Filosofía Inglés

Chronicle of the First Interdisciplinary Research Week



Autor: IF

From August 5th to 9th, the first Interdisciplinary Research Week, titled «Determinism and Indeterminism: From Physics to Philosophy,» took place at the Universidad Austral. This intensive week was the main event of a three-year project funded by the John Templeton Foundation and the National Agency for Scientific and Technological Promotion. The project aimed to study the impact of new scientific findings on issues related to the determinism/indeterminism of nature and promote dialogue among Spanish-speaking physicists, biologists, neuroscientists, philosophers, and theologians.

The week included various activities. Two general public lectures were delivered, one by Dr. Olimpia Lombardi (University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) titled «What Indeterminism Does Quantum Mechanics Propose?» attended by over eighty engineering students, and another by Prof. Juan Arana (University of Seville, Spain) titled «The Many Faces of Determinism.» Professor Luz Marina Duque (University of the Valley, Colombia) gave a lecture to more than a hundred twenty students from the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences on «Unity and Order in the Cosmos.» Prof. Arana also provided the historical context of the determinism/indeterminism debate in a course specifically designed for university professors.


However, the central activity of the week was the researchers’ workshop, which involved thirty scholars from seven countries. The workshop consisted of six working sessions (two per day). Six questions, carefully selected in advance (one per session), acted as small research sub-projects. Each question, which had previously been studied by a pair of scholars from different disciplines – a physicist along with a philosopher/theologian – was subjected to participants’ idea exchange during the sessions.

On the first day, philosophers Héctor Velázquez (Panamerican University, Mexico) and Claudia Vanney (Universidad Austral, Argentina) asked scientists Santiago Collado (University of Navarra, Spain) and Alan Heiblum (FONCyT – Universidad Austral, Argentina) about the scope of the notion of determinism and its applicability to scientific theories, human knowledge, and nature.

The following day, physicists Leonardo Vanni (University of Buenos Aires-Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Argentina) and Olimpia Lombardi (Conicet, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) questioned philosophers Sebastián Fortín (Conicet, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina) and Rafael Martínez (Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Italy) about whether the most recent interpretations of quantum mechanics and highly unstable complex systems favor a deterministic or indeterministic understanding of nature.

On the third day, theologians/philosophers Francisco Soler (University of Seville, Spain) and Ignacio Silva (University of Oxford, United Kingdom) were interrogated by scientists Alejandro González Sánchez (Autonomous University of Zacatecas, Mexico) and Alejandro Clausse (Conicet – University of the Center of the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina) on the origin of the universe and the providential action of God in nature. The methodology followed to deepen interdisciplinary dialogue has paved the way for fruitful future academic collaboration.

Click here to see some photos from the week.

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