Goals in Global Ethics Education

  • Volnei Garrafa
  • Thiago Rocha da Cunha
Part of the Advancing Global Bioethics book series (AGBIO, volume 10)


The teaching of global ethics can be developed from several points of view. The goals of this education should be to seek respect for plurality and construct a fairer, more equal and more supportive world. The reflections put forward in the present chapter are not only based on the theoretical foundations of ethics and bioethics, but also especially on the geopolitical locus of where the authors live and work, which is the southern hemisphere. The objective of using this artifice was to prevent local negative effects that an intendedly globalized project for teaching ethics might cause. The aim was also to indicate the conceptual bases and practices from which legitimate goals can be defined for this initiative, which can be applied for use in different parts of the world without unilaterality, interpositions, impositions or manipulations. Because of the difficulty in defining goals for teaching global ethics, the present analysis took the reference point of two real themes of the contemporary world: moral imperialism and the point of view of coloniality. Overcoming the distortions and inequities of moral imperialism that are now perceived in the relationships established among different individuals, cultures, countries and regions of the world, combined with coping with situations of coloniality – whether occasional or global – is part of a macro-ethical context that poses an obstacle to construction of non-discriminatory, equal and inclusive global ethics. Considering the barriers against construction of consensuses in this field, the present text proposes the use of education in global ethics as a tool that is applied for opposing situations of moral imperialism and coloniality. Finally, instead of proposing abstract goals that are set aprioristically, this chapter indicates the paradigm of corporeity as a universal marker for what should be sought morally (pleasure and health) and what should be avoided (pain and disease) in education programs regarding global ethics. Thus, this chapter provides a minimal axiological basis upon which it will be possible to establish goals, thereby avoiding educational practices in the field of ethics that will become yet another factual element serving the maintenance of unilateral and hegemonic interests and an unjust global order.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Volnei Garrafa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Thiago Rocha da Cunha
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.UNESCO Cathedra in Bioethics - International Center for Bioethics and HumanitiesBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.University of Brasília (UnB)BrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná (PUC/PR)CuritibaBrazil
  4. 4.Center of Studies on Bioethics and Diplomacy in Health - FiocruzBrasíliaBrazil

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