NACH OBEN

Jan Baedke is a Professor at the Department of Philosophy I, Ruhr University Bochum. His research interests include the history and philosophy of the life sciences (especially biology), and philosophical anthropology. Currently he is PI of the German Research Foundation (DFG) funded research group The Return of the Organism in the Biosciences: Theoretical, Historical, and Social Dimensions. 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 interests concern theoretical debates in evolutionary biology (especially related to the 'Extended Evolutionary Synthesis'), the history of 19th and 20th century biology (especially theoretical biology and developmental biology) and the history of neo-Kantianism and holism, anthropological issues and the concept of race in science, values in science (e.g., commodification), the role of the visual in the sciences, and scientific explanation. His book Above the Gene, Beyond Biology: Toward a Philosophy of Epigenetics (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018) explores how biologists in the field of epigenetics investigate and explain living systems.

Vita
  • 2023: Habilitation, Department of Philosophy I, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 2019-: Junior Professor for History and Philosophy of Science, Department of Philosophy I, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 2019: Assistant Professor, Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Research (Ernst Haeckel House), Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena
  • 2018: Visiting Scholar, University of Cambridge
  • 2017: Visiting Scholar, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI), Vienna
  • 2016: Visiting Scholar, Centre for the Study of Life Sciences (Egenis), University of Exeter
  • 2015-2019: Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy I, Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 2015-2017: Fellow of the Global Young Faculty (Foundation Mercator)
  • 2015: Best Dissertation Award ('GdF Award'), Ruhr-University Bochum
  • 2014, 2016, 2019: Visiting Scholar, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM)
  • 2014: Visiting Scholar, Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)
  • 2014: PhD, Ruhr University Bochum (Dissertation: ‘Causal explanation in epigenetics: Modeling complex biological systems’)
  • 2013: Visiting Ph.D. Student, Finnish Centre of Excellence (TINT), University of Helsinki
  • 2010: M.A. Philosophy; M.Ed. Biology and Philosophy; Ruhr-University Bochum

Publications

Books

  • Above the Gene, Beyond Biology: Toward a Philosophy of Epigenetics. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. (2018) [Link]

Editions

  • The Riddle of Organismal Agency: New Historical and Philosophical Reflections. Routledge (Co-editors: A. Fábregas-Tejeda, G. I. Prieto, G. Radick, forthcoming)
  • New Perspectives on Neo-Kantianism and the Sciences. Routledge. (Co-editors: H. Pulte, D. Koenig, G. Nickel, forthcoming)
  • Postgenomic Determinism: Environmental Narratives After the Century of the Gene. Special Issue in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences. J. Baedke, A. Chellappoo & M. Meloni (eds.) (2023-) [Link]
  • 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]
  • What Counts as Environment in Biology and Medicine: Historical, Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives. Special Issue in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. J. Baedke & T. Buklijas (eds.). (2021/22) [Link]
  • Wahrheit oder Pflicht: Herausforderungen für die moderne Wissenschaft [Truth or dare: Challenges for modern science]. J. Baedke, A. Brunschweiger, U. Häger, A. Hemschemeier, C. Hundt, M. Richter & J. Theis (eds.). Klartext: Essen. (2017) [Link]
  • Anthropologie 2.0? Neuere Ansätze einer philosophischen Anthropologie im Zeitalter der Biowissenschaften [Anthropology 2.0? New Approaches in Philosophical Anthropology in the Age of Bioscience]. J. Baedke, C. Brandt & H.-U. Lessing (eds.). LIT: Münster. (2015) [Link]

