IASC members are kindly invited to send their proposals and suggestions to be inserted on this page. Please, contact: Giovanni Scarafile:


Angeles Perona (Ed.)., Normativity and Praxis: Remarks on Controversies



This book focuses on one which is unquestionably central: can we claim to have any regulated procedure that uses common norms to resolve human disagreements?Each chapter can be seen as a way of contributing to the analysis of human rationality, but viewed not so much as something unitary and pre-established that needs to be discovered, but rather as something that is neither unitary or pre-established; something that still needs to be achieved.

Francesco Piro, Manuale di educazione al pensiero critico

piro manuale“Conoscere il principio di Archimede insegna a nuotare? Sapere tutto dei fotoni migliora la vista?”. Sono le domande con cui Tullio De Mauro presenta questo manuale, invitandoci a smentire la loro apparente saggezza e a condividere un sapere che ci permetta l’uso responsabile di parole, testi e frasi. È ciò che questo manuale insegna a praticare. Il “Manuale di educazione al pensiero critico” è una proposta didatticamente strutturata per una via italiana al “critical thinking” e fornisce sia una mappa di questo settore di studi, sia un metodo ordinato per coordinarlo con le discipline tradizionali. Si articola in nove capitoli, altrettanti dialoghi e diciotto unità di apprendimento piane e didascaliche, che ascendono progressivamente dalla comprensione degli enunciati all’analisi del ragionamento fino alle dinamiche del dialogo orale o scritto. Insegna a valutare i propri pensieri e i modi in cui li si difende, insegna a rendere trasparenti e logicamente coerenti i discorsi, insegna a cogliere errori e sofismi, proponendo un percorso di sviluppo correlato di queste “competenze trasversali”. Descrive, inoltre, l’organizzazione del discorso scritto. È un libro ricco di esercizi e giochi di intelligenza, per il lettore che voglia esercitarsi al “problem solving” partendo da conoscenze solide e generali.

Controversies Series

A new book series “Controversies”, edited by Giovanni Scarafile, is published by John Benjamins Publishing Company . The series welcomes manuscripts of any kind and disciplinary provenance devoted specifically to the study of controversy and controversies.
Book proposals can be sent to the series editor:

The following volumes in the Series “Controversies” are now available:

11. Marcelo Dascal and Victor D, Boanza (Eds.), Controversies Within the Scientific Revolution, 2011. 287 pp.

10. Oscar Nudler (Ed.), Controversy Spaces: A Model of Scientific and Philosophical Change, 2011. vi, 187 pp.

9. Marta Spranzi, The Art of Dialectic between Dialogue and Rhetoric: The Aristotelian Tradition,

2011. xii, 239 pp.

8. Yaron M. Senderowicz, Controversies and the Metaphysics of Mind, 2010. xi, 235 pp.

7. Marcelo Dascal (Ed.), The Practice of Reason. Leibniz and his Controversies, 2010. xvi, 359 pp.

6. Frans H. van Eemeren and Bart Garssen (Eds.), Controversy and Confrontation: Relating Controversy Analysis with Argumentation Theory, 2008. xiii, 278 pp.

5. Douglas Walton, Dialog Theory for Critical Argumentation, 2007. xviii, 308 pp.

4. Marcelo Dascal and Chang Han-liang (Eds.), Traditions of Controversy, 2007. xvi, 310 pp.

3. Shai Frogel, The Rhetoric of Philosophy, 2005. x, 156 pp.

2. Frans H. van Eemeren and Peter Houtlosser (Eds.) Argumentation in Practice, 2005. viii, 368 pp.

1. Pierluigi Barrotta and Dascal Marcelo (Eds.) Controversies and Subjectivity, 2005. x, 411 pp.


Publications on Controversies

We would like to draw your attention to the following books/articles:

Marcelo Dascal, Debating with myself: Towards the psycho-pragmatics and onto-pragmatics of the dialectical self, in Capone, Alessandro; Lo Piparo, Franco; Carapezza, Marco (Eds.), Perspectives on Pragmatics and PhilosophySpringer 2013, pp. 557-591.


Ruth Hagengruber (Ed.), “Emile du Chatelet between Leibniz and Newton”. Dordrecht: Springer, International Archives of the History of Ideas n.205. The book contains 8 Chapters that honor Emile du Chatelet’s scientific and philosophic capacities and pay honor to her. Published in 2012; 253 pp.


