Submission deadline: May 27, 2024

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Editors of the Monographic Issue

Santiago S. Hernando

Carlos H. Sierra

Nicolás Jiménez Iguarán

We are pleased to announce the opening of the submission period for articles and essays for the fourth special issue of the International Journal of Environmental Epistemology, "Cosmotheoros". This monographic issue, recalling Heraclitus' well-known aphorism that "nature loves to hide" (φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεῖ), will explore the myriad and changing ways in which nature has been made intelligible for natural philosophy - from antiquity to the 19th century - and for science - in the 20th and 21st centuries. In other words, it will address the persistent tendency to regard nature as the repository of an implicit order, even a preferred regularity, for the construction of the human moral edifice. From this point of view, the specific criteria for the selection of contents will be guided by the broadest possible overview, so that the science-nature binomial will be explored from all possible approaches and perspectives (history, philosophy, religion, metaphysics, epistemology, sociology, symbology, aesthetics, ethics, etc.).

This special issue focuses on the historical, social and epistemological conditions that make the natural event intelligible as an intelligible reality. In this sense, it pays particular attention to the numerous symbolic metaphors and analogies that have been applied to natural reality as fruitful hermeneutical tools throughout the cultural tradition of Western science. In this respect, symbolic figures of this kind, such as the one that identifies nature with a readable book (as recorded in Galileo Galilei's "Il Saggiatore"), manifest the existence of an expressive code invisible to the naked eye, a rational background that gives order to the apparently confused dynamics of events occurring on the surface. Since the ancient Greeks (through the heyday of natural philosophy to the advent of avant-garde science), there has been a presumption in mankind of a kind of "intrinsic quality" to discover, whether in the field of physics, astronomy or biology, a "regularity" (to be understood in the broadest sense) that makes all phenomena cognitively comprehensible.

The proof of a certain natural stability, structured on the basis of the causal chain and the mechanisms that allow, to varying degrees, the "invariance of the point of view" on the real, lays the fundamental interpretative foundations for attributing the status of law to natural behaviour and for considering the structure of the universe (both at the organic and inorganic levels) as a complex macrosystem. However, this potential opening of nature to human understanding (after the historical piercing of the veils of fiction in which "pure fact" is enveloped, and after overcoming the obstacles imposed by subjective consciousness itself) raises profound questions that have never been clearly elucidated. Among these, we could highlight the problem of the intellectual and ontological status of theory in general and its relationship with its correlate or natural "salience" (Lorraine Daston). At this point, a wide and heterogeneous horizon of approaches emerges, ranging from the possibility of absolute identification or intrinsic belonging to "reality" to the gradual and imprecise approach to it (determinism versus stochastic approach), (naturalism, realism, instrumentalism, conventionalism), from an exclusively descriptive function to the assumption of a prescriptive quality. And, at the extreme, there are those who, like Nancy Cartwright, have dared to defend the falsity of any law associated with nature.

Nor can we ignore the particular ways in which scientific law or regularity is expressed in the field of biology. The complexity of living processes (in which chance, fact and contingency must be taken into account) leads us to an elusive and constantly changing reality that marks a distance from physics or chemistry (John Dupré, Stephen Jay Gould, etc.).

Finally, in addition to the nomological character of reality, this special issue does not leave out the debates on the guiding principles (-ἀρχή-) that predetermine the course and behaviour of matter (and which even lead us to speculations of a metaphysical or religious nature, such as the supposed action of a divine legislator - René Descartes), Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton -, natural selection or chance) or, on the other hand, the problem (repeatedly emphasised since Aristotle) of the supposed inherent finality, natural teleology or teleonomy of natural reality.

The International Journal of Environmental Epistemology "Cosmotheoros" invites submissions for this special issue devoted to nature from the perspective of science, including philosophical, aesthetic, historical, symbolic, sociological, ethical, epistemological, religious, etc. approaches.  The following are some possible topics (although they are not limiting):

·      Metaphors of cosmic order (from the "book" to the "engineering laboratory").

·      Language, boundary and law in the history of science.

·      The historical change of order in astronomy: from the cosmos to the universe.

·  The problem of substance and process in living matter (John Dupré and the Stanford School).

·      Nominalism, realism, and idealism in the emergence of modern science.

·  Teleologies in science: from anthropic principles to the Gaia hypothesis.

· The natural order beyond Earth: on terraforming, stellar laboratories and "extraterrestrial civilisations" (from Huygens and Fontenelle to modern astrobiology).

·  The problem of morphogenesis in the history of biology and physics.

·      The hidden language of nature: number and form (symmetries, fractals and non-ideal deviations).

·  The experimental phenomenology of law: different worlds, different laws.

·  The metaphysical problem of the guiding principle of natural regularity (God, natural selection, autopoiesis and "the clock and other artificial mechanisms").

·  The multiple order of nature. The journey through scale (from micro to macro).

·  The predictability of laws and the modelling of the world (from determinism to stochastic laws).

·  Degrees of certainty in natural behaviour. Order within order (azar, chaos, and complexity).

· Reality through the explanatory programme of the "new mechanism" (Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, Carl F. Craver, etc.).

·    The renegades of scientific law (Nancy Cartwright, etc.).

·The possibility of reversibility of natural law and "time travel" (entropy, philosophical time and scientific time).

·  The breakdown of the natural order: on catastrophes, singularities and teratologies.

The deadline for submission of papers is as follows:

27 May 2024 via [email protected].

For further information, please contact the journal editors:

Carlos Hugo Sierra:

[email protected]

Nicolás Jiménez Iguarán:

[email protected]

Submission guidelines:

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