Ethics of Relation (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Giorgio Erle
Giorgio Erle
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2B dal Apr 14, 2021 al May 29, 2021.

Lesson timetable

Go to lesson schedule

Learning outcomes

Ethics of Relation The course is aimed to understand the ethical relationship by the point of view of the rational foundation of ethics: in order to this, the course is based on the knowledge of texts of the twentieth century or contemporary philosophy (referring to the ethical meaning of living in the “polis”, to communication ethics and dialogue, to the relationship to environment and aesthetics) and to the knowledge of the origins of the various ethical theories connected to those texts; this way the course aims to promote the skill to apply theoretical and methodological tools in order to develop ethics of relation in the areas that affect the life of the human being in relationship with the community, with the natural and social environment and with culture and science, producing so an organic and systematic overview that by the use of the logical-argumentative competence allows to develop a personal critical reflection and actualization concerning the ethical, relational, communicative and cultural sphere.


Ethical relationship and moral agency: Communication Ethics and the philosophical understanding of the Community.
This program is aimed to understand Ethics of relation through the study of the link between ethical relationship and moral agency in the case of Communication Ethics, so relevant for contemporary Ethics for a philosophical understanding of the meaning of recognition between subjects and of the meaning of Community and responsibility.
For this purpose, the following points will be developed inter alia:
- Approach to ethics of relation;
- Ethics and communication models;
- Ethical relationship, moral agency and Community: “Communication as creation of a common space” according to Adriano Fabris;
- Ethical relationship as mutual recognition;
- Communication Ethics and the task of philosophy in the Age of science according to Karl-Otto Apel;
- Foundational and relational aspects in the philosophical proposal of Apel: the impossibility of transcending the communicative horizon and the meaning of Community;
- Reason and Ethics of responsibility according to Apel;
- The principle of universalization as a rule of argumentation according to Jürgen Habermas;
- Discourse Ethics and action theory in the perspective of Habermas.

Mandatory reference texts

1) Adriano Fabris, Etica della comunicazione, nuova edizione, Carocci, Roma 2014 (seconda edizione);
2) Karl-Otto Apel, L’etica della responsabilità nell’era della scienza, “il Mulino”, 297, anno XXXIV, n. 1, gennaio-febbraio 1985, pages 47-73;
3) Jürgen Habermas, Etica del discorso, a cura di Emilio Agazzi, Laterza, Roma-Bari 2018 (settima edizione), Chapter III “Etica del discorso. Appunti per un programma di fondazione”, pages 49-121;
4) Conceptual schemes of lessons by e-learning: after each lesson a short written conceptual summary of that lesson will be loaded on the e-learning platform of the University.

The reference texts here above are mandatory for both attending and non-attending students.

The teaching methods consist of lectures during which analysis, comment and discussion of the reference texts will take place, thus addressing the program contents from the perspective of the learning outcomes.
These lectures will be provided in a dual mode (i.e. both in-person and remotely).

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Jürgen Habermas Etica del discorso (Edizione 7) Laterza 2018 978-88-420-3328-8 Pagine 49-121.
Adriano Fabris Etica della comunicazione (nuova ed.) (Edizione 2) Carocci 2014 978-88-430-6940-8
Karl-Otto Apel L'etica della responsabilità nell'era della scienza 1985 Rivista "il Mulino", 297, anno XXXIV, n. 1, gennaio-febbraio 1985, pagine 47-73.

Assessment methods and criteria

For both attending and non-attending students the exam consists of an oral test (in person or online, if this latter will be indicated by University provisions) concerning the program and the reading list above indicated as “mandatory reference texts”.
To pass the exam, students will have to demonstrate that they have achieved the learning outcomes; therefore the following will be verified:
1) Acquired knowledge and interpretation skills concerning mandatory reference texts and course program, in the light of a valid critical and hermeneutical approach to those same texts and to addressed issues;
2) Acquired skills on a methodological and logical-argumentative level;
3) Skill to develop a personal critical reflection and actualization concerning the ethical, relational, communicative and cultural sphere, starting from the addressed issues.

The grades are expressed in thirtieths.