Fabrizio TUROLDO

Professore Ordinario
041 234 6215
041 234 7296
Sito web
www.unive.it/persone/fturoldo (scheda personale)
Dipartimento di Filosofia e Beni Culturali
Sito web struttura: https://www.unive.it/dip.fbc
Sede: Malcanton Marcorà

Research interests and teaching activities

My current interests are mainly focused on Bioethics and Moral Philosophy, as well as my teaching activity. In fact, I teach "Bioethics" at the degree course in Philosophy and "Moral Philosophy" at the degree course in Philosophy, International and Economic Studies, at the "Ca 'Foscari" University of Venice.

Among my most recent articles, one deals specifically with end-of-life bioethical issues (Aiding and Abetting Suicide: The Current Debate in Italy, "Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics", vol. 30, n. 1, January 2021, pp. 123-135), one with food ethics (The Cannibali That We Are: For a Bioethics of Food, "Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics", vol. 29, n. 2, April 2020, pp. 268-275) and the third with the ethics of care (The Cannibal's Gaze: A Reflection on the Ethics of Care Starting from Salvador Dalí's Oeuvre, "Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics", vol. 29, n. 2, April 2020, pp. 276-284).

In recent years I have also been very interested in the problem of truth in ethics. I dedicated two articles (Il concetto di verità in etica [the concept of truth in ethics], “Medicina e Morale”, 2015, III, vol. 64, pp. 367-390; Dire la verità [to tell the truth], “Medicina e Morale”, 2018, I, vol. 67, pp. 71-88) and a short book (Dire la verità [to tell the truth], Cittadella, Assisi 2018) to this theme, taking into account both the problem of the definition of ethical truth and the debated rule of "telling the truth".

I have never stopped dedicating my reflections and analyses throughout my research path to the thought and work of Paul Ricoeur, who was my master of philosophy and who honored me with his friendship. The last articles, in temporal order, dedicated to him are: Lo stile ermeneutico di Paul Ricoeur: spiegare di più per comprendere meglio [Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutic style: explaining more to better understand], “Critical Hermeneutics”, 2017 vol. 1, pp. 285-299; La voce del Maestro. Per ripensare e riprendere un vecchio dialogo con Paul Ricoeur [The Master's voice. To rethink and resume an old dialogue with Paul Ricoeur], in F. Scaramuzza (a cura di), Dall’attestazione al riconoscimento. In ricordo di Paul Ricoeur, Milano, Mimesis 2016, pp. 155-175.

Finally, in recent years, I have also started a research on the history of bioethics, which culminated in the following volume: A Short History of Bioethics, Linea, Padua 2016.

International relations and publications

I cultivated international academic relationships through participation in the activities of some international associations dealing with bioethics and philosophy of medicine: the “Annual International David Thomasma Bioethics Retreat”, the "European Society for Philosophy of Medicine and Healthcare" (ESPMH), the “International Association of Bioethics” (IAB), the "European Association of Centers of Medical Ethics" (EACME). This last collaboration allowed the annual EACME conference to be celebrated, in September 2009, on the theme "Bioethics and multiculturalism", at the "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice, within the “Polo didattico di San Basilio”, with the collaboration of the Lanza Foundation.

The reports I gave at some of these conferences gave rise to the following publications:

The Concept of responsibility. Three Stages in Its Evolution within Bioethics (with M. Barilan), "Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics", 2008, Vol. 17, n. 1, January 2008, pp. 114-123;

Responsibility as an Ethical Framework for Public Health Interventions, “American Journal of Public Health”, 2009, vol. 99, n. 7, pp. 1197-1202;

Turoldo Responds, “American Journal of Public Health”, 2010, vol. 100, n. 1, pp. 6-7;

Ethics of Responsibility in a Multicultural Context, “Perspectives in Biology and Medicine”, 2010, vol. 53, n. 2, Spring 2010, pp. 174-185;

Relational Autonomy and Multiculturalism, "Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics", 2010, vol. 19, n. 4, October 2010, pp. 542-549.

From 2008 to 2011 I have been participating in the Tiss.Eu project, a project funded by the European Union within the VII Framework Program and coordinated by the Department of Ethics and History of Medicine of the University of Göttingen (Germany). The aim of the project was to evaluate the legal and ethical aspects related to the conservation and transfer of tissues and cells of human origin for research purposes. The Lanza Foundation of Padua (on behalf of which I participated in the project) and the Universities of Hanover, Birmingham, Stockholm, Budapest, Padua, Dublin, Paris, Aerdenhout and Vilnius were part of the consortium.

In 2008 I collaborated with the Institute of Bio-medical Ethics of the University of Zurich and with representatives of different European nations, on a project funded by the "European Science Foundation" on the following theme: "Advance Directives: Towards a Coordinated European Perspective?".