Journal Articles

  • How to eliminate race from human microbiome research. In: Argumenta. (Co-author: Abigail Nieves Delgado; forthcoming)
  • Where the social meets the biological: New ontologies of biosocial race. In: Synthese (Co-author: Azita Chellappoo, 2023) [download pdf]
  • Biological agency without levels. In: Spontaneous Generations (Co-author: Daniel S. Brooks, 2023) [download pdf]
  • Between the wars, facing a scientific crisis: The theoretical and methodological bottleneck of interwar biology (Introduction to Special Issue "New Styles of Thought and Practices: Biology in the Interwar Period"). In: Journal of the History of Biology. (Co-author: C. Brandt, 2022) [download pdf]
  • Where organisms meet environments (Introduction to Special Issue "What Counts as Environment in Biology and Medicine: Historical, Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives"). In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. (Co-author: T. Buklijas, 2022) [download pdf]
  • Unknotting reciprocal causation between organism and environment. In: Biology & Philosophy (Co-authors: Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda, Guido I. Prieto; 2021) [download pdf]
  • Does the human microbiome tell us something about race? In: Nature: Humanities & Social Sciences Communications (Co-author: Abigail Nieves Delgado; 2021) [download pdf]
  • Global climate change, diet and the complex relationship between human host and microbiome: Towards an integrated picture. In: BioEssays (Co-author: Francesco Catania, Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda, Abigail Nieves Delgado, Valerio Vitali, Le Anh Nguyen Long; 2021) [download pdf]
  • Revisiting Hans Böker's "Species Transformation Through Reconstruction: Reconstruction Through Active Reaction of Organisms" (1935). In: Biological Theory. (Co-authors: Alejandro Fábregas Tejeda, Abigail Nieves Delgado; 2021) [download pdf]
  • Evolution and development. In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (Co-author: Scott Gilbert) (2020) [download pdf])
  • Does the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis entail extended explanatory power? In: Biology & Philosophy 35, 20 (Co-authors: Alejandro Fábregas Tejeda, Francisco Vergara-Silva; 2020) [download pdf]
  • The holobiont concept before Margulis. In: The Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B: Molecular and Developmental Evolution. (Co-authors: Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda, Abigail Nieves Delgado; 2020) [download pdf]
  • What’s wrong with evolutionary causation? In: Acta Biotheoretica (2020) [download pdf]
  • Race and nutrition in the New World: Colonial shadows in the age of epigenetics. In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 76, 101175 (Co-author: Abigail Nieves Delgado; 2019) [download pdf]
  • O organism, where art thou? Old and new challenges for organism-centered biology. In: Journal of the History of Biology 52, 293-324 (2019). [download pdf]
  • From seconds to eons: Time scales, hierarchies, and processes in evo-devo. In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 72, 38-48. (Co-author: Siobhan F. Mc Manus; 2018). [download pdf]
  • Visual metaphors in the sciences: The case of epigenetic landscape images. In: Journal for General Philosophy of Science 48, 173-195. (Co-author: Tobias Schöttler; 2017). [download pdf]
  • Exclusions, explanations, and exceptions: On the lawlike status of the competitive exclusion principle. In: Philosophy & Theory in Biology 7, e602. (Co-author: Jani Raerinne, 2015). [download pdf]
  • Model organisms in evo-devo: Promises and pitfalls of the comparative approach. In: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 36, 42-59. (Co-Author: Alessandro Minelli; 2014). [download pdf]
  • The epigenetic landscape in the course of time: Conrad Hal Waddington’s methodological impact on the life sciences. In: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44, 756-73. (2013). [download pdf]
  • Causal explanation beyond the gene: Manipulation and causality in epigenetics. In: Theoria 27, 153-174. (2012).[download pdf]

