Browsing Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2018) XX/2 by Title
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- PublicationChe cosa sono le etiche applicate? Tre problemi preliminari(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Fossa, FabioIn this essay I try to identify a viable starting point towards a philosophical theory of applied ethics. My aim is to explore the conditions under which a unitary enquiry concerning the essence of applied ethics, their distinctive constructs, their novelty, and their relevance in face of traditional moral thinking may be carried out. Since a similar approach is yet to be fully worked out, a preliminary analysis concerning its very possibility and starting point seems to be necessary. After a general introduction (§1), I discuss the terminological problem raised by the many labels through which applied ethics, as they are commonly called, are known (§2). Secondly, I review the debate on how the relations between different branches of applied ethics, their scientific contexts, and moral philosophy are to be understood (§3). Finally, I try and show that these issues originate from a common source, i.e., the tension of theory and practice in moral experience and the problem of moral application. My thesis is that the experience of the gap between ethical theory and moral practice, i.e., the problem of moral application, can be pinpointed as the unifying and fundamental content of applied ethics in all its plurality. At the same time, this shows the true philosophical nature of applied ethics. In my opinion, approaching applied ethics in such terms will not only help shed light on their status, but also offer moral thinking a new and interesting perspective from which to reconsider some of its traditional issues.
- Publication"Civil" religion - An uneasiness of the modernism? Guest editors' preface(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Leotta, Simone
- PublicationLa contingenza dello Stato, della società e della “multitudo”. Althusser di fronte a Hobbes(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Fanciullacci, RiccardoAfter having first interpreted Thomas Hobbes’ political philosophy as a paradigmatic example of a questionable individualistic humanism, Louis Althusser saw it as a prefiguration of the alternative materialist approach, grounded on contingency, which he developed in the last part of his work as a new reading of the Marxist tradition. The paper reconstructs and assesses this late retrospective appropriation of Hobbes’ political philosophy. Focusing on the central thesis according to which society is not an organism, but an encounter, it offers a symptomatic reading of it, by showing that it reveals a deeper aporia of Althusser’s “aleatory materialism” itself. Indeed, the recourse to epicurean atomism prevents Althusser from maintaining his original and more fundamental thesis about the social formation as a complex overdetermined whole.
- PublicationCritique et Religion(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Gaber, GoranAlmost two centuries have passed since the young Karl Marx proclaimed the completion of the critique of religion, adding that such criticism was in fact the “prerequisite of all criticism”. One could say that critique‟s future, unlike that of religion, seemed particularly bright in 1844. From our present point of view, it is difficult not to be struck by two contemporary phenomena that seem to turn this dictum upside down, namely “the return of the religious” and the “crisis of critique”. Drawing on various discrepant accounts of and conflicting attempts to solve the latter, we note that they are nonetheless informed by a common set of historical accounts of critique. Have these accounts contributed to critique‟s current conundrum and, if so, in what way? Given its privileged position, we have turned to Michel Foucault‟s genealogy of critique in order to tackle this question. After examining its main theses, we observe that despite it‟s astonishing insights concerning the religious origins of critique it fails to draw the necessary consequences of this fact for contemporary critical practices, a failure which not only immobilizes the latter but also puts into question the viability of genealogy itself. We conclude by proposing that critique seems destined to remain a formal enterprise so long as it continues to oppose itself to religion instead of specifying and fully assuming its own fundamental religiosity.
- PublicationExemplars’ Sway over Untaken Possibilities of my Individuality. How Exemplariness Differs from Personal Influence and Participation in Others’ Lives(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Bellini, Bianca
- PublicationFollowing the Wrong Example: The Exclusiveness of Heroism and Sanctity(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Grigoletto, SimoneAre ordinary moral agents able to follow the moral lead of heroes and saints? In her Exemplarist Moral Theory Linda Zagzebski provided an exemplarist account to morality grounded on admiration. She focused her research on three possible kinds of exemplar: the saint, the hero and the sage. In this paper, I hold that there are at least two possible ways of following an exemplar (inference and strict emulation). Furthermore, I will try to show that when we take morally exceptional agents (in particular heroes and saints) as exemplars to be emulated, some theoretical and normative problems arise. In particular, I will outline the Feasibility Problem, the Non-motivating Admiration Problem and the Distortion of Duty. Given these issues, I suggest an account of supererogation for this moral approach. I argue that this will provide some theoretical advantages for exemplarism, together with a new attention for extraordinary moral acts. The admiration of praiseworthy deeds, similarly to exemplars, can provide valuable moral guidance.
