Marta Bertolaso

Philosophy of Cancer – A Dynamic and Relational View.


Marta Bertolaso Professor of Philosophy of Science Faculty of Engineering & Institute of Philosophy of Scientific and Technological Practice, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome.


Since the 1970s, the origin of cancer is being explored from the point of view of the Somatic Mutation Theory (SMT), focusing on genetic mutations and clonal expansion of somatic cells. As cancer research expanded in several directions, the dominant focus on cells remained steady, but the classes of genes and the kinds of extra-genetic factors that were shown to have causal relevance in the onset of cancer multiplied. The wild heterogeneity of cancer-related mutations and phenotypes, along with the increasing complication of models, led to an oscillation between the hectic search of ‘the’ few key factors

that cause cancer and the discouragement in face of a seeming ‘endless complexity’. To tame this complexity, cancer research started to avail itself of the tools that were being developed by Systems Biology. At the same time, anti-reductionist voices began claiming that cancer research was stuck in a sterile research paradigm. This alternative discourse even gave birth to an alternative theory: the Tissue Organization Field Theory (TOFT). A deeper philosophical analysis shows limits and possibilities of reductionist and anti-reductionist positions and of their polarization. This book demonstrates that a radical philosophical reflection is necessary to drive cancer research out of its impasses. At the very least, this will be a reflection on the assumptions of different kinds of cancer research, on the implications of what cancer research has been discovering over 40 years and more, on a view of scientific practice that is most able to make sense of the cognitive and social conflicts that are seen in the scientific community (and in its results), and, finally, on the nature of living entities with which we entertain this fascinating epistemological dance that we call scientific research. The proposed Dynamic and Relational View of carcinogenesis is a starting point in all these directions.

Robert D. Enright and Richard P. Fitzgibbons

Forgiveness Therapy: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope.


Dr. Robert Enright is a professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a licensed psychologist, and co-founder of the International Forgiveness Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the dissemination of knowledge about forgiveness and community renewal through forgiveness.

He is the unquestioned pioneer in the scientific study of forgiveness. He has been called “the forgiveness trailblazer” by Time magazine and is often introduced as “the father of forgiveness research” because of his 34-year academic commitment to researching and implementing forgiveness programs.

Dr. Enright is the author or editor of seven books and over 150 publications centered on social development and the psychology of forgiveness. He pioneered forgiveness therapy and developed an early intervention to promote forgiveness—the 20-step “Process Model of Forgiving.”

His latest endeavors include forgiveness education in various world communities (for example Belfast, Bethlehem, Manila, and Monrovia) so that students begin to learn about forgiveness, which may aid their resilience as they confront and overcome serious injustices against them now and into adulthood.

Richard Fitzgibbons, M.D., is the director of the Institute for Marital Healing outside Philadelphia. He has treated and written extensively about excessive anger and other psychological conflicts in marriage, children, divorce, the priesthood and the crisis in the Church over the past 40 years. The benefits of Faith are described in much of his writing.

He trained in psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center. He graduated from Temple University School of Medicine and St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia.

He has served on the Board of Directors of the International Forgiveness Institute, taught at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., served as a consultant to the Congregation for the Clergy at the Vatican and is a member of the John Paul II Academy for Human Life and Family.

His book, Habits for a Healthy Marriage: A Handbook for Catholic Couples, dedicated to St. John Paul II for his luminous writing on marriage, will be published August 27, 2019 by Ignatius Press.

One of the happiest days of his life was when the APA agreed to the request of Dr. Robert Enright and himself that their latest book be entitled Forgiveness Therapy: An Empirical Guide for Resolving Anger and Restoring Hope.

Dr. Enright and he hope that, given the high prevalence of excessive anger in psychiatric disorders in youth and adults, Forgiveness Therapy will in the future contribute to protocols being developed to uncover and treat this anger that interferes with treatment and contributes to relapse.


The book, Forgiveness Therapy, published by the American Psychological Association in 2015, is grounded in theology, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, education, and the social scientific method.  To understand forgiveness, one must understand the ancient origins first of a God who forgives out of love for humanity.  Aristotelian realist philosophy posits an essence to humanity as rational, which is extended by Thomas Aquinas to include the essence of charity or love in service to others.  The end point of any person, then, is to love, even if this summum bonum is never fully reached. 


            The moral virtue of forgiveness centers on love, even toward those who are deeply unfair to the one who forgives.  Those who forgive first know that they have been treated unfairly by others, make a rational decision to forgive or offer goodness to the one who was not good to the forgiver, and then struggle to give, as best as they can, kindness, respect, generosity, and love to the offending person.  As Aristotle instructs, we never reach perfection in our expression of any virtue and so forgiveness is developmental, with greater advancement toward its endpoint of love the more one practices this virtue.  As Aristotle further instructs, no one moral virtue should be practiced in isolation of other moral virtues.  Thus, forgiveness and the quest for justice should emerge together. 

