Contemporary Issues Across Ethics and Epistemology

Studies of Ethics and Epistemology from a Latin American Perspective

Anthology, 2018

143 Pages



Notes on Contributors


Ermano Rodrigues do Nascimento

Ricardo Pinho Souto

Eleonoura Enoque da Silva
Martha Solange Perrusi

Stéfano Gonçalves Régis Toscano

João Evangelista Tude de Melo Neto

André Luiz Holanda de Oliveira

Gerson Francisco de Arruda Júnior

Danilo Vaz-Curado Ribeiro de Menezes Costa

Karl Heinz Efken

Notes on Contributors

ANDRÉ LUIZ HOLANDA DE OLIVEIRA is an expert in Epistemology, Science’s Philosophy. His writings focus on the levels of epistemology, the relations between religion, morality and rationality. []

DANILO VAZ-CURADO RIBEIRO DE MENEZES COSTA is an expert in German Idealism, Hegel’s Phenomenology, Brandom’s Philosophy and contemporary philosophy of law. His writings focus on the nature of recognition, the relations between law, morality and politics, and the nature of social space. []

ELEONOURA ENOQUE DA SILVA is an expert in Logic and of philosophy of language. []

ERMANO RODRIGUES DO NASCIMENTO is an expert in contemporary philosophy. He is particularly interested in Ethics, Bioethics and Metaphysics. []

GERSON FRANCISCO DE ARRUDA JÚNIOR is an expert in contemporary philosophy. He is particularly interested in Ethics, Metaphysics and Logic. []

JOÃO EVANGELISTA TUDE DE MELO NETO is an expert in Nietzsche’s Philosophy and French Philosophy. []

KARL-HEINZ EFKEN is an expert in Haberma’s Philosophy. His writings focus on the political philosophy of Habermas, on Publics Opinion and Politics. He is particularly interested in the intersection of philosophy of language and Linguistics. []

MARTHA SOLANGE PERRUSI is an expert in Aesthetics. His writings focus on the relations between aesthetics, Nietzsche and morality. []

RICARDO PINHO SOUTO are researchs touches the theory of action in his research work on normative and Psychology of reasons for action and on the role of motivation in the development of action. He has written on the concept of reasons for action. []

STÉFANO GONÇALVES RÉGIS TOSCANO is an expert in Politic Philosophy. His writings focus on the political philosophy of Agambem, Derrida and Esposito. []

All are professors of the Catholic University of Pernambuco ( )


The present work aims to compile a series of approximations, readings and lines of intervention in reality characterized by the defense and application of philosophy as a way of clarifying the problems and their resolution strategies.

In this sense, the book's basis is based on the need for researchers in philosophy at the Catholic University of Pernambuco, in the city of Recife, in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil, to make explicit their reflections on axial issues of ethics and epistemology.

This is a collection of philosophical papers divided into two central themes: ethics and epistemology. This work, more than a manual of philosophy, consists of uniting thoughts, paths and proposals for reflection from Brazil, but which can be inspiring for researchers from other parts of the world.

Danilo Vaz-Curado R. M. Costa

Recife, Brazil *


Ermano Rodrigues do Nascimento


The formative process in the human being is a fundamental condition for establishing and strengthening of social structure of a society. Through such the condition, human formation reshapes each social subject in a way that integrates it and inserts it as a constructive agent of human, social and political development, making it possible to find and discover a better way of serving and caring for people. Health is part of the human being condition as a “sine qua non”, which, in turn, is part of a formative process while putting each individual with his capacity for personal choice as a way to get people to serve the especially in relation to health care, and in this case an efficient public health that prevents and does not necessarily only think about cure. So the following reflection deals with health education based on its policies and actors because we are analyzing a very complex reality, such as that of the Brazilian Northeast, due to the impasses that frequently occur regarding the health conditions of the population as well as the training of health professionals.

However, it is importance emphasizing that the more the professional is aware of being at the service of the other, the spirit of responsibility and the feeling of solidarity and otherness strengthen his social praxis with humanistic attitudes wich the individual understand himself valiantly imbued with that spirit to fight for the maintenance of dignity and human life. In this feature, health is a privileged field for such actions and human attitudes reliable of fundamental ethical attitudes and ethical practices, deontological.

Accordingly, in this reflection we will deal with politics and actors through a larger life project, in other words, caring for the patient (patient) in a responsible and supportive way putting himself in the place of the other as caring for oneself is also launching to care for the other as a loved one (for example), which implies in the maxim: "Do not do to the other what you do not want me to do."

The logic of the maintenance of life makes the priority condition be the dimension of care as being a fundamental element in the formative discussion of the one who attentive to the task of caring from the awareness that it is by health that one can have long life and quality.

1. The logic of life: life with dignity

The logic of the maintenance of life makes the priority condition be the dimension of care as being a fundamental element in the formative discussion of the one who attentive to the task of caring from the awareness that it is by health that one can have long life and quality. In this sense, health workers or health professionals carry a significant social responsibility. Nevertheless, it is a professional who neglects this responsibility by neglecting the care for the life of the patient (patient) as it may happen in the Northeastern reality and even with a certain frequency, mainly, with a simply market vision of health. However, to be aware that human existence is biggets than its biological life and requires the actors involved in this process to perceive the greatness of the human being on the one hand and its fragility on the other, in that way, when human face a disease, his feel, most times is, impotent.

When the health professional become conscious that defending life by caring for and ensuring the patient's health gives him the conviction and sense of fulfillment of duty, it is certainly because, in each procedure performed, the benefit caused in the patient demonstrates the dimension ethics ennobling the professional humanely. nevertheless, their formative capacity (ethico-bioethics) and their intellectual (scientific and technical) knowledge are evident. The academic universe must therefore be considered as a privileged place reserved to be the environment from which emerge great experiences and formation of intellectual mentors and implacable researchers, able to assume ethically the reality in a lucid and transparent way with exclusive dedication and ability to renounce oneself to the realization of the common good.

Concomitantly, the greatest challenge in the reality of the Brazilian Northeast is in the implementation of public policies for health and education. In this context, public power, health professionals and education professionals must take on commitments with society that enable the realization of practical and objectively feasible projects. The formation of health agents is an extreme responsibility of the State,considering that they are the mainstay of maintaining the economic, social, political and cultural development of society in order to have a healthy society. The intellectual formation of the professionals becomes efficient when the investments that it needs are polarized in education. The slowness in attending to quality training delays such development. The Brazilian Northeast has been the target of this neglect because it is not, in many occasions or regions, the non-concretization of public debts, nevertheless, generating an unbalance and unsustainability both of human ethical-bioethical formation and of the science and technique of professionals. It remains, in this situation, an overload for professionals who in turn do not respond to the demand on them. Consequently it impoverishes and weakens the quality of services provided and performed. As there are many shortages in the most impoverished regions where the doctor is not known, the nurse considering that many professionals do not want to provide service without recive a high remuneration, stewardship and social privileges. In this social context, we can affirm that no longer to consider in the health field the ethical issue and the dimension of caring is to commit one of the greatest crimes and neglect against the population, since, man are the vulnerably the practice of good and evil, change constantly. the Bioethics exert the objective of helping each one of his / her actions to act reasonably, prudently, cautiously and cautiously in this process considering that, there is a constant evolution of the human being in search of solving their dilemmas and challenges arising both in health and in education. In this context, bioethics acts as the one that leads us to reflection about health, at the same time, that lead the professional to action in a concrete and directly relational way, because its greater challenge is to know how to balance care and healing. Wiping your teeth with healing - with the arrival of success, anything you can imagine, beware of hidden and delayed magic - that when it is not possible, do not care, forgetting what we can heal, sometimes, but always self (Millen, 2012: 140).

