The paper examines the possible interrelations between the concept of isomorphism developed by von Bertalanffy in his General System Theory and the concept of allegoresis, as we know it in the ancient world. Anceschi observes that the common denominator of both is the ability to translate a system into another. First, the author shows that the allegoresis unveils the hidden truth of the sacred texts. Through the analysis of the Derveni papyrus she illustrates that the allegorical interpretation implies the transition from poetry to reality. In the next step, she shows that in Plato’s Cratylus there is a similar concept of language that will pass from words to things. Finally, she returns to von Bertalanffy, showing how the concept of isomorphism assumes a direct access to reality without any linguistic mediation present instead in the Derveni papyrus.
Keywords: isomorphism, allegoresis, Cratylus, the Derveni papyrus, Ludwig von Bertalanffy
The present work aims to demonstrate some reasons of the explanatory model shift in science, to overcome the limits of reductionism, which does no longer allow a correct understanding of the phenomena it refers to. We will take as example a current debate in medicine, wether it is more adequate to understand cancer in terms of genes or tissue properties. We point out the flaws that affect both theories, each one in its own way, focusing on the observation level each method adopts. Then we widen our perspective to scientific language and its commitment to reality, considering this issue as an interesting one to evaluate correctly our debate. Once granted the difference between referent and meaning, we reach some conclusions on the role of the adequate level of reality explanation to look at for the proper understanding of cancer, that is the mesosystem.
The paper examines and comments on the theories of some contemporary american philosophers, who have approached the problem of rationality from the assumptions of pragmatist thought, drawing consequences however divergent. While Richard Rorty criticizes the idea that the rationality is the distinctive element of human nature, Donald Davidson, Nicholas Rescher e Hilary Putnam agree that it is an essential component, while understanding it in different ways. Their reflections show how simplistic is to identify rationality with its logic and computational component only. The comparison among these authors show a rationality that can be understood more adequately in a systemic perspective. Indeed on one hand the rationality is assumed as the system as derived from the relations and the interactions among the various faculties that characterize the human being; on the other hand it seems that rationality is part of a larger system, which originates in the relationship among different knowing subjects and the object of knowledge.
Keywords: rationality, american neo-pragmatism, systemic approach, epistemology, intersubjectivity
In this study, I will attempt a comparison between the philosophy of Spinoza (especially his Ethics) and the systemic philosophy. Firstly, I will analyze the systemic specific terminology; then it will be compared with the spinozian one, and I will suggest an hypothesis in order to translate Spinoza’s terms into systemic ones. Of this hypothesis, I will present the strengths and weaknesses, especially about the notion of ‘centralization’ of a system and about Spinoza’s epistemology.
Keywords: Baruch Spinoza, Ethics, systemic philosophy, centralization of a system, epistemology
Intermolecular interactions in living organisms are not independent individual events but are inserted in a network of interconnected events. Correlation is provided by a mutual phase agreement among molecules in tune with a self-produced electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic oscillation exhibits accords among the frequencies of the vibrational modes which look like the accords existing in musical scores. In the biological dynamics the signifier, namely the ensemble of electromagnetic signals, coincides with the signified, namely the ensemble of the induced biochemical reactions. Therefore structure and function coincide. An external oscillatory stimulus entering within such dynamical structure induces an evolution not uniquely determined by the structure of the signal but depending also by the structure and the history of the system (milieu) which receives the signal. The external signal doesn’t supply an information in the sense of Shannon conventional theory, but is a stimulus to the development of a spontaneous dynamics of the organism.
Keywords: quantum physics, living organisms, coherent oscillations, fractal structure, self-organization
This essay is aimed to offer a definition of three words which have become increasingly important in contemporary society: ‘information’, ‘meaning’, and ‘communication’. The information about a domain is identified with the set of propositions concerning that domain. The concept of proposition is set apart from those of state of affair and of sentence. Meaning is defined as what an assertive sentence expresses and identified with the proposition meant by the assertive sentence itself. Finally, communication is defined as an intentional use of a sign in order to convey the information associated with that sign.
The systemic perspective places the mind on an evolutionary pathway from the material to the immaterial, with the acquisition of new forms of energy, linked to the relationships of complex organizations more than of particle agglomerates, capable of self-catalyzing also its own persistence. This apparent expenditure of energy actually translates into a considerable saving of it, because of the reduction of energy loss by dissipative phenomena. In this perspective, health becomes an emergent condition of biological systems, characterized by the persistent ability of harmonic resonance both inside and outside the system. The deterioration of this capability determines a process of progressive energy dissipation and of degeneration of the internal organization until the final dissolution of the whole. Different levels of organization of biological matter may be involved in this degenerative conditions that we call as mental illness. We can define which one was the level of primary disturbance, that triggered the whole process, by means of the analysis of the clinical symptoms profile. Therapeutic intervention must always keep in mind the principles of ‘catalysis’ and of the ‘sandwich intervention’ to restore the capacity for self-preservation of health. Where this is not possible, the risk of a chronic disorder and of a chronic dependence on external assistance becomes very high.
The terms Bestimmung and Beruf play a central role in the eighteenth-century philosophical, theological and literary German tradition as keywords for expressing the man’s place in the creation and in the society. Because of their polysemy, however, they are not always clearly distinct from one another, and this has often given rise to ambiguities and reciprocal overlaps. Yet no studies on their proximity and/or distance have been published so far. This paper aims to fill this glaring scholarly gap, focusing on the case-study of Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843), who used both terms and moreover coined the concept Dichterberuf. Against the background of a linguistic contextualization, the paper shows how close metaphysics, theology and literature were at that time, explaining how the term Bestimmung became a word applicable to the human being as such, and Beruf became a word applicable to the single individual, or specific categories of individuals, with well-defined cultural, political, and social features.
Keywords: Bestimmung (des Menschen), Beruf, Dichterberuf, Friedrich Hölderlin
The essay of E. Stein’s tries to make a comparison between the E. Husserl’s phenomenology and Thomas Aquinas’ philosophy. Starting from the idea of the philosophy, E. Stein focuses on the link between the two above-mentioned ways of thinking (the phenomenology at one side and the philosophy at the other side), which are different for social and historical background and for the epistemological content. Tough Husserl’s phenomenology and St. Thomas’ philosophy have some common points, the intentionality of knowledge isn’t compatible with the thomism’s realism, which deals with the being’s intelligibility. A general agreement in a framework of disagreement: this expression, coined by C. Fabro, could represent the essence of E. Stein’s work, in the comparison between her previous teacher, from whom she was step by step distancing herself (Husserl) and the medieval teacher, who was always more accepted and followed by E. Stein (St. Thomas).
Keywords: phenomenology, Thomism, verity, ontology, intuition of essences
This paper examines the problem of the immortality of the soul in the Renaissance with particular reference to the manuscript treatise written by Ludovico Beccadelli (1501-1572), which is transcribed as appendix. Beccadelli’s work is significant first of all because it represents one of the few works on the immortality of the soul in the vernacular language and therefore addressed to different audience in comparison to that common to read such complex questions in the Latin language. In addition, the manuscript is a response to the concerns of the Apostolici regiminis and is a typical work of the Counter-reformation Italian philosophy, influenced by other writings such as those of the Cardinal Gasparo Contarini. Last, Beccadelli’s perspective is peculiar of this period in its attempt to reconcile Aristotle with the Christian doctrine, relying mainly on the interpretation of Simplicius and most of all that of Themistius.
Keywords: Beccadelli, immortality of the soul, vernacular language, Renaissance, Aristostle, Contarini, Temistio