Marta Bertolaso

Marta Bertolaso

Marta is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. Her research concerns Philosophy of Science in Practice and Philosophy of Biology with a specific focus on the dynamics of complex systems, cancer research and on the philosophical implications of the theoretical models that have been proposed to account for its occurrence. She is currently exploring the relationships between contingency, hierarchy and causal complexity in complex living systems. In particular, her interest deals with how features of organizational levels are structured. She aims at providing both a better understanding of that phenomenon and drawing lessons for the epistemology of complex systems in general.

Academic CV

Updated October 2016

Nationality: Italian

Current Position: Assistant Professor of Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Engineering and Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice (IPSTP), University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy.

2014: Italian Abilitazione Nazionale for Associate Professor in Philosophy of Science (SSD: M-Fil 02)

Academic Titles:

2011: PhD in Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome with a thesis on the ‘Evolution of the epistemological models of cancer’ (rated Excellent).

1995: Degree in Biological Science, Graduation thesis presented at the National Institute for Tumours of Milan (Maximum Score and Honours).

Awards: 1991 Philips National competition for “Young Researchers” with a study on “Experimental verification of the initial events in germination”.

1994-2010: Extensive work in cancer research having pursued scientific activity in laboratories in:

  • INT (National Tumor Institute), Milan in the department of molecular biology with a project on the gene expression and localization of c-ERB2 in the ovarian cancer
  • 1997: obtained a regional grant (funded by ASL1 of Turin) for a project on “Genetic molecular alterations and malignity in primary breast cancers”, at the department of anatomical pathology, San Giovanni Vecchio Hospital, Turin (Italy)
  • 1998: IRCC (International Research Centre for Cancer), Candiolo, Turin, regional grant (funded by G. Ghirotti Foundation) for a project on “Development of a non-radioactive protein truncation test: applications in the clinical area for the analysis of mutated genes involved in familiar syndromes and sporadic cancers”
  • 2008-2010: PhD fellow at the Institute of Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome

1997: National Professional Qualification for Biologists, at the University of Pavia

Fellowships (in Philosophy of Science)
  • 6-9 May 2015: Visiting at Egenis (Centre Of Studies of Life Sciences), University of Exeter (UK). Ref. John Dupré.
  • April 2013 – May 2014: Visiting Fellow at the Centre of Biomedical Humanities of the Department of Experimental Oncology of IEO, University of Milan. Ref. Giovanni Boniolo.
  • September – December 2012: Visiting Fellow at the. Ref. Sandy Mitchell.
  • 28th February- 9th May 2011: Visiting Scholar at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Ref. Sandy Mitchell.
  • 10th – 21st January 2011: Visiting Scholar stay at the IHPST (Intitut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Science et des Techniques), Paris, France. Ref. Jean Gayon.
Promoter and coordinator, since 2016, of the Bio-Techno-Practice (BTP) Research Empowering HUB:

Collaborations with other research groups in Italy and Europe:
  • Since September 2011: member of a group of research on Systemic Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan.
  • Since 2013: Grupo de Estudio de la Conferència Càtedra “Cultura, ciència y religión” diretta da Josep Corcó Juviñá, UIC, Barcelona (Spain).
  • 2012-2013: member of a group organizing seminars of epistemology at the University of the Holy Cross, Rome: “L’accesso alla dimensione spirituale della persona nel contesto della filosofia e della scienza contemporanea” – seminar.
Collaborations with EU’s consortiums

March and June 2015: Avicenna Meetings (roadmap for Horizon 2020 on ‘In Silico Clinical Trials’).

Language Writing Listening Speaking Reading
Italian Mother tongue Mother tongue Mother tongue Mother tongue
English Good Excellent Very good Excellent
Spanish Excellent Excellent Excellent Excellent
French Good Good

University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome

  • 2015-2019: coordinator and lecturer for an interdisciplinary course within the PhD program in Bio-Engineering and Bio-Sciences
  • 2012-2017: teaching Philosophy of Engineering Sciences
  • 2015-2017: teaching Human Ecology-Applied Ethics
  • 2014-2017: teaching in Ethics of Human Nutrition
  • 2011-2012: teaching History and Philosophy of Scientific and Technological Practice University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome
  • Since 2008: seminars on Ethics of Biomedicine, Philosophy of the Scientific and Technological Practice, Philosophy of Biology.

University Roma 3

Nov-Dic 2012 and Dec 2013: seminars on Epistemology of Biology (in the course of Applied Biology)

University of Bologna

a.a. 2013-2014 and 2014-2015: seminar on Epistemology of Biology and Medicine (in the course of Philosophy of Science and Methods of the Scientific knowledge)

Department of Philosophy, Washington University of St. Louis, USA

November 6th to November 14th 2016: 4 hours lectures on theoretical and ethical issues related to Transhumanism, Post-Genomic Era and In Silico Medicine, in Anya Plutinsky’s course on “Biomedical Ethics” (undergraduate students).

Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy (MCMP), Ludwing-Maximillians-Universitat Munchen

June 28th to July 8th 2016: weekly lectures on “Complexity and causality in Medicine” in the course for PhD students and post-doc in philosophy and bio-sciences, on Philosophy of Causality held by Barbara Osimani and Roland Pollinger.

Chair/Commentator at recent International Conferences
  • Barcelona 24-27 September 2014: II International Conference on Family and Society (
  • New York (USA) – 29 Nov 2012: discussant of the talk of Prof. P Fagan on “Purpose, Quality & Dynamic of the Work of the Home & its Impact on Physical & Character Development of Persons” within a Seminar on “Professional Work and the Work of the Home”, IESE School, New York.
  • San Diego (USA, CA) – 15-17 November 2012: chair of the symposium on Risk and Cancer: Decision Making Under Uncertainty” in the International Conference of PSA2012.
  • Seattle (USA) – 16-17 August 2012: commentator of the 4th session “What are the Implications of Systems Biology for investigating complex systems?” of the ASU-ISB 2012 ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop “What’s New about Systems Biology?”
  • Rome (Italy) – 27th-28th February 2011: chair of the second morning session of the XX Annual Conference “Consciousness and Personal Identity. Philosophical Perspectives and Neuroscience”, at Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, Rome.
Member of Committees of recent International Conferences/WS
  • Member of the Scientific Committee: Wednesday 14 and Thursday 15 November 2012: International Conference “Home and Identity: The Private-Public Nexus”, promoted by Home Renaissance Foundation, Fondazione Oikia, the Universities of Waikato and Roma 3.
  • Member of the Scientific Committee: 30th of March 2015: 2015 Workshop: “Successes and Challenges in Valuing the Work of the Home”, Rome
  • Member of the Selection Committee: “Evidence, Inference, and Risk” – Munich 31st March – 2nd April 2016
  • Member of the Program Committee of MuST9 (Evidence, Inference, and Risk) Workshop (Munich-Sydney-Tilburg): Munich 31st March – 2nd April 2016

Current Main Research Areas

A. Philosophy of Scientific Practice and Philosophy of Life Sciences

I have been focusing my research on the Epistemology of Science and Philosophy of Biology and Medicine. In particular, both my previous laboratory work in oncology and current endeavours in the Philosophy of Science have dealt with different aspects of regulatory and control issues of complex biological systems, organizations, and growth. I have also studied how different explanatory theories evolve in science, and how (mechanical) models can be considered a way towards discovery in the bio-technological field. How science works in practice, from biology to bio-engineer, has also been one of the most recent areas of research and philosophical reflection.

A.1. Main Talks at International Workshops/Conferences on these topics

Selected paper or (*) invited speaker

(*) Università di Macerata 6th October 2016: “K.F. Schaffner’s Preferred (Causal) Model Systems in the light of Cancer Biology” within a conference on Explanation in Logic, Ontology and Science.

Pittsburgh 23rd-24th September 2016: within the KenFest ( ) presenter on “The Preferred (Causal) Model Systems in the light of Cancer Biology”.

(*) Florence 14th June 2016: Talk on “Il cancro: una definizione semplice o una patologia complessa?” within the Laboratorio congiunto “Metodi e Tecniche di Analisi delle esperienze di Malattia (MetaES)”.

(*) Cambridge University (UK) 31th May – June 1st 2016: Discussant on “Common questions between philosophy, theology, and the sciences” in the ‘Inclusive Fitness Theory’ Symposium.

(*) IHPST (Intitut d’Histoire et de Philosophie des Science et des Techniques), Paris, France: Workshop on ‘Philosophy & Cancer’: April 28th 2016. Talk “Philosophy of Cancer – Overcoming dichotomies in Life Sciences”.

(*) Catholic University of Milan: 25th February 2016: “Il processo di crescita del vivente e l’importanza delle categorie relazionale per comprenderlo”.

(*) HRF Expert Meeting: 2nd-3rd November 2015: ‘The home a Complex Field’: Discussant of a paper on “What is a home? An ontological inquiry” (

EPSA (Duesseldorf, Germany): 23-26 September 2015. Bertolaso M, Campaner R, “Modeling multi-level disorders: overcoming the mechanistic-systemic dichotomy”, in a Symposium on Philosophy of Bio-Medical Practice.

