Mercoledì, 17 Maggio 2017


lo STAto Civile della COntraddizione: analisi concettuale delle istituzioni attraverso situazioni critiche

Acronimo:                 STACCO                        

Titolo completo:       (lo STAto Civile della COntraddizione: analisi concettuale delle istituzioni attraverso situazioni critiche — The civil status of contradictions: conceptual analysis of institutions by means of critical situations)

Tipologia:                 Post Doc 2011

Durata:                     dal  02/05/2012           al 01/11/2015

Contributo PAT:        Euro 147.000

Soggetto coordinatore:       Laboratorio di Ontologia Applicata, Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Trento, Italy

Responsabile di progetto:   Emanuele Bottazzi

Area tematica:   Philosophy

Sito Web:


Project Objectives

STACCO is a research project on the dynamics of social interaction in technology-dense social
systems. The project is oriented in analysis of crisis and contradictions of these systems, with
research methods from analytic philosophy and cognitive sciences, and with modeling techniques
from applied ontology and knowledge representation.
The main goal of the project is to propose an ontology of social institutions that takes into account
institutional contradictions and that is also compatible with analytic philosophy. The thesis of the
project is that all civil states of affairs between humans are contradictory. This means that they are
intrinsically and necessarily critical, whether these states of affairs are social or, more specifically,
The project's main contributions are to bring into question the current philosophical theories on
social reality, to show the potential dangers of merely technical (or at best science-driven) solutions
to the critical situations of technology-dense social systems and, finally, to explore different
possible strategies for a collective management of these critical situations.

State of the art before the project and new developments introduced by STACCO

The project has reviewed the current literature with an emphasis on the debate in the analytic
philosophy of social reality. In this debate the project STACCO has introduced several
developments. From the methodological point of view, an innovative, interdisciplinary, contribution
has been carried out, spanning from empirical (e.g. ethnography, security in organizations) to
formal research (logic, formal ontology). Moreover, in current specific debates (on collective
intentionally, rules and social objects) new solutions were proposed. Finally, new research themes,
completely neglected by the current literature, were introduced (as in the case, for example, of a
philosophy of the rhythm of social interaction).

Project methodology and management

The main methodology adopted was philosophical. Moreover, other methodologies adopted by the
project were coming from AI, logic, cognitive sciences, theory of law and ethnography. For each of
these disciplines a specific collaboration with an expert in the field was undertook and, also, with
specific institutions (e.g. European University Institute, Università di Trento and Università Vita-
Salute del San Raffaele).


All the task of the projects were accomplished by means of collaborations, publications, attendance
to (and organization of) national and international conferences. The main result of STACCO is that,
in order to avoid catastrophic drifts in technology-dense social systems, it is capital to collectively
distribute executive powers among all the actors involved in these systems. This implies that, in all
these systems, the power of roles and figures specifically and uniquely dedicated to decision and
management has to be reduced.


STACCO is a philosophical research project, it is not meant to have an immediate practical impact.
On the other side, it is based on empirical research, and, moreover, it integrates methodologies and
orientations coming from ontology, seen as a subfield of computer science and artificial
intelligence. If more developed in further research activities and collaborations, these aspects could
be promising in developing applicative models to mitigate crises and avoid catastrophes of complex
socio-technical systems.


Social Ontology, Socio-technical Systems, Social Dynamics, Contradictions, Crisis.