This book features a theoretical depiction of the Italian phenomenological tradition. It brings together the main Italian phenomenologists of the present to discuss the positions and theories of the most important Italian phenomenologists of the past. Those profiled include Antonio Banfi, Sofia Vanni Rovighi, Enzo Paci, Dino Formaggio, Giuseppe Semerari, Enzo Melandri, Paolo Bozzi, Carlo Sini, Giovanni Piana and Paolo Parrini. This collection shows not only the variety of perspectives but also the inner consistency, peculiarity and originality of the tradition. (...) Moreover, the contributors connect continental and analytical traditions, the scientific approach and existentialism. Italian phenomenology, the rise of which dates back to Antonio Banfi’s writings on Husserl in 1923, proves to be from its very beginning, a relational philosophy. It is a philosophy that is capable, precisely by means of its method, of developing actual forms of communication and exchange among the different sciences. This book will provide graduate students and researchers with unique insights into the Italian school of phenomenological thought. (shrink)
This Special Issue is dedicated to building a bridge between different disciplines concerned in the investigation of the qualitative dimension of experience and reality. The two main objectives of the Issue can be summarized as follows: 1) to elucidate the need for a revision of categories to account for the qualitative dimension in various disciplines (that include, for example, the cognitive sciences, neurosciences, biology, linguistics, informatics, artificial intelligence, robotics, newly emerging computer technologies) in order to develop an ontology that can (...) better account for the qualitative, dynamic and relational aspects of different domains of reality; 2) to explore the implications of the enactivist view for a relational and ecological account of the qualitative dimensions of life and cognition. (shrink)
Both the phenomenology of Husserl and the pragmatist phenomenology of James can be categorized by the formula “radical empiricism,” which is explicit in James and implicit, but no less pervasive, in Husserl. For both of them, radical empiricism is additionally conjoined with an equally radical anti-psychologism. The problem is that the two terms “radical empiricism” and “anti-psychologism” take on a radically different meaning in the two authors. This essay aims to investigate the structural differences between two perspectives that, while following (...) completely different courses, seem to share the same objective: to elaborate a philosophy which at no point moves away from the experiential plane. (shrink)
The notion of emotion in phenomenology involves the centrality of the concept of “value.” This general assumption is here articulated in three theses. The first thesis concerns the public, expressive and behavioral nature of emotion. The second thesis relates to its corporeal and material nature. The third maintains that the structure of emotion is essentially temporal. Each of these arguments converges in emphasizing the irruption of an impersonal dimension into human consciousness, and in particular into emotional consciousness. The objective of (...) this essay is to probe this sub-categorical, or inter-corporeal, dimension from the dual viewpoint of phenomenology and psychoanalysis.La notion d’émotion en phénoménologie implique la centralité du concept de « valeur ». Cette supposition est ici articulée en trois thèses. La première concerne la nature publique, expressive et comportementale de l’émotion. La seconde se rapporte à la nature corporelle et matérielle de l’émotion. La troisième soutient que la tructure de l’émotion est essentiellement temporelle. Ces trois arguments permettent de souligner l’irruption d’une dimension impersonnelle au sein de la conscience humaine, et en particulier dans la conscience émotionnelle. L’objectif de cet essai est de sonder cette dimension sous-catégorique, ou inter-corporelle, à partir du double point de vue de la phénoménologie et de la psychanalyse. La nozione di emozione in fenomenologia implica la centralità del concetto di “valore”. Nel presente articolo, questo assunto generale è articolato secondo tre tesi. La prima concerne l’aspetto pubblico, espressivo e comportamentale dell’emozione. La seconda ha a che fare con la sua natura corporea e materiale. La terza afferma il carattere essenzialmente temporale dell’emozione. Queste argomentazioni convergono nel tentativo di mettere in luce l’irruzione di una dimensione impersonale nella coscienza umana, e in particolare nella coscienza emozionale. L’obiettivo di questo studio è esaminare questa dimensione sub-categoriale, o inter-corporea, dal duplice punto di vista della fenomenologia e della psicoanalisi. (shrink)
The intellectual act of imposing borders to contain and delimit objects has been a constituent factor in physics since its origins, and is also fundamental for philosophical reflection. However, the characteristics of the conceptual universe thus constructed (tendency towards the ideal limit, invariance in variation, a conception of matter as residue, etc.) seem inadequate in biology. The essential characteristic of the living thing is, in fact, that of having a history: that is, of being the concrete trace of a memory. (...) Making an epistemology of the living thing (and not of the inert) means identifying new categories which, being radically antithetical to disembodied notions like that of program and information, take account of the unpredictability and creativity which time introduces. This essay aims to bring some of these fundamental categories into focus. (shrink)