This is the way that health education will require more commitment through a deontology committed to a practice that demands the social implications and public health policies that are being charged by society so that more attention and due care with patients in whatever situations they were. They also multiply each day in favor of the patient, their fundamental rights through the requirements of the legislation itself, taking into account the principles of justice and autonomy of the person who increasingly are expanding. Therefore, overlook the special attention to people's health as the starting point and point of arrival of the search for healing is to neglect a social value.

2. What actors are involved in the game?

For the exercise, the commitment and the development of the health, it is necessary that we understand well and better not only the formative process of the professional of the health and its practice in a reality disarranged, like the Brazilian one and, especially, the northeastern one, in which the utilitarian pragmatism is guided by the economist’s idea, making the patient himself a mere object, a thing and not a human being. Nonetheless, the high number of cases and situations of sick people who die at the doors and corridors of hospitals for lack of medical care and medicines have become commonplace. The bioethical problem is clear, once again, by the lack of care, by the non-commitment in defense of human life where the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence are neglected, thus denying the citizen's rights to health.

Human action represents different forms of action that deserve special attention and attention also from the society that morally has its portion of demand in the face of good or bad human actions. In this case, the health professional comes into play taking deontologically its ethical action in the exercise of its function by the intensity and social relevance of responsibility and considerable professional representativeness. The construction of a personal and professional identity is extremely relevant on the part of the agent in the face of the dynamism and the complexity of society, often generating repudiation and disagreement among the sick health professionals. However, there is a fascination and an admiration that the population, especially the needy, has for physicians, nurses, and community health agents, thus becoming a possibility of approaching professionals and other people in the community.

Still, it is also perceptible that the exercise of the profession requires the professional to become aware of a critical view of reality in the sense that every society is in a continuous movement of transformation in which people can grow. That is why the area that requires a lot of attention is health, because from it the relationship between people should always be care and healing. Carefully, caring also implies giving the other the due confidence in the cure of the illness that afflicts it. This attitude of trust requires a coherent and growing ethical relationship. In doing so, due importance is given to health professionals in people's lives and, from this point of view, from the community health agent, the nurse and the doctor, the purpose of the profession is to provide security and confidence for the patient (patient) strengthened credibility of the human presence of the professional.

Nowadays, in the communities or popular neighborhoods, the human presence of the ACS and the nurses is considerably recognized, mainly, because of the approximation they establish between the patients and their families, transmitting security, friendliness, patience, care, care for other people in the community. Special attention should be paid to caring for the strengthening of social relations within the community. It is understood that the promotion of health comes to exist above all by the consciousness not only of healing, but also of prevention.

Promoting is an extremely human act in the context of caring, because the capacity that the professional must prevent. According to Paulo Freire (1975), all this is interconnected from the condition of educating for health and life as a primordial attitude because,

Educating someone for health implies that we have, on the one hand, communally invested in structures and ways of life with rich and multiple meanings and that, on the other hand, we have effectively managed to contribute to the construction of worlds of meaning in an uninterrupted learning process among all, simultaneously learners and educators.

For ACS, for the nurse and for the doctor, this condition of learning from others is a constant, because the community is the "school of life" where all learn together, mainly from suffering. Still, it is these actors that denote by their own social life style considering that the patient himself becomes the major referent in their professional lives. However, it is a characteristic of the community that all work is done in a team because it is more efficient in obtaining the positive results. It is a sine qua non condition for the ACS to work together with other professionals because this should be their main characteristic in their professional lives. The influence of the experience of other professionals in their educational process also gives their share of contribution to other professionals who are coming. According to Loureiro and Miranda, "it is true that through health education, professionals must know how to provide communities with the scientific knowledge that allows them to bring real needs to the test, they must develop the capacity to bring knowledge, resources and objects together" (2010:247).

In the community someone must be the link and bridge among the others by areas of interest and the ACS is one of these elements present that has the permanent attribution of acting in a vigilant way, since he is always participating in the life of the community independently of their work in a health post or outside it. What is certain is that ACS, in practice, is the first coadjutant in the relation patient (patient), nurse, doctor. In this context, the ACS gives the first coverage and the basic and necessary support to other professionals. He quickly becomes familiar with families and integrates into the world of people by making an efficient dialogue about the care and resolution of health problems in the community. The great advantage of the role of the popular health worker is his / her approach to the people in the area in which he / she is located and his or her rapidly established identification with families, making the work of the team where it is inserted more efficient.

The most important thing in this context is realize that the relationship and identification of the ACS with the community and the work performed by it becomes very valued, taking into account that it is inserted within the community and seeks to know it from the inside to be able to bring to the other agents the knowledge of the ground on which they are treading, as Bachelor put it, "know is describe to find again" (1927: 9). This role of ACS makes other professionals discover the value of serving and caring as a deeply ethical and human dimension. The formation of the ACS leads him to have sufficient openness to work as a team since he presents himself as a masterpiece in the communicative relationship to the community for his resourcefulness in dealing with people and especially with patients. It is noticeable that his attitude of humanitarian delivery with humanistic sensitivity, for his continuous solicitude, is a factor of transformation in the community.

Therefore, it becomes evident that a process of change, requires an awareness of belonging and capacity for intervention through active participation, managing the different conflicts that the community presents, remembering to always keep in mind individuals as elements of the transformation process which we want to promote both for education and health. In this case, specifically, revolutionizing the conception of health in the community is a great task, because every process of transformation generates learning and knowledge dynamics. For Paulo Freire, "Education thus reproduces in its own plan the dynamic structure and dialectical movement of the historical process of man's production. For man, produce is conquer, conquer his human form "(Freire 1987: 13).

Following this same reasoning, we highlight the presence of nurses who carry with them the value of the intellectual training acquired by nursing. It is worth emphasizing that this is one of the areas of health more specifically human because of its humanistic connotation in the careful treatment with the user. Nursing, therefore, "is the professionalization of the human capacity to care, an intersubjective process and epistemic knowledge that includes a transaction from one human being to another" (Paiva, 55). The nursing context emphatically unfolds in the "know how to take care", in the human experience of feeling more closely the pain, the suffering of others. The nurse is the one who is able to humanize more concretely and directly, by the existential condition that the profession gives him in the dynamism of hominization and, more than that, a mission full of gift by the spirit of solidarity and otherness that this professional is acquiring the become more humane and more sensitive in living with the limiting situations of the suffering of others. Nursing makes history in humanity, for it is only a matter of looking at one's own history and seeing that in "antiquity the physician was not differentiated from the pharmacist, the physiotherapist or the nurse" (Gomes, 2012: 50). This relationship also develops in a process of hominization along with everything else that makes man and nature evolve, because "" hominization "is not adaptation: man does not naturalize, humanize the world. "Hominization" is not only a biological process but also a historical one "(Freire, 1987: 14).

Thus, it is possible to have a better understanding of the nurse's role or professional practice, which in turn makes it necessary to have a more analytical-interpretive view of the professional's own reality by considering his social place and the work universe of which he is a part. Nursing also understands, according to Lucília Nunes, the essence and specificity of caring for the human being in health, as well as the promotion of the health projects that each person lives and pursues, seeking to prevent disease and promote the processes of readaptation after disease, and thus seeking the satisfaction of basic human needs and maximum independence in carrying out the activities of daily life, all this is part of this humanizing process (Cunes, 2004: 37). Nonetheless, through such a situation, the nurse perceives himself well connected formatively and professionally motivated daily in his work. It is evident, however, that nursing was a line of progressively constructed process in the course of its history, where it has very important characteristics and significance, as Abreu points out (2008: 29):

It is common to refer to the "nursing process" as the nurse must systematically organize knowledge and information, which translates into a logical, human and scientifically acceptable form of intervention. The purpose of the nursing process is to define interventions that are consistent with human responses and needs.

