Workshop Announcement

The tenacity of the nature/nurture divide

Two-day workshop to be held on March 20-21, 2009

At the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin (Department III)

Brief Description: The formula nature/nurture (Na-Nu) has captured a very basic split in the causal structure we assign to the constitution of the human. The divide determines explanatory strategies in scientific and non-scientific arenas. We aim to further our understanding of the tenacity of this binary distinction by contextualizing it within a large time scale, and through different cultures. This workshop will bring together scientists, historians and philosophers, who will tackle the Na-Nu complex from different and complementary angles and will contribute to the collective answering of questions linked to it. Is there for instance something inevitable about such dramatic dichotomous structure? Why does it seem to recur, under ever new shapes, with every new shift in the life and social sciences? Or has it progressively weakened under the strain of criticism and alternative frames? Are we then witnessing its last incarnations? What would a future conceptual field of humanities and the life sciences look like without such a conceptual and ontological divide?

Confirmed Speakers: Evelyn Fox Keller, Lisa Gannet, Peter Hammerstein, Tim Ingold, Ursula Klein, Geoffrey Lloyd, Federico Navarrete, Eric Turkheimer, Elizabeth Williams.

Organizers: Carlos López-Beltrán, Maria Kronfeldner

For more information, please visit:

If you would like to attend, please contact: Maria Kronfeldner <[email protected]>