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Profile: Mauro Dorato
Profile: Mauro Dorato (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)
  1. Mauro Dorato, Presentism and the Experience of Time.
    Presentists have typically argued that the Block View is incapable of explaining our experience of time. In this paper I argue that the phenomenology of our experience of time is, on the contrary, against presentism. My argument is based on a dilemma: presentists must either assume that the metaphysical present has no temporal extension, or that it is temporally extended. The former horn leads to phenomenological problems. The latter renders presentism metaphysically incoherent, unless one posits a discrete present that, however, (...)
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  2. Mauro Dorato, THE NATURALNESS OF THE NATURALISTIC FALLACY AND THE ETHICS OF NANOTECHNOLOGY.
    In the first part of this paper, I try to clear the ground from frequent misconceptions about the relationship between fact and value by examining some uses of the adjective “natural” in ethical controversies. Such uses bear evidence to our “natural” tendency to regard nature (considered in a descriptive sense, as the complex of physical and biological regularities) as the source of ethical norms. I then try to account for the origin of this tendency by offering three related explanations, the (...)
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  3. Mauro Dorato (forthcoming). Dynamical Versus Structural Explanations in Scientific Revolutions. Synthese.
    By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence (...)
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  4. Mauro Dorato (forthcoming). How to Combine and Not to Combine Physics and Metaphysics. In Dennis Dieks & Vassili Karakostas (eds.), Proceedings of the EPSA 2011.
    In this paper I will argue that if physics is to become a coherent metaphysics of nature it needs an “interpretation”. As I understand it, an interpretation of a physical theory amounts to offering (1) a precise formulation of its ontological claims and (2) a clear account of how such claims are related to the world of our experience. Notably, metaphysics enters importantly in both tasks: in (1), because interpreting our best physical theories requires going beyond a merely instrumentalist view (...)
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  5. Mauro Dorato & Federico Laudisa (forthcoming). Realism and Instrumentalism About the Wave Function. How Should We Choose? In Shao Gan (ed.), Protective Measurements and Quantum Reality: Toward a New Understanding of Quantum Mechanics. CUP.
    The main claim of the paper is that one can be ‘realist’ (in some sense) about quantum mechanics without requiring any form of realism about the wave function. We begin by discussing various forms of realism about the wave function, namely Albert’s configuration-space realism, Dürr Zanghi and Goldstein’s nomological realism about Ψ, Esfeld’s dispositional reading of Ψ Pusey Barrett and Rudolph’s realism about the quantum state. By discussing the articulation of these four positions, and their interrelation, we conclude that instrumentalism (...)
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  6. Mauro Dorato (2013). Che Cos'è Il Tempo?: Einstein, Gödel E l'Esperienza Comune. Carocci.
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  7. Mauro Dorato & Matteo Morganti (2013). Grades of Individuality. A Pluralistic View of Identity in Quantum Mechanics and in the Sciences. Philosophical Studies 163 (3):591-610.
    This paper offers a critical assessment of the current state of the debate about the identity and individuality of material objects. Its main aim, in particular, is to show that, in a sense to be carefully specified, the opposition between the Leibnizian ‘reductionist’ tradition, based on discernibility, and the sort of ‘primitivism’ that denies that facts of identity and individuality must be analysable has become outdated. In particular, it is argued that—contrary to a widespread consensus—‘naturalised’ metaphysics supports both the acceptability (...)
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  8. Mauro Dorato (2012). How to Combine and Not to Combine Physics and Metaphysics.
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  9. Mauro Dorato (2012). Mathematical Biology and the Existence of Biological Laws. In D. Dieks, S. Hartmann, T. Uebel & M. Weber (eds.), Probabilities, Laws and Structure. Springer.
    An influential position in the philosophy of biology claims that there are no biological laws, since any apparently biological generalization is either too accidental, fact-like or contingent to be named a law, or is simply reducible to physical laws that regulate electrical and chemical interactions taking place between merely physical systems. In the following I will stress a neglected aspect of the debate that emerges directly from the growing importance of mathematical models of biological phenomena. My main aim is to (...)
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  10. Mauro Dorato (2012). Presentism/Eternalism and Endurantism/Perdurantism: Why the Unsubstantiality of the First Debate Implies That of the Second. Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):25-41.
    The main claim that I want to defend in this paper is that the there are logical equivalences between eternalism and perdurantism on the one hand and presentism and endurantism on the other. By “logical equivalence” I mean that one position is entailed and entails the other. As a consequence of this equivalence, it becomes important to inquire into the question whether the dispute between endurantists and perdurantists is authentic, given that Savitt (2006) Dolev (2006) and Dorato (2006) have cast (...)
