Ethics in Progress, 2017, Volume 8, Issue 1


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    Costruire scenari per il futuro
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Tagliagambe, Silvano
    In 2008 Chris Anderson wrote a provocative piece titled The End of Theory. The idea being that we no longer need to abstract and hypothesis; we simply need to let machines lead us to the patterns, trends, and relationships in social, economic, political, and environmental relationships. According to Anderson, the new availability of huge amounts of data offers a whole new way of understanding the world. Correlation supersedes causation, and science can advance even without coherent models and unified theories. But numbers, contrary to Anderson’s assertion, do not, in fact, speak for themselves. From the neuroscience’s standpoint, every choice we make is a reflection of an, often unstated, set of assumptions and hypotheses about what we want and expect from the data: no assertion, no prediction, no decision making is possible without an a priori opinion, without a project. Data-driven science essentially refers to the application of mathematics and technology on data to extract insights for problems, which are very clearly defined. In the real world, however, not all problems are such. To help solve them, one needs to understand and appreciate the context. The problem of landscape becomes, for this reason, critical and decisive. It requires an interdisciplinary approach consisting of several different competencies and skills.
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    Nihilism and the Problem of Future: Biodiversity Destruction As One of the Great Dangers of Technology?
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Oliveira, Jelson
    Starting from the example of the Amazon, in Brazil, we intend to analyse how technology (mainly in its biotechnological face) appears as a threat to biodiversity, insofar as it acts through a reduction and standardization: technology needs to reduce diversity to something knowable to be able to control and exploit, in view of human necessities. In this sense, according to Hans Jonas, it is necessary to ask about the horizon of the future giving preference to the negative prognosis (fear rather than hope) to avoid that the harmful consequences of nihilism (marked by the absence of criteria capable of guiding technological action) affect life decisively. In this case, the Enhancement project proposed by transhumanism appears as yet another chapter in the history of risks represented by modern technology.
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    Digital Platforms: A New Grammar for Territories?
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Grumbach, Stéphane
    Digital platforms are reshaping the geometry of the world. Their wide adoption by the population worldwide for an increasing number of activities, confer them a dominant position, which challenges established powers. Their control over the global flow of data and their algorithmic treatment leads to new asymmetries of power. New systems emerge, that unlike the Westphalian States do not correspond to territories on a map, but to complex networks controlling sectors of activities at a global scale. It is a real challenge and a necessity to reinvent a grammar of territories, to be able to grasp the new objects and their dependencies, and address the related issues of social justice and sustainable interaction with our planet.
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    Social Dilemmas in Environmental Economics and Policy Considerations: A Review
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Cerutti, Nicola
    Many crucial environmental issues lead to social dilemmas, in which the personally optimal solution, and the socially optimal solution diverge. Finding a solution to this dilemma is extremely important to allow a good and sustainable management of many exhaustible natural resources. This is especially true when the resource users need to develop collectively a set of rules or practices, and the institutions are unable to provide, or enforce, effective regulations. A few examples are forests, and fisheries, but also carbon emissions. This review presents a selected number of results coming from field observations, laboratory experiments, and theoretical work, which pinpoint some of the more crucial aspects of these decision environments. Knowing which incentives and situational aspects may motivate resource users to adopt a more or less cooperative behavior can potentially be of pivotal importance to develop effective policies and regulations. At the same time, the research we present is also of great interestfor any diagnostic or explorative study that aims to study direct resource users, and their development of cooperative attitudes and practices.
