Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


EPISTEMOLOGY
EPISTEMOLOGIA

A.Y. Credits
2023/2024 12
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Gino Tarozzi Wednesday and Thursday after the lesson
Teaching in foreign languages
Course partially taught in a foreign language English
This course is taught partially in Italian and partially in a foreign language. Study materials can be provided in the foreign language and the final exam can be taken in the foreign language.

Assigned to the Degree Course

Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The course aims to make students understand the basic questions of the theory of knowledge of twentieth-century philosophy starting from the neo-positivist critique of the theses of metaphysics, showing how such criticism has led as a conclusion to the non-existence of philosophical principles endowed with cognitive meaning. In contrast to this widespread point of view, we will try to explain how the epistemological debate on the foundations of physics, and in particular of quantum mechanics, leads to a reopening of many philosophical and metaphysical questions considered meaningless. The lessons of the course are aimed for this reason both at those who are following a curriculum of philosophical studies and at those who wish to enrich their humanistic or scientific education with the fundamental notions of this discipline. It is a study that will require intellectual commitment, but will help to develop rigour, clarity and precision of language and thought, leading to the exploration of new and unconventional prospects of philosophical problem-solving. For this reason it is recommended to attend lessons from the beginning, actively and regularly. Those who are unable to attend can still prepare for the exam on the texts indicated, but serious application and an aptitude for self-study, analysis and abstract thinking are required.

Program

The course starts from the so-called linguistic turning point of 20th century philosophy, brought about by neo-positivism, which led to the idea that philosophy is unable to formulate its own propositions endowed with meaning, since all the main metaphysical theses they would be incapable of satisfying any criterion of empirical confirmation and for this reason the only statements endowed with meaning would be scientific ones.

Hence an apparently irremediable separation has arisen between two completely different ways of doing philosophy: one almost completely subordinated to science, of analysis and linguistic clarification of its logical structure, of its concepts and principles; the other one opposed to science, considered a form of inauthentic knowledge incapable of giving an answer, and completely insensitive, to the great philosophical questions.

The aim of the course is to highlight how the previous opposition can be overcome because based on a misunderstanding since the main metaphysical theses, suitably reformulated, can satisfy the neo-positivist criteria of cognitive meaning.

After having focused on the different formulations of such criterion, starting from the notion of verification by Schlick up to Ayer’s indirect and of Carnap’s testability, and on their concrete application to the elimination of metaphysics, examining the famous Carnapian refutations of the theses of metaphysical realism and of the conception of the Heideggerian nothingness, we will show the existence of  meaningful formulations of  the principle of reality, based on the shifting of this notion from the object to its predictable properties, the concepts of causality, the mind-body problem and the concept of nothingness, once that the latter is no longer understood as Hegelian or Heideggerian metaphysical absolute nothing, but as a Bergsonian and Carnapian relative nothing.

The course consists of two parts, the first of which is a critique of metaphysics in both science and philosophy by neo-positivist epistemology starting from the operationalist conception of scientific concepts and the verificationist conception of the meaning of philosophical principles, the second discuss the epistemological revolution produced from quantum theory which led to the reopening of all major philosophical disputes.

Bridging Courses

There are no strict pre-requisites for this course.

Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

Applying knowledge and understanding:

After the course students should be able to discuss and evaluate various claims and arguments both in the specialistic debate and in the general contemporary cultural debate. 

Making judgements:

After the course students should be able to make autonomous and original judgements about the arguments in the debate. To this end discussions in the classroom will be encouraged. Originality and autonomous judgement will be part of the final evalution of the student's performance.

Communication skills:

After the course students should be able to explain and discuss the relevant topics with conceptual and linguistic exactness, and to offer efficacious  and synthetic accounts of the subject matter. To this end, verbal interaction in the classroom and a careful reading and analysis of the relevant texts will be encouraged.

Learning skills:

After the course students should be acquainted with the subject matter and the method of research enough to be able to proceed on their own  in gathering further knowledge from the literature in the field and in contiguous fields. To this end they should also improve their ability to read English texts in the field.After the course students should be able to understand and explain texts by history of logic, discuss some of the classical problems in mechanization of reasoning and philosophy of computing, use the bibliographical tools and repertories available in this field. 

