93 found
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  1.  7
    Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Research and Practice.Giovanni Boniolo & Marco J. Nathan (eds.) - 2016 - New York: Routledge.
    _Philosophy of Molecular Medicine: Foundational Issues in Theory and Practice_ aims at a systematic investigation of a number of foundational issues in the field of molecular medicine. The volume is organized around four broad modules focusing, respectively, on the following key aspects: What are the nature, scope, and limits of molecular medicine? How does it provide explanations? How does it represent and model phenomena of interest? How does it infer new knowledge from data and experiments? The essays collected here, authored (...)
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  2.  15
    Demented patients and the quandaries of identity: setting the problem, advancing a proposal.Giovanni Boniolo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (1):1-16.
    In the paper, after clarifying terms such as ‘identity’, ‘self’ and ‘personhood’, I propose an empirical account of identity based on the notion of “whole phenotype”. This move allows one to claim the persistence of the individuals before and after their being affected by dementia. Furthermore, I show how this account permits us to address significant questions related to demented individuals’ loss of the capacity of moral decisions.
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  3. Reliability of molecular imaging diagnostics.Elisabetta Lalumera, Stefano Fanti & Giovanni Boniolo - 2021 - Synthese (S23):5701-5717.
    Advanced medical imaging, such as CT, fMRI and PET, has undergone enormous progress in recent years, both in accuracy and utilization. Such techniques often bring with them an illusion of immediacy, the idea that the body and its diseases can be directly inspected. In this paper we target this illusion and address the issue of the reliability of advanced imaging tests as knowledge procedures, taking positron emission tomography in oncology as paradigmatic case study. After individuating a suitable notion of reliability, (...)
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  4.  11
    Patient Similarity in the Era of Precision Medicine: A Philosophical Analysis.Giovanni Boniolo, Raffaella Campaner & Massimiliano Carrara - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):2911-2932.
    According to N. Goodman, the Carnapian notion of similarity is useless in science and without interest for philosophy. In our paper we suggest that, given the current role that the notion of similarity has in managing biomedical big data, this drastic position should be revised, and similarity should be provided a scientifically useful philosophical interpretation. With the advent of the new sequencing technologies, imaging technologies and with the improvements of health records, the number of genomics, post-genomics and clinical data has (...)
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  5.  45
    Molecular pathways and the contextual explanation of molecular functions.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (3-4):24.
    Much of the recent philosophical debate on causation and causal explanation in the biological and biomedical sciences has focused on the notion of mechanism. Mechanisms, their nature and epistemic roles have been tackled by a range of so-called neo-mechanistic theories, and widely discussed. Without denying the merits of this approach, our paper aims to show how lately it has failed to give proper credit to processes, which are central to the field, especially of contemporary molecular biology. Processes can be summed (...)
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  6. The Identity of Living Beings, Epigenetics, and the Modesty of Philosophy.Giovanni Boniolo & Giuseppe Testa - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (2):279-298.
    Two problems related to the biological identity of living beings are faced: the who-problem (which are the biological properties making that living being unique and different from the others?); the persistence-problem (what does it take for a living being to persist from a time to another?). They are discussed inside a molecular biology framework, which shows how epigenetics can be a good ground to provide plausible answers. That is, we propose an empirical solution to the who-problem and to the persistence-problem (...)
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  7.  48
    Life Sciences for Philosophers and Philosophy for Life Scientists: What Should We Teach?Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2020 - Biological Theory 15 (1):1-11.
    Following recent debate on the relations between philosophy of science and the sciences, we wish to draw attention to some actual ways of training both young philosophers of science and young life scientists and clinicians. First, we recall a successful case of training philosophers of the life sciences in a strictly scientific environment. Second, after a brief review of the reasons why life scientists and clinicians are currently asking for more ethics, more methodology of science, and more philosophy of science (...)
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  8.  85
    Kant’s Explication and Carnap’s Explication.Giovanni Boniolo - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (3):289-298.
