Ethics in Robotics and Intelligent MachinesVol 16 No 44 (2023)
Ethical issues are one of the most interesting aspects of new and emerging technologies. Theoretical and technological advances are increasingly leading to machines, which are efficient enough to share the same environment as humans. This makes ethics a crucial step in the process of developing robotics and intelligent machines. Ethical reflection begins upstream – at the very beginning of research – by asking researchers what they are doing, why, and for whom. It explores their values and broadens the research focus by involving other stakeholders; it involves intuitions that need to be weighed against other intuitions and tested against theology, sapiential knowledge, the arts, and normative theories. Ethics is therefore essential to ensure that the values implemented in robotics and intelligent machines are designed by experts in robotics, computer science, philosophy, psychology [continue].
The Prospect of Naturalizing Phenomenology: New EssaysVol 16 No 43 (2023)
The nature of consciousness has puzzled philosophers for centuries. In the meantime, through immense historical and cultural metamorphoses, the model of scientific objectivity proposed by the natural sciences has established itself as a universal standard of reference for determining any explanation broadly considered ‘scientific.’ The enigma of consciousness thus presents itself to us today with the question: can subjective experience be explained in terms of objectivity compatible with the methods and explanatory possibilities proper to the natural sciences? Two decades ago, these questions were at the heart of “Naturalizing Phenomenology” [NPh], the classical volume edited by J. Petitot, F. Varela, B. Pachoud, and J. Roy (1999). [continue]
New Work on Agency and ResponsibilityVol 15 No 42 (2022)
I am delighted to introduce this special issue on the topic of “New work on agency and responsibility.” Its aim is to showcase a variety of fresh, new approaches to the topics of agency, free will, and moral responsibility. The issue is divided into five sections, respectively on methodology, the phenomenology of agency, legal and moral responsibility, science and agency, and artificial agency. The titles of these sections derive from my own interests in agency and my inclination to think that philosophical theorizing about free agency and moral responsibility may be due an overhaul. Methodologically, for example, I have argued in my own work that philosophers of free will should take naturalistic demands on their theorizing more seriously. In short, our best theories of free will and responsibility shouldn’t be beholden to what we intuitively think the conditions are for these phenomena. [continue]
Institution and Passivity: Rethinking Embodiment and Social Practices in the Contemporary DebateVol 15 No 41 (2022)
There are some thinkers who while not establishing a system of thought that is in itself conclusive or one that bears definite contours are nonetheless (or for that very reason) capable of illuminating new paths, of opening up prolific lines of thought, and of offering rhapsodic leads to their readers. One might say that such thinkers make this openness the very meaning of their oeuvre an oeuvre that is best seen as «an activity en route […] which opens a future» (Merleau-Ponty, Institution and Passivity. Course Notes from the Collège de France 1954-1955). Perhaps, these offerings of lines and paths can be thought of as the deposit of sense [read more]
Public Health Policies: Philosophical Perspectives Between Science and DemocracyVol 14 No 40 (2021)
COVID19 pandemic has clarified that public health policies are central for the future of human societies from several perspectives. As a matter of fact, they are based on certain premises that are practical-political (e.g., ensuring the health of citizens), moral (e.g., health is a value), or epistemological (e.g., certain ideas concerning expertise and shared knowledge). Indeed, effective policies require first and foremost not only to be based on reliable data and models (i.e., so-called evidence-based policy) but also to ensure that these policies are democratically accepted, shared (e.g., considering both cognitive and social dimensions), and hopefully formed after a deliberative process involving experts from various fields alongside citizens. [continue]
The Social Dimension of the Ethics of KnowledgeVol 14 No 39 (2021)
Significant work has been done in social epistemology in the last decades. Looking at the generation and acquisition of knowledge in social contexts, scholars considered not only ontological and epistemological issues, like the ontology of group minds and the epistemology of the many and different in-group epistemic practices, but also the normative dimension that regulates social epistemic activities, such as group learning and revision of beliefs. Virtue theorists have studied the truth-conduciveness of abilities and character traits of epistemic agents, the so-called intellectual virtues, like open-mindedness, scrutiny, and perseverance, in conjunction with the elaboration of an ethics of knowledge.
