This book is devoted to the study of the relationships between literature and science and has an interdisciplinary methodological approach. In this respect it is a sequel to La conoscenza della letteratura/The Knowledge of Literature VI. Questions of the verifiability and reliability of scientific theories and literary texts inevitably recur throughout the volume.
Literature is a primary concern in most of these essays, but philosophy, the visual arts, the history of science, and physics also play a relevant role in mapping the field of the mutual implications of literary and scientific knowledge. A wide range of primary texts are either thoroughly examined, or alluded to in this volume: from the Early-modern context (Bruno, Shakspeare, Sidney, Puttenham, Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza), to the Eighteenth Century (Oliver Goldsmith, Samuel Johnson, William Blackmore, John Arbuthnot), from the Victorians (William Carpenter, Forbes Winslow, Henry Maudsley, Charles Darwin, Thomas Hardy), to the Twentieth Century and the Post-modern (Einstein, Tagore, Wittgenstein, C.P. Snow, Karl Popper, Nelson Goodman, Claudio Magris, Cees Nooteboom, W.G. Sebald, Ian McEwan, Jonathan Franzen, Paul Auster).
The understanding of the cultural meanings of disciplinary splits and collusions is what ultimately makes the encounter of the humanities and sciences a most complex and most fruitful event.