CASATI Roberto- contre le colonialisme numérique SMALL270px-CasatiControColonialismoDigitaleSID-234_I di Cop.indd


The Review of Philosophy and Psychology


Institutional e-mail 150px-IndirizzoCasatiehess

Personal e-mail 150px-IndirizzoCasatigmail

Institutional address: Institut Jean Nicod, Ecole Normale Supérieure, 29 rue d’Ulm, 75005 Paris, France

Representation: Marco Vigevani Agenzia Letteraria piazza S.Ambrogio 4, 20123 Milano – tel. +39.02.86996553; fax +39.02.86982309 e-mail:info AT marcovigevani.com


Shadowes blog mostly in Italian, with comments on many different issues, some unsolicited suggestions for making the world a better place, and popular science articles / di tutto un po’, commenti di varia natura, inclusi molti articoli divulgativi per IlSole24Ore.

Recent books for the general public

With Achille C. Varzi, Semplicità Insormontabili, translated as Insurmountable simplicities / 39 petites histoires philosophiques d’une redoutable simplicité / 논쟁의 대가들 · 역설과 위트 논리와 상상력의 39 가지 철학우화 /  Simplicidades insolúveis. 39 histórias filosóficas Ακατανίκητες απλότητες. 39 φιλοσοφικές ιστορίες / 39 (simples) cuentos filosóficos / 難解的簡單 · 39 杯哲學 Espresso / Proste sytuacje nie do rozwiązania. 39 opowiadań filozoficznych

Il caso Wassermann:


Philosophy for children/filosofia per i piccoli:

With Achille C. Varzi Il Pianeta dove scomparivano le cose

Recent work on shadows

After the publication of The Shadow Club (New York: Knopf, 2002; original edition Milan, Mondadori, 2000; reprinted as Shadows, New York, Vintage, 2004; translated in 7 languages; new Italian edition 2008) I published a number of papers on various aspects of shadows perception and representation.


A rare picture of a shadow from a plane’s trail. It’s early morning, the plane flies towards the sun, so that its trail is aligned with the sun’s rays. Picture taken from the Clochard, sailing towards Saint Tropez, July 2009. It nicely illustrate the notion of a shadow-body, or perceived three dimensional shadow.


The shadow cast from Burj Khalifa, as of today the tallest building in the world, seen from below. Picture taken in February 2012. The top is more than 800m above us. There is enough athmosphere between us and the top that does not get direct sunlight, and we can see the shadow against the background of the sky. Actually, the shadow is not cast in the sky, but unto the ground; we see it as continuing the building because of perspective shortening.

400px-PuzzlingPicture01 400px-ShadowObtrusion

What does the puzzling picture on the left hand represent? (nb: no phtoshop!) And how could I manage to let my shadow pass under a carpet? An explanation can be found in the following article:

Casati, R., (2007), “How I Managed to Hide My Shadow”, Perception, 36 1849–1852 (‘Last but not least ‘ section). For more such pictures and a cute street performance video, check Marco Bacci and Marta Mellere’s site.



And which of the two pictures is more convincing to you? Read an explanation in:

Casati, R., (2007), “The copycat solution to the shadow correspondence problem”, Perception, 37, 4, 495-503.

Casati, R., (2009) “Die Kunst des Schattenwurfs” (original ms. in English, German transl. by B. Kalthoff), in N. Bätzner, W. Nekes, E. Schmidt, eds. Blickmaschinen. Köln: DuMont, 101-106

Casati, R., (2008), ”Are shadows transparent? An investigation on white, shadows and transparency in pictures“, to appear in Res.

Casati, R., (2006), “The cognitive science of holes and cast shadows”, Trends in Cognitive Science, 10, 2, 54-55.

Casati, R., (2005), “Shadow tales of knowledge and power”, in T. Sadowsky, ed. 2005 Shadow Play – Schattenspiel. Odense: Kunsthallen Brandts Klaedefabrik. 2

Casati, R., (2004), “The shadow knows: a primer on the informational structure of cast shadows”, Perception, vol 33, 11, 1385-1396.3

Casati, R., (2004), “Methodological Issues in The Study of the Depiction of Cast Shadows”, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 62, 2, 163-174 .4

Casati, R., (2003) “The availability of large size from shadow: looking for hidden assumptions”, Perception, 32, 1021-1023. 5

Casati, R., (2003), ”Towards a cognitively oriented database of early shadow depictions“. Poster for the conference Shadows – From Art to Neuroscience, Rovereto — MART (2003-11) 6

Casati, R. (2002d) “The secret of shadow”. The Secret of Light and Shadow, Frankfurt: Deutsches Architektur Museum.