Teaching Material

The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

Supporting Activities

Lectures: Lectiones Commandinianae;
 


Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment

Teaching

Classroom lectures offering general frameworks, analyses of particular topics and exercises, comments to the relevant literature. Before, during and after the lecture questions, comments and discussions by the students are encouraged. Of course personal study at home will be equally important.

Attendance

Students should attend classes regularly and actively, since the very beginning. Because of the analytic and often abstract character of the subject matter, active participation in classroom discussion will be very useful. In order to do that, and in general to follow the lectures successfully, it is strongly advised to do every day the homework suggested as preparation for the following lecture.

Course books

First Part 

M. Schlick, “Significato e verificazione”, in La struttura logica del linguaggio, a cura di A. Bonomi, Bompiani, Milano (1973); pp. 71-101

R. Carnap, “Controllabilità e significato”, in Analiticità, significanza e induzione, a cura di A. Meotti e M. Mondadori, Il Mulino, Bologna (1971); pp. 151-261

R. Carnap, “Pseudoproblemi nella filosofia”, in La costruzione logica del mondo, a cura di E. Severino, Fabbri Editori, Milano (1966); pp. 381-423

G. Tarozzi, “Carnap e il problema del significato delle proposizioni filosofiche”, Mem. Acc. Naz. Sci. Lett. Arti Modena , VII, VIII (1993); pp. 73-80

R. Carnap, “Il superamento della metafisica mediante l’analisi logica del linguaggio”, in Il neoempirismo, a cura di A. Pasquinelli, UTET, Torino, 1969; pp. 504-532

G. Tarozzi, "Science, Metaphysics and Meaningful Philosophical Principles ", Epistemologia,11 (1988); pp. 97-104 and 229-23

G. Tarozzi, "Principi filosofici e principi della fisica. La riapertura delle controversie metafisiche nel dibattito sui fondamenti della meccanica quantistica", in, in M. Pera, G. Tarozzi, M. Fleischmann, E. Del Giudice, Lezioni in memoria di Giuliano Preparata, Bibliopolis, Napoli (2006); pp. 21-39

G. Tarozzi, “Logical Positivism, Quantum Mechanics and the Meaning of Philosophical Principles”, in The Controversial Relations between Science and Philosophy, ed. by G. Auletta, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City (2006); pp. 129-166

G. Tarozzi, “Fisica, metafisica e criteri di conferma empirici, Giornale di fisica, vol. 50, p. 51-61 (2009)

P. Graziani, G. Tarozzi, “I principi metafisici sono veramente privi di significato?” in Un 'austriaco' in Italia. Festschrift in onore del professor Dario Antiseri, a cura di R. De Mucci, K. Leube Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino (2011); pp. 637-651

Seconda parte divided into different issues, only one of which must be treated in detail

Realism vs. antirealism

G. Tarozzi, "Realism as a Meaningful Philosophical Hypothesis", Mem. Acc. Sci. Bologna VII, XIII, 89-98 (1980)

G. Tarozzi, "Realisme d'Einstein et mècanique quantique: un cas de contradiction entre une théorie physique et un hypothèse philosophique clairement définie", Revue de Synthèse 101-102, 125-158 (1981)

G. Tarozzi, "On the Essential Role of the Realist Hypothesis in All Derivations of E.P.R.-type Paradoxes", Epistemologia IV,  407-422 (1981)

G. Tarozzi, "Local Realism and Bell's Theorem Without the Hidden Variable Hypothesis", Mem. Acc. Sci. Torino 108 , 119-124 (1981)

F. Selleri, G. Tarozzi, "A Probabilistic Generalisation of the Concept of Physical Reality", , Speculations in Science and Technology 6, 55-64 (1983)

G. Tarozzi, "Physical Reality: from the Metaphysical Notion to its Empirical Definition", in The Concept of Physical Reality , Zacheropoulos, Atene (1983), pp. 197-215

V. Fano, G. Tarozzi, "Realismo empirico e meccanica quantistica", in Ancora sul realismo , ed. by G. Giuliani, University of Pavia and Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Pavia (1995); pp. 144-168

