La Commedia Scientifica – Dante and the scientific virtues

Lacchia, Anthea R.; Webster, Stephen

The ethical challenges facing contemporary science range from scientific misconduct to the rightful treatment of people, animals and the environment. In this work, we explore the role of virtue ethics, which concern the character of a person, in contemporary science. Through interviews with 13 scientists, eight of whom are geoscientists, we identify six virtues in science (honesty, humility, philia, innocence, generosity and reticence), paired with vices, and construct a narrative argument around them. Specifically, we employ the narrative structure of the late medieval poem The Divine Comedy, by Dante Alighieri, and draw on its moral universe to explore the scientific virtues. Using this narrative device, we make the case for virtue ethics being a reliable guide for all matters scientific. As such, this work lays out a modern code of conduct for science.

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Lacchia, Anthea R. / Webster, Stephen: La Commedia Scientifica – Dante and the scientific virtues. 2021. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Anthea R. Lacchia

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