The Philosophy of Food. Recipes Between Arts and AlgorithmsVol 13 No 38 (2020)
This special issue offers an essay of the current research on theoretical aspects concerned with the philosophy of food, focusing on recipes. The topic is somewhat new to philosophical quarters. To introduce it, in the coming pages we provide (§1) a cursory map of the current debates in the philosophy of food followed (§2) by a review of the core methodological issues they raise. Then, in §3, we specify why recipes comprise an important chapter for philosophers working on food. Finally, in §4 we introduce the essays of this special issue.
Living with Artificial Intelligence. An Analysis of Moral and Philosophical Implications in our Everyday LifeVol 13 No 37 (2020)
This issue aims to focus its attention on two different main elements: the moral questions emerging from the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in our everyday world and the way AI can redefine what it means to be a human being by reshaping the way we look and understand ourselves. This issue does not merely refer to artificial intelligence as a specific branch of computer science, and it is not just limited to the analysis of particular computer programs, but it focuses on the broad spectrum of intelligent robots, machines, and systems which use AI to some extent to act in our everyday world. Thus, it also includes technologies like robotics, wearable computers, mobile applications, and smart cities to better tackle the change in our society introduced by AI in a more precise way.
Beyond the Self: Crisis of Disembodied and Individualistic ParadigmsVol 12 No 36 (2019)
Ethical, social and political analyses debate whether there are grounds for the reconstruction of the notion of self: the main focus is the broad discontent with the individualistic tradition where the rational agent, or independent self, is considered the fundamental atom of social life. Considering the new understandings of dynamic and distributed processing in our brain, several relevant philosophers of sciences, psychologists and neuroscientists are exploring a similar topic, criticizing a disembodied view of the Self. The aim is that this collection of interdisciplinary studies may serve to develop a more refined and integrated conceptual framework of the Self as embodied and relational.
Emotions: From Cases to TheoriesVol 12 No 35 (2019)
During the last three decades, emotions have become a critical topic in several branches of the contemporary philosophical debate, ranging from metaethics and value epistemology to philosophical psychology and normative ethics. Emotions are supposed to play a crucial role in our life, with a strong impact on our first-person experience and our social interactions, on our choices and values but also our implicit attitudes and unintentional behavior. Thinking of emotions, philosophers have focused on affective phenomena as diverse as disgust with the smell of rotten meat, awe for a magnificent musical composition, fear of snakes, hope for the future of a cherished friend, and embarrassment over a slight deviation from a social norm. It is indeed a theoretical challenge to account for the full spectrum of what ordinarily falls under the term “emotion” and to identify its place in the broader affective domain, to the extent that the very unity of the category is disputed. [read more]
Teleology and World from Different Perspectives: Philosophy of Mind and Transcendental PhenomenologyVol 11 No 34 (2018)
edited by Rodolfo Giorgi, Danilo Manca.
During the last century, most philosophers of science have tried to expunge teleological explanations from the fields of epistemology: based on an anti-metaphysical attitude, they hold purposes and goals to be of religious and spiritual nature, thereby obstacles to any effective comprehension of biological processes. Accordingly, teleological categories have been abandoned in many ways in favor of mechanical causes and non-teleological processes: since Darwin demonstrated that no teleology is required in order to explain the natural world, causal explanations became the only tools to investigate natural processes [read more]
The Learning Brain and the ClassroomVol 11 No 33 (2018)
edited by Alex Tillas, Byron Kaldis
During the last couple of decades, a number of public policy and university initiatives triggered a drastic increase in neuroscientific research. The advances in neuroscience increased public awareness and gave rise to a “brain turn” for many disciplines in the humanities. This special issue brings together papers highlighting the prospects and challenges of recent advances in brain sciences regarding the cognitive process of learning and, ultimately, education. At the same time, this special issue aims at bringing a degree of conceptual clarity to related discussions.
Beyond Toleration? Inconsistency and Pluralism in the Empirical SciencesVol 10 No 32 (2017)
edited by María del Rosario Martínez-Ordaz, Luis Estrada-González
Nowadays it is recognized that, at least for methodological purposes, entertaining pluralism in the study of science can offer a great number of benefits. From the different pluralist positions, a lot has been said about empirical adequacy, refutability and explanatory power, yet consistency has not been equally dealt with. At the moment, it is commonly accepted that inconsistencies can be more frequent in scientific development than the traditional philosophy of science could have expected. What the volume shows is that one should be ready to expect new ways of tolerating inconsistencies as the relation between logic and philosophy of science ripens.
