Mechanisms in the Life Sciences

For two decades the new mechanistic philosophy of science has been at the centre of the philosophy of the life sciences. The new mechanism philosophy may be characterized as the view that life scientists to a large extent explain phenomena by specifying and describing the responsible mechanisms. The workshop will explore central themes in the philosophy of mechanisms in relation to topics such as explanation, causation, and methodology in the life sciences (broadly construed).


10.30 Arrival and coffee

11-12 The Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution (Gualtiero Piccinini, St. Louis)

12-13 Vision, action, PAM! (Thor Grünbaum, Copenhagen)

13-14 Lunch

14-15 Machine-Likeness and Mechanisms in Synthetic Biology (Sune Holm, Copenhagen)

15-15.15 Coffee

15.15-16 Mechanisms, Causal Order and the Uniqueness of Biology (Arnon Levy, Jerusalem)

16.15-17.15 Toward an [Old] Theoretical Biology (Rick Gawne, Duke)

Attendance is free, but please contact Sune Holm ( or Thor Grünbaum ( if you plan to attend.