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Dynamic (bio)ontologies for good epistemology

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I will explore the significance of a newcomer in the epistemology of biology: the bio-ontology, a classification tool that has come to play a crucial role in the dissemination of results across research contexts, as well as in the extraction of inferences and testable hypotheses from available datasets. I will analyse the characteristics of bio-ontologies and illustrate how their use is affecting experimental practices in biology. I will then show that bio-ontologies’ success as research tools lies in their capability to change in response to new developments. I will conclude that the case of bio-ontologies exemplifies a fundamental characteristic of any ontology underlying scientific inquiry: a strong interdependence with epistemic practices.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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