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In vitro: a philosophical investigation on modern and contemporary experimental biology

Grant number: 19/22697-0
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): May 12, 2020
Effective date (End): July 11, 2020
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Philosophy - Epistemology
Principal researcher:Maurizio Esposito
Grantee:Maurizio Esposito
Host: Thierry Hoquet
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense (Paris 10), France  


This research proposal is part of larger project that aims to formulate and chart a general philosophy of the experiment in the life sciences. For this specific project, the goal is to investigate and analyze only one aspect of such a project; namely, to clarify the concept of experimental action in biology. In particular, the purpose is to suggest a tentative definition of experimental action as well as to identify some of the differences and continuities between past and contemporary kinds of experimental activities in the life sciences. The project not only aims to characterize, describe and order the different meanings of experimental action (so, to provide a general map of experimental activities); it also intends to analyze and explore the multiples connections across those different meanings. Overall, the main questions I consider in this project are: How can we define an experimental action? Is there an essential difference between contemporary and past experimental actions in the life sciences? In what sense artefacts and technologies constitutes experimental practices? And, furthermore, in what sense artefacts and technologies produce (and have produced) the conditions for the emergence of particular forms of knowledge and representations in biology? (AU)

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