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Olesya Bondarenko

PhD student

College: St John's

Supervisors: Tim Lewens and Anna Alexandrova

Working thesis topic: The "biosocial turn" in the human sciences: conceptual and social epistemological issues

The thesis sets out to examine the conceptual and social epistemological issues related to the “biosocial turn” – an increasing interest in the integration of biological and social knowledge in several areas of the human sciences, including behavioural and health research. It focuses on the problem of pluralism, investigating whether the scientists engaged in biosocial research explore the full range of possible causal factors contributing to phenomena of interest and draw on diverse conceptual frameworks within which these factors could be integrated. The thesis offers several case studies to demonstrate that biosocial research has not been sufficiently pluralist in both regards. It then analyzes this problem with the help of tools supplied by social epistemology - an area of philosophy concerned, among other things, with the problems of diversity and division of epistemic labour in science. 

Research interests: philosophy of biology, philosophy of social and psychological sciences, philosophy of medicine, social epistemology of science, topics in general philosophy of science (particularly pluralism and integration)

Previous education

MA Philosophy/Advanced Certificate in Science Studies, Central European University, 2017

Conference talks

"Whither the biosocial? Local epistemic goals and collective interests in integrative biosocial research", ISHPSSB Biennial Meeting, Oslo, Norway, 10 July 2019.