07654 - Bioethics

Course Unit Page

SDGs

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

No poverty Good health and well-being Climate Action Life on land

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

Introduction to bioethics from a philosophical point of view. Analysis and critical comparison with the fundamental topics of applied ethics and, in particular, matters of life and death or environmental issues. Reflection on the most influential moral arguments in the context of public ethics and acquisition by students of awareness and critical analysis skills on the central problems of bioethical relevance.

Course contents

The “Animal Question”

What is bioethics? What does progressing in science and technology mean?

How can we stop destroying our planet? What claim of justice belongs to non-human animals?

These are just some of the questions that the Course will try to answer, offering fundamental coordinates for a critical and plural dialogue on issues of ethical-applicative relevance.

The First Part of the Course will be dedicated to bioethics as a declination of public ethics of an argumentative and democratic nature. The definition of bioethics will be a landing point and not a starting point, supported by the historical reconstruction of its birth.

In the twentieth century, science and technology became a matter of tremendous importance and urgency for humanity. The marriage of scientific progress and power has led mankind to a crucial point, a trading post from which divergent development paths can arise. To focus on the underlying tension between science and power, the figure of the German philosopher Günther Anders is taken on as a privileged focus of reflection. To complete the definition of bioethics as a public argumentation, these two moments will occupy the first weeks of the Course.

In the Second Part, the Course will continue paying particular attention to environmental ethics, through the reading and commenting of the writings of some of the most significant authors in the environmentalist philosophical discussion. At the center there is one of the most urgent bioethical issues of today, that is, of a historical era threatened by the destruction of the environment, by climatic crisis, by the suffering of human and non-human animals.

In this scenario, the lessons will continue focusing more and more on the "animal question", on animal rights, on justice for them. The latter will be the monographic focus of the course, which will encourage a discussion of multiple voices in the classroom and will present the broad picture of the international philosophical discussion. Presented to the attention of public opinion in the Seventies of the last century in a disruptive way with the book by Peter Singer, which also became a political slogan, precisely: "animal liberation", the "animal question" is a moral and political issue evolving the terrain of individual life stories, social movements, related questions of political and economic justice, as well as of course purely philosophical reflection. For all this, the Course will try to give as much account as possible.

 

Student Reception: Thursday at 10 am via teams (after chat teams on the morning of reception) or in presence at the end of the lessons on Monday and Tuesday.

Timetable of lessons: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 5-7 pm Aula IV in via Zamboni, 38.

Beginning of the Course: I Semester - September, 19 2022.

Readings/Bibliography

§ Textbooks (compulsory for all students):

· Günther Anders, L’uomo è antiquato, Bollati Boringhieri, Turin 2005, Vol. I: Part I and Part II, chap. 4 (or English translation).

· Günther Anders, Noi figli di Eichmann, Giuntina, Florence 1995 (or English translation).

· Massimo La Torre, La bioetica in tempi di pandemia. Morale, diritto e libertà, DeriveApprodi, Rome 2022.

· Arne Næss, Introduzione all’ecologia, Edizioni ETS, Pisa 2015 (or English version).

· Peter Singer, La vita come si dovrebbe, il Saggiatore, Milan 2001, ch. 1-9 (p. 19-123), ch. 11 (p. 139-145), ch. 12 (p. 146-165), ch. 25 (p. 319-329), ch. 27 (p. 346-356). (These selected parts in pdf are available in Virtual Course Materials) (or English version).

· One text among the following:

Peter Singer, Liberazione animale, il Saggiatore, Milan 2015 (or English version).

Tom Regan, I diritti animali, Garzanti, Milan 1990 (or English version).

Further optional readings:

Stewart Brend, Il lungo presente. Tempo e responsabilità, Mattioli, Parma 2009 (or English version).

Rachel Carson, Il mare intorno a noi, Piano B Edizioni, Prato 2019 (or English version).

Rachel Carson, Primavera silenziosa, Feltrinelli, Milan 202111(or English version).

Felice Cimatti, Il postanimale. La natura dopo l'Antropocene, DeriveApprodi, Rome 2021 (or English version).

Susan Donaldson & Will Kymlicka, Zoopolis. A Political Theory of Animal Rights, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2011.

Luigi Ferrajoli, Perché una Costituzione della terra?, Giappichelli, Turin 2021 (or English version).

Christine M. Korsgaard, Fellow Creatures. Our Obligations to the Other Animals, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2018.

Albert Schweitzer, Rispetto per la vita, Claudiana, Padua 2021 (or English version).

Jakob von Uexküll, Ambienti animali e ambienti umani, Quodlibet, Macerata, 2010 (or English version).

Optional seminar activities offered by the Course:

§ Seminars on key topics of the Course:

· Seminar, with active students participation on Abortion and US Case Law from 1973 to 2022.

· Lecture on Bioethical Issues held by Stefano Canestrari.

· Round-table on the books by Stefano Canestrari (Principi di biodiritto penale) and Massimo La Torre (La bioetica in tempi di pandemia) with the Authors.

§ Self-tutoring seminar, held by Graduates and PhD students of the Discipline for an overview on the Course, its articulations, the ways to prepare the exam, the exam interview, hints and bibliographic suggestions for further optional readings. This seminar - available online - is particularly recommended for non-attending students.

§ Seminar on Basic German language dedicated to students of the Course, held by dr. Manuel Fiori.

§ Seminar for graduating students of philosophy of law or bioethics (the updated calendar of online meetings is available and updated in the Notices of the teacher's unibo web page).

Teaching methods

Lectures, seminars and discussion on bioethical themes.

Interdisciplinary seminars will be hold by experts working in the field.

Lessons will be regularly recorded and made available by accessing ad hoc virtual teams-classroom. Access is possible through the unibo institutional credentials at the link present from September on the virtual materials of the Course.

Non-attending students and Erasmus students are recommended to follow (online) the Self-tutoring Seminar of the Course.

Assessment methods

Final oral examination. Room 5.01 (str. Zamboni 38). On September there will be an examination schedule. 

Evaluating criteria:

1. Expertise; practical reasoning ability; critical competence.

Notes:

18-21/30 basic level

22-25/30 moderate level

26-28/30 good level

29-30/30 excellent level.

Teaching tools

Optional seminar activities offered by the Course:

§ Seminars on key topics of the Course:

· Seminar, with active students participation on Abortion and US Case Law from 1973 to 2022.

· Lecture on Bioethical Issues held by Stefano Canestrari.

· Round-table on the books by Stefano Canestrari (Principi di biodiritto penale) and Massimo La Torre (La bioetica in tempi di pandemia) with the Authors.

§ Self-tutoring seminar, held by Graduates and PhD students of the Discipline for an overview on the Course, its articulations, the ways to prepare the exam, the exam interview, hints and bibliographic suggestions for further optional readings. This seminar - available online - is particularly recommended for non-attending students.

§ Seminar on Basic German language dedicated to students of the Course, held by dr. Manuel Fiori.

§ Seminar for graduating students of philosophy of law or bioethics (the updated calendar of online meetings is available and updated in the Notices of the teacher's unibo web page).

 

USEFUL LINKS:

http://www.governo.it/bioetica/ Žhttp://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/bioethics/bioethics_ethics http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/pcbe/ [http://www.governo.it/bioetica/%20%C3%82%C2%8Ehttp://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/bioethics/bioethics_ethics%20http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/pcbe/]

Office hours

See the website of Marina Lalatta Costerbosa