Working Sessions | Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy

SUBMISSIONS:

Politics and Duty in Plato

Adămuţ Luminiţa
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

As people of the citadel, Socrates and Plato tried, by motivating themselves, to motivate the contemporaries regarding the so-called political problems. The situation of these two seems paradoxical. Socrates does not get involved, but is always present, Plato gets involved, but is always disavowed. In the end, it is hard to judge these two separately. Together they form a team from which, unfortunately, the citadel loses on short term. Their failure is personal and, at limit, what one loses, the other one gains. Some considerations on this aspect we follow in the following study. 

Values and change in post-communist societies

Iulia Anghel
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest

Co-author: Oana Radu

All societies hide in their profound spaces a mixture of collective narratives that serve as a common base for group identity . This „symbolic shelter” is influenced and often corrupted by the insertion of the ideological or cultural concentration points of a specific historical moment. As a paradoxically feature, this non genuine marks of identity tend to survive the concrete reality that produced them. The fall of totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe generated a complicated shift in the field of values and representation. After this symbolic rupture, the post-totalitarian world was confronted with a hybrid culture, which continued to bare in its deep spaces values, practices, institutions and collective patterns of decision making, that were specifically linked to the influence of a „dead political body”. The new social trends were mixed with the old base of social knowledge and values. All this collection of perennial myths, ideological stereotypes and political narratives were re-composed and adapted through the filter of the transitional and post-transitional era. Every society had a central and foundational myth, called by Levi Strauss the „bororo myth”. The role of this special collective narrative is to function as a referential point for the whole universe of collective knowledge. The fall of communism did not change the main lines of the „bororo myth” in the Romanian post-totalitarian society. More, this is an expected resistance of the collective mind was preserved also in the transitional and post-transitional era. This article is trying to respond to the complicated question: „What is today the „foundational myth” of the Romanian post-communist society?” and also will suggest a cultural solution for changing the values through the intervention of a new frame of knowledge. 

 

How voters decide who to vote for? Integrative model

Romeo Asiminei
"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iasi

This conference’s goal is to deconstruct the electoral mechanism in an attempt to provide an answer to the fundamental question of electoral sociology: How voters decide who to vote for? For most voters the political parties and the political ideology are some kind of abstract terms, treated, mostly with disinterest. However, the vote is truly a "total social fact" and involves selecting a solution with impact on all social systems and subsystems. The professional literature proposes several models that make the electoral mechanisms explicit, models combined into three categories: sociological models, psycho-sociological and models and economic models. We propose a new model that has both an explanatory function as well as a function of orientation for the electoral research (election predictions): the integrative model. Summarizing, the model assumes a rational vote based on a series of signification and redefinitions of the three images (the actual image of the candidate, the image communicated by the candidate and the candidate's perceived image) and an ideal portrait (the candidate who will hold the position for which the electoral process is conducted). Finally, the voter tests the candidates' perceived images against a reference ideal portrait. In addition the conference we’ll examine a number of constitutive elements of the electoral process: electoral systems and their impact on the electoral situation and the relationship between socioeconomic and political context on the electoral behavior by analyzing the first six election cycles in post-communist Romania. 

Chipuri şi măşti pe scena comunicării. Acutizări în anii electorali

Ştefania Bejan
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

Intens invocată în ultimele decenii şi analizată în fel şi chip de „actori” cu expertiză în domeniu, comunicarea provoacă perpetuu dileme: „nu poţi să nu comunici” vs. tot mai deficitar element social; strategii şi tehnici de comunicare deprinse în şcoli superioare, training-uri, congrese şi biblioteci renumite vs. densitatea ameninţătoare a eşecului şi consecinţelor păguboase survenite dintr-o practică străină teoriilor comunicării. În spaţiul public, ne-am obişnuit cu o „armată” de comunicatori oficiali ori purtători de notorietate, alături de care îşi fac apariţia, în mod ciclic, alţii, în anii cu puternică miză electorală. Peisajul devine de-a dreptul aglomerat în 2012, când, în afara alegerilor planificate (locale şi parlamentare), excepţiile nu ne ocolesc: referendumul pentru demiterea preşedintelui şi, cine ştie, alegeri prezidenţiale anticipate – dacă primul om în stat îşi negociază demisia, după o formulă anunţată în urmă cu ceva luni... Se observă că unii din comunicatori sunt consecvenţi cu sine, susţinând discursul cu care am devenit familiari (eventual, îl diseminează în tuşe groase, îl asezonează retoric, îl repetă, mecanic, în ideea „înşurubării” definitive în mintea autorilor. Alţii, cameleoni autentici sau contextuali, vin cu „chipuri” discursive inedite, potrivite cauzei, momentului, locului, expectanţelor. Măştile se lipsesc şi cad cu repeziciune de pe feţele celor distribuiţi în spectacole politice inerente democraţiilor firave (dar nu numai acestora!). 

The dialectic of reading: the ethical moment

Vasile-Catalin Bobb
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

In my talk I want to address the following question: how can we conceive the ethics of reading? The act of reading can be depicted in three different instances: hermeneutical (i.e. comprehension), aesthetical and ethical. Therefore, the act of reading offers us three different experiences: hermeneutical (we can observe several changes at the level of our comprehension), aesthetical (we can name it, as Barthes dose, the pleasure of the text) and ethical. However, I will argue that only the first two experiences belong to the act of reading as such. Thus, my thesis is that moral action cannot be enhanced by readings. As paradoxical at it may appear the act of reading excludes the moral experience. Thus, the main hypotheses of my paper is that the act of reading transforms the status of comprehension, provokes a fundamental aesthetical experience, but remains profoundly questionable at the level of our moral experience.

