IN MEMORIAM ROBERTO TORRETTI
The members of the Chilean Society for the Philosophy of Science (SOCHIFIC as per its acronym in Spanish, Sociedad Chilena de Filosofía de las Ciencias) subscribing to this letter would like to share with you the following.
Roberto Torretti (1930-2022) has been a member of SOCHIFIC since its very beginnings. His philosophical work in the discipline has been widely recognized both at a national and at an international level. His impact on new generations of philosophers of science in Chile and abroad has come to be notorious given the relevance and scope of his works. Roberto Torretti’s philosophical investigations address classical Greek philosophy, natural philosophy, and Kant, as much as the history and philosophy of geometry and physics, with emphasis on the philosophical foundations of relativity theory. His contribution to the philosophy of science is unquestionable, and his works continue to be cited and debated in recent literature, be that Kantian philosophy of science, general philosophy of science, the philosophy of mathematics and physics, or else. Over the last years, Roberto Torretti explored issues in the philosophy of biology, and he also examined the capacity of history and philosophy of science to contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge.
Fortunately, an important part of the new generations of philosophers of science in Chile are familiar with his works, some of them being usually included in undergraduate and graduate readings when teaching the discipline in our country. Roberto Torretti’s figure represents a unique example for the consolidation, institutionalization, and professionalization of philosophy of science in Chile, where this practice is relatively recent and sometimes scarcely represented at universities. Yet Torretti’s life and work go beyond these frontiers, amounting to a chapter in the history of philosophy in Chile.
In a non-exhaustive list, we would like to mention the following celebratory acts of the life and works of Roberto Torretti:
- Those who are interested in knowing more about his philosophical production can consult his CV on the SEP website: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/geometry-19th/vita.html
- In a praiseworthy endeavour, the Universidad Diego Portales Press, in Chile, has edited, translated, and published several volumes of Torretti’s works: https://ediciones.udp.cl/autor/roberto-torretti/
- For Revista Teorema, in Spain, our friend David Teira published, in 2010 a Symposium entitled “La Filosofía de las Ciencias de Roberto Torretti”, which encompasses contributions by Juan Bautista Bengoetxea, Ricardo Parellada, José Romo, and Xavier de Donato, with a response by Roberto Torretti: https://www.unioviedo.es/Teorema/Spanish/Numeros/XXIX1.html
- In 2016, Rodrigo López-Orellana and Juan Redmond, both at the Universidad de Valparaíso, Chile, edited the volume In Honorem Roberto Torretti for the Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso: https://revistas.uv.cl/index.php/RHV/issue/view/74. To this volume contributed Alejandro Cassini, Jordi Cat, Hasok Chang, José Ferreirós, Olimpia Lombardi, Carlos Ulises Moulines, Wilfredo Quezada, Luis Pavez, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Adán Sus, and David Teira, with an article by Roberto Torretti.
- In 2019, the Grupo de Estudios de Filosofía de las Ciencias at the Universidad de Chile, directed by Cristian Soto, run a year-long reading group on Roberto Torertti’s philosophy of science, with a selection of writings by Torretti himself.
- In 2020, Cristian Larroulet-Phillipi and Cristian Soto interviewed Roberto Torretti for the podcast FICICO, SOCHIFIC, which is available in Spanish here: https://www.sochific.cl/roberto-torretti
- This year should be published the book Current Debates in Philosophy of Science: In Honour of Roberto Torretti (Synthese Library Series, Springer, Cristian Soto editor), which brings together contributions by Katherine Brading, Qiu Lin, Thomas Ryckman, Olimpia Lombardi, Otávio Bueno, Jeremy Butterfield, Henrique Gomes, Patricia Palacios, John Norton, Charlotte Werndl, Roman Frigg, Pablo Acuña, Alejandro Cassini, Jonas Arenhart, Aldo Filomeno, Hernán Lucas Accorinti, Sebastián Fortín, Manuel Herrera, and Jesús Jaimes, among others. Since 2019, the volume has been prepared with the supervision of Roberto Torretti.
- Recently, the Instituto de Filosofía at the PUC de Chile interviewed Pablo Acuña, Roberto Torretti’s friend and disciple who insightfully depicts the scope and depth of Torretti’s philosophical production: https://filosofia.uc.cl/noticias/1883-a-los-92-fallece-el- destacado- filosofo-y-escritor-roberto-torretti
There are many other things of interest which we would like to share publicly with you. For the time being, SOCHIFIC, an institution that finds itself at an early stage, can celebrate Roberto Torretti’s long life and philosophical works. He tirelessly put forward new additions to the philosophy of science in various research fields, and he set an example of relentless academic commitment. We fully acknowledge and honour his contributions, and we endorse his example as guiding the consolidation, institutionalization, and professionalization of the discipline in Chile.
Pablo Acuña, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Esteban Céspedes, Universidad Católica del Maule / Instituto de Sistemas Complejos de Valparaíso
Aldo Filomeno, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
Cristián Larroulet-Phillipi, Universidad de Cambridge
Rodrigo López Orellana, Universidad de Valparaíso
Patricia Palacios, Universidad de Salzburgo
Juan Redmond, Universidad de Valparaíso
Cristian Soto, Universidad de Chile / British Academy, CPNSS, LSE