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Workshop: Reconciling New Mechanism and Processualism

Egenis workshop organised by Tyler Brunet

Mechanism and processualism are two comparatively new philosophies of science. Both can claim especially good uptake among biologists, and philosophers of biology and medicine. However, since their introduction, they have been in conflict with one another. Taken separately, they have different ontological underpinnings, provide different descriptions of target phenomena, and even entail different things about what biological science is and how scientific discoveries are made. We think it is time to aim for some reconciliation.

Event details

We have organized a workshop of talks with the aim of supporting mutual engagement and dialogue between researchers interested in these two philosophies. The workshop will feature two sorts of talks: (1) advocates of mechanism and processualism themselves speaking across the aisles, engaging with developments in and criticism from the other, and (2) new work within the philosophy of science that productively unites elements from both traditions. The workshop will feature talks that are both critical and synthetic. We think that any hope of reconciliation first requires identifying key differences or points of substantive disagreement.  

The talks should be of interest to anyone working on or within new mechanism or processualism, but also to those concerned broadly with ontology in the philosophy of science. Though mechanism and processualism were initially developed largely in the context of biology and its philosophy, their scope of applications is far wider. The synthetic talks in this workshop will include contributions of these philosophies of science to biomedicine, biosocial research, computer science and physics. Abstracts will be made available at a later date.  


Byrne House