Forecasting the Future. Scientific, Philosophical and Historical Perspectives


Stefano Bordoni (University of Bologna) and Sara Matera (University of Urbino)


The aim of science is to explain or at least represent natural phenomena in order to better understand them, and forecast their future behaviour. The present volume collects the proceeding of the XVI Summer School in Philosophy of Physics, Forecasting the future: epistemology and empirical sciences, which took place in Cesena (Italy) in September 2013. Different features of the actual scientific enterprise were explored, and speakers focused on sensitive issues like determinism, causality, reductionism, and predictability from a scientific, philosophical, and historical point of view. Their researches attempted to shed light on questions like: Can we really predict the evolution of complex systems like global climate and microscopic structures? How can we decide whether a forecast is “strong” and “reliable”? What is a good causal explanation? What enables us to believe that our world is deterministic? Is reductionism the best strategy to predict future states of the world?

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Bordoni & Matera, Forecasting the future. Scientific, Philosophical, and Historical Perspectives