Since Fisher and his ‘Fundamental theorem of natural selection’ (1930), many biologists attempted to formulate in the most general way what evolution by natural selection fundamentally is. Price equation, Robertson’s second theorem, the canonical equation of adaptive dynamics, or recently the ‘Formal Darwinism’ developed by Alan Grafen are various attempts to undertake such a project and provide a mathematical expression of Darwin’s fundamental insights. Those formulations are not all equivalent or identical, though some may be derivable from others under some specific conditions. Other general formulations has been given, in terms of logical ‘recipes’ for having evolution by natural selection, or axiomatisation of the theory of evolution. The present workshop intends to discuss some of those formulations, their relations, as well as propose possible improvements.
Many philosophers hold that explanation is intimately tied to understanding, specifically many hold that the goal of scientific explanation is to provide understanding of physical phenomena or in general of nature (de Regt 2013; Hempel 1965; Strevens 2008, 2013). The views on the relation between explanation and understanding range from largely dismissive (Hempel 1965; Trout 2002) which see the scientific understanding as a pragmatic or psychological by-product of explanation which is not a proper subject of philosophical inquiry, and which should rather belong to psychology; to proposals to treat the understanding independently from the explanation i.e. that there could be understanding without explanation (Lipton 2009; Schurz and Lambert 1994; Newman 2012, 2017). The views in between these two extremes can best be formulated as a claim that there could not be understanding without explanation (Bangu 2013, 2017; Strevens 2008, 2013; Khalifa 2012).
The participants of the workshop are the proponents of opposing views in each of the debates, some of whom take part in several of the debates, not just in one. The workshop will provide a platform for unifying the debates around several key issues and thus open up avenues for better understanding of mathematical and non-causal explanations in general, but also, it will enable even better understanding of key issues within each of the debates.
Intervenants : Marco Panza, Alex Paseau, Gabriel Sandu, Marco Ruffino
Le séminaire PHILMATH fête ses 20 ans.
Des journées scientifiques sont organisées en l'honneur de Jean gayon, Professeur Emérite à l'Université paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, ancien directeur de l'IHPST. Les travaux de Jean Gayon se sont développés dans deux directions : philosophie et histoire des sciences de la vie. A ces travaux d’histoire et de philosophie biologique s’ajoutent des contributions touchant à des questions touchant à la philosophie générale des sciences, et à son histoire.
International workshop Metaphysical explanation, mathematical explanation: new perspectives.