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1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Jovana Davidovic When Should the Military Get Involved in Politics?
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Commonly the military stays out of politics, and for good reason. Federal law regulates political activity for active duty military rather strictly because the consequences of having a military that is partisan can be devastating, as history has shown us repeatedly. In this paper, I argue that the current rules of political neutrality are too broad and that there are times when our military leaders ought to engage in political debate so as to serve the same aims that justify having strict political neutrality rules in the first place: namely building civilian-military trust, and promoting troop cohesion and morale.
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2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
James Stacey Taylor The Myth of Semiotic Arguments in Democratic Theory and How This Exposes Problems with Peer Review
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In a recent series or books and articles Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski (writing both together and separately) have developed criticisms of what they term “semiotic” arguments. They hold that these arguments are widely used both to criticize markets in certain goods, to defend democracy, and criticize epistocracy. Their work on semiotics is now widely (and approvingly) cited. In this paper I argue that there is no reason to believe that any defenders of democracy or critics of epistocracy have offered semiotic arguments for their positions. I then explain how the operation of academic incentives has led to this being overlooked by both Brennan and Jaworski and their critics. I conclude with suggestions for how to revise peer review so that such errors are less likely to be made in the future.
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3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Matan Shelomi Pain, Suffering, and Euthanasia in Insects
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While unnecessarily killing or injuring an insect is arguably wrong, euthanasia of an accidentally injured insect raises anew issues of whether insects can experience pain. The question takes renewed significance due to increasing insect farming for food and feed and concerns over farmed insect welfare. For euthanasia of a damaged insect to be justifiable, the damage must be sensed as a noxious stimulus (nociception) that the insect consciously experiences as pain. This pain must then lead to suffering or frustrated desire, with the possibility of the animal preferring death to continued existence. A failure at any of these points would deem euthanasia moot. The neurological, behavioral, and evolutionary evidence so far suggests the concept of euthanasia does not apply to insects.
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4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Stephen Kershnar The Sabermetrics of State Medical School Admissions
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In this paper, I argue that medical school admissions should be limited to statistically relevant factors. My argument rests primarily on three assumptions. A state professional school should maximize production. If a state professional school should maximize production, then it should maximize production per student. If a state professional school should maximize production per student, then, within the optimum budget, a state medical school should maximize quality-adjusted medical services per graduate. I put forth a tentative equation for ranking applicants as a way of maximizing quality-adjusted medical services per graduate. This way of ranking is cheaper than the way admissions is currently done. Hence, the proposal is practically as well as theoretically appealing.
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5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Raja Halwani The Palestinian Right of Return
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The paper argues that individual Palestinians have a right of return to historic Palestine in virtue of being members of the Palestinian people that continues to have occupancy rights in historic Palestine. More specifically, the paper argues that the Palestinians were, when Israel was founded, a people with occupancy rights to their lands, that they continue to be a people to this day, and that their occupancy right has not been alienated, forfeited, or prescripted. The paper then argues that individual Palestinians have the right of occupancy in virtue of being members of the Palestinian people. Because the right has been blocked by Israel since 1948, the right of return is the right of individual Palestinians to be allowed to return to their homeland and exercise their occupancy rights there.
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symposium on forgiveness
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
John Kleinig Forgiveness and Unconditionality
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If forgiveness is to be seen as a virtuous act, it must satisfy certain conditions. For many, those conditions are construed narrowly and must involve some change of heart on the part of the wrongdoer who is to be forgiven: remorse, apology, a willingness to provide recompense, and so forth. Such an account is usually characterized as one of conditional forgiveness. Others construe the conditions differently—not eschewing remorse and apology, but neither always requiring it—and see those conditions as those relevant to exercises of generosity, love, mercy, gifting and grace. Such an account is usually characterized as one of unconditional forgiveness. The present essay attempts to remove some of the resistance to unconditional forgiveness.
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7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Derek R. Brookes Moral Grounds for Forgiveness
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In this paper, I argue that forgiveness is a morally appropriate response only when it is grounded in the wrongdoer’s demonstration of genuine remorse, their offer of a sincere apology, and, where appropriate, acts of recompense and behavioral change. I then respond to John Kleinig’s suggestion (in his paper “Forgiveness and Unconditionality”) that when an apology is not forthcoming, there are at least three additional grounds that, when motivated by virtues such as love and compassion, could nevertheless render “unconditional forgiveness” a morally laudable option. I argue that such grounds could indeed constitute or result in laudable responses to wrongdoing, but only if they are not conceived of or described in terms of forgiveness.