Book Chapters

  • 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 (forthcoming)
  • From Kant to holism: The decline of neo-Kantianism and the rise of theoretical biology. In: New Perspectives on Neo-Kantianism and the Sciences. H. Pulte, J. Baedke, D. Koenig, G. Nickel (eds.) Routledge. (Co-authors: Alexander Böhm, Stefan Reiners-Selbach; forthcoming)
  • A synthesis without Darwin: Unification attempts in early theoretical biology. In: Deconstructing Darwinism: Towards a New Historiography. R.G. Delisle, M. Esposito, D. Ceccarelli (eds.). Springer. (Co-authors: Alexander Böhm, Stefan Reiners-Selbach, Vera Straetmanns; forthcoming)
  • Wissenschaftstheorie [Philosophy of science]. In: M. Gutmann, B. Rathgeber, K. Wiegerling (eds.): Handbuch der Technikphilosophie [Handbook of philosophy of technology]. Metzler. (forthcoming)
  • 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. (Co-authors: Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda; 2023) [download pdf]
  • Teleology, organisms, and genes: Commentary to Haig. In: T.E. Dickins & B.J.A. Dickins (eds.): Evolutionary Biology: Contemporary and Historical Reflections Upon Core Theory. Springer: Dordrecht. (Co-authors: Alejandro Fábregas-Tejeda; 2023) [download pdf]
  • The origin of new levels of organization. In: D. Brooks, J. DiFrisco, W. Wimsatt (eds.): Levels of Organization in the Biological Sciences. MIT Press: Cambridge, 153-174. (2021) [download pdf]
  • Mechanisms in evo-devo. In: A. Love (ed.): Philosophy of Evo-Devo (Evolutionary Developmental Biology – Reference Guide, edited by G.B. Müller & L. Nuño de la Rosa). Springer: Dordrecht. (2020) [download pdf]
  • What is a biological individual? In: Martín-Durán, J.M & B.C. Vellutini (eds.): Old Questions and Young Approaches to Animal Evolution. Springer: Dordrecht, 269-284. (2019) [download pdf]
  • The new biology of the social: Shaping humans’ future, science, and public health. In: G. Verschraegen, F. Vandermoere, L. Brackmans & B. Segaert (eds.): Imagined Futures in Science, Technology and Society. Routledge: London, 45-64. (2017) [download pdf]
  • Die Moderne Wissenschaft: Werte und Strukturen im Wandel [Modern science: Changing values and structures]. In: J. Baedke, A. Brunschweiger, U. Häger, A. Hemschemeier, C. Hundt, M. Richter & J. Theis (eds.): Wahrheit oder Pflicht: Herausforderungen für die moderne Wissenschaft [Truth of dare: Challenges for modern science]. Klartext: Essen, 8-12. (2017)
  • Raus aus dem Elfenbeinturm! Alte und neue Rollen der Wissenschaft in der Gesellschaft [Leaving the ivory tower: Old and new roles of science in society]. In: J. Baedke, A. Brunschweiger, U. Häger, A. Hemschemeier, C. Hundt, M. Richter & J. Theis (eds.): Wahrheit oder Pflicht: Herausforderungen für die moderne Wissenschaft [Truth of dare: Challenges for modern science]. Klartext: Essen, 12-15. (2017)
  • Grenzen des Menschseins: Intensivmedizinische Herausforderungen und anthropologische Ungewissheiten. [Borders of being human: Challenges in intensive care and anthropological uncertainties]. In: J. Baedke, C. Brandt & H.-U. Lessing (eds.): Anthropologie 2.0?. LIT: Münster, 89-102. (Co-author: Jessica Pahl; 2015)
  • Challenges to characterizing the notion of causation across disciplinary boundaries: Comment on Faye. In: M.C. Galavotti, S. Hartmann, M. Weber, W. Gonzalez, D. Dieks & T. Uebel (eds.): New Directions in the Philosophy of Science (Series ‘The Philosophy of Science in a European Perspective’). Springer: Dordrecht, 191-202. (2014) [download pdf]
  • Die andere Epigenetik: Modellbildungen in der Stammzellbiologie und die Diversität epigenetischer Ansätze [The other epigenetics: Modeling in stem cell biology and the diversity of epigenetic approaches]. In: V. Lux & J.T. Richter (eds.): Kulturen der Epigenetik: Vererbt, codiert, übertragen [Cultures in Epigenetics: Inherited, Coded, Transmitted]. DeGruyter: Berlin: 23-41. (Co-author: Christina Brandt; 2014) [download pdf]

Reviews & Others

  • Translation of “Böker, Hans (1935). Artumwandlung durch Umkonstruktion: Umkonstruktion durch aktives Reagieren der Organismen [The Change of Species through Reconstruction: Reconstruction through the Active Reaction of Organisms]. Acta Biotheoretica, 1, 17–34". In: Biological Theory. (With Alexander Böhm; 2021) [download pdf]
  • Philosophische Probleme der Epigenetik [Philosophical problems of epigenetics]. In: Information Philosophie 2/2019, 22-31 (2019)
  • Expanding Views of Evolution and Causality (Conference Report ‘Cause and Process in Evolution’, Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research (KLI), Vienna, May 11th–14th, 2017). In: Journal for General Philosophy of Science 48: 591-594. (2017) [download pdf]
  • Complete bibliography of Hermann v. Helmholtz. In: Pulte, H., Heidelberger, M. and G. Schiemann (eds.): Hermann von Helmholtz: Philosophische und populärwissenschaftliche Schriften [Philosophical and popular-science writings]. Meiner: Hamburg, 1255-1335. (2017)
  • Development, evolution, and the concepts between the two (Review of ‘Conceptual Change in Biology’. Ed. A. Love, 2015). In: Acta Biotheoretic 64: 99-103. (2016).
  • Review of ‘Understanding Evolution’. K. Kampourakis (2014). In: Frontiers in Evolutionary Developmental Biology 4:11. Doi: 10.3389/fevo.2016.00011. (2016).
  • Review of ‘Historisches Wörterbuch der Biologie’. [Historical Dictionary of Biology]. G. Toepfer (2011). In: Journal for General Philosophy of Science 46: 409-411. (2015).
  • Editorial. In: J. Baedke, C. Brandt & H.-U. Lessing (eds.): Anthropologie 2.0?. LIT: Münster, 3-10. (Co-author: Christina Brandt, Hans-Ulrich Lessing; 2015).
  • Review of ‘The Reception of Charles Darwin in Europe’. Eds. Eve-Marie Engels and Thomas F. Glick (2008), in: Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 43: 411-413 (2011).

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
Email: Jan.Baedke@rub.de









Office: Tanja Markner
GA 3/62
Tel.:+49(0)234/32-22063

Institut für Philosophie I
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
Universitätsstraße 150
D-44780 Bochum
Tanja.Markner@rub.de

office hours
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