Philosophical Perspectives on Biosciences: What is Biological Essentialism?
Free Public Lecture
Singapore Theatre B120
Melbourne School of Design
‘Biological essentialism’ and ‘genetic essentialism’ are regarded as false and pernicious doctrines, especially when applied to human beings. But ‘essentialism’ can mean many things. Ideas proudly paraded as anti-essentialist in some disciplines would count as essentialist in others. This lecture reviews scientific findings about essentialism as a psychological phenomenon. It explores the very different reasons why the biological sciences, the social sciences and the humanities have all come to identify ‘essentialism’ as a problem.
Professor Paul Griffiths, ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor of Philosophy and Domain Leader for Society and Environment, Charles Perkins Centre
Professor Paul Griffiths
ARC Laureate Fellow, Professor of Philosophy and Domain Leader for Society and Environment, Charles Perkins Centre
University of Sydney
Paul Griffiths is an ARC Laureate Professor of Philosophy at The University of Sydney, where he leads the Theory and Method in Bioscience group within the Charles Perkins Centre and is the centre’s Domain Leader for Society and Environment. Griffiths is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He was President of the International Society for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology from 201113 and from 200612 he was a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee of NHMRC. He is a regular visiting professor at the University of Exeter's Egenis: the Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences. **This event is a joint Philosophy and History and Philosophy of Science event. It is also the inaugural event of the Philosophy of Sciences working group for the PEiPL (Philosophical Engagement in Public Life) network.**