Ethics in Thought. Gian-Carlo Rota and Philosophy

Invited Chapter
  • Francesca Bonicalzi


Discrete Thoughts - Pensieri discreti, where “discreti” means both discrete and discreet: the title announces, with surprising clearness, and simultaneously conceals, with ingenious ambivalence, the gigantic feat Rota intends to perform: “to tell the truth”. Although it is, classically, the philosopher’s task, telling the truth is proclaimed from the outset as the - difficult/impossible? - enterprise of the mathematician. “In mathematics, as anywhere today, it is becoming more difficult to tell the truth” (Rota, 1986, p. IX): these are the first words of the preface to Discrete Thoughts, and they ring out as a provocation and a challenge that presents itself as particularly difficult due to the complexity of the wealth of knowledge that mathematics represents, but also due to the persistence in the sciences of a reductive conception of truth.


Philosophical Thought Epistemic Model Axiomatic Method Reductive Conception Urban Renewal Project 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca Bonicalzi
    • 1
  1. 1.Università di BergamoBergamoItaly

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