Staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Media, Cognition and Communication > Staff

Sune Hannibal Holm

Sune Hannibal Holm

Associate Professor

Sune Holm is associate professor in philosophy. He teaches and supervises in practical and theoretical philosophy (metaphysics, philosophy of science, metaethics, moral theory, and applied ethics).

Sune's current research focuses on questions concerning the ontology and functions of artifacts and organisms, the analogy between engineered machines and naturally evolved organisms, and the way these questions inform the ethical agenda of synthetic biology. He is also working on ethics, risk, and uncertainty in relation to emerging biotechnology. In addition he has a long-standing interest in personal identity theories, the topic of his ph.d. dissertation at the University of St. Andrews, and he has recently become interested in topics in the philosophy of medicine, in particular functional accounts of the notions of disease and pathology.

In August 2014 Sune finished an individual research project entitled The Teleological Nature of Designed Synthetic Life funded by the Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication (FKK). From August 2015 Sune will be PI on a 3-year group project funded by FKK entitled Living Machines? The Prospects and Limitations of the Machine Concept of the Organism. Here is a summary of the project:

Are organisms machines? The analogy between biological systems and complex designed human artifacts abound in contemporary life science. To mention a few examples: “genomes are blueprints,” “brains are computers” and “cells are biochemical factories.” The problem guiding this project is this: how should we understand thinking about organisms as engineered systems? What is the theoretical and practical significance of the machine model of the organism? The project will analyze the engineering approach to living systems in the context of synthetic biology, systems biology, and evolutionary theory. More specifically the project will investigate a cluster of interconnected yet distinct philosophical questions about (i) the fundamental nature of living beings, (ii) our understanding and explanation of biological systems, (iii) the methods and metaphors used in the life sciences and biotechnology.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Breaking & Entering

    Horst, M., Dalsgård, B., Davies, S. R., Glerup, C., Sandvik, K., Knudsen, J., Juul, A., Heinz, N. & Holm, S. H. 22 Jun 2014

    Publication: Communication2D/3D (psysical products)

  2. Published

    Is Synthetic Biology Mechanical Biology?

    Holm, S. H. 2015 In : History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. 37, 4, p. 413-429 17 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  3. Published

    Bridging Bioethics and Biology

    Holm, S. H. 2016 In : Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 55, p. 133-136 4 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewLiterature review

  4. Published

    A Right Against Risk Imposition and the Problem of Paralysis

    Holm, S. H. 2016 In : Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 19, 4, p. 917-930 14 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Accepted/In press

    Philosophical Foundations of the Precautionary Principle: Ethics, Policy, and Environment special issue

    Holm, S. H. (ed.) & Steel, D. (ed.) 2017 Taylor and Francis Group.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewAnthology

  6. Published

    Organism and Artifact?: Proper Functions in Paley Organisms

    Holm, S. H. 2013 In : Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. 44, 4, p. 706-713 8 p., Part B

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  7. Published

    Disease, Dysfunction, and Synthetic Biology

    Holm, S. H. 2014 In : Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 39, 4, p. 329-345 17 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  8. Published

    Health as a property of engineered living systems

    Holm, S. H. 2013 In : Bioethics. 27, 8, p. 419-425 7 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  9. Published

    The Capacities, Interests, and Organisation of Artifactual Organisms

    Holm, S. H. 2013 Designer Biology: The Ethics of Intensively Engineering Biological and Ecological Systems. Sandler, R. L. & Basl, J. (eds.). Lexington Books, p. 233-252 20 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewBook chapter

  10. Published

    Biological Interests, Normative Functions, and Synthetic Biology

    Holm, S. H. 2012 In : Philosophy & Technology. 25, 4, p. 525-541 17 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  11. Published

    The Scientific Aspirations of Synthetic Biology and the Need for Analytic Ethics

    Holm, S. H. 2012 In : Ethics, Policy & Environment. 15, 1, p. 25-28 4 p.

    Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

Selected activities

  1. Organizer:

    Teleological Organisation

    23 Aug 2012 - 24 Aug 2012
    ,

ID: 918615