There is a general scientific consensus regarding the bearing of irony in understanding both the communicative and expressive realms of human mind, after epochs in which irony was confined to the role of mere ornament in language. In particular, irony plays a fundamental part in the distinctly human ability to represent and interrogate points of view other than one’s own. This article aims to analyse this specific aspect, while offering the reader the analytic tools to satisfactorily approach the topic.
The astonishing linguistic and cognitive richness of irony has fostered increasing multi-disciplinary efforts intended to provide explanation for its mechanisms. Influential proposals have come from the most diverse disciplines, including philosophy of language and aesthetics, pragmatics and the cognitive sciences, which have offered assorted theories as to the mechanisms underlying the creation and comprehension of irony. This article will focus on the most interesting proposals made in the realm of analytic philosophy as to the nature and functioning of irony.
In philosophy of language plural reference has received much less attention than singular reference. This paper suggests that this is at least partly due to the classical interpretation of predicates as functions from objects to truth-values. Such functions only admit for singular arguments and this has led either to a lack of attention to the plural reference or even to the attempt to reduce it to singular reference. This paper has two objectives: the first is to show that attempts to reduce the plural reference to singular reference fail; the second is to sketch a theory of predication, different from the traditional one, which is compatible with the plural reference.
In 1976, one of the most important philosophers of the second half of the twentieth century, the American David Lewis, in a famous paper states that time travels are possible. At the end of the 1980s, the American theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, one of the world's leading experts on the astrophysical implications of Einsteinian General Relativity, argues that according to current physical laws there is nothing that a priori prohibits the feasibility of time travels (practical difficulties apart) in some particular spacetimes. In recent decades, time travels have become an increasingly serious, complex and profound topic, available to both philosophical and physical analysis. Torrengo's book, "I viaggi nel tempo. Una guida filosofica", offers a careful overview of this richness and depth, particularly from the philosophical point of view.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (Vienna 1889 - Cambridge 1951) was one of the greatest philosophers of the 20th century. A distinction is traditionally made between two phases of his philosophical work, an earlier phase which is identified with Tractatus logico-philosophicus, and a later phase, mainly characterized by the Philosophical Investigations. Wittgenstein's thought was deeply influential on both logical empiricism and so called "ordinary language philosophy". Even today, his writings are required reading in many areas of philosophical inquiry, from the philosophy of mind to metaphilosophy, from ethics to aesthetics, from the debate on rules, normativity and relativism to the debate on certainty, knowledge and scepticism. This profile will be limited to the central views to be found in the Tractatus and the Investigations, following the lead of the distinction between sense and nonsense as traditionally interpreted.