The Romanian Orthodox Church – between dogma and ideology

Sorin Bocancea
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

Besides its dogma, the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) also built itself an ideology. This ideology is not a new one, but is nationalism. Being one of the institutions which have accompanied the modern Romanian state since its establishment up to nowadays, and having an important role within the latter, especially after the fall of the communist regime BOR has presented itself in public discourse as the only institution which safe keeps “the Romanian spirituality”. The revival of nationalism after the failure of the communist regime created for BOR a situation in which it has been able to claim that it is the only keeper of the “Romanian soul”, of the “nation’s spirituality”. Although the laws stipulate that there is no state Church in Romania, BOR continues to present itself as such a unique Church, claiming, in its documents, that it is the “Church of the Romanian nation” or the “Ancestors’ Church”. This ideology has helped it make Romanians forget its collaboration with the communist power and thus keep a top place in their preferences.

Subjectivity and Technoscience in Theodor Adorno

Bogdan Calin-Ciprian
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

From a contemporary perspective, Theodor W. Adorno’s philosophical stance can be located somewhere between classical and, let us say, postmodern thinking, between the idea of a strong science and that of a weak science, between objectivity and posthumanism etc. By criticizing positivism, Adorno anticipated in many ways postmodernism: science is intimately related to technology, moreover, science and technology or technoscience is a social product directly linked with human identity or subjectivity etc. But Adorno’s program remains quite different from postmodernism: the universal, even though social, predisposition of technoscience should not be entirely relativized, in the same way as subjectivity is not to be dissolved in a posthumanist fashion but to be redefined and revalued. The main interest of Adorno is to rethink subjectivity and techno-science in a way that the domination exerted through the compulsion of “identity thinking” can be avoided. If subjectivity is traditionally conceived as a transcendental entity, a “ghost in the machine” cut off from its body and nature in accordance with the abstract model of Western techno-science (finding objective laws through experiments that allow us, in the same time, to manipulate in a predictable way external nature etc.), Adorno champions an embodied subjectivity open towards the “non-identical” and the utopian but real possibilities inscribed in objects and in its body. Conversely, techno-science is also redirected from accurately knowing and manipulating the world towards the acknowledgement of the irreducible richness and utopian possibilities of our society.

Two Projects of Knowledge-Based Society

Vihren Bouzov
St.Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, Philosophical Faculty

Two competing projects of development of knowledge-based society are analyzed in this paper.Due to the existing large inequalities in the world today it is impossible to see it realized as a global project. Today the creation of a knowledge-based society is defined as a key objective of the EU and the years until the end of the second decade of the 21th century will be of decisive importance in this context. The first project of such type could be called corporate – it involves wealth distribution of the knowledge economy in favor of big corporations and rich countries. The vast majority of people and the poorer countries in the EU remain permanently in its periphery. The realization of this trend is a dominant in the development of the EU today. The extensive economic, financial and social crisis operates in this direction. It has increased the profits of corporations. Limited minorities of rich people would benefit from such type of knowledge-based society. The respective alternative project can be called social knowledge society; it can be based on human solidarity and fair distribution of wealth of the knowledge economy. It implies equal access to the benefits of education and scientific and technological achievements. To succeed, such project will need combined efforts made by governments of the poorer countries in the EU, especially the ones in Central and South-Eastern Europe, and such efforts by civil society organizations.

The role of ethics committees in the ethical supervision of social services

Ana Caras
Lumen Research Center in Social and Humanistic Sciences
Al. Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

 Coauthors: Antonio Sandu - Postdoctoral fellow financed by The Management Authority for the Sectorial Operational Program „Development of Human Resources” within the project “Postdoctoral studies in the domain of ethics in health policies” at „Gr. T. Popa” University of Medicine and Pharmacy from Iasi. Project funded from the Social European Fund through the Sectorial Operational Program „Development of Human Resources” 2007-2013. Priority axis 1: „Education and professional training in support of economical growth and development of knowledge-based society”. Main domain of intervention: 1.5 Doctoral and postdoctoral programs in support of research. Title of the project: “Postdoctoral studies in the domain of ethics in health policies”. Contract Code: POSDRU/89/1.5/S/61879; Chairman of Lumen Publishing House, Address: Tepes Voda, OP 3, CP 780, Iasi; Associate Professor PhD at “Mihail Kogalniceanu” University from Iasi; E-mail: antonio1907@yahoo.com  

We propose to treat the importance of establishing committees of ethics in social work practice. The central ethical problem is represented by the analysis of conditions of ethical acceptability of social intervention. Ethical evaluation of services should consider the principles of beneficence, autonomy, non-maleficence and justice. We will treat the need for ethical supervision, which refers to the effective supervision of the organization's ethical practices. The central premise is that intervention in social work is a form of action research and thus it should be based on the same rules of research on human subjects. This practice should be made according with ethical principles. Social intervention changes the quality of life of the beneficiary, and this change requires ethical evaluation in order to analyze the conditions in which ethics is perceived and accepted as defining part of the social intervention. We will propose to be introduced ethics committees in the public and providers of social services.

