Biology and Cross-Species Interactions

Strand leader: John Dupré

Work in this theme aims to provide deep and systematic analyses of the methods of inquiry in the life sciences and of the perspectives these sciences provide on the living world, grounded on world-leading research in the philosophy of biology and in empirical (mostly qualitative) evidence coming from historical, anthropological, geographical, and sociological studies of biological research practices.

Research strengths comprise John Dupré’s work on Process Biology, which focuses on the ontology of the living world; work on the epistemic and historical role of biological classifications, such as Staffan Müller-Wille’s and John Dupré’s; and research on the relations of humans to their wider biological context, notably the Exeter Anthrozoology and Symbiotic Ethics group led by Samantha Hurn, Gail Davies’ Laboratory Animals in the Social Sciences and Humanities (LASSH) group, and Sabina Leonelli’s and Rachel Ankeny’s work on the history and epistemology of model organisms. The Symbology project, which has involved staff from various departments including Sociology, Philosophy & Anthropology (SPA), Geography and English, also concerns the relation of humans to their wider living environment.

Organisms and Us: How Living Things Help Us to Understand Our World

Sabina Leonelli
Australian Research Council
2016 - 2020

A Process Ontology for Contemporary Biology (PROBIO)

John Dupré
European Commission
2013 - 2018

Questioning the Tree of Life

John Dupré
The Leverhulme Trust
2008 - 2010