- PublicationHelping Students to Find and Frisk Good Exemplars(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Ellenwood, StephanThis paper examines ways in which educators can productively help K-!2 students learn how to evaluate and adapt moral exemplars. The optimal model for helping students on these important matters focuses on narrative – stories, fictive and real, that come to students regularly through careful K-12 curriculum planning. Stories provide students with opportunities to see the world through the eyes of others. Stories also help students develop two important qualities – first, enriched understanding of how broad, abstract principles and virtues work out in the complex lives of specific individuals; second, the ability and inclination to slow the pace of contemporary life that allows careful, collaborative reflections. Vital to the success of this reform is teachers steadily gaining command of the four categories in Zagzebski’s “emotion of admiration.” Additionally, Brooks highlights the powerful influences of community ethos in its “distinct moral ecology.” As teachers steadily share their growing insights of these nuanced exemplars they quickly become emboldened to enrich their classrooms by including stories, video, film, biographies and real-life characters at all grade levels and across all subject areas.
- PublicationLe législateur et l’inconscient du peuple. Rousseau avec Durkheim(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Callegaro, FrancescoFollowing the hermeneutic tradition inaugurated by Emile Durkheim’s reading of Jean- Jacques Rousseau’s Social Contract , the article offers a sociological interpretation of the enigmatic figure of the legislator seeing it as the royal road to the unconscious of the people. After examining the dilemmas that affect the cardinal concept of general will and that undermine its standard liberal-republican understanding, it thus proceeds to a progressive exploration of those pre-contractual conditions of the social contract which constitute so many historical layers making up the people, well beyond its explicit political expression in constitutional laws. In the perspective of the legislator, the self-instituting people therefore appears as well as an already instituted society whose internal unity goes back, in the subsoil of customs, to the religion of a founder. Taking up Durkheim’s sociological thesis on the internal relation between society and religion through the sacred, as presented in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, it ends by trying to answer the question that this other Rousseau addresses us: who has tried to embody, in political modernity, that strategic role of the great legislator that the Social Contract already saw as a necessary condition for the emergence of a free people likely to act as the protagonist of its own history.
- PublicationLumières de la raison sociologique. Une lecture de Les formes élémentaires de la vie religieuse(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Marcucci, NicolaIn the Elementary forms of religious life , Durkheim notoriously addresses modern philosophy from the perspective of his twofold path, opposing rationalism and empiricism. In this contribution, I intend to show how another alternative is at work in the text, the one that confronts Spinoza’s naturalism and Kant’s transcendentalism. Spinozism and Kantianism are here understood as the two main intellectual options in order to think the autonomy of human reason and its relation to religion and critique in the Enlightenment tradition. The article suggests that Durkheim’s reflection on the social origins of human knowledge and his criticism of an aprioristic account of the categories push his reflection toward a Spinozist standpoint. Nonetheless, his denial of the possibility to treat the positivity of religious life via the Enlightenment’s opposition between reason and belief entails – thanks to his theory of totemism - a criticism of Spinoza’s naturalism alike. In particular, what is at stake in his book is the possibility to give a sociological account of the notion of totality and, in this way, to radically revise our understanding of the autonomy of human reason by means of a socio-historical account of religious life. In this perspective, Durkheim’s argument not only stages a main alternative of modern philosophy, but also suggests that the task of sociology is to overcome it.
- PublicationMoral exemplars and exemplarism. Guest editors' preface(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)
;Vaccarezza, Maria SilviaCroce, Michel 182 88
- PublicationLa morte dell’essere umano: conseguenze della prospettiva cartesiana e loro critica(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Tuono, MarcoIn the present article we define death as "the loss of the duality", for a human being is composed of two heterogeneous elements: the mental one and the bodily one, which are equally important according to life and death. Death, indeed, occurs when the two elements are separated. We investigate bioethical and philosophical scenarios ("brain death survivors" documented by D.A. Shewmon, and the thought experiment called "brain in a vat"). Our approach outlines the role played by the body regarding life of human being: the Cartesian perspective is indeed no longer valid.
- PublicationNascere da una cellula del corpo. Il dibattito sulla rilevanza morale delle cellule somatiche alla luce dei nuovi scenari riproduttivi(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Balistreri, MaurizioWith the scientific and technological development and the refinement of new reproductive technologies it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish a somatic cell from an embryo. We already have new reproductive technologies, such as nuclear cloning, which demonstrate the ability of somatic cells to produce new individuals (we have not only animals but also human embryos produced by cloning). In the coming decades we may have other reproductive technologies that can further confirm the totipotentiality of our somatic cells. Some of these could be used by those who want to have a child, others seem less interesting from this point of view, but could still be used to produce human embryos to be used for research and experimentation purposes. This new scenario has important consequences at a moral level and, in particular, for the bioethical debate on issues concerning the relevance of the embryo. Since the fertilized egg cells (zygotes) and somatic cells have the same potential (in the presence of the right conditions, that is, they can become new human beings), one cannot attribute moral relevance to embryos and deny moral relevance to somatic cells.