The Dynamic of the Relationship between Values, Attitudes and Political Behaviour

Andreea-Ioana Cozianu
”M. Kogălniceanu” University from Iași, Romania

There are many semantic overlaps between terms like values, attitudes, norms, interests, ideals, while in many linguistic contexts they are equivalents. On the same time, on the social psychology and even in sociology, the concept of value has been greatly diluted in concepts like norm and attitude. It is quite obvious that the later seem to be more operational, but in this way it is lost or neglected the psycho-social content that is specific and relevant for the mentalities’ and behaviours’ explanation and prediction. Even more, it cannot be neglected the concept of value when it is intended the understanding of the large human beings (people, ethnical groups, social classes) collectivities. The present study is in regard with the ratio between value and attitude, from a predominant macro-socio-cultural perspective, while the values present themselves as objective, supra-individual data, or as social facts in respect with the Durkheim’s theory. So, we can justified speak about the attitude in regard with the value on the same way we speak about the attitude towards school, parents, religion or other elements of the surrounding environment.

 

The Role of the Public Sphere in Contemporary Republican Political Theory

Codruţa Liana Cuceu
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HR D), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

In the present paper we will analyze the republican conception of the public sphere, taking into account its position within the overall structure of the republican political theory, especially as it is developed by Philip Pettit. The meaning of the public sphere concerns the public life of the republican society which is based on the common knowledge and the common beliefs shared by all citizens. Being conceived in connection with the idea of the civil society, this concept of public sphere appears as an aim of the republican policies. The existence and promotion of the public sphere is vital for republican theory, for it represents a way to reflect and record the values of the republican society. As values stand as a core of the republican political thought, their dissemination throughout the entire society, as well as the need to maximize them, ask for the existence of such a sphere. The implementation of the republican ideal of non-domination requires, above all, its presence within the public sphere. That means that non-domination needs to be publicly acknowledged by the citizens. Without this public consciousness, the republican ideal cannot be secured for the society as a whole and all the republican values become endangered. 

Orthodox priest's role in the care of diabetic

Simona Irina Damian
Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie "Gr. T. Popa" Iasi
Centrul de Studii Postdoctorale

 Coauthors: Stefan Antonio Sandu, Magdalena Roxana Necula. Acknowledgements This paper/study was realised within the Project “Postdoctoral Studies in the Field of Health Policy Ethics” 

In the present paper we intend to focus on the opinion of Orthodox priests involved in the spiritual care of diabetic patients. Our research is based on a qualitative- interpretative methodology. The focus group technique was especially used. Data were collected in Iasi during July-December 2011. We intend to highlight a relationship pattern between the actors involved in the care process, with a high regard on the role of Orthodox priests and on the established communication model. Interviewed priests know their role in the care process, emphasizing the spiritual dimension of care, but also the role of the other professionals involved in this process. Orthodox priests showed that they asks those in distress to seek and follow medical advice and, on the other hand, doctors recommend patients to benefit from the spiritual care offered by the priest. Respondents indicate that the majority of diabetic patients experience a peace of mind respecting the Christian tradition, including the fast and its rigors, with all the features of the diabetic lifestyle.

Appeal for a dialectical/holistic critique of society

Alexandru Dumitrascu
Universitatea Bucuresti, Facultatea de Filosofie

It seems to me that both in and out of academic life nowadays there is a powerful trend of identifying problems and trying to solve them after analytically breaking them from the whole given context to which they belong (e.g. clear instances of this are some forms of ecological activism and feminist activism which remain fascinated by the real problem they identify in society, nevertheless failing to reach the point of questioning what the basis of the problem’s appearance are). I hold here that, especially concerning social and political problems, we are more and more often taking as causes what are actually only symptoms. On this background I shall develop the concept of a dialectical (holistic) critique of society, which seems to me to be the critical type of knowledge we are missing today. Instead of getting almost instantly involved in problems that appear to us this method shall require taking a step back, getting a wide perspective view, looking for causes, not only treating the symptoms that appear, thus putting forward new questions and problems (identifying internal systemic contradictions and highlighting different relations of power) instead of trying to immediately answer what appears to us directly. Here Zizek’s inversion of Marx’s 11th theses on Feuerbach fits wonderfully: “Aren’t we today living in a world in which we always get involved and try to change things, but never think the world? What if today the point is to step back and interpret the world a bit before trying to change it?”

Judging oneself and judging others: ethical-philosophical implications

Daniela Dunca
Universitatea de Nord

The term judgment designates a faculty (capacity), but also an action which develops in the social sphere. The analysis of the philosophical, political, ethical, psychological dimensions leads to identifying two sides of the term: the anthropological side, which implies the evaluation of personal and the others’ acts and actions, and the institutional, legal, side, which consists of determining a sanction, deserved or not, to a subject. What is the connection between these? How is the judging subjects’ responsibility involved?

The socio-political situation of Romania from the viewpoint of Noam Chomsky’s Decalogue

Petru Dunca
Universitatea de Nord

Noam Chomsky, a renowned international personality in the field of the philosophy of language is known for his analyses of the socio-political situation of the contemporary society. Extremely relevant is the “Chomsky Decalogue”, a document which structures a series of ideas regarding the force of manipulation of society by the political power. The paper intends to be a case study on the present situation in Romania of the last four years. The Decalogue thoroughly confirms the situations and the phenomena in Romania under the recent neototalitarian regime.

Basic Human Equality and lts Problems

Huzum Eugen
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

One of the most important ideas of our times is the conviction that, despite their diversity, all humans have an equal basic moral status (or an equal fundamental worth and dignity), that they are, as Thomas Jefferson famously stated, “created equals” and they should (because they are entitled to) be treated as equals, i.e. with equal concern and respect (Ronald Dworkin). Although it is associated most of the times only with egalitarianism, this is a foundational idea for many other contemporary theories of justice (including, for example, utilitarianism or Nozickian libertarianism). There are many arguments advanced in favor of this idea. But, as many contemporary political philosophers (including some egalitarians) have argued, none of these arguments is unproblematic. Moreover, many contemporary political philosophers (for example, Joel Feinberg, Ronald Dworkin or Kai Nielsen) suggested that equal basic moral status is not demonstratively justifiable. In other words, there is no way other than intuition to show this belief to be true. Nevertheless, equal basic moral status is not, because of this, an unjustified or an unacceptable idea, but a “basic belief” or a fixed considered judgment which doesn’t stand in need of inferential justification. In my paper I want to defend this suggestion.

