Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

Logical and Ontological Issues in the Manifest and the Scientific Images: An Introduction [Special Issue]

Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of science, Theoretical philosophy


In December 2019, the 2017 PRIN project “The Manifest Image and the Scientific Image”, funded by MIUR, the Italian Ministry of University and Research was launched. The research units are at the Universities of Macerata, Florence, Rome 3 and Urbino. Francesco Orilia, from the Macerata unit, is the P.I., and Elena Castellani, Mauro Dorato and Mario Alai guide the other three units, respectively. The project will terminate in December 2023. The main theme is the clash between the scientific image offered by science and the manifest image emerging from common sense. This dichotomy is typically taken to regard metaphysics, as is clear from Sellars’ seminal paper on this topic (1963). In this project, it is also taken to encompass logic, by distinguishing between the formal logic of the scientific image and the informal logic of the manifest image. The project thus explores both metaphysical and logical manifest/scientific dichotomies, in order to reach a deeper understanding of the two images and thus a perspective wherefrom the clash may be superseded. The goals of the project were accordingly fixed as follows: (1) achieving a better understanding of the manifest image, also by recourse to experimental philosophy. (2) Getting a clearer grasp of the scientific image, especially in these three areas: the sustainability of scientific realism concerning properties, relations and unobservables; the nature of time as emerging from current physics; the systems of formal logic that aim at treating consistently notions such as truth, predication, knowledge and belief, which generate paradoxes when treated at the level of informal logic. (3) Investigating how the two images must be related from the logical, epistemological and metaphysical point of view, if they are to be understood as compatible, in spite of their…


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