Evandro Agazzi: Right, Wrong and Science

The Ethical Dimensions of the Techno-Scientific Enterprise


Editor: Craig Dilworth
Solving the problem of the negative impact of science and technology on society and the environment is indeed the greatest challenge of our time. To date, this challenge has been taken up by few professional philosophers of science, making this volume a welcome contribution to the general debate.
Agazzi’s treatment involves viewing modern science and technology as each constituting systems. Against the background of this approach, he provides a penetrating analysis of science, technology and ethics, and their interrelations. Agazzi sees the solution to the problem as lying in the moral sphere and including a multilateral assumption of responsibility on the part of decision makers both within and outside of science.


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Biographical Note

EVANDRO AGAZZI completed his studies in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Milan and in Physics at the State University of the same city. He then did postgraduate study and resesarch stays at the Universities of Oxford, Marburg and Münster. He obtained the venia legendi in Philosophy of Science (1963) and in Mathematical Logic (1966), and occupied several teaching positions: at the Department of Mathematics of the University of Genoa (Advanced Geometry, Complementary Mathematics, Mathematical Logic), at the Higher Normal School of Pisa (Symbolic Logic), at the Catholic University of Milan (Philosophy of Science, Mathematical Logic), before and after becoming full professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Genoa (1970). He also had the chair of Philosophical Anthropology, Philosophy of Nature and Philosophy of Science at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland (1979-1998), and taught as a visiting professor at the Universities of Düsseldorf, Berne, Pittsburgh, Stanford and Geneva, as well as at other universities for shorter times. At present he is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Genoa. He was an invited speaker at many international congresses, conferences and symposia, and has given numerous lectures in all continents. He is Doctor honoris causa of the Universities of Cordoba and Santiago del Estero (Argentina), and Ricardo Palma of Lima (Peru). He is President of the International Academy of Philosophy of Science (Brussels), Honorary President of the International Federation of the Philosophical Societies (FISP), Honorary President of the International Institute of Philosophy (Paris), and of several other Academies and learned institutions of different countries. In the past he was (twice) President of the Italian Society of Logic and Philosophy of Science, of the Italian Philosophical Society, of the Swiss Society of Logic and Philosophy of Science, of the International Federation of the Philosophical Societies, of the International Institute of Philosophy, and of many other learned institutions. He was also Treasurer of the International Council for Philosophy and Humanities of UNESCO. He was member of the Italian National Committee for Bioethics. His publications include more than 60 books, of which he is the author and/or the editor, and more than 600 papers and articles, including contributions to books, anthologies, encyclopaedias, and journals, apart from many book reviews and newspaper articles. He is the editor of Epistemologia, an Italian journal for the Philosophy of Science, and of Nuova Secondaria, an Italian journal for high school teachers, and is a consulting editor of the international journals Erkenntnis, Revue Internationale de Philosophie, Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie, Medicina e Morale, Modern Logic, Kos, Sensus Communis, Argumentos de Razón Técnica, etc. He has been and is a member of the editorial board of learned dictionaries and encyclopaedias.

Table of contents

Editor’s Introduction
Evandro Agazzi: Right, Wrong and Science. The Ethical Dimensions of the Techno-Scientific Enterprise
Part One: The World of Science and Technology
Chapter 1. What is Science?
Chapter 2. Science and Society
Chapter 3. Is Science Neutral?
Chapter 4. Science, Technique and Technology
Chapter 5. The Techno-Scientific Ideology
Chapter 6. The Techno-Scientific System
Part Two: Encounter with the Ethical Dimension
Chapter 7. Norms and Values in Human Action
Chapter 8. The Role of Values in the Human Sciences
Chapter 9. Theoretical Rationality and Practical Rationality
Chapter 10. The Moral Judgment of Science and Technology
Chapter 11. The Problem of Risk
Chapter 12. The Responsibility of Science in a Systems-Theoretic Approach
Chapter 13. The Ethical Dimension
Chapter 14. An Ethics for Science and Technology
Juliana GONZÁLEZ: The Challenge of the Freedom and Responsibility of Science
Francisco MIRÓ QUESADA: The Full Dimensions of Rationality
Vladislav LEKTORSKY: Science, Society and Ethics
Mario BUNGE: The Centrality of Truth
D.P. CHATTOPADHYAYA: Some Reflections on Agazzi’s Philosophy of Science
Enrico BERTI: Practical Rationality and Technical Rationality
Boris YUDIN: Knowledge, Activity and Ethical Judgement
Gilbert HOTTOIS: Techno-Sciences and Ethics
Paul T. DURBIN: The Alleged Error of Social Epistemology
Janos BOROS: Evandro Agazzi’s Ethical Pragmatism of Science
Hans LENK: A Scheme-Interpretationist Sophistication of Agazzi’s Systems Approach to Science and Ethics
Jean LADRIÈRE: A Note on the Construction of Norms
Louk FLEISCHHACKER: The Non-Linearity of the Development of Technology and the Techno-Scientific Systems
Javier ECHEVERRÍA: Some Questions from the Point of View of an Axiology of Science
Replies to the Commentaries
Evandro AGAZZI: Replies to the Commentaries
About the Contributors
Name Index


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