• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Events

International conference 'Biological Concepts, Models, and Metaphors in Social and Human Sciences'

Event ended



Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities —

National Research University “Higher School of Economics”

 

October 29–30, 2015

 

Biological Concepts, Models, and Metaphors in Social and Human Sciences

 

Address: 20, Myasnitskaya st., Moscow

 

This meeting continues a series of international workshops and conferences organized by the Center for the history of ideas and sociology of knowledge (IGITI, NRU HSE) in recent years ("Intellectual history vis-à-vis sociology of knowledge: between models and cases", 2014; Social and human sciences on both sides of the ‘iron curtain’, 2013, among others). Similarly to previous meetings, this one brings together leading scholars from around the world dealing with the history of various social and human science disciplines. This year conference focuses on persistent yet troubled relations between social and life sciences, first of all biology, from the early period of their development in the mid-19th century until today. Though biological models and concepts played a constitutive role for the early social theory (especially evolutionism and organicist metaphors), much of this influence was later judged as ethically dubious, irrelevant and even anti-scientific (as this was notably the case of race theory or eugenics). Though hybrid and semi-marginal forms of knowledge blurring the boundary between the two continued to exist, biological determinism was broadly dismissed in the name of social constructionism and autonomy of the social. Recent boom of neurosciences and brain studies, growing demand for revision of the classical philosophy of science, public interest in issues of enhancement of human life (promoted by successes in medicine, genetics and biology) all participate in the revival of problematics of interrelations between the biological and the social (cultural) in human beings and in social phenomena. Based on the evidence from a variety of cases, the conference participants will consider different aspects of these complex relations in different subfields of social and life sciences during the late 19th and throughout the 20th centuries.

PROGRAM

Abstracts

 

October 29

(room 311)

 

10.30 – Registration of participants

10.50 Welcoming words by Irina Savelieva, director of the Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities

 

11.00 – 11.45 Session 1 (Chair – Roger Smith)

Snait Gissis (Cohn Institute, Tel Aviv University, Israel) Evolutionizing and Collectivizing

 

11.45 – 12.00 Coffee break

 

12.00 – 13.30 Session 2 (Chair – Tamás Scheibner)

Alexei Kouprianov (Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia) Circulations of Metaphors: Science of Life and Social Discourses (Visions from the 19th century)

Fernando Vidal  (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, Barcelona, Spain) The Neurosciences of Culture

 

13.30 – 14.30 Lunch

 

14.30 – 16.00 Session 3 (Chair – Elena Vishlenkova)

Ullica Segerstrale (Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, USA) Social Concepts, Models, and Metaphors in the Biological Sciences

Denis Sivkov (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Volgograd, Russia) Self or other? Making a Body in Immunology

 

16.00 – 16.15 Coffee break

 

16.15 – 18.00 Round table "Social Science and Humanities Disciplines between Life Sciences and the Cognitive Turn" (Chair – Irina Savelieva)

 

 

October 30

(room 311)

 

11.30 – 13.00 Session 1 (Chair – Alexander Dmitriev)

John Tresch (University of Pennsylvania, USA) Leroi-Gourhan and the Creative Co-Evolution of Technology and Society

Tamás Scheibner (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary) Competing Anthropologies in Hungary before and after WWII. Völkerpsychologie, Christian Socialism and Communist Pedagogy

 

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

 

14.00 – 15.30 Session 2 (Chair – Olessia Kirtchik)

Christopher Donohue (National Human Genome Research Institute, Washington, USA) The Biosocial Anthropology of Robin Fox: Defining an Intellectual Community

Alexander Bikbov (Maurice Halbwachs Research Center, Paris, France; Moscow State University, Russia) “Bad Sociology”: Some (Ab)Uses of Biological Concepts

 

15.30 – 15.45 Coffee break

 

15.45 – 17.15. Session 3 (Chair – Irina Sirotkina)

Petr Safronov (Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia) Unchain the Grain: Nascent Lyssenkoism, Genetics and the Making of Stalinist Society

Roger Smith (Lancaster University, UK; Institute of the History of Science and Technology, Moscow, Russia) Inhibition and Metaphors of Top-Down Control in Science and Society

 

17.15 – 17.30 Coffee break

 

17.30 – 18.00 – Concluding discussion and closing of the conference

 

For admission to the conference, please write to Alexandra Kolesnik: akolesnik@hse.ru