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symposium: heavy drinking on college campuses
1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Rick Momeyer Heavy Drinking on Campus and University Paternalism
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Both for reasons of their own and because of congressionally mandated changes in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, many colleges and universities have changed the way they deal with alcohol abuse by their students. One of these changes has been to adopt a policy of “Parental Notification” according to which parents of an underaged student found guilty of consuming alcohol are notified after a first offense. I argue that this is a paternalistic policy in need of justification, and that justifying it is made the more difficult because of barriers to its being successfully pursued. Nonetheless, I suggest that such a policy, if a weak paternalistic one, can be morally justified.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Robert P. Lawry Heavy Drinking on Campus: A Paradoxical Proposal
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The alarming rise in heavy drinking on college campuses has resulted in a new federal law allowing colleges to notify parents of infractions of alcohol related laws and policies. Before mandating such notifications a college should remember its “nurturing role” vis-a-vis students. Since no proffered reason is strong enough to justify mandatory notification, colleges should engage only in selective notification based on carefully established criteria. Finally, since “binge drinking” is the major new factor within the larger problem of heavy drinking, efforts should be made at the legislative level to lower the legal age to eighteen. This change will lead to more responsible drinking on the part of students.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Richard Nault Heavy Drinking on Campus: The University, Paternalism, and Civil Rights
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This article reviews the extent to which illegal and abusive alcohol consumption on college campuses negatively affects students and campus communities, outlines strategies for dealing with heavy student use of alcohol, reviews how federal law now permits colleges and universities to notify parents when students are found responsible for illegal alcohol use, and presents the arguments for and against parental notification.
symposium: just-war theory
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Gabriel Palmer-Fernández Innocence in War
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Just war morality draws an important distinction between soldiers and civilians. Unlike soldiers, civilians may never be intentionally killed because they are innocent. But the prohibition on intentionally killing civilians cannot be adequately explained by the wrongness of killing the innocent. This paper examines several views on the meaning of innocence in war, exposes difficulties with each that warrant their rejection, and proposes an alternative view on the wrongness of killing civilians that is independent of the wrongness of killing the innocent. It concludes by noting some concerns with the proposed alternative.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
R. J. Connelly Just-War Theory and the Role of the Police Sniper
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As critical incidents and terrorist threats are on the increase, the military/SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) aspects of U.S. civilian policing are being expanded. The person called upon as a last resort to kill the criminal agent has a unique position on the SWAT team. The police sniper is asked to kill with premeditation and usually not in a situation of self-defense. Very little appears in the ethics literature analyzing the morality of the sniper role. This paper will tentatively outline a process of analysis that draws upon the framework of principles associated with the just-war tradition. Elements examined are the ends of sniper killing, intention and motives, relevant emotions, and implementation means used. The conclusion is that a plausible case can be made for the moral justification of such killing as long as certain conditions or tests are met.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Jane Duran Rape as a Form of Torture
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Using material taken from contemporary feminist theory and also from work on human rights, it is argued that rape is a form of torture, and that it operates on powerful levels, both literally and metaphorically. Part of the argument is that rape has achieved the status it has as political force for exploitation because of strong beliefs about cultural reproduction and about the roles that women play in cultural reproduction.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Thomas I. White Doing Business in Morally Troubled Waters: Dolphins, the Entertainment Industry, and the Ethics of Captivity
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This essay argues that humans have not fully understood the cognitive and affective capacities of dolphins, and that we have mistakenly defended as morally acceptable practices that actually harm dolphins. In particular, this essay argues that the current use of hundreds of captive dolphins by Sea World and similar facilities in the entertainment industry is ethically indefensible. Focusing primarily on critical differences between humans and dolphins, this essay argues that central concepts like “intelligence” and “language” (which have played a critical role in discussions about whether dolphins have moral standing) should be seen as species-specific, not universal notions. As a result, there are insufficient grounds to make the traditional claim that dolphins’ cognitive capacities place them on a significantly lower spot in the moral hierarchy than humans. This paper also claims that the full development of dolphin personalities may depend on the richness of social interaction that is common in the life of a dolphin in the wild. Consequently, dolphins can probably experience a greater degree of emotional pain or deprivation in captivity than has traditionally been thought.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Stephen Kershnar Mercy, Retributivism, and Harsh Punishment
