Pera, Marcello 1943-

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PERA, Marcello 1943-


Born 1943.


Philosopher, educator, politician, and author. University of Pisa, Italy, former professor of the philosophy of science; Italian Senate, president, 2001—.


Popper e la scienza su palafitte, Laterza (Rome, Italy), 1981.

Apologia del metodo, Laterza (Rome, Italy), 1982.

Hume, Kant e l'induzione, Il Mulino (Bologna, Italy), 1982.

(Editor, with Joseph Pitt) I Modi del progresso: teorie e episodi della razionalitá scientifica, Il Saggiatore (Milan, Italy), 1985, translated as Rational Changes in Science: Essays on Scientific Reasoning, D. Reidel (Boston, MA), 1987.

La rana ambigua: la controversia sull'elettricitá animale tra Galvani e Volta, G. Einaudi (Torino, Italy), 1986, translated by Jonathan Mandelbaum as The Ambiguous Frog: the Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1992.

Scienza e retorica, Laterza (Rome, Italy), 1991, translated by Clarissa Botsford as The Discourses of Science, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1994.

(Editor, with William R. Shea) Persuading Science: The Art of Scientific Rhetoric, Science History Publications (Canton, MA), 1991.

(Editor) Il mondo incerto, Laterza (Rome, Italy), 1994.

(Editor, with Peter Machamer and Aristedes Baltas) Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000.

La martinella, 2001 (selected speeches), Rubbettino (Soveria Mannelli, Italy), 2003.

La martinella, 2002 (selected speeches), Rubbettino (Soveria Mannelli, Italy), 2003.

La martinella, 2003 (selected speeches), Rubbettino (Soveria Mannelli, Italy), 2004.

La martinella, 2004 (selected speeches), Rubbettino (Soveria Mannelli, Italy), 2005.

(With Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, foreword by George Weigel, translated by Michael F. Moore, Basic Books (New York, NY), 2006.

(With Pope Benedict XVI) Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures, Ignatius Press (Ft. Collins, CO), 2006.

Contributor to books, including Etica della conoscenza scientifica (title means "The Ethics of Scientific Kowledge"), Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana fondata da G. Treccani (Rome, Italy), 1989.


Described in Chiesa by Sandro Magister as "a decisive supporter of the encounter between faith and reason," MarcelloPera is the author or editor of several books, including works on science, philosophy, and Christianity. In Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives, Pera and his fellow editors, Peter Machamer and Aristedes Baltas, present a series of essays from a 1993 symposium that focuses on the nature of science and how it has developed. The various essayists contributing to the book address several scientific debates, such as defining and categorizing different species and the controversies over the question of multiple personalities. "Overall I found much of value in many of the historical case studies," reported Kenneth L. Caneva in Isis.

Pera collaborated with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) to write Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam. The book includes lectures by both men from 2004, and letters from Pera and Ratzinger to each other discussing issues that relate to the threat of radical Islam to European and Western culture. In his contribution, Pera focuses on such topics as the idea of political correctness in Western cultures and cultural relativism as one of its symptoms. He writes that nondenominational Christianity could be a viable basis for invigorating Europe. "From commentary on bioethical dilemmas to the war on terrorism, Ratzinger/Pera deliver a primer on orthodox Catholic social theology, circa 2005," according to a Kirkus Reviews contributor. Ray Olson, writing in Booklist, called the book "an engrossing, enlightening, extremely timely discussion."



Booklist, February 1, 2006, Ray Olson, review of Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam, p. 7.

Chiesa, September 3, 2006, Sandro Magister, "The Theologian, the Philosopher, and the Bishop. Three Lessons for the Church and the West."

Isis, September, 2001, Kenneth L. Caneva, review of Scientific Controversies: Philosophical and Historical Perspectives, p. 577.

Kirkus Reviews, January 15, 2006, review of Without Roots, p. 77.


Just Book Reviews, (October 2, 2006), Domenico Pacitti, review of Without Roots.

Living Catholicism, (March 4, 2006), review of Without Roots.

Marcello Pera Home Page, (October 2, 2006).

Views from Rome, (October 2, 2006), Alberto Carosa, "Policy Manifesto Launched to Defend West's Christian Heritage."*