Graduate Workshop on Philosophy of Science / Seminario de Investigación en Filosofía de la Ciencia

Date and time: March 9, Friday, 9:00 – 13:30

Location: ”Sala de Juntas” (Facultad de Educación, Filosofía y Antropología, EHU/UPV)

Opening: Alba Amilburu (EHU-UPV, IAS-Research) & Cristian Saborido (UNED)

Speakers: Alejandra Martínez Quintero (EHU-UPV), Giorgio Airoldi (UNED), Guglielmo Militello (EHU-UPV), Emilio Cáceres Vázquez (UNED)

Program: Graduate Workshop on Philosophy of Science1

17 Nov., Talk by Sara Murillo – Towards integrative compartmentalized chemical systems: a lipid-peptide rendez-vous

Towards integrative compartmentalized chemical systems: a lipid-peptide rendez-vous.

Sara Murillo Sanchez1,2, Damien Beaufils,3 Robert Pascal,3  Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo1,2,


1Biophysics Unit (CSIC, UPV/EHU), Leioa, Spain; 2Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, UPV, Donostia−San Sebastián, Spain; 3IBMM, CNRS – Université de Montpellier, Place E. Bataillon, 34095 Montpellier Cedex 5, France

Maturana and Varela’s work on the theory of autopoiesis in the seventies and eighties led to a conception of life as a form of organization, by which each living entity recursively produces itself, including the boundary with its local environment (i.e., the cellular compartment). In more recent times, we have applied a similar idea, ‘basic autonomy’ [1], to design a research agenda in the field of origins of life, proposing it as an intermediate bridge between complex self-organizing phenomena and ‘genetically-instructed metabolisms’ – i.e., minimal but already full-fledged living organisms, capable of open-ended evolution [2].

This systems view for the origin of life is grounded on the idea that biological organization should result from the functional integration of diverse autocatalytic subsystems maintained in far-from-equilibrium conditions. The authors of this work come from two different fields of research, prebiotic peptide synthesis [3, 4] and fatty acid compartment self-assembly [5], but share the aim of investigating the relevance of coupled processes that could connect both fields.

The membrane-assisted formation of oligo-peptides [6,7] or more recent endogenous synthesis of a hydrophobic peptide that gets inserted in the lipid bilayer of a protocell  [8] have opened new research pathways into the possibility that peptides could be helpful for the growth and stability of lipid vesicles.

We present here the first results of a collaborative work in which the presence of fatty acid vesicles has been demonstrated to favor the peptide bond formation, potentially leading to a prebiotic process of selection and amplification of peptide residues. In turn, the insertion of the type of peptides synthesized here into fatty acid membranes could also contribute to their stability, representing a positive feedback for vesicle self-assembly and potential growth and reproduction.


[1] K. Ruiz-Mirazo, A. Moreno, 2004, Artificial Life, 10(3), 235–2597

[2] K. Ruiz-Mirazo, J. Umerez & A. Moreno, 2008, Biology and Philosophy, 23(1), 67–85

[3] D. Beaufils, G. Danger, L. Boiteau, R. Pascal, 2014. Chem. Commun, 50 :3100–3102

[4] G. Danger, R. Plasson, R. Pascal, 2012, Chemical Society Reviews, 41:5416–29.

[5] A. Rendón, D. Gil Carton, J. Sot, M. García-Palacios, R. Montes, M. Valle, J-L. Arrondo, F.M. Goñi, K. Ruiz-Mirazo, 2012, Biophysical Journal, 102: 278-286.

[6] M. Blocher, D. Liu, P. L. Luisi, 2000, Macromolecules, 33:5787-5796

[7] H. H. Zepik, S. Rajamani, M.-C. Maurel, D. Deamer, 2007, Orig. Life Evol. Biosph. 37, 495-505.

[8] K. Adamala, J. W. Szostak, 2013, Nat. Chem. 5, 495–501


10th Nov., talk by Oier Etxeberria: AITA LABURU Imágenes y palabras sobre magia y locura en el País Vasco (1933-1935)

TITLE: AITA LABURU Imágenes y palabras sobre magia y locura en el País Vasco (1933-1935)

LOCATION: Centro Carlos Santamaría Zentro B14

DATE: 10th Nov., 11:00

ABSTRACT: El padre Laburu fue uno de los primeros documentalistas del

cine vasco. Sus filmes en torno a los ritos mágicos en la medicina

popular, los experimentos perceptivos realizados con los animales, su

interes por los zoológicos y los centros de internamiento

psiquiátrico, constituyen un legado sustancial para la llamada

antropología visual y sin duda muestran a un intelectual (teologo,

medico) interesado en indagar en las zonas oscuras del pensamiento

racional y cientifico. La inclusion de estos materiales en el contexto

de Pure Data, un proyecto a la que recientemente he dedicado una

exposición[1], la presentación en el 33º festival de cine de NAFA y

ahora esta presentación ante un publico universitario constituye una

oportunidad para tratar de analizar hasta que punto la progresiva

tecnificación medica de la sociedad y su poder empirico-instumental

convive con la sacralizacion con la que paulatinamente se nos muestra

la gestión de la salud.

