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symposium on sex
1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Allison B. Wolf A Hookup of Her Own
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The last fifteen years have seen an increasing social science scholarship into the nature and pervasiveness of hooking up amongst college students,1 but research on the philosophical and ethical issues within hookup culture and practice has not kept pace. To the extent that hooking up has been taken up by philosophers, it has been as part of a larger conversation about the ethics of casual sex, broadly construed; a conversation which is dominated by questions of objectification. As such, investigations into the ethics of hookup sex have been limited to questions of whether someone was used in the encounter.2 This essay aims to change this by utilizing Ann Cahill’s recent book, Overcoming Objectification, to argue that the ethical problems with hookup sex in Guyland are not rooted in women’s objectification but rather their derivatization.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Natasha McKeever Love: What’s Sex Got To Do With It?
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It is usually taken for granted that romantic relationships will be sexual, but it seems that there is no necessary reason for this, as it is possible for romantic relationships to not include sex. Indeed, sometimes sex is a part of a romantic relationship for only a relatively short period of it. Furthermore, scientific explanations of the link between sex and love don’t seem fully satisfying because they tell us only about the mechanics of sex, rather than its meaning or phenomenology. Therefore, the question of why it is that the archetypal romantic relationship includes sex, calls for philosophical analysis, yet it has been under-explored in philosophy. In this paper, I attempt to remedy this. I argue that sex is important to romantic love because it partly constitutes, builds, and expresses four of the central goods of a romantic relationship: 1) pleasure, 2) union, 3) intimacy, and 4) vulnerability and care. Thus, sex can be, and often is, an important vehicle for romantic love, though it is not essential for it.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Mark Piper Adultery, Open Marriage, and Autonomy
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It is often claimed that adultery can be morally permissible in cases where those engaged in adulterous behavior are part of an open marriage. Yet this only follows if the institution of open marriage itself can be justified. This problem has been generally overlooked, but it deserves attention, as it is far from evident that open marriage has sterling moral credentials. I argue that the most promising general justification of the institution of open marriage is not based on consequentialist or aretaic principles, but rather on the principle of respect for autonomy. Yet while this principle justifies the institution of open marriage in the most general sense, it does not justify every case of adultery involving an open marriage. Whether a given case of adultery is rendered morally permissible by the presence of an open marriage will depend on whether the open marriage in question satisfies several other moral desiderata.
symposium on psychotherapy
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Rick A. Stephan, Omar M. Alhassoon, Ava Torre-Bueno Reintegration of Myth in the Socratic Method: Paradigm for Multicultural Psychotherapy
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Recent studies indicate that adapting common components of universal healing practices increases the effectiveness of multicultural therapies, especially incorporating initial and reformulated myths. The Socratic method, part of an original philosophical process directed toward therapeutic goals, has long been instrumental to many psychotherapies, but limited in application to dialectical discourse. Through a rediscovery and clarification of the original integrated Socratic-Platonic method inclusive of mythmaking as well as systematic questioning, the authors argue that this new, more comprehensive model provides a foundation for increasing the effectiveness of multicultural psychotherapies.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Shannon B. Proctor The Temporal Structure of Habits and the Possibility of Transformation
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Habits and habitudes are peculiar in that they are both a condition of human agency, as well as one of its most significant hurdles. They open up the world by providing us with ways of being within it (e.g., how we perceive, move about, and generally orient ourselves in space). However, they also confine our worldly behavior given their repetitive and often predictable nature. This tension between spontaneity and repetition arises out of the two-fold temporal structure of habits—i.e., the habitual body simultaneously directs us toward the future and the past. An understanding of this tension is generally important for thinking about how individuals can do things differently. More urgently, this work has applications in the treatment of addictions and other compulsive behaviors where the difficulties of disrupting habitual repetition are much more pronounced.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Victoria I. Burke Conscience Exemptions in Medicine: A Hegelian Feminist Perspective
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In this paper I defend the view that conscience exemption clauses for medical practitioners (doctors, nurses, technicians, pharmacists) should be limited by patient protection clauses. This view was also defended by Mark Wicclair, in his book on conscience exemptions in medicine (2011). In this article, I defend Wicclair’s view by supplementing it with Hegelian ethical theory and feminist critical theory. Conscience exemptions are important to support as a matter of human rights. They support an individual’s right to protect their deepest value-commitments. A true understanding of conscience is dialectical, however, and it requires patient protection clauses because they too protect individuals in their deepest value-commitments. I show that the defense of patient protection clauses is historically supported by the theory of “conscience [Gewissen]” developed by G. W. F. Hegel in the nineteenth century (mostly in the Phenomenology of Spirit [1807]).