Health Justice: The Capability Approach

Loredana Huzum
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

As its title suggests, in my paper I will be concerned to present and to examine the capability approach of health justice. This approach was recently defended as a theory of health justice and as ethical theory of the social determinants of health by Jennifer Prah Ruger and Sridhar Venkatapuram. In the paper I will be focused especially on highlighting and investigating the main differences between capabilism (as defended by Ruger and Venkatapuram) and other leading contemporary theories of justice in health and/or health care, especially rawlsianism and luck egalitarianism.

Knowledge, Compassion and Violence: An Indian Perspective           

George M.Kondothra
Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kerala, India

In the Indic philosophical tradition knowledge (Vidya in Sanskrit) is ultimately  the  knowledge of the Self. Any distinction between the  individual self and the ultimate universal self is  obliterated in true spiritual realization. Consequently in   major Indian philosophical systems like Advaita Vedanta based on the ancient Hindu scriptures  of Vedas and the Upanishads, our ordinary world of diversity is rather illusory (maya). True knowledge  brings in the awareness that  there is only One Reality that is  non-dual (a-dvaita). The ethical-practical question then is: how do we deal with this actual world of  poverty and suffering, violence and war,  desire and death,  greed and  injustice. The Buddhist answer in the concept  of Karuna(compassion) has been profoundly influential in shaping a major aspect of the India/Asian perspective on Reality. It is  very inclusive in the sense that compassion is extended to all sentient beings. One can even delay one’s  realization of Nirvana out of compassion to other beings who are still in  the vicious circle  of  dukkha or suffering in the world. The Christian idea of compassion springs from God’s love for humanity (philanthropia as the Fathers of the Church call it) as manifested in the sacrificial death of  Jesus of Nazareth. The very life of Jesus on earth illustrated this love in  acts of compassion. A study of these two  streams of   philosophical-theological understanding of  the  theme of Compassion  is undertaken with some basic questions such as:

1. How do we take in to account the world of diversity in our ethical-spiritual understanding?

2.Does the Hindu- Buddhist  understanding of compassion to all creatures minimize in any way  our  ethical and social commitment to alleviate human suffering?

3.Does the Christian understanding of  love or compassion to humanity (philanthropia)  become too anthropocentric and so ignore the   ecological and cosmic dimension of divine compassion.

An attempt will be made to see the common ground in Asian religious and eastern Christian understanding of  Compassion and its meaning for our  world today.

Comment faut-il se battre pour la paix perpétuelle ? Crucé et Saint-Pierre

Diana Margarit
Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi

On attribue d’une manière fausse et hasardée, la paternité du projet de paix perpétuelle à Kant. Certainement, l’histoire de la pensée morale et politique ne l’a pas retenu comme celui qui a fait naître le projet de paix perpétuelle, mais comme celui qui lui a apporté de la notoriété. Face à cette « injustice », cet article propose de faire le témoignage de deux autres auteurs, précurseurs de Kant, quant à ce même projet. Il s’agit, premièrement, d’un penseur assez connu dans son époque, mais presque ignoré par la postérité, Emeric Crucé, qui a rédigé un plan pour « établir la paix générale » (1634); deuxièmement, de l’abbé de Saint-Pierre, un auteur dont le « projet pour rendre la paix perpétuelle en Europe » (1713) a suscité des réactions controversées au moins de la part de Montesquieu et Rousseau. Entre ces deux penseurs et Kant il y a une distance considérable qui réside dans les moyens et les raisons de la paix perpétuelle. Quoique écartés qu’ils soient par presque huit décennies, les projets de Crucé et Saint-Pierre sont liés par les ressources religieuses et, en particulier, chrétiennes (le dogme et la morale) qui les légitiment. Plus tard, chez Kant et les penseurs de la période révolutionnaire, ces éléments disparaissent en faveur de la raison et de la morale « laïque », humaniste. Cet article essaie de résister aux tentations d’analyser Crucé et Saint-Pierre comme « frères » dans la construction du projet pacifiste et universaliste et propose, bien au contraire, de les mettre en évidence comme deux penseurs dont les regards s’entrecroisent rarement et dans des points non-essentiels. En dépit de leur apparente approche, les deux se trahissent réciproquement sur les motivations de la guerre et de la paix, la légitimité, les acteurs impliqués, les pénalités et les récompenses de la paix.

Philosophie et discours protreptique dans l’enseignement d’Origène à Césarée

Constantin-Ionuţ Mihai
Universitatea "Al. I. Cuza", Iaşi

Résumé: La tradition du discours protreptique développée par les représentants des écoles philosophiques de la Grèce antique a influencé à différents niveaux les écrits chrétiens des premiers siècles. Dans notre recherche nous nous proposons d’analyser la méthode d’enseignement pratiquée par Origène à Césarée en y soulignant les emprunts à cette ancienne tradition du discours protreptique. Nous prendrons comme support de notre analyse un texte de très grande importance pour la connaissance de l’enseignement d’Origène, écrit par un disciple de celui-ci, identifié par la plupart des exégètes avec Grégoire le Thaumaturge. À notre avis, le discours de remerciement prononcé par ce disciple à la fin de son séjour à l’école d’Origène peut être considéré à son tour comme un protreptique de la littérature grecque chrétienne du troisième siècle. 

