[SydPhil] Reminder: gladys kostyrka @ Mon 6 May 2013 13:00 - 14:30 (Current Projects)
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Tue Apr 30 13:00:03 AEST 2013
This is a reminder for:
Title: gladys kostyrka
“Is there a paradox of using viruses as models for life processes?”
Viral particles are small (between 20 nm and 400 nm) non-cellular entities
that depend on the infected cell for replication, metabolism and evolution.
Because of their size, non-cellularity and as a consequence non-living
nature, it could be argued that even if viruses may be useful tools for
understanding life processes, especially at the molecular and subcellular
level, they can’t be models. This conclusion is often implicitly or
explicitly adopted by scientists and philosophers: viruses are largely
missing in conferences and papers studying model (micro-)organisms, whereas
their roles as tools seem less problematic. Why this silence on viruses as
models ? Here I claim that viruses have been and still are used as models
for life processes, and not only as tools.
I first contrast the use of viruses as tools and their use as models, based
on precise case studies. Then I show that even if the distinction between
“tool” and “model” is sometimes blurred, it is necessary to keep this
distinction and to clarify it: what does that mean to speak of viruses as
models? Finally, I give some explanations about the silence on viruses as
When: Mon 6 May 2013 13:00 – 14:30 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Calendar: Current Projects
* kristiemiller4 at gmail.com- creator
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