Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2012/13
History of contemporary philosophy
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Aerospace Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Mechanical Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Automotive Engineering - Torino
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Rebaglia Alberta ORARIO RICEVIMENTO     54 0 0 0 16
SSD CFU Activities Area context
M-FIL/06 6 D - A scelta dello studente A scelta dello studente
Subject fundamentals
Scope of the course is a critical study of the methodological criteria which are at the core of technics as well as of science.
It is often stated that the main goal of scientific investigation consists in discovering fundamental laws which rule natural dynamics, whereas technological design represents a proficient way to human survival. Despite these dissimilarities, technics and science share their conceptual roots and assume common ways of processing knowledge; moreover the basic notion of "artificial" belongs to both natural science and technology.
In this view the course examines major perspectives regarding the fundamental concerns and methods of science and technology: from the success in rationalizing natural and artificial domains to the refusal of simplification as a convenient modus operandi.
Expected learning outcomes
The course enables students to perform multidisciplinary analyses introducing them to contemporary thinkers in the field of philosophy of science and technology.
The study of the methodological and historical context of techno-scientific practice helps students to unravel complex, challenging circumstances in their practical researches by teaching them to think seriously of, and in the meantime to question about, each methodological and heuristic principle given by the techno-scientific activity, looking for either its inferred cognitive limits or its tacit ontological believes.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Requirements: basic notions of physics; adequate proficiency in the Italian language (for foreign students).
1. Technics as a way to build a safe, artificial physical environment where it is feasible to work out successfully our propensity for the control of nature.
Reference authors:
Spengler, Gehlen, Mumford

2. Scientific rationality creates not only new theories but new objects as well.
Reference authors:
Ihde, Koyré, Bachelard

3. Twenty century’s scientific instruments and technological engines no longer fit the modern epistemological model since, to any further extent, they neither intervene in an external world nor represent it.
Reference authors:
Schlick, Popper, Quine

4. The contemporary epistemological model replaces objects pertaining to nature with effects pertaining to social and cultural constructions of knowledge.
Reference authors:
Lakatos, Hacking, Latour

5. The reframing of methodological discussion due to the introduction of cybernetics and recursive feedback.
Reference authors:
Wiener, Heidegger, Watzlawick

6. The theoretical and practical understanding as a result of man’s engagement in the world, which involves information and communication and cannot be treated in terms of a linear cause effect chain but requires a cyclic approach.
Reference authors:
Pask, von Glasersfeld, Heylighen

7. Second order cybernetics and autopoyetic systems.
Reference authors:
Von Foerster, Maturana, Varela

8. Techno-scientific networks as complex adaptive systems.
Reference authors:
Bertalanffy, Bateson, Morin

9. Emerging technologies that provide augmented reality experiences promote new conceptual perspectives about meaning, structural information and cognition boundaries.
Reference authors:
Borgmann, Heim, Maldonado

10. Simulations in virtual reality aren’t pure imaginations but constitute something effectively realized and experienced; they represent a conceptual challenge to scientific experiments, technological interaction with the environment and philosophical thinking.
Reference authors:
Dreyfus, Stengers, Levy
Delivery modes
Tests for self-valuations are proposed weekly and later solved by the teacher
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
Slides and relevant documents are available on line, at the website: http.//www.didattica.polito.it
Assessment and grading criteria
Final exam: a written test about the main topics developed during the course (2,5 hrs time). Not Italian mother tongue students are allowed to write down their answers in English.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2015/16

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Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY
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