Who am I?
I am a philosopher of biology working as a Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Lille, in France.
My research focuses on Henri Bergson's philosophy and its relevance to contemporary biological problems. In particular, I specialise in questions relating to the theory of evolution.
My PhD focused in particular on the epistemological question of the use of teleology in biology, and on the integration of historical time into the theory of evolution. This also led me to analyse biological causality. See Areas of expertise.
More recently, my research has focused on the question of biological agency and its evolutionary implications. In particular, I am focusing on the question of animal agency, investigating the link between play, inventiveness and adaptability. See Research in Progress.
Dr Mathilde Tahar
Languages: French mother language; advanced English, Italian; reading of Latin and ancient Greek.
PhD in Philosophy of Biology
University of Toulouse 2-Jean Jaurès (ERRAPHIS)
Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Institut de Systématique, Évolution, Biodiversité)
Visiting Associate Professor (ATER), University of Lille
Associate member of STL – Savoirs, Textes, Langage (UMR 8163)
Qualified by the French National Counsel of Universities to be “Maître de conferences”, i.e., to teach philosophy (qualification 17) at the university level. This qualification is awarded after a peer-reviewed process
Agrégée de philosophie
WHAT I’VE LEARNED
Ph. D. in Philosophy of Biology
University of Toulouse 2 & Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle.
Dissertation subject: “Evolution beyond all finalism: Bergson’s critique of evolutionists”.
Advisors: Prof. Paul-Antoine Miquel (Universitu of Toulouse 2-Jean Jaurès), and Prof. Pierre-Henri Gouyon (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle-CNRS).
WHERE I’VE WORKED
Visiting Associate Professor (Attachée temporaire d’enseignement et de recherche) in Philosophy of Science.
University of Lille.
Jan. 2023–Apr. 2023
Agrégation de philosophie
The most selective comprehensive national examination in philosophy.
Ranking: 50. Language: Ancient Greek.
Étudiante normalienne (École Normale Supérieure, Paris)
Master of Arts (honors) – Contemporary Philosophy
École Normale Supérieure Ulm & École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales.
Dissertation subject: “Beyond finality: élan vital, disorder and creation from Bergson” (honors).
Advisor: Prof. Frédéric Worms (École Normale Supérieure, Paris)
Bachelor of Arts (honors) – Philosophy.
University Paris IV Paris-Sorbonne.
Bachelor of Arts (honors) – History.
University Paris IV Paris-Sorbonne.
University-Level Preparation Courses for entrance to Grandes Écoles – Philosophy.
Lycée Henri IV, Paris.
University of Sorbonne Paris-Nord.
Jan. 2022–Aug. 2022
University of Rouen.
Sep. 2018–Jan. 2022
Doctoral student and teacher
University of Toulouse 2.
Sep. 2018–Jul. 2021
Invited teacher (colleuse) in Philosophy
Lycée Henri IV, Paris
Being a colleuse consists of preparing students for the oral exam of the Ecole Normale Supérieure competition.
Sep. 2016–Aug. 2017
Lycée Racine, Paris
Other training courses
Training “Vivre avec les autres animaux”
UVED (Université Virtuelle Environnement et Développement durable)
Jan. 2020-June 2020
Courses “Biodiversity and Evolution”
Sep. 2017-Aug. 2018
Master 1 “Systematic, Evolution, Paleontology – Ecology, Biodiversity, Evolution” as an auditor
University Pierre and Marie Curie
Fellowships and Grants
July 2023, July 2024, July 2025
Fellowship for the Villa Vigoni Trinational Summer School (Germany-Italy-France) on the theme “Life and Form”,
EMBO Grant for the Venice Summer School 2022 on the theme “The Future of Evolutionary Systems Biology”.
Research fellowship awarded by the CNRS (in the framework of the IRN project “Global Bergsonism”).
Host university: University of Fukuoka.
Research fellowship awarded by the Allpha Doctoral School (University of Toulouse 2).
Host university: University of Verona.
[Cancelled: Covid-19 epidemic]
September 2018-January 2022
Doctoral research fellowship of the University of Toulouse 2.
Awards and Prizes
Prize at the Concours général (national contest) in Philosophy.
Other (selected) academic activities
Member of the board of the Société des amis de Bergson since 2019.
Member of the editorial board of Bergsoniana, Société des amis de Bergson, OpenAccess, since 2020.
Reviewer for: Bergsoniana; Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal; Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology; Palgrave Macmillan.
Reviewer of applications for the National Science Center Poland (SONATA funding scheme).
You will find my main publications here. Most are in OpenAccess. For those that are not, don't hesitate to write to me: I'll happily send you the preprint.
Here you will find a list of my main conferences. Some of them have been recorded and you will find the link to the videos on this page.
If you have any questions about my research, would like to have access to an article or simply want to have a chat, don't hesitate to contact me using this form.