Bio-Agency and Natural Freedom


27 janvier 2021

15h00 - 17h00


The CEFISES Center is pleased to announce the fifth session of the Life & Cognition seminar series in 2020/2021.

Our invited speaker will be Anne-Sophie Meincke (University of Vienna).

The talk will take place on line, on 27/01/21 - 15h00-17h00.
To register, please contact Andrea Gambarotto (

Zoom :

Meeting ID: 350 044 2569

Abstract: In my talk, I will present key ideas of my current research project “Bio-Agency and Natural Freedom” which aims to defeat free will scepticism on a fresh metaphysical basis informed by biology. I will proceed from the observation that metaphysicians’ long-standing difficulties with making sense of free will are a direct result of their difficulties with making sense of agency: How does agency fit into the natural word? I will argue that a satisfactory answer to this question is prevented by the common mechanistic-physicalist view of nature, and more generally by a shared commitment to what I call ‘thing ontology’: an ontology according to which entities for the identity of which change is not essential, i.e., things, are the building blocks of reality. In response, I will suggest both recognising the relevance of biology for understanding agency and switching to a process ontological framework that gives ontological priority to entities for the identity of which change is essential, i.e., to processes. I will show how the resulting bio-process account of both agents and actions solves the metaphysical problem of agency, and indicate how this may also help us tackle the problem of free will.

Upcoming sessions:

24/02: Laura Nuño de la Rosa (Madrid)
24/03: Gertrudis van de Vijver (Gand)
05/05: Arantza Exteberria (San Sebastian)
02/06: Charlotte Alderwick (Bristol)


Anne Sophie Meike will be the speaker of the fith session of the Life and Cognition seminar series 202-2021 on 27/01/21


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