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Janna Thompson Obligations of Justice and the Interests of the Dead
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Intergenerational justice gives present citizens obligations to past as well as future generations. Present members of a political society have an obligation to respect the contributions of their predecessors. But respect for past generations also means taking their intergenerational objectives into account in political decision-making—giving them weight in determining intergenerational policies—and thus treating past generations as participants in intergenerational policymaking. Neither the inability of the dead to have experiences, nor epistemological difficulties in determining their interests, nor the entitlement of present citizens to make political decisions are reasons for ignoring or discounting the intergenerational concerns of past generations.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Shane Ryan Real-Time Democracy
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Standard representative democracy is criticised on democratic grounds and the case is made for an alternative system of democratic governance. The paper discusses ways in which representative democracy falls short of the democratic ideal of self-governance. Referendum and initiative are examined as mechanisms that further self-governance, but are argued not to go far enough. Direct democracy is considered as an alternative to representative democracy, but the case is made that even on democratic grounds direct democracy is unnecessarily demanding. It is argued that this is also the case with regard to Budge’s proposal for direct democratic governance, which retains a place for representation and for political parties. Real-time democracy is defended as a superior alternative. In real-time democracy, a voter’s vote is attached to an elected representative’s weighed parliamentary vote. The voter, however, is able to withdraw that vote and vote independently of her representative in parliamentary votes.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Ryan Jenkins, Duncan Purves A Dilemma for Moral Deliberation in AI
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Many social trends are conspiring to drive the adoption of greater automation in society, and we will certainly see a greater offloading of human decisionmaking to robots in the future. Many of these decisions are morally salient, including decisions about how benefits and burdens are distributed. Roboticists and ethicists have begun to think carefully about the moral decision making apparatus for machines. Their concerns often center around the plausible claim that robots will lack many of the mental capacities that are indispensable in human moral decision making, such as empathy. To the extent that robots may be robustly artificially intelligent, these concerns subside, but they give way to new worries about creating artificial agents to do our bidding, if those artificial agents have moral standing. We suggest that the question of AI consciousness poses a dilemma. Whether artificially intelligent agents will be conscious or not, we will face serious difficulties in programming them to reliably make moral decisions.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
Brian K. Powell Killing, Letting Die, and the Death Penalty
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One popular sort of argument for the death penalty depends on the idea of possibly saving innocent lives through added deterrent value. Defenders of such arguments generally concede that: a) we do not know whether or not the death penalty actually adds marginal deterrent value beyond life in prison, and b) any actual death penalty regime is likely to include the execution of some innocent people. Use of the death penalty might save some innocent people, but it is also likely that it will lead us to kill some innocent people. In the present paper, I attempt to give consideration to both sorts of innocents. I argue that it is morally more serious to intentionally kill people who are innocent than it is to fail to save innocent people whose death is in no way intended. Thus, in the absence of compelling evidence that our use of the death penalty would save significantly more innocent people than it would kill, we should err on the side of not using the death penalty as a means to try to achieve added deterrent value.
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 2
About the Contributors
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symposium: can/should poverty be eradicated?
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Thaddeus Metz The Nature of Poverty as Inhuman: Plausible but Illiberal?
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The present symposium, which I have organized on behalf of the International Journal of Applied Philosophy, is devoted to Hennie Lötter’s Poverty, Ethics and Justice. The first three articles in the symposium attempt to show that Lotter’s view on the eradication of poverty is inherently flawed, either in light of what a liberal state conceivably could do, or what respect for democracy requires, or what the environment can sustain. In this opening article, I draw out an interesting implication of Hennie Lötter’s original and compelling conception of the nature of poverty as essentially inhuman. After motivating this view, I argue that it, like the capabilities approach and other views that invoke a conception of good and bad lives, is inconsistent with a standard understanding of a liberal account of the state’s role, one that is independently supported and even readily accepted by liberal egalitarians. I argue that one must choose between a compelling conception of an impoverished life as not good or even bad and a liberal theory of the state’s function, roughly by which conceptions of good and bad must not ground policy, where many redistributivist liberals have not recognized this inconsistency. Although there are activities similar to fighting poverty that a liberal state can undertake, I contend that it cannot, by definition, aim to eradicate poverty as such, in the way that Lötter and others plausibly conceive of it.