With this premise can see how much it is possible for nurses to develop their capacity to analyze, interpret and evaluate the competence of the professional who is or wants to be. Hence, it requires a lot of their scientific, technical, bioethical and human education through the challenges that arise in their professional life, mainly from a region like the Brazilian Northeast of extreme deficiencies. The requirements of nursing training show the urgency of efficient professionals in the framework established by the purely technical training in nursing, implying a practice in which the consequences of incompetence are increasingly quantifiable, both from the strictly human point of view and in the economic costs, which leads to greater concern with productivity and efficiency (Queiroz, 2004: 30).

Nevertheless, nurses, in their daily lives, feel the need to have a continuous formation by the level of exigency in relation to the intellectual and humanistic content considering that it is a question of knowing more and more the biological, the ethical, the bioethical and the scientific (genetics) in a more consistent and critical way to better serve. However, as health implies a grandiose scientific and technical complex, involving several areas of knowledge because it is a field of research and investigation that is increasingly meticulous and tireless, so we also highlight medicine because its primary function is not to cure, but care, not to give more attention to the patient, but taking care of their life regime, thus helping them to maintain their health and avoid disease (Cf. Gomes, 2012). On the other hand, it is also a question of medicine being a true art developed by man in his culture. Historically, medicine is an area of human knowledge of which, notably, it has had more growth and expansion in both quantitative and qualitative terms. All this, because it is the care towards the human being integrated in nature. Medicine does not take care of man in isolation, but from his situations-limits, and thus has an ethical and bioethical responsibility which must also be supported by the other sciences he serves. Lolas comments (2006: 21),

Thus, medicine since the nineteenth century uses science, but it is not itself a science. It uses techniques, but it's not just technical. It produces and uses symbols and signs, but it is not simply semiotic technology. It recognizes, in the fruitful circle of its historical development and in the synchronicity of its coetaneous forms (properly interpellated and interpreted), all the records of the human. It provides a speech that amalgamates speaker, intention, language. It is a system and a "social institution," that is, objects, practices, people, relationships between things and people, interests, projects, history, things at the service of social goals.

In this view, it is possible to understand medicine as a great area of knowledge interacting with other areas, especially with philosophy. So, medicine really presents itself as an art, an "art of healing", an "art as a technique", a "singular art" as Gadamer points out (2009: 30,34,35), this art comes from marked antiquity by the code of ethics, the oath of Hippocrates thus establishing a public promise through a commitment to a moral. That is why the physician's first function is not to cure, but to prevent, to educate in the good management of the body and of life (Gomes, 2012).

Medicine, to this day, explicitly exerts a great power to emphasize its rational, empirical, scientific, and technical side, but also without detracting from its non-rationalized side, according to Gadamer (2009: 32-33), medicine exerts a fascinating power, that is,

The power of modern medicine is gorgeous. However, despite all the advances that the natural sciences have brought to our knowledge of disease and health, and despite the enormous investment made in rationalized techniques that allow for diagnosis and treatment, the terrain of the rationalized remains, in this respect, particularly, broad.

Thus, the physician is considered as the first reference. The physician finds himself involved in the task of saving lives, seeking a knowledge that offers him "the conditions of possibility of human action projected in the world from a local space-time" (Santos, 2007: 48). As well, "it demonstrates, with particular clarity, to what extent the relation between theory and practice under the conditions of modern science" (GADAMER, 2009: 32). Because medicine as a science has also brought "a functional knowledge of the world that has greatly extended our prospects for survival. Today it is not a matter of surviving as of knowing how to live "(SANTOS, 2007: 53).

The policies on the formation of the doctor are full of a direction not only didactic-pedagogical, but also of an ethical-philosophical dimension as a humanistic strategy of the future professional of health.

As we see society is facing challenges that imply transformative actions in which education and health are two fundamental poles that require individuals with scientific and technical capacities before the development of the medicine that is there; the care that must be taken before the bureaucratized institutional organs; the overburdened public machine, swollen of personnel in several sectors without much productivity while the health professionals who deserve more attention, qualification does not have public policies that make them more competent and, therefore, the critic of the society on such professionals denigrate its image ; on the other hand, health professionals live in an exacerbated activism and fail to adequately serve the population, especially the most needy.

3. Scientific and ethical-bioethics training of health professionals

It is fundamental the humanistic strategy of the future professional of health as an ethical value and as a fundamental condition that passes first for the quality of the professional you have, and you want to have. Hence the responsibility of the intellectual, scientific and technical formation is essential to maintain the quality in the health, since, nowadays the requirements become more and more challenging in terms of health, taking into consideration the transformations in the fields of scientific, technological, biotechnological and ethical-bioethical.

When considering the region (Northeast Brazil) has an elevated level of poverty and misery of its population, it requires that the health professional always keep in mind the question of justice and ethics to act more humanly than economically. Therefore, it is essential that both scientific training as ethics is more enlightening and conscientious in the sense of care, prevention and cure. We live today the profit-for-profit syndrome, and therefore the treatment given to the patient has been in accordance with his possessions, with having and not with being.

Health now considers the virtual world increasingly present and the same must approach people, because paradoxically a great social and professional distance has been taking place in this field. This gap breaks the value of the profession and the distance of a more social, more human and more affective relationship in the interpersonal relationship.

The training of the health professional should lead the professional to seek a critical awareness of reality through which he can establish a new form of communication between himself and the patient and that feedback be a prime condition in the formation of this critical consciousness. According to Roland Bee, "Criticism is an integral part of effective communication, that is, that which presupposes a speaker and an interlocutor" (2000, p. 9). Having a critical eye is part of the development of knowledge. Today, most health professionals do not interact with the patient and treat him coldly and indifferently. In this sense, a critical and communicative look at the patient's reality must also be a function of formation. Communicate critically with consciousness because "criticism is a link between the things you do and say and the understanding of the impact they have on people. (...) is to influence people at work, to know how to criticize properly is perhaps the most significant interpersonal skill that can be developed" (Ibidem, p. 9). Few health professionals act this way.

Another finding: we live in a society in which one judges for lack of human warmth and humanization. For lacking sincere and true friendships. The distance between the health professional and the patient (especially the doctor, who is characterized as cold and calculating) is perceptible. Science, technology and biotechnology are knowledge that require the development of their intellectual capacities and a programmatic content that counterbalances humanistic issues according to the CNM's conception. On the other hand, the nursing elaborates its critique to the training courses of nursing technicians because they do not offer adequate training and, therefore, many situations of gross errors are committed by technicians in hospitals and in private and public clinics. These conflicts impact the world of education and health with questions about the quality of education. It is extremely important to enable public policies that address the permanent training of the health professional in order to have a higher quality in public health. For this it is urgent more public power investments.

Responsibility for the pursuit of intellectual, scientific, ethical and bioethical knowledge hangs in the air and runs among of the trainees and professionals who deal with the public as a teacher, priest, lawyer, psychoanalyst or psychologist, doctor or nurse, etc. However, leading the human person to an integral formation leads to a social co-responsibility. It is also up to all a formation that offers a level of abstraction and holistic perception of the world and the universe as a whole and that are integrated to the realities that present themselves ahead the existence of life, since man as being of openness is always transcending the world in the here and now of history and throwing itself at once to a near future that seems distant. A world that emerges at every moment for the realization of the great human eschatological utopia. The role of the conscience and the professional formation from which it is established in the formative process for human communication and social interaction, and thus, the professional future can be able to develop and ethically establish an increasing contribution of the relational and socially healthy life as opposed to a pragmatic, mechanistic, utilitarian, exclusivist, isolationist, selfish lifestyle in which most people live; closed in its own inner world and outwardly bound to accumulate the stresses of everyday life.