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8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
John Kleinig Defending Unconditional Forgiveness: A Reply to Brookes
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My differences with Derek Brookes reflect an alternative understanding of what forgiveness is intended to achieve, and how it achieves it. I express some skepticism about his account of wrongdoing as an expression of contempt, of wrongdoing posing an ongoing threat, of resentment as a protective shield, and apology/remorse as the only morally acceptable means for removing such a threat. I remain unconvinced that forgiveness in the absence of an apology is likely to evidence condonation or a failure of self-respect. In emphasizing that forgiveness is a morally discretionary gift, I depart from the idea that it must somehow be earned (by apology, etc.) to be morally laudable. Its character as forgiveness is therefore not morally impugned if not made dependent on the wrongdoer’s repentance.
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9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Derek R. Brookes Forgiveness as Conditional: A Reply to Kleinig
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In my paper “Moral Grounds for Forgiveness,” I argued that forgiveness is morally appropriate only when a sincere apology is received, thus ruling out the three grounds for unconditional forgiveness suggested by John Kleinig in his paper “Forgiveness and Unconditionality.” In response to his reply “Defending Unconditional Forgiveness,” I argue here that my terminology, once clarified, does not undermine my construal of resentment; that conditional forgiveness is just as discretionary as unconditional forgiveness; and that what we choose to take into account when we forgive must be a morally appropriate grounding for that particular end, but that only a sincere apology could satisfy this condition. I end by conceding that the three grounds suggested by Kleinig nevertheless play an essential role in the process of (conditional) forgiveness insofar as they facilitate a willingness to forgive and an openness toward accepting an apology.
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book review
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
Mike W. Martin Cognitive-Behavior Interventions for Self-Defeating Thoughts: Helping Clients to Overcome the Tyranny of "I Can’t"
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about the contributors
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 1
About the Contributors
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articles
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Matti Häyry Orcid-ID Employing Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems: Ethical Issues in the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Military Leadership
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The ethics of warfare and military leadership must pay attention to the rapidly increasing use of artificial intelligence and machines. Who is responsible for the decisions made by a machine? Do machines make decisions? May they make them? These issues are of particular interest in the context of Lethal Autonomous Weapon Systems (LAWS). Are they autonomous or just automated? Do they violate the international humanitarian law which requires that humans must always be responsible for the use of lethal force and for the assessment that civilian casualties are proportionate to the military goals? The article analyses relevant documents, opinions, government positions, and commentaries using the methods of applied ethics. The main conceptual finding is that the definition of autonomy depends on what the one presenting it seeks to support. Those who want to use lethal autonomous weapon systems call them by another name, say, automated instead of autonomous. They impose standards on autonomy that machines do not meet, such as moral agency. Those who wish to ban the use of lethal autonomous weapon systems define them much less broadly and do not require them to do much more than to be a self-standing part of the causal chain.The article’s argument is that the question of responsibility is most naturally perceived by abandoning the most controversial philosophical considerations and simply stating that an individual or a group of people is always responsible for the creation of the equipment they produce and use. This does not mean that those who press the button, or their immediate superiors, are to blame. They are doing their jobs in a system. The ones responsible can probably be found in higher military leadership, in political decision-makers who dictate their goals, and, at least in democracies, in the citizens who have chosen their political decision-makers.
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13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Leandro De Brasi, Claudio Gutierrez Anonymity and Asynchronicity as Key Design Dimensions for the Reciprocity of Online Democratic Deliberation
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The aim of this paper is to identify, given certain democratic normative standards regarding deliberation, some pros as well as cons of possible online deliberation designs due to variations in two key design dimensions: namely, asynchronicity and anonymity. In particular, we consider one crucial aspect of deliberative argumentation: namely, its reciprocity, which puts interaction centre stage to capture the back-and-forth of reasons. More precisely, we focus on two essential features of the deliberative interaction: namely, its listening widely and listening carefully. We conclude that one sort of online deliberation that combines the two design features of anonymity and asynchronicity is likely to better promote the reciprocity required for democratic deliberation than both natural and designed offline deliberations (such as the designed deliberation in Deliberative Polling) and online simulations of them.