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    Limit and Creation. Towards an Ethic of Self-Limitation in the Digital Era
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) De Cesaris, Alessandro
    Aim of this article is to analyse the relationship between creativity, freedom and future in contemporary society. The main focus is on the notion of creativity in our digital era. Common sense understands creativity as a concept implying something new, something original that did not exist before. And yet in our society the constant overflow of news, products and contents doesn’t surprise anymore, is no longer connected to a truly creative act. The complete lack of limits seems to be our society’s own limit, since newness is not experienced anymore as something really new. The solution to this situation is a new ethic of self-limitation that reshapes our idea of creativity and bases it on different criteria. The first part of the article is an analysis of hypermodern society. Hypermodernity is defined through three features: quantity as a qualitative element, override of distance, sublation of perspective. Unlike postmodern society, hypermodernity defines itself positively on the basis of some technological and social results that are experienced as improvements. In the second part of the article the paradox of hypermodern society is discussed: despite its obsession for newness, despite the huge spread of creative jobs and the passion for future, newness seems to be something given an usual, being creative means conforming to given standards, and future is almost completely implemented into present. In the last part of the article I argue that a solution to this situation is an ethic of selflimitation, in which a rediscovery of limit leads to a new concept of creativity no longer based on quantitative increment, but rather on the ideas of qualitative selection, objective distance, personal perspective. According to this view, being creative is no longer a matter of content, but rather of form. I will also argue that the aesthetics of Oulipo, a French literary movement of the Sixties, already expressed this stance in a very similar situation.
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    Legami capaci di futuro: dalle basi intersoggettive dello sviluppo della persona all’esperienza dello “stare” in relazione. Attaccamento, fiducia, desiderio e cura nei rapporti interpersonali
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Lerda, Gian Sandro
    Many conceptual analyses of the structure and mode of operation of the contemporary society outline a worrying and discouraging framework. They describe the decadence of values and they depict a world populated with individuals who are narcissistically self-oriented, looking for the satisfaction of their own desires, unable to desire, build and keep stable, continual and deep relations and affects. Nevertheless, recent psychological research, supported by the evidence of neuroscientific research, has evidenced that the origins of the psychic development of the individual are connected to the domain of the relational experience. New-borns become persons in and thanks to the context of relations where they live and grown up. Thus, relations are an essential feature and a fundamental and peculiar experience for the human being. This is evident if we try to analyse aspects and dimensions, such as attachment, trust, desire and care. Attachment allows not only the survival but also the internalization of relational patterns which are necessary for life. The trust experience in the primal relations allows the vital energy to be addressed towards the world and to build ties thanks to the experience of faith in the other. Experimenting satisfaction and frustration, possibility and limits in the interpersonal relations fosters the development of desire and of the capability of wait, renounce, choice, care, as well as the necessity/opportunity of recognizing/knowing the other. Feeling himself or herself understood by a caring other prepares the ground for the experience of personal safety and thanks to some special pedagogical reinforcements, it opens to the possibility of taking care of someone else, in a structure of mutual exchanges and material, affective and spiritual support which is necessary for any human being. Significant socio-cultural changes occurred in the last decades have influenced those fundamental experiences and contributed to produce new relational styles and models which are characterised by precariousness and discontinuity. It is thus of primary importance to promote and sustain a reflection and education on these themes with the aim of fostering our needs and relations, whose expression is essential for the wellness and selfrealization of individuals and communities. And this is not only in order to achieve a harmonic development of growing-up subjects but even for adults who want to fully accomplish their life and the related needs of sharing, intimacy and generativity. These results have to be achieved by taking into consideration the peculiarity of modern life and by searching for creative solutions thanks to which, at least partially, we can try to combine the new claims with the essential experience of “being” in a relation.
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    Le présent altéré
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Serrano, Gemma
    Our working hypothesis is that the digital culture is remodeling a temporal affect of existence. We attempt to describe how our experience of present time is altered by the increase of digital memory, together with the progressive disappearance of « memory recall » and expectation. This altered presence opens up loopholes which could be called dreams, desire, promise, latency or God. Thus anticipatory algorithm and data translation of present actions of the subject are not a definitive tragedy of our time.
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    Confessione e biografia: per un avvenire fondato nella storia. Note a partire da Jacques Derrida e Jean-Luc Marion
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Peruzzotti, Francesca
    This paper aims to draw a connection between Jacques Derrida and Jean-Luc Marion in regard to the role of negative theology. This scrutiny shows meaningful contributions of the Authors to a new definition of subjectivity in a post-metaphysical age, and their consideration about which possibilities are still open for a non-predetermined history given outside of the presence domain. The future is neither a totalisation of history by its end, nor a simple continuation of the present. It is an eschatological event, where the relationship with the other plays a crucial role for the self-constitution. Such an interlacement is generated by the confession, where the link between past and future is not causally determined, but instead it is self-witness, as in Augustine’s masterpiece, essential reference for both the Authors
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    Life's Forces That Sustain and Drive Our Existence Towards Efforts of Steering One's Life Through Time
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Bellini, Bianca
    We always live in the present and we always pass through the present, even if we constantly reach out towards the future and towards the past. We move towards an effort of shaping the future and towards an effort of comprehending the past. Our experience of time flows into a relentless stream that inexorably points towards. This entails that the way we experience time is inescapably interwoven with a necessity of giving a direction to this movement towards. Such a necessity brings to light two pivotal questions: how to describe such a relentless movement forwards? Which forces can we rely on to drive our existence towards? This research aims at pinpointing such forces and, in so doing, outlining a phenomenological picture of our multilayer experience of time.
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    Man and Future: a Palaeontological and Chronological Foundation of Cassirer's Definition of Man as Animal Symbolicum
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Laino, Luigi
    In the present paper, the author aims at laying the foundations of a symbolics of technical gesture, according to the thesis that symbolic faculty is another face of the technological one, and that they are both in truth two sides of the same coin. Accordingly, the author suggests to rename the whole dimen-sion as “meta-environmentality”. The analysis is carried out on the basis of a specific comparison between Cassirer’s definition of “animal symbolicum” and its scientific consistence in the light of modern palaeontology. “Animal symbol-icum” is here compared with Leroi-Gourhan’s homo technologicus, and Cassi-rer’s ideas on human identity tested starting from paleoanthropological data. The result of the inquiry lead us to recognize the urgency of integrating Cassi-rer’s argument with the primacy of the technological capacity, but a deep anal-ysis of the characterizing attributes of the latter compels us to uphold the symbolic attitude of the technological dimension. The author then sketches a basic description of the guidelines of a symbolic theory of technology (espe-cially §§ 6-7), and tries to show how the basic elements of such an approach were familiar both to Cassirer and Leroi-Gourhan. As a consequence of the whole theory, the author elaborates a chronological analysis of human identity, whose basic result is the determination of the future as main temporal dimen-sion of human acting.
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    Editors’ Introduction. Futures: Imagining the World of Tomorrow
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Tibaldeo, Roberto Franzini; Rebuffo, Cristina; Maggio, Luisa
    From 12 to 17 September 2016 in Cuneo (Italy) took place the 9th edition of the international Summer School organized by the Centro Studi sul Pensiero Contemporaneo (CeSPeC). The event revolved around the topic of the “future”, which was analysed from different interdisciplinary perspectives and gave rise to stimulating conversation. In this introduction we provide an overview of the topic and of the reflections stemming from that event.
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    The Right Book to Help Our Ailing Society to Recover
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Kriaučiuniene, Roma
    This paper is a review of Georg Lind’s latest book: How to Teach Morality. Promoting Deliberation and Discussion, Reducing Violence and Deceit (2016), and focuses on the main theme of the book – morality can be taught, the idea that is most encouraging for educators. Many researchers agree that our societies face many problems, such as violence, deceit, corruption, disrespect to the human nature, which on an individual level seem to stem from the lack of moral competence. Therefore, G. Lind’s book is timely, providing answers to those who are concerned about our future. It will be of interest and great value not only for the participants of CeSPeC Summer School of 2016, who were trying to attain the inspiration for an immediate present-day action to reshape our future for the better, but to all of us who are committed to the enhancement of human existence and especially educators, who are engaged in the development of moral competence of their learners. This review is an attempt to prove to the readers that. Lind’s book How to Teach Morality. Promoting Deliberation and Discussion, Reducing Violence and Deceit, is the right book to help our ailing societies to recover.
