The essay, based also on unpublished writings, analytically reconstructs the Italian debate concerning the problem of historical epistemology and of the different relationships that can be established between epistemological reflection and the history of science. We start from awareness, à la Lakatos, that a “history of science without philosophy of science is blind, while a philosophy of science without the history of science is empty”. However, during the twentieth century Italian different theoretical positions emerged. Giulio Preti began by underlining how (...) the history of science should be understood as the history of scientific thought. This position was close to that expressed by Giovanni Gentile for whom the history of science had to be reduced to the history of philosophy. Against this neo-realist claim, an epistemologist like Ludovico Geymonat reacted by underlining how science has its own history as a science. The critical debate between Preti and Geymonat has finally led the first to underline how the history of science must then be articulated in different conceptual traditions, while the latter ended up sharing the need to study the history of science as a history of scientific thought. (shrink)
TGiulio Preti, born in Pavia (Italy) in 1911 and dead in Djerba (Tunisia) in 1972, represents one of the most subtle Italian thinkers of the latter half of the twentieth century. After graduating in 1933 discussing a thesis about The Husserl’s historical significance, he connected more and more to the Antonio Banfi’s lesson of critical rationalism and he elected him as his master. Starting from Banfi’s The principles of a reason theory (1927), Preti studied in depth the program of historization (...) of the Kantian transcendental both in books such as Idealism and positivism (1942), and in Praxis and empiricism (1957), in Rhetoric and logic (1968), and then in his numerous essay studies, later collected in fundamental posthumous volumes, Philosophical essays (1976, 2 vol.). Preti’s decisive problem is the following question: how is it possible to historicize human knowledge without a relativization? According to Preti, in order to answer this question, it is necessary to acknowledge the objectivity of scientific knowledge. The objective knowledge mustn’t be confused with an absolute knowledge or, least of all, with a subjective, or toutcourt relative, knowledge. Therefore it is necessary to avoid either opposite poles, but specular, in which the different epistemologicaltraditions of the last century are, on the contrary, stopped. In Preti’s opinion, the objectivity of knowledge arises from the eidetic, linguistic and operative structures, within the limits of which develops a determinate form of human scientific knowledge. In other words: every scientific knowledge, structured into a particularscientific theory and relating to a particular technological heritage, consists of a precise theoretical-practical horizon, that determines, with Husserl’s words, a specific “ontological region”, or, with Bachelard’s words, a specific “ontogenesis”. So Preti recovers the heuristic rule of the Kant’s transcendental reason. Nevertheless, unlike Kant, Preti believes the aprioristic structures of our ideas always have a conventional and historical foundation. In this way, the Kantian a priori changes into an historical and relativistic a priori. Certainly in Kant’s opinion an historical and relativistic a priori would have looked like a “round-square”, an authentic contradiction, a pure logical impossibility. According to Preti, on the contrary, this paradoxical aspect is the true distinctive feature of scientificknowledge objectivity, which has no more any eternal or absolute value, but is always built by men born to die and is always bound to determinate historical forms of civilization. Starting from these assumptions, Preti builds, in this way, a research programme on the possibility to individualize a form of “critic ontologism”, which hasn’t any more connection with the claims and the traditional metaphysical structures of the “Being qua Being”. On the contrary, Preti thinks the only “being” we can rationally talk about is the one constituted within the different cognitive ambits. Philosophy then must be able to develop a “meta-reflection” on different knowledge elaborated by single sciences. According to Preti, in fact, philosophy is the formality of human culture, it is, in other words, a form of self-reflection by the human culture about itself. Therefore philosophy has no more any privileged subject, but it must be always able to reflect, with great theoretical humility, on the different cognitive forms, in order to study languages, structures, methods, extension and limits of the human knowledge. In this way Preti’s “critic ontologism” is a kind of historical-objective transcendentalism, able to study the different configurations of the technical-scientific heritage produced by mankind during his history. (shrink)
Secondo Klemperer la lingua pensa per noi. Ma anche le istituzioni pensano per noi. Col risultato che le prassi determinano spesso un pensiero diffuso che viene condiviso e fatto proprio senza rendersene conto. Quale pensiero ci comunica l’organizzazione attuale della prassi didattica delle scuole italiane? La relazione risponde a questa domanda mostrando come occorre rendersi consapevoli del preciso significato di tutte queste prassi didattiche.
According Klemperer language thinks for us. But also the institutions think for us. With the result that the practices often determine a common thought that is shared and made their own without realizing it. What thought communicates the current organization of the teaching practice of the Italian schools? The report answers this question by showing how users should be aware of the precise meaning of these educational practices.
Nella sua straordinaria opera scientifica, Franco Selleri si è sempre opposto alla rinuncia alla comprensione della struttura della realtà e della natura degli oggetti fisici, che egli considera come l’elemento caratterizzante delle principali teorie della fisica del Novecento e che è stata stigmatizzata da Karl Popper come tesi della “fine della strada in fisica”. Sin dalla fine degli anni ’60, egli ha sviluppato quella riflessione critica nei confronti delle teorie fondamentali della fisica moderna, in particolar modo della teoria delle particelle (...) elementari e della meccanica quantistica, e in un secondo tempo delle teorie relativistiche, che contraddistingue il suo programma di ricerca. Nel corso della sua intensa e infaticabile attività scientifica, Selleri è entrato in proficuo contatto con molti grandi fisici e filosofi della scienza, instaurando un intenso dialogo critico con Louis de Broglie, John Bell e Karl Popper. Le sue originali e non convenzionali ricerche lo hanno portato a risultati significativi non solo nell’ambito dei fondamenti della fisica, ma anche della storia e della filosofia della fisica. Per questo abbiamo voluto dedicare un numero speciale di Isonomia al nostro impareggiabile amico e collega, sia per la sua passione instancabile e la sua profonda conoscenza dei fondamenti formali, concettuali e filosofici delle teorie della fisica contemporanea, sia e forse ancor più come maestro di una prospettiva perennemente critica che egli ha sempre seguito e proposto con particolare rigore ed estrema determinazione. (shrink)