La tarea ética de la universidad, desde Islandia

En su último número (dedicado al debate sobre la mejora cognitiva) la revista Dilemata publica una reseña-obituario que me ha dado mucha satisfacción  escribir, aunque su peso en la contabilidad curricular sea ínfimo y la ocasión sea triste. Se trata de un comentario breve al (este sí definitiva y lamentablemente) último libro de Páll Skúlason, que fue rector de la Universidad de Islandia cuando estuve trabajando allí: A Critique of Universities: Reflections on the status and direction of the modern university (Reykjavík: University of Iceland Press, 2015). El texto completo puede descargarse abajo. A continuación resumo algunos puntos importantes: Continue reading

More on narrative ethics in health care

“Enduring tedium over real time in a confined space is what real courage is.” (David Foster Wallace). Well, academics know about this kind of courage, but the quote comes from an article using a short story by DFW to illuminate narrative autonomy in health care.You can download the full text here by courtesy of Cambridge University Press.

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Active and healthy ageing

Ageing is one of the main challenges of our time. We live longer, but for this to be a real achievement it has to be better understood and socialised. Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) is a complex phenomenon and it requires a multidisciplinary approach such as the one SIforAGE is providing in Europe.

That’s why last Friday SIforAGEGISME and Jakiunde organised a public seminar in the framework of the Krisiak project, aiming at understanding crises as opportunities to develop social innovation, creativity and social change.

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Bioethics, literature, & narrative autonomy

Last summer we spent two very good months at the Philosophy Department, University of Bristol. Their wonderful hospitality made it possible for me to finish an edited volume that is forthcoming, and also this article, which I presented in a workshop there and has just been published in Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, first view. Continue reading

La crisis islandesa explicada a los niños

Pero ¿por qué acabó de tan mala manera el tiempo de la prosperidad? He tenido tiempo para reflexionar al respecto y casi puedo asegurar que la explicación es tan extraña como simple: ausencia de niños. Igual que su padre, el fascismo, el neocapitalismo fue creado por varones blancos sin hijos, que se divertían poniéndose elegantísimos y bebiendo cócteles a sorbitos con un grupo de personas de su mismo sexo, pero que en su inmenso amor a la sociedad se olvidaban de pensar en mujeres, hijos y las tres M (majaretas, mutilados y mayores). Porque en todos sus rasgos más significativos, el capitalismo se centra en que nada moleste al varón en su trabajo, mientras la mujer le lleve las camisas a la lavandería y no vengan niños al mundo y no haya que llevar a los mayores a un centro sanitario. Y es que el sistema alcanza su culminación en los lugares del mundo que están prohibidos a los niños, los campus universitarios y los barrios financieros de Estados Unidos.

Hallgrímur Helgason (trad. de Enrique Bernárdez)
La mujer a 1000º (Lumen, 2013)

Un andamio para construir valores

Este mes de diciembre colaboraré con un grupo de trabajo formado por profesionales de Osakidetza en una innovadora actividad formativa. A partir de su experiencia y compromiso con los valores de la sociedad guipuzcoana, vamos a adquirir las competencias necesarias para diseñar una intervención mesoética centrada en el Hospital Donostia. Este es el plan que propongo para la primera reunión. Continue reading

Niveles éticos y recogida selectiva en Bristol

Gracias a Jon Umerez, he podido corregir algunas erratas en el artículo de Dilemata, disponible aquí. A propósito de este tema, aquí van unas fotos de Bristol que ilustran cómo es el sistema de recogida de residuo sólido urbano en esta ciudad de 432.500 habitantes, que ha tomado el relevo de Vitoria-Gasteiz, Nantes y Copenhague al recibir el premio Green Cities, que la convertirá en capital verde europea en 2015. Continue reading

Merleau-Ponty & Lawrence de Arabia / a puzzle for bilingual phenomenologists

This is passage from M-P’s Phenomenology of Perception that I keep turning around in my head:

“Hence the full meaning of a language is never translatable into another. We may speak several languages, but one of them always remains the one in which we live. In order completely to assimilate a language, it would be necessary to make the world which it expresses one’s own, and one never does belong to two worlds at once.” (The translation by Colin Smith comes from the Routledge Classics 2002 edition, p. 218)

M-P provides an interesting footnote as evidence to support his claim. By no one else but D. E. Lawrence:

‘In my case, the effort for these years to live in the dress of Arabs, and to imitate their mental foundation, quitted me of my English self, and let me look at the West and its conventions with new eyes: they destroyed it all for me. At the same time I could not sincerely take on the Arab skin: it was an affectation only. Easily was a man made an infidel, but hardly might he be converted to another faith. I had dropped one form and not taken on the other, and was become like Mohammed’s coffin in our legend. . . . Such detachment came at times to a man exhausted by prolonged physical effort and isolation. His body pledded on mechanically, while his reasonable mind left him, and from with- out looked down critically on him, wondering what that futile lumber did and why. Sometimes these selves would converse in the void; and then madness was very near, as I believe it would be near the man who could see things through the veils at once of two customs, two educations, two environments.’ (T. E. Lawrence, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Jonathan Cape, pp. 31–2.)

I wonder how could this fit with Kleist’s idea that language comes by as we speak…


Zizek on Buddhist Ethics

A wildly funny, provocative yet respectful discussion of Western Buddhism and its relationship to cognitive science and contemporary society. This public open lecture by Slavoj Žižek for the students and faculty of the European Graduate School includes references to D. T. Suzuki, capitalism, science, ideology, neuroscience, psychology, psychoanalysis, Lacan, Hegel, bodhisattvas, samsara, enlightenment, karma, nirvana, war, samurai, Japan, Thomas Metzinger, free will, Benjamin Libet, Martin Heidegger, Patricia and Paul Churchland, Star Wars, The Lion King… In Youtube