13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Daryl Glaser Democratic Liberty and Poverty Eradication: Priority and Co-Originality in Hennie Lötter’s Philosophical Scheme
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This article engages with H. P. P. Lötter’s account of democracy, liberty, and poverty in this IJAP symposium devoted to his book, Poverty, Ethics, and Justice. For Lötter liberty and democracy are intrinsically part of what is meant by poverty eradication and necessary instrumentally to secure whatever else it means. Lötter insists that liberty rights and socio-economic rights are interdependent and that neither has moral priority. This account is pitched at a level of generality, and contains ambiguities, that evade certain hard but necessary questions, the main one being whether Lötter’s theory of the ‘co-originality’ of liberty and social rights is opposed to all reasonable constructions and entailments of the thesis of the priority of liberties. I suggest that he must accept a ‘weak’ priority thesis in order to insulate his overall argument from an authoritarian reading. Yet it is not clear whether Lötter’s would accept that politics enjoys a necessary centrality in adjudicating uncertainties within economic theory and policy-making, that democracy is irreducibly procedural in ways that licence particular voting and governing actions that are not necessarily pro-poor, and that political liberties plus a range of ‘negative’ civil liberties ought to be protected from trade-offs with prospective welfare and equality gains. Several aspects of Lötter’s account seem to block such moves, but I contend that the struggle against poverty and inequality is necessarily undertaken on a terrain of political and epistemic uncertainty, and that a democratic polity premised on institutionalised respect for uncertainty offers the best bet for realising welfare and social justice at an acceptable cost while respecting autonomy.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Tristen Taylor Eradicating Poverty, Resource Allocation, and the Environment
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Hennie Lötter, in his book Poverty, Ethics, and Justice, contends that we have a moral obligation to eradicate global poverty, but does so under the assumption that eradicating poverty is possible under current political and economic policy. Roughly 1.8 billion people (the consuming class) currently consume the majority of the world’s economic production. About 5.2 billion poor people (the non-consuming class) would like to consume at similar levels. Is it possible for the non-consuming class to approach levels of material welfare similar to that of the consuming class? What would be the impact on the global environment if the billions of the non-consuming class started to consume at a reasonable standard? The answers to these questions are rather bleak for the cause of eradicating poverty: discussions on global poverty like Lötter’s fail to cohere with data on the environment and regarding resources constraints. Without radical transformation of current economic and political philosophy, the assumption that the eradication of poverty is possible is a false assumption.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
H. P. P. Lötter Is Poverty Eradication Impossible? No, Says Dignitarianism
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In this article, I reply to three discussions of Poverty, Ethics and Justice that are published in this symposium of the Journal. In my book I argued for a moral obligation on the part of the state and an array of other agents to eradicate poverty, but critics maintain that doing so would be impossible, either because it would logically contradict the liberal ends of the state (Thaddeus Metz), or because it would undermine a robust commitment to democratic choice (Daryl Glaser), or because it would be inconsistent with the attempt to control climate change (Tristen Taylor). Here I provide a comprehensive reply to all three in light of a political philosophy of the state as fundamentally obligated to respect human dignity, where the latter is not reducible to autonomy, but is instead grounded on a much broader conception of human nature.
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Alex Rajczi Duties to the Global Poor and Minimalism about Global Justice
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This paper is about the implications of a common view on global justice. The view can be called the Minimalist View, and it says that we have no positive duties to help the poor in foreign countries, or that if we do, they are very minimal. It might seem as if, by definition, the Minimalist View cannot require that we do very much about global poverty. However, in his book World Poverty and Human Rights, Thomas Pogge pointed out that this conclusion is at least up for debate. Although Minimalism countenances very few positive duties to the global poor, it certainly countenances negative duties not to harm. Perhaps one can argue that these negative duties are somehow being violated, and thus even a Minimalist must make substantial compensation to the global poor. However, in this paper I argue that Pogge’s argument about Minimalism does not succeed. The second half of the paper offers ways to revise and improve the argument in order to make the case for assistance to the global poor.
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Amy Reed-Sandoval Oaxacan Transborder Communities and the Political Philosophy of Immigration
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In this paper I argue that members of Oaxacan Indigenous “transborder communities” of Mexico and the United States are entitled to a freedom of movement right between these two countries. First, I explore the vital role that migration across the U.S.-Mexico border plays in maintaining Oaxacan transborder societal culture. Second, I explore the implications of Will Kymlicka’s views on collective rights for this phenomenon. On the one hand, Kymlicka’s argument that just states must protect the societal cultures of minority groups within their territories would seem to support such a right for Oaxacan “transmigrants.” On the other hand, his categorical distinction between “national minorities” and “voluntary migrants” cannot, as it stands, capture the lived experiences of Oaxacan transborder communities and similar transnational groups. However, I argue that there is a reasonable extension of Kymlicka’s view that can, indeed, account for the phenomenon of Oaxacan transborder communities by allowing for this freedom of movement right.
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis The Price of a Person
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While we’re inclined to think that a person is (as Kant put it) “above all price,” we in fact make a lot of decisions that seem to set a price on persons—or, at least, on their life. For example, I was recently involved with setting standards for buildings in areas susceptible to earthquakes. The consensus seemed to be $3/sq. ft. increase in construction cost was reasonable, more than that was not, even though lives could be saved if the standard were higher, assuring the survival of more buildings. Though the Ford Pinto remains the classic case of unjustifiably putting a price on persons, it is at once not such a clear case and also useful for thinking about when putting a price on life can be justified.
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Steven P. Lee The Ethics of Current Drone Policy
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The subject of this paper is the ethics of the use of attack drones by a state. My concern is not the moral acceptability of drones as such, but rather that of current drone policy insofar as it involves the targeted killing of individuals in the “war on terror.” I seek to clarify and extend some of the arguments offered regarding the policy. Though this will involve some appeal to just war theory, my moral argument is broader than this. I conclude that there is a reasonably strong case that current drone policy is morally unacceptable.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 30 > Issue: 1
Adrian Bunn Life Extension and Future Generations
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Future technology may dramatically extend the human lifespan. Peter Singer (1991) argues that we should reject life extension because developing it would result in a world with lower total and average happiness. Singer’s argument depends on the claim that we should maximise average happiness per moment. I will argue that developing the life-extending drug would not be impermissible because doing so will maximise average happiness per person. I offer an independent argument for why we should adopt a consequentialist principle which says to maximise average happiness per person.