Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics is an open access philosophical journal, being published only in an electronic format.
The journal aims at promoting research and reflection, both historically and theoretically, in the field of moral and political philosophy, with no cultural preclusion or adhesion to any cultural current.
Contributions should be submitted in one of these languages: Italian, English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish.
All essays should include an English abstract of max. 200 words.
The editorial staff especially welcomes interdisciplinary contributions with special attention to the main trends of the world of practice.
The journal has an anonymous double peer review referee system.
Three issues per year are expected.
The copyright of the published articles remain to the authors. We ask that in any future use of them Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics be quoted as a source.
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ETICA & POLITICA / ETHICS & POLITICS POSITION ON PUBLISHING ETHICS
The Editors of Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics have taken every possible measure to ensure the quality of the material here published and, in particular, they guarantee that peer review at their journal is fair, unbiased and timely, and that all papers have been reviewed by unprejudiced and qualified reviewers. The publication of an article through a peer-review process is intended as an essential feature of any serious scientific community. The decision to accept or reject a paper for publication is based on the paper’s relevance, originality and clarity, the study’s validity and its relevance to the mission of the journal. In order to guarantee the quality of the published papers, the Editors encourage reviewers to provide detailed comments to motivate their decisions. The comments will help the Editorial Board to decide the outcome of the paper, and will help to justify this decision to the author. If the paper is accepted with the request of revision, the comments should guide the author in making the revisions for the final manuscript. All material submitted to the journal remains confidential while under review.
Once the author receives a positive answer, he/she should send the final version of the article since proofs will not be sent to him/her. E&P will publish the paper within twelve months from the moment of the acceptance, and the author will be informed of the publication.
The journal is committed to such standards as originality in research papers, precise references in discussing other scholars’ positions, avoiding plagiarism. E&P takes these standards extremely seriously, because we think that they embody scientific method and are the mark of real scholarly communication.
Since Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics is devoted solely to scientific and academic quality, the journal neither has any submission charges nor any article processing charges.
The following guidelines are based on existing Elsevier policies and COPE’s Best Practice Guidelines for Journal Editors
1. PUBLICATION AND AUTHORSHIP
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, is the publisher of the peer reviewed international journal Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics.
The publication of an article in a peer-reviewed journal is an essential step of a coherent and respected network of knowledge. It is a direct reflection of the quality of the work of the authors and the institutions that support them. Peer-reviewed articles support and embody the scientific method. It is therefore important to agree upon standards of expected ethical behaviour for all parties involved in the act of publishing: the author, the journal editor, the peer reviewer, the publisher.
Authors need to ensure that the submitted article is the work of the submitting author(s) and is not plagiarized, wholly or in part. They must also make sure that the submitted article is original, is not wholly or in part a re-publication of the author’s earlier work, and contains no fraudulent data.
It is also their responsibility to check that all copyrighted material within the article has permission for publication and that material for which the author does not personally hold copyright is not reproduced without permission.
Finally, authors should ensure that the manuscript submitted is not currently being considered for publication elsewhere.
2. AUTHOR’S RESPONSIBILITIES
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics is a peer-reviewed journal, and Authors are obliged to participate in our double blind peer review process.
Authors must make sure that all and only the contributors to the article are listed as authors. Authors should also ensure that all authors provide retractions or corrections of mistakes.
3. PEER REVIEW AND REVIEWERS’ RESPONSIBILITIES
Both the Referee and the Author remain anonymous throughout the “double blind” review process. Referees are selected according to their expertise in their particular fields.
Referees have a responsibility to be objective in their judgments; to have no conflict of interest with respect to the research, with respect to the authors and/or with respect to the research funders; to point out relevant published work which is not yet cited by the author(s); and to treat the reviewed articles confidentially.
4. EDITORIAL RESPONSIBILITIES
Editors hold full authority to reject/accept an article; to accept a paper only when reasonably certain; to promote publication of corrections or retractions when errors are found; to preserve anonymity of reviewers; and to have no conflict of interest with respect to articles they reject/accept. If an Editor feels that there is likely to be a perception of a conflict of interest in relation to their handling of a submission, they will declare it to the other Editors. The other Editors will select referees and make all decisions on the paper.
