Project Description

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Historical Contingency & Biological Entanglement

lichen on a branch

Three related research projects explore the normative dimensions of historical contingency and biological entanglement in various life sciences. The main goals are 1) to clarify the meaning of and relation between these two notions, 2) to explore and develop conceptual frameworks that can explain their relevance in various disciplines (especially experimental evolution and ecology), and 3) to show how these frameworks can be used in promoting more effective and ethical decision making in an increasingly human-impacted world.


  • Eric Desjardins (Rotman Institute of Philosophy, Western University)

  • John Beatty (University of British Columbia)


2020 – 2025


SSHRC Insight Grant (2020-2025): Replaying Life’s Tape: Historical Contingency and the Historical Sciences

Image credit: Lichen forest by Jim McCulloch – cropped (license)