PhD in Philosophy

Ethics and Philosophy of Person

Curriculum Coordinator: Prof. Massimo Reichlin

University Vita-Salute San Raffaele is a scientific community that offers programs and results of tip fields now more crucial for the study of the human person. In this context, dimensions of the mind, of the body and of individual and social are the subject of teaching and research. The contributions to this study converge here from different fields: from the biomedical and biotechnological research, from neuroscience, the most advanced developments of psychology and psychiatry, from a deep  tradition of studies of applied and public ethics, from new research perspectives in all today most dynamic sectors of philosophical and psychological.

In this context, the concentration of studies around the person and its vital dimensions, among which moral and political action is central, is a natural development. The Curriculum in Ethics and Philosophy of the Person is meant to train highly-qualified young scholars, who will be able to influence national and international debates, and to interact with the institutions and the industrial and civil society about the issues concerning the human person, its nature, values and relationships.

The scientific premises of research on the person are represented by the standards of rigorous reasoning, by a strict comparison with the results of experimental research on behaviour and the human mind, by analysing moral and political discourses and practices, and finally by an accurate normative reflection.

The scientific premises of research on the person are made by the canons of rigorous reasoning, the confrontation with the results of experimental behavior and the human mind, discourse analysis and moral practices and policies and the accurate reflection legislation.

The common educational objectives are specified therefore in this curriculum in the conduct of researches relating, on one side, on theoretical and fundamental aspects of philosophy of the person, on the other on moral and political and applied key issues. From the first point of view the areas around which bring together the research will be the following:

  • The investigation of the notion of person as constitutive of the human figure, primarily through research on the essential dimensions of corporeality, freedom, communication and relationship.
  • The life of the mind, feeling, willing, thinking, communicating
  • The social cognition, social acts, the ontology of institutions and artifacts
  • Theories of normativity, of values, and of personal identity.
  • The nature of decisions, free will, and political freedom.
  • Theories of practical rationality and of human praxis.
  • Theories of responsibility, with reference also to neuroscientific research.
  • The foundations of ethics: philosophical and scientific theories about the nature of moral experience.
  • The mix of moral, political and cultural issues in the field of social, political and artistic movements.
  • The nature of the values and theories of moral knowledge
  • The ability to justify moral norms and the different normative theories
  • The new domains of ethical reflection in the field of life, the study of the psyche, the mind, the economy, the environment, law and politics
  • The sense that today, in the necessary renewal of all our basic knowledge, it can assume the cultural and spiritual heritage of tradition even of the European religious one.
  • The scope of public decisions in contexts marked by high risk of social exclusion and political marginalization, in order to assess the feasibility of the theories of justice.

The ethical and political reflection in its intertwining with gender studies.The investigation into the activities of own personal life, from perception to cognition, reasoning, and especially the action takes place in a close comparison of behavioral research and philosophical analysis. Research on the role of the brain as an organ not only cognitive but also decision-making are an unavoidable premise for any investigation of experienced personnel universe. Even in the area of ethics legislation and policy it is not possible to separate the contributions of philosophy than more advanced psychology, in particular relating to the pattern of moral judgment, the relationship between emotions and reason in moral choices, the articulation of a normative theory that is compatible with the actual functioning of the brain in the assessment and moral decision. In this sense, the research of the students will be characterized by close comparison between the analysis of the conceptual content of moral (values, principles, virtue) and the results of the research on moral development, on soft skills and the genetic and neural basis of social , and by reading the data of social reality made available by the study of cases.

In particular, the research carried out in political legislation, it requires careful awareness of the constraints of regulatory feasibility of the ideals of justice, which means they cannot neglect to consider the reality of the discriminatory effects attributable to specific social conditions or memberships to culture or gender. In this respect, a specific field of research is open to (a) identify forms of marginalization and social policy in the urban space; (b) evaluate different models of participation in order to counter the marginalization of urban light of the legal framework of equal respect; (c) propose a model of participation in the decision-making process for the formulation of public policies.