Adriano Angelucci, Vincenzo Fano

Realism and antirealism in metaphysics, science and language

Festschrift for Mario Alai

The book includes several essays written by prominent contemporary philosophers as well as by younger researchers in honor of Mario Alai on the occasion of his 70th birthday. The book also includes an extensive reply written by Alai himself, which amply testifies to his lifelong commitment to passionate yet fair-minded philosophical debate.

cod. 490.113

Vincenzo Fano

Gino Tarozzi Philosopher of Physics

Studies in the philosophy of entanglement on his 60th birthday

Starting from the Thirties, Italy has been one of the leading countries in the development of physics. Gino Tarozzi has long been and still is one of the best Italian scholars in the field. The present volume collects several valuable contributions touching upon different philosophical problems, such as entanglement, realism, causality, quantum logic... In the occasion of Tarozzi’s 60th birthday many distinguished scholars, which collaborate with him, evaluate and discuss these topics.

cod. 490.107

Claudio Calosi, Pierluigi Graziani

Experience, Abstraction and the Scientific Image of the World.

Festschrift for Vincenzo Fano

The book contains different essays in honor of Vincenzo Fano, for his 60th birthday. They address several foundational issues in the philosophy and metaphysics of science, epistemology, history of science and philosophy, and the relation between philosophy, science, and art. The crucial aspect of the book is the constant dialogue between different forms of knowledge: from science to art, from philosophy to philology, from the classics to contemporary research. This also reflects the breadth of Fano’s philosophical research.

cod. 490.111

Evandro Agazzi, Gerhard Heinzmann

The Practical Turn in Philosophy of Science

After Gödel’s results the limitations of the three principal “foundational schools” became more and more evident, while the “working scientists” continued their activity caring more for the acquisition of “results” than for logical rigor. This “pragmatic turn” was perceivable also in philosophy of science due to an influence of pragmatism that replaced the previous influence of logical empiricism and analytic philosophy.

cod. 490.109

Vincenzo Fano

Mechanical intelligence and Godelian Arguments


Fascicolo: 2 / 2013

In the present paper we attempt to evaluate the legacy of Turing’s ideas concerning the consequences of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorems for philosophy of mind. These Theorems were almost immediately seen as tools for rejecting the mechanistic thesis. Turing himself took this fact to be an implication of the theorems; beside him, P. Rosenbloom, G. Kemeny and E. Nagel and J.R. Newman, in the 1950’s, developed argumentations based on the idea that Godel’s Theorems could provide a logical tool to refute the philosophical thesis of mechanism. Despite this tradition, a famous Godelian anti-mechanists argument is usually associated with the name of the English philosopher John Randolf Lucas (1961). This issue was addressed by Godel already in 1951, but his considerations became known only in recent times, in the 1990’s, when many scholars were already aware of Benacerraf’s (1967) and Chihara’s (1972) analyses on it. Benacerraf and Chihara, in fact, discussing Lucas’ paper, arrived at the same conclusions as Godel in the fifties, but in a more formal way. Lucas’s argument was rejuvenated by R. Penrose (1989; 1994): he formulated and defended a version of it, but without mentioning (or perhaps knowing of) Benacerraf’s and Chihara’s papers. After Penrose’s provocative arguments many scholars analyzed the questions, in particular S. Shapiro (1998) shed light on it. In the present paper we offer a broad and clear reconstruction of the debate and the contributions made to it by different authors, its reemergence at different times in similar forms, the necessary philosophical premises of Godel’s argument and more in general of Godelian arguments.

The papers collected in the present book deal with some of the most salient aspects of Turing’s whole work.

cod. 490.104

Representation and explanation are distinct notions in the philosophy of science, since the first can be defined as an answer to a how-question, and the second as an answer to a why-question. In particular, the task of providing explanations has been traditionally attributed to scientific theories. These notions, however, are also strictly interrelated, like shown by the variety of the approaches offered by the papers included in this volume.

cod. 490.103

Claudio Calosi, Vincenzo Fano, Gino Tarozzi

Holism as an empirically meaningful metaphysical hypothesis


Fascicolo: 2 / 2012

Quantum mechanics is often credited for having clearly shown that the whole is something over and above the sum of its parts. We want to assess whether this is really the case, and if so, in what sense. We argue that there is indeed a sense in which this is true. Our argument is that even a weak realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics renders a particular metaphysical principle about property instantiation, that we label Property Compositional Determinateness, untenable. Yet there is another metaphysical principle about composition that is usually maintained to imply that composition of parts exhausts the whole they are part of, namely Mereological Extensionalism. In this case, contrary to widespread agreement, we argue that quantum mechanics does not provide any reason, either direct or indirect, to abandon such principle.

Claudio Calosi, Vincenzo Fano

A Threat for Physicalism: a new Gedankenexperiment


Fascicolo: 1 / 2012

We present a new thought experiment that raises a threat for Minimal Physicalism, i.e. the thesis according to which mental properties supervene on physical properties. Our proposal is an example of the so called hard problems in philosophy of mind, in particular the problem of maximal consciousness. We do not however presuppose anything about its very nature apart from the minimal, weak assumption that it is determined by first order mental properties. We argue that (i) either Minimal Physicalism is unable to give an adequate account of the new thought experiment we present or (ii) has to explain the fact that two numerically distinct but physically indistinguishable individuals have different maximal consciousness due to their spatial location. We contend that this last conclusion is strongly at variance with our contemporary scientific image of the world.