Domaines d’étude possibles
- The human being as a self-conscious being. The origin of consciousness in human beings. Self-consciousness, the result of genetics or the spirit?
- The real world face to face with virtual worlds. The personal, social and political dimensions of the human being as against his virtual dimensions.
- Internet and social networks as a way of fleeing boredom or exhaustion.
- The present world dominated by technology or “the conquest of nature” (C. S. Lewis). The dominion of nature as an Enlightenment project. Present-day critique of the dominance of technology.
- The patrimony of the truth and diversity of opinion. Opinions of greater or lesser value. The value of personal, moral or psychological judgments versus scientific judgments.
- Self-knowledge and knowledge of others. The limits of self-knowledge in the world of the image. Can we judge others better than we can ourselves, and their actions better than our own? (Aristotle).
Science and medicine
- Augmented reality: technology at the service of immediate knowledge (systems that overlay synthetic images over real images). The use of augmented reality in sports transmissions, military and humanitarian aid systems. Support for surgery, architecture, etc.
- Virtual reality: flight simulators, driving simulators; uses in the military, surgery, cinema special effects, new games interfaces. Reality simulation at an affordable price.
- Remote presence. The example of the dismantling of nuclear power stations (Fukushima). Tele-surgery: the Da Vinci system.
- Technological advances that improve communication and interpersonal relations. What are the criteria for the use of social networks in the family? Mobile phones and family sociability.
- Family GPS and intelligent leisure: localizing amusement and leisure points (nature, culture and tourism adapted to the user).
- Means at the service of the family: family videogames, karaoke, special software, etc., as a means of family integration: Wii or the Kinect for family play.
- Financing basic science. Criteria for distributing research resources.
- Finding a balance between basic and applied research: a difficult equilibrium. Physics theory and its contrast with reality. The difficulty of comparing possible criteria of scientific validity in research.
- Superstring theory: an interpretation of physical reality or a mathematical construct?
- Different levels of scientific theories and their interrelation. The scientific method as a way to know reality, or as a way to limit going deeper into it.
- The role of theory in the design and interpretation of scientific experiments.
- Respect for the moral norms in scientific research as obstacle to development or guarantee of realism.
- The ideological prejudices of contemporary science. Science bringing people to or taking them away from God. The philosophical presuppositions of science.
- The beginnings of human life. The costs of a technology and a research that prescind from ethics. Mother–child communication in pregnancy.
- Adolescent development. The influence of drugs and insomnia in the integral development of the person.
- The mind–brain relation. Recuperating the concept of immateriality. The rise of mental illness: the devastating burden of patients suffering from estrangement from reality.
- Pain as a medical reality. The treatment of pain and the meaning of life. Information for terminal patients. Palliative treatment in integral health planning.
- The doctor’s formation. Is it possible to return to integral medicine, both an art and a science?
- Quality of life: should it be adjusted to each individual? The problem of seeking happiness through medication. Death, pain and aging as companions of human life.
- Scientific truth and divulgation. False myths in medicine: how they are created and how they are detected.
- Knowledge, news and distraction. Permanent connection as a danger to productivity and efficiency.
- Addictions and excesses in consumption: the flight from reality. Escapism and “the right to entertainment”.
- Speaking or texting. Internet friendships: friendship online and offline. Virtual life and real life: identity, anonymity and narcissism.
- Social network profiles: can we find an ethics of visibility, the image and identity?
- The revolution in friendship in the era of hackers, trolls and spam. The difficult art of listening in an era of direct messages.
- The information avalanche and the need for reliable sources. Quantity and quality of information. The challenge of learning and the cultivation of the memory in a digital environment.
- A flood of novelty or productivity and efficiency? The problem of immediacy and the desire to be “first”. Speed of information, rumours and reputation.
- The advantages of speed of information in natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
- Back to reality: “unplug to connect”. Rest, work, family life, friendship and digital platforms.
- Citizen journalism versus professional journalism: Information that is more superficial, or less conditioned by commercial interest?
- Social networks and digital communication at the service of the new evangelization: ideas, initiatives, projects.
- Communication in 140 characters. Are the social networks only changing our ways of expression, or our ways of thinking as well?
- Politics 2.0 (e-politics): politicians on the Internet and active citizenship. Horizontal structures and the weakening of power hierarchies. Irruption and the power of grassroots movements in social networks.
- The “me” generation: culture of the image and the addiction to notoriety. Care for personal security in networks and protecting personal data.
- Media inundated by the information society. How is the news presented? What is the future of online media? A change from agenda setting?
- Brands that mark tendencies in social networks. B2B and B2C communication.
Economics, law, politics
- The dilemma between quantitative and social economics: mathematical science or social and humanistic science? A difficult relation: neoclassical versus Keynesian economics, where is the reality?
- The role of governments in solving the financial crisis: nation-states and the challenge of globalization. The economic crisis as a crisis of values. Market regulation after the financial crisis.
- Is there a solution to unemployment? The reality that exceeds expectations. Real or unreal growth in jobs. The future of the Welfare State: an uncertain and worrying reality.
- Social networks and internal communication in the firm. The effects of the Internet in the world of work.
- The reality of the European Union: an economic union or a political community? Tradition and reality: a Christian Europe.
- Realistic discourses and utopian discourses about human rights. “Rights inflation” and the flight form reality. Present controversies over the notion of social rights.
- The return to the natural law: interpretative relativism after the failure of legal positivism. The limits of legal interpretation.
- Democracy and relativism: visions expressed in contemporary debate. Authors, arguments and public opinion. The reception of the so-called Ratzinger–Habermas debate.
- Responsibility in the Internet: is it possible? Is it necessary? The abstract definition of freedom of expression and journalism without ethical boundaries. Should the media aim for the truth or limit themselves to not lying?
- Divulgation of secrecy and the common good: “total transparency” as the main criteria of the media.
- “Biorights” and “taboo”: closing one’s eyes to reality. The environment and the law: nature as a limit to industry.
- Present-day transformations of the legal concept of the family: flight from reality? The same or equal? The principle of equality and the nature of things.
- Poverty, development and law: Caritas in veritate from a juridical perspective.
- The principle of responsibility and the origins of law.
Art and architecture
- The work of art as self-constructed object disconnected from its real surroundings. Is it possible to disconnect the work from its interpretative context?
- Real space and virtual space. Control of technology or attention to concrete reality.
- Recovering the human scale of the city. The return of human use.
- The modulor as a proposal for an architecture on a human scale. Sustainable architecture: technology and science at the rhythm of nature.
- Disjunctions in design: architecture as business–architecture as service; architecture to impress versus architecture to live. Models and examples in contemporary architecture.
- The art of creating spaces useful for human use and satisfaction.
- Reality and fantasy in the process of creation and construction: adapting to the norms. Abandoning the modern utopias: the technological utopia.