M. Alai, G. Auletta, “Einstein's Local Realism and the Realistic Interpretation of the Wave Function” in Albert Einstein et Hermann Weyl (1955-2005). Questions épistémologiques Ouvertes. p. 33-49, Editions Rue d'Ulm, ISBN: 8861870236 (2009)

Mind-body Relation 

G. Tarozzi, "The Principle of Empiricism and Quantum Theory", Epistemologia III, 13-28 (1980)

G. Tarozzi, "The Theory of Observations, Wigner Paradox and the Mind-Body Problem", Epistemologia IV , 37-52 (1981)

G. Tarozzi, “Quantum Measurements and Macrophysical Reality: Epistemological Implications of a Proposed Paradox", Foundations of Physics 26 , 907-917 (1996)

G. Tarozzi, I. Tassani, "The Role of Conscioussnes in the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics",special issue of Teorie e Modelli, pp.45-63 (2001)

A.Afriat, "Stati mentali agenti istantaneamente a grande distanza su stati fisici. Un ulteriore paradosso quantistico per la relazione mente-materia", Teorie e Modelli, special issue, pp.45-63 (2005)

C. Calosi, G.Tarozzi,  “Is the Mind a Quantum Computer?” with, Epistemologia , XXXVI, pp. 194-206 (2013)

Causality and Chance 

G.Tarozzi, "Probability and Determinism in Quantum Theory", in Probability in the Sciences, ed. by E. Agazzi, Kluwer, Dordrecht (1988), pp. 237-259

G. Tarozzi, "On the Different Forms of Quantum Acausality", in The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics , ed. by C. Garola e A. Rossi, Kluwer, Dordrecht (1995); pp.435-447

G. Filippini, G.Tarozzi, "Il rifiuto della causalità nella filosofia della fisica prequantistica", Mem. Acc. Naz. Sci. Lett. Arti, Modena , VII, XI, 97-104 (1993)

G. Tarozzi, “L’utopia causale. Dal demone di Laplace alla retroazione del futuro sul passato”, in Utopie. Percorsi per immaginare il futuro, L. Mazzoli and G. Zanchini eds. Codice Edizioni, Torino; pp. 167-192 (2012)

Nothing and its Properties  

A. Afriat, G. Tarozzi, "Can Nothing Cause Nonlocal Quantum Jumps?", in Quantum Mechanics. Are There Quantum Jumps? ed. by A. Bassi et al., American Institute of Physics, Melville, New York (2006); pp. 3-7

P. Graziani, G. Tarozzi, “Physics, Metaphysics and the Reality of Nothing in Quantum Mechanics”, in Science, Metaphysics and Religion. Proceedings of the 2013 AIPS Conference, ed, by E. Agazzi, Franco Angeli, Milan (2014); p. 117-128

G. Tarozzi, Afriat, "Can Nothing Cause Nonlocal Quantum Jumps?", in Quantum Mechanics. Are There Quantum Jumps? ed. by A. Bassi et al., American Institute of Physics, Melville, New York (2006); pp. 3-7

G. Tarozzi, G.,Macchia. "No-Thing and Causality in Realistic Non-Standard Interpretations of the Quantum Mechanical Wave Function: Ex Nihilo Aliquid?", Foundations of Science,  28, pp. 159–184 (2023)

Entanglement: the whole is not the sum of the parts  

C. Calosi, V. Fano, G. Tarozzi, “Holism as an empirically meaningful metaphysical hypothesis”, , Epistemologia, vol. 35, p. 45-57 (2012)

C. Calosi, G. Tarozzi, “Parthood and Composition in Quantum Mechanics”, with C. Calosi, in Mereology and the Sciences, ed. by C. Calosi and P. Graziani, Berlin: Springer: 53-84 (2014)

V. Fano, (ed.) Gino Tarozzi Philosopher of Physics. Studies in the Philosophy of Entanglement, Angeli, Milano (2014)

Assessment

They will study on their own (individually or with others) according to the directions of this vademecum and if possible with the help which can be given by the teacher during office hours or through e-mail, Skype, etc. 

Disabilità e DSA

Le studentesse e gli studenti che hanno registrato la certificazione di disabilità o la certificazione di DSA presso l'Ufficio Inclusione e diritto allo studio, possono chiedere di utilizzare le mappe concettuali (per parole chiave) durante la prova di esame.

