Research activity

My research interests cover a variety of topics both in  philosophy and history of the natural sciences. Starting with my PhD thesis (2004), I devoted some studies to Ernst Mach’s philosophy and the idea of description in the physical sciences. In this framework I also approached the work of Heinrich Hertz. From time to time, a certain curiosity and the love for poetry and novels encourage me to deal with a sort of comparative research between science and literature. As regards my most recent activity, I am working on a book about Ruggiero Boscovich’s natural philosophy, which should result from a series of articles I am publishing.

My research also deals with some structural aspects of the scientific enterprise, which I consider from a historical-epistemological perspective. In particular I directed my attention to the concept of shared discovery – for cases in which priority questions are not particularly relevant, collaboration is more important than competition, researchers are not mutually independent of each other, and resistance to new findings is so marginal that practically plays no role. I am currently exploring the concept of epistemic constraints – i.e. guiding ideas and pracitces for the scientific research. Rooted in historical development, they tell us what is to be known (and what is not: so they entail both a positive and a negative heuristic) and how is to be known what is to be known (so they entail norms).

In this page I list some papers (PowerPoint documents saved as PDF files) I discussed in conferences and talks as well as articles which are already published or to be published. All the topics involved are eligible for potential BA or MA theses by students.

Presentations & Talks

God only knows. Ruggiero Boscovich, the temptation of forces and their rejection. Conferências HoST, Centro Interuniversitário de História das Ciências e da Tecnologia, Universidade de Lisboa, 2016 September 19.

Two Lectures from the PhD course 2016, “The Philosophy of Motion”, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Milan. Session VI —  Session VII

Sharing discoveries. The discovery of Uranus (1781-1782) as a new pattern of discovery? Seminars of Philosophy of Language, Dept. of Philosophy, University of Milan. (2016 March 21st.)

Geometrizing World Images. How Geometry Shaped R.J. Boscovich’s Natural Philosophy. Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte Berlin, Colloquium 2014, “Modern Geometry and the Concept of Space”. (2014 April 29.)


Research Papers

Downloadable draft versions

The end of a world? Ruggiero Boscovich and the tradition of didactic poetry.

Il coraggio di sapere. Libertà di ricerca e società aperta.

The One or the Many? Boscovich, Kant, and the Metaphysical Puzzle of Space.


Linked original papers

Sharing Discoveries. Boscovich’s Network and the Discovery of Uranus.

Energy, Metaphysics, and Space. Ernst Mach’s Interpretation of Energy Conservation as the Principle of Causality.

Robert Musil, i numeri reali e la matematica.

Boscovich, the discovery of Uranus and his inclination to theoretical astronomy.

G.V. Schiaparelli: from scientific observations to scientific imagination.

Il «Kantismo» anomalo di Heinrich Hertz.

Lettere di Aurelio Pelazza a Piero Martinetti e a Ernst Mach.

Teorie stravaganti di un redattore invadente. Eugenio Rignano.

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