Fondazione Zoé

The presence of “moralists” on a socio-political level seems almost invisible. Can we change?


Moral philosophy has traditionally been distinguished (and practised academically) as either “general” or “special” (particular or applied). The first is usually dedicated to investigating the “basics”, the second to enlighten us on single points of human experience (economy, communication, sexual difference, law, culture, national and international relations, life expectancy, the world of medicine, the world of art, etc.). Is this division still useful?

Moral philosophy is distinguished from other theories regarding human action. It is distinguished, for example, from politics or law or medicine. How can we indicate the sense of these distinctions today? In principle, moral philosophy is a sort of “step backwards”.

What are the most relevant directions for investigation today? Decidedly we can no longer occupy ourselves with general moral philosophy, so in what direction should we invest research? The world of life? Of the media? Of religion? Of economics? Of politics or law? All of them (and others besides)? At least three “sectors” have recently attracted particular public attention: bioethics (also environmental ethics), public ethics and ethics of media communications.

In Italy, scientific ethics is not very developed. Why is this? Is it inherited from our idealistic or neo-idealistic tendencies?
It seems that there must be a detachment between ethics and the world of psychological treatments (psychotherapy and psychoanalysis); maybe even a conflict, especially since even on an academic level we are organised into masters of “philosophical guidance”. Is this a direction which merits investigation?

The presence of “moralists” on a socio-political level seems very weak and almost invisible. Is this something  to monitor and change?

The world of production has become sensitive to the “ethical code”. Maybe this has opened up a new front. Should we invest in this? Could we gain some “return” also in terms of the availability of resources?



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