logo Sphere
Logo Université Paris-Diderot Logo Université Paris1-Panthéon-Sorbonne


Sur ce site

Sur le Web du CNRS

Accueil > Archives > Séminaires des années précédentes > Séminaires 2014–2015 : archives > Conceptualizing Human Diversity : History, Science, and Philosophy 2014–2015

Axis History & Philosophy of Medecine

Conceptualizing Human Diversity : History, Science, and Philosophy 2014–2015

Seminar (Centre Georges Canguilhem (Institut des Humanités de Paris)/SPHERE, Université Paris Diderot) organised by Claude-Olivier Doron (Mcf, University Paris Diderot, SPHERE & Centre G. Canguilhem) & Justin Smith (Pr, University Paris DiderotSPHERE).


The question of ’human diversity’ in all its forms (cultural, ethnic, biological, etc.) is, for better or worse, at the heart of a number of contemporary issues. Whether this is for the sake of celebration, as a value and as an opportunity in a globalized and interconnected world ; or whether this is for the sake of denunciation, provoking tensions and retreats inward into group identity. The objective of the seminar is to approach it completely differently, and in full awareness of the limits that we are imposing. We will aim to concentrate on the ideas, concepts, and techniques that, throughout history and up to the present day, have been elaborated for thinking about and characterizing this diversity in its ’physical’, ’natural’, or ’biological’ dimensions, inscribed in bodies and in their vital processes. We will undertake to confront this question, over the course of several sessions, through many different points of view : historical, philosophical, but also from the point of view of the anthropology and sociology of science. We will aim above all to study, from a long-term perspective and up to the most recent developments, the history of concepts (’varieties’, ’races’, ’clines’, ’polymorphism’ etc.) and of the disciplines (from physical anthropology to population genetics) that have been mobilized for describing and thinking the problem of ’human diversity’ from a naturalist perspective.

The general theme will be adapted each year to concentrate on more focused sub-themes. For the academic year 2014-15, we will however adopt an approach that is decidedly more introductory and expansive. The seminar will consist in 7 sessions, of which the majority will include two speakers over the course of three hours.

To current year

PROGRAMME 2014-2015 : sessions on Tuesdays, 17:00 – 20:00, University Paris Diderot, usually Room 888C, level 8, entrance C of the building of Grands Moulins*

March 3

: : Conceptualizing Human Diversity : Some conceptual issues

  • Justin Smith (Univ. Paris Diderot, SPHERE)
    Espèces, races et ’natural kinds’ : pourquoi la race ne peut pas être intégrée dans le système de logique millien ?
  • Claude-Olivier Doron (Univ. Paris Diderot, SPHERE & Centre Canguilhem)
    « L’homme contraire et dissemblable à soi-même ». Le modèle de l’altération comme grille d’analyse des savoirs sur la diversité humaine.

March 10

: : Human diversity in scholastic thought

  • Maaike Van der Lugt (Université Paris Diderot/ ICT)
    Unicité du genre humain et le statut des naissances monstrueuses dans la pensée scolastique (XII-XIVe siècles).
  • Jean-Claude Laborie (Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre)
    De l’école de Salamanque à José d’Acosta, monogénisme et colonisation, l’histoire d’un compromis.

March 31

  • Nélia Dias (Université de Lisbonne)
    La préservation de la biodiversité comme valeur.

May 12 !!! session cancelled !!!

: : Biological knowledge of human diversity in the 20th century

  • Veronika Lipphardt (Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
    Population genetics and the knowledge on human variations in the XXth century. (à confirmer)
  • Claude-Olivier Doron (Université Paris Ouest-Nanterre)
    Le concept de "race" et son évolution dans l’hémotypologie et l’hématologie géographique française : Ruffié et Bernard.

May 19

: : The problem of human diversity in the 18th century : the politics of the natural history of man

  • Staffan Müller-Wille (University of Exeter/ Max Planck Institute for the History of Science)
    Human Diversity in the Eighteenth Century : What Exactly Changed and Why ?
  • Silvia Sebastiani (CRH-EHESS)
    La Grande-Bretagne, le singe et l’homme. Débats autour de l’esclavage dans les années 1770.

May 26

  • Carole Reynaud-Paligot (NYU Paris/CRHXIX)
    L’anthropologie physique et le problème de la diversité des races humaines à la fin du XIXe siècle.

June 2

: : Contemporary issues in the study of genetic polymorphism

  • Amade M’Charek (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
    Race and the Return of the Phenotype : The case of forensics.
  • Marianne Sommer (Universität Luzern)
    Building population-specific trees : From blood-group to genome-wide analysis of modern human phylogeny.

* University Paris Diderot, building Grands Moulins, 5, rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris.

Access map. RER C/Metro line 14 : Bibliothèque François-Mitterrand.
Bus : 89, 62, 64, 325