Archive for the ‘Philosophy of Biology’ Category
Mehmet Elgin (Muğla University)
“Why Do Evolutionary Biologists Formulate A Priori Laws Rather Than Empirical Laws?”
Friday 31 March, 2017, 11-12:30, G160.
Abstract: Unlike any branch of physics, evolutionary biology is peppered with a priori mathematical models. It is important to explain why this is the case. I will argue that when we examine the principle of natural selection carefully, we see that this law relates fitness to gene frequencies. Fitness appealed to in this law is stripped away from any physical or biological details and it represents a mere mathematical value. When we relate this value to gene frequencies, we are relating two mathematical values. As a result we end up with a priori laws. I will then provide a more general argument for this fact: Fitness is a genuine multiply realizable property. Only laws that can be formulated about genuinely multiply realizable states are a priori laws. Therefore, only laws that can be formulated about fitness are a priori laws. I will finally argue that such a priori laws in evolutionary biology have very important functions: They are essential for us to be able to formulate empirically testable causal hypotheses about the evolution of specific populations and they are also indispensable in developing causal explanations systematically.
BETİM seminar Stephen Snyder: Changing Human Nature – A Case for Intergenerational Justice 4 Nov. 2015
Changing Human Nature – A Case for Intergenerational Justice
Seminar by Stephen Snyder
St. Louis (MO)/İstanbul
Visiting Professor, Bosphorus University
Wed. 4 November 2015, 5.15-6.30 pm
Language of the event: English, no simultaneous translation
Click on poster to enlarge
All welcome, registration not required.
for directions see
Two talks by Anne Fausto-Sterling (Brown) in Istanbul to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 6th and 8th, 2013)
Anne Fausto-Sterling (Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, Brown University) will be giving two talks in Istanbul to celebrate international women’s day. Details can be found here: