Browsing 10 APhEx num 10, anno 2014 by Issue Date
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- PublicationFrancesco Paoli, Carlo Crespellani Porcella, Giuseppe Sergioli, Ragionare nel quotidiano. Argomentare, valutare informazioni, prendere decisioni, Mimesis, Milano-Udine, 2012, pp. 256.(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Labinaz, PaoloIn this critical review, I first provide an overview of the book “Ragionare nel quotidiano” and then discuss and contextualize some of the main questions which are addressed in it. In the overview, I divide the book into three parts which are concerned respectively with (i) what an argument is and its criteria of correctness, (ii) reasoning fallacies and (iii) some specific forms of reasoning. Since the authors present the main critical thinking’s techniques in a very simple and clear way, I hold that this book can help to develop a culture of rational thinking in Italian schools and universities. However, as I underline in the final part, the authors fail to provide a research framework within which their work can be located. Therefore, I conclude by presenting the main approaches to argumentation and reasoning on which this work is based.
- PublicationArthur Prior(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)
;Ciuni, RobertoProietti, CarloThe philosophical inquiry of Arthur Prior (1914-1969) has involved topics ranging from formal logics to ethics, while giving crucial contributions in modal logic, metaphysics, and the philosophy of time. Prior is considered the father of temporal logic and a forerunner of both current hybrid logic and Kripke's possible worlds semantics; also, he has supported a refined and go-ahead version of actualism, which is in turn grounded on a specific view on the relation between existence, facts and truth. Prior's approach to philosophy has been highly sensitive to the traditional questions in metaphysics and ontology, and at the same time has laid the grounds of new areas of research in modal logic. This entry aims at presenting and discussing some of Prior's most important contributions to philosophy and their relevance. In particular, the entry presents and discuss branching-time semantics and their application to the problem of determinism, hybrid logics and the reduction of instants to propositions, the modal logic Q and the problem of predication about contingently non-existing individuals. 119 59
- PublicationEpistemologia evoluzionista(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Baravalle, LorenzoEvolutionary epistemology constitutes a broad area of studies, which aim to understand the limits of applicability of natural selection mechanisms, expanding its scope to cognitive dynamics, scientific progress, or human culture as a whole. Since many projects of this kind has been proposed in last 70 years, I have here preferred to offer an overall view on the topic instead of an exhaustive list of positions. Hence, I firstly present some general notions about Darwinian theory and its influence in philosophy starting from XIX century, secondly I discuss the origins of evolutionary epistemology and, then, I explore its further ramifications. In doing so, I follow, extended and occasionally corrected, the classical distinction between EEM (Evolution of Epistemological Mechanisms) and EET (Evolutionary Epistemology of Theories). In conclusion, I present some of the most recent developments in evolutionary biology applied to cognition and human behaviour, and I expose some brief critical observation on the current state of the discipline.
- PublicationJennifer Mather Saul, ‘Lying, Misleading, & What is Said’, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2012, pp. xi + 146(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Sbisà, MarinaThe text offers a Critical Review of "Lying, Misleading, & What is Said" by Jennifer Mather Saul. The author critically reflects on the book by considering its methodologies, its arguments, and its relation with other books of the same type and on the same subject.
- PublicationSebastiano Moruzzi, Vaghezza. Confini, cumuli e paradossi, Laterza, Bari 2012, pp. 196(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Gaio, SilviaThe text offers a Critical Review of "Vaghezza. Confini, cumuli e paradossi" by Sebastiano Moruzzi. The author critically reflects on the book by considering its methodologies, its arguments, and its relation with other books of the same type and on the same subject.
- PublicationMichael Strevens, Bigger than chaos. Understanding complexity through probability, Harvard University Press, 2003, pp. xvi+413.(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Filomeno, AldoI review and critically assess the main insights of Michael Strevens' "Bigger than Chaos", a book with a novel application of certain mathematical results stemming from chaos theory. Specifically, the book applies such results to explain the phenomenon of inter-level reduction of complexity in certain natural sciences such as meteorology, economics, or ecology. The motivation for this review is that while "Bigger than chaos" provides original results to the philosophy of science, it is especially demanding in certain stages, requiring certain mathematical background, and so it is difficult to properly assess without a deep involvement in its reading. I also orient the reader commenting other reviews and further papers by the same author that elaborate core points of the book.
- PublicationMuldimodalità del sistema nervoso(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Ronga, IreneThe expression “multimodality of the nervous system” refers to the ability of some areas of the brain to perform different functions. During the twentieth century, research projects in neurophysiology have shifted their focus from the study of the structure of the nervous system and of the functional specialization of different brain regions to the observation of interactions between areas and between different sensory modalities. In my paper, I will try to show how the use of ecological designs in neurophysiology experiments shows the strong multimodality of the human nervous system, both of the single-cell level and at the region level. Contemporary neurophysiological research and, in particular, the study of multimodality are relevant to philosophy and linguistics because of their consequences for topics such as the experiential bases of concepts (embodiment) and complexity.