    In this paper I will compare the concept of explication à la Carnap and the concept of explication à la Kant. This essay should primarily be seen as a comparison of two different philosophical styles, but it is also intended as a vindication of what Kant wrote and what Carnap forgot to read.
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  9. Kant’s Explication and Carnap’s Explication.Giovanni Boniolo - 2003 - International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (3):289-298.
    In this paper I will compare the concept of explication à la Carnap and the concept of explication à la Kant. This essay should primarily be seen as a comparison of two different philosophical styles, but it is also intended as a vindication of what Kant wrote and what Carnap forgot to read.
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  10.  32
    Rethinking Medical Humanities.Luca Chiapperino & Giovanni Boniolo - 2014 - Journal of Medical Humanities 35 (4):377-387.
    This paper questions different conceptions of Medical Humanities in order to provide a clearer understanding of what they are and why they matter. Building upon former attempts, we defend a conception of Medical Humanities as a humanistic problem-based approach to medicine aiming at influencing its nature and practice. In particular, we discuss three main conceptual issues regarding the overall nature of this discipline: (i) a problem-driven approach to Medical Humanities; (ii) the need for an integration of Medical Humanities into medicine; (...)
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  11.  16
    A logic of non-monotonic interactions.Giovanni Boniolo, Marcello DʼAgostino, Mario Piazza & Gabriele Pulcini - 2013 - Journal of Applied Logic 11 (1):52-62.
  12.  22
    Rethinking ageing: introduction.Alessandro Blasimme, Giovanni Boniolo & Marco J. Nathan - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (3):1-8.
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  13.  59
    Adding logic to the toolbox of molecular biology.Giovanni Boniolo, Marcello D’Agostino, Mario Piazza & Gabriele Pulcini - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 5 (3):399-417.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that logic can play an important role in the “toolbox” of molecular biology. We show how biochemical pathways, i.e., transitions from a molecular aggregate to another molecular aggregate, can be viewed as deductive processes. In particular, our logical approach to molecular biology — developed in the form of a natural deduction system — is centered on the notion of Curry-Howard isomorphism, a cornerstone in nineteenth-century proof-theory.
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  14.  61
    On biological identity.Giovanni Boniolo & Massimiliano Carrara - 2004 - Biology and Philosophy 19 (3):443-457.
    In our paper, we propose a relativisticand metaphysically neutral identity criterionfor biological entities. We start from thecriterion of genidentity proposed by K. Lewinand H. Reichenbach. Then we enrich it to renderit more philosophical powerful and so capableof dealing with the real transformations thatoccur in the extremely variegated biologicalworld.
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  15.  12
    On scientific representations: from Kant to a new philosophy of science.Giovanni Boniolo - 2007 - New York: Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Scientific concepts, laws, theories, models and thought experiments are representations but uniquely different. In On Scientific Representation each is given a full philosophical exploration within an original, coherent philosophical framework that is strongly rooted in the Kantian tradition (Kant, Hertz, Vaihinger, Cassirer). Through a revisionist historical approach, Boniolo shows how the Kantian tradition can help us renew and rethink contemporary issues in epistemology and the philosophy of science.
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  16.  21
    Death and transplantation: Let's try to get things methodologically straight.Giovanni Boniolo - 2006 - Bioethics 21 (1):32–40.
    The purpose of this paper is methodological. I begin by showing the methodological frailties of both the heart and brain approach to the criteria of death used in connection with organ transplantation. I then clarify what a definition is. Finally, I propose to abandon the definition of death, and suggest a pragmatic definition of ‘explantability window’.
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  17.  16
    Prediction via Similarity: Biomedical Big Data and the Case of Cancer Models.Giovanni Valente, Giovanni Boniolo & Fabio Boniolo - 2023 - Philosophy and Technology 36 (1):1-20.
