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Foreword; M.E.H. Nicolette Mout and Werner Stauffacher.-

OPENING SESSION.- Addresses of Welcome: Giorgio Giudici, Mayor of Lugano; Piero Martinoli, President of the University of Lugano; Bruno Bottai, Chairman of the Board of the International Balzan 'Prize' Foundation.- Keynote Lecture: Truth and Ourselves: the Elusive Last Word; Simon Blackburn.-

SESSION I PHILOSOPHY.- Truth, Contradiction, Nihilism; Emanuele Severino.-
PANEL DISCUSSION: Pascal Engel, Emanuele Severino, Karlheinz Stierle, Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo.-

SESSION II MATHEMATICS - PHYSICS AND COSMOLOGY.- Truth as a Value and Duty: Lessons of Mathematics; Yuri Manin.-
PANEL AND GENERAL DISCUSSION: Kai Hauser, Yuri Manin.- Thoughts on Truth in Physics, Astrophysics and Cosmology; Bengt Gustafsson.-
PANEL AND GENERAL DISCUSSION: Paolo de Bernardis, Bengt Gustafsson.-

SESSION III BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES – BIODIVERSITY – SUSTAINABILITY.- Is the Brain the Organ of Truth?; Jean-Pierre Changeux.- Science as Organized Scepticism; Robert Mc Credie May.-
PANEL AND GENERAL DISCUSSION: Marco Baggiolini, Jean-Pierre Changeux, Robert Mc Credie May.-

SESSION IV HISTORY – SOCIAL SCIENCES.- Truth and Explanation in History; Quentin Skinner.-
PANEL DISCUSSION: Keith Thomas, Dominique Schnapper, Quentin Skinner.- Cultural Relativism: Meaning and Limits; Dominique Schnapper.-
PANEL AND GENERAL DISCUSSION: Keith Thomas, Mauro Barazini, Quentin Skinner, Dominique Schnapper.-

SESSION V THEOLOGY – RELIGION.- Faith and Truth; Georges Cardinal Cottier OP.- Violence, the Sacred, and the Regimes of Truth; Mohammed Arkoun.- The Truth about the Historical Jew; Geza Vermes.-
PANEL AND GENERAL DISCUSSION: Jan Assmann, Brian Hebblethwaite, Geza Vermes, Mohammed Arkoun, Georges Cardinal Cottier.-

SESSION VI CONCLUSION.- ‘Truth’: Common Themes?; John Krebs and Simon Blackburn.-

CONCLUDING REMARKS: Bruno Bottai, Achille Casanova, Mike Gray, Alessio Marconi.-



by the Academies of the two countries – to the Italian-Swiss University of Lugano for the two-day-Symposium. The question of the meaning of “truth” is central to many areas of contemporary debate, whether between those subscribing to a post-Enlightenment view of the world and those who seek fundamental truth in religious texts, or between those maintaining that there are absolute truths and those believing facts to be social constructs. For some, the ultimate truth is revealed through religious faith and t- tual authority. Can this view be reconciled with an evidence-based, materialist, post-Enlightenment perspective of the truth as embraced by the natural sciences? If religion holds the key to the truth, which religion and which truths? During the five thematic sessions of the symposium, all attended by the same audience and by all the speakers and panel members, these and many other qu- tions, but in particular the one about the meaning of truth, were examined and debated. The whole range of perspectives represented on the panels and in the au- ence came to the fore. After the keynote lecture by Professor Simon Blackburn, the five sessions covered the following disciplines: philosophy, mathematics, physics, cosmology, the biological sciences including biodiversity and sustainability, h- tory, the social sciences, theology and religion. This volume contains the speakers’ lectures, the corresponding reactions of the invited panel members as well as the panel and general discussions of the two-d- symposium.
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