The notion of quality constitutes the title of a pressing philosophical problem. The issue of the location of the qualities of experience and reality leads to thematize the “clash” between the scientific and the manifest image, which also lays at the heart of the issues of naturalism and reductionism in the philosophy of mind. I argue that a transcendental version of the enactive approach constitutes a fruitful way to address these issues, thanks to its conception of the relation between subject (...) and object as dependent co-origination. In this way, the enactive view constitutes an alternative to both the internalism and the externalism about qualities, constituting a processual and relationist framework that can be fruitfully applied to the analysis of different ontological domains. In the conclusive section, I distinguish between an ontological and a metaphysical interpretation of this view, stressing the advantages of the former. (shrink)
Computational models of affect (CMAS), in their most common form, cannot take into account the qualitative (phenomenal) dimension of affect itself. Their expressivity can be extended, thus promoting the much sought-after standardization in the most theory-neutral way, using OWL (Web Ontology Language) and machine learning techniques. OWL is an expressive formal language, as well as an established open standard, and can be used to describe the models, possibly including qualitative entities at the fundamental level. The supervised machine learning techniques allow (...) the direct learning and application of models described as OWL ontologies. Thanks to human supervision (e.g. using datasets labeled by a human user), they can take into account the qualitative dimension of affect when the models warrant it. To further promote the aforementioned standardization, the task of classifying texts according to their affective content (known in computer science as "sentiment analysis") can be recommended as a way to assess the performance of the models. It is a multifaceted task, in which usually divergent fields as philosophy, psychology and computer science meet. Moreover, since it is a very current task in computer science, there are many resources available to facilitate the development of a standard benchmark for CMAS. (shrink)
The automation of many repetitive or dangerous human activities yields numerous advantages. In order to automate a physical task that requires a finite series of sequential steps, the translation of those steps in terms of a computational procedure is often required. Even apparently menial tasks like following a cooking recipe may involve complex operations that can’t be perfectly described in formal terms. Recently, several studies have explored the possibility to model cooking recipes as a computational procedure based on a set (...) of instructions. This vision is the foundation for the construction of robotics kitchen, as Moley. These kitchen robots have shown promising results. Moley, for instance, is the very first example of a new generation of bioinspired robotics, based on the reproduction of particular movement, cooking, through artificial arms and hands. It is entirely different from the current appliances present in our domestic domain because Moley is able to manipulate ingredients and interact with kitchen equipment in order to prepare a dish autonomously. Nonetheless, they have also shown several limitations. In particular, Moley is an entirely autonomous robot in a structured environment in which it knows precisely the object position and manipulates the ingredients based on a list of instructions and a training phase made by Machine Learning. In this contribution we contend that these limitations arise from an essential mismatch between computational procedures, as originally described by Turing in his seminal 1936 paper, and recipes. Computational procedures have been originally created to observe and modify formal symbols with formal operators. Thus, they are independent from time and they are ideally executed in a closed environment, in which the computer directly produces all the relevant changes required to produce the intended result. Recipes, instead, are followed in an open environment, in which, while time goes by, changes happen independently from the cook’s intervention: the cook puts the butter on the pan, starts the fire and then waits until the butter is melted. To operate effectively in the open environment a kitchen robot must couple computational procedures with sensors, e.g a sensor which provides a time signal. These sensors are de facto oracles for the procedures and yet are required to bridge the gap from the formal to the physical world. (shrink)
