To Err is Not (Only) Human: Mistakes and What they Mean for Biology and Philosophy
David S. Oderberg (University of Reading)

November 23, 2022, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
Department of Philosophy, University of Reading

Palmer Building, Room 109
University of Reading
Reading RG6 6UD
United Kingdom


  • Royal Institute of Philosophy
  • John Templeton Foundation

Topic areas



Joining information will be sent in advance to those attending online.

Date of Event

23rd November 2022

Last Booking Date for this Event 22nd November 2022


6.00-7.30 pm; light refreshments in the foyer at 5.30 pm

Public Lecture by Prof. David S. Oderberg, Department of Philosophy, sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy and the John Templeton Foundation

Prof. Oderberg and a team of scientists and philosophers (Jonathan Hill, Ingo Bojak, Jon Gibbins, Christopher Austin, François Cinotti) are investigating the phenomenon of biological mistakes, under a three-year grant generously awarded by the John Templeton Foundation. The project ties into a broader, global research program involving many research teams working on agency, purpose, and function in biology.

It is not only humans who make mistakes. So do other living things, and even their parts. This one area where biology and physics are distinct: electrons do not make mistakes; organisms do. But what, exactly, is a biological mistake? Can it be defined? Are mistakes found across biology? Prof. Oderberg answers these questions, showing how mistake-making in living systems can provide a framework for generating new empirical hypotheses and tests of interest to the working biologist.

Registration free. All welcome. No prior knowledge of philosophy or biology is presupposed.

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




November 22, 2022, 5:00pm EET

External Site

Who is attending?

2 people are attending:


See all

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.