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STOQ-Science,Theology and the Ontological Quest

Faith and reason are like two wings by which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth (Fides et Ratio, 1)


Courses of the Year 2007/8

Thematic Area of the Year 2007/8:
Biology and Ontology of the Intelligent Life

Courses of the Academic Year 2006/7

Courses of the Academic Year 2008/9

Faculty of Philosophy

Faculty of Theology

Faculty of Canonic Law

Faculty of Philosophy
STOQ Courses 2007/8

1. Fundamental courses

PROF. GIANFRANCO BASTI, Pontifical Lateran University.
Undergraduate Course (I Semester): «Philosophical Anthropology»

Summary and Bibliography

The course develops the foundations of a philosophical anthropology. Before all (ch. 1 of the Handbook), we illustrate the proprium of an ontology of the human being with respect to the different human sciences (biological, neurological, psychological, sociological, etc.). Hence (ch. 2), we present a historical development of the different philosopical anthropologies developed in the western thought from the origins till our days. The systematic part of the course is devoted to a deepening of the essence of the human being, starting from his proper operations: biological (ch. 3), cognitive (ch. 4), and deliberative (ch. 5). Final outcome of this systematic analysis is the demonstration of the double component, material and spiritual of the metaphysical unity of the human person. So, three arguments of the metaphysical type conclude the course (ch. 6): the possible subsistence of the human soul as formal (informational) component of the human body; the relationship between mind and body; the notion of human person in his irreducible individuality (formal unicity) and dignity.

Lecture Notes of the Introductory Part (ch. 1), available for download.


Handbook: G. BASTI, Filosofia dell’uomo, Edizioni Studio Domenicano, Bologna, 1995 (2003).
ID., La relazione mente-corpo nella filosofia e nella scienza, Ed.Studio Domenicano, Bologna, 1991 (Ristampa anastatica, Edizioni PUL 2002);
A. CLARK, Dare corpo alla mente, MacGraw-Hill, Milano, 1999;
A. KENNY, Aquinas on Mind, Routledge, London-New York, 1994;
W. BECHTEL, Filosofia della mente, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1999;
G. FORNERO, Bioetica cattolica e bioetica laica in Italia, Mondatori, Milano, 2005;
I. CARRSACO DE PAULA, Bioetica. Morale della vita e integrità della persona umana nella prospettiva cattolica, Ed. Pont. Università della S. Croce, Roma, 2001.



PROF. GIANFRANCO BASTI, Pontifical Lateran University.
Graduate Course (I Semester): «The Question of Foundations: From Metalogic to Metaphysics»

Summary and Bibliography

Starting from the questions related to the foundations of logic and mathematics in modern theoretical and applied mathematical sciences, the course shows the connections of these problems with some ontological and metaphysical questions, through the contribution of the formal ontology (e.g., the different senses of the terms «existence» in the mathematical language of modern sciences and in the ontological language of the ordinary and philosophical languages).
The course is obligatory for all the students of the specialization in «Logic and Epistemology» in the Faculty of Philosophy .

Lecture Notes available for download


  • G. BASTI, Filosofia della Natura e della Scienza. Vol.I: I Fondamenti, Lateran University Press, Rome, 2003 (exp. ch.1 and ch.2).
  • E. NAGEL ET AL., Goedel's Proof, New York University Press, New York, 2002 (Revised Edition).
  • G: BASTI, Ontologia formale. Per una metafisica post-moderna. In: A. STRUMIA (Ed.), Il Problema dei fondamenti. Da Aristotele, a Tommaso d'Aquino, all'ontologia formale, Cantagalli, Firenze, 2007, pp. 193-228.
  • G. BASTI, Analogia, ontologia formale e problema dei fondamenti. In: G: BASTI & C.A. TESTI, Analogia e autoreferenzialità, Marietti 1820, Milano, 2004 (Downloadable in the lecture notes page of this site).
  • For the worldwide state of the art of the Formal Ontology, visit the site:


PROF. GIANFRANCO BASTI, Pontifical Lateran University.
Course (II Semester): «The Mind-Body Relationship: Epistemological and Metaphysical Prospects (La relazione mente-corpo: prospettive epistemologiche e metafisiche)»

Summary and Bibliography

Starting from the actual epistemological debate, in philosophy and in sciences, about the mind-body relationship, we deepen the metaphysical roots of the different solutions proposed.
These solutions are essentially three:
1) The monist solution reducing mind to body; 2) the dualist solution making mind an entity separated from the body, so loosing the unity of human person; 3) the dual solution describing mind as a form in the matter, so that from their union the unity of the individual living human body derives, i.e., the unity of human person.
In this context, we deepen the relationship between the informational approach to cognitive functions (=cognitive sciences and neurosciences) and the Aristotelian-Thomistic psychology, that, together with the phenomenological psychology are the main representatives of the dual solution.
It is very interesting, according to this approach, the solution it offers to the problem of how defining, in a way consistent with the scientific enquiry, the spiritual component of the human psyche and the related problem of how demonstrating the metaphysical possibility of a survival of this spiritual component of the individual person after death.


  • Basti G., “ Dall’informazione allo spirito. Abbozzo di una nuova antropologia”. In: L’anima, a cura di Vittorio Possenti, Mondadori, Milano, 2004, pp. 41-66;
  • Basti G., “Il problema mente-corpo”, in: Annuario di Filosofia 2000. Corpo e anima, necessità della metafisica, a cura di V. Possenti, Mondadori, Milano, 2000, pp. 265-318;
  • Id., Il rapporto mente-corpo nella filosofia e nella scienza, ESD, Bologna, 1991;
  • Id., Filosofia dell’uomo, ESD, Bologna, 1995 (Reprint 2003);
  • A. Clark, Dare corpo alla mente, MacGraw-Hill, Milano, 1999;
  • A. Kenny, Aquinas on Mind, Routledge, London-New York, 1994;
  • W. Bechtel, Filosofia della mente, Il Mulino, Bologna, 1999;
  • S. Moravia, L’enigma della mente. Il ‘mind-body problem’ nel pensiero contemporaneo, Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1996.

