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Andres Kurismaa: Relating Developmental and Life History Evolution: Perspectives on A. Portmann's "Basal Anthropology"

6.12.2019

On behalf of the LMS Center, we would like to invite you to an invited talk by:

Andres Kurismaa
(Katedra filosofie a dějin přírodních věd, PŘF UK)

who will speak on:

"Relating Developmental and Life History Evolution: Perspectives on A. Portmann's "Basal Anthropology"

ABSTRACT: This talk explores the anthropological legacy of the renowned biologist Adolf Portmann (1897 - 1982) and shows its continued originality and interest for modern research. While isolated findings and perspectives emerging from his evolutionary research program and "basal anthropology" have become widely recognized and classic, the deeper epistemological and theoretical background of this approach remains little known, along with its modern scientific potential and significance. In this talk, it's proposed that the latter may be best understood by focusing on the typological and structural aspects characterizing Portmann's framework, as these allowed him to place the human type of ontogeny in a wide zoological perspective, and on this basis, objectively show our evolutionary and comparative biological uniqueness among related species (primates, mammals, and vertebrates in general). The same typological approach underscores its potential to inform current research, where developmental (structural) and life history (functional) perspectives have strongly diverged, but represent a necessary unity for addressing problems of human origins, cognition, and culture from more holistic and integrative perspectives, as envisaged by Portmann.

When: December 11, 2019 from 14:05 till 15:40
Where: Philosophical Faculty UHK, Room #B9

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