On the same theme, the following year (October 2009), I participated in a project of the University of Granada (organized by the Andalusian School of Public Health) aimed at comparing the experiences of Spain, Italy and England on the issue of advance directives of treatment.

I have been participating, since 2004, first as coordinator of the course in "Religions and Bioethics" and then as lecturer in all editions of the "Master of Bioethics" (then "Erasmus Mundus Master in Bioethics") promoted by the universities of Louvain (Belgium), Padua (in collaboration, initially, with the Lanza Foundation) and Nijmegen (the Netherlands).

I promoted a framework agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) between the University of Cuyo in Argentina and the "Ca 'Foscari" University of Venice, institutionalizing a relationship that I had long ago started with the Institute of Bioethics of the University of Cuyo and particularly with prof. José Juan Garcia, thus extending it to the entire Venetian University.

I also promoted an agreement between the "Ca 'Foscari" University and the University of Ghent, in Belgium, for Erasmus exchanges.

Starting from 2016 I established a collaboration with the University of São Paulo of Brazil and in particular with prof. Renato Janine Ribeiro, with whom I was co-supervisor of a doctoral thesis between the Universities of São Paulo and Venice. As part of this collaboration I held, in the summer of 2019, a conference at the Palas Athena Foundation in São Paulo, Brazil on the ethics of responsibility in an environmental perspective.

Research activity at the Lanza Foundation

From January 2004 to December 2014 I was the coordinator of the "Ethics and Medicine" project within the Lanza Foundation in Padua, organizing conferences, seminars, training courses and taking care of some publications. My research interests, during the activity carried out at the Lanza Foundation, followed four directions:

The first focused on end-of-life bioethics, with in-depth studies relating to advance directives, living wills, humanization of end-of-life care, autonomy at the end of life, euthanasia. The following volumes and articles were born from these studies:

1.     Il testamento biologico (with G. Vazzoler), Cafoscarina, Venezia 2005;

2.     Umanizzare la medicina. Il vero farmaco è il medico stesso, "Etica per le professioni", 2006/1;

3.     La malattia come crisi. Essere "vivi" fino alla morte, "Etica per le professioni", 2006/2;

4.     Valori e limiti del modello dell'autonomia decisionale in sanità, "Studia Patavina", 2006/3;

5.     Le dichiarazioni anticipate di trattamento. Un testamento per la vita, Gregoriana, Padova, 2006;

6.     Né eutanasia, né accanimento, "Etica per le professioni", 2007/1;

7.     Etica e umanizzazione delle cure, Gregoriana, Padova 2007;

8.     L'autonomia del paziente, in AAVV, La comunicazione della salute, Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2009;

9.     L'umanizzazione delle cure, in AAVV, La comunicazione della salute, Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2009.

The second dealt with problems related to beginning-of-life bioethics, in particular the issues of assisted procreation and the social and ethical implications of the use of genetic tests in the prenatal phase. These studies are the origin of the following essays:

1.     L'alterità irriducibile del figlio, "Etica per le professioni", 2005/1;

2.     Nuove frontiere della genetica, possibili utilizzi dei test genetici e questioni etiche (with Dei Tos, Lovati, Montali, Pivetti, Stuppia, Vecchiato), "Studi Zancan", 2007/2;

3.     Non esiste un gene per lo spirito umano: considerazioni filosofiche ed etiche sui test genetici in fase prenatale, "Studi Zancan", 2007/2.

A third research track covered the issue of globalization of bioethics with insights into the themes multiculturalism, allocation of health resources on a global scale, health justice and the regulation of trials conducted in developing countries. From these studies was born the volume:

La globalizzazione della bioetica. Un commento alla Dichiarazione Universale sulla Bioetica e i Diritti Umani dell'UNESCO, Gregoriana, Padova 2007;

At the subject of multiculturalism, I devoted the following article:

L'etica della responsabilità alla prova del multiculturalismo, in L. Sandonà, La struttura dei legami, La Scuola, Brescia 2010.

Finally, the fourth line of research covered the more general aspects of bioethics, with the production of the following essays, aimed at defining the field, method and some fundamental concepts of bioethics:

1.     Il concetto di responsabilità, in L. Messinese - C. Göbel (a cura di), Verità e responsabilità. Studi in onore di Aniceto Molinaro, Studia Anselmiana, Roma, 2006;

2.     Che cos'è la bioetica: radici e identità, in AAVV, Tra etica e bioetica. Prospettive di definizione della cultura della vita, Paravia, Milano, 2007;

3.     Quale etica per la bioetica, in AAVV, Tra etica e bioetica. Prospettive di definizione della cultura della vita, Paravia, Milano, 2007;

4.     Per un'etica della responsabilità, in S. Morandini (a cura di), Per la sostenibilità. Etica ambientale e antropologia, Gregoriana, Padova 2007;

5.     Principi astratti e storie personali: una sintesi difficile, in S. Morandini, L'etica negli ambiti di vita, Projet Edizioni, Padova 2010.

