CANCELLED FILO, Modul 1: Hovedværk: Tim Lewens: Organism and Artifact

Course content

In this course we investigate the use of the language of design in biology. Uniquely among the natural sciences, biology uses descriptive and explanatory terms more suited to artifacts than organisms. Notoriously Descartes identified organisms with machines, and today genomes are said to be blueprints of organisms, the brain is compared to a computer, and when evolutionary biologists discuss the purpose of the panda's thumb, they borrow from a vocabulary of intentional design that seems to be in conflict with Darwin's discoveries more than a century ago. Reading Lewens' book we will examine the use of analogies in scientific reasoning, design-based thinking in biology and neuroscience, accounts of functional explanation and analysis of evolved organisms and engineered machines, and the possibility of evolutionary explanations of technology. Thus the course will take up issues central to the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of technology.


Master in Philosophy, 2014-curriculum

Learning outcome

The Master’s Programme in Philosophy 2014:
Module 1, Classical Philosophical Text: HFIK03701E
Module 5, Freely chosen topic 1: HFIK03741E
Module 5, Freely chosen topic 2: HFIK03751E

Type of assessment
Criteria for exam assessment
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 367,5
  • English
  • 409,5