Conceptual Biology & Medicine
About Jonathan Sholl
I am a philosopher of medicine and biology, with a growing interest in nutrition, currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at Bordeaux University. In 2014, I earned my PhD from KU Leuven (Belgium) working on the concepts of health and disease and the philosophy of Georges Canguilhem, before doing a post-doctorate also at Leuven about the concept of medicalization in medical sociology. From September 2016 to June 2020, I was an assistant professor of medical philosophy at Aarhus University (Denmark) where I taught to both philosophy and medical students.
My research / PhD / Post-doc / projects
My research has primarily focused on how to use the physiological and biological sciences to help clarify the concepts of health and disease, and to explore the possibility of developing a theory of health. This project has built on notions in evolutionary biology (adaptation, match/mismatch, fitness, trade-offs), systems biology/physiology (robustness, plasticity, resilience, allostasis), and biogerontology (homeodynamics, hormesis).
While at Bordeaux, I have carried out interdisciplinary projects pertaining to the philosophy of cancer: one focusing on how the microbiota shape cancer development and therapies, and another on the problems of bias and misleading frameworks in nutritional microbiology and oncology.
I am currently most interested in developing a philosophy of the nutrition sciences. To do so, I am investigating nutrient regulation as a way to combine various questions: how cells and organisms acquire nutrients to ensure their health, how nutrient regulation gets ‘reprogrammed’ in tumor metabolism, and philosophical issues pertaining to nutrition research, such as reductionism and mechanistic explanations.