Matter: Philosophy, Science, and the Arts. 27-28-29 JUNE 2022 (Registration deadline: 22 June)


Carlotta Capuccino, Matteo Martelli, Matteo Pasetti, Paolo Savoia, Antonella Tramacere


What is matter? And how did it change over time? How have philosophers, scientists and artisans dealt with it in different periods and cultural settings?

These questions will be at the core of the Summer School, which will involve experts from various fields to talk about matter and materiality from different perspectives. Philosophers, historians of science and technology, modern scientists will be asked to discuss how matter has been conceptualized over time -- from ancient philosophy, medicine and alchemy to contemporary cosmology and neuroscience -- as well as how it has been manipulated, transformed and shaped in mutual dialogue with the theories that tried to define it. Technologies shaped objects and bodies, created artefacts, led to the discovery of new materials, chemical elements and particles. Objects, bodies, and artefacts, on the other hand, encapsulate beliefs, mirror theories, merge habits of hands and ways of thinking about the world that surrounds us. This entangled history of ideas and objects, of theories and practices will be approached in a longue durée perspective, with particular attention to key case-studies taken from natural philosophy, cosmology, medicine and chemistry.

Students will be stimulated to critically think about matter, but they will also be asked to take matter in their hands, to think with their hands, to manipulate materials in accordance with instructions found in ancient manuscripts, to go through early modern books and museums and finally to taste matter, or at least a specific kind of matter, namely wine.