Knowledge of Life Today

Conversations on Biology

Knowledge of Life Today

Jean Gayon†, Panthéon-Sorbonne University, France
interviewed by
Victor Petit, University of Technology of Compiègne, France

ISBN : 9781786303653

Publication Date : April 2019

Hardcover 400 pp

165.00 USD



Knowledge of Life Today presents the thoughts of Jean Gayon, a major philosopher of science in France who is recognized across the Atlantic, especially for his work in philosophy and the history of life sciences. The book is structured around Gayon’s personal answers to questions put forward by Victor Petit. This approach combines scientific rigor and risk-taking in answers that go back to the fundamentals of the subject.

As well as the relationship between philosophy and the history of science, Gayon discusses the main questions of the history and philosophy of biology that marked his intellectual journey: Darwin, evolutionary biology, genetics and molecular biology, human evolution, and various aspects of the relationship between biology and society in contemporary times (racism, eugenics, biotechnology, biomedicine, etc.).


1. Philosophy of Biology.
2. Darwin and Darwinism.
3. Genetics.
4. Biology and Society.

About the authors/editors

Jean Gayon†, philosopher and biologist, wrote extensively on the history of contemporary biology and the philosophy of biology. He was Professor successively at the University of Burgundy, Paris Diderot University and Panthéon-Sorbonne University, France.

Victor Petit, doctor in philosophy, is a part-time teacher and an associate researcher at the Costech laboratory (University of Technology of Compiègne, France).