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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 2011/12


Thematic Area of the Year 2011/12:
Biology and Ontology of the Intelligent Life


1. Fundamental courses

50102
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.

Bibliografia:

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.

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50924 [New. It includes 50630. See below]
GIANFRANCO BASTI, PUL. Graduate Course (I Semester):
«Questions of Logic and Formal Ontology».

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

Bibliography:

  • 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: www.formalontology.it

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50929 [New. It includes 50583. See below]
PROF. LEONARDO FOGASSI (Dept. of Human Physiology, University of Parma) & PROF. GIANFRANCO BASTI, PUL.
Graduate Course (II Semester): «Questions of Epistemology and Philosophy of Science II: Neurophysiology and Ontology of Mind»

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.

Bibliography:

  • 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

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50930
PROF. GIORGIO PALUMBO, Pontifical Lateran University.
Graduate Course (II Semester): «Questions of History of Scientific Thought»

Summary and Bibliography
Content

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2. INTENSIVE COURSES


50650 [Not Given in this Academic Year]
PROF. ROBERTO MESSI, Dept. of Physics, II State University of Rome "Tor Vergata".
Gradute Intensive Course (I Semester): "Elements of Physical Ecology"

Summary and Bibliography

The course illustrates the main environmental problems, starting from the fundamental laws of Physics (mechanics, dynamics and fluid dynamics, electromagnetism, linear and non-linear thermodynamics, complex system theory):

  • 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.
  • The system sun-earth and the global climate.
  • The anthropic energetic systems: energy and fossil fuels (thermal machines, inner combustion engines), electricity production, renewable sources of energy, fission and fusion nuclear energy.
  • Radioactivity and radio-protection. Ionizing radiactions, environmental radioactivity, medical and industrial radioisotopes, nuclear waste of nuclear plants.
  • Electromagnetic fields in the environment: low and high sources, biological effects.
  • The noise: human perception and noise criteria, active control of sound.

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50630
"Questions of Logic II: Elements of Intensional Logic" [Now inserted within 50924]

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.

Bibliography:

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.

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50583
«The neurophysiological basis of intentional behavior» [Now inserted within 50929]

Summary and Bibliography
Bibliography

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