Marcelo Dascal. Marzo de 2012. “Leibniz y el Dialogo entre Racionalidades”. En La Filosofia A Traves del Espejo: Estudios Metafilosoficos, compilado por Oscar Nudler, Maria Angelica Fierro y Glenda Satne. Buenos Aires, Argentina: Minho, Davila Editora: paginas 117-135.

Sergio Cremaschi, Breve storia dell’etica [A Short History of Ethics]. Rome: Carocci, 2012, 258 pp.

ISBN 978-88-430-6578-3.

The book reconstructs the history of Western ethics, that is, the succession of different ethical theories that have taken shape and then have been modified in an attempt to justify or reform moral traditions that had not been created by philosophers out of nothing. This is the reason why it examines not only texts that already enjoy place of honour in the histories of philosophy (Aristotle, Kant, Hegel), but also some texts usually treated in the histories of religions (the Bible, the Talmud, the Quran), and others considered to be much less philosophical (Pufendorf, Adam Smith, Bentham). One of the points the book tries to highlight is how different philosophical theories emerged and followed each other as a result of attempts at accounting for what was going on in the world of moral traditions, of attempts at reform, renewal, return to origins. Changes were propelled by controversies between  different schools, and pure, and occasionally highly abstract arguments were the unintended effects of moves made by controversialists forced to transform (and occasionally to turn upside down) their own doctrines in order to face the challenge of their opponent’s arguments. The nineteenth-century controversy between Utilitarians and Intuitionists is an example of this kind of dialectical process. When read in this way, the moralists seem a bit less boring than they usually tend to be. Aquinas is not the theorist of absolute prohibitions, Kant is not a Prussian morality-corporal, Bentham is not the proponent of a doctrine which combines hedonism, selfishness and relativism. Review: Vittorio Bufacchi, History of Political Theory


Sibilla Cantarini (Ed.). “Dialogue: State of the Art: Studies in Memory of Sorin Stati”. Muenchen: Lincom Studies in Pragmatics n. 22; published in 2012, 300 pp. This Festschrift to the linguist Soren Stati comprises 18 contributions by former colleagues in honor of his memory, which highlight Soren’s contributions to the study of dialogue. The article that concludes the book is “Towards a dialectic of tolerance”, by Marcelo Dascal.


Kai Bremer and Carlos Spoerhase (Eds.), Gelehrte Polemik: Intellektuelle Konflikverscuaerfungen um 1700. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Kostermann. 2011, 440 pp. 13 articles on controversy debates on modern science, including Marcelo Dascal’s “Kontroversen und Polemiken in der frueheneuzeitlichen Wissenschaft”.


G. Scarafile, A crua palavra. Conversation with Marcelo Dascal, Lulu Enterprises Inc. 2010 (also available in Hebrew, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Romanian).


Cristina Marras, Metaphora Translata Voce. Prospettive metaforiche nella filosofia di Leibniz, Firenze, Olschki, 2010, x, 184 pp.

In this systematic investigation of the German philosopher’s metaphoric discourse, what is primarily described and analyzed is the role of five metaphors: ocean, path, mirror, labyrinth, and scale.The «metaphoric perspective» taken by the author highlights the constitutive role of these metaphors and shows how the different areas of knowledge and the major concepts of Leibnizian thought are interrelated and organized in a multi-perspective view of the world.


Jesús Navarro Reyes, Cómo hacer filosofía con palabras, Madrid, Fondo de Cultura Económica de España, 2010, 336 pp. Spanish for “How to Do Things with Words: Reflections on the Searle-Derrida Debate” [To be translated in English and published in the Series “Controversies”]


Adelino Cattani, Come dirlo? Parole giuste, parole belle. Napoli, Loffredo Editore University Press, 2008, 118 pages (in Italian). This book is divided into nine chapters: (Chap. I) Parole magiche e discorsi che incantano; (Chap.II) La forza delle parole; (Chap. III) “Per meglio dire”; (Chap. IV) Pochezza di termini e di concetti; (Chap. V) Abbondanza di termini e di concetti; (Chap. VI) Il linguaggio doppio; (Chap. VII) Simulazioni e dissimulazioni; (Chap. VIII) Le parole difficili; (Chap. IX) Il linguaggiocorretto“; an Introduction and a thematic bibliography complete the volume.


Emmanuelle Danblon, Emmanuel de Jonge, Ekaaterina Kissina et Loïc Nicolas (Eds.), Argumentation et narration, Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles, Collection Philosophie et Société , 2008. 210 pp.

