Culture as destiny

19 Edoardo Boncinelli

Culture as destiny

€ 3.00
Sunday 30 May 2010 18.00
piazza del Duomo 3

Culture, understood as a communal knowledge which constantly develops and renews itself, is man’s calling and destiny, and this is most likely due to biological reasons, although we cannot be sure of this predestination. All living beings make gestures that are more or less connected with survival and reproduction. Man is no different from the others, but includes in his survival strategies consultation and the use of a communal knowledge that is constantly cultivated and increased. In man more than in any other higher animal we can speak of a biological birth and of a cultural birth. In his talk, Professor Boncinelli will try to come up with a justification, if not an explanation, of the time distance between these two births, which is a particularly impressive hallmark of our species.


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Edoardo Boncinelli is an Italian physicist and geneticist. He has devoted himself to studying the genetics and molecular biology of higher animals and of man, and has headed several laboratories of molecular biology of development. He currently teaches Biological Foundations of Knowledge at the Philosophy Department of Milan’s Vita-Salute San Raffaele University. He regularly contributes to the scientific journal Le Scienze and to the news daily Corriere della Sera. Following are some of his books: Le forme della vita (Einaudi, 2000); Io sono, tu sei (Mondadori, 2002); Prima lezione di biologia (Laterza, 2007); Come nascono le idee (Laterza, 2008); I nostri geni (Einaudi, 2008); L’etica della vita (2008, Rizzoli); Perché non possiamo non dirci darwinisti (Rizzoli, 2009); Lo scimmione intelligente. Dio, natura e libertà (with Giulio Giorello, Rizzoli, 2009); Mi ritorno in mente. Il corpo, le emozioni, la coscienza (Longanesi, 2010).

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