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    Moral Competence and Aggression Prevention. Updating MCT Pilot Studies Inspired by Georg Lind’s Book How to Teach Morality. Promoting Deliberation and Discussion, Reducing Violence and Deceit (2016)
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Nowak, Ewa; Urbańska, Adrianna
    Aggression in juveniles may increase even in modern societies and manifest itself in countless forms of violence, including harming, persecution, abuse, pressure, hostility, etc. A large number of studies on the evolutionary, psychological and sociological origins of aggression are available. However, we lack cognitive remedies to counter developing tendencies towards aggressive behavior. Georg Lind's book How to teach morality. Promoting deliberation and discussion, reducing violence and deceit (2016) offers such a remedy based on his long–term (1976–2017) experiences with dilemma discussion training. This paper draws on Lind's conception of strengthening socio-moral competence as the most efficient remedy against aggression. It also revisits the ongoing theories of empathy. Finally, it revises the pilot research study that we conducted 2010 among Polish and Swiss juveniles7. That study focused on the following hypotheses: Lind's method of dilemma discussion (KMDD) can train and retrain moral competence in uveniles that show a slight inclination towards aggressive behavior. Strong moral competence may prevent further maldevelopment, in particular interpersonal and collective violence.
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    For a Future Free of Violence: Moral Competencies As a Means of Emancipation and Self-Empowerment
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Dutka, Joanna
    The paper explores the role of fostering moral-democratic competencies for violence prevention, in particular in the relation to genderbased, intimate partner and domestic violence. Additionally, significant emphasis is placed on the prevention of revictimisation. Violence prevention is framed with regard to the political importance of violence-free homes and intimate relationships for the empowerment of women. The paper refers to the complex situation of women subjected to abuse and the effects of violence on an individual. As a countermeasure, the paper proposes the development of moral-democratic competencies, and recommends the Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion® as an example of an efficient method to accomplish this task.
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    The Struggle of Educating. And of Being “A Grown-up”
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Zamengo, Federico
    In the face of contemporary educational transformations, this contribution aims to analyze the educational role that can still be played by the adult educator. Without restoring old categories of the past, today's adults continue to have a responsibility in the growth of younger generations. Accepting this task means first of all critically and reflectively recognizing one's role and, secondly, accepting the challenges posed by the complexity of today's landscape in terms of credibility and consistency.
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    Philosophy for Communites al Liceo “Govone” di Mondovì (Italy)
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Bevilacqua, Silvia; Casarin, Pierpaolo
    In this contribution we shall focus on the project of philosophy for communities carried out at the Liceo “Vasco-Beccaria-Govone” (Mondovì , Italy) within the IX edition (2016) of the CeSPeC Summer School on Futures, imagining the world of tomorrow. Philosophy is understood as a practice, an experience, a creation of concepts, an inquiry, as an exercise of argumentation and research. Thanks to this view, a dialogue has opened up with the pupis of this school. In this contribution we present the perspective of a post-philosophy for children and we understand it as an opportunity for philosophy in itself.
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    Chinese Adolescents’ Moral Reasoning of Rights Attitudes and Psychological Well-Being
    (Wydawnictwo Naukowe Instytutu Filozofii UAM, 2017) Yang, Shaogang; To, Sharon; Helwig, Charles C.
    This study examined rural and urban Chinese adolescents’ (aged 13–19 years, N = 395) attitudes toward children’s self-determination and nurturance rights, and how these attitudes relate to various dimensions of socialization in their family and school environments, including perceptions of parental and teacher autonomy support and responsiveness and family and school democratic climate. Relations between these variables and psychological well-being also were examined. Perceived parent and teacher autonomy support and responsiveness and democratic climate differentially predicted attitudes toward each type of right and were positively correlated with adolescents’ psychological well-being. Our findings suggest that environments that are structured more democratically and that are responsive to children’s autonomy needs contribute to their psychological health and well-being in diverse cultural settings.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego