Hesperus is Bosphorus

A group blog by philosophers in and from Turkey

Talk at Istanbul Şehir University, Özlem Yılmaz (Sabancı Uni), Ancient Philosophy and Modern Science: Aristotle’s Four Causes and Phenotype

leave a comment »

Abstract

In this presentation causation in phenotype explanation is examined with its similarities to Aristotle’s theory of four causes. The research of the complex pathways of interaction net between genotype, phenotype and environment needs causal investigation which involves more than a single cause. This investigation is similar to the investigation of Aristotle’s material, formal and efficient causes altogether. Final cause will not be used in this consideration because with the theory of evolution, which is a fundamental principle of biology, it is clear that there isn’t any purposive happening in biological phenomena. Still the final cause gets place in many philosophical studies and keeps its importance. Here in this work author doesn’t think that there is final cause in biology, but despite this she will talk about the similarity between final and formal causes and the role of final cause within the gene centered view. Reducing natural phenomena about living things to one cause (for example: genes) is a mistaken way in explaining phenotype which has many different probabilities and complex interactions in every parts of it. It might sometimes be easier to use parts and to reduce some phenomena into single causes while investigating but the student of nature should always keep in mind that this reducing attitude is only a practical way of understanding the features of parts themselves, and these parts are in a complex and interrelated state all together (they have different features when they are together) and they should be thought and investigated (whenever possible) in this context. As Aristotle puts it; there is no form without matter, as it will be stated in this talk: efficient cause is intrinsic to the living things too; then we can say without material, efficient and formal causes there is no proper explanation of phenotype. In other words proper explanation of phenotype is possible with the investigation of environmental, physiological, developmental, genetic and evolutionary factors in the context of their interrelated state. Maybe this research programme; explaning phenotype with evaluating all these factors, can work with asking all possible causal questions in a proper way to the subject phenomena. In this sense, thinking on Aristotle’s formal, material and efficient causes altogether is similar to explaining and investigating phenotype in a most proper way. Examples from plant physiology in a changing climate will be given. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
—- Fr., Nov. 20 2015, 15:00-17:00
—- Istanbul Şehir University (http://www.sehir.edu.tr/en/Pages/Home.aspx)

West Campus, Room 2008 (http://www.sehir.edu.tr/en/Pages/EventDetail.aspx?Etkinlik=1079)

Please join us!

Contact: manuelknoll@sehir.edu.tr

Advertisements

Written by manuelknoll

October 14, 2015 at 11:59 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: