Science and Ethics: Mario Bunge



Steve Torok writes: As an old physicist ( "old physicists never die, they just become philosophers") I beg to differ with you about physicists and ethics (a branch of philosophy) Mario Bunge in fact developed an elaborate thesis of ethics derived from physics, while physicists like Eddington, Einstein not to mention others had all contributed to ethics. 

RH: The discussion was about the ethical behavior of scientists, but Steve brings up the question of the contribution of scientists to ethics. Here is a note on Mario Bunge:

Mario Bunge was born in Buenos Aires. He obtained his PhD in physico-mathematical sciences from the Universidad Nacional de La Plata in 1952. He has been a professor of theoretical physics at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (1956-66) and at the Universidad Nacional de La Plata (1956-59) and professor of philosophy at the Universidad de Buenos Aires from 1957 to 1963. Currently he is Frothingham Professor of Logic and Metaphysics and Head, Foundations and Philosophy of Science, McGill University, Montreal, which he joined in 1966.


Dr. Bunge has held numerous visiting professorships of philosophy including: the University of Pennsylvania, 1960-61, Universidad de la Republica (Montevideo), 1961-62, Texas, 1963, Freiburg, 1966, Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, 1968, Aarus, 1972, ETH Zurich, 1973 and Geneve, 1986-87. He has also been a visiting professor of physics and philosophy at Temple University, 1963-64, and at the University of Delaware, 1964-65 and was a research professor, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico, 1975-76, Université de Genève, 1986-87 and Università degli Studi di Genoa, 1993-94. Dr. Bunge is a fellow of the Conselho Nacional de Pesquisas (S. Paulo, Brazil), 1953, the Fundacion Ernesto Santamarina (Buenos aires), 1954, the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung(Freiburg), 1965-66, Killam (Montreal), 1969-70 and the Guggenheim Foundation, 1972-73.

Among the degrees obtained are : Doctor of Laws, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, 1981`, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, 1985, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, 1987, Universida de Federal de Santa Catarina, 1991, Prince of Asturias prize in Communications and the Humanities, 1982. Dr. Bunge is a member of the Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences (1965- ), Institut International de Philosophie (1969- ), Academy of Humanism (1985- ), and he is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1984- ) and of The Royal Society of Canada (1992- ).


Founder and headmaster, Universidad Obrera Argentina, 1938-43. Editor, Minerva, 1944-45, Co-founder, later editor, Asociación Física Argentina, 1944. Co-founder, later president Agrupación Rioplatense de la Lógica y Filosofía Científica, 1956. Founder, Society for Exact Philosophy, 1971, and Asociación Mexicana de Epistemologia, 1976. Editor, Library of Exact Philosophy (Springer), Episteme (Raidel) and Foundations of Philosophy of Science and Technology (Pergamo).

Dr. Bunge is the author of more than 80 books (including translations) and 400 articles on theoretical physics, applied mathematics, systems theory, foundations of physics, foundations of sociology and psychology, philosophy of science, philosophy of technology, semantics, epistemology, catology, value theory, ethics, science policy, etc.

RH: The Académie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences would be the place to go to find out which scientists are active in the field of ethics. I assume that it is they who set down the ethical rules which scientists must observe.


Your comments are invited. Read the home page of the World Association of International Studies (WAIS) by simply double-clicking on:   http://wais.stanford.edu Mail to Ronald Hilton, Hoover Institution, Stanford, CA 94305-6010. Please inform us of any change of e-mail address.

Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: December 5, 2004