Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics only publishes original articles that are aimed at relating ethics to the different areas of public life.

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The Globethics.net library contains articles of Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics as of vol. 1(2010) to current.

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  • Uses and Abuses of Neuroscience Technology in the Courtroom. "I did not do it. It was my brain..."

    Robles del Olmo, Bernabé; Valls Murtra, Pau; Porxas Roig, M. Àngels; Ramos Pozón, Sergio (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    Classic evidence admitted in the courts of justice has obvious limitations, especially because of the low reliability of eyewitness memory. For many years, neurological diseases have been considered when estimating the responsibility and imputability of the defendants. However, with the emergence of neuroscience and neurotechnology in the last 20 years, the contribution of tests based on brain diagnostic techniques has increased exponentially with different purposes: attenuation or exoneration criminal responsibility, validation of witnesses, recognition of physical evidence and crime scene, acceptability of the members of the jury, etc. In this article we propose a review of the scientific evidence that may or may not support these applications of neurotechnology in courts, as well as the ethical and legal implications that this new paradigm may imply.
  • Ethical Levels as a Guarantee of Quality Journalism

    Aguirre, M. Javiera (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    The questions about who is to be considered a journalist and what the social role of mass media is have gained importance ever since the appearance of social networks and the questioning of the economic model following the 2008 financial crisis. This paper reflects on the relation between democracy and quality journalism, and links its condition of possibility with ethics.This paper suggests as a condition for quality journalism an ethical commitment on several levels: on the professional level, on the level of the news company and on the level of the professional sector. In the first part of the paper, the profession-specific ethical challenges shall be presented (first level). In the second part, two topics are addressed: the ethical perspective of the news company (second level) and the demands made by the media as companies from quality journalists and journalism. In the third part, the topics addressed are the ethical perspective of the professional sector (third level) and the pending task of an appropriate regulation of the sector according to current challenges.
  • Ethics and Mental Health (original in Spanish)

    Przybylowicz Vidal, Paula (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
  • Communication Skills Training in Medicine Degrees at Andalusia's Public Universities: an Ethical Matter

    Porras-Florido, Carolina; Becerra Muñoz, Elena; Victoria Mas, Juan-Salvador (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    In contexts where communication skills can be learnt and taught, they become an ethical matter as far as the proper provision of healthcare is concerned. Communication skills bestow greater empathy to exchanges with the patients and they are necessary to improve improve the ways of relationship between physicians and patients.This study analyses the Medicine degrees program at public universities in Andalusia. This study takes this Spanish region as a reference to evaluate the communication training in Public Medicine Schools, and offers them some suggestions to improve medical skill communication.The multidisciplinary dimension of communication skills training could be a vital tool in encouraging certain types of patient behaviour. The ever-increasing frequency of assaults by patients on the medical staff attending them are the ultimate proof that this dimension is currently lacking.We shall also examine communication skills training as a key facet of the social responsibility intrinsically associated with the medical profession. Our research method involves firstly a review of the documents reflecting the current situation as far as skills training of the medical staff is concerned, and secondly an analysis of the program followed in courses taught at Andalusia’s Medicine Schools.Therefore the study will demonstrate a scarcity in formal education on skills communication in Medicine degrees of the Andalusian Public University.The paper concludes that real communication training appears after students have completed their superior studies at Public Medicine Schools when they learn physician – patient relationship at the treatment room by the trial and error method.
  • Introduction to the monographic selection: Technologies and Scopes of Human Bioenhancement. From Gene Editing to Moral Behaviour

    Lara, Francisco; Moreno, Miguel (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    Issue 11 (2020) of the Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics contains a monographic section in which four articles are published on human enhancement. Two of them (those by Alonso, Anomaly & Savulescu, and Capasso & Santoema) deal with the use of CRISPR gene editing systems for the enhancement of human capabilities. The other two (those of Conradie and Rueda) deal with different ethical aspects of using biotechnology to increase human morality. In the present article, F. Lara and M. Moreno contextualize these four contributions by pointing out the background and interpretative keys to the debates in which they are inserted.
  • Enhancing Responsibility and Responsible Enhancement: Moral Bioenhancement and the Actual-Sequence Accountability of Moral Responsibility

