Workshop on the Philosophy of Biophysics

September 14, 2023 - September 15, 2023
Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Cotham House
Bristol BS66JL
United Kingdom

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University of Bristol

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Workshop on The Philosophy of Biophysics

14-15 September 2023, Department of Philosophy, University of Bristol

Cotham House

Confirmed speakers:

James Ladyman (University of Bristol)

Patricia Palacios (University of Salzburg)

Karl J. Niklas (Cornell University)

Jennifer McManus (University of Bristol)

Michael Levin (Tufts University)

Margarida Hermida (University of Bristol)

Biophysics has existed as a discipline since the nineteenth century, but it has expanded considerably in recent years and is a thriving area of research at the interface between physics and biology. It raises interesting and important questions both within philosophy of biology and in philosophy of science more generally. In philosophy of biology, debates about reductionism have focused almost exclusively on genetic reductionism, but biophysics has the potential to transform these debates, as it raises the issue of explaining biological wholes in terms of their physical parts and their interactions, both above and below the molecular scale. The philosophical study of biophysics can also illuminate longstanding questions concerning the nature of life and how it emerges from non-living matter. The philosophy of biophysics can also inform debates concerning interdisciplinarity, causal explanation at different scales, how biology relates to the physical sciences, and the unity of science more broadly.

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