Recursive Aging Definition talk submission at ICPST 2020, in Prague

Just submitted the following abstract to International Conference on Philosophy of Sciences and Technology happening in Prague, 2020. Not sure whether this is the place to go with stuff like this, but giving it a try.

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.

How can the philosophy of science help here with its sophisticated conceptual and logical toolset? By suggesting a good definition! Continue reading “Recursive Aging Definition talk submission at ICPST 2020, in Prague”

Aging is agings: towards a recursive definition of biological aging(s); part 2, Explication

In the first part of this study, Aging is agings: towards a recursive definition of biological aging(s); part 1, definition the following definition of biological aging(s) was introduced:

Biological aging is agings underneath, the result of multiple, diverse, separate but malleable processes, eventually compromising normal functions of the organism at different rates and at all levels.

Today it is explication time to build up the argument behind this definition. I have 4 points to offer today in the forms of questions and brief descriptive hints in the titles, here they are.

#1 What is the most confusing thing about biological aging? It’s diversity, plurality and broad-spectrum

#2 Why we need to come up with a good working definition of biological aging? Because current status looks like a prescientific and confusing mess

#3 Why we must come up with a good consensus definition? To acknowledge and further the emerging consensus framework within aging research

#4 What kind of definition we would like to come up with? An explicative one, both stipulative and descriptive, innovative and conservative at the same time Continue reading “Aging is agings: towards a recursive definition of biological aging(s); part 2, Explication”

Aging is agings: towards a recursive definition of biological aging(s); part 1, Definition

In the earlier post with the terrible title of What is the philosophy of biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience/? Problems I listed the following as Problem #1:

What is a good working definition of biological aging, that is formally correct, scalable, yet flexible enough to incorporate new knowledge and can be used to design interventions to counteract it? 

In what follows I propose such a definition and it sounds like this:

Biological aging is agings underneath, the result of multiple, diverse, separate but malleable processes, eventually compromising normal functions of the organism at different rates and at all levels.

The definition of biological aging(s) proposed in this study

This definition of biological aging is a formally correct recursive definition, that is non-circular, consisting of a couple of bases cases serving to explain the more composite processes, being able to scale up at all levels Continue reading “Aging is agings: towards a recursive definition of biological aging(s); part 1, Definition”

List of criteria to qualify as a central concept/process of biological aging

In the earlier post with the terrible title of What is the philosophy of biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience/? Problems I listed the following as Problem #2:

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?

In my perspective paper called Cell lineage trees: the central structure plus key dynamics of biological aging and formulating the limiting problem of comprehensive organismal rejuvenation, I worked out a possible list of such criteria and provided an answer for question 2/A. Here is the corresponding, standalone excerpt from the ~30 page perspective paper.

What do we expect from a central concept, structure, process of organismal biological aging? This question is about the potential expressiveness, explanatory, predictive and modelling power of a scientific tool. We list 10 requirements, grouped according to 6 bigger concepts, highlighted in bold. Continue reading “List of criteria to qualify as a central concept/process of biological aging”

What is the philosophy of biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience/? Problems

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.

Problem #1: What is a good working definition of biological aging, that is formally correct, scalable, yet flexible enough to incorporate new knowledge and can be used to design interventions to counteract it? Continue reading “What is the philosophy of biological aging research/biogerontology/translational geroscience/? Problems”

Upcoming Talk at Eötvös University in Budapest on aging vs agings and the limits of biomedical definitions

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.

Please see talk, abstract and short bio below.

Aging vs agings: limits and consequences of biomedical definitions

Abstract

Currently, most people spend the last decades of their lives fighting multiple, chronic, age-associated diseases, compromising their life plans. Continue reading “Upcoming Talk at Eötvös University in Budapest on aging vs agings and the limits of biomedical definitions”