5. PUBLISHING ETHICS ISSUES
Members of the Editorial Board ensure the monitoring and safeguarding of the publishing ethics. This comprises the strict policy on plagiarism and fraudulent data, the strong commitment to publish corrections, clarifications, retractions and apologies when needed, and the strict preclusion of business needs from compromising intellectual and ethical standards.
Whenever it is recognized that a published paper contains a significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distorted report, it will be corrected promptly. If, after an appropriate investigation, an item proves to be fraudulent, it will be retracted. The retraction will be clearly identifiable to readers and indexing systems.
PAST ISSUE AND STATISTICS
Past issues with download and visitors statistics for each article are provided here: http://www.openstarts.units.it/dspace/handle/10077/4673
COMITATO SCIENTIFICO NAZIONALE / ITALIAN ADVISORY BOARD:
A. Agnelli † (Trieste), A. Allegra (Perugia), G. Alliney (Macerata), S. Amato (Catania), M. Anzalone (Napoli), D. Ardilli (Modena), F. Aronadio (Roma), G. Azzoni (Pavia), F. Bacchini (Sassari), E. Berti (Padova), M. Bettetini (Milano), P. Bettineschi (Venezia), P. Biasetti (Padova), G. Bistagnino (Milano) R. Caporali (Bologna), A.A. Cassi (Bergamo), G. Catapano (Padova), M. Cossutta (Trieste), L. Cova (Trieste), S. Cremaschi (Vercelli), G. Cevolani (Modena), R. Cristin (Trieste), U. Curi (Padova), G. De Anna (Udine), P. Donatelli (Roma), P. Donini (Milano), M. Faraguna (Milano), M. Ferraris (Torino), L. Floridi (Oxford), R. Frega (Bologna), S. Fuselli (Verona), A. Fussi (Pisa), C. Galli (Bologna), R. Giovagnoli (Roma), P. Kobau (Torino), E. Irrera (Bologna), E. Lecaldano (Roma), L.A. Macor (Oxford), E. Manganaro (Trieste), G. Maniaci (Palermo), R. Martinelli (Trieste), F.G. Menga (Tübingen), R. Mordacci (Milano), V. Morfino (Milano), B. de Mori (Padova), M. Pagano (Vercelli), G. Pellegrino (Roma), V. Rasini (Modena-Reggio Emilia), M. Reichlin (Milano), M. Renzo (Stirling), A. Rigobello (Roma), P.A. Rovatti (Trieste), S. Semplici (Roma), A. Schiavello (Palermo), A. Sciumè (Bergamo), M. Sgarbi (Venezia), F. Toto (Roma), F. Trabattoni (Milano), F. Trifirò (London), M.S. Vaccarezza (Genova), C. Vigna (Venezia), P. Vignola (Guayaquil) S. Zeppi † (Trieste).
COMITATO SCIENTIFICO INTERNAZIONALE / INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD:
J. Allan (New Zealand), K. Ballestrem (Germany), T. Bedorf (Germany), G. Betz (Germany), W. Block (USA), M. Byron (USA), S. Chambers (Canada), J. Coleman (UK), C. Cowley (Ireland), W. Edelglass (USA), C.L. Geshekter (USA), A. Kalyvas (USA), J. Kelemen (Hungary), F. Klampfer (Slovenia), M. Knoll (Turkey), C. Illies (Germany), D. Innerarity (Spain), A. Lever (Switzerland), H. Lindahl (Netherlands), J. Marti (Spain), M. Matulovic (Croatia), J. McCormick (USA), N. Miscevic (Croatia), A. Moles (Hungary), L. Paulson (France), A. Przylesbski (Poland), J. Quong (USA) V. Rakic (Serbia), A. Schaap (UK), B. Schultz (USA), N. Tarcov (USA), D. Webb (UK), J.P. Zamora Bonilla (Spain).
