The Laboratory for Ontology is a research centre of the Department of Philosophy, University of Torino chaired by Maurizio Ferraris and directed by Tiziana Andina. The members of LabOnt are PhD Students and Researchers in philosophy with different specializations, including metaphysics, philosophy of language, aesthetics, philosophy of the cognitive sciences, ethics, and philosophy of arts. 

The general research field of LabOnt is ontology, namely the philosophical discipline that aims at providing a theory of what exists. Ontology, along with metaphysics, has lately returned to playing a central role in philosophy. This is probably because ontology has been attentive towards the empirical results of the “hard-sciences”, while not being servile towards them. On the contrary, a distinctive trait of contemporary researches in ontology is their explicit and critical approach to the study of the nature of the objects that constitute reality. The latter is understood as an objective background that constrains the lives of human beings, but also yields opportunities to them (such as society, economy, politics, art). Within this domain of problems and research questions, one of the main targets is the philosophical elaboration of theories that can enlarge and enrich, when necessary, the description of reality given by the natural sciences – physics, biology, but also cognitive psychology.

The activities of LabOnt are related to this general research trend, and involve publications, conferences and seminars. In particular, the most recent works of the researchers have focused on the ontology of social objects and the relationship between social ontology and other branches of ontology.

LabOnt Activities, April 2010