Research activity

My research interests cover a variety of topics both in  philosophy and history of the natural sciences. Starting with my PhD thesis (2004), I devoted some studies to Ernst Mach’s philosophy and the idea of description in the physical sciences. In this framework I also approached the work of Heinrich Hertz. From time to time, a certain curiosity and the love for poetry and novels encourages me to deal with a sort of comparative research between science and literature. As regards my most recent activity, I published a book about Ruggiero Boscovich’s science (Ruggiero Boscovich’s Theory of Natural Philosophy. Points, Distances, Determinations. Basel et al.: Birkhäuser 2020).

My research also deals with some structural aspects of the scientific enterprise, which I consider from a historical-epistemological perspective. In particular I directed my attention to the concept of shared discovery – for cases in which priority questions are not particularly relevant, collaboration is more important than competition, researchers are not mutually independent of each other, and resistance to new findings is so marginal that practically plays no role. I am currently exploring the concept of epistemic constraints, meaning any component of the world that prevents us from gaining some definite kind of knowledge in a specific manner and allows or promotes some other specific kind of knowledge in definite manners. In this framework, I am working on the notion of what I call “epistemically constrained collaboration”, i.e., a collaborative mode of research where epistemic constraints prevail over other factors.

Here below I list some papers I discussed in conferences and talks as well as some recent academic stuff including books, critical editions, and research articles (click here for the CV with a complete publication list). All the topics involved are eligible for potential BA or MA theses by students.

Presentations & Talks

Ernst Mach, scienziato e filosofo. Seminari della Società Italiana degli Storici della Fisica e dell’Astronomia. On-line Seminar, 2022 December 6

How theoretical models may shape sociality: the case of multi-messenger astrophysics. Shapes of thought: geometry, mathematical physics, and philosophy — A conference in honor of Claudio Bartocci’s 60th birthday. Online COnference, 2022 October 26

Needing others’ work: Collaboration as an epistemic need and modern astrophysics. PROTEUS ERC On-line Seminar, 2022 March 4

La luce fioca dell’esperimento. Ernst Mach, le onde d’urto e le loro conseguenze epistemologiche. Convegno Nazionale della Società Italiana di Storia della Scienza, Catania, 2022 May 31

Istantanee di un buco nero. Vincoli epistemici e collaborazione scientifica nell’Event Horizon Telescope. University of Urbino, Synergia Research Seminar / Lectio Commandiniana, 2021 November 24

Boscovich and Leibniz. A reappraisal. 26th International Congress of History of Science and Technology, Prague, 2021 July 26

Selected Publications


Guzzardi, L. (2020): Ruggiero Boscovich’s Theory of Natural Philosophy. Points, Distances, Determinations. Basel et al.: Birkhäuser. ISBN 9783030520922.

Guzzardi, L. (2010): Lo sguardo muto delle cose. Oggettività e scienza nell’età della crisi. Milano: Raffaello Cortina. ISBN: 8860303257.

Critical editions:

R.G. Boscovich (2017): Theoria philosophiae naturalis 1758-1763. Ed. Guzzardi, L. Introduzione di L. Guzzardi. Edizione Nazionale delle Opere e della Corrispondenza di R.G. Boscovich, Opere, vol. VII. Roma-Milano. ISBN: 9788896700259.

R.G. Boscovich (2014): Opere precedenti la Theoria. Eds. Bevilacqua, F., Guzzardi, L. Introduzione di L. Guzzardi. Edizione Nazionale delle Opere e della Corrispondenza di R.G. Boscovich, Opere, vol. VI. Roma-Milano. ISBN: 9788896700198.


Guzzardi, L. (2022). Epistemology in Practice: Ernst Mach’s Experiments on Shock Waves and The Place of Philosophy. Journal for General Philosophy of Science (2022).

Guzzardi, L. (2021). Holding the Hand of History: Mach on the History of Science, the Analysis of Sensations, and the Economy of Thought. In J. Preston (Ed.), Interpreting Mach: Critical Essays (pp. 164-183). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108564311.010

Guzzardi, L. (2018). The logic that governs each step of scientific research. Isis, 109(1): 105-108.

Guzzardi, L. (2017). Ruggiero Boscovich and “the Forces Existing in Nature”. Science in Context, 30(4): 385-422. doi:10.1017/S0269889717000266

Guzzardi, L., Tagliagambe, Silvano (2017): “Classical physics as a metaphorical tool for evoking quantum world”. In: Metaphor in Communication, Science and Education (Applications of Cognitive Linguistics, 36), ed. by F. Ervas, E. Gola, M.G. Rossi, Berlin: De Gruyter, 171-187. ISBN: 9783110549928. ISSN: 1861-4078. doi: 10.1515/9783110549928-010.

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