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A summary of their talk by the speaker

  • Adela Cortina

    The most proper virtue of public life is justice. Without fair institutions and without fair citizens, it is complicated that the democratic life functions appropriately. Anyhow, there is always a question remaining: the citizen is made or born?, do humans have a background since we are born that encourages us to be good citizens and construct good institutions, or is it rather that we need to build the ideal of justice that we want and do the effort to be educated in it? Naturalism and Constructivism are two poles between which it seems that the contributions of philosophy and social sciences are incorporated.

    Nevertheless, in recent times a new new knowledge defined as "neuroethics" also guesses some answers to these questions and pretends to use them to discover the cerebral basis of an universal ethic. This would be an ethic inscribed in the brain of all human beings that would explain our sense of justice and would finally allow to formulate justice principles in which all men and women of all cultures would agree, and would give orientation to build the corresponding political institutions. A very attractive promise, no doubt about it, for a period in which we are more aware than ever about  the multicultural nature if our world.

    This conference proposes first to present some positions that from neurosciences defend the existence of a universal ethic of justice inscribed in our human brain, that endorses certain political systems; secondly, we will attempt to evaluate the critical positions; and last, we will expose the ethic proposal itself and its repercussions for policy, law, or economy, and above all, education, which is the main problem in any country. This proposal will take advantage of the contributions made by neurosciences, but will also go beyond them.

Fundación Juan March
Castelló, 77 – 28006 MADRID – Spain
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