CLMPS Helsinki (Finlandia): 5-8 August 2015. Raffaella Campaner and Marta Bertolaso “Representing and explaining: On modeling disorders”, in a Session on “Models and pluralism in the health sciences”.

DLMPS Helsinki: 3 August 2015. Bertolaso M, Borghi L “Linking Philosophy and History in a Unified Story: How Epistemology of Science Emerges from Scientists’ Biographies”.

ISHPSSB, Montreal (Canada): 5-10 July 2015. Bertolaso M & Caianiello S: Organizers and speakers in a Session on “Robustness and emergence”, Talk on Robustness as organized heterogeneity.

SPSP (Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice), University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark Fifth Biennial Conference, 23-26 June 2015.

SPSP 2015: 23rd of June: Bertolaso M. “Context Dependencies and Multi-Level Explanations in Biological Sciences” & ‘Thinking Out of the Box: the Role of Philosophy in Scientific Training’.

(*) Milano (Italy): 26 February 2015: “Quanto è Robusta l’Informazione Biologica?” seminario all’interno del gruppo di Sistemica di Milano.

(*) Macerata (Italy): 9-11 February 2015 – “Ontology, Context Dependencies, and Complex Biological Systems” in the workshop on “Ontologia e Scienza” organized by the PRIN PROJECT

(*) Exeter (UK), 22-24 November 2014 – “On Processes of Living Systens” Rome, 21-22 November 2014 – AIRS 2014 – “Explaining and Understanding Systems’ Dynamics”, with Nicola Di Stefano

(*) Buenos Aires, Monday 4th – Friday 8th August– Austral University – Workshop on Determinism and Indetermination

Lille 24-27 June 2014: SPS 2014 Meeting, Metaphysics of science: “The multilevel phenomenology of cancer and the robustness of levels: a case for strong emergence” with Silvia Caianiello (CNR Naples)

Rome, June 18-20 2014: Triennial International Conference of the Italian Society for Logic and Philosophy of Sciences – SILFS ( 2014. Talk: “Disentangling Context Dependencies in Biological Sciences”.

(*) Milan, 5-9th May 2014: Talk on ‘Epistemologie influenti nelle ricerche scientifiche’ in the Section ‘Le cose del mondo. Conversazioni di filosofia e di scienza’ in the Internaztional Conference on ‘Esistenza e Identità’.

Bergamo (Italy) 12-14th September 2013: Workshop on ‘Synthetic Modeling of Life and Cognition: Open Questions’. Title of my selected paper: ‘On the Bio-Logic of Cognitive Robotics: Soft Robotics as Functional Integrated Systems’.

Helsinki, 28-31st August 2013: EPSA (European Philosophy of Science Association) conference. Organizer and commentator of a Symposium with Cerezo M. (University of Murcia, Spain) on ‘Biological change’.

Montpelier (France), 7-12th July 2013: ISHPSSB (International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology) conference. Organizer and Speaker in Symposium with Anya Plutynski (Salt Lake City University) on ‘Complex diseases: evolutionary models, systems and explanations’. Title of my selected paper: ‘The impact of biological uncertainty on the study and understanding of complex biological systems’.

Toronto, 26-29th June 2013: SPSP (Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice) conference, at the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) del Victoria College, University di Toronto). Title of my selected paper: ‘Why what is impossible in practice is more relevant than what is impossible in principle’.

(*) Murcia (Spain), 12th June 2013: conference on ‘Interpretative Models and Epistemological Assumptions in Cancer Research’. Department of Philosophy, University of Murcia.

(*) Murcia (Spain), 13th June 2013: seminar within a Workshop on Epistemology of Life Sciences. Title of my talk: ‘Inter-level regulations in biological sciences’. University of Murcia.

(*) Pittsburgh, 12th October 2012: talk at the Center for Philosophy of Science on ‘The Philosophy of Cancer: towards a Systemic Approach in Cancer Research’.

(*) Seattle (ISB), 16-17th August 2012: speaker in the ASU-ISB 2012 ISHPSSB Off-Year Workshop ‘What’s New about Systems Biology?’ with a talk on “Is Systems Biology modifying our understanding of biological change?” (Session 2: What are the methodological and conceptual foundations of systems biology?)

Rome, June 24th 2012: Invited talk on: “The Bio-Logic of Embodied Intelligence. Biological Change as Functional Integration of Levels” within the Workshop on “Embodied Intelligence an Epistemological Outline” of the IEEE.

(*) Paris, 22nd-23rd May 2012: at the Centre Cavaillès (Paris) for a workshop on “Holism/Reductionism in Biology. History, Philosophy and Theory thereof”.

(*) Milan, 20th January 2012: invited seminar on “The Systemic Perspective in Oncological Research: Epistemological implications” for the Systemic Philosophy Research Group within the  Catholic University of Milan.