Phenomenology presents itself not as an explanation or interpretation of phenomena but as a description of them. Describing experience means making its internal structure explicit, which, in phenomenology, is an eidetic structure. The method of phenomenological explication or clarification is, however, by no means univocal. This paper aims to isolate the two fundamental ways in which phenomenological description is achieved. The first refers to a phenomenology of manifestation, based on the concept of determination or datum, which is realized in the (...) phenomenological-static approach and, in particular, on the concept of extensive quality. The second refers to a phenomenology of disposition, based on the concept of tension or force – which is realized in the genetic approach as well as in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology of perception – and, in particular on the concept of intensive or forceful quality. The analysis of the difference between the two approaches allows us to introduce the crucial distinction between digital and analogue dimensions within phenomenology. (shrink)
Not only the classical cognitive pattern but also the classical phenomenological pattern gives rise to a problem concerning the qualitative dimension. This problem is essentially related to the notion of matter, conceived as residual with respect to the notion of form: the sensorial hyle is residual with respect to the intentional form; plena are residual with respect to the extension, and physical matter is also residual with respect to the broad ensemble of connections where the physical thing is inscribed. The (...) residual component which characterizes the notion of matter is simply the other side of the absolute predominance of form. This predominance gives rise to the same problem in the context of phenomenology and in philosophy of mind: the problem of the ontological status of qualitative states. This issue is a crucial one and, in order to be solved, requires a radical change of perspective. In the context of phenomenology this change depends on the concept of enactive, embodied and situated mind. This notion implies a temporal paradigm; it alludes to a dynamic, non-static pattern; that is, it alludes not to projective notions, but to notions which are agentive and, ultimately, evolutive. (shrink)
Significato stimolo o esemplare? La doppia faccia dell’olismo di Quine - This article compares Quine’s naturalized epistemology with the network models of Hesse and Kuhn. They have much in common but differ in a number of important points. In this respect, three issues are considered here: a) the epistemological role of sensible features of our experience; b) the link between external stimulus, behaviour and meaning; and, lastly, c) the connection between reductionism in epistemology and reductionism in philosophy of mind.
The phenomenological notion of Eidos traditionally implies an underlying metaphor, which we could define as spatial and which is founded in turn on the pervasiveness of the notion of representation. The description of psychic states is carried out with constant use of the notion of determination and notions associated with it: aspectuality, accessibility to perspective, viewpoint. Such a metaphor impels phenomenology to understand thought as a geographical territory whose essential component can be identified in the notion of map. Opaque notions (...) such as those of background, horizon, indistinct, latency assume a descriptive sense only in so far as they depend on clear notions such as focus, explicit, distinct, manifest. Merleau-Ponty adopts a profoundly different conception of essence, characterized by a temporal and dynamic point of view. From the epistemological point of view, Merleau-Ponty’s position ratifies the priority of the indeterminate and of the sub-categorical from which consciousness takes its starting point genetically. From the ontological point of view, the crucial notion of flesh offers a phenomenological foundation of living being in its natural frame. (shrink)
1. Premessa Alla domanda contenuta nel titolo di questo contributo tenterò di dare una risposta prendendo le mosse dalle nozioni, cruciali in filosofia della mente, di “riduzione” (o di “riduzionismo”) e di “antiriduzione” (o di “antiriduzionismo”). Mio principale tentativo sarà quello di esemplificare, in forma paradigmatica, alcuni tipi e alcune forme di riduzionismo (e, rispettivamente, di antiriduzionismo), mostrando così da un lato la non univocità teorica e, dall’altro, la non univocità...
The distinction between primary and secondary properties establishes the absolute priority, both ontological and epistemological, of quantity over quality. In between the two properties, primary and secondary, are the dispositional properties, for example fragility, malleability, rigidity, and so on. But, from an ontological point of view, what are dispositional properties? This contribution takes into consideration two possible answers to this question: the one according to which the dispositional properties are invariant in variation and another according to which they are powers. (...) The second answer is in turn subject to two different interpretations. We can consider dispositions, or powers, as integrally reducible to behavioral events, or physical. However, we can consider powers as ontologically autonomous and not-grounded. This contribution aims to investigate the latter solution, with particular reference to the apparently oxymoronic notion of physical intentionality. This notion will provide a new, dynamic, and evolutionary version of the concept of disposition and at the same time offer a new look at the distinction between primary and secondary properties. (shrink)