ETHICS OF DIVERSITY AND RESPECT
Learning outcomes of the course unit
By the end of the class the student will:
1. Read and master the basic vocabulary of ethical reflection on topics such as tolerance, pluralism, human dignity, personal rights, cultural diversity.
2. Apply the concepts learned in class on events and problems characterizing contemporary society.
3. Take a stance lucidly and on the basis of arguments on ethical issues pertaining to the topics examined in class.
4. Converse and debate on the ethical topics discussed in class making explicit references to the vocabulary and the argumentative strategies of the philosophical tradition.
5. Read and understanding autonomously complex philosophical texts on ethics.
Course contents summary
In present-day society, characterized by a pluralistic and multi-cultural orientation, it is imperative to stimulate reflection on an ethics of respect focusing on the various meanings of this term in different contexts. “Respect” is tightly connected to other and equally significant fundamental ethical concepts such as “recognition”, “tolerance”, “human dignity”, and “person”. Moreover, talk of “respect” can be extended to more specific domains, such as respect for the environment, for non-human animals, monuments or artworks. This class will be devoted to an exploration of the concept of respect in conjunction with the concepts of diversity and difference. The approach will be both historical and theoretical. Among other things, we will take into consideration the notion of worldview (Weltanschauung) with its anthropological and moral implications. Moreover, the class will stimulate attention to and theoretical engagement with ethical issues as a sort of cultural antidote to all forms of manipulation and violence. Both as a principle and as a feeling respect is interwoven with the perception of that, which is valuable and deserves to be preserved and protected even in the most difficult situations. Hence, sustained reflection on respect is particularly significant in any process of formation and professionalization that is alert to life as a whole in its moral, social, and political dimension.
DEFINITIVE PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WHO ATTENDED THE CLASS
1) EITHER John Locke, Lettera sulla tolleranza (Laterza) OR Voltaire, Trattato sulla tolleranza (Feltrinelli)
2) Achim Lohmar, "Che cos'è veramente la tolleranza?" translated by A. Staiti (FOR INTERNAL USE) available on ELLY.
3) Herbert Marcuse, Critica della tolleranza (Mimesis)
4) Roberto Mordacci, Rispetto (Cortina)
DEFINITIVE PROGRAM FOR STUDENTS WHO DID NOT ATTEND THE CLASS
1) John Locke, Lettera sulla tolleranza (Laterza)
2) Voltaire, Trattato sulla tolleranza (Feltrinelli)
3) Achim Lohmar, "Che cos'è veramente la tolleranza?" translated by A. Staiti (FOR INTERNAL USE) available on ELLY.
4) Herbert Marcuse, Critica della tolleranza (Mimesis)
5) Roberto Mordacci, Rispetto (Cortina)
1. Locke, Lettera sulla tolleranza, Laterza 1998.
2. Voltaire, Trattato sulla tolleranza, Feltrinelli 2015.
3. Marcuse, Critica della tolleranza, Mimesis 2011.
4. Jaspers, Psicologia delle Visioni del Mondo, Introduzione §§1-2; (pp. 11-27) Cap. 3, 1-2 (pp.256-331) (Available elly)
5. Mannheim, Sull’Interpretazione delle Weltanschauungen. (Available on elly)
6. R. Mordacci, Rispetto, Cortina 2012.
7. Darwall, “Respect and the Second Person” (Available on elly)
8. Pettit, “The Robust Demands of Respect” (Available on elly)
The class will include (1) frontal lectures devoted to the reading and interpretation of key texts; (2) discussion sessions focusing on current problems and concrete cases; (3) seminars featuring invited international scholars specializing on the topics under scrutiny.
Assessment methods and criteria
The class will include a two-hour written exam in class with three open questions and one question concerning a theme of contemporary relevance followed by an oral final focusing on testing the command of texts and topics discussed in class.
Assessment criteria and assessment thresholds:
30 cum laude: Excellent, excellent solidity of knowledge, excellent expressive properties, excellent understanding of the concepts
30: Very good. Complete and adequate knowledge, well-articulated and correctly expressed
27-29: Good, satisfactory knowledge, essentially correct expression.
24-26: Fairly good knowledge, but not complete and not always correct.
22-23: Generally sufficient knowledge but superficial. Expression is often not appropriate and confused.
18-21: Sufficient. The expression and articulation of the speech show important gaps.
<18: insufficient knowledge or very incomplete, lack of guidance in discipline, expression seriously deficient. Exam failed.