The course of Science and Metaphysics is part of the program in Philosophy and it is included among the complementary training activities.The aim of this course is to illustrate and discuss philosophical issues connected to science, and the contribution that scientific theories can make towards our understanding of the fundamental structure of reality. Students will acquire knowledge of specific research themes at the boundary between theoretical philosophy and the empirical sciences, as well as the ability to compare the methods, themes and results of philosophy and science, and put them together.
Students will be able to apply the knowledge acquired in the discussion and argument both from a theoretical and a scientific perspective. At the end of the course the student will acquire:
-) Ability to analyze and interpret philosophical and scientific texts;
-) Properties of language and argumentation;
-) Ability to contextualize the acquired knowledge in the philosophical and scientific debate.


teacher profile | teaching materials


The course will focus on the role of the methodology and epistemology of science in clarifying the problem of the relationship between science and democracy. On the one hand, as a consequence of the progressive specialization of scientific knowledge our democratic societies must rely more and more on the knowledge of the experts. On the other, especially in the still obscure areas of scientific research, the experts are often in disagreement, a fact that in the public at large creates mistrust in science, which is in any case the most reliable form of knowledge. In order to avoid that democracies degenerate into “technocracies”, where the few decide for all, the citizens must be granted the possibility for autonomous decisions. In the second part of the class, we will try to describe the process of generation and quick diffusion of false beliefs by a reconsideration of the problem of demarcating science from pseudoscience

Core Documentation

Kitcher La scienza in una società democratica, Ariele, 2014
Boghossian P. Paura di conoscere, Carocci, 2006
Dorato M. Disinformazione scientifica e democrazia, La competenza dell’esperto e l’autonomia del cittadino, Cortina, 2019
O’Connor C. Weatherall J., L’età della disinformazione. Come si diffondono false credenze. Franco Angeli, 2019
Filippo Ferrari & Sebastiano Moruzzi, Dall’indagine alla post-indagine (disponibile in rete)
Oreskes N. Why trust science? Princeton University Press 2019

Reference Bibliography

F. Fischer, Reorienting Policy Inquiry, Oxford University Press, 2009

Type of delivery of the course

Frontal lectures and seminars; reports of students. II in presence lecture will not be possible, all lectures will be taken on line with a registration