Behzad Nematipour

PhD Student

Education

  • Since 2018:
    PhD studies in the Department of Philosophy, University of Münster, Germany
  • 2013 - 2016:
    Magister Artium History and Cultural Studies, Subjects: Philosophy, Sociology, Giessen University, Germany
  • 2014:
    Baccalaureus Artium History and Cultural Studies, Subjects: Philosophy & Sociology, Giessen University, Germany
  • 2013:
    Intermediate examination, Teaching Qualification for Grammar Schools, Subjects: Philosoph & English, Giessen University, Germany
  • 2010 - 2018:
    Teaching Qualification for Grammar Schools, Subjects: Philosoph & English, Giessen University, Germany
  • 2008 - 2013:
    History and Cultural Studies, Subjects: Philosophy & Sociology, Giessen University, Germany
  • 2007 - 2008:
    Studienkolleg Mittelhessen Kurs G
  • 2006 - 2007:
    Study of Russian language, Islamic Azad University, Teheran, Iran

Work experience

  • 2017:
    Lecturer, Institute of Philosophy, Giessen University, Germany
  • 2010 - 2014:
    Tutor, Institute of Philosophy, Giessen University, Germany

Supervisors

  • Prof. Dr. Ulrich Krohs, Department of Philosophy, University of Münster, Germany
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Research interests

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PhD project description

Function and fitness in individual niches – Conceptual and explanatory issues

This CRC-project focus on interactions between individuals and their environments. Individuals do not merely accommodate themselves to their environments they are also active and interact with it. These interactions could have impacts on evolutionary processes and result for example in an increase in the overall fitness of the individuals involved. The main questions that arise here are: why and how does a specific interaction between an individual and its environment result in an increase in the fitness of the individual? Is/Are there a general principle/principles which explain(s) this increase in fitness?

The central and working hypothesis of this CRC-project is that, roughly speaking, the interaction between an individual and its environment result in an increase in fitness (mainly) via three mechanisms of adjustment and adoption: niche choice, niche conformance and niche construction. To answer the above question, such an interaction could result in an increase in the fitness of an individual because it is an instance of niche choice, niche conformance or niche
construction (NC3) (or a combination of these).

Of course, the question that immediately follows this explanation is: why different instances of NC3 result in an increase in fitness of an individual that interacts with its environment? More importantly: are there any general principles or principle reasons which explain why these instances effect the fitness of the individual? For example, an increase in fitness of an individual via niche conformance could occur by pure chance. A specific environmental condition could accidently be in conformance with some phenotypes of an individual, allowing the individual to improve its chances to survive and therefore increase its fitness. As another example, a mutated trait of an individual could produce a phenotype (for example a specific behavior) that is favorable for the individual in a specific environment that it happens to be in.

In this project I will argue that one of the main general principles that explains why various instances of NC3 result in an increase of the fitness of the individuals involved is the “functionality” of the traits which produce the specific phenotype (behavior) that is describable as an instance of NC3. One of the main focus of the project would therefore be to introduce a concept of functionality/function which is applicable in these cases.