Toward a science of intrinsic purposiveness: an organizational account of ecological functions and its implications to ecological research and environmental ethics

Principal Investigator: Charbel El-Hani, Federal University of Bahia (UFBA)

Orange Network Icon
Overview
Team

This seeks to investigate the individuation of ecological systems and attribution of function to their components as a ground for intrinsic purposiveness, applying the theoretical outcomes to analyze whether ecosystem health and distress or disruption are justifiable concepts, as well as whether intrinsic value can be ascribed to ecological systems. In particular, it will apply an organizational account of ecological functions to understand intrinsic purposiveness in ecological systems and derive principled criteria for identifying functional groups and traits and justifying (or not) judgments of normal and pathological functioning in ecosystems as well as intrinsic value ascription to such systems. Key outputs of this work will be practical diagnostic tools for individuating ecological systems and ascribing functions to their parts, and a philosophical basis to justify or reject health-related metaphors for establishing goals in environmental management as well as ascriptions of intrinsic value to ecological systems.

Charbel El-Hani

Charbel El-Hani

Cluster:
Higher-Level Agency and Directionality in Ecology and Earth Science
Project:
An organizational account of ecological functions
Role:
Subaward Principal Investigator

Charbel N. El-Hani is full professor in the Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. Coordinator of the History, Philosophy, and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio) and the National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution (INCT IN-TREE). Between January 2020 and July 2021, he was visiting researcher at the Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal. He works in the areas of philosophy of biology, ecology, ethnobiology and science education research.

Nei Nunes-Neto

Nei Nunes-Neto

Cluster:
Higher-Level Agency and Directionality in Ecology and Earth Science
Project:
An organizational account of ecological functions

I am Associate Professor of Epistemology of Science and Science Education at the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Federal University of Grande Dourados (UFGD), Brazil. I am affiliated to the Graduate Studies Program in History, Philosophy, and Science Teaching (Federal University of Bahia and State University of Feira de Santana). My research interests are in science education research, philosophy of biology and ethics. Also, I'm a researcher of the National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution (INCT IN-TREE), funded by the Brazilian agencies CNPq and CAPES, and gathering 200 researchers from different fields.

spiral

Gaëlle Pontarotti

Cluster:
(Re)Conceptualizing Function and Goal-Directedness, Higher-Level Agency and Directionality in Ecology and Earth Science
Project:
An organizational account of ecological functions, Open-ended evolution and organizational closure
Claudio Reis

Claudio Reis

Cluster:
Higher-Level Agency and Directionality in Ecology and Earth Science
Project:
An organizational account of ecological functions

Claudio Ricardo Martins dos Reis is Associate Professor of History and Philosophy of Biology at the Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. Member of the History, Philosophy, and Biology Teaching Lab (LEFHBio) and the National Institute of Science and Technology in Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Studies in Ecology and Evolution (INCT IN-TREE). He works in the areas of philosophy of science, especially of biology, and the areas of ecology and science education research.

Emiliano Sfara

Emiliano Sfara

Cluster:
Higher-Level Agency and Directionality in Ecology and Earth Science
Project:
An organizational account of ecological functions

I’m an Italian postdoctoral researcher at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, since 2018. My main research interests focus on the influences of Kant’s ideas of organism in Georges Canguilhem’s philosophy of medicine and biology. The theoretical interconnections between philosophy of science, philosophy of action and philosophy of artistic creation in Canguilhem’s thought oriented my previous doctoral and postdoctoral investigations in France (IHPST of Paris, Université Montpellier 3), Italy (Università della Calabria) and Canada (CIRST, Université du Québec à Montréal). The application, from an organizational perspective, of the concepts of normal and pathological to ecosystems will be one of the most relevant research topics for me in the years to come.

News

January 20, 2022
Postdoc Perspectives: Q&A with Clarissa Machado Pinto Leite