Alvaro Moreno

Research InterestsPublications

Personal info

Position Full Professor (Emeritus) in Philosophy of Science
Email alvaro.moreno AT ehu DOT es
Phone 34 943 01 8249
Address EHU/UPV, Department of Philosophy, Avenida de Tolosa 70, 20018 Donostia – San Sebastián


Alvaro Moreno

Alvaro Moreno Bergareche is full Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU). Founder of the Philosophy of Biology Group at the UPV/EHU more than 20 years ago, which has become one of the RG of reference in Europe in its domain. Pr. Alvaro Moreno is a specialist in the areas of Philosophy of Biology, Artificial Life, Complex Systems and Cognitive Science. He has authored more than 100 scientific publications (including 2 monographs and 4 edited volumes) and almost as many papers in national and international conferences. He has been the principal investigator in more than twelve funded projects (funding institutions include: Spanish Ministry of Education and Science, Basque Government, University of the Basque Country), and participated to several others, including European research networks. He has also participated as Review Expert in the evaluation of proposals submitted to the European Commission for funding and/or review of projects being funded by the Commission). He has organized several international workshops on the relation between Artificial Life and AI. And has been member of the organisational and/or program committee of more than 20 international conferences, and he is since many years regular member of the program committee of the Artificial Life conferences (ALIFE) and the European Conferences on Artificial Life (ECAL). He organized a Doctorate Program on Complex Systems, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Education, and has supervised many PhD theses, 5 of them obtaining the highest marks. His work has received a growing international recognition, which is confirmed by the invitations he regularly receives to give lectures in different countries, and the numerous national and international awards he received. Pr. Alvaro Moreno is also actively involved in the dissemination of science, and he led the project for the creation of the Museum of Science in San Sebastian (Spain)

Research interests

  • Philosophy of Science
  • Philosophy of Biology and Cognitive Science.
  • Philosophy of Artificial life
  • Philosophy of Mind and Cognition
  • Issues in Bioethics
  • Self-organization and complexity theory

Teaching experience

AM has been teaching for more than 30 years at the University of the Basque Country (Spain). He has also taught in the University of Compiegne (France). At research level, he has supervised 9 PhDs.

He has taught on subjects like: Philosophy & History of Science, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Biology, Methodology & History of Science, Cognition & Evolution, Methodology of Social Sciences, History of Phyisco-Chemical Sciences, Philosophy of Mind, Biological foundations of Cognition, Systems Theory, Methodology of Science, Naturalism, Truth & Cultural relativism, The Sciences of the Artificial, Epistemology Methodology of Artificial Life, Artificial Life & Artificial Intelligence, Self-Organization & Complex Systems, Theory of Complex Systems, Fundamentals of Biological Theory, Genealogy of Theories of Self-Organization, Biological Organization & the Symbol-Matter Problem.

He has also organized and co-directed several courses, like the Fourth European Advanced School in the Philosophy of the Life Sciences in Klosterneuburg (Austria) and many Summer Courses of the University of the Basque Country.

Management experience

AM has been member of the Academic Commission of Doctoral Studies in the Program “Philosophy, Science & Values”, (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU); Director of the Logic & Philosophy of Science Department, (University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU), Member of the University Faculty (University of the Basque Country) 2000 -2002; Director of the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Program “Complex Systems” (University of the Basque Country); Erasmus coordinator (at the University of the Basque Country) of a Program of Cognitive Science & Epistemology (universities: Sussex; Birbeck College UK, Université de Technologie de Compiégne (France), Université de Liege (Belgium), Universidad de Santiago & Universidad del Pais Vasco (Spain); Vice-dean of the Faculty of Philosophy (University of the Basque Country); Secretary of the Department of Logic & Philosophy of science (University of the Basque Country).

Research projects

AM has been the PI of more than 15 Research Projects. He has also participated in the research team in many other RP, in Spain, Portugal, France, the European Union & Australia.

Participation in conferences and workshops

AM has participated in more than 150 Conferences and Workshops, most of them International and approximately half as invited speaker.

