Philosophy of biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, France

Biology, Philosophy
France, Italy

Octobre 2014 à Juin 2015
Octobre 2015 à Mars 2016


Nicole PERRET is a postdoctoral fellow of the Centre Cavaillès at Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS, Paris) since September 2013.

She obtained her Master in philosophy at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy) in 2009 and her Phd at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in 2013. Her research domain is the philosophy of biology. More precisely she works on theory of organisms in the perspective of Kant and Cassirer, and on the problem of causality in biological knowledge.

She coordinates the research group on the theory of organisms of the Pascal Chair at ENS.

Search project

The role of teleology in the biological knowledge

During her fellowship at IAS-Nantes, Nicole PERRET works on a project that focuses on the role of teleology in biology. In the contemporary debate philosophers of biology generally emphasizes the necessity to neutralize this aspect of the biological explanation. Accordingly, they attempt to find some theoretical instruments that allow the assimilation of teleological explanation to efficient causation. The proposed project takes a constructivist approach in the Kantian sense to addresses the problem of teleology. Moreover, the project will focus on the concept that causality in general is a principle of intelligibility and, therefore, also efficient causality has the same role in physics. In this sense, instead of bringing into question the teleological aspect of biological explanation, the project will explore the role of the teleological judgment in the process of biological objectivation. More precisely, taking inspiration from the philosopher Ernst Cassirer on morphology, this project proposes to understand teleology as a formal condition of the biological notions of organization and system.