The Enactive Approach to Qualitative Ontology: In Search of New CategoriesVol 9 No 31 (2016)
edited by Roberta Lanfredini, Nicola Liberati, Andrea Pace Giannotta, Elena Pagni
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; 2) to explore the implications of the enactivist view for a relational and ecological account of the qualitative dimensions of life and cognition.
In Silico Modeling: the Human FactorVol 9 No 30 (2016)
edited by Marta Bertolaso, Miles MacLeod
Undoubtedly, the future of biology is as a technoscience, in which technical and engineering expertise are as important as biological knowledge and experimental skill. But what can we really expect from technology? How effective will it be and what impact will it have on biological knowledge? How will the role of scientists as human beings be transformed by this epochal transformation? How autonomous will the role of technology be with respect to human contributions in driving research? In this Special Issue we try to lay some foundations for answering these questions by focusing on in silico models.
Causation and Mental CausationVol 8 No 29 (2015)
edited by Raffaella Campanaer, Carlo Gabbani
It has been suggested that our conundrum concerning the possibility of mind affecting the physical world has been strongly influenced, among other things, by metaphysical choices such as considering the physical and the mental two different kinds of substance (albeit connected and interacting), or assuming a model for physical causality based on material contact, a model that is not plausible for the res cogitans. This issue of Humana.Mente aims to support and stimulate interaction and exchange between the philosophy of causality and the research directly or indirectly dealing with mental causation, presenting a wide range of reflections and possible orientations.
Experts and Expertise Interdisciplinary IssuesVol 8 No 28 (2015)
edited by Elisabetta Lalumera, Giovanni Tuzet
Today the role of experts is pervasive in the everyday life: governments and groups routinely delegate economic and technological decisions to experts, and the evaluation of academic and scientific institutions is demanded to expert peers. The aim of this issue is to collect a variety of points of view on the topics of experts and expertise, with a special focus on the following issues: (i) what experts are; (ii) how expert cognition differs from layperson cognition; (iii) to what extent it is rational to trust experts; (iv) how it is correct to characterize experts’ disagreement.
Origin and Evolution of LanguageVol 7 No 27 (2014)
edited by Francesco Ferretti, Ines Adornetti
Understanding the origin and evolution of language has been defined as the hardest problem in science. From the perspective adopted in this special issue of Humana.Mente devoted to the origin and evolution of language, the fact that we can be proud of the extraordinary abilities that characterize our species does not contradict the notion that, indeed, these abilities can be attributed to the animal nature of human beings. The articles collected in this special issue reflect the inherently interdisciplinary nature of research on the origin and the evolution of language.
Reframing the Debate on Human EnhancementVol 7 No 26 (2014)
edited by Fiorella Battaglia, Antonio Carnevale
How do we categorize human enhancement? How do we decide that a certain intervention is an enhancement? How do we establish that interventions as diverse as a prosthesis, a drug and a technological support as an implant may all be labelled as enhancements? The essays included in the present issue integrate concrete, empirical examples and try to move forward the discussion on human enhancement based on these examples. By presenting new empirical findings on the topic, these essays examine how these can lead to philosophical problems.
Meinong Strikes Again. Return to Impossible Objects 100 Years LaterVol 6 No 25 (2013)
edited by Laura Mari, Michele Paolini Paoletti
The destiny of Meinongianism in the Anglo-American analytic philosophy in the first half of the 20th Century is summarized by G. Ryle, 1972’s well-known remark:" Let us frankly concede from the start that Gegenstandstheorie itself is dead, buried and not going to be resurrected." Forty-one years after Ryle’s prophecy, it seems that Meinongianism is still vital and that many philosophers – even without considering themselves Meinongians – are coming to conclusions that seem to be quite near to (or at least compatible with) Meinongianism.
Pointing: Where Embodied Cognition Meets the Symbolic MindVol 6 No 24 (2013)
edited by Massimiliano L. Cappuccio
There is something special and unique in the pointing gesture, something that – like Michelangelo’s index finger in The Creation of Adam - suggests a transcendent upswing. But exploring how transcendence has been concretely produced by pointing, i.e. understanding the concrete operations that made that upswing historically possible, seems way more important than abstractly stating the supposedly higher status of pointing in its transcendence. Discussing these concrete operations means facing complex conceptual problems situated at the intersection of “language, culture, and cognition”.