The research activity carried out at the Lanza Foundation has led me to develop an increasing interest in bioethics applied to clinical practice. This interest has developed through my commitment within: 1)the Regional Committee for Bioethics of the Veneto Region; 2)the Ethics Committee for clinical practice of the Padua Hospital; 3)the Ethics Committee established at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Padua; 4)the Operational Group of the Veneto Region for the humanization of health care.

A further front of commitment was the organization of courses in bioethics at various levels: from university masters to courses for health professionals. As for the master I should mention two international masters courses ("European Master in Bioethics" and "Erasmus Mundus Master in Bioethics"), organized in collaboration between three European universities (Padua, Leuven and Nijmegen) and a master's degree in "Consulting in Clinical Bioethics", organized in collaboration between the Lanza Foundation, the "A. Gemelli" Polyclinic of the Catholic University of Rome, the "Federico II" University of Naples and the University of Insubria.

My training

My thesis, discussed in Venice, in June 1992, with Carmelo Vigna and Emanuele Severino, focused on metaphysics in contemporary Italian philosophy, examining the disputes that, in the post-war period, intertwined between the two major schools of metaphysics present in Italy: the School of Milan, under the guidance of Gustavo Bontadini and the School of Padua, led by Marino Gentile. These studies, in addition to the thesis, have also produced the following essays:

1.     Omaggio a Bontadini. Osservazioni sulla coerenza interna e sugli sviluppi del pensiero bontadiniano, "Rivista di filosofia neo-scolastica", I, 1995;

2.     L'essere, il nulla e il divenire. Riprendendo le fila di una grande polemica, "Rivista di filosofia neo-scolastica", II, 1996;

3.     L'identità e la differenza. Due proposte teoriche intorno alla teoria del giudizio e alla semantizzazione dell'essere, "Rivista di filosofia neo-scolastica", IV, 1996;

4.     Principio di causalità e nozione di essere come atto. A proposito di un dibattito di metafisica, "Rivista di filosofia neo-scolastica", I, 1999.

Later I collected these four essays in a volume entitled Polemiche di metafisica. Quattro dibattiti su Dio, l'Essere e il Nulla, Aracne, Roma 2009. The book also includes an unpublished introductory essay of mine entitled La metafisica nel pensiero contemporaneo, Emanuele Severino’s answer to one of my essays (also unpublished) and, finally, an essay by Enrico Berti, already published on "Rivista di filosofia neo-scolastica", with some answers to my comments on the Paduan school (see E. BERTI, A proposito di identità e differenza [Risposta a Fabrizio Turoldo], "Rivista di filosofia neo-scolastica", II-III, 1997).

Interest in ontological issues has never failed, although I have dealt with other issues in the follow-up. More recently, in fact, I  have dedicated a couple of essays to the old interests of my thesis:

1.     Bontadini e i suoi critici. Un dibattito tra metafisici sull'essere e sul nulla, in C. Vigna (a cura di), Bontadini e la metafisica, Vita e Pensiero, Milano 2006;

2.     Sul concetto di onnipotenza divina nel pensiero di Hans Jonas, "Studia Patavina", 2009, II, pp. 343-358.

After graduating in philosophy, in the following three years (1993/1996) I attended, at the same University, a PhD in philosophy, under the direction of prof. Carmelo Vigna, holder of the chair of Moral Philosophy. The theme I had chosen for the doctoral thesis remained in the field of contemporary thought, but this time the author was no longer an Italian author, nor a metaphysical philosopher. In fact, I had chosen to devote my attention to the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, an author of phenomenological-hermeneutic orientation. During this period I also had the opportunity to participate in an annual program (1994-'95) at the École Normale Supérieure in Fontenay-Saint Cloud, Paris. During my Stay in Paris I had the opportunity to attend Paul Ricoeur, to converse with him on several occasions and to personally discuss with him the issues of my thesis. I also attended various courses at the University of Paris (with proff. Michel Haar, Jean Greisch, Jacques Derrida, etc.). At the end of the year spent in Paris I obtained, after discussing a "mémoire", the International Diploma of Philosophy of the École Normale Supérieure.

The work carried out during the PhD produced the following monograph on Ricoeur, introduced by an essay by Ricoeur himself and with annexes in the appendix the texts of our interviews:

Verità del metodo. Indagini su Paul Ricoeur, Il Poligrafo, Padova 2000.

