New Paper (2024): Eating and Cognition in Two Animals without Neurons: Sponges and Trichoplax

17 June 2024

New Paper (2024): Eating and Cognition in Two Animals without Neurons: Sponges and Trichoplax

Published open-access in Biological Theory as part of the upcoming special issue on Ladislav Kováč and the Origins of Cognitive Biology. Abstract: Eating is a fundamental behavior in which all organisms must engage in order to procure the material and energy from their environment that they need to maintain themselves. Since controlling eating requires procuring, […]

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New Paper (2024): Organizational teleology 2.0: Grounding biological purposiveness in regulatory control

28 May 2024

New Paper (2024): Organizational teleology 2.0: Grounding biological purposiveness in regulatory control

Published open-access in Ratio. Abstract: This paper critically revises the organisational account of teleology, which argues that living systems are first and foremost oriented towards a goal: maintaining their own conditions of existence. It points out some limitations of this account, mainly in the capability to account for the richness and complexity of biological systems […]

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New Paper (2023): Piaget’s Paradox: Adaptation, Evolution, and Agency

8 May 2024

New Paper (2023): Piaget’s Paradox: Adaptation, Evolution, and Agency

In this paper, published open access in Human Development, Denis Walsh addresses Piaget’s theory of equilibration and its significance in overcoming the Modern Synthesis, as an object theory, for an agent theory of evolution. Abstract: Piaget’s Behaviour and Evolution (1976) sought to reconcile the view that organismal adaptiveness – in the form of equilibration – could contribute […]

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Could All Life Be Agential?”

2 May 2024

Could All Life Be Agential?”

In 1892, Ernst Haeckel introduced the term biopsychism to express the view that all and only living beings are sentient. For Haeckel, this position was to be distinguished both from zoopsychism, the belief that all and only animals are sentient, and his preferred panpsychism, the belief that all and only matter is sentient (Haeckel 1892: […]

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New Biological Theory

17 April 2024

New Biological Theory

New issue of biological theory with a thematic section on biological agency, including paper by Louis Virenque & Matteo Mossio on agency in biological autonomy, Andrew Pickering on agency in Science Studies, Samir Okasha on agency and evolution, and a commentary essay by Lenny Moss. All essays available in open-access here.

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Wrokshop: Self-organization, Autonomy and the Bounds of the Self

13 March 2024

Wrokshop: Self-organization, Autonomy and the Bounds of the Self

Workshop on biological autonomy and the question of organismal agency at the Université Paris I. More information and the link to follow remotely available on the conference website. Program Lundi 18 mars 2024 9h00-9h15 : Ouverture du workshop/opening session : Florian Moullard (Bordeaux-Montaigne, SPH; Paris 1, IHPST) et Louis Virenque (CNRS, IHPST, Paris I),The Problem for Defining Agency. 9h15-10h45 : Anna Ciaunica (Université […]

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Life and Mind: The common tetradic structure of organism and consciousness – a phenomenological approach

31 January 2024

Life and Mind: The common tetradic structure of organism and consciousness – a phenomenological approach

The question of the holistic structure of an organism is a recurring theme in the philosophy of biology and has been increasingly discussed again in recent years.[2] Organisms have recently been described as complex systems[3] that autonomously create, maintain and reproduce themselves[4] while constantly interacting with their environment. Key focal points include their autopoiesis[5], autonomy[6], […]

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New Paper (2023): Enacticism: Utopian & Scientific

16 December 2023

New Paper (2023): Enacticism: Utopian & Scientific

Published open access in the new issue of Constructivist Foundations and followed by a rich series of open peer-review commentaries. Context: Our target article concerns the direction and growth of enactivism, a framework portrayed as a revolutionary shift in understanding cognition. While enactivism continues to be a lively position, it is unclear how its contributions relate […]

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New Book (2023): Organization in Biology

22 November 2023

New Book (2023): Organization in Biology

Published open access by Springer From the editor’s introduction: For most of the twentieth century, biology forgot or largely neglected organization. By this term, I mean a certain mode of interaction among the parts of a system, which is by hypothesis distinctively realized by biological systems. While a systemic trend is progressively pervading various biological […]

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Rise of the Agents

3 October 2023

Rise of the Agents

If you look up the characteristics of life in any standard Biology textbook, you’ll likely find some list like this: reproduction, heredity, cellular organization, growth and development, response to stimuli, adaptation through evolution, homeostasis, and metabolism. What you won’t find is agency. The fact that living organisms can do things is arguably the most important […]

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