Call for Papers

Nature and Its Boundaries. Contemporary Naturalisms and Their Modern Sources

P.O.I. – Points of Interest, No. 12 (June 2023)

Abstract deadline: 28th February 2023


The bi-annual journal P.O.I. – Points of Interest invites submissions for its forthcoming issue. Submissions should address the issue’s theme, on the basis of one or more of the topics proposed below, and should conform to the stipulated criteria and terms, as indicated below.

The twentieth century produced a monumental shift in the reflection about the relationship between science and philosophy, which inevitably involved the definition (literally, the ‘perimeter’) of the concept of ‘nature’. Ethic-related issues aside, the new equivalence between naturalism, physicalism and materialism caused a revival of the problem of the limits of the ‘physical’, a karst issue that crosses a time span that starts from early modernity.

What are the new parameters of the definition of ‘natural’? On the one hand, the doctrine of ‘natural’ has been largely reduced to its biological aspects. There are two main reasons for that: the naturalization of Quine’s epistemology, and the behaviouristic demand to dismiss any investigation into the conscience-related part of experience. On the other hand, if by ‘natural’ we mean “everything that is physical”, then it is also true that physics cannot comprehend the intimate nature of experience. Namely, we cannot be certain that the ‘natural’ and the ‘physical’ coincide, and physics cannot tell us anything about the nature of reality. All this, in turn, leads to a further question. According to these two paradigms of ‘natural’, what can be properly defined as ‘unnatural’? Is there any alternative? One of the important achievements of the early-modern reflection on nature at a time when a fully developed science as biology was still far away is an awareness about the difficulty of defining the limits of the ‘natural’. The question is whether or not early modern philosophy (from Descartes to Hume) can still provide useful insights to conceive of an alternative to the classical equivalences ‘nature= physical’ and ‘nature= biology”.

The aim of this issue is to discuss the possibility of using early modern thought as a privileged starting point to find the roots of the problems described above as well as solutions that are update-able, while also considering the specific differences between the various philosophical-scientific paradigms.

The following is a list of possible topics:


  • Reconstruction and comparison between the different meanings of “naturalism” from early modern times on;
  • Historical-critical reflections and comparisons between the various definitions of “unnatural” or “anti-natural” from the early modern age on;
  • Machine and organism: a comparison of different models of ‘natural’;
  • Materialism and naturalism: analysis and history of their relationships.


Guidelines and terms for submission:


  • Submissions should be preceded by an abstract (max. 2,000 characters [approx., 350-400 words], including spaces), which will be pre-screened for relevance to the CfP by the editorial staff.
  • The deadline for receipt of abstracts is February 28th 2023. Decisions regarding the outcome of abstract submissions will be communicated following that date.
  • The deadline for submission of full papers (20,000-60,000 characters [approx., 3,500-10,500 words], including spaces) is April 30th 2023.
  • Contributions must be of original, unpublished work, and must not be under consideration by other journals.
  • Submissions in the following languages are accepted and will be considered: Italian, English, French, German, Spanish.
  • The journal employs a double-blind peer review process; therefore, the author’s name and any affiliation must appear only once in the paper (under the title). The full version of the paper should include an abstract in English (of max. 1,500 characters [approx., 250 words], spaces included), and 5 keywords in English.



Editorial guidelines can be found at the following webpage:


Submissions should be sent to the following address: