9 December 2010
Ex Boccherini - Piazza S. Ponziano 6 (Conference Room )
The aim of this talk is to explain some of the benefits of perusing a far-fetched goal: a general theory of communication. The greatest theoretical difficulty faced by our standard scientific world-view is its unavoidable admission of emergent properties. Such admission threatens the consistency of that very world-view, as it ascribes to various objects of scientific inquiry incompatible properties. To make just one illustration among many, it ascribes to human beings both some autonomy and total heteronomy, as they are assumed to be both volitional, rational beings by psychologists, and pieces of inert matter whose behavior is determined by the laws of physics alone, as already Immanuel Kant has rightly observed. Now, I am not going to overcome this inconsistency, of course. It is expressed in many domains of freedom, communication being one of them. My contention is that a general theory of communication, if and when it will be achieved, will not only allow for free communication, despite causality, but also for freedom in general, which is essential to the solution of such emergence puzzles as the mind-body problem.