    In recent years, the biomedical field has witnessed the emergence of novel tools and modelling techniques driven by the rise of the so-called Big Data. In this paper, we address the issue of predictability in biomedical Big Data models of cancer patients, with the aim of determining the extent to which computationally driven predictions can be implemented by medical doctors in their clinical practice. We show that for a specific class of approaches, called k-Nearest Neighbour algorithms, the ability to draw (...)
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  18.  25
    A Trust‐Based Pact in Research Biobanks. From Theory to Practice.Virginia Sanchini, Giuseppina Bonizzi, Davide Disalvatore, Massimo Monturano, Salvatore Pece, Giuseppe Viale, Pier Paolo Di Fiore & Giovanni Boniolo - 2015 - Bioethics 30 (4):260-271.
    Traditional Informed Consent is becoming increasingly inadequate, especially in the context of research biobanks. How much information is needed by patients for their consent to be truly informed? How does the quality of the information they receive match up to the quality of the information they ought to receive? How can information be conveyed fairly about future, non-predictable lines of research? To circumvent these difficulties, some scholars have proposed that current consent guidelines should be reassessed, with trust being used as (...)
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  19.  71
    Biology without information.Giovanni Boniolo - 2003 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 25 (2):255-273.
    Over these last few years once again the relationship between biology and information has been debated with great liveliness. The crucial points concern the meaning of the term ‘information’ and whether the so-called “information talk” is really necessary inside biology.I will proceed by first commenting on some points of the debate (§ 2), then showing that a biophysical account of the process from the nucleotide sequences to the correlated amino acid sequences is possible (§ 3). In this way, I will (...)
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  20.  57
    Trusted consent and research biobanks: Towards a 'new alliance' between researchers and donors.Giovanni Boniolo, Pier Paolo di Fiore & Salvatore Pece - 2010 - Bioethics 26 (2):93-100.
    We argue that, in the case of research biobanks, there is a need to replace the currently used informed consent with trusted consent. Accordingly, we introduce a proposal for the structure of the latter. Further, we discuss some of the issues that can be addressed effectively through our proposal. In particular, we illustrate: i) which research should be authorized by donors; ii) how to regulate access to information; iii) the fundamental role played by a Third Party Authority in assuring compliance (...)
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  21. Explicating the notion of causation: the role of extensive quantities.Giovanni Boniolo, Rossella Faraldo & Antonio Saggion - 2011 - In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 502--525.
     
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  22. Vagueness, Kant and Topology: a Study of Formal Epistemology.Giovanni Boniolo & Silvio Valentini - 2008 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 37 (2):141-168.
    In this paper we propose an approach to vagueness characterised by two features. The first one is philosophical: we move along a Kantian path emphasizing the knowing subject’s conceptual apparatus. The second one is formal: to face vagueness, and our philosophical view on it, we propose to use topology and formal topology. We show that the Kantian and the topological features joined together allow us an atypical, but promising, way of considering vagueness.
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  23.  6
    Complexity and integration. A philosophical analysis of how cancer complexity can be faced in the era of precision medicine.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-25.
    Complexity and integration are longstanding widely debated issues in philosophy of science and recent contributions have largely focused on biology and biomedicine. This paper specifically considers some methodological novelties in cancer research, motivated by various features of tumours as complex diseases, and shows how they encourage some rethinking of philosophical discourses on those topics. In particular, we discuss the integrative-cluster approach, and analyse its potential in the epistemology of cancer. We suggest that, far from being the solution to tame cancer (...)
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  24.  44
    Causal Reasoning and Clinical Practice: Challenges from Molecular Biology.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2019 - Topoi 38 (2):423-435.
    Not only has the philosophical debate on causation been gaining ground in the last few decades, but it has also increasingly addressed the sciences. The biomedical sciences are among the most prominent fields that have been considered, with a number of works tackling the understanding of the notion of cause, the assessment of genuinely causal relations and the use of causal knowledge in applied contexts. Far from denying the merits of the debate on causation and the major theories it comprises, (...)
