Architectonique théorique en biologie et applications
Si la physique, notamment la mécanique classique, a largement été mobilisée comme modèle de la compréhension théorique de la nature, la biologie a dans une certaine mesure, réussi à s'en détacher avec la théorie de l'évolution, une théorie où l'historicité est première. Néanmoins, cette innovation épistémologique et méthodologique n'est pas miscible avec la méthode de théorisation physique et il s'ensuit une étrange cohabitation dont les enjeux sont rarement traités. Nous proposerons des directions pour repenser la théorisation en biologie en insistant sur le concept de nouveau possible. Nous montrerons aussi que ce travail permet de mieux comprendre des phénomènes biologiques cruciaux : la disruption des organisations biologique dans l'Anthropocène.
Plaine Commune, contributive learning territory
Memories for the Future: Thinking with Bernard Stiegler
The contributive economy is a strategy to disrupt technological disruption by developing knowledge in all its forms. This program has led to several concrete working groups in Plaine Commune.
The program Plaine Commune, contributive learning territory, started in late 2016. It emerged from the theoretical work of Bernard Stiegler and the Ars Industrialis group. The contributive economy is a strategy to disrupt technological disruption by developing knowledge in all its forms. This program has led to several concrete working groups in Plaine Commune, while others are still developing. Mainly, work is taking place on the economy, digital urbanism, and young children’s development in the context of the overuse of digital media. Here, we focus on the group on digital media and young children’s development and how academics and inhabitant works integrate.
CitationMontévil, Maël. 2023. “Plaine Commune, Contributive Learning Territory.” In Memories for the Future: Thinking with Bernard Stiegler, edited by Bart Buseyne, Georgios Tsagdis, and Paul Willemarck
Normativité et infidélités du milieu : actualités biologiques de Canguilhem
La philosophie et ses dehors
Quelques remarques sur la pertinence de la philosophie de Canguilhem sur les enjeux contemporains, de la medecine par la preuve à la disruption des organisations biologiques.
CitationMontévil, Maël. 2023. “Normativité et Infidélités Du Milieu : Actualités Biologiques de Canguilhem.” In La Philosophie et Ses Dehors. Centre Lauragais d’Études Scientifiques
Modeling organogenesis from biological first principles
Organization in Biology: Foundational Enquiries into a Scientific Blindspot
Here we discuss the application and articulation of biological principles for mathematical modeling of morphogenesis in the case of mammary ductal morphogenesis, with an emphasis on the default state.
Unlike inert objects, organisms and their cells have the ability to initiate activity by themselves, and thus change their properties or states even in the absence of an external cause. This crucial difference led us to search for principles suitable for the study organisms. We propose that cells follow the default state of proliferation with variation and motility, a principle of biological inertia. This means that in the presence of sufficient nutrients, cells will express their default state. We also propose a principle of variation that addresses two central features of organisms, variation and historicity. To address interdependence between parts, we use a third principle, the principle of organization: more specifically, the notion of the closure of constraints. Within this theoretical framework, constraints are specific theoretical entities defined by their relative stability with respect to the processes they constrain. Constraints are mutually dependent in an organized system and act on the default state.
Here we discuss the application and articulation of these principles for mathematical modeling of morphogenesis in a specific case, that of mammary ductal morphogenesis, with an emphasis on the default state. Our model has both a biological component, the cells, and a physical component, the matrix that contains collagen fibers. Cells are agents that move and proliferate unless constrained; they exert mechanical forces that i) act on collagen fibers and ii) on other cells. As fibers are organized, they constrain the cells’ ability to move and to proliferate. This model exhibits a circularity that can be interpreted in terms of the closure of constraints. Implementing our mathematical model shows that constraints to the default state are sufficient to explain the formation of mammary epithelial structures. Finally, the success of this modeling effort suggests a step-wise approach whereby additional constraints imposed by the tissue and the organism can be examined in silico and rigorously tested by in vitro and in vivo experiments, in accordance with the organicist perspective we embrace.
CitationMontévil, Maël, and Ana Soto. 2023. “Modeling Organogenesis from Biological First Principles.” In Organization in Biology: Foundational Enquiries into a Scientific Blindspot, edited by Matteo Mossio. Springer Nature
How does randomness shape the living?
Figures of Chance
In biology, randomness is a critical notion to understand variations; however this notion is typically not conceptualized precisely. Here we provide some elements in that direction.
Physics has several concepts of randomness that build on the idea that the possibilities are pre-given. By contrast, an increasing number of theoretical biologists attempt to introduce new possibilities, that is to say, changes of possibility space – an idea already discussed by Bergson and that was not genuinely pursued scientifically until recently (except, in a sense, in systematics, i.e, the method to classify living beings).
Then, randomness operates at the level of possibilities themselves and is the basis of the historicity of biological objects. We emphasize that this concept of randomness is not only relevant when aiming to predict the future. Instead, it shapes biological organizations and ecosystems. As an illustration, we argue that a critical issue of the Anthropocene is the disruption of the biological organizations that natural history has shaped, leading to a collapse of biological possibilities.
CitationMontévil, Maël. 2023. “How Does Randomness Shape the Living?” In Figures of Chance, edited by Anne Duprat and others
Modeling organogenesis from biological first principles
The Qbio initiative at Institut Pasteur is organising a two-day symposium in Paris on December 12th and 13th 2022 which will cover the interplay between mechanics, evolution, morphogenesis and development. This symposium is meant to be an open platform for discussion between physicists, mathematicians and biologists on relevant biological questions, and to foster interactions between topics/systems which normally have few occasions to interact.
Principles of Beginning
The other beginning of philosophy arrives through a rethinking of the very meaning of beginning. The beginning in this case involves those philosophical works and intuitions from out of which one begins. The political and ethical questions arose from within and from outside of the philosophical archives of the past that are also demanding a new sense for "the history of philosophy. The deepest pre-conceptions of metaphysics which informs the sciences are being evaluated from out of the stasis in which several of the scientific pursuits find themselves today. For these reasons, the meaning of beginning is nothing simple.
K as in "kaleidoscope"
This webinar will be our eleventh meeting within the series of The Alphabet of Complexity webinars. The letter K (as in “kaleidoscope”) will guide us through the main questions of the day: What are the paradigms we live by? What are the implications of research which is genome-centred and how to compare it with the research based on the organism-oriented scientific paradigm? The lectures of three key speakers (Giuseppe Longo, Angelika Hilbeck, Maël Montévil) will be followed by a discussion on how these specific paradigms can inform our actions for the purity of seeds and against GMOs.
Intersecting paths across mathematics, biology, and epistemology: A colloquium in honor of Giuseppe Longo and Ana Soto
In this colloquium, we celebrate the 75th birthdays of Giuseppe Longo and Ana Soto. We have chosen to show their distinct trajectories and then how they intersect while working on the foundations of theoretical knowledge with a biology focus. In this respect, both Giuseppe Longo and Ana Soto maintain a close relationship with philosophy and philosophers. At the same time, both are also involved in “the life of the polis”, this is, addressing the repercussions of science in society and the environment, both as scientists and intellectuals.