He has also been organizer & scientific advisor of many conferences, workshops and other scientific events (i.e., Member of the Program Committee of the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th European Conference on Artificial Life” (ECAL97, ECAL99, ECAL2001, ECAL2003 & ECAL2005); and of the “Artificial Life VII Conference” (Oregon); Artificial Life IX Conference” (Boston), and Artificial Life X Conference (Bloomington)

Awards and merits


AM was awarded the European Prize in Cognitive Sciences in Strasbourg, June, 28, 1994

Membership in editorial committees

AM is member of many the Editorial Board of many scientific and philosophical Journals: “Semiotics, Evolution, Energy, Development”; “Adaptive Behavior”; “Intellectica” and is also member of the ISSOL (The International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life); he is also reviewer of many journals, like: Artificial Life Journal; Biology & Philosophy; Synthese; Behavioral & Brain Sciences; Biological Theory; Adaptive Behavior; Springer Life Sciences; History & Philosophy of the Life Sciences; European Journal for Philosophy of science: Science & Education Journal; Intellectica; Acta Biotheoretica, etc.

Other academic merits

AM has been external examiner of Research Projects in Spain, France, Belgium and other countries. (Nationals). He has been also Evaluator/Review Expert in the evaluation of RTD proposals submitted to the Commission for funding and/or review of projects being funded by the Commission). Member of the Spanish Network of Cognitive Sciences (February 2011-February 2013); Member of the Spanish Agency for Evaluation of the Research (CNEAI) (February 2013-February 2015); Member of the EUCognition (2006-2008) &, EUCogII network (2nd European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics, 2009-2012); co-founder & Member of the Spanish Society for Evolutionary Biology (Since 2006/7); Senior Researcher of the Spanish Centre of Astrobiology; President between 1997 and 1998, of a Society (Zientzia21) devoted to the design and promotion of an Interactive Museum of Science for the Basque Country; Member of a Commission of the University of the Basque Country for the development of the research in Social Sciences & Humanities 1996/00. He has been acknowledged in 1988 as “Leader of a High Quality Research Group” by the Basque Government (Spain).


AM has more than 160 publications in journals, chapters of books, books and edited collections.

Google Scholar Citations

Citations: 5.201; h-index: 38; i10-index: 100

Since 2016

Citations: 2.523; h-index: 26; i10-index: 57

Selected publications (from the last 10 years)


Moreno, A. & Mossio, M. (2015) Biological Autonomy: A philosophical and theoretical enquiry, Springer.


Moreno, A. & Casado da Rocha, A. (2011) Autonomy Beyond the Brain: What Neuroscience Offers to a More Interactive, Relational Bioethics, The American Journal of Bioethics – Neuroscience 2(3), 54-56.

Saborido, C., Mossio, M. & Moreno, A. (2011) Biological organization and cross-generation functions, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 62(3): 583-606.

Ruiz-Mirazo, K. & Moreno, A. (2012) Autonomy in evolution. From minimal to complex life, Synthese 185(1):21-52

Arnellos, A. & Moreno, A. (2012) How functional differentiation originated in prebiotic evolution, Ludus Vitalis, 37: 1-23.

Mossio, M., Bich, L. & Moreno, A. (2013) Emergence, Closure and Inter-level Causation in Biological Systems, Erkenntnis, 78(2), 153-178.

Ruiz Mirazo, K. & Moreno, A. (2013) Synthetic Biology: challenging life to grasp, use or extend it, Biological Theory (8)4 376-382

Nunes-Neto, N. Moreno, A. & El Hani (2014) Function in Ecology: an organizational approach, Biology and Philosophy 29(1) 123-141.

Arnellos, A., Moreno, A. & Ruiz-Mirazo, K. (2014) Organizational requirements for multicellular autonomy: insights from a comparative case study, Biology and Philosophy 29: 851-884.  DOI 10.1007/s10539-013-9387-x.

Bich, L. Mossio, Ruiz-Mirazo & Moreno, A. (2015) Biological regulation: controlling the system from within. Biology & Philosophy.31(2) 237-265.

Arnellos, A. & Moreno, A. (2015) Multicellular Agency. An organizational view. Biology & Philosophy 30(3) 333: 357.

Saborido, C. & Moreno A. (2015) Biological Pathology from an Organizational Perspective, Journal of theoretical medicine and bioethics 36 (1) 86:95.

Nunes-Neto, N., Saborido, C., El-Hani, C. Viana, B. & Moreno, A. (2016) Function and normativity in social-ecological systems. Philosophy & History of Biology/Filosofia e História da Biologia 11(2) 259-287.

