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I limiti dell'«etica senza verità»

Risposta a Scarpelli

Anno XXII, n. 99, ottobre-dicembre 1987
Centro Einaudi


The limitations of 'ethics without truth'

The author agrees with Scarpelli's normative proposition of the ethics of tolerance but dissents on a meta-ethical plane, observing that, (a) ethics without truth cannot provide the principle of tolerance and the fight against intolerance with a sound justification; (b) even if it were possible to affirm the principle of tolerance, its application would demand the solution of the problems of 'what damage consists of' and 'who the others are': since, according to Scarpelli. 'damage' is whatever is felt as such in any given historical moment, ethics without truth becomes tantamount to the ethics 'of accepted principles'; (c), since, in resolving the problem of 'who the others are', Scarpelli resorts to an 'ethical choice', it must be observed that this strategy raises new difficulties on a legal plane: on the one hand (c1), it is doubtful whether ethics without truth of a prescriptivist nature is able to permit the 'compromises' demanded by social life; whereas, on the other (c2), as Scarpelli sees the foetus as being 'another seen as an end' (a person, that is), his conclusion whereby penal laws against abortion should be abolished would appear to be unjustified.