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In this article I argue that mercy does not prevent the imposition of harsh punishment from being morally permissible. This article has two parts. In the first part, I argue that mercy is an imperfect duty, because only such a duty-type explains the attributes that are commonly ascribed to mercy. In the second part, I argue that mercy does not present a sufficient moral reason against the regular imposition of harsh punishment because it neither undermines nor systematically overrides or weakens the retributive duties. This is in part because the imperfect duty to be merciful can be satisfied by actions taken in nonpunitive contexts alone. This is also in part because mercy is not particularly appropriate given the lack of positive desert of and good moral character in most of the culpable wrongdoers who deserve harsh punishment.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Gail M. Presbey On a Mission to Morally Improve One’s Society: Odera Oruka’s African Sages and the Socratic Paradigm
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This paper explores Odera Oruka’s sage philosophy project, focusing on his insistence of the parallels between Socrates and the rural Kenyan sages whom he interviewed and who he considered to be orally philosophizing. Sages, he explained are those who possess wisdom, insight, ethical inspiration, and who use their talents for the benefit of the community. Key parallels between the sages and Socrates are: Socrates’ criticisms of conventional morality; his insistence on the moral virtues of practicing temperance; his emphasis on dialogue and his methods of guiding dialogue; and his guiding individuals as well as the community. Socrates says he is called by the god to challenge individual Athenians to become morally better; this descriptor, while fitting some contemporary academic philosophers, accurately reflects the convictions and actions of most African sages. Socrates often depicted his wisdom as listening to a “voice” within him that came beyond himself; similarly, Kenyan sages interviewed attributed their wisdom to God. But both Socrates and the Kenyan sages assess the truth of insights communicated spiritually, and are able to explain the ideas to others using reason.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Seumas Miller Collective Rights and Minority Rights
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The main purpose of this paper is to argue that there are no minority moral rights. Rights claimed to be minority moral rights, such as land rights and hunting rights of indigenous peoples, and the political and language rights of some minority cultures, turn out to be either collective moral rights which are not also minority moral rights, or else to be merely (possibly morally justified) legal minority rights which are not also minority moral rights.
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Elliot D. Cohen Permitting Suicide of Competent Clients in Counseling Legal and Moral Considerations
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State statutes, case law, and professional codes of ethics in the mental health professions typically stress either a duty or the permissibility of disclosing confidential information in order to prevent clients from seriously harming themselves. These sources are intended to address cases where clients are deemed to be suffering from cognitive dysfunction for which paternalistic intervention, including involuntary hospitalization, is considered necessary to prevent self-destructive behavior.The counselor’s moral and legal responsibility is less apparent when mentally competent clients desire suicide as release from irremediable suffering due to severe physical illness, and this desire is defensible within these clients’ value systems. This paper will explore moral and legal dimensions of a counselor’s decision not to intervene in such cases. The concept of permitted suicide will be introduced and defined, and guidelines for its application developed.
symposium on philosophy for children
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Jana Mohr Lone Introduction to the Symposium on Moral Philosophy with Children
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13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Gareth B. Matthews The Ring of Gyges: Plato in Grade School
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This paper illustrates some of the exciting and interesting philosophical discussions we can have with children when we let them develop the thread of the conversation in their own ways. The author discusses the virtue of patience when doing philosophy with children, and the importance of letting the rhythms of the discussion unfold without undue adult interference. Adults (and especially teachers) often attempt to control the ways in which children discuss issues with one another. The author reminds us of how powerful it can be for a philosophical conversation among children to develop organically. and of how allowing silences to occur can inspire further philosophical explorations among the children.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Michael S. Pritchard Moral Philosophy for Children and Character Education
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This paper discusses the growing prominence of character education and the role moral philosophy can play here. It examines the place of inquiry in character education, and the ways in which moral philosophy can help young people to develop the virtue of reasonableness. Reasonableness, as herein described, takes into account the views and feelings of others, the willingness to allow one’s views to be scrutinized by others, and the acceptance of some degree of uncertainty about whether one’s views are necessarily right. The paper illustrates ways in which philosophical exploration about morality can help children to cultivate reasonableness.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
David A. Shapiro Action Learning and Moral Philosophy with Children
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This paper suggests that young people can explore moral philosophy in ways that will help them both think and act in ways that are consistent with good moral reasoning. It describes several games and exercises that allow children to explore various moral principles in their behavior toward others. Participating in activities that give children practice in making moral decisions helps them to appreciate the role of principles in moral reasoning. The author contends that it is important for young people to examine ethical dilemmas from the “inside out”; that is, not by listening to the wisdom of philosophers telling them how to approach these issues, but by facing them head on themselves.