Experimental Perspectives on Philosophical PragmaticsVol 5 No 23 (2012)
edited by Francesca Ervas, Elisabetta Gola
In the last years, plenty of studies have brought classical pragmatic theories in front of the tribunal of experience to test their power of explanation and prediction. The result has been the growth of a flourishing interdiscipline, called “Experimental Pragmatics”. The aim of this issue is to discuss the main empirical results of Experimental Pragmatics and to explore its theoretical influence on research subjects, such as figures of speech, presuppositions, translation, etc. How and to what extent do experimental methods and conceptual analysis interact in pragmatics? Which consequences does this experimental turn bear upon theorizing in pragmatics?
Making Sense of Gender, Sex, Race, and the FamilyVol 5 No 22 (2012)
edited by Elena Casetta, Vera Tripodi
Historically, the inquiry into the nature of gender has been mainly focused on the relation between gender and sex, but recently an increasing number of analytic feminists is coming to consider the status of gender also in its correlation with the categories of race and family. The contributions presented in this volume share the claim that not only gender but sex too is not a mere matter of biology: both sex and gender are largely the product of the complex interaction of social processes and categories, and our concepts of them are shaped by social meanings.
Between Two Images. The Manifest and Scientific Conception of the Human Being, 50 Years OnVol 5 No 21 (2012)
edited by Carlo Gabbani
The relationship between common-sense representations of man and the world and scientific representations of them were widely debated in XXth century culture. This issue of Humana.Mente aims to present: (i) theoretical and original contributions on the very idea of scientific and manifest “images”; (ii) critical re-examinations of Sellars’s elaboration of this topic, and an analysis of his relevant texts; (iii) overviews of contemporary debates on this topic, as well as on the related topic of the relationship between philosophy and the sciences.
Philosophy of Self DeceptionVol 5 No 20 (2012)
edited by Patrizia Pedrini
We sense that perhaps many decisions we made — maybe even more than we would be willing to acknowledge - have been made upon beliefs that are false, and yet are strongly, sometimes even irresistibly wanted, or desired. Its disconcerting hallmark lies in the fact that we somehow seem to come to believe a proposition that we should at least doubt is likely to be true, and that we seem to do that because of a strong motivation to acquire that false belief. The phenomenon of self-deception is one of those topics that, perhaps more than others, is capable of intriguing and fascinating those who decide to devote to it a part of their studies and research.
Composition, Counterfactuals and CausationVol 4 No 19 (2011)
edited by M. Carrara, R. Ciuni, G. Lando
Weltbilder and PhilosophyVol 4 No 18 (2011)
edited by Renata Badii, Enrica Fabbri
The Legacy of Gestalt PsychologyVol 4 No 17 (2011)
edited by Riccardo Luccio
History, Science and TechnologyVol 4 No 16 (2011)
edited by Matteo Gerlini
Agency: From Embodied Cognition To Free WillVol 4 No 15 (2011)
edited by Duccio Manetti, Silvano Zipoli Caiani
The Body: The Role of Human SciencesVol 4 No 14 (2010)
edited by Alessandro Mariani
Physics and MetaphysicsVol 4 No 13 (2010)
edited by Claudio Calosi
Passion(s) for PoliticsVol 4 No 12 (2010)
edited by Elena Acuti
Psychology and Psychologies: Which Epistemology?Vol 3 No 11 (2009)
edited by Marco Fenici
Philosophy of EconomicsVol 3 No 10 (2009)
edited by Laura Beritelli, Mauro Rossi
Medicine: Philosophy and HistoryVol 3 No 9 (2009)
edited by Matteo Borri
Models of TimeVol 3 No 8 (2009)
edited by Roberto Ciuni
Humana.Mente issue 7Vol 2 No 7 (2008)
Per una conversazione sull'etica
edited by Scilla Bellucci, Laura Beritelli
Humana.Mente issue 6Vol 2 No 6 (2008)
Filosofia e Scienze del Vivente. Prospettive Storiche e Teoriche
edited by Daniele Romano, Guido Caniglia
Humana.Mente issue 5Vol 2 No 5 (2008)
Verso una Neuro-Filosofia?
Humana.Mente issue 4Vol 2 No 4 (2008)
Humana.Mente issue 3Vol 1 No 3 (2007)
Humana.Mente issue 2Vol 1 No 2 (2007)
Humana.Mente issue 1Vol 1 No 1 (2007)