Mexican pre Columbian culture is one of the great six mother civilisations but, compared with the Indian or Chinese ones, is far less known in the West. This culture had a notable richness and complexity that, from theoretical and scientific knowledge, led to applied science, producing important technological applications, such as astronomical observatories and calendars. These were at the same time also expression of human and ethical values, within a general idea of a somehow dualistic Universe, based on the struggle between contraries – light and darkness, life and death, male and female – that finally lead to a vision that one may define as theological. Our partial and segmented knowledge of Mexican Pre Columbian culture tends to converge into a unitarian vision that may, for some reason, be called ‘systemic’.
The object of discussion is the possibility of using the general theory of systems for a description/reconstruction of the cognitive process taking as our parameters of reference the holistic conception of experimental control and the interactive conception of knowledge. The essential components of the theoretical proposal advanced here are the critical evaluation of Quine’s position on the identity at the root of the two dogmas of empiricism (analyticity and reductionism) with the ensuing sovraposition between linguistic holism and epistemological holism, and the thesis of the full compatibility between holistic antireductionism and the analytic/synthetic and a priori/a posteriori distinctions. Some considerations on the problem of realism can be found in the conclusive part.
Recent advances in biological sciences suggest that living beings have to be understood mostly in systemic terms, and characterized by the unitary integration of multiple level of causal dynamics over the time of their «life histories». Such focus on the interplay of synchronic and diachronic factors in the organism’s processes of growth appeals to an overcoming of mereology, but it also entails the need for an ontological and epistemological reflection, which can find support in some recent experimental and theoretical advances from different subfields of biomedical sciences. In this paper, we advocate the value of a relational and processual ontology in order to account for the systemic and multi-level unity that characterizes the phenomena of life, firstly providing a review of relational ontology and of its value in relationship to temporality, secondly drawing suggestions from the analysis of developmental processes in oncology and neuroscience.
In more recent times the theoretical approaches based on the concept of «network» assumed a capital role in most scientific domains, chiefly when dealing with complex systems. This circumstance raises a number of philosophical problems, including the one related to the possibility that the network-based approach can represent a new paradigm of scientific research, replacing the ones so far adopted. In this regard the present contribution tries to assess the usefulness of the network-based approach while, at the same time, evidencing its lacks. The latter seem to point to a wider generalization of traditional scientific approaches. A short sketch of this generalization will constitute the conclusion of this paper.
The crisis of the idea of the soul and of its immortality poses a great problem to theology: we question the contribution that the systemic approach can give to it. We show first of all that even for current theology the immortality of the soul is indispensable. We then show how in the systemic conception the notion of organization corresponds to the theological concept of the soul. We also observe that the survival of the principle of organization is not contradictory despite the dissolution of the human phenomenon because of death. Finally we note the limits of the systemic approach and nevertheless its great utility for theology.
The aim of this article is to verify whether Libet’s conclusion about free will can be considered scientifically based or not. In order to accomplish that, we examine whether the actions he asked his experimental subjects to perform could be considered adequate for a better understanding of free will or not. Through a compared analysis of the experience of free will and the actions Libet required the subjects of his experiment to accomplish, it clearly appears that Libet did not – and actually could not – analyse the experience of free will. He did not realise that asking to the subjects to act spontaneously implied for them the impossibility to experience the free will, and therefore for him the impossibility to analyse it. As a result we conclude that Libet’s experiments focus on something which is not free will. Consequently, his conclusions about free will cannot be considered scientifically proved.
The concept of analogy was forgotten when philosophers concentrated themselves on logic expression of philosophical problems and on a physics-scientific basis for philosophy. Neurosciences, biology and systemic thinking have recently renewed attention on analogy, that must be reconsidered from a philosophical point of view. A research path on analogy has been developed through two interdisciplinary meetings, a privatissimum and a Conference, whose proposal could be summarized as follows: analogy is a pre-propositional human ability, rooted in perceptive constitution, at the origin of knowledge and of universals.
Trough the analysis of two Hegelian fragments dating back to 1800 (Der immer sehr vergrössende Widerspruch, Systemfragment) and of Differenz des Fichte’schen und Schelling’schen Systems der Philosophie (1801), the paper investigates the declinations of the concept of «relationship» in Hegelian speculation between Frankfurt and Jena period. At this stage of Hegelian thought, the relationship is at the same time a critical method aimed at specifying his own philosophical position («comparison») and the fulcrum of the idea of speculation («contradiction»). Hegel’s philosophy develops itself as a progressive increase in relationality, starting with an initial void of relationship, to reach the totality of relations that characterizes the absolute (elaborated from the Phänomenologie des Geistes), also, paradoxically, empty, since in it is impossible any other relationship with something external. The two phases of Hegelian thought are thus characterized by a different substantial dynamics – of the parts in the first phase, of the whole in the second one. In this sense, the intersection with the systemic perspective is fruitful to verify the relationship’s role in system building and in the possibility of emergence of the novum.
The paper investigates some ontological implications of an approach to modal notions that properly extends intensional logic by treating modal ascriptions as predicate-like. More specifically, we first introduce a semantics that can naturally deal with de re necessity and possibility ascriptions and that enables one to quantify directly in the object-language over properties and relations. We then show how, in this expressive framework, hidden metaphysical assumptions of standard modal logic become explicit. We focus on the problem of the modal status of collections of objects satisfying a certain relation by necessity (or possibly): although there seem to be objects that may fail to exist, collections containing them are taken to exist at any world. We discuss several forms of necessitism that accommodate this problem.
