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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents


1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Peter Mehl Rethinking Liberalism: Sandel, Nussbaum, and the Good Society
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I critically examine the recent thought of Michael Sandel and Martha Nussbaum to reinvigorate our understanding of a just and flourishing society, and to address shortcomings of liberalism. I argue that while both offer important correctives to facile liberalisms, they both need to understand liberalism as a view of the good society. I spend more time with Nussbaum as she provides a more developed way forward for liberalism. Examining her epistemological approach leads me to argue that her appeal to an overlapping consensus is doing some epistemological work, and that her capabilities approach is tied to a theory of humans and their flourishing. In the final analysis, I judge that Nussbaum’s capabilities approach encompasses Sandel’s communitarian hope for a richer conversation about the good society.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Andrew Oberg Dreaming of AI Lovers
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The vision of building machines that are or can be self-aware has long gripped humankind and now seems closer than ever to being realized. Yet behind this idea lie deep problems associated with the self, with consciousness, and with what it is to be a being capable of experience. It is the aim of this paper to first explore these important background concepts and seek clarity in each one before then turning to the question of artificial intelligence and whether or not such is really possible in the manner in which we are approaching it.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Yotam Benziman Integrity and Self Image
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The connection between integrity and the notion of self seems obvious. A person of integrity is one whose various beliefs, views, experiences, are united into one totality. But if integrity is about the self, then it is for the self to decide what her personality revolves around. This might suggest that being a person of integrity means acting for no reason at all – just because this is “who I am”. I might consider my whimsical, or even corrupt ways of conduct, as manifestations of integrity, and I would not have to offer reasons to anybody. In trying to reply to such an objection, it has been suggested that integrity as an epistemic virtue, aiming at truth and correctness. I show why these attempts are mistaken. And yet, it is true that as persons of integrity we act for sound reasons. Our integrity is connected to our self image. Rather than aiming at truth, our actions manifest the people we aspire to be, the values we admire, the notions we care about. By choosing my commitments I manifest a certain image of what a worthy person should aim at, and I invite others to share this image.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Blake Hereth Why It’s Wrong to Stand Your Ground
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Stand Your Ground laws have prompted frequent and sustained legal and ethical reflection on self-defense. Two primary views have emerged in the literature: the Stand Your Ground View and the Retreat View. On the former view, there is no presumptive moral requirement to retreat even if one can do so safely. According to the latter view, there is such a requirement. I offer a novel argument against the Stand Your Ground View. In cases where retreat or the infliction of defensive harm would be equally efficacious in protecting the rights of an individual, one cannot intend either simply as a means, since there is no means-relevant reason for choosing one over the other. Thus, if one intends to inflict defensive harm, one intends the infliction of defensive harm as an end. Because it is always wrong to intend harm for its own sake, there is a presumptive requirement to retreat.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Jonathan Yahalom Levinasian Caregiving: Dementia and the Other-In-Between
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This article reviews the work of philosopher Emmanuel Levinas to explore caregiving for dementia. It defends a dual thesis whereby it first articulates how Levinas provides a phenomenological description to account for why caregiving is subjectively dreadful and, second, how caregiving invites a fresh re-reading of Levinasian thought. The article introduces two different forms of otherness represented by death and dementia, respectively. This re-reading shows how dementia forces us to more immediately reckon with the intensity Levinas attributes to the nature of human interaction. The article concludes with reflections about what dementia suggests about cultural attitudes towards responsibility and implications for caregiving practice.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Michael Goerger Only a Game?: On the Meaning of Violent Video Gameplay
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Many are disturbed by acts of simulated violent portrayed in contemporary video games. In this essay, I ask if violent gameplay is meaningful or significant outside of the gaming context. Following a recent discussion of the meaning of actions by T.M. Scanlon, I argue for two interrelated theses. First, I claim that in-game actions are only meaningful when the considerations and reasons that drive in-game actions are the same as those that drive analogous actions outside of the game-world. Second, I argue that this condition rarely holds because the gameworld creates a unique context in which the reasons and considerations that drive action are significantly altered. I conclude that violent video gameplay can be but is rarely meaningful outside of the gaming context.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey Hankey Unframing the Human
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In a novel synthesis of Judith Butler’s social ontology, Rosi Braidotti’s posthumanism, Simon Critchley’s reading of Heidegger’s ontology of indebtedness, and my own system of ontic impunity premised on the illusion of free will, I make a case for a reframing—or perhaps an unframing—of the human. This unframing imbues those largely denied recognizability as human—such as pedophiles and Muslim civilian casualties of the war on terror—with a dignity and grievability denied them by the dominant ecumenical, Western epistemology of causa sui (the soul). It also forces us to consider the tenuous distinction between human and non-human animals. Finally, I offer some concluding thoughts on the meaning of authenticity as wanting-to-have-a-conscience.
8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 24 > Issue: 1
Geoff Pfeifer, Taine Duncan Doing Philosophy in the Contemporary World: A Joint Interview with the Editors
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With all of exciting changes happening with the Journal, we thought a joint interview of one another might be a great way to highlight the vision and mission for Philosophy in the Contemporary World moving forward. This edition is our first edition to be printed fully online, a practice we look forward to ensuring accessibility and worldwide access for subscribers. We also wish to acknowledge our appreciation of the patience of all who follow, read, and subscribe to our journal. Infrastructure changes and a reprint have caused us some publication delays. However, we are very excited about the future to come here at the journal!