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14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Patrick Lenta Forgiving and Forbearing Punishment
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Most philosophers who have expressed a view about whether forgiveness is compatible with forgivers’ continuing to punish, or support the punishment of, people who have wronged them hold that forgiveness is compatible with punishing or favouring punishment of wrongdoers. I argue that whether forgiveness entails forbearing punishment depends on which of two senses of forgiveness is operative. On the first, sentiment-based sense of forgiveness as consisting essentially in a change of heart on the part of a victim, a victim can, I submit, forgive while continuing to punish or to support the punishment of a person who has wronged her. On the second sense of forgiveness as consisting in debt remission whether or not accompanied by a change of heart, the state’s remission of the entirety of criminal offenders’ punishment qualifies as forgiveness and, moreover, the state could not forgive offenders in this sense while continuing to punish them.
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15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Stephen Kershnar, Robert Kelly The Right-Based Criticism of the Doctrine of Double Effect
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If people have stringent moral rights, then the doctrine of double effect is false or unimportant, at least when it comes to making acts permissible or wrong. There are strong and weak versions of the doctrine of double effect. The strong version asserts that an act is morally right if and only if the agent does not intentionally infringe a moral norm and the act brings about a desirable result (perhaps the best state of affairs available to the agent or a promotion of the common good). The weak version asserts that, other things being equal, it is deontically worse to intentionally infringe a norm than to foreseeably do so. A person’s intention or mere foresight might still be relevant to his or her blameworthiness or virtue, but this is a separate issue.
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16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Jane Duran Sati and the Hindu Woman: Tradition and Context
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Sati as a trope for the general status of women within certain portions of the Hindu cultures of India is examined, with a view toward clarification of its history and current context. The work of Sangari and Vaid, Banerjee and Mala Sen is cited, and the notion that sati is a misappropriated concept is analyzed.
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17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Eoin O’Connell Whataboutery
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A person points to a situation, A, and says that A is morally repugnant; A ought to be condemned; we should do something about A. In response, another person says, “Well, what about B? B is analogous to A in that it is equally morally repugnant. If we ought to condemn and do something about A then we should also condemn and do something about B.” This “what about” response is an argumentative strategy, sometimes called “whataboutery” or “whataboutism.” In popular discussion, whataboutery is condemned as a fallacy, in particular an instance of the tu quoque fallacy. I will present an analysis of whataboutery showing that, to the degree that this is a fallacy, it is a red herring. But this argumentative move cannot always be dismissed as fallacious. Sometimes the imputation of fallacious reasoning attempts to cover over political commitments.
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18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Jonathan Edwards Should Humanitarians be Heroes?
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Humanitarian aid workers typically reject the accolade of hero as both untrue and undesirable. Untrue when they claim not to be acting beyond the call of duty, and undesirable so far as celebrating heroism risks elevating “heroic” choices over safer, and perhaps wiser ones. However, this leaves unresolved a tension between the denial of heroism and a sense in which certain humanitarian acts really appear heroic. And, the concern that in rejecting the aspiration to heroism an opportunity is lost to inspire more and better humanitarian action. Having set out this problem in more detail in Part I, the argument in Part II will suggest that a virtue ethics approach to humanitarian moral obligations can make good sense of our intuitions concerning the role of heroism in humanitarian action. In Part III I will argue that at least “professional” humanitarians, instead of rejecting heroism, should aim to be heroes, in the sense of displaying a virtue of humanity in high-stakes contexts, because this is consistent with the aim of humanitarian action. Finally, some lingering problems of demandingness and motivation are considered.
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symposium on migration: gillian brock’s justice for people on the move
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Anna Stilz Justice in Migration: Are Human Rights Enough?
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Gillian Brock’s Justice for People on the Move is an important contribution to the migration literature. While I agree with many of Brock’s arguments, I focus here on a few key points of difference between us. I press three interrelated concerns about Brock’s view: first, the practical implications of her assessment of the state-system’s current illegitimacy remain too unclear. Second, Brock’s human rights-based theory neglects the importance of citizens’ democratic agency, in a way that may have paternalistic implications. Third, Brock’s view is tolerant of inequalities of wealth and power that may enable relations of exploitation, as we see by examining her advocacy of guestworker schemes. The article draws attention to those places where Brock’s view faces hard questions, and explains why I might have answered some of these questions differently.
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20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 34 > Issue: 2
Andrea Sangiovanni Self-Determination, Human Rights, and Migration
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Gillian Brock’s compelling and richly textured new book aims to set out a human-rights-based framework for thinking about justice in migration. There is much to celebrate in these chapters, not least Brock’s masterful effort at weaving together her basic justificatory framework with real-world political concerns. In this article, I query the focus she places on self-determination in setting out the basic normative argument elaborated in Chapters 2, 3, and 9. In particular, I will wonder whether she gives the collective self-determination of a people anything more than instrumental value, and so whether she is able to distance herself from so-called proponents of “open borders”.
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