Hermeneutics as an Ethical Discipline in the Early German Romanticism: F. D. E. Scheleiermacher

Vlad-Mihai Moldovan
Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj.Napoca

 Acknowledgement: The presentation will benefit of financial support through the “Postdoctoral Programms for  a Durable  Development in a Knowledge Based Society” project, contract code POSDRU/89/1.5/9/60189; the project was co-financed by the European Social Fund through “The Sectorial Operational Programme for the  Development of Human Resources 2007-2013”. 

The presentation will focus on the essential link between a post-kantian and romantic ethics such as Schleiermachers and its genuine foundation of a new and modern philosophical and philological discipline, his hermeneutics. With Schleiermacher, hermeneutics unveils its philosophical roots in the concept of signifying and dynamic rationality thematised in his ethical works, which becomes a genuine ethical technique of comprehension, seeking to account for the linguistic-stylistic individuation of discourses reconstructed by means of a rigorous practice, which develops on a double tier: grammatical and technical-psychological. The presentation will offer an interpretation in which hermeneutics becomes with Schleiermacher the pre-eminent locus in which the original physiognomy of his philosophical thought becomes visible. The art of interpration is constituted for Schleiermacher in the terms of a communicative, expressive, dynamic, and organic paradigm. If Schleiermacher’s hermeneutics has its basis in a reflection on the act of comprehension, then the art that shall be constituted from that starting point will attempt to reconstitute discursive products as processes of signification in the life of the spirit, and to propose a methodical way of resonating and opening in front of the diversity and richness brought by every relevant text in the cultural landscape. The elaboration of Schleiermacher’s hermeneutical project occurs in parallel with the elaboration of his ethical meditation regarding individuation and the ethical communication of reason. The relation of the individual with the different communities becomes with Schleiermacher the focal point in which a communicative and an aesthetic-expressive imperative are fused. Only at the moment in which the dynamics of individuation glides over the medium of language does the necessity of a new formulation of the hermeneutical problem arise, which will attempt to account on the one hand for the communicative aspect of language, and on the other hand for the individuating-expressive aspect.

World, time and necessity from the perspective of chronic disease

Magdalena Roxana Necula
Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie "Gr. T. Popa" Iasi
Centrul de Studii Postdoctorale

 Coauthors: Stefan Antonio Sandu, Simona Irina Damian 

Our research focuses on the strategies through which chronic patients (diabetic) re-signify their world through the interaction with the temporal and social space. Chronic condition introduces distortions in the representation of concepts like world, time and necessity which are seen from the perspective of a transfiguring ethos by reference to a transcendent reality. Life is understood as a drama and the individual creates specific expectations, both from themselves and from their relatives. In the research, interviews were conducted with diabetic patients and their caregivers and data were interpreted by inductive qualitative methodology. Diabetic patients' relation to temporality appears either in the form of solitude accepted as necessity, or as the frantic search of various communication experiences. In this context, the study highlighted the role of Church in accepting the chronic condition as a sacrifice oriented towards the Christian life and the accession to Salvation. 

Peer Review: A key component of the research ethics approval process

Janis Talivaldis Ozolins
Australian Catholic University

Peer review is recognised in the academic community as an important means of attesting to the quality of academic research work which is offered for publication. That the system is not foolproof is also recognised and there has been some discussion in the literature of how the process of peer review may be improved. Not so well recognised is the need for peer review of research projects before they commence. In particular, this is crucial where research projects involve human participants. Biomedical research quite often carries significant risk for the participant and so before an ethics committee can approve a research proposal, it must satisfy itself that the research to be undertaken has research merit and is being conducted by researchers with the appropriate training and skills to achieve the outcomes being aimed for by the research. The same will be the case for research involving human participants in other non-biomedical areas of research. This paper examines some of the issues associated with peer review of research prior to its approval by an ethics committee. It argues that there are significant advantages for researchers in having their research projects peer reviewed before they seek ethics approval. Some models for peer review of different kinds of research are briefly discussed.

New Social Identities in Eastern Europe

Ana Pantea
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

Due to EU enlargement, Eastern Europe countries had to redefine some of their fundamental political principles (like ethnicity, nationalism, otherness, etc.) in the new context which occurred within latest political changes and economical organizations. In redefining Eastern European identity today, we could start from the idea formulated in social and political theory of a society conceived as a system made up of final subsystems differing in the aspect of their specific performance and, consequently, in the criteria of testing propositions and actions. Systems whose subsystems fulfil these performances are obviously preferable to another whose subsystems achieve them to a lesser extent or fail to fulfill them. The present paper is defending the aim, formulated in some Eastern European countries (from an ethical and pragmatic standpoint), of overcoming traditional social identities based on ethnicity and social status.

Is it possible to model social phenomena?