Athens, 4th – 9th October 2011: European Conference of Philosophy of Science (EPSA 2011). Title of my selected paper: ‘An apparent circular causality to account for the phenotypic stability of the organism: insights from the biology of cancer’.

(*) Urbino, 20th July 2011: invited speaker in the Summer Stage organized by the International Center of Intercultural Studies of Semiotics and Morphology and by the Università degli Studi di Urbino “Carlo Bo”. General title of the Seminar: “Evoluzioni storiche e cambiamenti epistemologici del concetto di forma: dal piano di organizzazione di Goethe e G. Saint-Hilaire alle idee morfologiche di D’Arcy Thompson e René Thom”. Title of my talk: “Reciprocità con asimmetria. Una riflessione sull’organizzazione biologica dell’organismo vivente a partire dalla biologia del cancro”.

Salt Lake City, 10th – 15th July 2011: International Congress of ISHPSSB (University of Utah). Title of my selected paper: “Tumour Heterogenity: Insights from the Biology of Cancer on the Hierarchical Organization of the Organisms”.

(*) Siracusa, 23rd May 2011: Invited speaker at the Workshop on “Contenimento Economico e Umanizzazione dell’assistenza” organized by the Rete Assistenza Oncologica – ASP 8 Siracusa and by Università Bocconi of Milan. Title of my talk: “Le frontiere dell’oggettività e le nuove prospettive aperte dalla ricerca oncologica”.

Geneva, September 10th 2010: Contributed paper on “Hierarchies and causal relationships in the interpretative models of cancer” at the EAPLS (European Seminar in Philosophy of the Life Sciences), Geneva, CH.

(*) Latina, April 9th 2010: Invited speaker on “Elements for the new ethical challenges in oncology: the interpretative models of cancer”. XIV Incontro Oncologico Pontino. Latina, Italy.

(*) Rome, October 2008: Master’s Seminar at the School of Nursing of University Campus Bio-Medico. Title: “Biological complexity and cancer”.

A.2. Selected Posters

July 2009 – Towards a new use of phenomenology in cancer research, Workshop: “Emerging modelling methodologies in medicine and biology”, ICMS, 20-24 of July 2009, Edinburgh, UK.

April 1999: Germline APC mutations al AACR Annual Meeting, 10-14 April, 1999, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

A.3. Promoted Activities

3rd of October 2016: Analogia e incompletezza come proprietà pre-sistemiche, at Campus Bio-Medico. In collaboration with AIRS (Italian Association of Systemic Research:

6th of June 2014: Seminar within the Systemic group (Catholic University in Milan) on “ll caos quantistico e la teologia trinitaria possono avere qualcosa in comune?” invited speaker: Giulio Maspero.

October 2014: Workshop “Bio*” at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome. Steering Committee: Sandy Mitchell (University of Pittsburgh); Jane Maienschein (Arizona University – School of Life Sciences).

October-December 2013: Training Course for Researchers on ‘Ethics of Scientific Investigation’ at the University Campus-Bio-Medico of Rome. Title of my talk: ‘Interdisciplinary and Team work’.

February-March 2012: winter school for students on the “Epistemology of the Scientific Discovery”

May 2010: I organized and moderated the first Dialogue on Systems Biology. Supervisors: Prof. A. Marcos (University of Valladolid), Prof. A. Giuliani (ISS), Prof. S. Filippi (University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome)

January – December 2009: I organized and promoted a cycle of 8 seminars, “Biological complexity and Cancer”, at University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.

16th March 2009: Seminar in University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, “Cancer. It can be cured: Life from the prospects of cancer to the illness”, speaker: Dr. Sylvie Menard, AIRC, National Tumour Institution.

B. Epistemological Virtues and Ethics in Scientific Practice.

The main topic I have been focusing on in the last years has been Human enhancement and Biological Complexity with their ethical and social implications. More recently, I have been asked to reflect on the implications for sociology, economics, education, bio-engineering and theology of some emerging explanatory categories in philosophy of science and philosophy of life sciences.

B.1. Invited lectures/seminars on this topic

10th September 2016: “Science in Media”, International Seminar for Professional Journalists Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis, at the University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

10th August 2016: “Trovare spazi nella ricerca” in “Non solo quello che studi e che gli altri ti dicono: l’autoformazione. Fondazione Segni Nuovi.

19-21 November 2015 – University of the Holy Cross. Talk on “Understanding Biological Dynamics: the Emerging Relational Categories”, within a workshop on “The Threshold of Scientific Rationality” (Martinez R, Giménez Amaya JM, Organizers).

Bologna (Italy) 30 April 2014: Limiti e Possibilità del Riduzionismo in Biologia: il Caso della Ricerca sul Cancro.

