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Renowned MIT Researcher to Present on Philosophy of Modern Biology

Gilbert Ryle Lecture Series

Dr. Fox KellerDr. Evelyn Fox Keller, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor renowned for her research on the history and philosophy of modern biology, will give the 2005-06 Gilbert Ryle Lecture Series beginning Monday, October 31.

With the theme Self-Organization and the Problem of Life, Prof. Keller will present four lectures open to all members of the University community and the general public.

"My theme is the concept, and the term, self-organization," says Prof. Keller in her Abstract. "Originally introduced by Immanuel Kant to characterize the unique properties of living organisms, the term's history is inseparable from the history of biology."

Through her lectures, Prof. Keller will explore the advent of cybernetics and its dissolution of the boundary between organisms and machines as well as the mathematical non-linear dynamical systems theory and accompanying claims that the theory has dissolved the boundary between organisms and thunderstorms.

Prof. Keller received her PhD in Physics from Harvard University. She has taught at New York University and the University of California, Berkeley. She has been at MIT since 1992 where she is a Professor of History and Philosophy of Science in the Science, Technology and Society program.

The Century of the GeneProf. Keller has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship and numerous honorary degrees. She is author of several books including Reflections on Gender and Science, The Century of the Gene and Refiguring Life: Metaphors of Twentieth Century Biology.     

The Ryle Lecture Series, named in memory of the late Professor Gilbert Ryle of Oxford University, was established by the Philosophy Department at Trent in 1977. Each year a distinguished philosopher visits the University to present lectures and attend meetings. A grant from the Franklin J. Matchette Foundation and an endowment established by Department members, alumni and friends funds the Ryle Lectures.

The Ryle Lecture Series schedule is:

Monday, October 31
The Early History of Self-Organization
Gzowski College Lecture Hall – GCS 114

Tuesday, November 1
Mechanizing Self-Organization: Homeostasis, Feedback, and Living Machines
Lady Eaton College Lecture Hall – EC 201

Wednesday, November 2
Organisms, Machines, and Thunderstorms: Non-Linear Dynamics and the Physics of Self-Organization
Lady Eaton College Lecture Hall – EC 201

Thursday, November 3
Evolving Function, Purpose, Agency
Lady Eaton Lecture Hall – EC 201

All lectures begin at 8 p.m.

Posted October 21, 2005


































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