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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)



A New Anthropology for the Third Millennium

  • This Research Program aims at sketching the development lines of an anthropology for the third millennium. Namely, an anthropology able to integrate:
    • The contents of the Western Philosophical and Religious Tradition on humanity — particularly the three great Biblical Traditions, Hebrew, Christian and Islamic;
    • With the contents of the modern natural sciences on man — particularly, the neurosciences and the cognitive sciences.
  • The specific research consists in deepening what rationally means for the contemporary religious man his belief in the existence of a spiritual component of the human psyche, as far as it is related with the neurological and socio-cultural components of the same psyche.
  • We will examine this point also as to the main dimensions of this spiritual component of the human psyche. Namely:
  1. The freedom of choice of each person, as far as it is the faculty of defining and chosing the appropriate means - and/or the intermediare goals -for effectively reaching the ultimate goals each individual chose as able «to give a sense» to his existence.
  2. The personal creativity of his intelligence, i.e. the skill of each person of exerting not only acts of (passive) thought (reasoning on thought contents elaborated elsewhere, in the cultural environment), but also of exerting acts of (active) thinking. That is, the individual capability of elaborating new thought contents, using the cultural constraints only as initial or boundary conditions for a process of (fast) convergence to new solutions, absolutely unpredictable from such conditions (i.e., a sort of self-organization process in the cognitive realm).   
  3. The relationship between mind and body. As to this point, we want to deepen particularly the relevance of the last results of the contemporary cognitive sciences and neurosciences to support the dual solution of the so-called mind-body problem. That is, the dual ontology of human person, transforming the so-called «mind-body» relationship, into the more appropriate form-matter relationship, of which the living, self-organizing human body, i.e., the concrete human person, is the result. This ontology is, not only able to be in continuity with the results of the cognitive neurosciences, based on the complementarity between information and energy in each biological and cognitive process, but it is also the only able to preserve the psychophysical unity of each person, as it is typical of the true Christian anthropology, (against monist and dualist anthropologies).
  4. The unavoidable interpersonal component of all the precedent dimensions, particularly as characteristic of the human intentionality…

The Research Group at the Lateran

  • Since the STOQ II Project a Research Group on the Main Theme of the STOQ Research has been consituted by the Faculty of Philosophy of the Pontifical Lateran University.
  • Some of the results of the activity of the Research Group during the three years of the STOQ II Project can be reviewed in a special part of the download section of this site, and will be collected in a pubblication already in press. More...

International Collaborations

  • Though all the Philosophy Faculty Staff at PUL is engaged in this research, some of the Staff Members, are involving in it also their personal collaborations with other Professors and Researchers developing related studies, within their International Institutions.


  1. The «Neurophysiology Lab» of the Biology Dept. of Berkeley University (USA), in the person of its Director, Prof. W. J. Freeman, for the neurophysiology and cognitive science components of the research.
    Contact person at the Lateran: Prof. Gianfranco Basti, Full Professor of Philosophy of Nature and of Science.
  2. The «World Phenomenology Institute», by the Faculty of Philosophy of the Harvard University, in Boston (Massachusetts) and Hanover (New Hampshire, USA), in the person of its Founder and President Prof. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka, for the ontological component of the research.
    Contact person at the Lateran: Prof. Angela Ales-Bello, Full Professor of History of Contemporary Philosophy.
  3. The «Centre Veritatis Splendor», of the University of Bologna, in the person of Prof. Vittorio Possenti, Emeritus at the University of Venice, for the metaphysical component of the research.
    Contact person at the Lateran: Prof. Antonio Livi, Dean of the Faculty and Professor of Metaphysics.
  4. Another possible research partnership, from the neurophysiology and cognitive science side, is with the «Dept. of Neuroscience, Section of Physiology» of the University of Parma, in the persons of its Director, Prof. Giacomo Rizzolatti, and of Prof. Vittorio Gallese of the same Department.
    Contact person at the Lateran: Prof. Patrizia Manganaro, Professor in Charge of Philosophy of Language.
  5. Finally, Prof. Sergio Galvan (Univ. of Milan) and Prof. Nino B. Cocchiarella (Univ. of Indiana) are already involved in the STOQ Research Group through the classes they thought.

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