    Conradie, Niël (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    In this paper I investigate the relationship between moral bioenhancement and the actual-sequence account of moral responsibility (AS). I first provide definitions of the notions of moral bioenhancement and moral responsibility that I use in this paper, where these notions are based on the capacity definition put forward by DeGrazia (2012) and the guidance theory account of responsibility developed by Fischer and Ravizza (1998) respectively. I then address some shortcomings in these accounts and offer improvements. Thereafter, I explore the relationship between them along two dimensions: backward-looking and forwardlooking responsibility. On the backward-looking path I contend that, when assessed through the lens of the AS, moral bioenhancement is permissible only provided that it does not override or degrade the reasonsresponsiveness of the enhanced agent. However, if these conditions are met, such enhancement will in many cases be normatively desirable, and in perhaps some cases –when the foreseen threat of harm resulting from the absence of enhancement is sufficiently great– even obligatory. Along the forward-looking track, I argue that moral bioenhancement is permissible, ceteris paribus, and normatively desirable given there is a pro tanto reason to pursue promotions of reasons-responsiveness. Finally, I argue that the demands of moral responsibility do not –on their own terms– rule out the possibility that moral bioenhancement can sometimes be obligatory.
  • EUROPEAN HUMANISM. OUR ROOTS (original in Catalan)

    Boixareu, Rosa M. (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
  • A. MacIntyre: Person, Community, and Tradition against Individualism

    Lorenzo, David (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    Alasdair MacIntyre is one of the most important authors in contemporary Ethics and Political Philosophy. Regarding his political thought, he was a key figure in the Liberalism-Communitarianism debate, one of the most important and fruitful in the field of Moral and Political Philosophy in the second half of the 20th century. An important point of Communitarianism is its critique of the liberal view of the self and of Ethics and Politics, that is to say, a critique of an individualistic view of the human being (an idea maintained by MacIntyre throughout his intellectual evolution). MacIntyre’s thought has been studied from many points of view, but there is no research on his global critique and alternative to Individualism. For that reason, the aim of this paper is to studyand analyze such an alternative. It is worth analyzing it although over the last few years the Liberalism-Communitarianism debate has lost importancein Philosophy. This alternative is based on the concepts of ‘person’, ‘community’ and ‘tradition’.
  • Reforming Public Administration: The Codes of Ethics in City Councils

    Pareto, Júlia (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    In its commitment to enhance the quality and legitimacy of public administration, the Catalan government has driven the introduction of Codes of Ethics in City Councils. Turning to Ethics in order to reform public administration is more than appropriate, since the integrity of public institutions requires a certain institutional culture, which has to be fostered rather than legally enforced. Codes of Ethics are expected to contribute to that end, by sensitizing and giving orientation about the way in which public servants should develop their tasks within such local government’s institutions. However, to be effective tools for the promotion of institutional quality, their adoption in City Councils must go together with a proper comprehension of the Ethical Codes’ sense, function and limits, as well as with the introduction of ethics at the institutional level. This paper focuses on reflecting upon these issues, with the aim of both contributing to disclose the potential of Ethical Codes for the quality of City Councils and also providing some conceptual tools for enabling a genuine reform of public institutions. This will ultimately consist in turning public institutions into “thinking” organisms, able to ground all their decisions and actions in line with certain values and goals oriented at citizens’ care.
  • Gene Editing: Medicine or Enhancement

    Alonso, Marcos; Anomaly, Jonathan; Savulescu, Julian (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    In this paper we will discuss the status of gene editing technologies like CRISPR. We will examine whether this technology should be considered a form of enhancement, or if CRISPR is merely a medical technology analogous to many of the common medical interventions of today. The importance of this discussion arises from the enormous potential of CRISPR to increase human health and welfare. If we interrupt or delay its investigation and implementation based on misconceptions about its nature and consequences, we may fail to achieve great benefits. Clarifying what CRISPR is and how it compares to other medical procedures should create the right environment to discuss its development and introduction in society. We argue that gene editing is both a conventional medical technology and a potential human enhancer. It is important to separate these different applications. Just as in the cloning debate, it is possible to sort out therapeutic gene editing from enhancement gene editing in considering regulation or policy.
  • A Philosophical Look at Animals (original in Spanish)

    Leyton, Fabiola (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
  • Genetic Enhancement and the CRISP-cas9 Case: an Attempt for an Agency Approach

