Biologists often attribute purpose to living systems...
Should they?

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From left to right:
A star-nosed mole emerging from a burrow. Photo by Ken Catania, Vanderbilt University.
A digitally rendered image of an orb-like cluster of spherical bacteria. 3D illustration by Sergey Volkov, Adobe Stock.
An octopus curls the ends of its arms in clear aqua water. Photo by aerial-drone, Adobe Stock.
View from above into a venus flytrap. Photo by shrike, Adobe Stock.

There is a growing recognition that biological phenomena which suggest agency, directionality, or goal-directedness demand new conceptual frameworks that can translate into rigorous theoretical models and discriminating empirical tests. This project addresses the demand through a novel, interdisciplinary, large-scale program that combines philosophers, theoreticians, and experimentalists.