WORKSHOP – Teleological Organisation: Organisms, Ecosystems, and Artifacts

University of Copenhagen, August 23-24, 2012

Rapid progress in fields such as synthetic biology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, and environmental engineering are expected to result in a historical increase in the ability of humans to understand and intervene in human nature and the natural world. While the developments provide exciting ways of dealing with global problems in relation to energy, climate, health, and agriculture, they also elicit calls for caution.

In order to fully understand the ethical dimensions of these technologies, a variety of investigations must be undertaken. One such investigation concerns the nature and status of the biological and ecological systems subject to manipulation. This workshop will bring together philosophers of biology, science, and engineering, bio-, and environmental ethicists as well as other experts to investigate fundamental theoretical questions concerning the nature and value of organisms, artifacts, and ecosystems in the context of current developments in biotechnology and environmental engineering.


  • Karen Neander (Duke)
  • Samir Okasha (Bristol)
  • Jay Odenbaugh (Lewis & Clark College)
  • Frédéric Bouchard (Montreal)
  • Wybo Houkes (Eindhoven)
  • Elselijn Kingma (King’s College London)
  • Simon Rippon (Oxford)
  • John Basl (Bowling Green)
  • Sune Holm (Copenhagen)

Free, but please e-mail Sune Holm
( by August 1, 2012 if you would like to attend.