Oct 25, 2023 | 15:00—16:00
Johannes Jaeger (University of Vienna) will present a talk on Wednesday, October 25th, 2023, from 3 – 4 PM in the Salon.
Title: Pushing the Boundaries – Modeling Organismic Agents and Their Evolution
Abstract: Organisms are not machines. They are organized in a hierarchical and self-referential way that sets them apart from pure mechanisms and enables their self-manufacture (autopoiesis) and reproduction. This simple insight forces us to rethink the relationship between living beings and machines, such as artificial “intelligence.” It also has profound consequences for our thinking about organismic behavior and evolution, which is not only unpredictable but fundamentally not presentable. In other words: the living world cannot be formalized completely. In my talk, I will introduce conceptual frameworks such as organizational complexity and emergence, as well as a new account of the adjacent possible, which will form the basis for new methods to model living systems. The idea is to push formal methodology as far as we can to explore and expand the boundaries of what we can understand and predict in the living world. This should lead us to a new appreciation of the living as well as the radical openness of evolutionary processes that follow from it.
Bio: Johannes Jäger is a freelance researcher, philosopher, and educator whose research interests have always revolved around the nature of the organism and its evolution. Originally trained as an experimental biologist, he has since moved into mathematical and philosophical approaches to understanding the organization of evolving living systems. Another core interest of him is the sad state of the current academic system, and the role that open science and philosophy play in designing a system that re-enables innovation and exploration.
Johannes is currently the leader of a John Templeton Foundation grant, co-led by Prof. Tarja Knuuttila, hosted at the Dept of Philosophy of Uni Vienna: https://www.expandingpossibilities.org.
Project Leader, Dept of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Associate Faculty, Complexity Science Hub (CSH) Vienna
Scholar, Ronin Institute