Quel est le moteur du progrès moral?

DAVOS – Que se passerait-il si le philosophe grec Platon participait aux conversations contemporaines sur le genre de questions qu’il fut le premier à poser et qui continuent de nous troubler ? À mon avis, il poserait un grand nombre de nouvelles questions – y compris sur notre approche de plus en plus psychologique de la discussion philosophique.

Platon se rendrait probablement dans l’un des principaux centres de technologie globale : le quartier général californien de Google. Là, il pourrait se mettre à discuter avec un ingénieur logiciel sur, disons, la question de savoir si le crowdsourcing (production participative) était en mesure de répondre aux questions éthiques. Il adorerait sûrement l’idée du cloud d’informations – tellement abstrait, tellement platonicien – et verrait en Google l’outil idéal pour parcourir le vaste champ des avancées scientifiques et techniques des deux derniers millénaires.

Mais ce qui fascinerait le plus Platon serait probablement l’avancée morale du monde. Ne croyait-il pas qu’être philosophe impliquait d’assumer les responsabilités d’un réformateur moral ? Et pourtant, si la moralité était toujours au centre de sa pensée, nombre des vérités morales que nous tenons aujourd’hui pour acquises ne lui ont jamais traversé l’esprit.

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