- PublicationNietzsche’s Polychrome Exemplarism(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Alfano, MarkIn this paper, I develop an account of Nietzschean exemplarism. Drawing on my previous work, I argue that an agent’s instincts and other drives constitute her psychological type. In this framework, a drive counts as a virtue to the extent that it is well-calibrated with the rest of the agent’s psychic economy and meets with sentiments of approbation from the agent’s community. Different virtues are fitting for different types, and different types elicit different discrete emotions in people with fine-tuned affective sensitivity, making Nietzsche’s exemplarism doubly pluralistic. Exemplars show us how a type is expressed in different social and cultural contexts. Some live up to the full potential of their type, while others are stymied and demonstrate how pernicious influences can wreck a person’s psychology. While some exemplars inspire admiration that leads to emulation, others elicit a range of other emotions, such as envy, contempt, and disgust. If this is right, then Nietzschean exemplarism offers a richer, more evaluatively and motivationally nuanced moral psychology than the monochrome admire-and-emulate model currently popular.
- PublicationNot Eye to Eye: A Comment on the Commentaries(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Schultz, BartA brief critical reflection on the reception of my books The Happiness Philosophers: The Lives and Works of the Great Utilitarians (Princeton, 2017) and Henry Sidgwick, Eye of the Universe (Cambridge, 2004). The clarifications and rejoinders offered are, I believe, important for understanding how these works reflect both a sympathetic, complex reconstruction of the classical utilitarian legacy and an approach to the history of philosophy prioritizing diversity and inclusion.
- PublicationIl potenziale educativo degli esemplari intellettuali(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Croce, MichelThis paper explores the educational potential of epistemic exemplars, namely those individuals who possess intellectual virtues to an exceptional degree. It purports to do so by applying the exemplarist framework proposed by Linda Zagzebski in her Exemplarist Moral Theory (2017) to the domain of intellectual virtues. After a brief summary of the main features of her view, I explain how the exemplarist dynamics can apply to the intellectual domain. Then, I introduce the basics of an exemplar-based account of education and explain how it can be employed to educate the young to intellectual virtues. Finally, I attempt to show how this model can accommodate several objections and, in particular, how it addresses the charge of indoctrinating the students raised by proponents of a critical thinking approach to education.
- PublicationLa religion civile dans la modernité politique: une «logique du supplément»?(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Leotta, SimoneThe Social Contract 's penultimate chapter, devoted to the idea of a civil religion, continues to be the object of discussion. In this article we refer to the contemporary use of the concept of social religion in the social sciences, and we take into account the two main readings that have been advanced in political philosophy. We defend the idea that a new interpretation of this chapter allows to deviate from the contractualist tradition. We place Rousseau’s critical gesture in a debate that deals with the theoretical possibility of recovering the social representations revealed by ancient religious transformations. These social representations are to be found in the way Christian faith poses the question of piety.
- PublicationUn riesame della teoria esemplarista delle emozioni(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Niccoli, ArieleThe aim of the paper is to reassess the theory of emotions held by exemplarism, in order to clarify the epistemic burden assigned to admiration. I will show that the emotion of admiration is understood in three different meanings, (i) admiration as a kind of moral sense, (ii) admiration as a reflective disposition with an emotional component, (iii) admiration as a proper emotion, understood as a direct perception of moral excellence. Then, I will discuss the main strength and weakness of the perceptual analogy as for the epistemic role of emotions. I will conclude by claiming that the three notions of admiration can hardly be accommodated in the same theoretical framework, and that exemplarism would greatly benefit by discriminating between them in order to define with more accuracy the epistemic role played by the emotion of admiration.
- PublicationRoberto Mordacci su post-moderno, moderno, neo-moderno(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Marrone, PierpaoloIn this article I examine the position of R. Mordacci in his book 'The neomodern condition'. While I am in substantial agreement with many of the analyzes expressed about postmodernism, I think that the target is sometime overrated. However, Mordacci's volume remains an example of a civil intervention of philosophy and an attempt to introduce it into public debate.
- PublicationShared Knowledge and Affirmative Subjectivities : Re-reading Spinoza with Lloyd, Braidotti and Deleuze(EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2018)Balzano, AngelaIn which way can we support, theoretically and practically, a dynamic and nomadic ethics that favours affirmative processes of subjectification? Who can help us, from a genealogical point of view, to overcome the concept of the rational subject, self-reliant and selfsufficient? To what extent can we think and practice a materialist ethic that enhances the affirmative subjectivities, as well as new models of participation and shared responsibility? To address those questions, this essay traces the rediscovery of Spinoza’s thought in many contemporary thinkers: Genevieve Lloyd, Rosi Braidotti, and Gilles Deleuze. The reason why those thinkers return to Spinoza lies in the affirmative power of his philosophy. Spinoza innovates materialism not only because he brings it back to monism, but mostly because he connects, in the Ethics , the cognitive, imaginative and affective human powers to the power of the whole subjectivity. In conclusion the essay focuses on the political ontology provided by Braidotti and Deleuze, as a perspective that enables us to be affirmative starting from our bodies.