    Capasso, Marianna; Santoemma, Ilaria (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    In this paper we focus on CRISPR-Cas9, a specific technique of genetic engineering. Our hypothesis is to consider it as a peculiar case of Human Enhancement Technology (HET), which we propose to frame within the Agency Approach. In the first section we analyse some peculiar features involved in CRISPR-Cas9 editing procedure and we address them as poiesis, autopoiesis, sympoiesis. We try to understand both the biological and the practical philosophical mplication of those concepts. We show how CRISPR-Cas9 is a phenomenon involving a double mechanism: (a) a poietic process, which implies the possibility to intentionally modify genomes, and (b) an autopoietic process, which is an unexpected or not totally predictable restoration or modification within the cell. In the second section we concentrate on the applicability of autopoiesis beyond its biological nature, stressing its theoretical relevance. Firstly,we explore how the distinction examined in the first section between poiesis and autopoiesis could be mirrored in the agency of the actorsinvolved. We then demonstrate how these two agencies may lead to the establishment of a multi-level system. In this system, scientists, but alsothe scientific community and society at large, have the normative role to conceptualize and regulate the functional autonomy associated to technologiessuch as CRISPR-Cas9.We thus propose and analyse three guideline values for the regulation of CRISPR-Cas9, that are respectively: safety-oriented design, responsiveness, collective aim. Finally, our aim is to show how and to what extent the CRISPR-Cas9 case requires a new and different criterion beyond those listed in traditional or revisionist approaches to enhancement. We identify the latter in the criterion of the agency (agentività or agentividad): namely, theactual possibility to act, perform and modify the enhancement in fieri, in the making of it.
  • Climate Change, Moral Bioenhancement and the Ultimate Mostropic

    Rueda, Jon (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    Tackling climate change is one of the most demanding challenges of humanity in the 21st century. Still, the efforts to mitigate the current environmental crisis do not seem enough to deal with the increased existential risks for the human and other species. Persson and Savulescu have proposed that our evolutionarily forged moral psychology is one of the impediments to facing as enormous a problem as global warming. They suggested that if we want to address properly some of the most pressing problems that cause catastrophic harm to our existence, we should enhance our moral behavior by biomedical means. The objective of this paper is, precisely, to reflect on whether a Moral Bio-Enhancement (henceforth MBE) program would be a viable option to confront theclimate emergency. To meet this goal, I will propose the Ultimate Mostropic (hereafter UM) thought experiment, a hypothetical situation wherewe have already discovered the UM, an available, safe (without any deleterious secondary effects), extremely cheap and effective pill to enhanceour cognitive, affective and motivational abilities related to morality. After briefly presenting the main argument of Persson and Savulescuregarding MBE and climate change, I will point out some of the difficulties that make MBE a daunting but exciting philosophical and scientificdebate. In order to overcome these complications, I will describe the UM thought experiment, which involves two scenarios of the MBE program:(a) the state-driven, compulsory and universal enterprise, and (b) the initiative of voluntary individuals. I will show that the shortcomings ofMBE programs through the UM in both scenarios make Persson and Savulescu’s proposal a not appealing pathway to mitigate climate change.In the final section, I will suggest that an inaccurate attribution of responsibilities underlies their proposal and that the collective inaction problemshould be redirected primarily through a reinforcement of the political nature of the solutions.
  • Governance, Ethics and Accountability in Universities Strategic Plans

    Miotto, Giorgia; Díez Martín, Francisco; Del Castillo Feito, Cristina (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    Universities mission is not limited to creating and sharing knowledge with students, companies and the society in general. Universities have the responsibility to work for common good improvement and for global important issues solutions. This inclusive mission and the purpose to have a positive impact on society respecting all the stakeholders are framed into the University Social Responsibility (USR) concept. USR, as the Corporate Social Responsibility for enterprises, helps universities to gain a competitive advantage and to be legitimated to operate and to improve their reputation. Within the educational field, public education organizations should accomplish the following requirements: be valuable, politically sustainable, legitimated and feasible. To be legitimated and to maintain this legitimacy, universities need to implement policies and procedures which ensure transparency and accountability in their decision-making process and governance. The objective of this research is to analyze how Spanish public universities talk about governance, ethics and accountability in their Strategic Plan.
  • Online Communication of Corporate Social Responsibility by Hotels and Guest Satisfaction: the Case of the Balearic and Canary Islands