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  11. Mauro Dorato (2012). The Natural Ambiguity of the Notion of "Natural", and How to Overcome It. Epistemologia 35:71-87.
    In this paper I will explore the ramification ofthe distinction between fact and values in order to show that human values enter in various ways in both science and (nano)technologies without violating Humes factlvalue distinction. Among the nanotechnologies, I will discuss the case study provided by the use of microchips implanted under our skin: though they do not obviously overcome the limits of the natura! laws (intended in the descriptive sense), their application might in principie jeopardize our ethical principles in (...)
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  12. Mauro Dorato & Angelo Cei (2012). Preface Bridging a Gulf (... Or Perhaps Two!). European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):4-13.
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  13. Mauro Dorato (2011). The Alexandroff Present and Minkowski Spacetime: Why It Cannot Do What It has Been Asked to Do1. In. In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. 379--394.
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  14. Mauro Dorato (2011). The Alexandroff Resent and Minkowski Pacetime: Ps. In Dennis Dieks, Wenceslao Gonzalo, Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann & Marcel Weber (eds.), Explanation, Prediction, and Confirmation. Springer. 2--379.
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  15. Mauro Dorato (2011). TRUTH, LAWS AND THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE. Manuscrito 34 (1):185-204.
    In this paper I analyze the difficult question of the truth of mature scientific theories by tackling the problem of the truth of laws. After introducing the main philosophical positions in the field of scientific realism, I discuss and then counter the two main arguments against realism, namely the pessimistic metainduction and the abstract and idealized character of scientific laws. I conclude by defending the view that well-confirmed physical theories are true only relatively to certain values of the variables that (...)
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  16. Mauro Dorato & Laura Felline (2011). Scientific Explanation and Scientific Structuralism. In Alisa Bokulich & Peter Bokulich (eds.), Scientific Structuralism, Boston Studies in the Philosophy of science. Springer. 161--176.
    In this paper we argue that quantum mechanics provides a genuine kind of structural explanations of quantum phenomena. Since structural explanations only rely on the formal properties of the theory, they have the advantage of being independent of interpretative questions. As such, they can be used to claim that, even in the current absence of one agreed-upon interpretation, quantum mechanics is capable of providing satisfactory explanations of physical phenomena. While our proposal clearly cannot be taken to solve all interpretive issues (...)
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  17. Mauro Dorato (2010). On Various Senses of “Conventional” and Their Interrelation in the Philosophy of Physics: Simultaneity as a Case Study. In. In Thomas Uebel, Stephan Hartmann, Wenceslao Gonzalez, Marcel Weber, Dennis Dieks & Friedrich Stadler (eds.), The Present Situation in the Philosophy of Science. Springer. 335--349.
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  18. Mauro Dorato, Physics and Metaphysics: Interaction or Autonomy?
    In this paper it is argued that if physics is to become a coherent metaphysics of nature, it needs an interpretation, namely (i) a clear formulation of its ontological/metaphysical claims and (ii) and a precise understanding of how such claims are related to the world of our experience, which is the most important reservoir of traditional, merely aprioristic metaphysical speculations. Such speculations − especially if conducted in full autonomy from physics, or imposed upon it “from the outside” − risk to (...)
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  19. Mauro Dorato, Should We Represent the Present in Minkowski Spacetime?
    In recent times, there have been notable attempts to introduce an objective present in Minkowski spacetime, a structure that, however, should also be capable to explain some aspects of our experience of time. I claim that the “interactive present” introduced by Arthur and Savitt for such purposes is inadequate, since it turns out to be neither a physically relevant property nor a good explanans of our temporal experience. In its conclusive part, and after having proposed a more adequate model for (...)
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  20. Mauro Dorato & Michael Esfeld (2010). GRW as an Ontology of Dispositions. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 41 (1):41-49.
    The paper argues that the formulation of quantum mechanics proposed by Ghirardi, Rimini and Weber (GRW) is a serious candidate for being a fundamental physical theory and explores its ontological commitments from this perspective. In particular, we propose to conceive of spatial superpositions of non-massless microsystems as dispositions or powers, more precisely propensities, to generate spontaneous localizations. We set out five reasons for this view, namely that (1) it provides for a clear sense in which quantum systems in entangled states (...)
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  21. Mauro Dorato & Laura Felline (2010). Structural Explanations in Minkowski Spacetime: Which Account of Models? In V. Petkov (ed.), Space, Time, and Spacetime. Springer. 193-207.
    In this paper we argue that structural explanations are an effective way of explaining well known relativistic phenomena like length contraction and time dilation, and then try to understand how this can be possible by looking at the literature on scientific models. In particular, we ask whether and how a model like that provided by Minkowski spacetime can be said to represent the physical world, in such a way that it can successfully explain physical phenomena structurally. We conclude by claiming (...)
