drs. Joris Van Poucke

Complexity thinking in a post-genomic era

This interdisciplinary project brings together research from within (i) philosophy of science, (ii) molecular biology, (iii) agricultural sciences, and (iv) communication sciences. It aims to study how, and if so, how far the complexity paradigm in current philosophy of biology and Systems Biology questions and redirects the orthodoxy of genecentrism. It also investigates what the implications are when thinking of organisms in terms of complex dynamic systems, especially for the scientific-social debate on sustainable agriculture and the perception of biology and (genetically modified) organisms in diverse media.


Ph-D. Thesis in Philosophy

Regarding Systems Biology, attention is given to differences in use of those conceptual images either promoting or criticising reductionism. Especially the way the concept of ‘a (living) system' is addressed and how living organisms are portrayed within Systems Biology is analysed. These analyses are compared to the debates within philosophy of biology on the organism, on systems theory, on complexity, on reductionism versus holism. Study of how these philosophical debates may feed into the biological domain, or vice versa , may gain input from the discussions revolving Systems Biology.


Complexity, Organisation, Systems Biology, Epistemology

Academic titles:

  • Licentiaat in de Wijsbegeerte

  • Gediplomeerde in de Aanvullende Opleiding Communicatiewetenschappen

  • Kandidaat in de Psychologie




- Ramírez-Trejo, L., Demarest, B., Van Poucke, J., et al. 2011. "Conflated
- Epistemology or How to Lose the Organism (Again)." Ludus Vitalis 19(36): 353-385.
- Van de Vijver, G. and Van Poucke, J. 2008. "Subjectivity and Objectivity: A Matter of Life and Death?" Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 4(1-2): 15 - 28.
- Van Poucke, J. 2010a. "An Analysis of Relational Systems." International Journal of Computing Anticipatory Systems 23: 23-31.
- Van Poucke, J. 2010b. 'T Is Allemaal Complex. Het Vrije Woord.
- Van Poucke, J. In Press. Transcendental Epistemology in Biology Theory. Proceedings of "Yes We Kant! Critical Reflections on Objectivity: its meaning, its limitations, its fateful omissions", Ghent, Georg Olms Verlag.
- Van Poucke, J. and Van de Vijver, G. 2008a. "Modelling in Systems Biology. An Analysis of the Relevance of Rosen's Relational Viewpoint for Current Systems Biology." International Journal of Computing Anticipatory Systems 21: 175 - 184.
- Van Poucke, J. and Van de Vijver, G. 2008b. Norbert Wiener. Kritisch Denkerslexicon. Diemen, Veen Magazines. 40.
- Van Speybroeck, L., De Backer, P., Van Poucke, J., et al. 2005. "The Conceptual Challenge of Systems Biology." BioEssays 27(12): 1305-1307.
- Van Speybroeck, L. and Van Poucke, J. 2005. "Complexity Goes Divine." Metascience 14(2): 303-307.