Lecture Notes available online



  • These courses (50566, 50546, 50383 and 50384) are organically inserted into the Specialization Programme (Licenza), Theoretical Section of "Gnosiology and Metaphysics " (II Level), as well as in the Doctorate Programme (III Level). For more information on these Programs, go to the relative web page of the Philosophy Faculty at the Lateran University official web site.
  • However, also students of the Second Year of the First Level (Bachelor Degree, Baccalaureato) can follow these courses at a profit, with a special permission of the Dean. The courses suppose indeed only a sufficient knowledge of the elementary formal logic and of its symbolism (i.e., the attendance at 50101 and 50104 courses of the First Year).


PROF. PROF. ROBERTO MESSI, Dept. of Physics, II State University of Rome "Tor Vergata": "Elements of Physics II (Elementi di Fisica Generale II)"

Summary and Bibliography

Second Part of a Two-Years Course.

  • The quantum behaviour. Atomic mechanics. The first principle of quantum mechanics. The uncertainty principle. The relation of wave and particle. Probability wave amplitude. Crystal diffraction. Philosophical implications.
  • The special theory of relativity. The principle of relativity. Relativistic energy and momentum. Space-time. Relativistic effect in radiation. Moving source. The Doppler effect. The moment of light. Electrodynamics in relativistic notation. The Lorenz transformation. Field energy and field momentum.
  • The general theory of relativity. The reflection from surface. Curved space. In two dimensions. In three dimensions.Einstein’s theory of gravitation.
  • Non-linear thermodynamics and the theory of physical complexity. Deterministic chaos and the theory of far-from-equlibrium stability in thermodynamic systems. From physics to biology.

Lecture notes of the course are downloadable from the lecture notes page of this site.


PROF. SERGIO GALVAN (Catholic University, Milan):
"Elements of intensional logic II (Introduzione alle logiche intensionali II)"
(Intensive Course: I Semester, January 8-11, 2008. See Calendar)

Summary and Bibliography

The course gives an introductory overview of a particular branch of formal logic: the so-called "intensional logic", as a collection of modal logic models. These models are coming into prominence in the contemporary cultural scenery. In fact, they allow a limited but highly flexible symbolic formalization of the "contentual languages" of the humanistic disciplines, philosophy and theology included, in their treatment of specific problems (ontological, epistemological, ethical, legal, etc.). This formalization of the humanistic disciplines allows a more rigorous and well-founded confrontation with the scientific disciplines and their mathematical "extensional" formalism, on all the classical topics of the interdisciplinary dialogue among them.
Moreover, in the actual, ever more global culture, where different educations, traditions, and sensibilities are contrasted — which neither communicated, nor understood if not fought each other over the centuries and the millennia — an adequate formalization of such different approaches to the same problems becomes essential. These different approaches to the same legal, ethical, ontological and religious problems lead indeed the existence of individuals and societies. A comparison based on different but definite because axiomatic principles, can emphasize the common features, without negating or hiding the differences. On this basis, an agreement also minimal on specific and well defined topics, becomes always possible wherever it is feasible.
This course is promoted and supported within the STOQ Project. The attendance at this course is strongly recommended also as propaedeutic to Professor Cocchiarella's course on formal ontology.
The course is given in Italian.


S. GALVAN: Logiche intensionali. Sistemi proposizionali di logica modale, deontica, epistemica, Franco Angeli, Milano, 1991 (exp. ch. 2, pp. 71-119)

Other texts useful for the course are downloadable from the lecture notes page of this site.


†PROF. PIETRO GIUSTINI (Pontifical Lateran University)
«Elements of Calculus II (Istituzioni di Matematica II)»

Summary and Bibliography

Mathematical Analysis: theory, history and philosophy

Second Part of a Two-Year Course. The course is an introduction to modern calculus for students of philosophy and theology. This introduction is inserted in the historical context of the modern calculus that has its roots in the Greek mathematics. Finally, the students will also introduced to the modern set theoretical foundations of calculus.

The course this year cannot be given because of the sudden death of Prof. Pietro Giustini.


50583 PROF. LEONARDO FOGASSI (Department of Neuroscience, Division of Human Physiology, University of Parma, Italy)

«The neurophysiological basis of intentional behavior (Basi neurofisiologiche del comportamento intenzionale)»

Summary and Bibliography


Faculty of Theology
STOQ Courses 2007/8

1. Fundamental Course

PROF. PIERO CODA, Pontifical Lateran University.
«Monotheism and Trinity. I». Under-graduate Course (I Semester)

Summary and Bibliography
First Part of a Two-Year Course. The course deepens the relationship between the religious assert about the existence of one only God, and the Christian assert about the ex-istence of “One God in Three Persons”. Particular attention is given on the relationship between Monotheism and the rational knowledge of God in metaphysics, versus the modern atheistic philosophies, overall those using the modern natural sciences as a sup-port of this atheistic belief.


Faculty of Canonic Law
STOQ Courses 2007-8

1. Graduate Course

  • Since this academic year STOQ estends itself also to the Faculty of Canon Law. In fact, a new graduate course starts in the Faculty of Canonic Law: “Elements of Deontic Logic”.

PROF. GIANFRANCO BASTI, Pontifical Lateran University.
«Elements of Deontic Logic». Graduate Course (II Semester)


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