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Oggettività e disaccordo: il ruolo degli esperti scientifici nelle decisioni di policy

Anno LII, n. 219, maggio-agosto 2017

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Oggettività e disaccordo: il ruolo degli esperti scientifici nelle decisioni di policy

What happens to scientific objectivity when it enters the realm of public debate and policy, and is asked to inform and guide the choices made in that realm? Surely consulting science in making policy is done with a view to making policy decisions more reliable, and ultimately more objective. Evidence-base policy is a typical example of this approach. However, in these contexts scientific evidence is normally, and often inevitably, taken into account alongside other relevant factors (political, social, economic, ethical, etc.). Such complex practical interactions constitute a challenge both for the very objectivity of scientific evidence (how far should science let extra-scientific factors interfere with scientific facts, without endangering the objectivity of evidence?), and for the objectivity of the role of the scientist as expert in the policy-making process. In this paper I address – with the help of a case study – the way by which science contributes to achieving objectivity in policy making, and argue that objectivity, though not exhausted by what scientific evidence contributes to it, still retains a crucial and meaningful role in public debate.

Abstract

L'educazione alla cittadinanza democratica e la Philosophy for Communities in contesti interculturali

Anno LII, n. 219, maggio-agosto 2017

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L'educazione alla cittadinanza democratica e la Philosophy for Communities in contesti interculturali

The first goal of this paper is to highlight the relevance of citizenship education. In the paper I underline the constitutive connection between democracy and educated citizens and its urgency for the present social-historical context. In the second part of the paper, I then introduce the concept of Philosophy for Communities, describe its main features and its structure. Moreover, looking at the Lipman-Sharp approach, I show that the Philosophy for Communities is derived from Philosophy for Children. My analysis in grounded in the so-called twentieth century practical turn of philosophy: starting from this theoretical framework, I describe philosophy as a social practice and show how Philosophy for Communities can contribute to the education of democratic citizenship in intercultural contexts. To better show the pragmatic virtues of this approach, I end the paper describing a community-based philosophical practice experience, realized by an association which pursues cultural and social integration. To conclude, I show how Philosophy for Communities can be conceived as an educational practice for community development and creation of social empowerment which can educate to a better democratic citizenship.

Abstract

La scienza utile. Expertise e partecipazione nelle decisioni pubbliche

Anno LII, n. 219, maggio-agosto 2017

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La scienza utile. Expertise e partecipazione nelle decisioni pubbliche

The complexity of the problems that require government intervention often forces policy makers to resort to science, to reduce as far as possible the uncertainties and support their decisions: but the relationship between expertise and public policies is not linear. Starting from the serious problems for health and environment caused by asbestos (the case of Eternit in Casale Monferrato), the article develops some considerations about the role of scientific knowledge and social participation on sensitive and controversial issues, involving citizens directly and require public decisions.

Abstract

Editoriale

Anno LII, n. 218, gennaio-aprile 2017

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Diritti aletici

Anno LII, n. 218, gennaio-aprile 2017

pag 5
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Diritti aletici

The aim of the article is to inquire into the idea of ‘alethic rights’ (AR), i.e. rights that involve truth, suggesting what these rights could be, in which sense they are specific rights, distinct from other fundamental rights, and how they can be preserved and safeguarded. The notion of ‘AR’ is implicit in many governmental commitments ratified by international customary or written law, but not explicitly mentioned in any official document. The expression itself, ‘AR’, is not used in human rights theory or philosophy of law. The «right to (know the) truth» has been theorized and defended, recently, in many occasions and contexts, especially with reference to the overthrowing or fall of totalitarian regimes, or in cases of manipulated and distorted electoral debates (such as in case of Berlusconi’s or Trump’s populisms). However, there is no specific treatment of AR in a detailed way and in a philosophical perspective. I try to provide an accurate account of the possibility conditions of a theory of AR not limited to the generic appeal to truthfulness or honesty (of politicians, or people working in the media), and aware of the problems connected to the use of the conceptual function we call ‘truth’. I have moved from the idea that the notion of truth is not at the basis of one simple right (the «right to know the truth»), but opens an entire field of analysis or a «system of rights», significantly including many different aspects of the associated life. Hence, I have distinguished three couples of AR, respectively related to: information, science, and culture: 1-2. The right to know the truth and the right to be in the condition of knowing the truth 3-4. The right to be considered a reliable source of truth and the right to dispose of reliable official sources of truth 5-6. The right to live in “alethic societies”, where public truth is promoted and safeguarded, but there is general awareness about the importance as well as the extreme frailty of the conceptual function we call ‘truth’ for human life in democratic contexts.

Abstract

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