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1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Johann Go Mill and the Limits of Freedom of Expression: Truth, Lies, and Harm
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The rise of fake news, climate change denial, and the anti-vaccination movement all pose important challenges to contemporary views about freedom of expression. This paper attempts to delineate the limits of freedom of expression, specifically with regard to truth, lies, and harm. My strategy is to offer a critical reading of John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty to demonstrate its enduring relevance to contemporary issues in the freedom of expression. My critical reading of Mill provides guidance on when state interference is justified, the role of education, the nature of harm in the age of mass media and globalisation, and the relevance of truth and lies in the freedom of expression. Ultimately, I demonstrate that the Millian account I present can deal adequately with contemporary issues in the freedom of expression in line with the current social context, relevant empirical facts, and our considered judgements.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
James Stacey Taylor The Case Against the Case for Colonialism
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In a recent paper entitled “The Case for Colonialism” Bruce Gilley argued that Western colonialism was “as a general rule” both beneficial to those subject to it and considered by them to be legitimate. He then advocated for a return to the Western colonization of the Third World. Gilley’s article provoked a furious response, with calls for its retraction being followed by the resignation of much of the publishing journal’s editorial board. In this paper I note that Gilley’s article meets none of the criteria required to justify its retraction, and that instead of retracting it it should be rebutted. I then argue that his arguments against those who oppose colonialism are all fatally flawed, and that he has provided no justification for his claims that colonialism was either beneficial to those who lived under it, or considered by them to be legitimate.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Joseph Farrell DACA-ptives: On the Moral Quality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program
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The play on words in the title is used to illustrate a problem facing the United States government, United States citizens, and illegal immigrants. Recent estimates describe the number of illegal immigrants living in the United States at between eleven and twelve million individuals. To address issues with some of our illegal immigrants, on June 15, 2012, President Obama initiated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This is an Executive Order easing the burdens of immigration law on some illegal immigrants living in the United Stated. In what follows, I will explain how in spite of there being a right on the part of the United States and nations in general to exclude immigrants and to deport illegal immigrants, the DACA program is actually morally good if not a right on the part of the people in question insofar as they are captives of the will of their parents/guardians who brought them here originally and captives of a system of laws from which they cannot escape without help. In a sense, the DACA program liberates captives and rescues said captives from a legal and moral prison created by all those around them. Rescinding it involves moral turpitude.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
S. K. Wertz Little White Lies: A Pragmatic Defense
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Samuel Johnson has an interesting comment on consequences and the telling of “white lies.” For example “Sick People and Children are often to be deceived for their Good.” David Hume apparently endorses this concept in one of his letters. Both Johnson and Rousseau anticipate Kant’s argument about consequences in that one is to tell the truth under all circumstances. Hume, I argue, would take issue with this claim in that there are cases (like the two above) that warrant telling white lies. Elsewhere (second Enquiry) he speaks about “harmless liars” who indulge in “lying or fiction . . . in humorous stories.” And he says “Noble pride and spirit may openly display itself when one lies under calamity [defamation or slander] or opposition of any kind,” especially if the opposition puts one’s life in grave danger, so one’s self-preservation is threatened. Under situations like these, lying is justified. In regard to fiction, if lying is for the purpose of entertainment and where “truth is not of any importance,” it is permissible. These cases are discussed in some detail, and they offer, along with their analysis, a pragmatic defense of Hume’s position.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Robert Boyd Skipper Education and Bureaucracy
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I argue that bureaucracies, as described by Max Weber, have essential characteristics that clash with basic educational values. On the one hand, bureaucracies, because of their divisions of labor, inevitably narrow all those who participate. Bureaucracies also, because of the need for impartiality, inevitably dehumanize all who participate. On the other hand, education aims to broaden and humanize those who participate in it. This tension between bureaucracy and education makes bureaucracy an unsuitable mechanism for delivering an education. Bureaucracies are often the best ways to accomplish large tasks involving many people; however, the task of educating all humanity is not one of those tasks. Problems in education can only be exacerbated by “fixing” the bureaucracy, because efficiency, the greatest bureaucratic virtue, is harmful to education. While I offer no solution, I share some thoughts about how a humanizing, broadening, and suitably inefficient education might look.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Joshua M. Hall Bodily-Social Copresence Androgyny: Rehabilitating a Progressive Strategy
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Historically, the concept of androgyny has been as problematic as it has been appealing to (especially white) Western progressives. The appeal clearly includes, inter alia, the opportunity to abandon or ameliorate certain identities (including essentialized femininity and toxic masculinity). As for the problematic dimension, the central problem seems to be the reduction of otherness (often unconscious and unwitting) to the norms of straight white middle/upper-class Western cismen, particularly because of the consequent worsening of actual others’ marginalization and exclusion from social institutions. Despite these problems, I wish to suggest that androgyny—as evidenced by the enthusiasm felt for it by many Westerners—bespeaks something larger and more important than the concept itself, and that modified conception of it might be helpful in pursuit of social justice.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Sigmund Loland Sport, Performance-enhancing Drugs, and the Art of Self-imposed Constraints
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Should the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) be banned in sport? A proper response to this question depends upon ideas of the meaning and value of sport. To a certain extent, sport is associated with ideal values such as equality of opportunity, fair play, performance and progress. PED use is considered contrary to these values. On the other hand, critics see sport as an expression of non-sustainable and competitive individualism that threatens human welfare and development. PED use is considered a logical consequence of these values. I challenge both views as simplistic and inadequate. I develop what I refer to as the normative structure of sport consisting of self-imposed constraints at three levels: in the formal rules, in norms for fair play, and in the interpretation of athletic excellence as a morally relevant instantiation of human excellence. I argue that the question of a ban on PED should be discussed at the third level and depends upon interpretations of athletic excellence as a form of human excellence. I conclude that, in the current situation of elite sport, proponents of a ban on PED seem to have the strongest arguments.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Jane Duran Avian Preservation: The Case of the Condor
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The case of the reintroduction efforts made on behalf of the California condor is examined, with a view toward discussing both the environmental difficulties and the overall cost. The work of Singer, Snyder, and others is cited, and it is concluded that the work was worthy, but that a full articulation of the problems has seldom been made.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Ben Almassi What’s Wrong With Ponzi Schemes? Trust and Its Exploitation in Financial Investment
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The role of trust in financial investment has been a matter of some contention, one often obscured by two misconceptions: (1) that financial relationships are fit only for wary predictive reliance where trust has no rational basis, and (2) that in those relationships where trust is operative it must be worth preserving. Following Baier’s contention that trust, like air, is more easily seen when polluted, here I consider Ponzi schemes as exemplars of corrupt and polluted trust. Without attending to the role of trust in financial relationships, I argue, we can not make sense of how Ponzi schemes work, why investors are fooled, what it is that makes Ponzi schemes distinctively wrong, and what differentiates them from structurally similar yet legitimate financial practices.
book review
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 32 > Issue: 1
Donald L. Turner Jon Mills, Inventing God: Psychology of Belief and the Rise of Secular Spirituality
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