This volume contains an Introduction and a Postface, and 14 essays thematically organized in 4 parts: Political Approaches, Juridical Approaches, Literary Approaches, and Philosophical Approaches.


Marcelo Dascal (Ed.), Leibniz: What Kind of Rationalist?. Logic, Epistemology, and the Unity of Science, Volume 13. Springer, 2008 (hardback), xx + 532 pp.

This volume contains an Introduction and 32 Essays on various aspects and domains of Leibniz’s rationalism; the authors are a selected group of Leibniz scholars from several countries.


G. W. Leibniz, The Art of Controversies. A collection of Leibniz’s texts, edited, translated and commented by Marcelo Dascal (with the cooperation of Q. Racionero and A. Cardoso). New Synthese Historical Library, Volume 60, Springer, 2006 (hardback) and 2008 (paperback), lxxii + 516 pages.

The book contains a fifty pages long Introductory Essay, more than eighty texts organized in forty five chapters, biographical notes, references, and subject and name indexes.

More information in:


Sergio Cremaschi, L’etica moderna dalla Riforma a Nietzsche. Roma: Carocci, 2007, 336 pp. This new book of Sergio Cremaschi, who served as president of the International Association for the Study of Controversies, tells the story of modern ethics, namely the story of a discussion which, after two centuries of truce, or warlike coexistence between more than one paradigm went through a methodological revolution that gave birth to Grotius’s and Pufendorf’s new science of natural law, leaving room for two centuries of explorations of the possible developments and implications of this new paradigm, up to the crisis of the Eighties in the eighteenth century, a crisis that carried a kind of mitosis, the act of birth of both basic paradigms of the two following centuries: Kantian ethics and utilitarianism. For more information, in English, about the book, his author and a table of contents see here.


Kontroversen als Schlüssel zur Wissenschaft?-Wissenskulturen in sprachlicher Interaktion. Wolf-Andreas Liebert and Marc-Denis Weitze (Eds.). Bielefeld: Trascript, 2006, 214 ppes.

Among other pieces, the volume includes “Die Dialektik in der kollektiven Konstruktion wissenschaftlichen Wissens” by Marcelo Dascal.

For the table of contents, please see


Galia Yanoshevsky, Les discours du Nouveau Roman. Essais, entretiens, débats. Presses Universitaires du Septentrion, 2006, 336 pp.

For a summary of the book (pdf) and more information see:


Anna Carolina Regner e Luiz Rohden (Eds.). “A Filosofia e a Ciencia Redesenham Horizontes”. Editora da Unisinos: Sao Leopoldo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. The book was published in 2005; 312 pp. Several philosophers of science from various countries participated in the workshop, which included 15 speakers; the first was Marcelo Dascal, speaking about “A dialetica na construcao coletiva do saber cientifico“, whose presentation was later followed by the speech of Timothy Lenoir on “Technohumanismo: requiem para o ciborgue“.

[apologies for mixing Portuguese & English]


Sofia Stein and Evaldo Kuiava (Eds.). “Linguagem, Ciencias e Valores: Sobre as Representacoes Humanas do Mundo”. II Congresso Internacional do Centro de Filosofia e Educacao da Universidade de Caxias do Sul. Editora da Universidade de Caxias do Sul: Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Publicado em 2004, 181 pp. O livro inclui 10 artigos que estudam distintos aspectos dos temas do Congresso, que incluem educacao, valores e etica. Entre esses artigos estao incluidos trabalhos de dois membros da IASC, Marcelo Dascal, que dissertou sobre “o desafio da diferennca humana e a etica da comunicacao”, assim como Anna Carolina Regner, cujo tema foi “Filosofia da ciencia hoje”.


Margarita M. Valdés (Ed.), Controversias sobre el aborto. México: Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas y Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2001, 284 pp.

The book contains an Introduction and 15 essays, organized in the following parts: Abortion and the Person, The Conservative Position, Abortion and Rights, An Example of a Reasonable Public Discussion.


Mourad Wahra   (Ed.), Cultures in Conflict or in Dialogue? Proceedings of 3rd. Afro-Asian Philosophy Conference. Cairo, 81 October — 8 November. 1999, 246 pp.


Douglas Walton (Ed.), One-Sided Arguments: A Dialectical Analysis of Bias. Albany: State University of New York Press. 1999, xix + 294 pp.