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  25.  58
    Evolutionary Ethics and Contemporary Biology.Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna (eds.) - 2006 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    How can the discoveries made in the biological sciences play a role in a discussion on the foundation of ethics? This book responds to this question by examining how evolutionism can explain and justify the existence of ethical normativity and the emergence of particular moral systems. Written by a team of philosophers and scientists, the essays collected in this volume deal with the limits of evolutionary explanations, the justifications of ethics, and methodological issues concerning evolutionary accounts of ethics, among other (...)
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  26.  34
    Potential Pitfalls in the Evaluation of Ethics Consultation: The Case of Ethical Counseling.Alma Linkeviciute, Kris Dierickx, Virginia Sanchini & Giovanni Boniolo - 2016 - American Journal of Bioethics 16 (3):56-57.
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  27.  12
    Molecular Biology Meets Logic: Context-Sensitiveness in Focus.Giovanni Boniolo, Marcello D’Agostino, Mario Piazza & Gabriele Pulcini - 2021 - Foundations of Science 28 (1):307-325.
    Some real life processes, including molecular ones, are context-sensitive, in the sense that their outcome depends on side conditions that are most of the times difficult, or impossible, to express fully in advance. In this paper, we survey and discuss a logical account of context-sensitiveness in molecular processes, based on a kind of non-classical logic. This account also allows us to revisit the relationship between logic and philosophy of science (and philosophy of biology, in particular).
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  28.  85
    The four faces of omission: Ontology, terminology, epistemology, and ethics.Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna - 2006 - Philosophical Explorations 9 (3):277 – 293.
    In this paper, the ontological, terminological, epistemological, and ethical aspects of omission are considered in a coherent and balanced framework, based on the idea that there are omissions which are actions and omissions which are non-actions. In particular, we suggest that the approach to causation which best deals with omission is Mackie's INUS conditional proposal. We argue that omissions are determined partly by the ontological conditional structure of reality, and partly by the interests, beliefs, and values of observers. The final (...)
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  29.  15
    Seeing clearly through COVID-19: current and future questions for the history and philosophy of the life sciences.Lisa Onaga & Giovanni Boniolo - 2021 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 43 (2):1-3.
    The role of a journal like HPLS during the novel coronavirus pandemic should serve as a means for scholars in different fields and professions to consider historically and critically what is happening as it unfolds. Surely it cannot tackle all the possible issues related to the pandemic, in particular to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it does have a responsibility to foster the best possible dialogue about the various issues related to the history and philosophy of the life sciences, and thus (...)
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  30.  29
    A Defining Analysis of the Life and Death Dyad: Paving the Way for an Ethical Debate.Giovanni Boniolo & Pier Paolo Di Fiore - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (6):609-634.
    We discuss the meaning of “being alive” and “being dead.” Our primary aim is to pave the way for a sound and accurate ethical debate concerning these two concepts. In particular, we analyze a metabolic approach and a genetic one and discuss the reasons for their failure to constitute a good starting point for successive debates. We argue that any ethical or social discussion of topics involving life and death must introduce cultural constructs such as, on the one hand, the (...)
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  31. On a unified theory of models and thought experiments in natural sciences.Giovanni Boniolo - 1997 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 11 (2):121 – 142.
    In this paper a unified theory of models and thought experiments is proposed by considering them as fictions, la Vaihinger. In order to reach this aim, the Hertzian and Botzmannian interpretation of theories as Bilder is reconsidered.
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  32. The descent of instinct and the ascent of ethics.Giovanni Boniolo - 2006 - In Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna (eds.), Evolutionary Ethics and Contemporary Biology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 27--40.
     
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  33.  12
    Decomposing Biological Complexity into a Conjunction of Theorems. The Case of the Melanoma Network.Giovanni Boniolo & Luisa Lanfrancone - 2016 - Humana Mente 9 (30).
