XIII World Congress 2003
Education for Peace:
The Best Investment for Future Generations


Michele Schiavone - Italy








Michele SCHIAVONE, born in Milan, on September 3, 1929, took philosophy’s degree.

In 1958 qualified as a university teacher in History of Philosophy.

In 1966 became Professor in History of Philosophy at the University of Genoa.

Successively, on November 1, 1970, he held the chair of Moral Philosophy and after, on November 1, 1978, History of Philosophy again.

He was dean of Education from 1968 to 1973, Director of the Institute of Philosophy from 1966 to 1973, Director of the Department of of Science of Cognitive Processes from 1987 to 1995.

Actually he is coordinator of the doctor’s degree in bioethics and clinical experimentation in oncology at the University of Genoa, member of the National Committee of Bioethics, coordinating the working party on the mental patient, member of the Ethical Commission of the Italian Society of Psychiatry (S.I.P.), President of the Ethical Committee of the Lombard Regional Branch of the S.I.P., member of the Scientific Committee of numerous reviews of Psychiatry.

Since 1996 he is Professor of Bioethics (r. F22b).

He is the author of numerous scientific publications and speaker from several years at International and national meetings of Psychiatry, Bioethics and Legal Medicine.

Ecology, Quality of Life and Mental Health:
the Bioethical Dimension

The present possibilities of manipulating Nature, living beings and even the human body and, even more, the possibility of [incidere?] over many important aspects of a human being’s quality of life (medical activities, social behaviours, the environment, etc.) have deeply altered the traditional approach of subjugation that human beings have towards Nature. Human health, well-being and – in more ample terms – quality of life are otherwise conditions closely connected not only with scientific and technological development, but also – and perhaps even in more relevant and evident ways – with the achievement of an increasingly more balanced relationship with and correspondence to the environment. In that sense, what seems to emerge in an absolutely evident manner is not so much the existing delay between scientific innovation and social response but rather the difficulty in establishing a harmonious rapport between tecno-scientific evolution and social control (intended as active and critical participation in such a process). The overbearing acceleration of scientific and technological research occurred in the last decades seems not to allow any longer a sufficient critical elaboration on the part of human beings in the confrontation of the exponential quantity of information, knowledge and novelties which appear daily. The gap between the continuous innnovations brought about by new biological technologies and the human experiential and cognitive dimension necessary to maintain a balanced raport with one’s own body and the surrounding environment seems to increase ever more.

Thus, there must not only be a demand for controls for a responsible technological evolution, but, even more, the building of a more ample thinking paradigm, which comprehends and sets in relation science, technology and collectivity. The ‘Manifesto di San Marino’, approved by the National Direction Council of the ‘Societa Italiana di Ecologia, Psichiatria e Salute Mentale’, as well as by the Executive Committee of the WPA Section on Ecology Psychiatry and Mental Health proposes the promotion of instruments which may prevent discomforts and mental disturbances which are correlates of environmental influences, as well as instruments which promote a better quality of life. Actually, the possibilities offered by Science call the collectivity to assume precise responsibilities for singling out criteria for choosing the approach to be given to scientific development in order to conjugate scientific and technological progress with fundamental human values, and to allow a full affirmation of the freedoms against abuses, injustices and dangers.