Contre l’idée que le débat philosophique sur la finalité organique ait été déjà mille fois ressassé et soit une affaire entendue, nous avançons au contraire que cette notion peut toujours avoir une efficace si on la cerne en se focalisant sur les trois moments-pivots de son histoire que sont les philosophies aristotélicienne, spinoziste et kantienne tout en s’efforçant de les faire dialoguer avec certaines conceptualisations contemporaines, qu’elles soient l’œuvre de savants ou bien de philosophes, tel le néo-vitalisme français de Bergson et Canguilhem. Reprenant le précepte de ce dernier selon lequel “la philosophie est une réflexion pour laquelle toute matière étrangère est bonne”, nous essayons ainsi d’opérer un croisement entre histoire de la philosophie et science contemporaine afin de produire une pensée féconde.
This highly interdisciplinary workshop will include some of the most renown scientists and philosophers who are working on theories of explanations and on network approaches to levels, hierarchies and asymmetries. This workshop and the subsequent publication of its proceedings will provide a unique opportunity for the direct impact of philosophy on science (through the development of conceptual and methodological norms for understanding the levels and asymmetries) as well as a framework for the direct influence of science to philosophy (through modelling of the conceptual and methodological norms based on actual empirical research).
Workshop organized by École Normale Supérieure and Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Sciences et des Techniques, with funding from the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and the project “New Ideas in Mathematical Philosophy” (DEC-ENS).
Workshop co-organisé par l’IHPST
Since Fisher and his ‘Fundamental theorem of natural selection’ (1930), many biologists attempted to formulate in the most general way what evolution by natural selection fundamentally is. Price equation, Robertson’s second theorem, the canonical equation of adaptive dynamics, or recently the ‘Formal Darwinism’ developed by Alan Grafen are various attempts to undertake such a project and provide a mathematical expression of Darwin’s fundamental insights. Those formulations are not all equivalent or identical, though some may be derivable from others under some specific conditions. Other general formulations has been given, in terms of logical ‘recipes’ for having evolution by natural selection, or axiomatisation of the theory of evolution. The present workshop intends to discuss some of those formulations, their relations, as well as propose possible improvements.
Many philosophers hold that explanation is intimately tied to understanding, specifically many hold that the goal of scientific explanation is to provide understanding of physical phenomena or in general of nature (de Regt 2013; Hempel 1965; Strevens 2008, 2013). The views on the relation between explanation and understanding range from largely dismissive (Hempel 1965; Trout 2002) which see the scientific understanding as a pragmatic or psychological by-product of explanation which is not a proper subject of philosophical inquiry, and which should rather belong to psychology; to proposals to treat the understanding independently from the explanation i.e. that there could be understanding without explanation (Lipton 2009; Schurz and Lambert 1994; Newman 2012, 2017). The views in between these two extremes can best be formulated as a claim that there could not be understanding without explanation (Bangu 2013, 2017; Strevens 2008, 2013; Khalifa 2012).
The participants of the workshop are the proponents of opposing views in each of the debates, some of whom take part in several of the debates, not just in one. The workshop will provide a platform for unifying the debates around several key issues and thus open up avenues for better understanding of mathematical and non-causal explanations in general, but also, it will enable even better understanding of key issues within each of the debates.
Intervenants : Marco Panza, Alex Paseau, Gabriel Sandu, Marco Ruffino