Ana Petrache
Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris

Is it possible to model social phenomena? By modelling, I do not understand a mathematical model but to find some universal historical categories that will be able to offer some explanation. The model is a working tool that does not claim that it is the only true representation of reality but rather a hypothesis, a synthetic brief, a heuristical schema. Models can be partial or plural; their end is only to try to offer several explanations to social phenomena. Models are intermediaries between an already made theory and the phenomena. Gaston Fessard, a French Jesuit who was a critic of totalitarian regimes tries to propose three fundamental historical categories that are presented as dialectics: the dialectic between the Master and the Slave, the dialectic between Man and Woman and the dialectic between the Pagan and the Jew. Through them, he tries to model and analyse social phenomena. I will offer an example of how such models can describe complex reality such as communism and nazism. In his approach of philosophical anthropology, Fessard proposes to describe communism as a society exclusively made by slaves, while nazism would be a society exclusively made by masters. Communism is a society with values exclusivly feminine, while nazism has only male values. Comunism is an expresion of jewish messianism combined with a tendency to idolize the class element while nazism is represented as a pagan idolatry of nature and race. His categories abstracted from natural history (Man-Woman dialectic), human history (Master-Slave dialectic) and supernatural history (Pagan-Jew dialectic) offer a new perspective in the study of totalitarian regimes of the 20th century as well as in the manner of doing political philosopy by appling new models of undestandig society. So, I will argue that this dialectics are good exemples of social models.

Socialization and corruption in contemporary Romania

Pitulac Tudorel-Marian
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

We are already familiar with the fact that when it comes to measuring positive aspects, Romania always comes in the last places. Nonetheless, the impact of every dimension is profound, but we consider that corruption is most harmful. The question is why its impact is so big in Romania. Many explanations were advanced, but most are superficial. Undoubtedly, there are legal, ethical, moral factors explaining it, even we could mix them together, but still we could not find a convincing argument. Our analysis identifies a key element which could explain the great incidence of corruption in our society. The expression “every nation has the leaders it deserves” states in a colloquial manner an empirical truth. Within the population of a nation presenting a specific trait in a very high frequency, it is normal that in every sample we choose from that population, we find a very big number of people having that trait. It is the same with the traits of the individual’s personality. Therefore, in the case of the people living in a society whose social mechanisms are flawed, the consequences will be present at most of its members. The contribution of all socialization agents becomes crucial. The absence or the very poor functioning of either of it has the most evident consequences upon the person(s) concerned. Usually, statistically speaking, there are relatively few cases where one of the socialization agents is absent. However, the communists had in Romania a plan whose aim was to destroy community as a social structure. However, community is a socialization agent, and the fact that the majority of the population lacks the experience of communitarian life has as consequence a very vague and abstract perception towards those who do not belong to their families or are not close friends. Therefore, there is a very high and extended permeability to the temptation to pass unlawfully the public resources to private ownership. 

Conditions of Possibility of Democracy in the 21st century

Vasile Pleșca
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (S OP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

As it has been dominating the political discourse with authority for more than a century, the democratic thinking is the epicenter of the human society. As an absolute reference of the political space, democracy is, equally, inappropriate invoked and distorted understood. This makes that, beyond its major achievements, beyond of positive transformations that it has brought to society and human being, the term of „democracy” is being invoked and used equally by those that love democracy and by those that hate it and see it as a simple instrument of achieving the political power. Using the most recent theories of democracy, this study tries to trace the limits by which, at the begining of the third millennium, democracy can maintain itself in the center of the understanding of what it means to be an active human being in the political space.

Theoretical Models of the Historical Synthesis

Mihai Popa
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development  (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

Abstract. I have considered that the historical synthesis represents the key concept of any historiographic work, as each historian or each epoch tends to attain by the means of the historical narrative the main desiderates of the historic knowledge: the coherent and objective explanation of the past facts, through the inherent subjectivity of the personality and time, so that both the contemporaries and the next generations should have a methodically and harmoniously presented overview of the significant events. The historical synthesis was a central concept in the historiography advocated by the Annales School (Annales dʼhistoire économique et sociales – Marc Bloch, Lucien Febvre, Fernand Braudel), which pleaded for a collective and interdisciplinary research of the social and historical events, for the unification of the historical theories and for the study not only of the chronological succession of the events, but also of the synchronic depth of the social and historical connections, of the economic, demographic, ethnic relations, of the collective mentalities etc. In Romania, Gh. I. Brătianu was the promoter of this direction of historical research, his monograph dedicated to the Black Sea being representative for the medieval historical synthesis in the South-East Europe, both as an interdisciplinary methodological perspective and as a historical reality.

 

Sentimentul de dreptate și logica pasiunilor

Laura Pricop
Ph.D., Associate Professor, University „Al. I.Cuza” Iasi

Scopul acestei lucrări este acela de a contura, printr-o manieră derivată, perspectiva utilitaristă și logica pasiunilor, răspunsul la întrebarea: dacă sentimentul de dreptate, ca element ce declanșează derularea unei acțiuni care implică ideea de dreptate, este condiționat de un cotext particular ce ar presupune stări emoționale ca răzbunarea, mânia, aversiunea, gelozia, căința, mila, dezgustul, regretul etc.mai poate fi atașat ideii de dreptate globală? Prin intermediul utilitarismului, așa cum a fost el conturat de J.St. Mill, și prin structura logică, matrici ale pasiunii (Michel Meyer – perspectiva problematologică) reprezintă două modalități distincte de a depăși relativismul etic. În primul rând, etica, fără un principiu prim recunoscut, așa cum afirmă Mill nu este altceva decât o consacrare a sentimentelor reale ale oamenilor.  Voi încerca să arăt, în această lucrare, că principiul utilității se poate susține doar în măsura în care este asociat unui sentiment particular: sentimentul de obligație morală,  sentimentul datoriei, sentimentul de dreptate, sentimentele sociale ale omenirii. Asocierea este dictată în virtutea unei utilități; dacă utilitatea nu poate fi demonstrată sentimentul este respins. De pildă, utilitariștii vorbesc despre „diferența calitativă a plăcerilor”  adică o distincție valorică a plăcerilor. Criteriul diferențiator  îl reprezintă experiența sedimentă a celor care au probat toată gama plăcerilor supuse disticției și preferința categorică a majorității din care este exclus însă „orice sentiment de obligație morală” care ar cere ca o plăcere să  primeze în detrimetul celei acceptate de majoritate. Din perspectivă problematologică (Michel Meyer 2007) modul în care pasiunile sunt exteriorizate indică diferențe între indivizi, diferențe ce trebuie negociate pentru a se ajunge la un minim de identitate, de unde poate fi derivată ideea unei logici (pe un fundament retorico - argumentativ) unde pasiunea este înțeleasă ca o formă de conștiință socială. Concluzia lucării ajunge, cu toate că relativismul inițial este depășit, la ideea că cele două direcții sunt capabile să prescrie (datorită sentimentelor - chiar dacă manifestările lor sunt universalizate) la nivel general doar reguli practice. 

