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La Commedia Scientifica – Dante and the scientific virtues

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Title: La Commedia Scientifica – Dante and the scientific virtues
Authors: Lacchia, AR
Webster, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: 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.
Issue Date: 7-Apr-2021
Date of Acceptance: 2-Mar-2021
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/87941
DOI: 10.5194/gc-4-129-2021
ISSN: 2569-7110
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Start Page: 129
End Page: 145
Journal / Book Title: Geoscience Communication
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Copyright Statement: © Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Publication Status: Published online
Online Publication Date: 2021-04-07
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