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Raffaello Cortina Editore

The Spring and the Smartphone

What is the Difference Between a Discovery and an Invention?

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

Sight and touch are the main instruments that we as human beings use to try to understand the world around us. When we are faced with an unknown object, we instinctively pick it up and examine it.However, frequently our senses alone are not enough to reveal the mechanisms of objects with which we are not familiar. And wait a moment! Electricity, paper, gravity, penicillin, touch screens: are these inventions or discoveries?Marco Malvaldi and Samantha Bruzzone accompany us on a trip to investigate some of the main discoveries and inventions of the history of mankind, with clear, concrete, and entertaining explanations.Illustrations by Francesca Fortino. Marco Malvaldi is a chemist and an author. Samantha Bruzzone, formerly a research chemist, has written numerous books with Marco Malvaldi.

Around the World in the Anthropocene

A Map of Humanity in the Future

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

A voyage in the future to understand past mistakes and avoid repeating them

On Friendship

Investigating a Sentiment that Concerns All of Us

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

Friendship is a basic sentiment that concerns everyone.  It links us with others but doesn’t exclude solitude, of which indeed it is the central part. It is both a miraculous source of joy and a fragile balance that has to be protected, cared for, nurtured. It is an ancestral sentiment composed of infinite nuances, susceptible to change depending on elements such as the time of life, gender, characters, as well as external, familial, social and historic conditions.Last but not least, friendship is of significant interest in psychiatry, particularly in this post-pandemic phase, and plays an important role in therapy.The words of great thinkers, poets, and authors from Friedrich Nietzsche to Emily Dickinson accompany Eugenio Borgna in this all-embracing reflection on the sentiment of friendship, to better capture its meaning and value.

The Forgotten

Where life itself is the emergency

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 282

While politicians and the media in the West were concentrating almost exclusively on Covid-19, elsewhere people continued to suffer for other dramatical reasons. Wars, torture, repressive regimes are just a few of the evils that beset the peripheral areas of the world of the well-off. In these areas, the health emergency of the last few years has certainly not been a priority.  Prior to the Syrian civil war, Mohammed Bakr was a judge in Homs, now he sells old shoes in the province of Idlib. Rohallah is a Pashtun Taliban who roams the Panshir valley with his Kalashnikov “to cut the throats of those ungrateful Tajiks”; in the meantime, Afghanistan has been plunged back into the past: anyone who has the means to leave, flees the country, no-one wears western clothes anymore, the women are segregated, buried in their burqas once again. These are just a few of the people that Pietro Del Re, journalist and correspondent of the Italian national daily la Repubblica for more than twenty years, met during the pandemic. He travelled to those corners of the Earth that bear the brunt of human tragedies, to give a voice and space to those who have been forgotten, the world’s losers that no-one, or almost no-one, cares about.    

The Sicily of Gods

A mythological guide

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

Stromboli, Taormina, Selinunte, Siracusa: travelling in Sicily with nymphs and cyclops

Mourning and EMDR

From Diagnosis to Clinical Intervention

di Roger M. Solomon

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 240

The world’s greatest expert on trauma and mourning    In this book, Roger Solomon draws on his wealth of experience and clinical sensitivity to explain how to work with mourning and the pain of loss. The author describes the impact that the loss of a loved one can have on innumerable functions, both intrapsychic and interpersonal, on the tasks that the mourner has to face in processing the sense of loss and the plethora of factors that can complicate mourning. After providing a brief panorama of EMDR, the author accompanies the therapist through the process step by step, integrating theoretical explanations with numerous accounts of clinical cases, using theoretical frameworks – including the theory of attachment and that of continuing bonds – that are efficacious for clinical work and a complete understanding of the cases presented. The author completes the volume with a detailed explanation of how to use EMDR therapy to facilitate the mourning process: each of the eight phases is examined in depth, in relation to working through grieving and the pain of loss.  

Eggs Benedict in Manhattan

Metropolitan Recipes of a Full, in all Senses of the Word, Professor

di Gian Piero Piretto

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 250 with colour images

Travel tales, nostalgic memories flavoured with a dash of irony and 60 recipes from the world’s great cities Looking for a tasty snack? Which of these would tickle your gastric juices, one of San Francisco’s famous tuna melts or a French assiette de fromages? And if you are feeling gloomy, which would you choose to brighten up your day, a bagna caoda from the Italian Piedmont region or a Berlin currywurst?A professor of Russian literature describes his travel experiences, especially to street markets and the best eating places.  A gastro-cultural tour of a number of cities – Turin, London, New York, Berlin, San Francisco, Paris, Istanbul – that have changed over the course of the years. Metropolitan glimpses of eccentric personalities, anecdotes of everyday life, nostalgic memories flavoured with a dash of irony and seasoned with recipes of dishes and beverages enjoyed over five decades.Which was more poignant, the whiff of cinnamon in a San Francisco fog or the smell of coal dust hanging in the air above a Berlin still divided by the Wall? After a day in Paris, should you raise a glass of classic Kir or Kir Royal? Those who lean to the left might prefer to order a communard, those who tend more to the right will ask for a cardinal. Whichever you choose, Cheers! .

