Ethics, Public Policies and Environmental Diplomacy

To understand the framing process of the modern scientific revolution, which gave birth both to industrial
revolution and to a new vision of the scientific endeavor guided by technological performance and economic
market oriented goals.
To research the ethical roots of modernity, namely the shift from an humanistic moral approach to a new ethical
reasoning able to cope with the need to take care of the intrinsic value and integrity of the environment.
To identify the epistemological and institutional obstacles to the establishment and implementation of sound
public policies able to tackle environmental crisis and the growing challenges of climate change.
To acknowledge the cyclical nature of international environmental policies, mirrored in the difficulties of
effective international regimes formation, namely in the field of climate change.

Syllabus:

The modern scientific revolution. The works of Thomas More, Francis Bacon and Descartes regarding the role
of science as the main driver of bringing the utopian thought promises to the real world.
The birth of environmental ethics. From Thoreau to Aldo Leopold and Arne Naess. Peter Singer and Hans Jonas.
The limits of “ecocentrism”.
The impact of a technological driven science in the “Two Cultures divide”. The epistemological debate. From
Charles Snow to Thomas S. Kuhn and the concept of “paradigm”. Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard and the philosophical
implications of post-modernity. Hannah Arendt and the need to a “back-to-earth” science.
The complex process of the international environmental policies framing. State and non-state actors. The role of
vested interests and ideological driven factions. The problem of implementation and monitoring of international
treaties and corresponding protocols. The case of the UNFCCC.