SCIENTIFIC SCOPE AND CONTENTS OF THE PROJECT
Lethica is a network of 96 researchers and teachers, assembling 17 full professors, 37 associate professors, 11 CEERE members and 18 assistant professors, PhDs and scholars affiliated to the University of Strasbourg Research Units, and finally 13 associate or full professors belonging to other French or European academic institutions. Lethica’s members are committed to exploring the following questions: how do the arts and literatures inform and reconfigure past and contemporary ethical debates? How do they contribute to publicize their main issues and thus foster general public understanding? How do they reveal continuities or, on the contrary, significant breaks and differences between various cultures and historical periods on crucial ethical debates?
As an Interdisciplinary Thematic Institute bringing together scholars in visual and plastic arts, drama and film studies, French and Comparative literatures, studies in European and Eastern languages and literatures, theology, sociology, philosophy and medical studies (especially geriatric medicine), LETHICA has selected four major contemporary issues, which will be explored in the long term, alternatively or consecutively, and which will give way to joint interdisciplinary programs and specific topics of investigation. Those four major themes are the issues of “Triage”, “Moral revolutions”, “Transparency and Secrecy”, and “Case making and caring”.
Lethica thus intended to address pressing societal challenges, such as the spread of a sorting paradigm (“triage”) from military medicine to emergency medicine, humanitarian aid and a number of economical, social and geopolitical relations; the proliferation and acceleration of moral revolutions, as a consequence of globalization and mediatization, as well as the subsequent multiplication of ethical conflicts within or between western and non-western societies; the public and democratic call for transparency, which tends to be constrained by political strategies and economic interests; the expansion of new paradigms and ethical issues (vulnerability, durability) regarding new situations and conditions for human and animal life (bioethics, animal ethics). In the international context of the COVID 19 pandemia, of recurring terrorist attacks, of disputed democratic elections, Lethica’s selected topics are more than ever relevant ones, and they will be explored in the next 8 years according to four general perspectives, as sketched in the original project : “historical approaches”, “intercultural outlooks”, “artistic research” and “ethics-therapeutics joint” (see more about these four perspectives here).