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Elizabeth Baird Saenger Exploring Ethics through Children’s Literature
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In this paper, the author describes some of her experiences over the past almost twenty years discussing ethics with children. She gives many examples of children’s literature as sources for inspiring moral reflection and imaginative thinking on the part of children. She notes that stories allow children to take risks in thinking about ethical decisions. They provide young people with ways to empathize with others who are living very different lives from the ones they live.
symposium on philosophy and emotions
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Kristján Kristjánsson Utilitarian Naturalism and the Moral Justification of Emotions
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The virtue ethicist Rosalind Hursthouse has recently admitted that the commonly supposed link between a belief in the moral significance of human emotions and an adherence to virtue ethics may rest on a “historical accident,” and that utilitarians could, for instance, be equally concerned with emotions. The present essay takes up Hursthouse’s challenge and explores both what utilitarians have said and what they should say about the moral justification of emotions. Mill’s classical utilitarianism is rehearsed and applied to the emotions, some relevant objections to utilitarianism are rebutted, and a link is suggested to Aristotle’s conception of happiness. Finally, the essay discusses the scope of utilitarianism as a naturalistic strategy, and explains how naturalistic moral reasoning on the emotions must, in practice, be answerable to empirical research and, hence, interdisciplinary.
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Peter B. Raabe How Philosophy Can Help You Feel Better: Philosophical Counseling and the Emotions
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The theoretical nature of academic philosophy has led to the assumption that a philosophical inquiry is not an appropriate means by which to explore the emotional issues encountered in everyday life. But a closer examination of various conceptions of the emotions leads to the conclusion that a person’s unwelcome emotions don’t simply erupt unexpectedly out of the unconscious and for no reason, but rather that they are generated in large part by a person’s unexamined assumptions and beliefs about himself and the world in which he lives. Therefore philosophical inquiry into these unexamined assumptions and beliefs, as it is conducted in philosophical counseling, has the potential to alleviate the pain and suffering of undesired emotions.
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Emrys Westacott The Ethics of Gossiping
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When is gossiping morally acceptable? In order to explore and develop a principled answer to this question, I pose the problem in a simplified, abstract form: What considerations govern what it is permissible for A to say to B about C? My approach involves first constructing a decision tree out of questions that apply general moral principles to any particular case. These principles filter out talk which, under normal circumstances, would be widely regarded as impermissible, such as breaches of confidence, deliberate falsehoods, or talk likely to produce more future harm than good. They also declare talk which is not contrary to C’s wishes, or which is likely to bring about some tangible further good, to be morally acceptable.The most interesting and controversial type of case is the kind that is not resolved by any of these considerations. People who view gossip in general with suspicion would presumably hold all such talk to be objectionable. I consider and reject several arguments in support of this view. I then look at reasons, mainly utilitarian, for declaring all such talk to be morally acceptable. I argue that these are not sufficient, either individually or collectively, to establish this universal conclusion; there are too many additional variables rendering our moral deliberations irreducibly complex. But they do bring out the many positive aspects of gossip that are often overlooked.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
S. K. Wertz Revel’s Conception of Cuisine: Platonic or Hegelian
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Jean-François Revel is the first philosopher to take food seriously and to offer a topology for food practices. He draws a distinction between different kinds of cuisine -- popular (regional) cuisine and erudite (professional) cuisine. With this distinction, he traces the evolution of food practices from the ancient Greeks and Romans, down through the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance and the Modern Period. His contribution has been acknowledged by Deane Curtin who offers an interpretation of Revel’s conceptual scheme along Platonic lines. In this essay the author reviews Curtin’s interpretation, finds it wanting in certain respects, and develops an alternative reading of Revel along Hegelian lines. This interpretation, the author believes, does greater justice to Revel’s topology for food practices.