Don Quixote, son of the catholic Spain, have had many interpreters: intellectuals of Jewish origin (Marx, Bloch, Lévinas), Orthodox Christians (Dostoevskij, Turgenev), Reformed Christians (Kant, Goethe), Catholic Christians (Schlegel, Unamuno, Von Balthasar, Zambrano, Ortega y Gasset) and many others (Diderot, Nietzsche, Auerbach, Borges). Thanks to his untimely ideal of chivalry, Don Quixote keeps hope alive to help needy, poor and hungry people: dream of a world of justice, into the reality of injustice. Lost in the clouds and ridiculous, Don Quixote is at the same time very serious, because he dreams a more just world (Marx: abstract utopia). With the figure of Don Quixote like a symbol of a world that hopes in an instant and anxious way, parallels Don Quixote’s choose to become knight, to fight for the poor and needy people, to take a moral seriously (Bloch: hunger and hope) that gives way to serious morality. The hunger puts the subject in the middle only to question his claim. It makes sensitive to the hunger of the others (Weil), it teaches the humility, it teaches to accept and to give thank (Lévinas). The hunger – ironic and paradoxical – is at the same time the principle of every first-hand need (conatus essendi) and of its opposite, of a responsibility for the world and the others.
This article considers the possibility of talking about God from the philosophical point of view, analyzing the works of two authors of French phenomenology: E. Lévinas and J. L. Chrétien. The idea is that you can take God’s name only if you comprehend the subjetc as an act: the subjetc finds his own uniqueness in the act of manifesting himself and he expresses a request of alterity that makes him the interlocutor of his own manifestation. Resuming in a new way the modern idea of subjectivity, it will be possibile to treat the question of God in the contemporary era.
In the nowadays research about medieval philosophy and theology it is admitted that the Augustinian and Aristotelian traditions were the two main trends in the theory of dominium. Then, to obtain a certain model of medieval dominium, it depends on which order the relation between both traditions relies: for while the Augustinian model remarks the question of property, the Aristotelian one puts the question of power in first place. It is not hard to admit that within the works of Thomas Aquinas, according to a rational explanation, the explanations of Aristotle are preferred over that of Augustine. Now, it seems that Aquinas’ theory of dominium not only derives from Aristotle, but also from the Justinian’s Corpus Iuris Civilis and its Italian glossators. So, in order to discuss the Augustinian Medieval theory of dominium, Aquinas not only has turned to the Greek Philosopher, but also to the Roman Juristic Tradition.
The stay in Turin, among Jansenists and Jesuits, is the beginning of a tormented but fertile moral and religious journey for young Rousseau. In this journey, the concept of heart and the concept of conscience in relation to the dominion of Enlightenment reasoning are of great importance. From Calvinist Geneva to Jansenist Turin, matures a process in which Agostino’s shadow accompanies Jean-Jacques’s future reflections on evil, on society and on private property. And on these themes, ranging from metaphysics to politics and morals, Augustinism is undoubtedly the common root of Pascal and Rousseau. An important milestone in this journey is the centrality of Jesus Christ as a moral model. The Gospel Teacher is not a mediator or savior, but the highest example of morality for men. The sacrifice of the Cross, for Rousseau, is not the divine act of redemption, but the courageous death of a just man who proposes a sublime moral model, preaching the commandment of Love.
The essay deals with the Spinoza-Studien (1793-4) redacted by F.D.E. Schleiermacher as a comment on Jacobi’s Ueber die Lehre des Spinoza in Briefen an den Herrn Moses Mendelssohn (1785). The Author considers those manuscripts important for both Schleiermacher’s intellectual development and the German romantic debate on atheism and religion. If the idealist thinkers try to theorize, from Spinoza’s metaphysics, a science of the absolute, and Jacobi elaborates a doctrine of «salto mortale» beyond science, Schleiermacher believes that Spinoza’s philosophy can help to develop the transcendental perspective. Instead of Jacobi’s «salto mortale», he proposed the conception of the Inerenz of finite to infinite, and instead of the idealistic science of the absolute, he emphasises the immediate feeling of being. The deterministic ethic theorized in the «Rapsodien» (1789-93) can be in this way accorded to a mystic doctrine of the infinite.
The recent philosophical debate about the speculative function of thought aims at offering a new horizon, which encompasses a more inclusive conception of reality. It involves inter alia a new interpretation of the Hegelian philosophy. Starting from the analysis of the Hegelian concept of dialectic, this paper aims at understanding in which way we can articulate the concept of the «speculative» in Hegel. This essay is divided into three parts: the first will analyse the relationship between metaphysics and logic; the second part will focus on the use of internal teleology as a mechanism through which the life passes into the thought, and shows its inner dynamic; in the third part I will make explicit the relationship between dialectic and life. I will claim that the speculative in the Hegelian thought is neither spiritualist nor materialist, but it is rather the unfolding of the structure of life in terms of categories of thought.
The purpose of this article is to present Galileo Galilei’s first reflection on chapter 1 of the first book of Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics. Specifically, Galilei discusses the problem of the praecognitiones i.e. the knowledge on which the demonstrative structure is based. The treatment of the prerequisites of the subject and of his passiones, that is, of his property, acquires, in the sphere of aristotelianism of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a particular importance because, in the university field, there is a clear tendency to consider the subject of demonstration in relationship with the subject of science.
I.A. Licciardi, Parmenide tràdito nel Commentario di Simplicio alla Fisica di Aristotele (M. Seregni) - A. Di Liso, Antonio Genovesi metafisico e mercatante (P. Gomarasca) - C. Moreschini, Apuleius and the Metamorphoses of Platonism (E. Vimercati)
Mercoledì 4 dicembre in Università Cattolica un seminario per riflettere a partire dalla figura di Antigone sul valore della libertà e della disobbedienza civile intervallato da letture e performance artistiche.