A tal fine, è necessario inviare le mappe, due settimane prima dell’appello di esame, alla o al docente del corso, che ne verificherà la coerenza con le indicazioni delle linee guida di ateneo e potrà chiederne la modifica.

Additional Information for Non-Attending Students

Teaching

They will study on their own (individually or with others) according to the directions of this vademecum and if possible with the help which can be given by the teacher during office hours or through e-mail, Skype, etc. 

Attendance

In order to make up for the impossibility of attending classes, a hard and careful study is required. One should already possess good skills of autonomous learning and some capacity to read and understand logic and philosophical texts, at least at a basic level. Whenever possible, it is advisable to work with other students. 

Course books

First Part 

M. Schlick, “Significato e verificazione”, in La struttura logica del linguaggio, a cura di A. Bonomi, Bompiani, Milano (1973); pp. 71-101

R. Carnap, “Controllabilità e significato”, in Analiticità, significanza e induzione, a cura di A. Meotti e M. Mondadori, Il Mulino, Bologna (1971); pp. 151-261

R. Carnap, “Pseudoproblemi nella filosofia”, in La costruzione logica del mondo, a cura di E. Severino, Fabbri Editori, Milano (1966); pp. 381-423

G. Tarozzi, “Carnap e il problema del significato delle proposizioni filosofiche”, Mem. Acc. Naz. Sci. Lett. Arti Modena , VII, VIII (1993); pp. 73-80

R. Carnap, “Il superamento della metafisica mediante l’analisi logica del linguaggio”, in Il neoempirismo, a cura di A. Pasquinelli, UTET, Torino, 1969; pp. 504-532

G. Tarozzi, "Science, Metaphysics and Meaningful Philosophical Principles ", Epistemologia,11 (1988); pp. 97-104 and 229-23

G. Tarozzi, "Principi filosofici e principi della fisica. La riapertura delle controversie metafisiche nel dibattito sui fondamenti della meccanica quantistica", in, in M. Pera, G. Tarozzi, M. Fleischmann, E. Del Giudice, Lezioni in memoria di Giuliano Preparata, Bibliopolis, Napoli (2006); pp. 21-39

G. Tarozzi, “Logical Positivism, Quantum Mechanics and the Meaning of Philosophical Principles”, in The Controversial Relations between Science and Philosophy, ed. by G. Auletta, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Vatican City (2006); pp. 129-166

G. Tarozzi, “Fisica, metafisica e criteri di conferma empirici, Giornale di fisica, vol. 50, p. 51-61 (2009)

P. Graziani, G. Tarozzi, “I principi metafisici sono veramente privi di significato?” in Un 'austriaco' in Italia. Festschrift in onore del professor Dario Antiseri, a cura di R. De Mucci, K. Leube Soveria Mannelli, Rubbettino (2011); pp. 637-651

Seconda parte divided into different issues, only one of which must be treated in detail

Realism vs. antirealism

G. Tarozzi, "Realism as a Meaningful Philosophical Hypothesis", Mem. Acc. Sci. Bologna VII, XIII, 89-98 (1980)

G. Tarozzi, "Realisme d'Einstein et mècanique quantique: un cas de contradiction entre une théorie physique et un hypothèse philosophique clairement définie", Revue de Synthèse 101-102, 125-158 (1981)

G. Tarozzi, "On the Essential Role of the Realist Hypothesis in All Derivations of E.P.R.-type Paradoxes", Epistemologia IV,  407-422 (1981)

G. Tarozzi, "Local Realism and Bell's Theorem Without the Hidden Variable Hypothesis", Mem. Acc. Sci. Torino 108 , 119-124 (1981)

F. Selleri, G. Tarozzi, "A Probabilistic Generalisation of the Concept of Physical Reality", , Speculations in Science and Technology 6, 55-64 (1983)

G. Tarozzi, "Physical Reality: from the Metaphysical Notion to its Empirical Definition", in The Concept of Physical Reality , Zacheropoulos, Atene (1983), pp. 197-215