    The complexity of intracellular molecular pathways can be simplified by the use of Network Biology that breaks down the intricacy of biological processes into components and interactions among them. In the paper we show that any complex interactome, that is, a biological network representing protein-protein, protein-DNA and DNA-RNA interactions, can be decomposed into a conjunction of logical theorems expressed in terms of Zsyntax, a formal language which allows representing biological pathways. This result, illustrated with the case study of melanoma network, (...)
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  34.  62
    Clustering humans: On biological boundaries.Ludovica Lorusso & Giovanni Boniolo - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):163-170.
    We inquire into the notions of ‘boundary’ and ‘cluster’ in the fields of medical genetics, pharmacogenetics, and population genetics. First we show that the two notions are not well discussed in literature. Then we propose a promising explication of them, in which we argue that clustering is always ‘property laden’, that is, fundamentally dependent on decisions about the properties to be taken into account. In particular we suggest three different kinds of properties that have a role in these decisions. That (...)
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  35.  27
    Complexity and integration. A philosophical analysis of how cancer complexity can be faced in the era of precision medicine.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-25.
    Complexity and integration are longstanding widely debated issues in philosophy of science and recent contributions have largely focused on biology and biomedicine. This paper specifically considers some methodological novelties in cancer research, motivated by various features of tumours as complex diseases, and shows how they encourage some rethinking of philosophical discourses on those topics. In particular, we discuss the integrative-cluster approach, and analyse its potential in the epistemology of cancer. We suggest that, far from being the solution to tame cancer (...)
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  36.  6
    Complexity and integration. A philosophical analysis of how cancer complexity can be faced in the era of precision medicine.Giovanni Boniolo & Raffaella Campaner - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-25.
    Complexity and integration are longstanding widely debated issues in philosophy of science and recent contributions have largely focused on biology and biomedicine. This paper specifically considers some methodological novelties in cancer research, motivated by various features of tumours as complex diseases, and shows how they encourage some rethinking of philosophical discourses on those topics. In particular, we discuss the integrative-cluster approach, and analyse its potential in the epistemology of cancer. We suggest that, far from being the solution to tame cancer (...)
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  37.  28
    Concepts as representations and as rules.Giovanni Boniolo - 2001 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 25 (1):93-115.
    In this paper a post-Kantian theory of scientific concepts is proposed. In particular, by differentiating the representational level, the intentional level and the real level, it is argued that a scientific concept has to be understood both as a representation and as a rule.
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  38.  51
    On spatial and temporal ex mensura boundaries.Giovanni Boniolo, Rossella Faraldo & Antonio Saggion - 2009 - Foundations of Science 14 (3):181-193.
    In this paper we will propose an empirical analysis of spatial and temporal boundaries. Unlike other proposals, which deal mainly with the commonsense level of the subject, we will ground our explication on well-established scientific practice and language. In this way we show how to reconsider in an innovative way questions such as the distinction between the bona fide boundaries and the fiat boundaries, the thickness and the ownership of the boundaries. At the same time we propose a division between (...)
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  39.  22
    Clustering humans: on biological boundaries.Ludovica Lorusso & Giovanni Boniolo - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (1):163-170.
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  40.  7
    The Role of Mathematics in Physical Sciences: Interdisciplinary and Philosophical Aspects.Giovanni Boniolo, Paolo Budinich & Majda Trobok (eds.) - 2005 - Springer.
    Even though mathematics and physics have been related for centuries and this relation appears to be unproblematic, there are many questions still open: Is mathematics really necessary for physics, or could physics exist without mathematics? Should we think physically and then add the mathematics apt to formalise our physical intuition, or should we think mathematically and then interpret physically the obtained results? Do we get mathematical objects by abstraction from real objects, or vice versa? Why is mathematics effective into physics? (...)
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  41.  39
    On Molecular Mechanisms and Contexts of Physical Explanation.Giovanni Boniolo - 2013 - Biological Theory 7 (3):256-265.
