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Giorgio Bertini
Works at Learning Change Project
Lived in Italy, UK, Mexico, Brasil & Chile
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Giorgio Bertini

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Giorgio Bertini

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This book is a further contribution to the series Cambridge Studies in Philosophy and Biology.It is an ambitious attempt to explain the relationship between intelligence and environmental complexity, and in so doing to link philosophy of mind to more general issues about the relations between organisms and environments, and to the general pattern of “externalist” explanations. Two sets of questions drive the argument. First, is it possible to develop an informative philosophical theory about the mind by linking it to properties of environmental complexity? Second, what is the nature of externalist patterns of explanation? What is at stake in attempting to understand the internal in terms of the external? The author provides a biological approach to the investigation of mind and cognition in nature. In particular he explores the idea that the function of cognition is to enable agents to deal with environmental complexity. The history of the idea in the work of Dewey and Spencer is considered, as is the impact of recent evolutionary theory on our understanding of the place of mind in nature.
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Giorgio Bertini

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Knowledge is a gift best appreciated when we don’t try to think about it. As a topic of focus, it frequently defies words. It grows more elusive as we attempt to draw closer to its source. And, though we make complex decisions every day, we routinely fail to grasp what it means to truly understand something. For many reasons we fail to engage what’s presented in a discerning way. My research on critical thinking is making one fact crystal clear: it’s high time we raised the bar on how well, and how deeply, we dare to think. So let’s unpack the concept of epistemology. To most, it’s hopelessly obscure, a word dying to stay hidden in text books. Yet it’s a vital to understanding a foundational divide in Western thinking. I define it like this:
An epistemology is a holistic framework for knowledge, giving us a set of consistent, simple rules for how we should describe that knowledge and apply it in practice.
Looking back over the centuries, 8 famous epistemologies dating to Aristotle, Bacon and mark clear fault lines between science and philosophy. It is a separation between those who think in terms of empirical ’cause and effect’ vs. those who tend to think more intuitively, in ‘patterns’.
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Giorgio Bertini

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Le numérique est-il une chance ou un danger pour les bibliothèques ? Numérisation des archives, ressources en ligne, prêt de livres numériques : quels sont les enjeux de ces évolutions ?
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Giorgio Bertini

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In Voices of the Mind, James Wertsch outlines an approach to mental functioning that stresses its inherent cultural, historical, and institutional context. A critical aspect of this approach is the cultural tools or “mediational means” that shape both social and individual processes. In considering how these mediational means – in particular, language — emerge in social history and the role they play in organizing the settings in which human beings are socialized, Wertsch achieves fresh insights into essential areas of human mental functioning that are typically unexplored or misunderstood. Although Wertsch’s discussion draws on the work of a variety of scholars in the social sciences and the humanities, the writings of Lev S. Vygotsky and Mikhail Bakhtin, are of particular significance. Voices of the Mind breaks new ground in reviewing and integrating some of their major theoretical ideas and in demonstrating how these ideas can be extended to address a series of contemporary issues in psychology and related fields. A case in point is Wertsch’s analysis of “voice,” which exemplifies the collaborative nature of his effort. Although some have viewed abstract linguistic entities, such as isolated words and sentences, as the mechanism shaping human thought, Wertsch turns to Bakhtin, who demonstrated the need to analyze speech in terms of how it “appropriates” the voices of others in concrete sociocultural settings. These appropriated voices may be those of specific speakers, such as one’s parents, or they may take the form of “social languages” characteristic of a category of  speakers, such as an ethnic or national community. Speaking and thinking thus involve the inherent process of “ventriloquating” through the voices of other socio-culturally situated speakers. Voices of the Mind attempts to build upon this theoretical foundation, persuasively arguing for the essential bond between cognition and culture.
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Giorgio Bertini

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This dissertation develops an ontological understanding of dialogue that is then used to reconsider the forms and purposes of schooling.  Employing the works of Martin Buber and Mikhail Bakhtin, the work departs from the literature on schooling that treats dialogue as merely an instrument in the schooling of children in order for them to become good citizens, to join the work force and the like.  Instead it is argued that dialogue needs to be understood as constituting the very essence of human existence.  In addition the dissertation offers a critique of assumptions of modern and postmodern philosophies and critiques non-ontological theories of dialogue that give it a merely instrumental, as opposed to constitutive value. The notion of a polyphonic self is then introduced, which calls for reconsideration of the notions of identity, integrity, and authenticity.  A human self is co-authored by others, and can exist and be known only through dialogue with others.  A person of dialogical integrity is defined as being consistently different in different situations; and the authentic self is true to the dialogical situation, rather than one’s inner feelings and self-concepts.  The dissertation illustrates the ontological notion of dialogue by analyzing types of discourse in classroom communication.  Instances of dialogue are not those where students and a teacher take turn in an orderly conversation, according to rules of “dialogical teaching.”  Rather, dialogue appears in some moments of disruption, talking out of turn, and laughter.  The dissertation defines a successful school as one fostering dialogue in its ontological sense.  Such a school should possess systemic qualities of complexity, civility, and carnival. These qualities create necessary conditions for the emergence of the dialogical relation.
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Giorgio Bertini

