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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 4
William Aiken Is Deep Ecology Too Radical?
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.