This project brings together scholars in philosophy and biology to address the problem of integrating different types of explanations from scientific approaches to better understand life’s complexity. The specific focus is the question of how to bridge the divide between genetic and generic (physical) explanatory approaches in three domains of biological phenomena: development, evolutionary novelty, and evolvability. In order to facilitate new forms of explanatory integration, encourage progress on these questions, and generate epistemic models that assist ongoing inquiry, a core team of scientists and philosophers with relevant expertise will meet with a select group of internationally renowned experts for three intensive workshops with each year devoted to one domain.

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Core Team

Philosophy Team      
photo of WiIlliam Wimsatt
photo of Alan Love
photo of Robert Batterman
photo of James Griesemer
William C. Wimsatt 
Principal Investigator
Alan Love 
Principal Investigator
Robert Batterman 

James Griesemer


Biology Team      
photo of Stuart Newman
Photo of Karl Niklas
photo of Gunter Wagner
photo of Douglas Erwin
Stuart A. Newman Karl J. Niklas  Günter Wagner Douglas Erwin


Post Doctoral Researcher
portrait of Thomas Stewart
Thomas A. Stewart

Invited Experts - Development

Invited Experts - Evolutionary Novelty