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Curiosity is a multi-dimensional concept with no single definition, and overlaps extensively with related concepts, including creativity, inquisitiveness and openness to experience. In the context of this conceptual ambiguity, we approached curiosity through the following working definition: a focussed or exploratory inquisitiveness that motivates us to connect what we don’t know to what we do know. How Might Curiosity Help Stimulate Innovation for Sustainability? Curiosity is dually important for innovation, first in its link to creativity and divergent thinking, and second in its role as an intrinsic motivator to sustain interest in a given area. There is a coherent and compelling case that links curiosity to the challenge of creating sustainable patterns of energy supply and demand, and promoting energy efficiency. In the context of new technologies that allow us to find things out easily and quickly, the overarching challenge at an educational level is to support deeper forms of curiosity; those that arise from cultivating interest in the complexities of our own natures, embodied engagement with technical challenges, and cultivating expert curiosity through sustained commitment to a particular field or practice.
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Giorgio Bertini

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The sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) is the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing with “the social conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity.” The sociology of scientific ignorance (SSI) is complementary to the sociology of scientific knowledge. The sociology of knowledge, by contrast, focuses on the production of non-scientific ideas and social constructions. Sociologists of scientific knowledge study the development of a scientific field and attempt to identify points of contingency or interpretative flexibility where ambiguities are present. Such variations may be linked to a variety of political, historical, cultural or economic factors. Crucially, the field does not set out to promote relativism or to attack the scientific project; the aim of the researcher is to explain why one interpretation rather than another succeeds due to external social and historical circumstances.
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How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is “really” like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the reader on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general readers with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper’s theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and “scientific revolutions“; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and Paul Feyerabend; and challenges to the field from sociology of science, feminism, and science studies. The book then looks in more detail at some specific problems and theories, including scientific realism, the theory- of observation, scientific explanation, and Bayesianism. Finally, Godfrey-Smith defends a form of philosophical naturalism as the best way to solve the main problems in the field. Throughout the text he points out connections between philosophical debates and wider discussions about science in recent decades, such as the infamous “science wars.” Examples and asides engage the beginning student; a glossary of terms explains key concepts; and suggestions for further reading are included at the end of each chapter. However, this is a textbook that doesn’t feel like a textbook because it captures the historical drama of changes in how science has been conceived over the last one hundred years. Like no other text in this field, Theory and Reality combines a survey of recent history of the philosophy of science with current key debates in language that any beginning scholar or critical reader can follow.
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Giorgio Bertini

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The development of Einstein’s philosophy and the development of logical empiricism were both driven in crucial ways by the quest for an empiricism that could defend the empirical integrity of general relativity in the face of neo-Kantian critiques. But logical empiricism was more than a philosophy of relativity theory, and Einstein’s philosophy of science was more than an answer to Kant. A fuller account of Einstein’s philosophy of science would have to include discussion of his belief in simplicity as a guide to truth, especially in areas of physics comparatively far removed from extensive and direct contact with experiment, as in his own long search for a unified field theory. A fuller account would also investigate Einstein’s largely original and, I think, quite profound distinction between “principle theories” and “constructive theories,” the former constituted of mid-level, empirically well-grounded generalizations like the light principle and the relativity principle, which, by constraining the search for constructive models, often facilitate progress in science, as Einstein thought was the case in his discovery of special relativity. And a fuller account would examine Einstein’s appropriation of what Joseph Petzoldt dubbed “the law of univocalness”, in effect the requirement that theories determine for themselves unique models of the phenomena they aim to describe, for this idea was central to Einstein’s thinking about a permissible space-time event ontology, his solution of the “hole argument” via the “pointcoincidence argument” in the genesis of general relativity, and his more general attitude toward physical reality and objectivity. And partly through its influence on Einstein, this idea of Petzoldt’s also played a significant role in the history of logical empiricism, especially in the development of Carnap’s thinking.
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Giorgio Bertini

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The book represents a multidisciplinary collaboration that highlights the significance of Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories to modern scholarship in the field of language and literacy. The chapters examine such important questions as: What resources do students bring from their home/community environments that help them become literate in school? What knowledge do teachers need in order to meet the literacy needs of varied students? How can teacher educators and professional development programs better understand teachers’ needs and help them to become better prepared to teach diverse literacy learners? What challenges lie ahead for literacy learners in the coming century? Chapters are contributed by scholars who write from varied disciplinary perspectives. In addition, other scholarly voices enter into a Bakhtinian dialogue with these scholars about their ideas. These “other voices” help our readers push the boundaries of current thinking on Bakhtinian theory and make this book a model of heteroglossia and dialogic intertextuality.
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Italy, UK, Mexico, Brasil & Chile - Brasilia Brasil - Mexico Mexico - Roma Italia - Cambridge UK - Brighton, UK - Santiago Chile - Lucca Italy
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Introduction
Research on society, culture, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, complexity, systems, networks, swarms, socio-ecology, sustainability, futures ++
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Director at Learning Change Project.
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Research, teaching, coaching, course & research design, project design & management
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  • Learning Change Project
    Founder & Director, 2005 - present
  • United Nations
    International Consultant, 1980 - 2004
  • Universities
    Research Fellow at: Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" (Italia); University of Cambridge (UK); Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (México); and, Universidad de Chile (Chile), 1980 - 2000
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Francesco