The Internet – A New Burnout Source for the Romanian Teachers?

Elena Seghedin
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HR D), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815.

Starting from the idea that the New Technologies are more and more present in our daily and professional life, this paper explores issues that have emerged from the using of internet by the Romanian teachers. The research methods were related with the main question we want to answer: Is the Internet another source of the Teachers Burnout? In the meantime, our goals were: a. to identify which are the dimensions of this burnout emerged from the New Technology use; b. if a good orientation of some Ethical Professional Guidelines could help teachers in prevention of this kind of burnout. We have used the Focus Group (teachers group Interviews) technique applied between April – July 2012 and the online questionnaire applied via email on June, July and August 2012. 450 Respondents have validated some important findings for our specific goals; they are teachers from the Romanian High Schools from six Counties: Braila, Galati, Vaslui, Mures, Botosani, Maramures. While we have been relatively successful in indentifying the dimensions of this teachers burnout we made up some correlation with these results and the findings from the teachers Students reflections on the use of New technologies during their initial teacher training (from the 2011-2012 academic year). From these results, we tried to design an Applied Ethics for Teachers in using internet like a personal and professional development tool. 

Evaluation of ethical issues from the perspective of the resident doctor-patient relationship

Ovidiu Stamatin
Universitatea de Medicina si Farmacie "Gr. T. Popa" Iasi,

  Coautor: Magdalena Roxana Necula
Centrul de Etica si Politici de Sanatate
“This paper/study was realised within the Project “Postdoctoral Studies in the Field of Health Policy Ethics” 

Context: In order to develop clinical and practical skills, the medical profession requires resident doctors to be in contact with patients, but this involves the development of specific elements of medical ethics and personal conduct. Altough the education of residents is important to society, ethical dilemmas arise from the way patients benefit from the participation of medical residents to the care process and how ethics affect their behavior towards patients. Many patients are willing to allow residents to participate in the medical act, which suggests that the perceived potential risk is lower than the personal benefits and is positive also for the health care system as a whole. Methodology: We studied data from 182 residents who filled out a questionnaire over a period of four months. To assess the perception of ethical aspects regarding the relationship with the patient, we introduced questions about medical ethics approach, distribution of risks and benefits, respect for patient's autonomy and considerations about efficiency in the medical system. The data obtained were correlated with the area where the respondents are located, medical or surgical specialty and with general data. Results: 153 (84%) of respondents indicated ethical conduct as a feature concerning any doctor, while 171 (94%) stressed that professionalism is a priority for the medical profession. To underline the qualities of a good doctor, 143 (78.5%) responded that efficiency is needed in medical care, with emphasis on efficiency-medical ethics interference- 139 (76%). At the same time, regarding the importance of personal ethics in the medical profession, 149 (81.8%) were of the opinion that this is essential. Only 59 (32.4%) of residents concluded that ethical standards are normally applied in the medical system. Conclusions: The implementation of ethical principles in medical training is part of a larger process of efficient resources allocation in the healthcare system, which can lead to an enhancement of doctor-patient relationship and strengthen the responsability of the medical act. Ethical approach in medical training should include proactive, innovative procedures that have a key role in improving the quality of care. 

Guvernarea electronica si diviziunea dgitala. Romania urbana vs Romania rurala

Virgil Stoica
Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza din Iasi
Facultatea de Filosofie si Stiinte Social-Politice

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This work was supported by the strategic grant POSDRU/89/1.5/S/62259, Project „Applied social, human and political sciences. Postdostoral training and postdoctoral fellowships in  social, human and political sciences” cofinanced by the European Social Fund within the Sectorial Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007 –  2013.

There is little disagreement in the doctrine that we live in extremely changing and innovative societies. Nowadays, the information technology is getting more and more accessible, complex and secure, changing the well-established traditions of modern societies. In many democratic states, electronic-government represents an answer to the request of reducing the cost of the decisional process. However, the new administration requires not only an innovative solution, but “intelligent citizens” to make use of it. Over the last two decades, e-governance has rapidly advanced on the public agendas as it promised to offer miraculous solutions of quickness and transparency to classic governing dilemmas. While some societies or parts of them fully embarked for this adventure, others preferred a limited use of the new technologies. The term “digital divide” has been coined to describe the newly appeared gap in access to or use of information and communications technology (ICT) devices. The advent of the information and communications technology invited the public administration of many countries stepped into a new era. In the last decade, an impressive number of researches documented and analysed the e-government performance of national governments, regions or large cities.  Far less attention has been paid to the rural areas simply because e-government did not developed at the same pace. The goal of this paper is to compare the level of the Romanian rural and urban e-government.

