Msgr. Francesco Follo, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on the occasion of the 170th session of UNESCO's Executive Council, stressed that a basic philosophical reflection on respect for the human person must guide deliberation on ethical questions.
"If UNESCO wishes to be able to promote the universality and efficacy of ethical norms as stipulated in the document on the ethics of the economy, it must dare to engage in a more basic reflection on the universal need to respect the human being," said Msgr. Follo in his speech given in Paris on Friday, October 8.
He said that "reducing moral problems to purely ethical-technical questions and forgetting the question of the universality of the proposed norms," is a “weak point” in UNESCO’s deliberation.
Msgr. Follo listed the following three reasons for introducing philosophical reflection into ethics:
"Philosophy as a discussion on reality and meaning is the mediating agent of the dialogue that can take place between science and ethics";
Philosophical reflection is a means of "debating the validity and universality of norms";
Philosophical reflection "on the totality of the field of experience must help in articulating ethics of the cultural and religious patrimony of different human communities."