Workshop « Explaining Development »

organized by

Alessandro Minelli (University of Padova and Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti)

Thomas Pradeu (Paris-Sorbonne University and Institut universitaire de France)

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Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti

Palazzo Franchetti

Venice, Italy

  9-10 September 2014

 

What is development, and how should it be explained? Conceptual issues play an important role in today’s developmental biology (e.g., concerning plasticity and robustness, the periodization of development, etc.) An important, related question is to determine whether developmental biology offers theories. In a volume published by Oxford University Press in 2014 and edited by Minelli and Pradeu (Towards a theory of development), prominent biologists and philosophers have examined this question. This exploration of the theoretical aspects of developmental biology has now naturally led us to a broader and perhaps even more fundamental question, that of the explanation(s) of development.

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Programme

 

9 September 2014

 

09:00-09:30 Alessandro Minelli & Thomas Pradeu – Welcome and introductory remarks: Part 1 (Minelli); Part 2 (Pradeu)

 

Explaining what? – Putting development in context

 

09:30-10:20 Giuseppe Fusco – Development in the context of the life cycle

10:20-11:10 James R. Griesemer – Periodization of development

 

11:10-11:30 Coffee break

 

Explaining what? – Unconventional developmental systems

 

11:30-12:20 Alessandro Minelli – Developing chimaeras and the spatial boundaries of developmental systems

 

 

14:00-14:50 Alexander V. Ereskovsky – Problems and insights from sponge developmental biology

 

Descriptions, explanations and theories in developmental biology

 

14:50-15:40 Thomas Pradeu – Explaining development: A plea for reductionist holism in developmental biology

 

15:40-16:30 Lucie Laplane – Contrasting notions of theory and their relevance for developmental biology

 

16:30-17:00 Coffee break

 

17:00-18:00 Plenary discussion I – The problem agenda(s)

 

 

10 September 2014

On the causality of development

 

09:00-09:50             Wallace Arthur – Directionality and hierarchy in developmental systems

09:50-10:40 Johannes Jaeger – The role of dynamical systems theory in a mechanistic theory of development

 

10:40-11:10 Coffee break

 

11:10-12:00 Gerd B. Müller – Do theories of evolution affect theories of development?

 

 

What does it exactly mean to give an explanation of development?

 

14:00-14:50 Alan C. Love – The concept of potentiality in developmental reasoning

14:50-15:40 Michel Vervoort – The importance to compare convergent developmental processes in trying to establish some principles of development

 

15:40-16:10 Coffee break

 

16:10-17:00 Plenary discussion II – Connections and broader issues

 

17:00-18:00 What next? General discussion on research, meetings and editorial plans

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minelli&pradeu_Theory dvpt

 

 

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