Département de philosophie

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Biological Interest Group


The lake geneva BIOLOGICAL INTEREST GROUP is a forum for discussing biology from a multitude of perspectives, including philosophical, scientific and historical, and was founded in 2012 at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Geneva. Our standing members are based in different institutions at the Universities of Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, and Milan. We consider ourselves to be part of a BIG international movement that includes kindred groups at the University of Minnesota and the University of Exeter. Our members are also participating in the From Biological Practice to Scientific Metaphysics initiative, sinergia and What if? research projects.

Our meetings take place on Tuesdays from 12:15 to 14:00 in Bâtiment des Philosophes in the room Phil102 (22, boulevard des Philosophes). We discuss our own research as well as other contemporary philosophical, scientific and historical work that addresses interesting biological issues.

Everyone is welcome!

Members in Geneva

William Bausman  
Luis Bordo Garcia
Silvia de Cesare
Christine Clavien
Lucie Cauwet
Michaela Egli
Michal Hladky
Anatolii Kozlov
Guillaume Schlaepfer
Michael Stuart
Marcel Weber

External members

Rawad El Skaf (Salzburg)
Tiberiu Popa (Butler University)
Christian Sachse (Lausanne)
Raphael Scholl (Cambridge)


Program (provisional) Spring Term 2021

23 Feb             Organizational meeting for MA students


02 March         Marcel Weber, “Coherent causal control: The challenge from systems biology"


09 March         Michal Hladky on Jonas’s and Kording’s “Could a neuroscientist understand a microprocessor?"


16 March         Michele Luchetti, “The mismeasure of intelligence: Clarifying quantification issues in 19th century craniology"


23 March         Samar Haidar on Roberts et al “Psychiatry Beyond the Brain"


30 March         Anatolii Kozlov on models and sensory imagination in Monod’s allostery (or on narratives in experimental biology)


06 April            Easter break


13 April            Michaela Egli on pragmatic trials in clinical research


20 April            Christian Sachse, « Évolution, fonction, vivant & espèce » [book chapter in French]


27 April            Mathias Buri on biodiversity and values


04 May             Lucie Cauwet on Frankish, “Illusionism as a Theory of Consciousness"


11 May            Silvia De Cesare on progress in evolution


18 May            Ainoa Solmo, topic TBA


25 May            Mike Stuart and Brian McCloone on the use of counterpossibles in biology



Past Activities


If you are interested in the group, in attending the weekly meetings, or in presenting your own work at one of the meetings, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Marcel Weber 
Département de Philosophie 
Université de Genève 
2, rue de Candolle 
CH-1211 Genève 4 
Tél.: +41.22.379.7050 (secrétariat) 
Email: Marcel.Weber(at)unige.ch