Every culture has predicted vainly its own end, and we ourselves
are children of others' catastrophes. In the past, in fact, mass extinctions
and large-scale slaughters have often signalled a new beginning for other life
forms. Catastrophes - that is, final showdowns with history - have always fascinated
us because they satisfy psychological needs and cognitive restraints; they are
magnificently mirrored in classic imagery as the end of the world in terms of
ultimate catharsis, revealing apocalypse, punishment, vengeance. On 21 December,
2012 - allegedly the final day of the Mayan calendar cycle - once again we will
meet with our imminent doom. Telmo Pievani, a philosopher of science and one
of the most renowned Italian science essayists, accompanies the reader on a
journey to the end of the world, through a selection of keywords: apocalypse,
disaster, nemesis, extinction. Drawing on science, philosophy, and literature,
the author offers a message of evolutionary humility and acceptance of the fortuitous
nature of life on Earth - and some tips on what to do when, once again, the
world doesn't come to an end.
Telmo Pievani teaches Philosophy of Science at the University of Milan-Bicocca.
Anteprima del testo delle prime cinque pagine a stampa del primo capitolo.
Il tuo browser non supporta la tecnologia necessaria per visualizzare l'anteprima.
Per visualizzzare l'anteprima utilizza uno dei seguenti browser.