Title: Aging is agings: towards a consensus recursive definition of biological aging(s)
Abstract: Current clinically focused biological aging research, or translational geroscience is going through incredible progress. There’s finally an emerging scientific consensus about our understanding of the major molecular and cellular hallmark processes driving biological aging.
Yet, this consensus is not reflected in a consensus definition of what biological aging is. In the literature, for some reason, almost all scientists feel compelled to come up with their own introductory definitions of aging usually as the first sentence, or part of the first paragraph, of the introduction of their respective papers. Not too surprisingly these opinions on what biological aging is differ a lot, yielding highly idiosyncratic ‘definitions’ that were never accepted as consensus views within the research community. So the problem is while the underlying science goes strong, the conceptual top level, acknowledging this situation, is strangely neglected.
Problem #2: 2/A. What are the criteria for a biological structure/dynamics to qualify for being central in organismal level, multicellular biological aging? A corresponding question (2/B) concerning the translational aspect of geroscience might be: What quantifies/qualifies as a central biomedical structure/dynamics for being used as a medical application in counteracting human biological aging and to inform both diagnosis and treatment? A related background question: Is it possible and desirable to cut across biological pluralism concerning translational geroscience?
After the Introduction into the emerging field of philosophy biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience I promised some actual questions, problems. I list different questions under different problems but otherwise do not differentiate questions from problems by now.
In a way, the perspective papers, opinion pieces, review studies published in peer-reviewed literature about biological aging contain a lot, mostly implicit, formulations already that can be called philosophical problems and arguments. But time to make these more explicit and reflect to them as such.
Here is my starter list of problems and questions.
So far on the course of Open Lifespan the fact that my number one professional occupation is being an active aging/longevity biologist (working at an aging/longevity startup) remained quite hidden, with a reason. While Open Lifespan is an attempt to formulate ethical, political, metaphysical and psychological questions and answers around our biomedically possible, upper limit healthy longevity trajectory, the following attempt below tries to investigate the science itself, the biological and medical (together: biomedical) problems of aging and longevity.
I was invited to give a talk at the Institute of Philosophy, Eotvos University, Budapest, on the 25th of October. The talk is going to be a joint Theoretical Philosophy Forum (TPF) and Student and Faculty Seminar on Logic and Philosophy of Mathematics (LaPom). I’d like to thank Professor László E. Szabó and András Máté for the invitation. The nature of the seminar gives me a great opportunity to focus on the theoretical problems concerning to the philosophy of biomedical sciences, so on the aging part of the aging/longevity complex, that is the underlying core of the Open Lifespan studies.