You are here:


The philosophy and evolution of the mortality constraint

Some forms of death are the result of internal “programmed” causes. Such programmed mortality is so widespread that it appears to be a general evolutionary constraint. Life seems governed by it. This leads us to ask whether death is an inherent property of living systems. The subject of this fellowship is the philosophy and evolution of non-incidental death—the heritable, programmed forms of death. Why different manifestations of programmed death have emerged across all scales of biology and an overarching explanation for this apparent constraint is almost entirely unexplored. The aim of this project is to synthesize the field, to examine broad patterns of programmed death across the scales of life and to search for fundamental philosophical explanations that can account for them.
Project collaboration: Grant Ramsey, Institute of Philosophy, KU Leuven, Belgium


Fellows involved in this project

South Africa

Share this project:

Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Is any information on this page incorrect or outdated? Please notify Ms. Nel-Mari Loock at [email protected].