- PublicationLa Metafisica dell’incarnazione(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Marmodoro, AnnaWhat does the claim that God ‘became human’ - as the Nicaean Creed states - mean, philosophically? What does becoming human involve? How can a person be both divine and human? The claim that a divine being became human while remaining divine too may be examined without doctrinal commitments. Considered in abstraction, the issue concerns the philosophical possibility that one being would have two essential natures that are inconsistent with each other. The incarnation of a divine mind into a human body challenges our criteria of individuation of substances as much as, for instance, the incarnation of a human mind into a computer. This is the reason why the study of the incarnation has a significant heuristic value from a philosophical point of view; this is shown by the number and ingenuity of metaphysical models put forward to explain the incarnation, by philosophers and theologians since the Nicaea council.
- PublicationDemocrazia(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Ceva, EmanuelaSome of the liveliest philosophical debates in contemporary democratic theory address two issues: (1) Why is democracy desirable? (2) What institutions are needed to realize the democratic ideal? In response to the first question, instrumentalists maintain that democracy is justified only if it produces good results; non-instrumentalists take into account, in addition, the values that democratic procedures realize in themselves. As for the second question, the debate concerns the form that democratic institutions should have to realize the democratic ideal (majority vote, deliberative, or contestatory). The purpose of this paper is to offer a critical presentation of these debates.
- PublicationElisa Caldarola, Davide Quattrocchi, Gabriele Tomasi (a cura di), Wittgenstein, l'estetica e le arti, Roma, Carocci Editore, 2013, pp. 391(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Boncompagni, AnnaThe review describes the volume as meeting the double demand of deepening the analysis of Wittgenstein’s thought on art and related themes and of offering new points for reflection to those working on aesthetics, particularly within the analytic tradition. Following the partition of the text, the review examines the different essays composing its two parts – “Wittgenstein and aesthetics” and “Wittgenstein and the arts” – lingering over some issues that emerge as the most debated, among which Wittgenstein’s cultural conservatism, the connection between his style and literary and poetic writing, his aversion toward Gustav Mahler’s music, his work’s relationship with architecture, the theme of aspect seeing. Finally, the review underlines the volume’s completeness and versatility, besides its originality with respect to the existing literature.
- PublicationPaul Karl Feyerabend(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Tambolo, LucaPaul Karl Feyerabend (1924–1994) was among the most famous philosophers of science of the Twentieth century. He wrote on a wide array of issues but overall, his work can be viewed as revolving around a relentless advocacy of pluralism. More specifically Feyerabend defended, first of all, theoretical pluralism, that is, the proliferation of alternatives to the theory that, at a given point in time, is accepted by the scientific community. Moreover he embraced methodological pluralism, that is, the proliferation not only of theories, but also of the methods deployed to appraise them. According to Feyerabend, pluralism is an essential ingredient of any knowledge deserving to be called ‘objective.’
- PublicationTeoria dei giochi(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Cevolani, GustavoGame theory studies the rational decisions of agents involved in strategic interactions. These include, for instance, playing chess and bargaining, negotiation and war. In all these situations, the rational choices of each participant in the “game” are determined both by his expectations concerning the intentions of other agents and by their actual choices. The present paper outlines the main motivations, conceptual tools and limitations of “classical” game theory; it also offers a brief survey of its most recent developments and of its applications in the social sciences.
- PublicationGustav Bergamann(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Bonino, GuidoGustav Bergmann’s activity may be divided in three phases. The first one is mainly concerned with the philosophy of science, more or less in accordance with the teachings of the Vienna Circle. The second consists in the development of a rich ontology ¬– yet constrained by the principle of acquaintance –, aiming at establishing a realist view, both in the sense of realism1 (opposed to nominalism), and in that of realism2 (opposed to idealism). Such development goes along with a reflection on the nature and method of philosophy, culminating with one of the most perspicuous formulations of the ideal language method. The last phase, known mainly through posthumous writings, puts forth a revision of the previous ontology. In this account special attention has been paid to the second phase, for which Bergmann is mostly known, and its methodological aspects have been privileged in the exposition.
- PublicationComputazione naturale(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2014)Milazzo, PaoloThis article describes Natural Computing, an interdisciplinary research field in which nature is the inspiration source of new Computer Science methodologies. Natural Computing includes a wide spectrum of different themes, that differ each other on aims and means. For instance, there is a theme in which the theory of evolution by natural selection inspires methodologies for solving problems of computational mathematics. Another example is a theme in which DNA molecules are used to execute very complex algorithms with performances that cannot be obtained by current electronic computers. Moreover, there are several themes in which mathematical and computational models are used to understand the mechanisms underlying the functioning of cells. The themes of Natural Computing can be grouped in two main categories: (i) new computational models and methodologies inspired by natural phenomena, and (ii) applications of computational models and methodologies to the study of natural phenomena. The aim of the themes of the first category is to contribute to the research in Computer Science by using nature as an inspiration, whereas the aim of the themes of the second category is to contribute to the research in Life Sciences by using computational means. The objective of this article is not to survey all of the Natural Computing themes, but to describe what could be concretely obtained in this research field by focusing on two representative themes: "Evolutionary Computation" and "DNA Computing".