On Ricoeur's thought I also published the following four essays, not included in the monograph:

1.     Ontologia dell'atto e ontologia della sostanza. Riflessioni sul progetto ricoeuriano di una Poetica della Volontà, "Edizione", 1995, n. 12;

2.     Il male: sfida alla ragione e scacco per la filosofia, "Esodo", I, gennaio-marzo 2001;

3.     Libertà, giustizia e bene nel pensiero di Paul Ricoeur, in C. Vigna (a cura di), Libertà, giustizia e bene in una società plurale, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 2003;

4.     L'ultimo Ricoeur, in "Per la Filosofia", maggio-agosto 2004.

After my PhD in philosophy at the University of Venice, I attended a master's degree in philosophy at the University of Trieste, during the academic year 1996/'97.

The relationship with Ricoeur and my interest in his research subjects, have encouraged me to expand my interests from the field of metaphysics and ontology to that of morality, to which are in fact dedicated large chapters of my monograph on Ricoeur. Ricoeur himself has long focused on reflecting on the relationship between metaphysics and morals, finding in anthropology the link between these two areas, as he explains in one of his most beautiful essays, entitled precisely De la métaphysique à la morale, published in "Revue de métaphysique et de morale" (IV, 1993) of which Ricoeur himself was, at that time, director. For these reasons, after the research on Ricoeur, I undertook studies in ethics and bioethics, thanks to a three-year scholarship (1996/'99) offered to me by the "Catholic University Center". From those studies the following essays were born:

1.     Bioetica e persona. Prospettiva funzionalista e prospettiva sostanzialista, "Religione e Scuola", nov./dic. 1998;

2.     Considerazioni etiche sulla clonazione animale e umana, "Religione e Scuola", gen./feb. 1999;

3.     Uomini, animali e natura, "Religione e Scuola", mag./giu. 1999;

4.     Etica e ingegneria genetica, "Religione e Scuola", set./ott. 1999;

5.     La regolamentazione della procreazione assistita. Luci e ombre della nuova legge, "Religione e Scuola", nov./dic. 1999;

6.     L'uomo e la tecnica. A proposito di interventi medicali nel campo sessuale e procreativo, "Religione e Scuola", gen./feb. 2000;

7.     La continuità dello sviluppo embrionale. A proposito di aborto e di sperimentazione sugli embrioni, "Religione e Scuola", mag./giu. 2000;

8.     I trapianti di organo e la nuova legge approvata dal Parlamento, "Religione e Scuola", nov./dic. 2000;

9.     La scelta di morire. Considerazioni morali sull'eutanasia, "Religione e Scuola", mar./apr. 2002;

10.  Il conflitto dei valori, "Religione e Scuola", mag./giu. 2002;

11. Intersoggettività e bioetica, in C. Vigna (a cura di), Etica trascendentale e intersoggettività, Vita e Pensiero, Milano, 2002.

In addition, I also published the following two entries on ethical issues, for the UTET Encyclopedia:

1.     Libertà, in AA.VV., Gli strumenti del sapere contemporaneo, vol. II, I concetti, UTET, Torino, 1997;

2.     Desiderio, in AA.VV., Gli strumenti del sapere contemporaneo, vol. II, I concetti, UTET, Torino, 1997.

And the following entries in the Philosophical Encyclopedia:

1.     Continenza, Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. III, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

2.     Costume. Aspetto etnologico ed aspetto etico (with L. Vannicelli), Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. III, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

3.     Costume. Il rapporto tra costume inteso come prassi e costume inteso come norma, Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. III, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

4.     Edonismo (with E. Centineo), Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. IV, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

5.     Lecito/illecito (with G. Morra), Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. VII, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

6.     Pietà (with P. Prini), Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. IX, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

7.     Rettitudine (with G. Semerari), Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. X, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

8.     Sensualismo (with G. Morra), in AAVV, Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. XI, Bompiani, Milano, 2006;

9.     Tuziorismo, Enciclopedia Filosofica, vol. XII, Bompiani, Milano, 2006.

In 1999 I obtained a three-year research grant from the Department of Philosophy of the University of Venice, within a research program entitled "Bioethics and Person". The study activity carried out within the work project planned for the research grant gave rise to the following book:

F. TUROLDO, Bioetica e reciprocità. Una nuova prospettiva sull'etica della vita, Città Nuova, Roma, 2003 (Second edition 2011).

Academic career

In the academic years 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 I was appointed "adjunct professor" at the Faculty of Literature and Philosophy at the "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice;

On February 2005, I was hired as a researcher (permanent position) at the Department of Philosophy and Theory of Sciences at the “Ca’ Foscari” University of Venice;

On November 2007, I was hired as associate professor at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at the "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice;

In December 2019, I was hired as full professor at the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage at the "Ca' Foscari" University of Venice.