LINGUIST List 9.59

Thu Jan 15 1998

Confs: Wholes and their Parts (Italy)

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  1. Roberto Poli, Wholes and their Parts

Message 1: Wholes and their Parts

Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 08:41:05 +0100
From: Roberto Poli <>
Subject: Wholes and their Parts

Wholes and their Parts (W/P)

Bolzano, Maretsch Castle, 17-19 June 1998


Science is connected to the complementarity of analysis and
synthesis. It may be said that classical physics is characterized by
an in-built analysis of the world into constituent parts (such as
atoms or elementary particles). These are then recomposed together to
provide, by means of synthesis, any system; interactions are linearly
and locally described; the resulting hierarchy of structures is
grounded on such constituent parts. In contemporary science, the age
of "pure" analysis seems to have ended. There are deep mathematical
reasons for this. Non-linear systems have properties that, in general,
cannot be expressed in terms of decomposition into ultimate,
unstructured, pointlike parts plus a suitable sets of relations among
them. Moreover, the "dialectic" of quantity and quality is subtler
than was previously thought and this dialectic is needed in the
explanation of all sorts of phenomena. It arises not only in physics,
but also in the study of cognitive systems and natural and
programming languages.

Within psychology, it is said that "Gestalten" are cohesive wholes and
that "the whole is more than the sum of its parts". But what does this
mean exactly? Similar questions emerge in other contexts as well.
What is relevant for the foundations of science, the need for a clear
understanding of the part/whole relationships, emerges even in logic
and mathematics, since these provide the tools for organizing our
rational image of the world, in its multi-stratified complexity.
Thus, we are faced with the problem of relating in a possibly coherent
way the various forms of part/whole relationships arising in different
branches of science. We have not only to classify the different kinds
of wholes and their inherent "grammars", but also to take into account
the process of formation for wholes, in order to describe precisely in
which sense the whole emerges out of its parts and is irreducible to
an aggregate of autonomous, more or less pointlike, entities. What
makes (in part, at least) the difference between mere aggregates and
cohesive wholes? The members of the whole do not simply hang together:
they hang together in the whole, and the structure of the whole
influences the description of the parts and their local
interactions. In view of the growing interest in this sort of pattern,
of so deep relevance for theoretical and applied sciences, it is
therefore suitable to clarify the whole/part issues in crucial fields
of research, to compare different approaches and to develop a
foundational discussion.


June 17
9 Registration
10 Bill Lawvere, Opening Lecture
11,30 Coffee break
12 John Bell, W/P in algebraic and logical structures
13-15 Lunch
15 Ieke Moerdjik, W/P in geometry, topology and topos theory
16 Coffee break
16,30 Colin McLarty, W/P in foundations of mathematics
17,30 Carlo Cellucci, W/P in logical analysis

June 18
9 Steve Vickers, W/P in semantics for programming languages
10 Gonzalo Reyes, W/P in categorical analysis of language
11 Coffee break
11,30 John Mayberry, W/P in set theory
12,30-15 Lunch
15 Niles Eldredge, W/P in biology
16 Coffee break
16,30 Alberto Peruzzi, W/P in epistemology and semantics
17,30 Roberto Poli, W/P in ontology

June 19 
9 Ettore Casari, W/P in phenomenology
10 Alf Zimmer, W/P in Gestalt psychology
11 Coffee break
11,30 Ron Langacker, W/P in linguistics
12,30-15 Lunch
15 George Lakoff, W/P in cognitive sciences (to be confirmed)
16 Coffee break
16,30 Chris Isham, W/P in quantum topology
17,30 Basil Hiley, W/P in mechanics and cosmology


To keep you updated with more information on the conference this is
the URL for the W/P home page:


Registration fees only cover the participation in this conference.
Miscellaneous expenses (accomodation, meals and social activities) are
in addition. The registration deadline to get the early registration
fare is : March 1998, 31st. Students must enclose with the
registration form a photocopy of their student card.

Status	 Early registration (before 3/31/98)	Late registration

Student		 50,000			100,000
Scholar		 100,000			200.000
Industrial	200,000				300.000


Participants should book their own accomodation. A selected hotel list
is the following one:

PARKHOTEL LAURIN****. 4, Laurinstrasse
single-room and breakfast: 180,000-265,000
tel. +39 471 31 10 00, fax +39 471 31 11 48
CITTA\146***. 21, Waltherplatz
single-room and breakfast: 110,000
tel. +39 471 97 52 21; fax: +39 471 97 66 88
FEICHTER**. 15, via Weintraubengasse
single-room and breakfast: 60,000-80,000
tel. +39 471 978 768; fax: +39 471 974 803
REGINA ANGELORUM**. 1, Rittnerstrasse
single-room and breakfast: 65,000-85,000
tel.: +39 471 972195; fax: +39 471 97 89 44
KOLPINGHAUS** (Student house). 3, Spitalgasse
single-room and breakfast: 50,000-65,000
tel.: +39 471 97 11 70; fax.: +39 471 97 39 17
(all the above hotels are at a walkable distance from both the railway
station and Maretsch Castle.)

FOR MORE INFORMATION: City tourist office. 8, Waltherplatz
tel.: +39 471 307 000 / 001 / 002
fax.: +39 471 98 01 26 or +39 471 98 03 00
Time table: 8.30-18.00; Saturday 9-12.30
closed on sunday and holidays.

Cheques :	Made out in Italian Liras, payable to 
Istituto Mitteleuropeo di Cultura, 
vicolo Gumer 7, 39100 Bolzano, ITALY.

Bank transfers: Sorry but you will have to pay the banking charges (if
you don't, your registration will be considered as incomplete).
Please enclose with this form a copy of your transfer. This copy
should mention the name and adress of your bank. Do not forget to
write down your name on the transfer. The bank transfer must be done
in Italian Liras on the account:

Bank : 	 Cassa di Risparmio di Bolzano
Account number : 	873900
Swift Codes:	ABI: 06045; CAB: 11601
References :	W/P conference / your name
Address :		Istituto Mitteleuropeo di Cultura
 vicolo Gumer 7
 39100 Bolzano, Italy

If these methods of payment are inconvenient, it will be possible for
you to pay cash once you are in Bolzano. In this case, you will have
to pay the late registration fee. Some exceptions to these
arrangements can be made for people coming from countries which do not
allow any of the long distance methods of payment above.

Cancellations received before April 1998, 15th: running costs: 20,000
	It Liras
Cancellations received after May 1998, 15th: running costs: 50% of
	the registration fees

Name: ____________________________________________

First Name: ________________________________________

Institution: _________________________________________

Address: ___________________________________________

Country: ___________________________________________

Phone : ___________________________
Fax : _____________________________
E-mail : __________________________

Date : _____________________ 
Signature : ___________________________

To return by e-mail to :

A copy of this registration form together with the justificatory of
payment and the copy of the student card has to be sent by surface
mail to :

Istituto Mitteleuropeo di Cultura, 
vicolo Gumer 7, 39100 Bolzano, ITALY

Alberto Peruzzi:
Roberto Poli:
Roberto Poli
Department of Sociology and Social Research
26, Verdi street
38100 Trento -- Italy
Tel. ++39-461-881-403
Fax: ++39-461-881-348
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