Welcome to the Applied Evolutionary Epistemology Lab!

At AppEEL, we aim to advance the study of the Extended Synthesis in biology from an inter- and transdisciplinary approach; and to identify how the Extended Synthesis can be applied to the epistemological, sociocultural and linguistic domains. We operate from within the general frameworks provided by philosophy of science, and in particular endorse an applied evolutionary epistemological approach. This means that focus lies on identifying the ontological structures foundational for evolutionary theories.

Applied Evolutionary Epistemology analyzes how units, levels and mechanisms bring forth hierarchically-structured evolving realities that display diverging and converging patterns in the mode and tempo of their evolution. AEE defines evolution in a selection-neutral way as the phenomenon whereby units evolve at levels of ontological hierarchies by mechanisms and processes. This definition provides a research methodology, namely, studying evolution implies identifying the units that evolve, the levels where they evolve, and the mechanisms and processes whereby they evolve; and it provides a means to build theories, because it requires the development of hierarchy theories that explain how biorealities form and diversify with time.

Research at AppEEL focuses on the following themes:

  1. The nature and scope of the Extended Synthesis;
  2. The implementation of the Extended Synthesis into the epistemological, sociocultural and linguistic domains, with special attention to the evolution of symbolization;
  3. Pattern similarity and divergence in the conceptualization and diagrammatic modelling of biological, linguistic and sociocultural evolution.

AppEEL is the home of the Springer Nature Book Series Interdisciplinary Evolution Research.


AppEEL was founded in July 2012 with the support of the John Templeton Foundation. We are part of the Center for Philosophy of Science of the Department for History and Philosophy of Science, at the Faculty of Science of the University of Lisbon. We are currently financed by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology.

Copyright AppEEL 2012