Predrag Šustar

Presenting: Predrag Šustar

One of the speakers at The Organic and the Normative conference, taking place between July 30–August 1, 2024 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, is going to be Predrag Šustar.

Predrag Šustar is Full Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Rijeka, Croatia (EU). He holds MSc in Molecular Biology, and MA and PhD in philosophy. He was Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (2006/2007), elected Visiting Professor at the University of Padua (2015/2016), and next academic year he will have an appointment as a Visiting Scholar at The City University of New York (CUNY), c/o Prof. Justin Garson. His main research interests include philosophy of biology, Kant, history and philosophy of the life sciences, and general philosophy of science. Research Overview. In his research, he primarily focuses on the ways in which the current life sciences explain, predict and intervene in their target systems. In his research, these systems are mostly genes, cells, and, to some extent, individual organisms, especially those that bear resemblance to humans. As to these scientific practices, he examines how our species maximizes understanding of the living phenomena, and in what way that relates to biotechnological interventions. Finally, he examines the status of more standard biological concepts (e.g., biological functions, genetic information) and less so scientific concepts (such as metaphors and/or analogies), which obviously perform helpful roles, but may also distort our view of the life sciences.

Highlighted Article

Bolton, D., & Šustar, P. (2022). Regulation and the Normativity Problem. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 35(2), 135–151.

The concept of regulation pervades biology, for example in models of genetic regulatory networks and the endocrine system. Regulation has a normative opposite, dysregulation, which figures prominently in biomedical models of disease. The use of normative concepts in biology, however, has been thought to present some challenges for the physicalist view of the world, and various resolutions have been proposed. Up to now the problem of biological normativity has been debated largely in connection with the concept of biological information. In this paper we shift focus to the concept of biological regulation, proposing that it provides a promising new approach to these issues. Models of regulatory systems have several features: they are causal, but they do not deal with the energy exchanges and transformations covered by physics and chemistry; further, and entirely connected, regulatory systems can break …