Prof. Alvaro Moreno: The Limits of Science as Biological Limits of Human Beings – CSM B14, 3 Nov., 11am


Alvaro Moreno

In this talk I will analyze the nature of Science considered as a specific form of human action. I will first analyze the epistemic dimension of science, its limits, and the role that philosophy could play in this domain. Second, I will consider science from a broader perspective, as a system embedded in the development of human society. From this perspective, science has caused an accelerated process of economic growth. But this process, which lacks a global regulatory control, is potentially self-destructive because it undermines the ecological logic, which is based on building sustainable cycles among species. As I will explain, a clash between the specific expansion of the human niche (as driven by science) and the induced transformations in the global ecosystem seems inevitable because the change in the forms of human interaction with other species is cultural, not genetic, and therefore its speed makes it virtually impossible a re-adaptation by most of the biological species.

Nicole Rossmanith talk: Karl Bühler meets Enactive Cognitive Science – Towards a Science of Social Co-regulation and Making Sense

Nicole Rossmanith talk:
Karl Bühler meets Enactive Cognitive Science – Towards a Science of Social Co-regulation and Making Sense

Centro Carlos Santamaría Zentroa, B14
11h00 6th October

This talk sets out to explore points of contact between the approach of early 20th century psychologist Karl Bühler and some recent developments in cognitive science such as enactivism, sensorimotor accounts of cognition or second person approaches…

During the 1920ies – times of proliferation and crisis – in Vienna (the heyday of the Vienna Circle, Freud, as well as the “biologische Versuchsanstalt Vivarium”) Bühler writes a productive critique of the competing schools of psychology (“Crisis in Psychology”), opening up the question of the proper “subject matter of psychology” and in the following years goes on to sketch a programme for a Psychology, firmly grounded in (systems) biology and aiming to address all areas of “meaningful life” including the behaviour of unicellular organisms as well as products of human culture.

This talk will explore (1) how Bühler’s systematic critique based on an analysis of different (and complementary) ways of approaching the mind (experience, behaviour, and structure approaches) can be instrumental for understanding some of the problems inherent in modern cognitive science and how they came about. And I will explore (2) some of the untapped potential of his positive framework and how it might open up a new road for cognitive science not yet travelled.
Bühler’s approach is very much in line with recent developments in cognitive science (action turn, social turn, semiotic turn). His systems view of organisms, taking purposeful action as the basic unit of analysis, his emphasis on social co-regulation being constitutive for society and “higher cognitive functions” such as language, and in particular his cyber-semiotic theory of communication and cognition/interaction (combining his notion of “Steuerung/regulation” with an elaborated theory sign processes) are strikingly similar to concerns and concepts of enactivism and sensory-motor accounts of cognition (such as (participatory) sense-making and “active perception”…), and might in some aspects even point beyond them.

Body-Oriented Psychotherapy for Persons with Schizophrenia: an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Participants’ Experience. IAS Research Seminar by Laura Galbusera.

Centro Carlos Santamaría, Room B14. 11:15-13:00, 3rd Jun 2014.

Laura Galbusera M. Sc. (Psych.)

TESIS Marie Curie Fellow, Clinic for General Psychiatry, University of Heidelberg

According to different models, schizophrenia is a disorder that disrupts the Self, even at the implicit and bodily level of basic self-awareness. Consistently, specific body-oriented psychotherapy interventions for schizophrenia have been developed to access firstly the implicit and bodily level of experience. The aim of this study is to explore participants’ experience of body-oriented psychotherapy in order to understand the helpful factors in the process of therapeutic change. After a 10 weeks program of body-oriented group psychotherapy (Roericht et al., 2000) 6 adults with schizophrenia participated to a semi-structured interview (Change Interview; Elliott, 2001) exploring their experience of change and helpful/hindering aspects of therapy. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (Smith et al., 2009). The preliminary results showed six super-ordinate themes related to therapeutic change: 1) Being a whole: body-mind connection 2) Being unique and worthy: feeling accepted for who one is 3) Being part of a group: feeling of social belonging 4) Being agentic, being able 5) Hoping and investing in the future. These core themes share the underlying idea of a recovery of a sense of Self at different levels. The relevance of these results and their implications for treatment approaches to schizophrenia will be addressed.

Evolutionary Innovations by Symbiogenesis – From Ancient to Modern (Geological) Times. Visiting research seminar by Professor Juli Peretó.

Centro Carlos Santamaría, Room B1. 11:15-13:00, 30th May 2014.

Professor Juli Peretó

Institut Cavanilles de Biodiversitat i Biologia Evolutiva, Departament de Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat de València <>

Over a hundred years after the classic debates on the individuality of lichens, the role of symbiosis in the emergence of innovations is a significant part of the canon of contemporary evolutionary biology. The theory of symbiogenesis, proposed by Boris Kozo-Polyansky (1890-1957) and deployed in all its explanatory power by Lynn Margulis (1938-2011), allows the study of the emergence of new structures, metabolisms and behaviors from the association of different species. Thus, we are convinced that mitochondria and chloroplasts have common ancestors with modern free-living bacteria and that eukaryotic complexity began out of prokaryotic consortia more than 1 billion years ago. But the link between symbiosis and evolution does not end here. Associations with prokaryotic organisms have been present and repeated throughout the evolutionary history of eukaryotes. One of the best studied cases are the metabolic symbiogenesis between insects and bacteria, which have occurred independently many times during the last 300 million years, producing numerous mergers of the branches of the tree of life. The vertically inherited endosymbionts and the intestinal microbiota have sculpted the metabolic capabilities of the largest animal group. If the association between prokaryotes was essential for the emergence of the eukaryotic cell, we must also recognize that the symbiotic associations with prokaryotes, explored during eukaryotic diversification, have been crucial in the evolution of eukaryotic metabolism. The eukaryotes are really metabolic mosaics.