REFEREES LIST FOR 2017
B. Accarino (Università di Firenze), A. Altobrando (China University of Politics and Law, Pechino) A. Allegra (Università per Stranieri, Perugia), S. Amato (Università di Catania), P. Bettineschi (Università di Padova), S. Blancu (LUMSA, Roma), M. Ballistreri (Università di Torino), M. Bettetini (IULM, Milano), C. Canullo (Università di Macerata), R. Caporali (Università di Bologna), G. Cevolani (IMT, Lucca), F. Ciaramelli (Università di Napoli, Federico II), A. Cislaghi (Università di Trieste), R. Cristin (Università di Trieste), G. De Anna (Università di Udine), P. Donatelli (Università di Roma, La Sapienza), A. Fabris (Università di Pisa), S. Ferrando (Université de Strasbourg), A. Fussi (Università di Pisa), C. Gerbaz (Università di Rijeka), B. Giovanola (Università di Macerata), G. Grandi (Università di Padova), L. Greco (Università di Oxford), M.L. Lanzillo (Università di Bologna), G. Maniaci (Università di Palermo), R. Martinelli (Università di Trieste), F. Menga (Università di Tubinga), F. Miano (Università di Roma, Tor Vergata), M. Monaldi (Università di Trieste), R. Mordacci (Università San Raffaele, Milano), B. De Mori (Università di Padova), G. Pellegrino (LUISS, Roma), U. Pomarici (Università della Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”), V. Rasini (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia), C. Rofena (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia), A. Schiavello (Università di Palermo), P. Šustar (Università di Rijeka), M. Trobok (Università di Rijeka), F. Turoldo (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia), M. Vaccarezza (Università di Genova), S. Zanardo (Università Europea di Roma).
Mankind is nowadays faced with many different challenges (both concerning man’s knowledge as well as man’s practical conduct) brought about by the exploration of the molecular basis of heredity. Many entwined questions arise: is genetic knowledge relevant to the comprehension of nature in general and of man’s vision of himself in particular? Faced with the new possibilities of insight and intervention in human genom, how should we conceive nature (both human as well as non-human)?
Modern molecular biology has demonstrated that our genetic patrimony must not be considered throughly and completely determined; on the contrary it constitutes an aray of possible dispositions, on which we have the possibility to intervene, therefore changing our destiny. The insight in man’s genom has therefore on one side made our personal and hereditary dispositions accessible and comprehensible to us (thus producing a new concept of destiny); on the other side human genetics makes it possible for everyone to change his/her personal genetic constitution or that of his/her descendants, and therefore indicates a previously unknown way of autonomous behaviour.
The ethical judgement of the above mentioned possibilities on one side questions the legitimacy of the aims and on the other analyses whether a justification of the tools used for these purposes is possible. The difference between therapeutic and non-therapeutic interventions or between somatic interventions on individuals and interventions on the germinal line (which will influence also the following generations) are to be considered part of the aim’s question, whereas the moral analysis of the means is oriented towards the unconditional respect of the autonomy of those involved and towards a manifold evaluation of benefits, drawbacks and risks.
The idea of public reason — as well as the contraposition among public reason and private reasons — is strictly linked to the rise of pluralistic societies, societies in which the main problem is probably that of finding a lowest common denominator between different and often conflicting reasons. In a nutshell, the public reason is (or should be) just the core of principles and values shared by all the different philosophical and political doctrines. This paper is mainly focused on the very well-known conception of public reason developed by John Rawls as from the publishing of Political Liberalism.
The aim of the first half of this paper is that of pointing out some serious difficulties connected with Rawls’ originary defence of public reason. In particular, in Political Liberalism Rawls assumes, without looking after to find some compelling evidence, that in pluralistic societies like ours the only way for understanding each other is that of constraining public debates and deliberations within the boundaries fixed by public reason, renouncing to deploy the whole truth. In this way, Rawls lays himself open to the critics of not taking seriously the freedom of speech. Furthermore, I argue that public reason is not able to ban comprehensive doctrines, either philosophical or religious, from public debates.
In the second half of the paper, it will be argued for a "soft", more convincing, idea of public reason. In brief, the conception of public reason as "barrage" against all the reasons exceeding a political conception of justice will be replaced by the conception of public reason as "common denominator" or "translator" of these reasons.
