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Fundación Santillana Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes

Books > Ethics of Cordial Reason. Educating in Civic Values in the 21st Century

Ethics of Cordial Reason. Educating in Civic Values in the 21st Century

Adela Cortina


In Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, in the Soviet Gulag, in the atrocities of the Great Leap Forward, in massacres of Tutsis in Rwanda and of peasants from El Salvador to Guatemala, but also in places of learning, when groups of students bully and beat weaker ones, questions go unanswered: How far can we advance when social pressure covers for the heartless, for those who disregard the pain and suffering of others? Why is there such a gap between our grandiose declarations of human rights and what we actually do in our everyday lives?

"They are heartless" people say. They are right. They are heartless, and because of that it is impossible to bridge the gap between grandiose declarations and evident facts.

This book proposes a new basis for true ethics of citizenship, based not only on arguments, but also on cordial reason, capable of uniting intelligence, feelings and courage, so as to have moral values take root in the minds of our fellow citizens.

Starting with the principle that "we know the truth not only by the reason, but also by the heart," to quote Pascal, it is necessary to remember that "heart" etymologically means at the same time affection, intelligence, talent and stomach. To educate a cordial citizenry to extend their ability to appreciate values, to pity and to argue, is the purpose of this book.

Translated by Gabriel Baum

Translated by Gabriel S. Baum

Book Details

Ética de la razón cordial. Educar en la ciudadanía en el siglo XXI (2007)
Adela Cortina
Ediciones Nobel
Ética de la razón social
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Adela Cortina

Adela Cortina

Born in Valencia, she is professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy at the University of Valencia, where she did her undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Philosophy. She further pursued her research at the Universities of Munich and Frankfurt as fellow of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdiens and the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung scholarships. She has been visiting professor in various European and Latin-American universities.

She is the Director of the Fundación ÉTNOR (Ethics in Businesses and Organizations), Board Member of the National Commission of Assisted Human Reproduction, also of the Advisory Council to the Ministry of Health and Consumer Affairs, Member of the IDEA Council (International Development Ethics Associations), and of the Board of Human Development and Capability Association, Director of the Interuniversity Master and of Quality awarded Doctoral programme, "Ethics and Democracy", and of the research group "Applied Ethics and Democracy", known as the Grupo Pometeo by the Generalitat Valenciana. She has been awarded degrees Honoris Causa by different universities (Pontifical Catholic University of Valparaiso, University of Chile, Ibero-American Universities of Puebla, Leon and Tijuana, by the Loyola del Pacifico University and by the Universitat Jaume I), and is Professor Ad Honorem at the University of the Republic (Uruguay), she has received medals by the National University of Costa Rica and the University of Murcia. She has also received many awards, like the Premio Internacional de Ensayo "Jovellanos" of 2007. She focuses her research on ethical issues (both on its foundations as on its application to politics, bioethics, neuroethics, neuroeconomics, economy, business, education, media and to professional fields) and on political philosophy (issues of citizenship, democracy, human development, globalization and global justice). Among her works, Razón comunicativa y responsabilidad solidaria (Sígueme, 1985), Crítica y utopía: la Escuela de Frankfurt (Cincel, 1985; Síntesis, 2008), Ética mínima (Tecnos, 1986), Ética sin moral (Tecnos, 1990), Ética aplicada y democracia radical (Tecnos, 1993), Ética de la empresa (Coaut., Trotta, 1994), Ciudadanos del mundo (Alianza, 1997), Hasta un pueblo de demonios (Taurus, 1998), Alianza y Contrato (Trotta, 2001), Por una ética del consumo (Taurus, 2002), Ética de la razón cordial (Nobel, 2007), Las fronteras de la persona (Taurus, 2009) and Justicia cordial (Trotta, 2010).       

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