2024 SLU Symposium

Bioethics and the Philosophy of Biology

July 28 (Sunday) ‐ August 2 (Friday)

Offered by the International Academy of Bioethical Inquiry (IABI), Organized by the Albert Gnaegi Center for Health Care Ethics
of St Louis University, St Louis, MO, USA
and the Château Saint André Center for Ethics and Integrity

The theme

The Academy exists to bring together diverse traditions, disciplines, and methodologies to address complex issues facing living creatures. This year’s theme will be Biophilosophy. It is perhaps best to say what we don’t mean by “biophilosophy.” We do not mean biology or philosophy of biology; nor do we mean bioethics, at least as it is typically construed in the United States. Each of these disciplines place living creatures under academic, disciplinary, or methodological schemas that may not do justice to their ontology and experiences as living creatures. These disciplines ask living creatures to conform to our ways of thinking, our gazes.

Instead, we take biophilosophy to embody an approach to living creatures that crosses many disciplinary boundaries and can be found across a wide set of academic practices, including philosophy, biology, ecology, anthropology, and theology, just to name a few. Biophilosophy starts from the idea that living things have their own integrity and reveal aspects of their own being, often resisting our ways of studying them. Biophilosophy takes irreducibility as a fact of being and approaches creatures relationally within systems. At its best, biophilosophy dissolves the tension between idealism and realism and is open to the agency of living creatures that often resist human intellectual—metaphysical, epistemological, economic, political, ethical—strictures. Biophilosophy seeks to move away from boundaries and limits and toward relationships. It asks us to think outside the human, as far as that is possible, and imagine agency outside of human intention.


The Symposium will begin with an opening program on Sunday afternoon, July 28, 2024. The symposium will then run through the week with shared meals among participants throughout. We will conclude our program on Friday at 12 Noon. Each participant’s draft paper will be discussed in a dedicated session of approximately 90 minutes. Interspersed with the academic sessions will be various excursions to relevant cultural sites in the area.

By invitation only

Please note that attendance of this Symposium is strictly by invitation of the International Academy of Bioethical Inquiry (IABI) only.

Preliminary program

Sun 2815:30 Welcome
Welcome dinner
Mon 29PresentationsPresentations
Tour of the historic abbey
and its museum
Discussion in the gardens
Tue 20PresentationsPresentationsOptional visit to Pont-du-Gard
St André castle and abbey at Villeneuf‐lès‐Avignon
Dinner on your own
Thu 1PresentationsPresentationsOptional visit to Pont-du-Gard
Fri 2PresentationsFestive final lunch
14:00 End of program & departures

Optional outing to Uzès

Dinner in Uzès
Sat 3Breakfast
Delayed Depatures

Registration & fee

Attendance is by invitation of the International Academy of Bioethical Inquiry (IABI) only and is limited to 16 participants. Once the invitation has been issued and accepted, confirmed attendees are asked to complete the registration form the Symposium the online registration form.

The seminar fee schedule is US$ 850.

The fee includes:

  • Participation in all sessions
  • 6 days of residence in a single room (with private bathroom)*
  • All breakfasts, coffee breaks, and lunches as well as most dinners
  • Several programmed excursion
  • Pick-up (at arrival) and drop-off (at departure) at the Avignon-TGV train station

* If available, an extra night can be booked and the end of the seminar (night from Friday August 2 to Saturday morning August 3). On Friday afternoon, an optional excursion to Uzès will be offered.

The conference center also has double rooms. Please contact the conference organization if you wish to share a bedroom with another course participant, or if you wish to bring a partner who will not attend the seminar. A limited social program for non-participants will be available at an extra fee.

Additional information

For all questions about this seminar, please use the contact button below.