While in the world of knowledge interests take on another dimension in relation to their own existence, says Lolas, "there is no knowledge without social interest. Nor is there interest without knowledge "(2006:26). To know is a human need that makes interacting in social life expand an ever-wider range of communication. Today, it is an essential condition where the individual or the professional, whatever the area of knowledge, is always attuned to the newness that frequently arises and that surrounds him in the scientific, technological and bioethical world.

Through this context, the health professional has the right and the duty to receive an intellectually efficient training, both clinically, technologically and ethically and bioethically, and thus, when confronted with the contradictions of human life and its reality concrete critically spurious, put more humanly. The professional becomes able to go in search of contributions to the changes and transformations possible and suitable within the world of health from the universe that medicine covers. It is from this situation that "health professionals in general must recognize in what way the culture affects the behavior and the state of health" of the human being, as Abreu points out. (2008:34). The doctor, for example, should not only concern himself with purely somatic healing, but should take into account the patient's individuality, his individuality, and his moral, human, and dignified integrity. Contributing, therefore, to the possible advances of medical science from the experience of human praxis itself is a logic that should not be separated in the world of medicine, biomedicine and biotechnology. Otherwise, the human being himself will be no more than a mere human guinea pig, as has always been considered, throughout history in the many years of scientific experiments. After all, what is all this development about if you do not act and act in a trustworthy and ethical way? The human being can not be treated as a simple guinea pig in the hands of professionals. It is therefore a posture that is humanly honorable and active in a way that does not contaminate the professional, the being of the individual, nor the patient.

According to Drane and Pessini (2005:63) a medicine that prioritizes the scientific, technical and humanistic formation will certainly train efficient and more human professionals seeking for the greater good of the patient.

It requires the medical professional an effort to verify what degree of initiative and self-determination the patient wants to exercise and then guarantee its expression. (...) obliges the medical professional to take the losses into consideration and to help the patients to overcome them. (...) obliges the medical professional to a personal contact that goes beyond a merely technical relationship with the patient.

As a requirement of training and professional life we consider that the work in the universe of health, whether medical or nursing, requires always an efficient and quality scientific training so that many errors can be avoided, as may happen in hospitals in the Northeast. Abreu considers that "a scientific discipline is characterized by a genealogy of problems that consubstantiate its attention (or focus of attention) and by an authority derived from the specificity of its intervention in the social context" (2008:17). It is precisely in this context that the conscience of a responsibility and an ethical commitment to the human being backed up in the right to life as a first condition of the maintenance and preservation of the concrete existence of the human being is established and strengthened. Consequently, it also implies a question of citizenship exercised by the health professional. Ahlert (2007:93) draws attention to the fact that Education, based on ethical principles, is an essentially collective process in which learning and the construction of knowledge are effected through the interrelation between subjects and between them and the whole of life. Education becomes a process of achievement that engenders humanization and the liberation of the human being.

As a professional requirement, human praxis is fundamental because it establishes a commitment to the other, to reality and to the world. It is a matter of professional consistency. Abreu affirms that it is important to observe that "professional practice and the clinical context constitute investment spaces integrating all of these concepts, in the extent to which people in the process of change are gravitating and interacting" (2008:17). It is the health professional, fundamentally, a subject that is constantly changing in terms of intellectual and human formation and who becomes the main person responsible for this reality, because it is up to him to find himself in this process of change and, consequently, to embark on professional life with a sense of responsibility, coherence and commitment in ethical and social life in an integrating and non-dissipative way.

The relevance to the human, intellectual and bioethical formation of the individual must be linked to a cognitive process geared towards a broader dimension of the complexity of human action, full of communication to better interact with the diversity of the socially developed working environment.

For this reason, the scientific and ethical training of the professional integrates comprehensively the relationship with the universe of limiting situations in which the professional is going to come across and, in this field of vision, there must be an openness to a health that is focused on perception of the world of the other in an extremely deprived society that involves more significant dimensions in the sphere of knowledge that must be acquired, be it biology or physics, psychology, socio-environmental and ethics-bioethics.

The professional in this formative process establishes an ethical and moral obligation with the society from the knowledge that these sciences give him with the due support for such. Fontana says that, "whether or not there is such an obligation, professionals have a moral responsibility to avoid dangers" (1998:350). However, we know that today it is not only a question of avoiding dangers, but of minimizing suffering, curing and caring for the human being with the proper skill and care as the first condition of formation in a vision, also, a principalist of beneficence and, above all, maleficence.

The revolutions that have occurred continuously in the world of scientific, technical, biological, biotechnological and bioethical knowledge have required the training of the health professional more and more competence and sensitivity to understand the development of the human being in an escalation of humanistic values in a continuous process of historical transition , especially the professional who is inserted in a challenging reality like that of the Brazilian Northeast where poverty and misery are the flagship of reality.

As it has been corroborated, the continuous need to train the individual to be a qualified professional also implies showing the need to personally invest in their identity and identification of the person and the subject of the change and historical transformation itself throughout the process of learning process concurrently with the experiences that are acquired professionally. Therefore, the ethical and moral values essential to the professional, as they are internalized and firmly rooted make the professional committed to the possible changes and transformations of the individual as well as their interpersonal and professional relationships in the achievements and overcoming the challenges that impede the advances population health.

Dubar (2006:158) sees that it is in the face of this obvious need of the individual that an experiential learning and a reflexive identity are implicit. Also, that experiential learning is necessary, assuming a specific connection to the knowledge and that it implies subjectivity anchoring in significant activities. Also continue to declare that this thought must be focused on the understanding and interaction of knowledge as fundamental to the subject / agent of the situation and the challenging reality that must be progressively incorporated by the human being in transformation, and that, in the first place, of the action experienced in a significant practice and linked to a personal commitment. In this case, the formation of the health professional is implicit, and the scientific training corresponds to a personal and social ethical responsibility. Hence, there is a concern from the medical ethics as the professional training which according Vieira and Neves (2009:22) the same worries about the professional behavior problems since the implementation of its concept as essential for the proper establishment of the relationship doctor-patient, the need to investigate the training of the future doctor and what teachers spend, for example, take a special look at students.

In the Brazilian Northeast, the intellectual and ethical training of the health professional has been a constant concern, which has led to the search for alternatives such as the creation of Hospital Ethics Committees where nurses and doctors find support to make decisions about the quality of life of patients; whether or not to orientate certain therapies or interventions that may pose as much risk and benefit to the patient and bioethically as to have ethical attitudes in the exercise of their activities in relation to the patient, in view of the principles of beneficence, justice and autonomy.

All this to motivate the practice of Hippocratic ethics in a clear and effective way. Therefore, the relationship with the patient is characterized according to the principle of never "harming or doing harm to anyone" (PESSINI; BARCHIFONTAINE, 2002, p. 431). In the modern oath, the doctor publicly professes:

I solemnly commit myself to consecrate my whole life to the service of humanity. (...) The health of my patient will be my first concern. (...) I will show the utmost respect for human life. (...) Not even coerced, I will use my medical knowledge for purposes that are contrary to human laws "(PESSINI; BARCHIFONTAINE, 2002, 432).

It is the duty of every health professional to know and practice the ethical and moral principles of the culture in which he lives in order to better serve and care, as well as training in philosophical, sociological, scientific and ethical-cultural humanism, otherwise training becomes purely technical information.

