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Thinking the Pandemic: Philosophical Perspectives

Thinking the Pandemic: Philosophical Perspectives

Róbson Ramos dos Reis et al., “Thinking the Pandemic: Philosophical Perspectives,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 77, no. 2–3 (2021): 477–86,

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Thinking the Pandemic: Philosophical Perspectives

Type Journal Article
Author Róbson Ramos dos Reis
Author João Carlos Onofre Pinto
Author Bruno Nobre
Author Andreas Gonçalves Lind
Author Ricardo Barroso Batista
Rights © 2021 by Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 77
Issue 2-3
Pages 477-486
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
ISSN 0870-5283
Date 2021
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2021_77_2_0477
Language English
Abstract The response to the profound crisis posed by SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has demanded the best commitment from the various agents of society and called upon researchers from the various fields of knowledge to seek solutions to the challenges we face and to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the various dimensions of human life. In this context, the Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia (RPF) intends to contribute to the philosophical reflection on the challenges posed by the pandemic, publishing original essays that address, from different philosophical perspectives, problematics associated with the crisis we are facing. The disease caused by the Covid-19 is much more than a mere biological phenomenon, it is a phenomenon that is experienced by concrete human beings in its psychological, social, existential, and spiritual dimensions. Because of the complex nature of this phenomenon, social distance measures that have been adopted to battle the pandemic have had a disruptive impact on the core of the human experience, characterized by embodied social interactions. In this scenario, new urgent questions regarding the spiritual dimension of the human person, the meaning of life and death, and the human connection with an ultimate source of meaning have been emerging. Philosophy can make an important contribution to the understanding and interpretation of these complex experiences. Among the many problems associated with the pandemic, ethical issues have occupied a prominent place. For example, what are the ethical criteria that should guide health professionals when faced with the need to decide who has access to basic life support? How to manage the tension between the imperative to protect the most vulnerable members of society and the need to guarantee the economic and financial sustainability of countries, organizations, and families? Important questions also arise in the field of bioethics. At the political level, the response to the pandemic has led to the suspension, albeit temporary, of many of the practices that govern the life of democratic societies, with the limitation of human rights and freedoms. The adoption of this type of measures, demands an in-depth reflection on the role of the State and the difficulty to balance the protection of the health of citizens and the respect for individual rights and liberties. Reflection on this issue is particularly urgent in face of new threats posed by the emerging populisms and nationalisms. The social consequences of the pandemic are particularly profound. The situation we are experiencing has already had a visible impact on the way we work, the way we relate to one another, the way we communicate, teach, and learn. The digitalization of the society has been significantly enhanced in this period and privacy issues are even more pressing. During the confinement, many citizens begun working remotely, and classrooms were moved to virtual rooms. All these experiences raise psychological, social, and anthropological issues that can and should also be addressed by philosophers. In the current pandemic context, science has assumed a major role. Despite the efforts of teams of researchers around the world to find a treatment and to develop vaccines for Covid-19, which at the beginning exceeded the general expectations, in the course of time public opinion has been confronted with a certain feeling of the inefficiency of science to solve the health problem in a definitive way, which could result in a new perception of the limits and possibilities of science. The uncertainty associated with many of the predictions regarding the evolution of the pandemic poses questions about the limitations of quantitative models in health sciences and about the epistemological limits of multivariable analysis. The problem of discerning between causality and correlation also takes on a new relevance.
Date Added 9/10/2021, 5:10:21 PM
Modified 9/10/2021, 5:49:26 PM


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