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  22. Antigone M. Nounou, Mauro Dorato, Sebastian Lutz, Stephan Hartmann, Talal A. Debs & Michael L. G. Redhead (2010). A New Perspective on Objectivity and Conventionalism. Metascience 19 (1):3-27.
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  23. Mauricio Suarez, Mauro Dorato & Miklos Redei (eds.) (2010). EPSA Philosophical Issues in the Sciences. Springer.
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  24. Mauro Dorato (2009). Dalla freccia di lucrezio all'ascensore di Einstein: Alcune considerazioni sul ruolo degli esperimenti mentali nella scienza. Rivista di Estetica 49 (42):21-37.
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  25. Mauro Dorato, Peirce's “Method of Tenacity” and the “Method of Science”: The Consistency of Pragmatism and Naturalism.
    In 1877 Peirce distinguished four different methods of “fixating our beliefs”, among which I here concentrate on what could be called the “method of tenacity” and the “method of science”. I then use these distinctions to argue that despite their apparent conflict, pragmatism, relying on the method of tenacity, and naturalism, relying on the method of science, can and should coexist, both in science and in metaphysics.
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  26. Mauro Dorato (2008). A New Role For Philosophy In Scientific Revolutions. Metascience 17 (1):61-64.
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  27. Mauro Dorato (2008). Putnam on Time and Special Relativity: A Long Journey From Ontology to Ethics. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 4 (2):51-70.
  28. Mauro Dorato (2007). Cosa C'entra l'Anima Con Gli Atomi?: Introduzione Alla Filosofia Della Scienza. Laterza.
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  29. Mauro Dorato, Is Structural Spacetime Realism Relationism in Disguise? The Supererogatory Nature of the Substantivalism/Relationism Debate.
    The paper defends two claims;(1) Viewed from the perspective of the substantivalism/relationism debate, structural spacetime realism (i.e., the view that spacetime is exemplified structure) is a form of relationism; (2) However, if we managed to reinforce Rynasiewicz’s (1996) point that the general theory of relativity makes the substantivalism/relationism dispute “outdated”, the re-elaboration of Stein’s 1967 version of structural spacetime realism to be proposed here proves to be a good, antimetaphysical solution to the problem of the ontological status of spacetime.
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  30. Mauro Dorato (2007). Relativity Theory Between Structural and Dynamical Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):95 – 102.
    (2007). Relativity Theory between Structural and Dynamical Explanations. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science: Vol. 21, No. 1, pp. 95-102.
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  31. Mauro Dorato (2007). Tempo della mente e tempo della materia. La natura del presente e la teoria della relatività. Quaestio 7 (1):489-503.
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  32. Mauro Dorato (2006). Absolute Becoming, Relational Becoming and the Arrow of Time: Some Non-Conventional Remarks on the Relationship Between Physics and Metaphysics. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 37 (3):559-576.
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  33. Mauro Dorato, Properties and Dispositions: Some Metaphysical Remarks on Quantum Ontology.
    After some suggestions about how to clarify the confused metaphysical distinctions between dispositional and non-dispositional or categorical properties, I review some of the main interpretations of QM in order to show that – with the relevant exception of Bohm’s minimalist interpretation – quantum ontology is irreducibly dispositional. Such an irreducible character of dispositions must be explained differently in different interpretations, but the reducibility of the contextual properties in the case of Bohmian mechanics is guaranteed by the fact that the positions (...)
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  34. Mauro Dorato, Absolute Becoming, Relational Becoming, and the Arrow of Time.
    My first and main claim is that physics cannot provide empirical evidence for the objectivity (mind-independence) of absolute becoming, for the simple reason that it must presuppose it, at least to the extent that classical (i.e., non-quantum) spacetime theories presuppose an ontology of events. However, the fact that a theory of absolute becoming must be situated in the a priori realm of metaphysics does not make becoming completely irrelevant for physics, since my second claim will consist in showing that relational (...)
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  35. Mauro Dorato, The Irrelevance of the Presentist/Eternalist Debate for the Ontology of Minkowski Spacetime.
    In this paper I argue that the debate between the so-called “presentists” – according to whom only the present is real – and the “eternalists”, according to whom past present and future are equally real, has no ontological significance. In particular, once we carefully distinguish between a tensed and a tenseless sense of existence, it is difficult to find a single ontological claim on which the two parties could disagree. Since the choice of using a tense or a tenseless language (...)