4. Conclusion

When we contemplate a challenging reality of the Brazilian Northeast, it drives us to turn our gaze critically to the perception of not only contestation, but also to show the urgent need for transformations where public managers can not neglect the basic needs in the health care of the underprivileged individual. This is an attitude that deserves the full attention of the citizen in the exercise of his citizenship and, moreover, our commitment as educators is together with the educating in the awakening of the critical conscience for the social responsibility of the praxis coherent of the professional, mainly, in the scope of the health.

Public policies are the key points to address more effective and urgent transformations, so they must be made feasible. Social mobilization shows that the manager only realizes these transformations when society is present. Society plays a role as inspectors of public management practices and one of the most efficient instruments has been the media, especially the new configurations of social networks, because in Brazil this reality is clear of respect and admiration.

The citizen found in the social networks the vehicle of assembling people to claim basic rights and duties of citizenship as more investment in education and health, in other words, program with more doctors in the interior regions, basic medications in polyclinics, hospitals and emergency center.

Therefore, one thing is certain: there can be no more consistent and profound changes in society without social mobilization, by an ethical society, especially at the level of health and quality education for all. For that very reason, preparing the professional of the future requires commitment, dedication and optimism.

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Ricardo Pinho Souto


The present article articulates processes of constitution of the moral conscience with the argumentation. This articulation is actualized from the analysis of the moral discourse of young people in situations of conflict with the law - temporarily deprived of the enjoyment of freedom. Considering the particularity of the participants (minors under socio-educational measure), the analytical emphasis rests on the discourse where violence and situations that lead to traumas are present. It is hypothesized that the discursive production, especially the argumentative discourse about moral dilemmas, brings in the possibility that the subjects engaged in the argumentative process can give new meanings to the situations that, in the case examined, involve a violation of human rights.

In the first moment, the model of cognition adopted will be presented. Leitão (2008) proposes that the semiotic and dialogical properties that constitute the argumentation confer to this type of discursive activity an inherent learning mechanism that converts it into a privileged mediation resource about processes of knowledge construction. Thus, argumentation (as social activity) establishes relations that have epistemological implications. The argumentative discourse promotes negotiations between divergent perspectives, leading to the emergence of processes that favor the reconstruction and resignification of the positions of participants engaged in the argumentative process.

Argumentative movements require that people pay attention to the bases of their own positions, making them realize the scope and limits of their statements. This reorientation implies a distance from the subject to its cognitive objects. In this way, the argumentation puts the foundations and limits of the knowledge as object of the own knowledge.

The argument thus mobilizes two semiotic levels: on a first level, it allows us to speak / think about the "things of the world"; on the second level, argumentative discourse enables us to speak / think about the bases of speech and thinking that speak about the "things of the world" itself.

Leitão (2000) proposes an analytical tool designed to capture processes of transformation that occur in discursive activities mediated by argumentation. The unit of analysis mentioned is composed of three elements: i) argument; ii) counter-argument; and (iii) response. The argument identifies the point of view brought by the proposer, momentarily indicating the subject's knowledge. The counter-argument introduces in the discourse the otherness that, in turn, forces the proponent to re-evaluate his initial positions. The third element, the answer, is a reaction to the counterargument. The answer allows to follow the dynamics of the organization and construction of senses. The follow-up of this process shows itself as an important tool for the analysis of learning as well as a source for pointing out the stages of social construction of knowledge.

It is worth noting, according to Leitão (2000), that the term knowledge is dealt with in a broad way, encompassing the different forms of meaning production. From these assumptions, the hypothesis was raised that the situations of construction and attribution of moral meanings could also be enhanced by the mediation of argumentative discourse. In the discussion presented in this article, the unit proposed by the aforementioned author guided the process of discourse analysis, in the exact sense in which this unit allows to capture the transformations of the participants' moral positions.

1. Brief theoretical considerations

Traditionally, reflection on ethics and morality comes from the philosophical tradition. From the standpoint of the present work questions of the order of human development, taken in their entirety, occupy a prominent position. In this sense, Piaget appears as an important reference, precisely by moving the investigative axis of traditional ontological categories and instituting developmental issues as a guideline for research on human morality. The relevance of the Piagetian work lies in the emphasis given to the problems concerning the acquisition and transformation of moral reasoning in the child.

In his work on the problem of moral judgment, Piaget (1994) defines morality as the relation of obedience or disobedience established by individuals in relation to certain systems of rules. Piaget has found two distinct forms of morality that have repercussions on adult moral life. The first is the morality that arises from the imposition or limitations imposed by adults, which leads to heteronomy and, consequently, to moral realism. The second moral form is based on cooperation, giving rise to autonomy. Here the influence of Kant (2004) appears in the Piagetian work. However, there are nuances of differences between the two authors. For Kant (2004), autonomy would be the negation of heteronomy, while Piaget (1994) thinks autonomy as a succession of heteronomy. In short, Piaget thinks of morality from a developmental point of view, elaborating what could be called an "evolutionary kantism" (FREITAS, 2002).

In the final part of his book, Piaget (1994) seeks to understand the emergence of the concept of justice. As a result, Piaget (1994) concludes that morality becomes consistent when relations of reciprocity and mutual respect occur among children or between children and adults.

In the analysis presented below, the Piagetian conceptualization of justice proves to be important, because in difficult situations (as in the interaction between police and minors) reciprocity and mutual respect are not always respected.

2. Methodology

The discussion analyzed came from the exhibition of the music video of the song A Minha Alma (My Soul), by the group O Rapa. The video clip portrays a group of young people living in a slum located in the city of Rio de Janeiro that leave the hill where they live towards the beach. On the way, one of the minors notices when money bills fall from the hand of a passer-by and tries to return them. This action, returning the money, is interpreted as an attempted theft by police officers who do a round up at the scene of the incident. From there, the police frame the young man as a criminal and, in a growing sequence of acts of violence, typical of a state of exception, he executes it. Police action sparked uprising in the dead boy's community, sparking strong street protests.

The discourse analyzed was registered in the Socio-educational Service Foundation – FUNASE (an institution dedicated to the care of young minors in situations of personal and social vulnerability in the State of Pernambuco). From preliminary interviews with officials of the institution, it was learned that the subjects involved – the minors in conflict with the law – had already had direct contact with the police. It was taken into account, according to Dimenstein (1998), that police violence and timid observance of human rights is a reality in the current Brazilian social context.

The focus of the analysis is the perception, materialized in the text, that the young participants in the discussion have regarding the concept of justice, and how this concept goes through a process of discursive deconstruction through argumentation.

Speech turns are listed and italicized. The names of the young people were changed to keep them anonymous. Some words or brief excerpts are underlined or appear in bold to highlight important moments in the discussion. The shifts of the researcher are presented after the word Researcher.

2.1. Analysis, results and considerations

T-1) Researcher - Hey guys, did you like the clip? Has everyone understood the story? Who would like to tell you what happened in the clip?

T-2) Gilson - The police killed the boy...

T-3) Researcher - Did the police kill the child? And what was the reason? Why?

T-4) Enio - He was mugging.

T-5) Researcher - He was mugging? Was he?

T-6) Enio - I was trafficking...[1]

The discussion is opened with the researcher seeking to know if there was understanding about the assisted material. The reply, T-2: “the police killed the boy ...”, is quite objective, summarizing coherently but summarily the plot of the video clip targeted by the discussion. Without signs of understanding problems, the investigator asks for a possible justification for the police action in T-3: “Police killed the child? And what was the reason? Because?”. We highlight, in this first moment, the perception and understanding presented by Enio in T-4 and T-6. In these shifts, Enio argues that police killed the youngest person portrayed in the video because he was a criminal: a mugger in T-4, and a drug dealer in T-6. Enio's argument could be sketched as a point of view: the minor was murdered, followed by a justification: he was murdered for being a mugger / dealer.

