Giuseppe LONGO


Giuseppe LONGO

Mathematical Computer Sciences and Epistemology, CNRS, Paris, France - Associate Fellow

Fellowship : Associate Fellow from 2014 to 2017 (previous fellowship from January to March 2014)

Discipline(s) : Epistemology, Mathematics, Theoretical Biology

Pays : France

Research project: “Laws of the Gods, Men and Nature”

This project is above all a questioning with a long-term, fundamental objective: to discuss the meaning that the notion of law in biology has, or should have, taking as the departure point the Theory of Evolution and up to the sense given to it by modern and contemporary physics. In view of the role of paradigm which other disciplines attribute to the mathematized laws of physics, the economy of the equilibria of financial dynamics, not to mention the quantification of many social areas, it would seem that a reflection which stems from within natural sciences might also contribute to a better evaluation of the strengths and limits of these transfers.

A first theory: the notion of the physical law, which has dominated all references to “the laws of nature” for at least four centuries, is profoundly impregnated with religious metaphysics and juridical references which have not only shaped it, but given it legitimacy. Whilst anticipating an objective which could be falsified, we believe that the historical and metaphysical bias that is normally implicit and which weighs upon the notion of the law of nature and mainly, if not exclusively, involves the (“well-deserved”) hegemony of physico-mathematical theorization, currently presents an obstacle to original thinking on the dynamics of the living. We will therefore attempt to carry out a thorough questioning on intelligibility and normativity within the framework of life sciences, going beyond the preconceived metaphysical notions which govern physico-mathematical intelligibility. From this perspective, we also hope to contribute to the debate taking place within the human sciences, particularly as regards their relationship to “laws” such as those put forward by natural sciences.

Dowload the global project

Interview on Complexité, science et démocratie available in French and Interview also available in italian

Collaboration with the Institute

Following his fellowship at the Institute in 2014, Giuseppe Longo leads a multiannual project at the Institute about "The Laws of Gods, Men and Nature".

A first colloquim on the project took place in 15th and 16th October 2015 and a second colloqium took  place on 15th and 16th February 2017.


Giuseppe Longo is a Research Director at CNRS (Emeritus) at the Cavaillès interdisciplinary centre of Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris (ENS). Former Research Director in Mathematics, then in Computer Science, at ENS (1990-2012), he is as well a former Professor of Mathematical Logic and later, of Computer Science at the University of Pisa (1973- 1990). Giuseppe Longo worked in Mathematical Logic and in various applications of Mathematical Logic to Computer Science. He spent three years in the USA (Berkeley, M.I.T., Carnegie Mellon) as researcher and Visiting Professor, and spent several other months visiting Oxford (UK) and Utrecht (Netherland). He is editor-in-chief of Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, a leading scientific journal of the Cambridge University Press, and has (co-)authored more than 100 papers and three books. He recently extended his research interests and works on the Epistemology of Mathematics and Theoretical Biology, see his books with F.Bailly and M. Montévil on:

Major Publications

BAILLY, Francis et LONGO, Giuseppe. Mathematics and Natural Sciences: the Physical Singularity of Life. London : Imperial College Press, 2011, 336 pp.

LONGO, Giuseppe et MONTÉVIL, Maël. Perspectives on Organisms: Biological Time, Symmetries and Singularities. Berlin: Springer, 2014, 310 pp.

LONGO, Giuseppe. Mathematical Infinity "in prospettiva" and the Spaces of Possibilities. Visible, 2011, n° 9. Disponible sur ce lien


LONGO, Giuseppe. Reflections on (Concrete) Incompleteness. Philosophia Mathematica. 2011, 19(3), p. 255-280. Disponible sur ce lien (consulté le 30.05.2015).

LONGO, Giuseppe. Incomputability in Physics and in Biology. Proceedings of Computability in Europe, June 30-July 4, 2010, Azores. Springer, 2010 (coll. LNCS,6158). Revised version in : Mathematical Structures in Computer Science, October 2012, Vol. 22 (05), pp. 880 – 900. Disponible sur ce lien (consulté le 30.05.2015).

LONGO, Giuseppe.  Le conseguenze della filosofia. Conferenza invitata, convegno "A Plea for Balance in Philosophy", Firenze, aprile 2014. Atti a cura di R. Lanfredini, ETS, Pisa, 2015. Disponible sur ce lien:

BRAVI Barbara, LONGO, Giuseppe.   The Unconventionality of Nature: Biology, from Noise to Functional Randomness. Invited Lecture, Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation Conference (UCNC)}, Auckland (NZ), 31/8 - 4/9/2015, proceedings in Springer LNCS 9252, Berlin, 2015.  Disponible sur ce lien:

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