    In this article, two issues regarding mechanisms are discussed. The first concerns the relationships between “mechanism description” and “mechanism explanation.” It is proposed that it is rather plausible to think of them as two distinct epistemic acts. The second deals with the different molecular biology explanatory contexts, and it is shown that some of them require physics and its laws.
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  42.  53
    The Ontogenesis of Human Identity.Giovanni Boniolo - 2005 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 56:5-6.
    “ >. Das hiess doch: Wenn du dir gewisse Tatsachen anders denkst,sie anders beschreibst, als sie sind, dann kannst du die Anwendung gewisser Begriffe dir nicht mehr vorstellen, weil die Regeln ihrer Anwendung kein Analogon unter den neuen Umständen haben.”.
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  43.  30
    The Main Faces of Robustness.Giovanni Boniolo, Mattia Andreoletti, Federico Boem & Emanuele Ratti - 2017 - Dialogue and Universalism 27 (3):157-172.
    In the last decade, robustness has been extensively mentioned and discussed in biology as well as in the philosophy of the life sciences. Nevertheless, from both fields, someone has affirmed that this debate has resulted in more semantic confusion than in semantic clearness. Starting from this claim, we wish to offer a sort of prima facie map of the different usages of the term. In this manner we would intend to predispose a sort of “semantic platform” which could be exploited (...)
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  44.  6
    Individuo e persona: tre saggi su chi siamo.Giovanni Boniolo - 2007 - Milano: Bompiani. Edited by Gabriele De Anna & Umberto Vincenti.
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  45.  19
    Defining Analysis of the Life and Death Dyad: Paving the Way for an Ethical Debate.Giovanni Boniolo & Pier Paolo Di Fiore - 2008 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 33 (6):609-634.
    We discuss the meaning of “being alive” and “being dead.” Our primary aim is to pave the way for a sound and accurate ethical debate concerning these two concepts. In particular, we analyze a metabolic approach and a genetic one and discuss the reasons for their failure to constitute a good starting point for successive debates. We argue that any ethical or social discussion of topics involving life and death must introduce cultural constructs such as, on the one hand, the (...)
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  46. Theory and experiment. The case of eötvös' experiments.Giovanni Boniolo - 1992 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (4):459-486.
    By analysing the historical case of the proportionality between inertia and gravitation, it is possible to reconstruct one of the most relevant moments in the history of physics, that is to say, the one linked with Eötvös' experiments. At the same time, this reconstruction offers the opportunity to carry out philosophical considerations about the relationship between theory and experiment and about the concept of incommensurability.
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  47. Genetic influences on moral capacity. What genetic mutants can teach us.Giovanni Boniolo & Paolo Vezzoni - 2006 - In Giovanni Boniolo & Gabriele De Anna (eds.), Evolutionary Ethics and Contemporary Biology. Cambridge University Press. pp. 77--96.
     
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  48.  28
    A contextualized approach to biological explanation.Giovanni Boniolo - 2005 - Philosophy 80 (2):219-247.
    In the paper, starting from a slightly modified version of van Fraassen's pragmatic approach to explanation, I will propose a pragmatical meta-model for the different biological explanatory models. That is, I will offer a pragmatic point of view to rule different explanatory models in function of the biological context from which the given biologist explains.
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  49.  15
    Causality and Methodology. Notes on Thanatochronological Estimations.Giovanni Boniolo, Mirella Libero & Anna Aprile - 2005 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):381 - 393.
    The authors propose some methodological considerations on thanatochronological estimations. They first consider the problem of the definition of death, and then they deal with the issue of the estimations of death time, that is, with the Post-Mortem Interval (PMI). As regards the first question, they note that it does not concern only the definition of death, but also the choice of a particular kind of definition of 'definition'. With reference to the second question, the authors suggest a causal model showing (...)
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  50.  24
    Wormholes and Timelike Curves: Is There Room for the Grandfather Paradox?Giovanni Boniolo - 1999 - In Maria Luisa Dalla Chiara (ed.), Language, Quantum, Music. pp. 143--157.
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