Lerner (1997) argues that human beings have the psychological need to believe that the events that take place in people's lives (including actions involving the guilty and their victims) occur on the merits of the people themselves – the Just World Theory – that each individual would always be worthy of the circumstances to which they are subjected: Good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.

Kristjánsson (2004) points to two central aspects of the theory developed by Lerner (1997) and collaborators: a) the idea that the world must not only be just, but fair; and b) although the belief that we live in a just world is universal, not everyone has the same degree in this belief. Presenting the theory developed by Lerner (1997), Correia and Vala (2003, page 342) explain that:

the belief in the just world and the motivation for its re-establishment [...] are psychological mechanisms that maintain the illusion of personal invulnerability necessary to the maintenance of the confidence in the future and the realization of investments in the long term.[2]

The theory referred to above would have an explanatory power against Enio's statements (T-4 and T-6), since it would impose guilt on the victim (the murdered minor), harmonizing the actions examined in justice. The phenomenon of secondary victimization – a phenomenon on the basis of the Just World Theory, according to which the victim is blamed for the events that victimized them – would be the psychological resource that Eden would be using to generate her argument. From the perspective of the current analysis, what stands out is the role of counter-argumentation as the initiator of the possibilities of transformation of the moral conceptions brought to the discursive scene.

The opposition against Enio's argument begins with the turn of researcher T-5: "He was mugging? Was he?". With this turn, the researcher checks the first justification presented, since it puts the assertion of Enio in the form of interrogation, signaling with the possibility of defense for competing interpretations. This (the defense of other interpretations) comes on the next turn. However, in T-6, Enio persists in the secondary victimization movement, claiming that the police murdered the child portrayed in the video because he was a trafficker.

T-7) He was trafficking ... let's see it again?

Group watch video again

T-8) Researcher - What now? What do you think?

T-9) Airton - He went to return the money, and the police thought he was stealing ... and killed him.

T-10) Enio - The guy who dropped it ... he did it to test ... if the boy was going to steal it or return it.

T-11) Researcher - But ...

T-12) Enio - He was going to return it.[3]

With the reaffirmation of Enio's argument (the young man was killed for being a criminal) the researcher summons the participants to watch the video clip again, and asks for a new positioning of the group. The "What now?" marker stands out in T-8, which points to possible interpretations competing with those defended until then. The effect of meaning that emerges from the "What now?" is derived from this expression delimiting two very distinct moments: the before and after the second exhibition of the controversial stretch. With this resource the researcher points to the existence of at least two interpretations. The first one would have been defended by Enio: the minor portrayed in the video has a certain responsibility for the crime of which he was victimized. The second interpretation simply emerges as a possibility: a position at odds with Enio's argument. Also noteworthy is the addressing given to the T-8 turn. The researcher addresses the community, a moment captured textually by the enunciation of the pronoun "you", pointing out that discursive divergences can and should be treated from the argument within the group itself. This action potentiates the occurrence of oppositions and the consequent transformations in the participants' moral discourse.

The reinterpretation of the video comes on T-10, when Airton marks opposition to Enio. While Enio has argued that the portrayed minor was killed for being a criminal, Airton counter-claims that the police killed the boy because "he thought he was stealing." The speech effect that emerges from Airton's statement is a dichotomy between being and thinking. Thinking acquires here the sense of place of deceit: thinking as a "finding" wrong. Airton begins T-10 defending that the action of the minor protagonist would be to "return the money". So when Airton states that the police "thought he was stealing," the thinking marks the wrong reading made by the police: a “thinking” that is at odds with “being”. While Enio's argument holds that the young man was a criminal, Airton's counter-argument implicitly argues that the minor portrayed in the video was murdered by the police’s mistake.

With Airton's opposition, Enio, in T-10, begins to reconstruct his argument. At the beginning of the interview, Enio argues that the young man was killed for being a criminal. After the researcher's discursive actions, which produced pragmatic conditions for oppositions to emerge, and after Airton's counter-argument, when he claims to have been the young man killed because the police misjudged his actions, Enio lessens his certainty about the event discussed, when he conceives the possibility that the minor is being subjected to a type of test made to know "if he would steal it or return it (the money)." Thus, T-10 points to a modification in the early argument of Enio since it diminishes its scope.

In the sequence T-11, the researcher states what Koch (2004) points out as a typical counter-argument marker, "but", followed by pause. These events provide evidence to Enio that he must resume the flow of his speech. These actions precipitate the withdrawal of the initial argument, since the minor, who had previously been interpreted as a mugger / trafficker, is now perceived as innocent since he (the lesser protagonist of the video clip) was handing over the money to the rightful owner- view shown on T-12.

T-12 marks a radical change in Enio's argument. Relevant for the present analysis is the fact that the discursive transformations followed in the previous paragraphs are directly related to moral problems. Morality is always tied to what we conceive as right or wrong, to events that attract or repulse us, to which we understand as preferable or avoidable. When Enio modifies his perception of the actions of the minor portrayed in the video clip (at first, the minor was considered a criminal in the later moments as innocent), the perception about police action will also change and, consequently, moral evaluation of actions examined will also be processed. In this way, the argumentation enhances the possibilities of construction and reconstruction of the emerging moral meanings throughout the discussion.

T-31) Researcher - So the question I was going to ask you is why did the police come that way?

T-32) Airton - Because he thought the boy would steal and mug.

T-33) Gilson – It’s no good ...

T-34) Researcher - what?

T-35) Multiple overlapping lines

T-36) Researcher - I want to hear one by one

T-37) Enio - The boy is from the slums, they do not think much of him...

T-38) Gilson - They are prejudiced ...

T-39) Researcher – come again?

T-40) Gilson - They are prejudiced ...

T-41) Airton - Because when the person is from the slums, they think that the boys are thief. If he was a blue-eyed blondish ... blond ... they would not do that. Not only thugs live in the slums, family fathers live there as well. Honest people ...[4]

From the consideration that the police acted erroneously - a position that emerges in the first section analyzed -, the researcher, in T-31, again requests interpretations about the motivation of the police. Airton, on T-32, again through the enunciation of the verb “to think” in the sense of a misconception, reaffirms his argument: the police would have acted from a misperception of reality. In the current segment, this argument (police killed the young man by mistake) is targeted by counter-argumentation movements, imposing transformations on emerging axiological arguments.

After a stretch with overlapping lines (between T-33 and T-36) a new assessment of police action emerges. Enio, who in the first instance defended the argument of secondary victimization - through which the murdered minor would have responsibilities for the crime that victimized him - defends a new moral perspective: the discourse that turns against injustice and prejudice.

This position is apprehended in T-37: "the boy is from the slums, they do not think much of him...". In this turn, Enio finds the reasons for the police action from the socioeconomic origin of the murdered minor. According to the argument put forward by Enio in T-37, it is because he belonged to a certain segment of society that the boy portrayed in the video is subjected to violent action by the police, a position quite different from his initial argument, when it was argued that protagonist of the video clip would have been killed for being mugger or trafficker.

The turn T-37 marks a new way of understanding about the evaluated events, opening space for the other participants to share their implicit senses. Adherence to Enio's argument emerges in Gilson's statement at T-38 and T-40, when he asserts that the police act out of prejudice and in the turn T-41, when Airton points out the reasons for police action based on social bases and ethnicity.

