Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-10 of 26 documents


articles
1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
William Aiken Is Deep Ecology Too Radical?
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The theory of Deep Ecology is characterized as having two essential features: the belief that nature is inherently valuable, and the belief that one’s self is truly realized by identification with nature. Four common but different meanings of the term “radical” are presented. Whether the theory of Deep Ecology is “too radical” depends upon which of these meanings one is using.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Wallace Gray A Surprising Rediscovery and Partial Review of The Foundations of Belief by James Balfour
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Well known as the British politician responsible for the Balfour Declaration during World War I, James Balfour was also a philosopher. Long forgotten, his remarkable book The Foundations of Belief (1895) merits contemporary reassessment. Critical of modern compartmentalization, Balfour argues for an integration of religion, philosophy, and science---a position now often identified as postmodern. This article presents some of Balfour’s contemporary scholarly significance, and hints at his usefulness in undergraduate teaching.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Joe Frank Jones, III Moral Growth in Children’s Literature: A Primer with Examples
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This essay applies a plausible model for moral growth to examples of secular and religious children’s literature. The point is that moral maturation, given this model, requires imaginary worlds on both secular and religious presuppositions. Trying to guide a child’s reading toward either religious or secular books rather than toward good literature is shown therefore to miss the mark of good parenting.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Laura Duhan Kaplan Speaking for Myself in Philosophy
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The conventions of positivism, still the standard model for academic discourse, require philosophers to take knowledge out of the context of personal experience. In this essay, I argue that such a decontextualization impoverished the development of moral and epistemological knowledge. I propose to contextualize such knowledge by using the personal essay as a style of philosophical writing. As literary style shapes what can be thought and said, adoption of a different literary style calls for a reinterpretation of philosophy’s understanding of the self, the quest for truth, and the nature of universality.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
William O. Stephens Five Arguments for Vegetarianism
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Five different arguments for vegetarianism are discussed: the system of meat production deprives poor people of food to provide meat for the wealthy, thus violating the principle of distributive justice; the world livestock industry causes great and manifold ecological destruction; meat-eating cultures and societal oppression of women are intimately linked and so feminism and vegetarianism must both be embraced to transform our patriarchal culture; both utilitarian and rights-based reasoning lead to the conclusion that raising and slaughtering animals is immoral, and so we ought to boycott meat; meat consumption causes many serious diseases and lowers life expectancy, and so is unhealthy. Objections to each argument are examined. The conclusion reached is that the cumulative case successfully establishes vegetarianism as a virtuous goal.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
Henny Wenkart Feminist Revaluation of the Mythical Triad, Lilith, Adam, Eve: A Contribution to Role Model Theory
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This essay inquires into the need for and power of role models, and suggests some answers. The example it employs to study the issue is the contemporary Jewish feminist “role model,” Lilith, first wife of Adam. Various and opposite forms of the Lilith-and-Adam myth through the ages are given, including new contributions from a Lilith anthology in preparation by the author and others. Those needs of women and men that the mythical “role model” is constructed to satisfy are suggested.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Michael K. Briand Democratic Public Judgment: The Role of “Mutual Comprehension”
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The need to choose between good things in conflict lies at the heart of politics. Only citizens deliberating together can authoritatively form the democratic public judgment necessary to resolve such conflicts. The key step to arriving at a sound widely supported public judgment is getting all members of the public to “comprehend”---to understand and appreciate---the goods in conflict. Mutual comprehension enables us to combine our individual perspectives without loss, thereby providing the basis for collective deliberation. Such comprehension is essential because the mutual respect between citizens upon which democratic politics depends is impossible without it. Mutual comprehension is possible because we share a common human nature that, despite our manifest and irreducible differences is built around a limited and universal set of human needs and dispositions.
8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Jeremiah Conway Transforming Stories: The Death of Ivan Ilyich, the Birth of a Reflective Life
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The problem addressed by this paper concerns the responsibility of higher education in the growing thoughtlessness of culture. By “thoughtlessness” is meant not the absence of mental “busyness,” but indifference to the self-reflective life. How do we cope with the fact that, for so many, the educative act has little or nothing to do with the cultivation of self-reflection, especially when this indifference is amply represented within higher education as well as the wider culture? The paper unfolds in three sections. First, it explores the factors complicating the search for effective materials by which to instigate and encourage the transformation to a self-reflective life. Second, it argues that stories, particularly what it calls “transforming stories,” play an important role in provoking and providing insight into the “turning around of the soul” from unreflective to reflective living. Finally, it illustrates how one such transforming story, The Death of Ivan Ilyich, by Leo Tolstoy, helps accomplish this educational goal.
9. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Deirdre Golash Pluralism, Integrity, and the Interpretive Model of Law
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In Law’s Empire, Ronald Dworkin argues that the choice between conflicting interpretations of law is, and should be, influenced by the aspiration to “integrity,” that is, the construction of law as a coherent whole, as though it were the product of a single author. I argue that, particularly under conditions where opinion on relevant issues is significantly divided, the search for a single coherent explanation of law may be seriously misleading. The idea of integrity is a principled basis for legal interpretation only where there is an underlying unity, rather than an underlying plurality. Dworkin suggests that there is a basis for striving toward such unity, and for an obligation to obey the law, in our “associative” obligations to fellow members of our political community. I argue that such obligations, to the extent that they exist, are too weak to provide an adequate basis for a moral obligation to obey the law.
10. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 3
Bart Gruzalski Healing the Ills of Unemployment, Societal Breakdown, and Ecological Degradation: Gandhi’s Vision for a Sustainable Way of Life
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In this paper I describe Gandhi’s vision for a way of life that would be an essential part of any sustainable solution to worldwide problems of unemployment, societal breakdown and ecological degradation. Gandhi’s vision included a communitarian lifestyle of simplicity and non-accumulation in which agriculture would be supported by cottage industries using appropriate technologies (e.g., spinning). Assuming obligations to future generations, Gandhi’s proposal highlights the degree to which our First-World lifestyle is morally impermissible. One objection to this criticism of our First-World lifestyles is that we can solve the problem of ecological degradation by exporting only appropriate technologies to the Third World and supplementing our use of consumptive technologies with technological cleanups. This suggestion is not only irresponsible and unjust, but also hopeless, for our resource consumptive standards are already the model for development worldwide. To counteract this destructive model we must begin to recreate, in the First World, sustainable lifestyles that others will want to emulate. Part of this task involves the inner work that has been a casualty of the ideologies of modernity, and Gandhi’s vision is a blueprintfor both the outer and inner work that are essential to recreate a sustainable society.