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Pages: 537
Publisher: Edizioni Scientifische Italiane
Year: 1999
ISBN: 8881149966

La scienza e i vortici del dubbio

Marco Mamone Capria

\"Blind commitment to a theory is not an intellectual virtue: it is an intellectual crime.\" - I. Lakatos

The present book developed as a selection of some of the more interesting contributions to the international conference Cartesio e la scienza - Descartes and Scientific Thought, which was held in Perugia, for the fourth centenary of the birth of Rene Descartes, from 4 to 6 of September 1996. On eof the aims of the meeting was, as explained in the \"Introduction\" accompanyiong the program and the abstracts, \"to celebrate, by reviving it, the Cartesian spirit of unprejudiced enquiry\". In fact, \"in his survey of contemporary opinion, Descartes did not let himself be frightened by the assurance with which in his time (like in any other time!) the wardens of orthodoxy professed their own teachings: on the contrary, he made them pass a stringent and exacting examination, and did not refrain from declaring the invalid\". Unfortunately, as it was suggested in the lines just quoted, even today the critical approach to received opinion is by no means generally appreciated as it should be. If, as Thomas Kuhn taught us, scientists are bound by their veryprofessional standing not to indulge too much in criticism of the \"paradigm\" they live inside and out of, most philosophers of science, too, seem to consider as a duty to accept the state of contemporary science as their theoretical horizon: science (they seem to believe) can be analysed, \'rationally reconstructed\', or mined for methodilogical rules - but not questioned... - From the Introduction