Bioethics lies at the interface between Biology and Society, and therefore its development is heavily influenced by Society's values and concerns, and by its changing attitudes and beliefs. After a period during which authors have almost exclusively focused on medical/personal Bioethics, the new planetary disasters are stimulating the growth of Ethics of Biotechnology in its various and different aspects. This article underlines the importance of the educational and didactic aspects of Bio-Ethics. The natural targets of these efforts are the young scientists and students of the disciplines included in Biotechnology. In particular, candidates for a European Qualification as Doctor in Biotechnology, who will form the leading class of tomorrow's applied biology, must be equally proficient in understanding the moral issues that will guide their decision-making.
Starting with some basic distinctions, i.e. the distinction between an ethics of human self-fulfilment ,of individual and social values and of virtues on one hand, and an ethics of individual rights, of obligation and of social justice on the other, this paper explores the manifold scenario of the problems of prenatal diagnosis with respect to these different aspects of ethical analysis. This is followed by a normative evaluation of the status of the human embryo, and by an elaboration of different adressees of responsibility in the field of biomedicine and, especially, of prenatal genetic diagnosis. The author comes to the conclusion that a narrow-minded vision of person and personhood ignores the necessary connection of biological identity and biographical continuity as well as the necessity of social recognition as one of the moral roots of personhood. Thus, the author argues that, for ethical reasons, in general the protection of embryo and of fetus must be demanded. However, in situations of conflict (and prenatal diagnosis can certainly be regarded as such) the search of a balance between well-being and rights is an adequate response to the situation. With respect to this conflict of rights, the author explores the different adressees and the different levels of responsibility and shows that the responsibility of a pregnant women or of a couple must be supported by medical and political measures. These measures primarily concern access to adequate medical and psychological counselling as well as financial and social support for families, especially those who live with handicapped children.
Faced on one hand with the sensational innovations brought about by the new biological technologies and on the other with the need to safeguard human rights adequately and also, in increasingly global terms, the rights of the environment and of the ecosystem, the issue that must be tackled is not only the definition of clear rules but also whether the law can effectively intervene in and interact with the on-going progress of science and technology.
The complexity of the problem as well as the recognition of personal and joint responsibility of all the parties involved (society, institutions and healthcare personnel) lead us to reflect on how to best safeguard fundamental community values, in order not to leave social control to regulations alone, but to resort instead to structured, differentiated and circular social approaches and control systems.
Although many technical difficulties still remain, it appears probable that germline manipulation in humans will be implemented in the near future. The aim of this brief paper is to summarise what can be technically done at present and to indicate the possible applications of the new emerging technologies in this field. In particular we discuss the technical limits to the generation of transgenic and mutant humans and evaluate the problems which may arise in each of these procedures.
The Universal declaration of 1948 celebrated the belief in human rights as a great moral value. But what does this belief mean exactly? What are human rights precisely? Admitting the existence of human rights may cause difficulties for the moral theories involved and raise many problems. The problem of justification is particularly relevant: are human rights grounded on nature, that is on something unalterable and absolute, or are they the product of history and social life? Different moral theories of human rights give different answers. This paper, therefore, tries to investigate the controversial question of the justification of human rights by comparing the two main positions forwarded in proof of their existence, naturalization and denaturalization, which are developed inside the main moral theories of human rights. After showing the advantages and disadvantages of these rival arguments, some conclusions are drawn that could throw some light on the question of the justification of a concept, such as that of human rights, on which our present social life appears to be intrinsically based.
By looking at the situations faced by the protagonists of two classic plays (in purely philosophical terms rather than literary-critical or historical), I try to shed light on what it means to face an insoluble moral dilemma, what it might mean to deal with it, and how the dilemma can reveal certain crucial information about the decision-maker (i) to us readers-spectators, (ii) to other characters in the play who witness, or are implicated by, the incident, (iii) as well as, and perhaps most importantly, to the protagonist himself. In so doing, I distinguish the above dilemmas from moral-prudential dilemmas and from apparent dilemmas constituted by the mere lack of epistemological access. Indeed, I generally resist the various reductive approaches characteristic of much analytic moral philosophy, and challenge the notion of a uniquely right answer to which all rational moral agents can be held accountable.