Mythical-political structures in Post-communist Romania

Florin-Daniel Şandru
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

In what regards contemporary Romania, the studies referring to the recent history of this country confirm the ideologically contextualised existence of political myths, emphasising, in a broad sense, that “one cannot live outside the imaginary” and that “the life of every community is organized around mythical constellations”. In this paper, I try to delimit the post-’89 ideological context, as well as some of the mythical-political structures that I consider relevant for today’s Romania. I do not intend to label in ethical terms this ideological context or the mythical-political structures that can be attributed to it. On the contrary, I am interested in sketching the ideological and mythical coordinates of the influence that the socio-political imaginary of the contemporary Romanian society has in the public space. Certainly, each of the political myths that I intend to present as specific to the current political imaginary of Romania can be subtended to extended mythological constructions whose elements may take different forms, as shown, for instance, by Raoul Girardet. Precisely for this reason, in my analysis I will proceed from myths towards the mythological universe into which they can be included. To be more precise, in this paper, I intend to describe and contextualise ideologically the following mythical-political structures: the interwar as a founding myth of post-communism, the myth of the post-communist de-ideologization, the myth of original democracy, the myth of political reconstruction/reform, and the myth of the providential man.

Human Rights and Intellectual Property Rights - A debate over access to medicines

Monica Ştefanescu
Universitatea Bucuresti, Facultatea de Filosofie

Confusion over the current representation of knowledge as property can sometimes have dramatic effects, and the discussion over access to medicines, the fundamental right to health, and IPR's is probably the most accurate reflection of this. The problem is that intellectual property rights are protected by largely restricting certain people's access to medicines and medical techniques and services. In this presentation I will address the question of what is the proper relationship between the two sets of rights: the fundamental right to health, access to medicines and a stable healthcare system, and intellectual property rights? This remains up until now one of the most sensitive points of the IPR's debate because, apart from the theoretic component, the effect that strong forms of protection over patents and trade secrets have on individuals all over the world is visible, dramatic and need to be justified. At the same time it is true that the cost of research in pharmaceuticals is immense and allows no lax description of IPR's in the current international system, which I believe leads the debate even deeper into establishing which set of rights will have a greater importance in the international arena. Certain authors have tried to imagine a more flexible politics regarding patents protection, considering that the objects protected need not get to all the patients in the same way. Following the same line I will argue that flexibility and balance are important characteristics in the case of an international system of protection for IPR's, for we should not forget that this fiction of property, this tale of right and wrong price for innovation, was meant to sustain social welfare and not destabilize it worldwide. 

Critical Remarks on George Ritzer’s Use of “Glocalization”

Viorel Vizureanu
Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch

 ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This paper is supported by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development (SOP HRD), financed from the European Social Fund and by the Romanian Government under the contract number POSDRU/89/1.5/S/56815. 

The purpose of our work is to study the explanatory relevance of the concept of glocalization in recent works by George Ritzer, especially in his second edition of the Globalization of nothing. In the first instance our discussion will be situated in the recent cultural theories about globalization, appreciating the manner in which glocalization based conception aims to act as an alternative to the two dominant and opposite views of this kind, the cultural convergence, namely the cultural differentialism (fragmentarism). Secondly, we will try to relate the manner in which Ritzer understands glocalization to uses of other authors and to other related concepts of cultural globalization theory (hybridization, creolization etc.). We will reveal on this occasion the (partially “hidden”) cultural-philosophical assumptions underlying his use of this concept: the understanding of the individual mainly as a conscious and rational agent, as well as the positive valuing, of postmodern type, of the cultural mixture, often uncritically drawn near a simplified, playful vision of art. We will argue further that, despite its intentions, the manner in which Ritzer defines glocalization is in fact very close to a homogenized conception of globalization. In addition, we will show that Ritzer eludes the explanatory dimension of glocalization (and even more so the critical one), in favor of a descriptive stance, excessively used. Finally we will give a critical analysis of the way in which Ritzer attempts to enrich the explanatory quality of glocalization by linking it with a new concept, elaborated by him, the grobalization. The result of our analysis will be at this point that the pair grobalization / glocalization, designed to clarify the global cultural phenomena, fails in this respect, just needlessly doubling the classic couple globalization / localization.

Stiluri de lideri. Leadership-ul feminin  – un talent păstrat ascuns

Serinella Zara 
Colegiul Naţional „Mihai Eminescu”, Iaşi

Mitul patriarhatului în leadership este pe cale să fie distrus în contextul mutațiilor recente din societate: criza mondială a determinat o redimensionare și o regândire a raporturilor umane  intrinseci, dar mai ales din sfera managementului; inițial timid, apoi tot mai puternic, analiștii occidentali vorbesc despre acele calități native ale femeilor (soft skills) care ajută, în aceste timpuri de disoluție, un lider (fie el femeie, fie bărbat) să-și poziționeze compania ca afacere cel puțin viabilă, dacă nu chiar profitabilă. Demersul nostru este o încercare de penetrare a imobilismului societății românești unde ipocrizia genului, determinată de prejudecăți și tabu-uri înfierate prin cuvinte, dar cultivate cu sete în practică, face să existe legi ce ne aliniază standardelor europene, dar să nu existe o valorificare și valorizare reale a femeii ca lider. România trebuie să afle că atât educația (și aici este paradoxul pentru că femeile se bucură de un procent bun, chiar superior), cât mai ales cariera nu depind de gen. Pe baza unor statistici mondiale care atestă succesul femeilor lider în anii crizei economice, încurajăm femeile din România să accepte provocarea să fie împlinite familial, dar şi să devină lideri de succes.

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