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Conference The Definitions of Humanity (Université Bordeaux-Montaigne, Archéopole & Les Eyzies, Dordogne, France)

3 October - 5 October

The Definitions of Humanity
Philosophy, Cognition, Paleoanthropology


Etienne Bimbenet (Université Bordeaux Montaigne, SPH)
Mathilde Lequin (Université Bordeaux Montaigne, SPH)
Bruno Maureille (CNRS, Université de Bordeaux, Ministère de la Culture, PACEA – UMR5199)
Thomas Pradeu (CNRS & Université de Bordeaux, ImmunoConcEpT – UMR5164) 
Claudine Cohen (EHESS-EPHE)


This interdisciplinary symposium compares the definition of the human of the life sicences and the human sciences.

To define the human, is that not anachronistic? Does that not mean to remain attached to the idea of a "human exception" rendered obsolete by the biology of evolution? Indeed, after having tried for a long time to determine the anthropological difference between the animal's human being, philosophy today faces a naturalistic turning point, induced not only by the synthetic theory of evolution but also by cognitive neuroscience and by the abundant discoveries accumulated in animal ethology and primatology. Philosophers are now summoned to naturalize their discourse and to consider the human as animal. It's our idea of being human that needs to be rethought …

This interdisciplinary colloquium offers, around conferences and round tables, a dialogue between philosophers, cognitivists and paleoanthropologists.



Thursday, October 3

Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Archéopole (Odéon amphitheater)

19, esplanade des Antilles / 33607 Pessac


9h – Welcoming of the speakers and welcome speeches

9h30-11h – Bipedalism

François Marchal (ADES, Université d’Aix-Marseille, CNRS) 
Brigitte Senut (CR2P, MNHN / CNRS)  
Mathilde Lequin (SPH, Université Bordeaux Montaigne) 


11h15-12h45 – Brain and cognition

Cécilia Heyes (Oxford University)
Cédric Brun (SPH, Université Bordeaux Montaigne)
Alan Mann (Princeton University)


14h30-16h – Symbolic thought

Francesco d’Errico (PACEA, CNRS / Université de Bordeaux / MC; Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE), University of Bergen)
Philippe Grosos (Université de Poitiers)
Olivier Morin (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena) 


16h15-17h45 – Language 

Jean-Louis Dessalles (Université de Paris-Saclay, Telecom ParisTech)
Jacques Pelegrin (MAE, Université de Nanterre / CNRS)
Etienne Bimbenet (SPH, Université Bordeaux Montaigne)




Friday, October 4 

Université Bordeaux Montaigne, Archéopole (Odéon amphitheater)

19, esplanade des Antilles / 33607 Pessac


9h30-11h15 – Altruism and morality

Tim Lewens (Cambridge University)
Laurence Kaufmann (Institut des sciences sociales, Université de Lausanne) 
Bruno Maureille (PACEA, CNRS / Université de Bordeaux / MC)


11h15-12h45 – Time

Claudine Cohen (EHESS/EPHE)
Christelle Lahaye (IRAMAT-CRP2A, Université Bordeaux Montaigne) 


14h30-16h – Tool

Kim Sterelny (Australian National University)
François Bon (Traces, Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès)
Anne Delagnes (PACEA, CNRS / Université de Bordeaux / MC)


16h15-17h45 – Culture and ways of life

Daniel Andler (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
Fabrice Clément (Centre de sciences cognitives, Université de Neuchâtel)
Wulf Schiefenhövel (Max Planck Institute for Ornithology)



Saturday, October 5 (Les Eyzies)

Musée National de Préhistoire


18h30 – Roundtable “Les Définitions de l’humain” (in French)
Hosted by Bruno Maureille (PACEA, Université de Bordeaux/ CNRS), Etienne Bimbenet (Université Bordeaux Montaigne) et Thomas Pradeu (CNRS & Université de Bordeaux, ImmunoConcEpT – UMR5164)

Jacques Pelegrin (CNRS)
Claudine Cohen (EHESS/EPHE)
Daniel Andler (Université Paris-Sorbonne)
Tim Lewens (Cambridge University)
Philippe Grosos (Université de Poitiers)


For further information (in French) click here.


3 October
5 October
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Thomas Pradeu
Bruno Maureille
Etienne Bimbenet

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