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  36. Mauro Dorato (2005). Why Are (Most) Laws of Nature Mathematical? In Jan Faye, Paul Needham, Uwe Scheffler & Max Urchs (eds.), Nature's Principles. Springer. 55--75.
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  37. Mauro Dorato (2004). Epistemic and Nonepistemic Values in Science. In Peter K. Machamer & Gereon Wolters (eds.), Science, Values, and Objectivity. University of Pittsburgh Press. 52--77.
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  38. Mauro Dorato, Dispositions, Relational Properties and the Quantum World.
    In this paper I examine the role of dispositional properties in the most frequently discussed interpretations of non-relativistic quantum mechanics. After offering some motivation for this project, I briefly characterize the distinction between non-dispositional and dispositional properties in the context of quantum mechanics by suggesting a necessary condition for dispositionality – namely contextuality – and, consequently, a sufficient condition for non-dispositionality, namely non-contextuality. Having made sure that the distinction is conceptually sound, I then analyze the plausibility of the widespread, monistic (...)
     
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  39. Mauro Dorato (2002). Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic.
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  40. Mauro Dorato (2002). Determinism, Chance, and Freedom. In Harald Atmanspacher & Robert C. Bishop (eds.), Between Chance and Choice: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Determinism. Thorverton UK: Imprint Academic. 321--38.
    After a brief but necessary characterization of the notion of determinism, I discuss and critically evaluate four views on the relationship between determinism and free will by taking into account both (i) what matters most to us in terms of a free will worth-wanting and (ii) which capacities can be legitimately attributed to human beings without contradicting what we currently know from natural sciences. The main point of the paper is to argue that the libertarian faces a dilemma: on the (...)
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  41. Mauro Dorato, Kant, Goedel and Relativity.
    Since the onset of logical positivism, the general wisdom of the philosophy of science has it that the kantian philosophy of (space and) time has been superseded by the theory of relativity, in the same sense in which the latter has replaced Newton’s theory of absolute space and time. On the wake of Cassirer and Gödel, in this paper I raise doubts on this commonplace by suggesting some conditions that are necessary to defend the ideality of time in the sense (...)
     
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  42. Mauro Dorato (2002). On Becoming, Cosmic Time and Rotating Universes. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:253-.
    In the literature on the compatibility between the time of our experience and the time of physics, the special theory of relativity has enjoyed central stage. By bringing into the discussion the general theory of relativity, I suggest a new analysis of the misunderstood notion of becoming, developed from hints in Gödel’s published and unpublished arguments for the ideality of time. I claim that recent endorsements of such arguments, based on Gödel’s own “rotating” solution to Einstein’s field equation, fail: once (...)
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  43. Mauro Dorato, Review of Time and the Metaphysics of Relativity. [REVIEW]
    In his recent book Time and the Metaphysics of Relativity, William Lane Craig uses the concept of time to try to reconstruct strong conceptual links between theology, metaphysics and physics, three vertices of a triangle that until the 17th century were much less separated than they are today. In this review, I present and critically discuss the main theses of the book.
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  44. Giovanni Boniolo & Mauro Dorato (eds.) (2001). Leggi di natura: Analisi storico-critica di un concetto. McGraw-Hill.
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  45. Mauro Dorato (2000). Becoming and the Arrow of Causation. Philosophy of Science 67 (3):534.
    The conceptual relation between objective becoming and the direction of time is explored by discussing an ontologically asymmetric notion of causation. It is claimed that such a notion, in terms of which Stein defined objective becoming in Minkowski spacetime, has either a purely metaphysical status or is reducible to physical concepts. In the former case, it is adequate for Stein's purpose but irrelevant to physical theories. In the latter, the causal asymmetry can be related to irreversible physical processes only in (...)
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  46. Mauro Dorato (2000). Facts, Events, Things and the Ontology of Physics. Poznan Studies in the Philosophy of the Sciences and the Humanities 76:343-364.
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  47. Mauro Dorato (2000). Substantivalism, Relationism, and Structural Spacetime Realism. Foundations of Physics 30 (10):1605-1628.
    Debates about the ontological implications of the general theory of relativity have long oscillated between spacetime substantivalism and relationism. I evaluate such debates by claiming that we need a third option, which I refer to as “structural spacetime realism.” Such a tertium quid sides with the relationists in defending the relational nature of the spacetime structure, but joins the substantivalists in arguing that spacetime exists, at least in part, independently of particular physical objects and events, the degree of “independence” being (...)
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  48. Mauro Dorato (1999). Cao on Substantivalism and the Development of 20th Century Field Theories. Epistemologia 22:151-166.
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  49. Mauro Dorato (1999). Tempo e causalità mentale. Rivista di Filosofia 90 (3):417-438.
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