27 - 28 June 2022
University of Kent, Canterbury, UK
John Dupre (University of Exeter)
Samir Okasha (University of Bristol)
Charles Pence (Université catholique de Louvain)
Lauren Ross (University of California, Irvine)
Jutta Schickore (Indiana University, Bloomington)
James Woodward (University of Pittsburgh)
Yafeng Shan (University of Kent)
The British Academy
The Leverhulme Trust
The conference aims to examine the issues relate to causality in the life sciences, including the concept of causality, causal inference, causal explanation, and the proximate-ultimate distinction. Causation is arguably one of the most controversial and persistent topics in the philosophy of the life sciences. Some (e.g. Reutlinger 2013; Anjum and Mumford 2018) have tried to develop monistic theories of causation, while others (e.g. Woodward 2010; Joffe 2013) maintain that causation in the life sciences is pluralist. It has been accepted by many (e.g. Mayr 1961; Dickins and Barton 2013) that there is a clear distinction between proximate causation and ultimate causation in evolutionary biology, whereas recently some (e.g. Francis 1990; Laland et al. 2011; Haig 2013) are highly sceptical. The significance of the notion of causation in biology has also been debated (Darden 2013). The conference aims to examine the issues relate to causation in the life sciences. The questions to be address include but are not limited to:
What is the best approach to causation in the life sciences?
Which better captures the concept of causation in the life sciences: causal pluralism or causal monism?
Is the concept of causation in the life sciences special in any sense?
Is the concept of causation in the life sciences reducible to that in the physical sciences?
Is the concept of causation in the life sciences teleological?
Is the distinction between proximate causation and ultimate causation tenable?
**The conference is part of the BA/Leverhulme-funded project "The Metaphysical Foundations of Evidential Pluralism" (2020-2022).
Call for Papers
Programme (Updated 26/06/2022)
Book of Abstracts