            The field of psychology has contributed to this work in explicating a pathway, the Process Model of Forgiveness, which includes a decision to do no harm to the other, understanding the other as more than the offenses, and the challenge to see the unconditional worth in the other, thus engendering compassion and empathy for that other.  The field of psychiatry has contributed to this work by showing, through case studies of clients or patients, that this process leads to positive mental health and relational change. The epistemology for deeply understanding and validating the Process Model, including its generalization to different populations, is the scientific method in which randomized experimental and control group clinical trials show that as people go through the process of forgiving, they become healthier in that their anger, anxiety, and depression lessen and their self-esteem and hope for the future increase. 


            All of these disciplines—theology, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry, and the scientific method—contribute to the development of forgiveness education curricula for children and adolescents.  As students read age-appropriate stories of characters in conflict, these students learn what forgiveness is, how to go about it, and to choose for themselves if and when to forgive those who offend them.  The practice of forgiveness can give great meaning to the life of those hurt by others. Forgiveness, thus, has direct importance in individual hearts, families, communities, homeless shelters, prisons, and world zones in conflict.  Would the world be a better place if all took seriously the idea that forgiveness deserves a place wherever people are in interaction with one another?  The paradoxical offering of love to those who offend can help people leave a legacy of love that can continue long after the person is gone from this earth.

Bruno Dyck

Innovations in Teaching and Introductory Course in Management.


Bruno Dyck’s Expanded Reason Award for “Innovations in teaching an introductory course in management” recognizes innovations he has developed over a thirty-year period at the Asper School of Business (University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada), where he has won teaching awards at the Faculty and the University levels. His innovations—which have an on-going and particularly holistic focus on sustainability—have benefitted students world-wide via the textbooks and related research he has published.


Rather than describe his particular innovations as they have unfolded chronologically during his career, this brief description of his work will highlight his innovations evident in the most-recent management textbook he has co-authored:


Dyck, B., Caza, A., and Starke, F. (2018). Management: Financial, Social, and Ecological Well-Being. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: Sapajo Publishing.


This textbook covers all the core material found in conventional management textbooks, but with several key differences. Most notably, each chapter presents three different approaches to management, each of which is based upon a different moral-point-of-view:


1) Financial Bottom Line (FBL) management, which focuses on maximizing financial well-being, and is based on a consequential utilitarian moral-point-of-view


2) Triple Bottom Line (TBL) management, which also focuses on maximizing financial well-being via sustainable development, and is based on an enlightened consequential utilitarian moral-point-of-view


3) Social and Ecological Though (SET) management, which focuses on enhancing socio-ecological well-being ahead of maximizing profits, and is based on a virtue ethics moral-point-of-view.


In general, by describing how all approaches to management are inherently value-laden, and how each moral-point-of-view gives rise to a distinct approach to management, the book compels students to think about each of the four dimensions of Expanded Reason Awards, as follows.


1) Anthropological dimension: each of the three approaches to management make different assumptions about: the vision of humankind (e.g., SET management has the greatest focus on solidary, and FBL management is most individualistic), freedom of humankind (e.g., SET management places greatest emphasis on the social construction of reality), and the inherit dignity of humans (especially emphasized in SET management).


2) Epistemological dimension: the scope of measurement standards regarding what truly constitutes effective management is the narrowest for FBL management (profits) and the broadest for SET management (social and ecological externalities, including values like compassion and the decommodification of success).


3) Ethical dimension: because each approach to management is underpinned by a different ethical- or moral-point-of-view, students are compelled to reflect on how ethics are manifest in management practice, and to think about what their own personal moral-point-of-view is and how they will put it into practice in the workplace.


4) Philosophical dimension: the book dares to ask and to discuss at some length the question: “What is the meaning of life?” which is linked to the hallmarks of the literature on meaningful work.


Students clearly appreciate learning about different approaches of management. After the course, about 5 percent of students self-identify as FBL managers, 75 percent as TBL managers, and 20 percent as SET managers. A highlight for Dyck is when, after the course is completed, students tell him that they do not identify with one of the management approaches described in the textbook, but rather that taking the course has helped them to better understand their own personal moral-point-of-view and how they want to express it in their careers.


Dyck’s innovations are particularly noteworthy in how they are supported by his pedagogical research, and by his studies that develop theory and practice in SET management. For more information, please visit Dyck’s website and/or the textbook website.