Anthropologie de la vie

Anthropology of life

Drawing on the achievements of the anthropology of nature, the work of this team seeks to document the variations, in space and time, of the conceptions that humans have of life and the living through the actions they exert on vital processes. In particular, the aim is to explore the diversity of intellectual and practical devices through which humans objectify vital processes - for example, growth, reproduction, regeneration or senescence - in order to influence or control them. Whether it integrates data from biology into its ethnographic investigations or explores conceptions of the living that have developed independently of Western science, this collective reflection aims, from an epistemological perspective, to articulate the approaches to the living produced by anthropology.



Origines et Conditions d'Apparition de la Vie

Origins and Conditions of Appearance of Life

The question of the conditions of the appearance of life or the presence of life in the universe, long considered to belong to the speculative domain, is becoming an active field of research. This affects many scientific fields of astronomy and astrophysics (with the discovery of extrasolar planets and our better knowledge of the solar system thanks to space probes), physico-chemistry and biology (with our advances concerning the pre-biotic world, the emergence of living matter, and the key stages of evolution). This reflection is also accompanied by a questioning of our way of thinking about the frontiers between the living and the non-living and how we represent them. With the project IRIS Origins and conditions of appearance of life, PSL wishes to contribute in a unique way to this theme.




Systèmes clos et modélisation de la vie

Closed Systems and Modelling of Life

The SYVIE project proposes to reflect, from an interdisciplinary perspective, on how to build technical systems that keep living systems alive while being as closed/isolated as possible. It is an interdisciplinary research that brings together anthropologists, ecologists, chemists and biologists, geochemists, and via an international network, space and planets specialists, engineers, architects and experts in robotics and artificial intelligence.



Imitation des êtres vivants et modélisation de la vie

Imitation of living beings and modeling of life

Biomimicry is often presented as a solution to the ecological crisis that human societies are going through. For its advocates, this approach could establish, or restore, a less destructive relationship with the environment, by adopting approaches and manufacturing processes that imitate nature. But as we sketch out the guiding ideas for new models of individual and collective action, we need to reflect on the conceptions of nature, life and technology associated with these practices, and not only in Western societies. Rather than considering the imitation of nature and life as a universal mechanism, it is crucial to reflect on the anthropological foundations of biomimicry or - to emphasize the diversity of practices - "biomimicry".




Domestication et Fabrication du Vivant

Domestication and manufacture of the living

Domestication and fabrication of life is an action supported by the Mission Interdisciplinarite du CNRS (Pépinière de site CNRSPSL) engages in interdisciplinary reflection involving the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics,...), the human sciences (anthropology, epistemology, philosophy, sociology,...) and technologies (robotics,...) in order to question the boundaries and definitions of the living and the non-living.