Hintergrundbild

Living means Comparing

Veröffentlicht am 3. April 2019, 12:41 Uhr

The starting point of the conference—which kind of marked the halftime of the SFB 1288's first funding period—was the question to which extent comparing can be seen as a practice which is also being studied by other, especially empirically working sciences. For being able to trace the cognitive, biological, and anthropological fundamentals of comparing, speakers from disciplines like Biology, Cognitive and Cultural Sciences came together for the conference at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) Bielefeld.

After the welcome address by SFB 1288 spokesperson Prof. Dr. Angelika Epple and deputy spokesperson Prof. Dr. Walter Erhart, Prof. Dr. Heribert Hofer from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin held the opening lecture. He talked about comparing in the wildlife, e.g. mistakes during comparing or costs and benefits of comparing, and gave examples from the cuckoo and the comparing of eggs to the patterns of spotted hyenas. He addressed animals which compare as well as the comparing through scientists in the field.

Between inputs on visual perception, comparisons between nature and culture, or the choice of partner in wildlife, the conference participants had intense discussions. The different scholarly perspectives offered a lot of room for a productive analysis of the subject of comparing and the specificities of the particular disciplines.

The dimension of the history of science frequently came up, but played a pivotal role during the panel discussion on the alleged 'two cultures' of the natural sciences and the humanities. Deputy spokesperson Prof. Dr. Johannes Grave (Historical Image Studies/Art History), junior professor Marie Kaiser (Philosophy of Science, Bielefeld University), Prof. Dr. em. Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science) und Prof. Dr. Stefan Willer (Literary Studies, HU Berlin) analyzed the debate—impactfully established by Charles Percy Snow— around the cultures of natural sciences and humanities.

Prof. Dr. Klaus Reinhold (Evolutionary Biology, Bielefeld University), Angelika Epple, and Walter Erhart have been interviewed for the Deutschlandfunk (Dlf) on the conference's topic. The radio report was part of the programme "Aus Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaften" ('Cultural and Social Sciences') on 28 March and can be heard here via the Dlf's website (in German).

We recorded the panel discussion which can be watched on the SFB 1288's YouTube channel (in German).

Photos: Corinna Mehl, Rebecca Moltmann

Gesendet von RMoltmann in news-en
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