Approaching the moral universe using a terminology of Ecology itself, Haydon (2004) draws a parallel between physical environments and ethical environments. Ethical, "healthy" and "sustainable" environments are, in the author's view, incompatible with racist attitudes, disrespect for human rights, acts of intolerance and acts of violence. In the section analyzed, the participants' arguments move towards a position opposed to a "deteriorated" moral scenario, since they disregard the police actions, conceived as prejudiced.

This disagreement with the arbitrary actions committed by the police stands out in Airton’s turn T-41: "Because when the person is from the slums, they think that the boys are thief. If he was a blue-eyed blondish ... blond ... they would not do that. Not only thugs live in the slums, family fathers live there as well. Honest people ...". Airton's statement is marked by the contrast between two moral perspectives: (i) the position of the police perceived to be unjust and prejudiced - provided that different treatments stem from the social position and ethnicity of the citizens; and (ii) the voice that distorts and denounces this situation - position found at the end of Airton's turn, when he denies the assumptions underlying police actions.

It is also important to emphasize that, from the previously discussed conflict, there is an opportunity for participants to join a moral position disassociated from prejudice and violence, aspects commonly valued in different approaches in the field of education aimed at the construction of moral values (CRAWFORD, 2001).

T-42) Researcher - That's right. The boy took the money to return it ...

T-43) Airton - And was beaten. They already approached aggressively. They already killed the guy.

T-44) Researcher - The police acted out of prejudice. Then I ask you: why are we prejudiced? Who would like (inaudible). One by one. Let's talk like this. Whoever wants to speak raises their hand. Another one says "I want to talk". And we'll get the word out.

T-45) Airton - I think, let's put it this way: I'm white, you're dark. We do not like dark people, because they are darker than I, I do not know what... things like that. This is a prejudice already.

T-46) Researcher - Right. Airton said that it is a bias linked to race, color. Is it not?

T-47) Airton - Yeah.

T-48) Researcher - I think Enio was going to say something, was not he? You can talk...

T-49) Enio - It's because ... it's because they have anger, the person is angry at whoever steals.

T-50) Researcher - Anger of whoever steals But from what we saw, the boy was not stealing.

T-51) Enio - He already has anger, so he already (inaudible) thinking that he will steal, and ...

T-52) Airton – He goes already slashing on anyone.[5]

Lerner (1997) understands the belief in justice as a principle governing important events in people's lives and argues that the dilution of this belief carries a damaging role in the moral perception that individuals have of the world. In the analyzed segment, participants' discourse is built upon disbelief in justice. The linguistic clue that points to this - unbelief in justice - is given by the recurrent enunciation of the adverb "already", underlined in the previous passage. From the perspective of the present analysis, the adverb enunciation is interpreted as an indicator of motivations that a priori would be the basis of the police action, thus unleashing the police action of any understanding mounted on meritorious categories.

Airton on T-43 “And was beaten. They already approached aggressively. They already killed the guy”, and Enio on T-51 “He already has anger, so he already (inaudible) thinking that he will steal, and ...” proceed to argue that the police did not kill the minor because he (the dead minor) was a criminal - argument defended at the beginning of the interview by Enio -, nor only for an error of interpretation of the actions of the minor portrayed in the video clip - counter-argument proposed by Airton in opposition to the positions of Enio. In the section analyzed, the participants explore the argument that circulates in the group: the police killed by prejudice, therefore they committed an act of injustice. The adverb "already" generates the effect of discourse of actions that have their motivations in the past, with no chance for the understanding of the events examined from categories such as justice or merit.

The gratuitous acts of violence and the resulting disrespect for human rights appear at the end of the segment, in T-52: “He goes already slashing on anyone”. The "anyone" at the end of the statement marks the randomness of the violence committed by the police: there is no moral reason for police action, thus remaining a single understanding: the actions analyzed are subject to the categories of injustice and chance.

As stated in the introduction, the situation discussed was based on the Just World Theory. Such a theory holds that we humans do not comfort ourselves with the possibility that random forces govern the relevant events in our existence. According to Lerner (1997), believing in a just world plays the role of "organizing principle" in people's lives. Extreme situations, such as wars and calamities, lead to the rupture of this fundamental belief, being harmful to the psychological functioning of the subjects and their worldviews. In the analyzed segment, the participants' arguments point to a conception of the world in which the notion of justice is weakly present.

T-95) Researcher – Well, does anybody have (inaudible) similar story, would anybody have?

T-96) Airton – I think it is a bit... I was there in Treze de Maio park, do you know it, in the city centre?

T-97) Researcher – I do.

T-98) Airton – Me, my brother, another boy. Then, they arrived...

T-99) Researcher – They who?

T-100) Airton – Three policemen. He arrived, parked the motorcycle, approached. So, where we were (inaudible). He asked how old we were. When it was my turn, I said I was 13 years old. He “ah! It's you, man ... you're going to be arrested”. I say, “Why am I going to be arrested? do what to be arrested?” He, “I don’t want to know”. Then he put pressure on me, then went looking through the bags, then found what? A "Herbissimo

T-101) Moisés – Deodorant.

T-102) Airton – Desodorant, Herbíssimo. These green little pots in the bag, very small. Then he said, he looked like this "this pot is full of something", "there, there is nothing there, there is deodorant". Then he went on the motorbike, opened that little box, said "let's change with mine?". Then the guy said "no. I'm not going to change." He "let's change with mine?" Then he opened it like that, threw it on the floor. There were five crack stones, four small "dollars”. "put it all, for the big (inaudible)”. Then he called me, he put pressure on me. Wants to make excuses for the guy to be arrested. (inaudible).

T-103) Enio – These policeman, too (inaudible), seems like they are envious. He stopped my colleague and two more. (inaudible) ... two marijuana "dollar". "Ah! And yours, right?" (Inaudible)... "You cannot even explain it." Then he was arrested, taken to the police station.

T-104) Hildemir – That is wrong too... putting...

T-105) Enio – They make us confess... [6]

In this section, the researcher requests the report of occurrences present in the life history of the participants that have similarity to the situations evaluated. In this segment, the narratives about concrete and analogous experiences are marked by the occurrence of direct discourse, a discourse that preserves the original situations of occurrence.

Airton, in T-100, narrates a meeting that he, a brother and a friend had with police officers. Airton's statement "reproduces" his dialogue with ROCAM (Special Patrol of the Military Police) police officers. From the use of direct speech, Airton emphasizes the authoritative word that characterizes the police officer's speech. Bakhtin (2006) defines authoritative discourse as opposed to 'internally persuasive discourse'. Authoritative discourse is treated as a form of language clothed with power that addresses us from the outside, it is distanced, a taboo, and does not allow modifications in its structure. This definition falls perfectly on the effect of meaning that emerges from the statements of Airton and Enio, when they quote the voice of the policeman.

In T-100, the police's speech assumes the tone of sentences that should not be subjected to refutation, such as: “ah! It's you, man ... you're going to be arrested” . The "same" acquires the sense of "really", indicating orders that must be fulfilled; the "going to be arrested", when it points to future events that will occur inexorably, characterizes discourse not susceptible to change. In the account of Enio, T-103, the police officer's voice is reported in the following terms: "You cannot even explain it" , being an evidence also of discursive attitudes referred to what Bakhtin (2006) proposes as an authoritative word. Among other characteristics, authoritative discourse has as its source a hierarchically superior instance and "does not allow choices between itself and other possible equivalent discourses" (p. 342). From the point of view of this analysis, we argue that by reporting the police voice to their reports, participants do so to mark their opposition to the situation.

It is argued that Airton and Enio are using discursive strategies that aim to disagree, discursively and morally, with the treatment they suffer in the situations described. In short, the participants are positioning themselves against the police actions considered unfair and arbitrary. That is, in the process of constructing a fabricated discourse to speak about justice, alterity, embodying its reverse, "enters" this process and that discourse, becoming inseparable from it.

