covid-19

articles on philosophie.ch on the pandemic from a philosophical perspective

The Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing discussion of its ramifications have raised many philosophical questions. At philosophie.ch, we have followed these discussions with great interest. We are pleased to welcome contributions that highlight philosophical issues raised by the pandemic, its politics, its epidemiology, sociology, economy and psychology. We have a mission statement that places a high (some might say: absolute) value on free speech (libel, as usual, excluded) and seek to publish articles that are philosophically argumentative, show a solid theoretical and methodological approach and add a significant contribution to the current debate. If your piece is (mostly) about the empirical evidence or questions of political tactics, if it should (primarily) influence some election or vote or highlight (chiefly) ideological or sociological issues, our portal is not the right place to publish your piece. If your contribution concerns any of the (many!) philosophical questions raised by the pandemic and its implications, is argumentative and is neither libelous, nor purely polemic, send it to us via email. We publish articles in English, German, French and Italian and we will list all covid-19 related articles further down on this page. 

We are interested in broadening the philosophical debate on current issues, both in Switzerland and internationally. A diversity of contributions and a variety of approaches and arguments will therefore be welcome.

In particular, we are interested in articles that address the following issues (non-exhaustive list): 

  • paternalism, and how it features (or not) in various “official” responses to the pandemic,
    issues of human rights and solidarity obligations (right to bodily integrity, obligation not to do harm);
  • the epistemology of epidemics, questions of scientific modelling, the science/politics interface;
  • contemporary pandemics and humans' relationship/politics and moral duty toward/with other species;
  • individual and collective autonomy and security devices;
  • the pandemic and the climate crisis both at the international policy level as well as at the local level;
  • the pandemic and the world of work and its transformations: the repercussions on individuals as well as on the larger economic level; 
  • the pandemic and mental health, analysis of individual and intersubjective suffering in relation to altered living conditions;
  • scientific communication and contemporary media, critical analysis of the communication strategies of official agencies;
  • questions of the balance of harms: what considerations should we bring to bear in assessing the harms of disease against harms that result from pandemic-fighting measures? 
  • covid-19 and children: children bear the brunt of many measures undertaken to control the spread of covid-19 (school closures, socialization) - how do we weigh the questions of the balance of harms: what considerations should we bring to bear in assessing the harm of these measures on children? 
  • How do we think about risk? Which comparative risk assessments should we adopt? How risk averse should we be as individuals and as collectives? To what extent should individuals be able to set their own risk tolerances?

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