The "Altenberg Workshops in Theoretical Biology" address key questions of biological theories. Each workshop is organized by leading experts of a certain field who invite a group of international specialists to the KLI. The Altenberg Workshops aim to make conceptual progress and to generate initiatives of a distinctly interdisciplinary nature.
In this talk I will first argue why the concept of autonomy is of fundamental importance for building a unified view of what current biological knowledge presents as a highly complex and diverse world of phenomena. Second, I will briefly examine how the idea of autonomy was introduced and developed in biology. And third, I will analyze why --and how-- this “classical” concept of autonomy should be radically amended. In this last part I will pay attention especially to two questions: the relation between the individualized dimension where autonomy is embodied and its historical dimension; and the relation of individual realizations of autonomy with the interdependent, collective forms of organization.
Alvaro Moreno is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of the Basque Country (UPV / EHU). He founded, more than 20 years ago, the Research Group in philosophy of biology IAS Research Center for Life, Mind & Society. A.M. has become one of the researchers of reference in Europe in the areas of philosophy of biology, artificial life, complex systems and cognitive science. He has authored more than 150 scientific publications (including 2 monographs and 4 edited volumes) and almost as many papers in national and international conferences.