The research unit studies the history and philosophy of science, with a focus on the life sciences, especially biology, and philosophical anthropology. Its members work in the Emmy Noether research group "ROTO" (The Return of the Organism in the Biosciences: Theoretical, Historical, and Social Dimensions) funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It investigates the conceptual, methodological and anthropological challenges going along with the current comeback of the concept of organism in the bio- and biomedical sciences. The group combines philosophical, historical and sociological approaches to study biological individuality, agency, organism-environment boundaries, and the concept of environment. Other research topics concern the history of botany and theoretical biology, the concept of race and values in science as well as causality and scientific explanation.  

ROTO Homepage: Here 

ROTO Bluesky: Here

Lecture Series: Here

If you are interested in doing a M.A. in our History, Philosophy & Culture of Science (HPS+) Program at RUB, please write us


New publications...

  • Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda, Jan Baedke, Guido I. Prieto, Gregory Radick (eds.): The Riddle of Organismal Agency: New Historical and Philosophical Reflections. Routledge. (2024) [Print] [pdf]
  • Helmut Pulte, Jan Baedke, Daniel Koenig, Gregor Nickel (eds.): New Perspectives on Neo-Kantianism and the Sciences. Routledge. (2024) [Print] [pdf]
  • Jan Baedke: Plant agency: A short history from Kant to plant psychology, then to holism, and back again. In: A. Fábregas-Tejeda, J. Baedke, G.I. Prieto, G. Radick (eds.): The Riddle of Organismal Agency: New Historical and Philosophical Reflections. Routledge (2024) [download pdf]
  • Jan Baedke, Azita Chellappoo & Maurizio Meloni (eds.): Postgenomic Determinism: Environmental Narratives After the Century of the Gene. Special Issue in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. (2023-) [Link]
  • Azita Chellappoo & Jan Baedke: Where the social meets the biological: New ontologies of biosocial race. In: Synthese (2023) [download pdf]
  • Jan Baedke, & Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda: The organism in evolutionary explanation: From early 20th century to the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. In: T.E. Dickins & B.J.A. Dickins (eds.): Evolutionary Biology: Contemporary and Historical Reflections Upon Core Theory. Springer: Dordrecht. (2023) [download pdf]
  • Jan Baedke & Christina Brandt (eds.): New Styles of Thought and Practices: Biology in the Interwar Period. Special Issue in Journal of the History of Biology. J. Baedke & C. Brandt (eds.). (2022) [Link]
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Jan Baedke

Fakultät III,
Institut für Philosophie I
GA 3 / 129
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstr. 150
44801 Bochum
Tel. +49(0)234/32-24727

Office: Tanja Markner
GA 3/62

Institut für Philosophie I
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstraße 150
D-44780 Bochum

office hours
Wed: 11:00-14:00 
Tel.: Mon, Tue, Thu (morning)