In this essay the author maintains that exclusively in the range of transcendental appearance the notion of gift is given its truest and fundamental definition, for the act of giving never appears as such. This must be intended as follows: none of us, in phenomenological terms, has the capacity of understanding whether something is really a gift, or whether it is a false gift. Gifts are, in their material nature, the originary position where two different subjectivities reveal their mutual relationship. Through the gift, therefore, a subjectivity donates herself (or not) to another. Since the possible relationships between human beings are basically of two types, either of supremacy or of recognition, in the act of giving the related transcendental subjects appear to be either as reciprocally recognised (this is the case of the true gift) or as in conflict (the false gift). If the true gift represents the positive aspect of relationship, then the act of giving can not be experienced with a sort of abandon. I abandon myself to the freedom of the other subject, because I can never be absolutely sure that the other party really shares, deep in his heart, the relationship of recognition. The true gift can therefore be conceived, in its essence, as the fundamental basis of all ethical relationships, which clearly are of recognition and not of dominion. These ethical relationships, as stable model for mutual recognition, must not be simply left to the fragility of human freedom. They require a "metaphysical" covering.
During the seminar 'Time and Death penalty', which took place on November 14th 2000 in Triest's Department of Philosophy, Jacques Derrida presented a summary of his lectures of Paris and Irvine: 'Responsibility Problems. Forgiveness, Perjury and Death Penalty'.
In Derrida's opinion the philosophical thought has never been - historically - against death penalty. Philosophy has either shown agreement towards its principle or it has remained silent. The aim of deconstruction is to confute the philosophical principles in favour of death penalty (in partucular the concept of sovereignity), therefore producing a philosophically relevant thought capable of facing such a complex and delicate ethical-political situation. For this purpose Derrida relates the issue of reason to the issue of a 'supernatural world', in which the philosophical responsibility of a different form of reasoning is located. The obvious and immediate comparison is with Kant's position, whose inner contradictions are closely analysed by Derrida. The second reference is the psychoanalytical tradition, which Derrida profusely uses in order to show the equivocal nature of concepts such as 'cruelty' and 'exception' that characterise the juridical and political discourse on death penalty; opaque concepts which constitute its hidden foundation.
Communication seems today to be the thorniest and most pressing problem in the framework of relations between science and the public and the way in which the public perceives it.
The problem of the popularisation of science and of communicating information is coming to a head and is giving rise to much reflection within scientific community, journalists and the general public. As well as being a problem of language (we are dealing with a highly specialised jargon) it is also an ethical problem.
Popular scientific press has the important and delicate role of decoding information coming from the scientific world for public at large. The problem is twofold: a) how to get hold of the news and b) how to put it to the public.
News is frequently not a statement of the truth but its translation into saleable terms. Obviously this is not a correct information process which enables the public to form their own serene and objective opinion and turns them into conscious and responsible players when they are called upon to reach decisions concerning their country.
We must also take into account that, generally speaking, the only source of information on science-related issues for the general public is the media, that can reach our homes so easily. In recent years this has lead to an emotional shift in the way the public perceives the scientific community: from a feeling of unconditional confidence to one of equally uncritical diffidence.
This paper is a critical examination of Apel’s and Habermas’ models of human communication. Common to both philosophers is the stress on the relation between normative and empirical aspects of ethics. Although this relation is necessary in every ethical-oriented communication, the author shows that both in Apel and in Habermas it rests rather on a rational procedure stemming from relevant but limited fields - e.g. jurisprudence - than on an ethics of communication of our being in the world.
Parents may undergo tests in order to ascertain, before birth, whether their child will be born with defects or hereditary diseases: however, doctors may fail to perform them or misdiagnose their outcome. The consequence is often the birth of an impaired child, which automatically becomes the object of two different kinds of lawsuits. One is the wrongful birth lawsuit: the parents sue the physician for negligence; the other is the wrongful life lawsuit, which is brought by, or on behalf of, the disabled child himself, sometimes even against his own parents, for being obliged to live a life "he would have preferred not to live".
In the first case, the liability of the physician or of the laboratories and the consequent acknowledgment of the right to compensation for damages is recognised both in common and in civil law.
The right of the child to sue for prenatal torts and to recover damages for being born impaired is on the contrary much more troublesome: until recently only few American States had recognised wrongful life cases, as did the French Cour de Cassation last year, thus demonstrating a radical change in trend.
Legal solutions are often contradictory: the contributions made by the different disciplines within the framework of such a delicate and complex issue must be carefully examined.