Filippo Salvia

Considerazioni su tecnica e interessi

  • Abstract

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Through an examination of the notions of science and technique in the philosophical and legal debate, the author observes that the contributions of "technique" to administrative activity rarely, if ever, take concrete form in the application of "merely technical rules" (e.g., those rules produced by the scientific communities in medicine, engineering, etc.), since these communities are generally "conditioned or contaminated by legal rules and regulations" formulated according to the logic of "interests". In order to clarify how and in what sense the play of "interests" can bear on "scientific activities and techniques", the author holds up for examination the contents and consequences of the following classification: a) verifications and evaluations of a "declarative" type;; b) technical evaluations of a planning/operational type. In the first instance the conditioning of the interests may be present, but remains external: while the second type of evaluations entail an atypical micro-consideration of the interests. The author then examines the place of planning/operational evaluations in administrative proceedings. Finally, after considering the renewed importance of Socratic scientific ignorance, which is to say a science whose only "certainty" is "to know that it does not know", and having made clear the influence of "interests" in the sphere of "technique" ((with such influence at times being "external" and at times "internal"), the author returns to reflect conclusively on the "vexata quaestio" of jurisdictional review over technical evaluations, observing how scholarship and jurisprudence - albeit in quite different ways and with modalities not always concordant - still end up recognising ((at times explicitly, more often implicitly) a "reserved" power of the administration in the matter of technical evaluations, which limits jurisdictional review to the "plausibility" of the verdict, decidedly excluding the possibility for a judge to completely impose his (or her) personal conviction.

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