Macerata (Italy) 11th December 2013: Il riduzionismo in biologia e i suoi limiti nella ricerca sul cancro.

Firenze (Italy) 5th December 2013: La complessità del cancro. Verso nuove categorie concettuali per comprendere la rilevanza del contesto. In “Fratelli d’ombra. Un percorso di approfondimento sull’esperinza dei fratelli e delle sorelle dei bambini oncologici”.

Rome, 4th June 2013: seminar on ‘Può la scienza far presagire la spiritualità?’, University of the Holy Cross.

February 29th 2012: seminar within a winter course organized by Fondazione RUI (Rome) for students on the “Epistemology of the Scientific Discovery”.

July 24th 2010: “Uomo, natura, cosmo: i confini dell’umano” ((Man, nature, universe: frontiers of the mankind)). Conference for the XXXIV National Conference Organized by FRUI, Castelgandolfo, Rome, Italy.

8th May 2010: “Le HET e la complessità biologica” ((HET and biological complexity)). Seminar for the Project, promoted by FRUI and University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome “Human Enhancement and the Pursuit of Happiness. Prospects and Implications”

12th November 2009: “Enhancement or Empowerment in Medicine”. One-day conference for students of University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome: “Dr. Carlisle Cullen. La medicina di Twilight” ((Dr. Carlisle Cullen. Twilight’s Medicine)).

4th April 2009: “The concept of enhancement: between therapy and technology”. One-day seminar on “Applications of regenerative medicine in the processes of tissue repair”, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.

28th March 2009: “The Human Enhancement Technologies: experimental medicine beyond therapy”. Seminar at Università Lateranense, Rome

11th September 2008: “Facing the new bioethical challenges”, International Seminar for Professional Journalists, University of the Holy Cross, Rome.

C. Philosophy of Care Sciences & Management

In dialogue with recent developments in engineering, economy and social sciences I have been expanding my reflections on biological dynamics to care sciences. I am interested both in the peculiar object of such sciences (from the concept of the home to the analysis of how care assistance is embedded with the new technologies and to the growing field of the Managed Care Industries) and on the impact that emerging care paradigms can have on organizations, enterprises, welfare programs and policies.

C.1. Lectures/Talks/Seminars on this topic (* invited)

18 June 2016 – ForItAAL University of Pisa: ForKeefe H, Frezza G, Bertolaso M, Work of the Home and Social Relationships as a Guide to Domestic Care for the Elderly

(*) 30 April 2016: Hallmarks in Cancer Discovery: new targets, new drugs. At Campus Bio-Medico.

(*) 2-3 November 2015: The Work of the Home, A response to Alfredo Marcos’ presentation on “What a Home is: an Ontological inquiry”, at the Expert Meeting on “The Home a Complex Field” organized by HRF ( and STI (, London.



1. Venesio T, Balsamo A, Scordamaglia A, Bertolaso M, Arrigoni A, Sprujevnik T, Rossini FP, Risio M (2003). Germline APC mutation on the beta-catenin binding site is associated with a deceased apoptotic level in colorectal adenomas. Mod. Pathos, 16: 57-65.

2. Bertolaso M, Gaudino C, Leben aus dem Labor? Die Aktualität von “Donum Vitae”, Imago Hominis, Band 14 – Heft 2 – 2007.

3. Lo Celso A, Bertolaso M (2008) Contenidos creativos que generan cultura. Análisis de las revistas Teenink y Tamezin. Actas del XXI Congreso internacional de comunicación: Los jóvenes y el nuevo escenario de la comunicación, EUNSA.

4. Piredda M, Bertolaso M, Tartaglini D, De Benedictis A, De Marinis MG (2008). Valenza etica del nursing (The Ethical Valence of Nursing). Ital J Rehab Med – MR, 22: 229-33.

5. Bertolaso M (2009) Towards an Integrated View of the Neoplastic Phenomena in Cancer Research, Hist. Phil. Life Sci., 31:79-98.

6. Bertolaso M (2009) The neoplastic process and the problems with the attribution of function, Rivista di Biologia/Biology Forum, 102:273-296.

7. Bertolaso M, Olsson J, Picardi A, Rakela J (2010). Gene Therapy and enhancement for diabetes (and other diseases): a principled approach. Diabetes Metab Res Rev, 26:520-524.

8. Bertolaso M, Giuliani A, Degara L (2010) Systems Biology reveals biology of systems, Complexity, 16: 10-16.

9. Bertolaso M (2011), The two sides of the hourglass: analytic and synthetic approaches in cancer research, Ludus Vitalis. Journal of Philosophy of Life Sciences, 19 (35): 73-95.

