University of Alberta, Canada
Fall Term 2014
Standards, Aims, and Values: An Account of Explanation in Biology
Ingo Brigandt is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Alberta. He studies scientific practice in molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, with a special focus on conceptual change, explanation, and interdisciplinarity. His most recent interests are systems biology and the interaction of science and social values. At the Center for Philosophy of Science, Ingo will take the first step toward a book manuscript, which is to develop a theme that has been implicitly underlying his articles on various philosophical or biological issues. The leading idea is that in addition to various representations of nature (e.g., data, explanations, and theories), one needs to actively study scientists’ values, including methodological and explanatory standards, scientific aims, and problems deemed in need of investigation. Such values, including epistemic as well as social values, are relevant to understanding and evaluating scientific practice; and his project sets out to illustrate this with case studies from different areas of the biological sciences.