January 18, 2023 at 15.30

L’epistemologia storica tra analogie, immagini insepolte, monadi: verso un nuovo gioco delle perle di vetro?


The 6th and last Seminar of the first cycle on “History and Philosophy of Science: Historigraphical traditions and epistemoogical perspectives” will be devoted to historical epistemology as applied to XX Century physics, notably to the work of John Archibald Wheeler (Jacksonville 9 luglio 1911 – Hightstown 13 aprile 2008) known to the general public for his seminal work on black holes and his visionary perspectives. Keeping alive the great debates between Einstein and Bohr, both of whom were his mentors, Wheeler intertwined his long life of research with a far-reaching theoretical dimension, which soon led him to confront issues such as the relationship of science with its past, the heuristic role of images, the dialogue with the great philosophical tradition and much more. The talk on Warburg is therefore aimed at highlighting certain aspects of his thought that reveal some fascinating and unexpected affinities with Wheeler, particularly their relationship to history and images, as well as the transdisciplinarity of their respective approaches. For Heisenberg, this is a truly further case of applying historical epistemology to recent physics, apart from Wheeler. Dr. Gaudenzi’s talk will illustrate Heisenberg’s mature reflections, in which he not only confronted Greek thought and Goethe, but also intertwined it with his very ambitious programme of a Weltformel, a unified theory of all subnuclear phenomena The speakers will be Stefano Furlan (Sotto il segno di Clio: John Wheeler e il rapporto con il passato); Maria Teresa Costa (Il pensiero per immagini di Aby Warburg) and Rocco Gaudenzi (L’unità incrinata. La riflessione di Werner Heisenberg tra Goethe, pensiero greco e Weltformel).