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Displaying: 1-12 of 12 documents

1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Carol V. A. Quinn What Ulrichs Knew: Resurrecting the Nineteenth-Century Debate on Same-Sex Marriage
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German human rights campaigner Karl Heinrich Ulrichs advocated for same-sex marriage in the nineteenth century. Over a century later, we still have a long way to go. Arguing before his time, he took the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, head on. Ulrichs’s insights seem to have been all but forgotten. No one, to my knowledge, has invoked Ulrichs in contemporary debates about same-sex marriage, and yet he expertly diagnosed the problem and proposed a solution: start with the Church. In this paper, I resurrect his insights, and strengthen his case, for same-sex marriage.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Adam Cureton Some Virtues of Disability
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When we encounter people with disabilities in our everyday lives, we may sincerely wonder how (if at all) we ought to help them. Our concern in these ordinary contexts is typically not about securing basic justice. We want to know instead, as a matter of interpersonal morality, when and how it is appropriate for us to open a door for a wheelchair user, to pick up a dropped napkin for her, or to engage her in conversation about her condition. When we do try to give help, we can be surprised and hurt by the cold reception we receive for our efforts. It is worth considering, therefore, how the attitudes of someone who is sincerely trying to help can nonetheless be less than ideal and what kinds of attitudes a disabled person should have toward herself and those who are trying to provide assistance to her. In this paper, I characterize some common attitudes about people with disabilities, explain how conscientious people of good will could come to have them, and then argue that these attitudes are less than ideal because they are incompatible with the virtues of respect, acceptance, and appreciation.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jennifer Mei Sze ANG Kant and the Responsibility to Protect
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Since the World Summit endorsed the Responsibility to Protect document (R2P) in 2005, a growing number of governments have begun to shape their foreign policies with R2P in mind. This paper seeks to clarify the basis, the nature, and the extent of our duty-to-others in the situations specified by R2P by bringing together current concerns and discussions surrounding the conceptualization of R2P as an imperfect duty. I begin by demonstrating that our imperfect duties to others are not optional, that Kantian imperfect duty is relevant to the discussion on R2P if read correctly, and that R2P must not be converted to perfect duties for meritorious deeds and what it mean to be a virtuous person to remain meaningful. Next, I discuss the scope of our duty-to-others, primarily regarding the limitations that we ought to observe when framing specific R2P operational duties. I argue that Kantian ethics must guide political and military responses to human catastrophes in order to ensure humanitarian ends are achieved.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Simon Beck, Stephen de Wijze Interrogating the ‘Ticking Bomb Scenario’: Reassessing the Thought Experiment
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The aim of this paper is to re-evaluate the manner in which the Ticking Bomb Scenario (TBS), a thought experiment in philosophical enquiry, has been used in the discussion of the justifiability or otherwise of forward-looking interrogational torture (FLIT). The paper argues that criticisms commonly raised against the thought-experiment are often inappropriate or irrelevant. A great many critics misunderstand the way in which thought experiments in general, and the TBS in particular, are supposed to work in philosophical (and for that matter scientific) inquiry. The paper is not about the acceptability or otherwise of FLIT per se but rather an attempt to show that thought experiments such as the TBS are useful analytic tools and ought not to be rejected due to their inappropriate use by those engaged in the justifiability or otherwise of FLIT. By rescuing the TBS from its erroneous use the paper seeks to show its proper worth as part of an argumentative device in uncovering conflicting moral intuitions in our search for ethical truths.
symposium on professional ethics
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis On the Possibility of Ethical Expertise
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After distinguishing between moral and ethical expertise, I divide ethical expertise into five categories: knowledge of fact (propositions); knowledge of procedure (rules, commands, or guidelines); easily derivable knowledge of fact or procedure; skill (tacit knowledge or know-how); and judgment (the ability to evaluate a situation, design a reasonable course of action, and act accordingly more often than would an algorithm, computer, or clerk with a book of rules). Having explained the five categories of expertise so that each turns out to be relatively unmysterious, I describe how I would counsel a fellow faculty member who sought my help with an “ethics case” because she regarded me as an “ethics expert.” I make clear the part each of the five categories of expertise would have in my counseling. In this way, I show that my ethical expertise is possible. I then consider stronger claims of ethical expertise, such as one finds in Gesang (2010), “Are Moral Philosophers Moral Experts?” Bioethics 24: 153–9. We may divide experts by the demands of the role they fill: The greater the demands, the less plausible (all else equal) the claim of expertise. There are experts who: 1) merely know something specific and testify about it (expert witnesses); 2) claim (like me) to counsel (help people think through what to do); 3) advise, that is, recommend courses of action (physicians or financial advisers, for example); 4) act as agents (such as surgeons or courtroom lawyers); and 5) rule over us or at least claim the right to (technocrats, Plato’s philosopher-kings).
