Sixth. From Prioritizing Species to Conserving Biodiversity, in E. Serrelli, & N. Gontier, eds., Macroevolution – Explanation, Interpretation, Evidence, Berlin, Springer: 377-403.
  • 2014, Borghini, A., Metaphysics of Natural Food, in P.B. Thompson and D.M. Kaplan, eds., Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, Springer: 1378-1381.
  • 2014, Borghini, A., Geographical Indications, Food, and Culture, in P.B. Thompson and D.M. Kaplan, eds., Encyclopedia of Food and Agricultural Ethics, Springer: 1115-1120.