A Biography of Jesus

According to the Gospels

di Gianfranco Ravasi

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 240

The life, passion and resurrection of Jesus as recounted by a great scholar This “biography” of Jesus is constructed on the watershed between faith and historical fact. The opening pages provide a setting that isolates the historical-cultural and geopolitical coordinates of the four Gospels, after which the reader is accompanied in a journey through their pages that offer a composite of portraits taken from different perspectives rather than an academic reconstruction of a character and his story. Gianfranco Ravasi develops this profile of Jesus adhering to certain fundamental features, starting from his public life in the village of Nazareth, his speeches that frequently flowed into parabolic narratives, his hands that moved in surprising gestures, catalogued as “miracles”. Then the supreme sacrifice, his death by capital execution condoned by Rome. But just when the curtain falls on Jesus’s earthly existence, a new phase of his life opens, a discriminant without precedence, defined as “resurrection”.  Understanding this requires another descriptive channel, mainly consigned to a transcendental consciousness, known as the “Paschal Mystery”.  


The Unexpected in Science

di Telmo Pievani

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 200

Great discoveries that happened by chance. Serendipity and its heroes, from Christopher Columbus to Sherlock Holmes. How many times have you searched for something and come across something entirely different? A partner, a friend, a job, an object. It happens to scientists all the time: they design an experiment and the results reveal something totally unexpected, that often turns out to be quite important. This fascinating phenomenon is known as serendipity, coined from the Persian fable of the three princes of Serendip, sent out by their father to explore the world.In the history of science, this is how the greatest discoveries have been made. But here you won’t find the usual list of anecdotes about the discovery of penicillin, X-rays and microwave ovens. The most surprising serendipity stories reveal profound aspects of the logic of scientific discovery. These discoveries cannot be ascribed to fortune alone: serendipity springs from a mixture of astuteness and curiosity, of sagacity and accidents seized upon and transformed into knowledge in the blink of an eye. Above all, serendipity shows us things we didn’t know that we didn’t know. Following the success of The Natural History of Imperfection and Finitude, Telmo Pievani reveals the thrilling story of an idea. From Zadig to Sherlock Holmes, the numerous heroes of serendipity show us that Nature, out there, is always much greater than we ever imagine.

Do Sexual Relationships Really Exist?

Desire, Love and Pleasure

di Massimo Recalcati

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 202

Spotlight on sex. Seduction, possession, the rules governing encounters with the partner. Unlike sex in the animal world, regulated as it is by infallible instinct, human sexuality brings to mind a cubist collage. Instinct just doesn’t work for humans who have found that it is no easy task to juggle sexual desire and love, among other things. They have also come to accept that in every sexual relationship, even before actually meeting the partner, desire is structured unconsciously in a singular phantasm that dictates the rules of the encounter: seduction, possession, jealousy, ecstasy.  They also have to come to terms with the fact that men and women approach sexuality differently and this difference brings misunderstandings and embarrassment in its wake. Then there is the symptomatology of sex that includes premature ejaculation, frigidity, the absence of desire, compulsive onanism, fetishism, perverse sexual practices. Having taken stock of all these elements, the author, following in Lacan’s footsteps, poses the question as to whether sexual relationships exist as such, given that every sexual relationship is first and foremost a relationship with one’s own phantasms.

The Sea of the Gods

A Mythological Guide to the Greek Islands

di Giulio Guidorizzi, Silvia Romani

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 326

Santorini, the Pompei of the Aegean, Kos, the island of Hippocrates and so of health and well-being, Rhodes, a flower blossoming from the sea… The islands came into being before mankind. From the beginning the Greeks thought of themselves as a part of constellation of lands surrounded by sea: a myriad of stars belonging to the same galaxy. This was where the sun of our civilization rose: thousands of years ago, in those islands men began to build ships, and model idols from clay. These are wonderful places, the shores lapped by what is probably the most beautiful sea in the world, places where even as tourists it is possible to feel the breath of the gods and the heroes who lived there in antiquity.Following on Treading where the gods once walked. A mythological guide to Greece, this volume embarks on a quest for new beaches from which to enchant the reader with timeless tales of the heroes and the mortals who have made the Greek islands more than just a mark on a map, rather a place to which we dream of returning.

The Direction of Thought

Mathematics and Philosophy to Distinguish Cause and Consequence

di Marco Malvaldi

publisher: Raffaello Cortina Editore

pages: 326

The increase of carbon dioxide emissions is causing global warming, or is global warming causing an increase in carbon dioxide emissions? Sometimes it is difficult to decide which is the cause and which is the effect. Try figure it out yourself with Marco Malvaldi’s guidance.   Why? This question, beloved of children of every generation, is the most spontaneous instrument for understanding the world: humans are always trying to separate the course of events into causes and consequences and to understand if the causes are in their turn the consequences of something else. This may sound simple, but in fact it is more complicated than it seems. Take for example a graph showing a strong correlation over a number of centuries between the trend of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and that of the increase of the surface temperature of the earth. Does this prove that CO2 causes global warming? Actually, that same graph can also show that the increase in temperature causes the increase in concentration of CO2, which is chemically feasible, the solubility of gasses in water decreases as the temperature increases. At this point, the question is, which of the two is the cause and which is the consequence? In this case, it is extremely difficult to give an answer. So, are we really able to decide which is the cause and which is the effect? The answer is, not always, but frequently it is. And trying to distinguish between the two, it might be possible to understand what consciousness is. If you are curious to discover how, we’ll try to work it out together.

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