Modernity up to the late 20th century generally suppressed or denied death, it is often observed; death has become a modern taboo. However, the paper argues that we are moving beyond this denial of death. Death in some particular guises (“Virtual Death”) has found its way back into public discourse and popular culture. This paper explores possible reasons; both the previous denial as much as the current return in a different form can be explained on the basis of death’s role in the formation of notions of the self. While pre-modern humans could accept their contingency and thus mortality, modern self-understanding as a maker is at odds with death as with any ineluctable limit set to its creative power. That explains also, why we can accept Virtual Death more easily; this “death” is man’s own creation and no longer a limit to human mastership of this world. At least it appears to be.
The text elaborates an interpretation of the idea of Edenic space, seen in the backlight, both with respect to the physical place (natural or built) we know in the experience, and to the non-places that the currentity proposes or re-proposes. In Thomas Aquinas, we take the view that only Eden is the proper place of human living, the enhanced life space. In that fantastic space, of biblical invention, the conditions are therefore authentically adapted to the expectations of good life. In the analysis conducted here we echo the Heideggerian question - what is dwelling? - but proceeding meta-physically.
The paper analyses the trust role in the communication of scientific (biomedical in particular) research, focusing on the rhetorical notion of ethos. Firstly, the theoretical framework is outlined (e.g. philosophical, anthropological or “deep” rhetoric) and key concepts are defined. Then, the text investigates the topics of science persuasiveness and trust as a mean of persuasion. Peculiarities of the scientific ethos are analysed, including especially the phenomenon of “enunciative effacement” (effacement énconciatif) and the characteristics of a reader-friendly style, referring to the area of science communication and its ethics, which has a profound impact on the public perception of scientific research and on citizens’ behaviours.