Aug. 4, 2020

Analyzing the nature of biological lineages

Celso Alves Neto proposes lineages pluralism in his PhD thesis defence

Celso Alves Neto successfully defended his PhD dissertation “Biological Lineages in Philosophical Focus” on July 31, 2020 to committee members Dr. Marc Ereshefsky (supervisor), Dr. Megan Delehanty, Dr. C. Kenneth Waters, Dr. Thomas Reydon, Dr. Jason Anderson (internal examiner, Biological Sciences, U of C), Dr. Matthew Haber (external examiner, University of Utah) and Dr. Ann Levey (neutral chair).

In his dissertation, Celso discusses the nature of biological lineages, as well as their conceptualization and representation in science. Celso proposes lineages pluralism—the thesis that lineages have no single unified nature—following extensive analysis of how lineages at various hierarchical levels and life domains relate to one another in evolutionary and developmental contexts. He also argues that conceptual imprecision and idealized representations of lineages contribute to the social organization of scientists. This contribution has been largely overlooked by the philosophical literature, with its focus on the theoretical dimensions of science. 

Celso is moving to Halifax, Nova Scotia, for a postdoctoral research position at Dalhousie University, working with Dr. Ford Doolittle (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) and Dr. Letitia Meynell (Department of Philosophy).

Celso Alves Neto thesis defence committee

(clockwise from top left): Megan Delehanty, Marc Ereshefsky, Jason Anderson, Matthew Haber, Thomas Reydon, Celso Alves Neto, C. Kenneth Waters