ZOOM SEMINAR: The History and Philosophy of Biosignatures

  • Date: –16:00
  • Location: Via Zoom
  • Lecturer: David Dunér, Natural Sciences Fellow, SCAS. Professor of History of Science and Ideas, Lund University
  • Website
  • Organiser: Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS)
  • Contact person: Klas Holm
  • Seminarium

David Dunér, SCAS and Lund University, gives a seminar on The History and Philosophy of Biosignatures. The talk will be followed by a Q&A session.

Abstract: This paper examines the human search, understanding, and interpretation of biosignatures. It deals with four epistemological issues in the search for signs of life in outer space: (1) conceptualization, how we form concepts of life in astrobiology, how we define and categorize things, and the relation between our concepts and our knowledge of the world; (2) analogy, how we see similarities between things, and with inductive, analogical reasoning go from what we know to what we do not know, from the only example of life here on Earth, to possible extraterrestrial life; (3) perception, how we interpret what our senses convey in our search for biosignatures, how the information we get from the surrounding world is processed in our minds; and (4) the semiotics of biosignatures, how we, as interpreters, establish connections between things, between the expression (the biosignature) and the content (the living organism) in various forms of semiosis, as icons, indices, and symbols of life. In all, it is about how we get access to the world, and how we interpret and understand it, for achieving a well-grounded knowledge about the living Universe.

For more information and the Zoom link, please see the enclosed PDF file or http://www.swedishcollegium.se/subfolders/Events.html.

Additional information