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Andreas Eriksen Beyond Professional Duty: Does Supererogation Belong to the Morality of Roles?
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Professionals have a role obligation to satisfy certain standards when performing their work. However, as professionals, can they perform morally praiseworthy acts that are not within the scope of duty? According to applied professional ethics, the answer is yes, whereas some theoretical accounts of supererogation deny this possibility. I examine and ultimately reject two very different theoretical accounts that deny professional supererogation. First, a recent interpretation of Aristotle uses examples from the professional context to illustrate that the moral category of supererogation is not needed to describe heroic acts. Second, David Heyd’s account of supererogation argues that the category applies to natural duties alone and not to professional as professionals. Contrary to these claims, I argue that it is not only conceptually coherent to allow for the possibility of going beyond the call of duty but also morally important for assessments of responsibility and blame in professional life.
symposium on democracy
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Piero Moraro Introduction to Symposium on Democracy
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8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Tom Campbell Is Democracy a Human Right?
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After dealing with some methodological (Part 1) and definitional (Part 2) questions aimed at justifying its focus on bringing out the practical consequences of adopting democracy as a human right, in Part 3 the paper outlines and criticises arguments commonly made against having such a human right. It distinguishes between those arguments that deal with: (a) alleged conceptual inadequacies, such as that democracy does not satisfy defining criteria for human rights, such as universality, importance and intrinsic worth, (b) political doubts relating to the practicality of ‘self-determination’ and the acceptability of international intervention on the grounds of democratic deficits, and (c) weaknesses and inconsistencies relating to the legal implementation of democracy, such as the problem of having democracy as a human right when a function of human rights is to limit democracy and, in international law, the reluctance to adopt measures against non-democratic regimes. The paper questions these arguments individually, and points out that, if sound, they would exclude several generally accepted human rights. This exposes a pattern of unjustified discrimination against the idea that democracy is or ought to be a human right.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Anthony J. Langlois Framing the Right to Democracy
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The question of whether democracy is a human right or not has received increased attention in recent years from philosophers, and in the light of recent world events, from the general public. Tom Campbell provides a minimalist strategy to support the human rights status of democracy, one linked to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 21) and subsequent developments in International Law and global institutions. I suggest that we need to consider the question at a more philosophical level and argue that Campbell’s minimalist strategy for understanding the right to democracy is inadequate to both the normative and symbolic claims associated with the idea. I develop my argument by considering two themes also engaged by Campbell: the demandingness of democracy, and the relationship between rights and interventions.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Russell Daylight In the Name of Democracy
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What do people mean when they use the word “democracy”? From a survey of usage, we discover that democracy is a highly contestable notion. It is spoken of simultaneously as a moral principle, a state of being, and a system of government. But if democracy is a vigorously contested notion, it is not a hopelessly contested notion. Certain regular distinctions begin to emerge, with the most important being that between “liberal democracy” and “popular democracy.” Democracy today exists as a concept at war with itself. The resultant crisis for democrats is that they are forced to defend liberal values against popular reform. My own view is that democracy is best understood as pharmakon—as both poison and cure. My overall ambition in this paper, however, is not necessarily to defend one definition against another, but only to ask how we might proceed. In this sense, I want to address Jacques Derrida’s question of : “can one and/or must one speak democratically of democracy?”
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Paul Voice Democracy and the Need for Normative Closure: A Commentary on Daylight’s “In the Name of Democracy”
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The paper is a response to Russell Daylight’s “In the Name of Democracy” (International Journal of Applied Philosophy 29.1 [Spring 2015]: 139–151). I argue that Daylight’s postmodernist approach to the question of democracy is flawed in several respects. First, he interprets the claim that the meaning of democracy is open to entail that there can be no closure when democratic norms are in dispute. I argue that normative closure is not only essential but also necessary to democratic practice, in particular for democratic legitimacy. I reject the claim that normative closure requires transcendental truths or dubious metaphysical commitments. Second, I critically examine Daylight’s positive proposal for “language-citizens.” I end by offering a sketch of a theory of democratic legitimacy that I believe evades the charges that Daylight and postmodernists offer against normative democratic theory.
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
About the Contributors
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