Casati, R. (2001a) “The Structure of Shadows”, in A. Frank, J. Raper, and J.P. Cheylan, Time and Motion of Socio-Economic Units, London: Taylor and Francis, 99-109.

Some unpublished material on shadows.

It took years of patience, but I eventually managed to get a picture of the shadow of a plane which is about to land, from inside the plane.


Februay 2012, Landing at Orly Airport

Last but not least, a clip from director Werner Weick’s  Dalla parte dell’ombra”, a RTSI documentary in which we explored the streets of Florence in search of intriguing shadows, and had shadow performer Francesca Bizzarri recreate for us some of her art at the Teatro della Limonaia.

Other items


Lettera 27 - Promoting literacy

Groupe Compas On the impact of IT in the classroom

Cognitive science and responsible driving (work in progress)

Democrazia partecipativa (work in progress)

Minor achievements


With A. Varzi: L’incertezza elettorale a booklet on voting systems whose error margin is larger than the difference between the votes of the two camps.

R. Casati, A. Varzi L’incertezza elettorale di prossima pubblicazione presso Aracne.

A note on ‘shadowes’



On screen at RIFF Rome Independent Film Festival: Stanza 88, directed by Pierluca di Pasquale


On stage in NYC at the Fringe Festival /August 2010:


All Gone Theatre Company

Writer: Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi, Adapted by Natalie Glick

Director: Natalie Glick

Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that make your head spin. This metaphysical adventure throws an assortment of delightfully quirky characters face to face with philosophical conundrums. And when rationality fails, outrageous possibilities flourish.

0h 50m Local Brooklyn, NYC

Multi-Media Comedy

Staycation: Absurdly Surrealist Dream Time Traveler


VENUE #1: Dixon Place Share/Bookmark

Mon 16 @ 4:30 Mon 23 @ 8 Thu 26 @ 9:30 Sat 28 @ 3:30 Sun 29 @ 4:15


Stramaledettamente Logico: Esercizi di filosofia su pellicola (edito da Armando MAssarenti, con testi di Claudia Bianchi, Nicla Vassallo, Achille Varzi, e miei.

Mobile A2K with http://www.lettera27.org Lettera 27 - an international meeting sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation, co-organized with Iolanda Pensa.

Online review of D. Dutton’s The art instict on the http://www.cognitionandculture.net/ Cognition and Culture Institute site.

Research CAMP a Parigi su Ricerca e Università in Italia

Ricerca e Università Camp Parigi 13 Dicembre 2008 (con una sessantina di proposte di riforma)


Proste sytuacje nie do rozwiązania. 39 opowiadań filozoficznych Polish version of Unsurmountable Simplicities now published


New edition of La Scoperta dell’ombra, in una nuova edizione con una postilla sugli ultimi dieci anni di ricerche, viene edito da Laterza nei Robinson/Letture.

Intervista su Radio24 di S.Carrubba http://www.radio.rai.it/radio3/fahrenheit/archivio_2008/audio/fahrenheit2008_09_07a.ram intervista a Fahrenheit per il FestivalLetteratura di Mantova

EU funded project about “Changing the way scientific knowledge is produced, disseminated, evaluated, and consumed”. LiquidPublications project’s website.


On air on France Culture La Part de l’Ombre


On issues of general concern/filosofia e vita civile:

Not to be missed: the [Sat Sep. 29th 2007 issue of Il Sole 24 Ore with an inset on cognitive science and driving. Sul Sole 24 Ore del 29settembre 2007, un inserto su sicurezza stradale, scienze cognitive e guida responsabile.

With G. Roncaglia: the anatomy of a collaborative writing tool for public participation in democracy, The Italian version of which appeared in Rivista di Estetica, 2007: http://www.shadowes.org/wiki/index.php?title=070205%2C_Versione_stabile_per_prima_circolazione_e_feedback La struttura di uno strumento collaborativo per la democrazia partecipata ; http://wikilex.merzspace.net/ videoepresentazione in italiano by Gino Roncaglia.

On art and cognition/ Arte e scienze cognitive

Che cosa spiega una teoria dell’arte?

href=”http://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/docs/00/17/13/10/PDF/TICS_00035_Casati_proof2.pdf&docid=171310″>http://jeannicod.ccsd.cnrs.fr/docs/00/17/13/10/PDF/TICS_00035_Casati_proof2.pdf&docid=171310Mirror and canonical neurons are not constitutive of aesthetic response, (with Alessandro Pignocchi), in Trends in Cognitive Science







This is Roberto Casati’s personal home page. Opinions expressed here are not meant to reflect those of my employer and are my sole responsibility.

Updating old links: please note that some old domain names I used are no longer valid or are owned by someone else. So, if you look for old www.shadowmill.com or for old www.robertocasati.com you may want to point to www.roberto-casati.com