Final considerations

From the results presented above, we begin to conceive of moral discourse as the relation between an agent that gives meaning to the world from socially available moral languages. One could then ponder the transformative impact of argumentative movements on the participants' moral perspectives.

For example, in the section analyzed, it is seen that Enio first argues that the young man portrayed in the video was murdered for being a probable criminal. After a long process, filled with argumentative-oppositional discursive movements, Enio removes her argument and goes on to argue that the action examined is due to the underprivileged social position occupied by the portrayed minor.

The transformation of arguments directly implies an essentially moral position, since the world is evaluated in terms of "right" or "wrong", preferable or repudiable. This evaluative return of the individual to the actual statements made about the real is described in Leitão (2007; 2008) as an operation of an eminently metacognitive / reflexive nature. From this, it is argued that the accompaniment of argumentative movements and their consequent repercussions on the moral positions of the subjects throws a new light on the process of constitution and development of the moral conscience.

Considering that, in general, research in the field of moral judgment tends to analyze the product of development (stages, stages, phases already achieved), we think that one of the contributions of this article lies precisely in the procedural treatment given to the phenomenon. And, finally, the opportunity is highlighted that throughout the discursive process, the participants narrate their traumatic experiences resulting from meetings presided over by arbitrary actions, contrary to the principles that govern human rights and the dignity of the person.


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CRAWFORD, P. D. Educating for Moral Ability : reflections on moral development based on Vygotsky's theory of concept formation. Journal of Moral Education. v. 30, n. 2, p. 113-129, jun.2001. Disponível em: <;lang=pt-br&site=ehost-live>. Acesso em: 08 ago. 2005.

DIMENSTEIN, G. O cidadão de papel: A infância, a adolescência e os direitos humanos no Brasi l. São Paulo: Ática, 1998. 157 p.

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* Catholic University of Pernambuco

* Catholic University of Pernambuco.

[1] Original speech turns:

T-1) Pesq – E aí pessoal, vocês gostaram do clip? Todo mundo entendeu a estória? Quem gostaria de contar o que aconteceu no clip?

T-2) Gilson – A polícia matou o menino...

T-3) Pesq – a polícia matou o menor? E qual foi o motivo? Por quê?

T-4) Ênio – tava assaltando.

T-5) Pesq – tava assaltando? Será?

T-6) Ênio – Tava traficando...

[2] Free translation.

[3] T-7) Pesq – tava traficando... vamos ver de novo?

Grupo assiste ao vídeo novamente

T-8) Pesq – E agora? O que vocês acham?

T-9) Airton – ele foi devolver o dinheiro, e a polícia pensou que ele tava roubando... e matou ele.

T-10) Ênio – O cara que deixou cair...ele já fez pra testar... se ele ia roubar ou entregar.

T-11) Pesq – mas...

T-12) Ênio – Ele ia entregar.

[4] T-31) Pesq – Aí a pergunta que eu ia fazer a vocês é por que será que a polícia já chegou daquela forma?

T-32) Airton – Porque pensou que o menino ia roubar e assaltar.

T-33) Gilson – Num presta não...

T-34) Pesq – o que?

T-35) Várias falas sobrepostas

T-36) Pesq – Eu quero ouvir um por um

T-37) Ênio – O menino assim é de favela, eles não considera muito não...

T-38) Gilson – Eles são preconceituoso...

T-39) Pesq – como é que é?

T-40) Gilson – Eles são preconceituoso...

T-41) Airton – Porque quando a pessoa é de favela, eles acham que os meninos são ladrão. Se fosse galeguinho do olho azul... louro... eles não fazia isso não. Na favela só mora bandido não, mora pai de família também. Gente honesta...

[5] T-42) Pesq – Pois é. O rapaz pegou pra devolver o dinheiro...

T-43) Airton – E foi espancado. chegou chegando. mataram o cara.

T-44) Pesq – A polícia agiu por preconceito. Aí eu pergunto a vocês: por que a gente é preconceituoso? Quem gostaria de (inaudível). Um por um. Vamos conversar assim. Quem quiser falar levanta a mão. Outro diz “quero falar”. E a gente vai passando a palavra.

T-45) Airton – Eu acho, vamos dizer assim: Eu sou branco, você é moreno. A gente não gosta de moreno, porque ele é mais escuro que eu, não sei o que... essas coisas assim. Isso aí é um preconceito .

T-46) Pesq – Certo. Airton disse que é um preconceito ligado à raça, à cor. Né isso?

T-47) Airton – É.

T-48) Pesq – Acho que Ênio ia falar alguma coisa, num foi? Pode falar...

T-49) Ênio – É porque... é porque eles têm raiva, a pessoa tem raiva de quem rouba.

T-50) Pesq – Raiva de quem rouba Mas, pelo o que a gente viu, o rapaz não tava roubando.

T-51) Ênio – Ele tem raiva, aí vai (inaudível) pensando que vai roubar, e...

T-52) Airton – vai descontando em qualquer um.

[6] T-95) Pesquisador – Bem, alguém tem (inaudível) história parecida que passou, alguém teria?

T-96) Airton – Eu acho que é um pouco... tava ali no parque Treze de Maio, o senhor conhece, ali na cidade?

T-97) Pesquisador – Conheço.

T-98) Airton – Eu, meu irmão, outro menino lá. Aí, eles chegaram...

T-99) Pesquisador – Eles quem?

T-100) Airton – Três policiais da Rocam. Chegou, encostou a moto, abordou. Ai assim, onde a gente tava (inaudível). Perguntou a idade. Quando chegou na minha idade, aí eu disse que tinha 13 anos. Ele “ah! É tu mesmo, pá...vai ser preso”. Eu digo: “Por que eu vou ser preso? fazer o que pra ser preso?” Ele, “quero saber não, e pá”. Aí, ficou fazendo pressão, aí foi procurar nas bolsas, aí achou o que? Um “Herbíssimo”.

T-101) Moisés – Desodorante.

T-102) Airton – Desodorante, Herbíssimo. Esses potinhos verdes, na bolsa, bem pequenininho. Aí disse, olhou assim “esse pote tá cheio de alguma coisa”, “aí, tem nada aí não, aí é desodorante”. Aí, ele foi na moto, abriu aquela caixinha, fez “vamos trocar com o meu?”. Aí o cara fez “não. Num vou trocar não”. Ele “vamos trocar com o meu?” Aí ele abriu assim, jogou no chão. Aí tinha cinco pedra de crack, quatro “dólar” pequena. “bota tudinho, pra grande” (inaudível). Aí me chamou, ficou me pressionando. Quer botar desculpa pra levar o cara preso. (inaudível).

T-103) Ênio – Esses policial, também (inaudível), parece que eles têm inveja. Ele parou meu colega e mais dois. (inaudível)... duas “dólar” de maconha. “ah! E seus, né?” (inaudível)... “Não tem nem como explicar isso”. Aí ele foi preso, levou pra delegacia.

T-104) Hildemir – Isso é errado também... botar...

T-105) Ênio – Eles faz a gente assumir...

Excerpt out of 143 pages


Contemporary Issues Across Ethics and Epistemology
Studies of Ethics and Epistemology from a Latin American Perspective
Catholic University of Pernambuco  (Departamento de Filosofia)
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Collection of philosophical texts by professors of the Catholic University of Pernambuco/Brazil
Papers, Ethics, Epistemology, Latin American, philosophy
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Professor Assistente Danilo Vaz-Curado Ribeiro de Menezes Costa (Author), 2018, Contemporary Issues Across Ethics and Epistemology, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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