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Politecnico di Torino
Academic Year 2017/18
01SAULZ, 01SAUJM, 01SAULI, 01SAULM, 01SAULN, 01SAULP, 01SAULS, 01SAULX, 01SAUMA, 01SAUMB, 01SAUMC, 01SAUMH, 01SAUMK, 01SAUMN, 01SAUMO, 01SAUMQ, 01SAUNX, 01SAUOA, 01SAUOD, 01SAUPC, 01SAUPI, 01SAUPL, 01SAUPN, 01SAUPW
(It) Etica delle tecniche
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Aerospace Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Mechanical Engineering - Torino
1st degree and Bachelor-level of the Bologna process in Automotive Engineering - Torino
Espandi...
Teacher Status SSD Les Ex Lab Tut Years teaching
Tripodi Vera ORARIO RICEVIMENTO     60 0 0 0 3
SSD CFU Activities Area context
M-FIL/03 6 D - A scelta dello studente A scelta dello studente
Subject fundamentals
The course aims to introduce students to philosophical reflection on the main moral issues relating to the use of technologies that allow the redesigning of human nature and environment and producing robot. The theme of designing human nature and environment and producing robot involves morality on different levels.

1) We have the moral responsibility to prevent future generations from being born with serious anomalies and to bring them into the world with the best genetic endowment and with enhanced biology. With the development of robotics and interventions on genetic code we could redesign our world.

2) What are the risks of a redesign program of human nature and environment? Is it right to hybridize humans and plants with synthetic or new genes or with mechanical and / or digital devices? Which are the main moral issues relating to the use of autonomous robots?

3) In addition, will people who want to have a child be free to choose their enhancement or will they have the duty to pass on particular features and dispositions to their children?

4) Finally, the redesign program of human nature may have a cost that not everyone can afford. How can we avoid some people being born with opportunities that others cannot have? What kind of moral responsibility do we have for robots that are ever more similar to human beings?
Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the course, the student will have to acquire knowledge of the main moral issues emerging from the development of biotechnology and the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the bioethical problems dealt with. In addition, he or she will have to elaborate a critical view of the questions of moral philosophy examined and be able to develop a reasoned concept of the moral acceptability of interventions that may be employed in the future to plan, correct or enhance human nature.
Prerequisites / Assumed knowledge
Participation in the course does not require preliminary preparation. However, the topics that will be addressed will presuppose good disposition for reading and discussion of a theoretical and philosophical nature, along with the minimal tools for elaborating a critical text.
Contents
I. The introductory part of the course will be devoted to ethics: is morality a matter of reasoning or has it to do with feelings? What makes a virtuous person and how do we distinguish right action from wrong?

II. «Life» as a project (10 hours)
In the future, we could have technologies capable of making the birth of new generations less and less random, and increasingly the result of choice and conscious design. We could also be able to produce robots almost indistinguishable from human beings. Then, we could hybridize any organism with new genes or genes of other species and also change the environment.

III. What rules for «life» design? (10 hours)
In the future we will not only be able to select embryos with the best features in the lab, but also design their genetic heritage and the genome of animals and plants. Then, through prostheses and implants, we could change our identity over time. With the use of robots, we could increase our capabilities and our intelligence. Which moral rules and principles will inspire a program to redesign our society?

IV. What is the future of humanity? (10 hours)
This section examines how our concept of moral responsibility could change when we have the technology that allows us to intervene on the genome and produce robots. Will the robot or one born be responsible for his actions or is it the designer's responsibility? Is it also right to eliminate disability, or is disability diversity to be preserved? Do we have the right to hybridize humans and environment with new genes?

IV. Who should decide? (10 hours)
Who has the responsibility to decide on the new technologies’ use: individuals or society? Experts or citizens?

V. What issues of justice? (10 hours)
Is there a risk that people with normal abilities come into the world alongside more powerful individuals? Is it fair that some people have, by birth, opportunities that other people do not have? And what will our moral responsibility be for robots ever more similar to human beings?
Delivery modes
Student work evaluation will be based on written exercises and the final oral exam, which starts from individual work and will also have to demonstrate study of the texts. Students will also be asked to elaborate philosophical arguments on the main moral questions presented and discussed during the course.
Texts, readings, handouts and other learning resources
The texts discussed and the bibliographies will have to be integrated into the lessons. However, some bibliographical references can be given preliminarily.

Handbooks:
M. Mori, Manuale di bioetica. Verso una civiltà biomedica secolarizzata, Firenze, Le Lettere, 2010
E. Lecaldano, Prima lezione di filosofia morale, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2011.

Other texts:
M. Balistreri, Il futuro della riproduzione umana, Fandango, Roma, 2016.
R. Dworkin, Il dominio della vita. Aborto, eutanasia e libertà individuale, Torino, Edizioni di Comunità, 1994
M. Ghisleni, Bioetica e informazione. Genetica e problemi etici, Genova, Name, 2006
J. Harris, Wonderwoman e Superman. Manipolazione genetica e futuro dell’uomo, Milano, Baldini & Castoldi, 1997
J. S. Mill, Saggio sulla libertà, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2014.
H. Jonas, Tecnica, medicina ed etica. Prassi del Principio Responsabilità, Torino, Einaudi, 1997.
P. Singer, Ripensare la vita e la morte. La vecchia morale non serve più, Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1996
V. Tripodi, Filosofia della sessualità, Carocci, 2011.
Assessment and grading criteria
Student work evaluation will be based on written exercises and the final oral exam, which starts from individual work and will also have to demonstrate study of the texts. Students will also be asked to elaborate philosophical arguments on the main moral questions presented and discussed during the course.

Programma definitivo per l'A.A.2017/18
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