    Guzmán-Pérez, Beatriz; Moreno-Perdigón, María C.; Ravelo Mesa, Teodoro; Melchor Navarro, Mercedes (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    This study analyses the online communication of corporate social responsibility practices by hotels from a new approach, related to guest satisfaction. The main aim of the present work is to determine whether the online communication of social responsibility practices, involving a different degree of organisational effort, have an influence on the positioning of hotels in generating guest satisfaction. The empirical analysis is carried out taking a representative sample, consisting of 407 hotels in the Balearic and Canary Islands, and employing the Rasch Measurement Theory (Rasch 1980). Its main contribution is that it allows specifying the most effective social responsibility communicated practices in terms of customer satisfaction, as well as those that, in their case, are still needed. All this as a previous step to determining, in future developments, the specific actions that enable to facilitate the organisationalchange required as well as a support for integral sustainability.Ramon
  • Climate Change as a Challenge for the Ethical Acting of Companies in the Global Context

    Thomas, Rosamud (Universitat Ramon Llull, 2020)
    First, this paper introduces differing viewpoints about thedangers of Climate Change. Then, the United Nations Sustainable DevelopmentGoals are utilised – notably Goal 13 on ‘taking urgent actionto combat Climate Change and its impacts’ – to steer a clear path throughthe issue of Climate Change. Next, three ethical principles for businesscompanies to adopt to deal with Climate Change challenges are identified:first, the ethical principle of Financial Sacrifice for the Common Good;second, the ethical principle of Solidarity; and, third, the ethical principleof the Rights of, and Concerns for, Future Generations. The ethicalvalues, as distinct from principles, of openness and trust are then examined,including breaches of trust. Finally, Conclusions are drawn about someof the adverse consequences of Climate Change, including its effect onhuman health and migration patterns. Both businesses and ethics are seento have a key role to play in protecting our global environment andmitigating Climate Change impacts both in the present and for futuregenerations.
  • Aristotle and spiritual capital

    Bosch, Magdalena; Torralba, Francesc; Gràcia, Carla (Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics, 2013)
  • Decision-making in organisations, according to the aristotelian model

    Torralba, Francesc; Palazzi, Cristian (Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics, 2010)
    This article explores the process of decision-making in the light ofAristotelian ethics, in particular his work Nicomachean Ethics. Making decisions is a common task on the managerial agenda. The decisions of a manager affect individuals, the future of the organisation and, of course, they have consequences for the organisation and its surroundings.
  • Ethical deliberation within organizations

    Torralba, Francesc; Rosàs Tosas, Mar (Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics, 0)
    Note: This paper is a version of a chapter of a previous book by Francesc Torralba, titled Destriar el bé del mal. L'art de trobar criteris ètics en la vida diària (Pagès Editors, 2013).Our aim is to identify the conditions of possibility of a successfulprocess of ethical deliberation. To achieve this goal, we turn toAristotle’s definition of ‘deliberation’ as a rational process that seeks tomake decisions (as opposed to other types of rational processes that aimto find out or achieve a truth). We focus also on the need of incorporationof the other’s perspective in what Rawls labels ‘overlapping consensus’;on Lafont’s three requirements of deliberation; and on Ricoeur’s foursteps to fully engage with one’s commitments through action. In orderto complement the picture of deliberation we get when reading theseauthors in conjunction, we add what in our eyes constitute two majorconditions often neglected. We then point out the shortcomings of twomanifestations of the current interest in the successful processes of deliberation.Firstly, we address ethics committees. Given that their primaryconcern is precisely ethics, they should be –and often are– the organizationswhich more enthusiastically embrace and promote ethical processesof deliberation. Yet they tend to fail in some respects, which wepoint out. Secondly, we confront the contradictions surrounding therecent proliferation of codes of ethics and suggest how their value couldbe maximized.
  • Freedom of Expression, Public Opinion and Journalism in the Work of John Stuart Mill

    Sintes, Marçal (Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics, 2016)
    Abstract: This article reviews the basic elements in John Stuart thought on freedom of expression, public opinion and the role of journalism in a democratic society, ideas bringing together and consolidating a tradition which began in the seventeenth century and continues through to the present day. It also considers Mill’s thought in relation with the views of thinkers who came before him, Milton and Jefferson, for example, and his contemporary, Tocqueville. Among the core ideas in Mill’s writings are the “harm principle”, his approximation to the idea of truth, and his account of how political debate should be carried out. His extensive body of work has given rise to intense debate which is still lively today. As Isaiah Berlin emphasised, “[...] the critics of Mill have, on the whole, exceeded the number of his defenders. Nevertheless, the inner citadel – the central thesis – has stood the test”.

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