Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
M-FIL/03 - MORAL PHILOSOPHY
Secondo semestre dal Mar 7, 2022 al Jun 10, 2022.
Ethics is the branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the foundations and purposes of human agency. Through his actions, not only man builds his place and his meaning within the world, but also constantly reshapes the very meaning of the world. Western science is precisely the biggest reshaping of the world and its meaning ever enacted by mankind; as a consequence, ethical questions of enormous importance are necessarily embedded in it. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of the main concepts of ethics and how to articulate them. They will also acquire a basic knowledge of the main ethical and bioethical questions concerning scientific research, with particular reference to the problems and questions involving the three curricula of the course. Finally, they will acquire a sufficient ability to critically analyze these questions and autonomously form their opinions on them.
TOPICS OF THE COURSE
The course consists of three parts:
In the first, we will define what is bioethics and what are its principles, to move on the specific analysis of the main bioethical topics concerning biotechnologies, notably biotech applied onto man (clonation and genome editing), animals (the main problems of animal ethics, clonation and EG), and the environment, with a special focus on plants.
In the second part we will deal with specific case studies, with a special focus on CRISPR, environmental ethics, and medical bioethics. Cases will be discussed in the class, while students are invited to offer their own views on them by providing their apport, either individually or in focus groups.
Finally, we will move on to discuss what is ethics, its purpose, why it is important to humans, its field of investigation, its methodology, its relation to science and technology. We will also give a general account on the most important ethical theories (Aristotle, Kant).
Classes will be held physically and/or, in case of protracted emergency, virtually, using the tools provided by the university, and may include reading and discussing texts of different authors and periods, as well as the usage of slides, and also movie projections. Classes will also entail the discussion of bioethical case-studies, with a special consideration for the ones concerning biotechnologies, in which students will be invited to actively take part, both at individual or group level, and discuss them.
Students are expected to learn the following knowledge:
- what is philosophy, what is ethics, what is bioethics, what’s the difference between them and empirical sciences, the main lines of Western ethics;
and the following abilities:
- autonomous critical judgement on ethical and bioethical problems, especially the ones concerning biotechnologies, in properly critical and philosophical terms; ability to grasp the various conceptions and subjects dealt with during the course, as well as a critically based approach to the texts of the course that takes into account a proper historical and hermeneutical background.
Students who cannot attend classes are not asked to follow a different program.
Beside reading the course texts, students are required to listen to the audio files (or watch the video files) of the classes found on the Moodle platform.
The text of the course is:
Il testo per l'esame è:
Adriano Pessina, Bioetica. L'uomo sperimentale, Pearson, Milano 2020.
Visualizza la bibliografia con Leganto, strumento che il Sistema Bibliotecario mette a disposizione per recuperare i testi in programma d'esame in modo semplice e innovativo.
The final examination will consist of an oral examination about the topics dealt with during the course. Students are warmly encouraged to produce a handout during the course, if they want to: in this case, it will form part of the evaluation.