10. Pennacchini M, Bertolaso M, Elvira MM, De Marinis MG (2011), A brief history of the Quality of Life: its use in medicine and in philosophy. Clin Ter, 162 (3).

11. Cherubini C, Gizzi A, Bertolaso M, Tambone V, Filippi S (2011), “A Bistable Field Model of Cancer Dynamics”, CiCP (Commun. Comput. Phys.), Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-18.

12. Bertolaso M (2011), “Hierarchies and Causal Relationships in the Interpretative Models of Cancer”, in Special Issue “Causation and Disease in the Post-Genomic Era”, Hist. Phil. Life Sci., vol. 33(4): 389-396

13. Bertolaso M (2011), “Epistemology in Life Sciences. An Integrative Approach to a Complex System like Cancer“, in a Forum on “Possibilities for multidiscipline”, Ludus Vitalis. Journal of Philosophy of Life Sciences, 19(36): 245-249

14. Ugolini S, Bertolaso M, (2012), Scienza e Società: la Medicina della Saga di Twilight, Medic 19(2): 42-48.

15. Barcaccia, B., Esposito, G., Matarese, M., Bertolaso, M., Elvira, M., De Marinis M.G. (2013) Defining quality of life: a wild-goose chase?, Europe’s Journal of Psychology, special issue Quality of Life in Social Science & Clinical Medicine, February 2013, Vol. 9(1), 185–203, doi:10.5964/ejop.v9i1.484

16. Bertolaso M. (2012) La Dimensione non Riduzionista del Riduzionismo nella Ricerca Sperimentale Dai Modelli Molecolari a Quelli Sistemici nella Ricerca sul Cancro. Rivista di Neo-Scolastica, Vol. 4. p. 687-705

17. Bertolaso M (2013). On the Structure of Biological Explanations: Beyond Functional Ascriptions in Cancer Research. Epistemologia, vol. 36, p. 112-130.

18. Bertolaso M. (2013) a Indeterminación Biológica y las Perspectivas Sistémicas de la Biología Contemporáne – Biological Uncertainty and the Systemic Perspectives of Contemporary Biology . Anuario Filosofico, vol. 46, p. 365-386.

19. Bertolaso M (2013) Breaking Down Levels of Biological Organization, Theoretical Biology Forum, Vol 106, 49-72.

20. Bertolaso M (2014) Why it has been so difficult to pin down with a definition of nature. In a Special Issue on “Rethinking Nature”, Teoria (call for a special issue), 34(1): 75-92.

21. Bertolaso M, Ghilardi G (2014) Semantic roots of reductionism’s limits, Rivista di Neoscolastica, 3: 481-500.

22. Giuliani A, Filippi S, Bertolaso M (2014) Why network approach can promote a new way of thinking in biology, hosted by Dr(s) Xiaogang Wu, Hans Westerhoff, Pierre De Meyts, Hiroak Kitano in Frontiers in Genetics (Systems Biology), Vol 5 (83), 1-5.

23. Bertolaso M (2014) La complessità del cancro. Verso nuove categorie concettuali per comprendere la rilevanza del contesto, Medicina & Storia, 5: 97-120.

24. Loppini A, Capolupo A, Cherubini C, Gizzi A, Bertolaso M, Filippi S, Vitiello G (2014), On the coherent behavior of pancreatic beta cell clusters, Physics Letters A, 378: 3210–17.

25. Di Stefano N, Bertolaso M (2014) Understanding Musical Consonance and Dissonance: Epistemological Considerations from a Systemic Perspective. In a Special Issue “Towards a Second Generation General System Theory” , Systems, 2: 566-575.

26. Bertolaso M (2014), Cancer and its complexity: epistemological implications (Editorial), in “Cancer and its Complexity: Epistemological and Ethical Reflections”, Numero Speciale Medic. Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica, M. Bertolaso (Ed.), Vol. 2.

27. Bertolaso M (2015), Emerging Epistemologies in life sciences, Rivista di Neo-Scolastica, Vol. 1-2, pp. 29-35

28. Bertolaso M; Capolupo A; Cherubini C.; Filippi S.; Gizzi A.; Loppini A.; Vitiello G., The Role of Coherence in Emergent Behavior of Biological Systems, IEBM: Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, ID: 1036069

29. Di Bernardo M, Dieli AM, Bertolaso M (2015) Thinking out of the box: Education as a Relational Challenge, Medic. Metodologia Didattica ed Innovazione Clinica, 23(1):88-94.

30. Bertolaso M, Caianiello S (2016) Robustness as Organized Heterogeneity, Rivista di Filosofia Neo-Scolastica, Vol. CVIII, pp. 293-303.

31. Valera L & Bertolaso M (2016) Understanding biodiversity from a relational viewpoint, Tópicos, Vol 51, 37-54.

32. Giuliani A, Bartolini E, Bertolaso M (2016), L’humus della scienza: per una necessaria riscoperta della meraviglia e della cooperazione nella ricerca scientifica. Scienze e Ricerche, 28: 5-8.

33. B Bertolaso M. & MacLeod M (Eds) (2016) In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor, Humana.Mente Journal of Philosophical Studies, in press.

34. Bertolaso M e Di Bernardo M (2016) Questioni Epistemologiche Emergenti nelle Bio-Discipline, in Biodisciplines (a cura di Marta Bertolaso e Mirko Di Bernardo), Scienze e Ricerche, 30: pp. 5-8.

35. Bertolaso M, Frezza G (2016), Bio-techno-practice: personal and social responsibility in the academic work, MEDIC 2016; 24(1): 75-84.

36. Bertolaso M (2016) “Maternità e Post-Modernità” in Maternità surrogate, (Maria Pia Garavaglia & Paola Binetti, Eds), L’Arco di Giano, Rome

37. Bertolaso M, Mitchell SD (2016), Learning from Complexity, Investigacion y Sciencia (submitted also to the Scientific American), forthcoming

38. Bertolaso M, Della Rocca M (2017) Biological growth, Rivista di Neo-Scolastica, forthcoming

39. Bertolaso M (2017) Current Issues in Philosophy of Biology: Building bridges, in and for biology, in Philosophy of Biology. Linking Bridges, (Ed. Marta Bertolaso), Acta Philosophica.

Review of Books

1. M Bertolaso (2007). Le sfide della bioetica, di L. Kass. Recensione. MEDIC. Metodologia didattica ei innovazione clinica, 15: 118-119.

2. Bertolaso M (2010) L’ordine della complessità, Recensione, Acta Philosophica, 1:213.

3. Bertolaso M (2016), Filosofia chimica (Recensione), MEDIC 2016; 24(1): 111-112.

Book Chapters

1. Bertolaso M, “Super-naturali” come vampiri: l’enhancement in medicina, in La Medicina dei Nuovi Vampiri, Vittoradolfo Tambone and Luca Borghi (eds). Academia Universa Press, 2010, pp. 35-55.

2. Bertolaso M, Le Human Enhancement Technologies e l’Irriducibilità della Complessità Biologica, in Migliorare l’uomo? La sfida etica dell’enhancement. S. Kampowski – D. Moltisanti (eds.) Cantagalli, Siena, 2011, pp. 35-58.

3. Bertolaso M (2013). Le frontiere dell’oggettività e le nuove prospettive aperte dalla ricerca oncologica. In: Elio Borgonovi e Paolo Tralongo . Contenimento Economico e Umanizzazione dell’assistenza. p. 41-57, EdiScience,

4. Bertolaso M. (2013) Sulla ‘irriducibilità’ della prospettiva sistemica in biologia. Un’analisi delle convergenze dei modelli interpretativi del cancro. in “Strutture di Mondo” (Urbani Ulivi L. Ed.), Vol. II, p. 143-169, Bologna, Il Mulino.

5. Bertolaso M, Giuliani A, Filippi S (2013) The Mesoscopic Level and its Epistemological Relevance in Systems Biology. In: Recent Advances in Systems Biology. Nova Science Publishers, Inc., pp. 19-36 (ISBN: 978-1-62948-736-6)

6. Bertolaso M, Di Stefano N, Ghilardi G, Marcos A (2015) Bio-Techno-Logos and Scientific Practice –, in “The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’”, Bertolaso M. (Ed.), Pickering & Chatto Publishers.

7. Bertolaso M (2015) Philosophy within Science in “The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’”, Bertolaso M. (Ed.), Pickering & Chatto Publishers.

8. Bertolaso M (2015) “Stabilità VS Specificità. La rilevanza delle categorie relazionali nelle scienze biologiche”, in “Strutture di Mondo” (Urbani Ulivi L. Ed.), Vol. III, 107-131.

9. Di Stefano N & Bertolaso M (2015) Di Stefano N & Bertolaso M (2015) Changing Framework in Explaining Complex Dynamics: Convergences on Systemic Accounts from Two Different Case Studies. In “Towards a post-Bertalanffy Systemics”, Minati, G., Abram, M. and Pessa, E., (eds.), Springer, New York, 159-168.

10. Bertolaso M, Güell F (2015) ¿Requiere la complejidad biológica un marco indeterminista? en “¿Determinismo o Indeterminismo. Grandes preguntas de la Biología”, C. Vanney & J.F. Franck (eds.), Colección “De las Ciencias a la Filosofía”, Logos-Universidad Austral, Rosario-Pilar.