Bich, L. & Moreno, A. (2016): The role of regulation in the origin and synthetic modeling of minimal cognition BioSystems 148: 12-21.

Moreno, A. (2016) Some conceptual issues in the transition from chemistry to biology. History & Philosophy of the Life Sciences.38:16. doi: 10.1007/s40656-016-0117-y

Moreno, A. (2016) Brian G. Henning and Adam C. Scarfe (eds.) Beyond Mechanism: Putting Life back into Biology. Science & Education 25.  731:736.  doi: 10.1007/s11191-016-9825-7

Militello, G. & Moreno, A. (2018) Structural and organisational conditions for being a machine. Biology & Philosophy 33 (5-6)

Moreno, A. (2018) On Minimal Autonomous Agency: Natural and Artificial Complex Systems 27(3) 289-313

Frick, R, Bich, L. & Moreno, A. (2019) An organisational approach to biological communication. Acta biotheoretica, 1-26.

Canciani, M. A. Arnellos, A. & Moreno, A. (2019) Revising the Superorganism: An Organizational Approach to Complex Eusociality. Frontiers in Psychology.

Moreno, A. (2019) The Origin of a Trans-Generational Organization in the Phenomenon of Biogenesis. Frontiers in Physiology,

Amilburu, A, Ruiz Mirazo, K. & Moreno, A. (2020) Definitions of life as epistemic tools that reflect and foster the advance of biological knowledge. Synthese.

Ruiz-Mirazo, K., Shirt-Ediss, B., Escribano-Cabeza, M. & Moreno, A (2020) The Construction of Biological ‘Inter-Identity’ as the Outcome of a Complex Process of Protocell Development in Prebiotic Evolution. Frontiers in Physiology. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.00530

Militello, G. Bich, L & Moreno, A (2021) Functional integration and individuality in prokaryotic collective organisations. Acta Biotheoretica (3):391-415, doi: 10.1007/s10441-020-09390-z

Arnellos, A. & Moreno, A. (2021) Visual Perception and the Emergence of Minimal Representation. Frontiers in Psychology,



Moreno, A. & Ruiz-Mirazo, K. (2011) The informational nature of biological causality, in G. Terzis and R. Arp (eds.) Information and Living Systems: Essays in Philosophy of Biology. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA. 157-175.

Moreno, A., Ruiz-Mirazo, K. & Barandiaran, X. (2011) The impact of the paradigm of complexity on the foundational frameworks of biology and cognitive science, in Hooker (ed) Complex Systems. Vol X of the D. Gavia, P. Thagard and J. Woods (eds) Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. Elsevier pp. 311-333.

Ruiz-Mirazo, K. & Moreno, A. (2011) The need for a universal definition of Life in XXI Century, in G. Terzis and R. Arp (eds.) Information and Living Systems: Essays in Philosophy of Biology. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. 3-23

Moreno, A. (2013) A biological perspective of the nature of cognition: Some remarks for a naturalistic program, in Talmont-Kaminski, K and Milkowski, M (eds) Regarding the Mind, Naturally: Naturalist Approaches to the Sciences of the Mental, Cambridge Scholars Publishing. Newcastle (UK) pp.71-85.

Arnellos, A. & Moreno, A. (2016): Integrating development and interaction in the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms. In Niklas K, & Newman S (eds) Multicellularity: origins and evolution. MlT Press Cambridge MA pp. 249-275

Saborido C., Moreno, A., González-Moreno, M. & Hernández, J.C. (2016) Organizational Malfunctions and the Notions of Health and Disease, in E. Giroux Naturalism in the Philosophy of Health, Springer. 2016. Pp: 101-120.

Moreno, A. (2020) The Role of Individuality in the Origin of Life. In Meincke, A.S. & Dupré, J. Eds. Biological Identity: Perspectives from Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Biology. Routledge. ISSBN 9781138479180

Moreno, A. & Suarez, J. (2020) Plurality of Explanatory Strategies in Biology: Mechanisms and Networks. In Gonzalez, W. J. (ed), Methodological Prospects for Scientific Research: From Pragmatism to Pluralism, Ed. W. J. González. Dordrecht, Springer. Synthese Library, volume 430 pp. 141 165.


Full list of IAS-Research publications