Best known for his pioneering work in theories of self-organization and complexity, the biophysicist and philosopher Henri Atlan has during the past thirty years been a major voice in contemporary European philosophical and bioethical debates. In a massive oeuvre that ranges from biology and neural network theory to Spinoza's thought and the history of philosophy, and from artificial intelligence and information theory to Jewish mysticism and contemporary medical ethics, Atlan has come to offer an exceptionally powerful philosophical argumentation that is as hostile to scientism as it is attentive to biology's conceptual and experimental rigor, as careful with concepts of rationality as it is committed to rethinking the human place in a radically determined yet forever changing world.
This is the first volume to bring together the major strands of Atlan's work for an English-language audience. It is an indispensable compendium for those seeking to clarify the joint stakes and shared import of philosophy and science for questions of life and the living-today and tomorrow.
Henri Atlan is Professor Emeritus of Biophysics and Director of Research on Human Biology at Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem and Director of Studies at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. His books include the two-volume Les Etincelles de hasard; Enlightenment to Enlightenment: Intercritique of Science and Myth; La fin du tout genetique?; and L'uterus artificiel. Starting with its inception in 1983, he was for decades a member of the French National Advisory Committee on Ethics in the Life Sciences and Medicine. Stefanos Geroulanos is Assistant Professor of Modern European Intellectual History at New York University. He is the author of An Atheism That Is Not Humanist Emerges in French Thought and the co-translator of Georges Canguilhem's Knowledge of Life (Fordham). Todd Meyers is Associate Professor of Anthropology at New York University-Shanghai. He is the author of The Clinic and Elsewhere: Addiction, Adolescents, and the Afterlife of Therapy.