11. Bertolaso M. (2016), “A System Approach to Cancer. From Things to Relations”, in Green, S. (ed.), Philosophy of Systems Biology – Perspectives from Scientists and Philosophers. Springer, History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences (HPTL)

12. Bertolaso M (2016) “Disentangling Context Dependencies in Biological Sciences”, in L. Felline, F. Paoli, E. Rossanese (Eds) New Directions in Logic and Philosophy of Science, College Publications, London.

13. Bertolaso M, Buzzoni M (2016), Causality and Levels of Explanation in Biology, in “Philosophical and Scientific Perspectives on Downward Causation”, Edited by Michele Paolini Paoletti and Francesco Orilia, Part III – Downward Causation and the Sciences, Routledge

14. Marcos A, Bertolaso M (2017) “What is a Home? An Ontological and Epistemological Inquiry”, in The Home: Multidisciplinary Reflections, Antonio Argandona (Ed), Edward Elgar, accepted.

15. Bertolaso M, Dupré J (2017), A processual perspective on cancer, in Process Philosophy of Biology (Eds. J. Dupré and D. Nicholson), OUP, in press

16. Bertolaso M (2017) ” The Relational Ontology of Levels: Emerging Epistemology for Biological Sciences”, in The Threshold of Scientific Rationality (Martinez R, Giménez Amaya JM, Eds), STOQ series.

17. Bertolaso M, Della Rocca M (2016) Be-com-ing (Vealzquez H, Guell F) Vivo, Inerte,  Artificial, forthcoming

18. Boem F, Malagrinò I, Bertolaso M (2017), In Silico Clinical Trials: a Possible Response to Complexity in Pharmacology, in Uncertainty in Pharmacology, (Ed. B. Osimani), forthcoming

19. Bertolaso M, Di Stefano N (2017) Philosophy of Scientific & Technological Practice, in The Hand and Human Identity, SAPERE, Springer

Special Issue (Editor)

1. Bertolaso M (2014), Cancer and its Complexity: Epistemological and Ethical Reflections, Special Issue, Medic. Metodologia didattica ed innovazione clinica, Vol. 2.

2. B Bertolaso M. & MacLeod M (Eds) (2016) In Silico Modeling: the Human Factor, HUMANA.MENTE Journal of Philosophical Studies, in press.

3. Bertolaso M, Di Bernardo M (2016) Bio-Disciplines, Scienze & Ricerche, in press.

4. Bertolaso M (2017) Philosophy of Biology. Linking Bridges. Acta Philosophica

Entry for Enciclopedia

1. Bertolaso M (2013). Mechanisms & Biological Mechanisms. In: New Catholic Encyclopedia Supplement 2012-13: Ethics and Philosophy. . Detroit:Robert L. Fastiggi, ISBN: 978-1414480855

2. Bertolaso M, Cerezo M (2017). Biological Robustness. For the Diccionario Interdiciplinar Austral.

3. Dieli AM, Bertolaso M (2017) Natural Selection & Teleology. For the Diccionario Interdiciplinar Austral. In preparation

4. Bertolaso M (2017) Organism. For the Diccionario Interdiciplinar Austral. Commisioned


1. Bertolaso M (2012) – Il Cancro come questione. Modelli Interpretativi e Presupposti Epistemologici, Monografia, Franco Angeli, Milano.

2. Bertolaso M (2013) – How Science works. Choosing Levels of Explanation in Biological Sciences, Aracne s.r.l., Rome.

3. Bertolaso M (Ed) (2015), The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’, Pickering & Chatto Publishers, London.

4. Bertolaso M. (2016) Philosophy of Cancer – A Dynamic and Relational View. Springer Series in “History, Philosophy & Theory of the Life Sciences”.

Edited Books (accepted)

Bertolaso M & Di Stefano N (Eds) “The Hand and Human Identity”. SAPERE, Springer

Bertolaso M, Caianiello S, Serrelli E, Mitchell S (Eds), Biological Robustness – Emerging Perspectives from within the Life Sciences, HPLS, Springer.

Marta Bertolaso Books’ reviews

Alfredo Marcos: How Science works. Choosing Levels of Explanation in Biological Sciences

Mattia della Rocca: Il Cancro come questione. Modelli Interpretativi e Presupposti Epistemologici

Guillermo Folguera: The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’. Rivista di NEO-SCOLASTICA

Valentina Savojardo: Il Cancro come questione. Modelli Interpretativi e Presupposti Epistemologici, EPISTEMOLOGIA

Valentina Savojardo: The Future of Scientific Practice: ‘Bio-Techno-Logos’

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