Springer published a book collecting the proceedings of the International Balzan Symposium "Truth in Science, the Humanities, and Religion ", held in Lugano in May 2008.
The Balzan Symposium "Truth in Science, the Humanities, and Religion” was held on May 16-17, 2008 in Lugano, in the Auditorium of the Università della Svizzera italiana and was attended by scholars with various scientific, philosophical and religious backgrounds.
The question of what we mean by “the truth” is central to many areas of contemporary debate, between those who seek fundamental truth in religious texts and those who subscribe to a post-enlightenment view of the world as well as among those who believe that there are absolute truths and those who believe facts to be social constructs.
The issue was addressed in two days of debate and four sessions: Philosophy, Mathematics-Physics-Cosmology, Biology-Biodiversity-Sustainability; History-Social Sciences, Theology-Religion: four different and complementary keys to interpretation, which form the content of the book.
The proceedings reflect the guiding principle of the International Balzan Symposium: to stimulate dialogue which will lead to a better mutual understanding of what are all too often seen as irreconcilable points of view.
Foreword; M.E.H. Nicolette Mout and Werner Stauffacher
Opening Session. Welcome addresses: Giorgio Giudici, Piero Martinoli,, Bruno Bottai,
Keynote Lecture: Truth and Ourselves: the Elusive Last Word; Simon Blackburn
Session I Philosophy
Emanuele Severino Truth, Contradiction, Nihilism
Discussion: Pascal Engel, Karlheinz Stierle, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo
Session II Mathematics - Physics- Cosmology
Yuri Manin:.Truth as a Value and Duty: Lessons of Mathematic; Bengt Gustafsson: Thoughts on Truth in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Discussion: Kai Hauser, Paolo de Bernardis
Session III Biological Sciences- Biodiversity-Sustainability
Jean-Pierre Changeux: Is the Brain the Organ of Truth?; Robert McCredie May: Science as Organized Scepticism
Discussion: Marco Baggiolini
Session IV History-Social Sciences
Quentin Skinner: Truth and Explanation in History; Dominique Schnapper: Cultural Relativism: Meaning and Limits
Discussion:: Keith Thomas, Mauro Baranzini
Session V Theology-Religion.
Georges Cottier: Faith and Truth; Mohammed Arkoun: Violence, the Sacred, and the Regimes of Truth; Geza Vermes: The Truth about the Historical Jesus
Discussion: Jan Assmann, Brian Hebblethwaite
Session VI Conclusions
John Krebs and Simon Blackburn: Truth’: Common Themes?
Concluding Remarks: Bruno Bottai, Achille Casanova