Marcelo Dascal and Gideon Freudenthal (Eds.), Controversies. Science in Context, volume 11, number 2. 1998, 325 pp. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Eight articles on controversies, including two Introductory Statements, respectively by the editors, M. Dascal & G. Freudenthal.


Primo Levi, The Periodic Table. Translated from the Italian by Raymond Rosenthal and published by Alfred A. Knopf, Everyman’s Library, New York & Toronto. 1996, xv + 241 pp.

“THE PERIODIC TABLE is largely a memoir of the years before and after Primo Levi’s transportation from his native Italy to Auschwitz as an anti-Fascist partisan and a Jew. It recounts, in clear, precise, unfailingly beautiful prose, the story of the Piedmontese Jewish community from which Levi came, of his years as a student and a young chemist at the inception of the Second World War and of his investigations into the nature of the material world. As such, it provides crucial links and background, both personal and intellectual, in the tremendous project of remembrance that is Levi’s gift to posterity. But far from being a prologue to the experience of the Holocaust, Levi’s masterpiece represents his most impassioned response to the events that engulfed him. THE PERIODIC TABLE celebrates the pleasures of love and friendship and the search for meaning, and stands as a monument to those things in us that are capable of resisting and enduring in the face of tyranny”.


Fernando Gil (Ed.), “Scientific and Philosophical Controversies”.  Actas do Coloquio Organizado peelo Gabinete de Teoria do Conhecimento. Universidade de Evora, Portugal.the Lisboa: Editorial Fragmentos. Publicado em 1990, 420 pp. Among the participants of this extremely rich book, where several countries and areas of research are represented, we limit ourselves to mention the following ones: 1. Fernando Gil [Universidade Nova de Lisboa], “La Controverse dans les sciences et la philosophie” (pp. 9-20); 2. Kuno Lorenz [Universitaet des Saarlandes], “The unifying as well as separating nature of dialogues” (pp. 21-30); 3. Jerzy Wroblewsky [Jagiellonian University, Poland], ‘Presomption et fardeau de la preuve dans la controverse”; 4.Marcelo Dascal [Tel Aviv University, Israel]. “The controversy about ideas and the ideas about controversy” (pp. 61-100); 5. Ezequiel de Olaso [Buenos Aires, Argentina], “Sobree la filosofia leibniziana de las controversias” [115-130 pp.]; 6. Jose Gil [Lisboa], “Le probleme de l’inconscient” (131-143]. 7. Manuel Barroso Silverio Marques [Lisboa], “Modularity, Mind, and Brain theory – On Fodor’s Theory of Mind” (159-187 pp.). 8. Rui Nobre Moreira [Lisboa], “La rivalite entre les ondes et les corpuscules dans l’optique des XVII et XVIII siecles” (213-227 pp.). 9. Jean Petitot [EHESS -Paris], “Apories fondatrices et dialectique mathematique: L’exemple du structuralisme catastrophiste” (251-274 pp.). 10. Marco Panza [Paris], “Controverses locales et controverses globales en mathematiques, un cas historique: La notion de convergence au XVIII siecle”.  11. Donald A. Gillies [King’s College, University of London], “Intuitionism versus Platonism: A 20th century controversy concerning the nature of numbers” (299-314 pp.). 12. Giulio Giorello [Universita de Milan], Fictions “bien fondees” et statut des controverses” (315- 324 pp.). 13. C.S. Chihara [University of California, Berkeley], “Mathematical structuralism and the controversy over mathematical objects” (325-335 pp.). 14. Fernando Mascarenhas [Lisboa], “History as an experience versus History as a spectacle” (409-417 pp.).

Book reviews

– A review of Theological Controversies: Controversies in the République des Lettres, Technical Report 4. Edited by M. Dascal, G. Fritz, T.Gloning, and Y. Senderowicz. Giessen: Giessen University, 2001. The review, written by IASC member Mirella Saim from McGill University, is published in ARC: The Journal of the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University, volume 32, 2004, pp. 263-266. ARC is an interdisciplinary, refereed journal published annually by the Faculty of Religious Studies, McGill University. ARC combines the talent of professors and students in the area of comparative religions, inter-religious dialogue, Christian theology, church history, biblical studies, philosophy of religion, and social ethics. The editor of ARC can be reached eletronically at:

– Leticia Cabanas reviews Marcelo Dascal (Ed.), Leibniz: What Kind of Rationalist?, Dordrecht, Springer, 2008, XX + 532 pp. The review is published in THÉMATA, Revista de Filosofía, Número 43

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