The following projects have been funded by the Dirección de Investigación of Universidad Austral:

Hero: a virtual intervention program to promote prosocial behaviors in adolescents

Director: Dr. Belén Mesurado

Co-director: Dr. Claudia Vanney

Grupo colaborador: Dr. Gabriela Robiolo – Lic. María José Distefano – Lic. Paulina Guerra

Project Duration: 2018-2020

Aomunt awarded: $120,000 ($60,000 Dirección de Investigación de la Universidad Austral and $60,000 Instituto de Filosofía)

Abstract: The aim of this project is to study the effectiveness of a virtual intervention program in the promotion of prosocial behaviors, variables linked to them and in the inhibition of aggressive behaviors in adolescents. The selection of the sample is not probabilistic and intentional, although the assignment to the groups (experimental and control) will be done in a random way. The population will be constituted by 200 adolescents of both sexes between 13 and 15 years old. For the evaluation of the variables, the prosocial behavior toward different targets questionnaire will be used (Padilla-Walker and Christensen, 2011), Physical and Verbal Aggressiveness Scale (Caprara and Pastorelli,), Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1980), Scale of Forgiveness (Rye et al., 2001), Gratitude Questionnaire GQ-6 (McCullough et al., 2002) and Flourishing Life Scale (Mesurado, et al, 2016). It is estimated that there are statistically significant changes in all the variables studied in the experimental group, while it is expected to find no changes in the variables evaluated in the control group. The changes obtained through the intervention are expected to be stable.

Determinism and Indeterminism: From Cognitive Sciences to Philosophy

Principal Researcher: Dr. Juan F. Franck

Ressearchers: Dr. Claudia Vanney (Universidad Austral), Dr. Juan José Sanguineti (Universidad de la Santa Croce, Roma), Dr. Gabriel Zanotti (Universidad Austral), Dr. José Ignacio Murillo (Universidad de Navarra), Dr. Ignacio Silva (University of Oxford).

Research Assistant: Mariano Asla (Universidad Austral), Agustina Lombardi (Universidad Austral).

Project Duration: 2014-2015

Amount Awarded: $ 20,200

Abstract: The project addressed the problem of determinism or indeterminism in the field of human decisions, as they appear in the neurosciences and in the philosophical debates they have given rise to, mainly in the last 30 years. Its goals are: a) to elucidate the epistemological level of neuroscience within the cognitive sciences, and relative to psychology and philosophy; b) to analyze the possibility of human freedom within the framework of a determinist or an indeterminist nature; c) to study the compatibility of the existence of a personal human soul with the neurobiological approach. It included a monthly research seminar and an Interdisciplinary Research Week, with the aims of unifying the specific technical vocabulary and of consolidating the network of Spanish-speaking researchers working in these issues.

Determinismo e indeterminismo: De la física a la filosofía

Principal Researcher: Dra. Claudia Vanney

Ressearchers: Dr. Juan Francisco Franck (Universidad de Montevideo), Olimpia Lombardi (Conicet, Universidad de Buenos Aires), Dr. Alejandro Clausse (Conicet, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires), Dr. Juan José Sanguineti (Universidad de la Santa Croce, Roma), Dr. Ignacio Silva (University of Oxford), Dr. Juan Arana (Universidad de Sevilla).

Research Assistant: Lic. Mariano Asla (Universidad Austral), Lic. Alan Heiblum (Universidad Austral), Lic. Ignacio del Carril (Universidad Austral).

Project Duration: 2013-2014

Amount Awarded: $ 20,000

Abstract: This project investigated a traditionally philosophical theme, such as the debate on determinism, from some new perspectives which contemporary physics opened up and delving also into its theological implications. It aimed at: 1) clarifying the notions of determinism/indeterminism in physics, distinguishing its ontological and epistemological implications; 3) evaluating the conditions under which some current physical theories, particularly quantum mechanics and chaos theory, put forward an indeterminist paradigm of nature; 3) showing that contemporary physics does not close the doors to the existence of a creator and provident God. By means of a Monthly Research Seminar and an Interdisciplinary Research Week a network of Spanish-speaking researchers working on these issues was consolidated.

Determinism and Freedom: Physical Determinism and its Consequences

Principal Researcher: Dra. Claudia Vanney

Ressearchers: Dr. Alejandro Clausse (Conicet, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires), Dra. Olimpia Lombardi (Conicet, Universidad de Buenos Aires).

Project Duration: 2009-2010

Amount awarded: $ 15,600

The goals of this investigation were: 1) to discriminate the meaning of the terms causality, contingency, determination, efficaciousness, necessity, capacity of prediction and freedom in the literature; 2) to evaluate, having the debate on determinism as a starting point, the epistemological status of different physico-mathematical theories, in order to determine the scope of scientific realism; 3) to move forward in the formulation of a new modal-Hamiltonian interpretation of quantum mechanics which may provide an adequate answer to the measurement problem, facing the problems of contextuality and quantum indistinguishability, in terms of an ontology of properties and relations that accounts for the principle of indeterminacy.

Since it is a theoretical investigation of philosophical nature, the general methodology was the detailed study and critical analysis of the problems and of the different solutions put forward in the literature, as well as the usual procedures in theoretical physics. The study of determinism was approached from the state of the art, in both the philosophical and the physico-mathematical fields.

Epistemological and anthropological foundations of sceince and technology

Principal Researcher: Dra. Claudia Vanney

Ressearchers: Dr. Alejandro Clausse (Conicet, Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires), Dr. Roberto Bosca (Universidad Austral), Dr. Emiliano Hong (Universidad Austral), Dr. Gustavo Bitocchi (Universidad Austral).

Project Duration: 2008

Amount Awarded: $5,200

Abstract: The goal of this investigation was to deepen in the epistemological and anthropological foundations of science and technology, in two main directions. The epistemological study tried to determine the epistemological status of mathematical objects employed by contemporary science, in order to establish their link to reality. The anthropological study analyzed man’s free actions to account for his practical and technical intervention in his natural surroundings, highlighting the social responsibility of his actions and deepening in the outcome of his doings.

Ortega y Gasset’s anthropology and Leonardo Polo’s theory of knowledge were particularly studied, confronting their proposals with other contemporary thinkers of different philosophical traditions.