V. Fano, G. Tarozzi, "Realismo empirico e meccanica quantistica", in Ancora sul realismo , ed. by G. Giuliani, University of Pavia and Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Pavia (1995); pp. 144-168

M. Alai, G. Auletta, “Einstein's Local Realism and the Realistic Interpretation of the Wave Function” in Albert Einstein et Hermann Weyl (1955-2005). Questions épistémologiques Ouvertes. p. 33-49, Editions Rue d'Ulm, ISBN: 8861870236 (2009)

Mind-body Relation 

G. Tarozzi, "The Principle of Empiricism and Quantum Theory", Epistemologia III, 13-28 (1980)

G. Tarozzi, "The Theory of Observations, Wigner Paradox and the Mind-Body Problem", Epistemologia IV , 37-52 (1981)

G. Tarozzi, “Quantum Measurements and Macrophysical Reality: Epistemological Implications of a Proposed Paradox", Foundations of Physics 26 , 907-917 (1996)

G. Tarozzi, I. Tassani, "The Role of Conscioussnes in the Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics",special issue of Teorie e Modelli, pp.45-63 (2001)

A.Afriat, "Stati mentali agenti istantaneamente a grande distanza su stati fisici. Un ulteriore paradosso quantistico per la relazione mente-materia", Teorie e Modelli, special issue, pp.45-63 (2005)

C. Calosi, G.Tarozzi,  “Is the Mind a Quantum Computer?” with, Epistemologia , XXXVI, pp. 194-206 (2013)

Causality and Chance 

G.Tarozzi, "Probability and Determinism in Quantum Theory", in Probability in the Sciences, ed. by E. Agazzi, Kluwer, Dordrecht (1988), pp. 237-259

G. Tarozzi, "On the Different Forms of Quantum Acausality", in The Foundations of Quantum Mechanics , ed. by C. Garola e A. Rossi, Kluwer, Dordrecht (1995); pp.435-447

G. Filippini, G.Tarozzi, "Il rifiuto della causalità nella filosofia della fisica prequantistica", Mem. Acc. Naz. Sci. Lett. Arti, Modena , VII, XI, 97-104 (1993)

G. Tarozzi, “L’utopia causale. Dal demone di Laplace alla retroazione del futuro sul passato”, in Utopie. Percorsi per immaginare il futuro, L. Mazzoli and G. Zanchini eds. Codice Edizioni, Torino; pp. 167-192 (2012)

Nothing and its Properties  

A. Afriat, G. Tarozzi, "Can Nothing Cause Nonlocal Quantum Jumps?", in Quantum Mechanics. Are There Quantum Jumps? ed. by A. Bassi et al., American Institute of Physics, Melville, New York (2006); pp. 3-7

P. Graziani, G. Tarozzi, “Physics, Metaphysics and the Reality of Nothing in Quantum Mechanics”, in Science, Metaphysics and Religion. Proceedings of the 2013 AIPS Conference, ed, by E. Agazzi, Franco Angeli, Milan (2014); p. 117-128

G. Tarozzi, Afriat, "Can Nothing Cause Nonlocal Quantum Jumps?", in Quantum Mechanics. Are There Quantum Jumps? ed. by A. Bassi et al., American Institute of Physics, Melville, New York (2006); pp. 3-7

G. Tarozzi, G.,Macchia. "No-Thing and Causality in Realistic Non-Standard Interpretations of the Quantum Mechanical Wave Function: Ex Nihilo Aliquid?", Foundations of Science,  28, pp. 159–184 (2023)

Entanglement: the whole is not the sum of the parts  

C. Calosi, V. Fano, G. Tarozzi, “Holism as an empirically meaningful metaphysical hypothesis”, , Epistemologia, vol. 35, p. 45-57 (2012)

C. Calosi, G. Tarozzi, “Parthood and Composition in Quantum Mechanics”, with C. Calosi, in Mereology and the Sciences, ed. by C. Calosi and P. Graziani, Berlin: Springer: 53-84 (2014)

V. Fano, (ed.) Gino Tarozzi Philosopher of Physics. Studies in the Philosophy of Entanglement, Angeli, Milano (2014)

The in-depth topics of this second part of the course must be agreed with the teacher taking into acciunt the curriculum followed by the stiudent.

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