A conversation between Science and Philosophy about minds, brains and the spirit of freedom
Freedom seems to be the prevailing theme nowadays. We live in a world divided into two hemispheres, one that makes freedom its fundamental value, the other one having authoritarianism as its model.
The word freedom, however, has gained different meanings which are not the philosophical, political, ethical, economic, social and scientific ones.
Western philosophy, since its beginnings, has led the confrontation between proponents of determinism (everything happens according to consequential causes) and the theorists of self-determination. The topic has been also handled on a religious and theological level, questioning free will and predestination.
Further to the birth of modern Science, the quarrel between determinism and freedom becomes still stronger; scientists are thoroughly investigating our mind- the seat of our self-consciousness- and are analysing how the brain does produce thoughts and behaviours; at the same time powerful artificial intelligence systems are getting shaped, that profoundly condition our way of life.
The festival discusses such topics with Prof. Giuseppe Trautteur starting from his book Il prigioniero libero (Adelphi) with the contribution of Prof. Ugo Erra (Unibas) and with tho contribution of Prof. Ermenegildo Caccese (Unibas).
A point will be made about the ongoing debate, about the questions that lead us to ethical and social abyss, strongly challenging fundamental traits of humanity. Kant is in the background.
All of our codes, under any regimes, are based on the principle of responsibility and free choice. None the less responsibility doesn’t seem to play any role within the scientific community.
Giuseppe Trautter is an Italian physicist and computer scientist (b. Naples 1936). After graduating in Physics, he developed a great interest in cybernetics and in 1970 he completed his PhD in Computer and Communication Sciences at the University of Michigan. Back in Italy, he began a brilliant academic career:
former professore straordinario at the Faculty of Mathematical, Physical and Natural Sciences of the University of Palermo, T. teaches Theoretical Computer Science and Computability and Complexity at Federico II University of Naples. Alongside his teaching commitments, he has carried out an intense study and research activity: he has been a scientific consultant for the Adelphi publishing house since the Sixties and has numerous publications to his credit.
Among these, mostly articles and essays published by important magazines or specialized series; in particular Limiting recursion and the arithmetic hierarchy (1975, con G. Criscuolo ed E. Minicozzi), Undici tesi sulla scienza cognitiva (2002), Some remarks about consciousness (2004) e A note on discreteness and virtuality in analog computing (2007, con G. Tamburrini) e Il prigioniero libero (2020). Curator of texts such as Psiche e natura (2006, about the thought and work of W. Pauli) and Verso un’ecologia della mente (con G. Longo, trad. di Steps to an ecology of mind, di G. Bateson; LAST EDITION : 2011).
Through the years T. has investigated the philosophical aspects of relationship between mind and machine and has shown a particular interest in evolutionary algorithms, computational modelling of biological systems and recurrent neural networks. (Treccani)
Ermenegildo Caccese is a retired member of the Dep. of Mathematics of the University of Basilicata. Is a member of the Institute of Philosophy of the Pontificia Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Meridionale, Sezione S. Luigi. His fields of interest are the foundations of the Theory of Relativity, the foundations of the Theory of Classical Fields, the history and philosophy of modern science. Some published works:
E. Caccese, V. A. Cimmelli, A. R. Pace. On a general definition for inertial theories of space and time. Hadronic Journal 24 (2001) 345-384.
E. Caccese, F. Guarracino. ‘Relativistic’ characterisation of the energy of soliton-like defects in continuous media. Chaos Solitons and Fractals 33 (2007) 1103-1116.
A. Afriat, E. Caccese. The relativity of inertia and reality of nothing. Stud. Hist. Phil. Mod. Phys. 41(2010)9-26.
E. Caccese. La teoria della relatività ‘in senso stretto’ nel primo manuale italiano di relatività, di Roberto Marcolongo. In Aspetti della matematica napoletana tra ottocento e novecento. G. Ferraro (Ed.). Aracne, Roma, 2013, ISBN-9788854860728.
E. Caccese. Sui fondamenti cognitivi del pensiero scientifico -il programma dell’Epistemologia Evoluzionista secondo Max Delbrück. In C. Taddei Ferretti (cur.), Scienza Cognitiva, Il Pozzo di Giacobbe, Trapani, 2011. ISBN-9788861242586.
E. Caccese. La logica matematica e la sua funzione conoscitiva nelle lezioni di Bernard Lonergan. In C. Taddei-Ferretti (cur.). Ricerche lonerganiane offerte a Saturnino Muratore. Edizioni Istituto italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Napoli 1016, ISBN-9788889946497.
E. Caccese. Nell’ombra della ‘casa di salomone’ – Riflessioni sull’origine della scienza moderna, tra utopia e volontà di potenza.