Dec 2, 2019
Lessons from the Case of the Life Sciences: Thinking toward Philosophy of Science as Interdisciplinarity
- 14:00 to 16:00
- Max Planck Research Group (Final Theory Program)
- Charles Pence (Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium)
Recent work in the philosophy of science – particularly what has come to be known as the “philosophy of science in practice” – has considered ways in which we might approach philosophy of science as an interdisciplinary project, even as an applied instance of interdisciplinarity itself. Of course, we can see what the advantages of such a frame for our work as philosophers might be: we are, after all, supposed to be offering insights that can in some way speak to the concerns of practicing scientists, and those insights will be all the more able to succeed in that goal when they draw on the real work of those same practicing scientists. Such a metaphilosophy of science could help us understand the ways in which our various goals as philosophers might interact. That said, such a picture runs the risk of reducing the complex to the obscure, for the notion of interdisciplinarity is itself not particularly well theorized. In this talk, I want to offer some very early work toward analyzing this approach in my own field of the philosophy of biology (and, in particular, the empirically driven philosophy of biology, crafted with the aid of the tools of digital humanities). I will claim no grand solutions to these problems, but I believe that considering them can be a valuable approach, in particular, to thinking about the structure and responsibilities of interdisciplinary teams working to solve complex, theoretical-philosophical-historical problems.
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