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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Matthew Freytag MacIntyre’s Conservatism and Its Cure: The Formal Structure of Traditions
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Conservative communitarian Alasdair MacIntyre makes a fundamental claim about the formal conditions for rationality, personhood, and intelligible valuation, and a detachable, less fundamental empirical claim that these formal conditions can be met only in a hierarchically organized social tradition. Having suggested a formal account of narrative tradition which relies on the schematic notion of systematic complexity, MacIntyre retreats to an account in terms of canon and authority. He thus obscures the structures that underlie his own metaphysics of morals, the structures of the practices, narrative unities, and traditions which on his account are both identity-constituting and value-creating. Once these structures are discerned, the possibility of good lives will no longer seem linked to preservation of the forms of the existing polis.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
John D. Jones Multiculturalism and Welfare Reform
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Multiculturalism has not yet systematically addressed, much less challenged, dominant approaches to poverty and welfare reform. This lacuna must be rectified since the widespread poverty experienced by people of color poses a substantive threat to the development of a truly inclusive and multicultural society. Present approaches to poverty, defined in the context of welfare reform, are defective for three reasons: First, welfare reform basically aims to reduce welfare “dependency” by moving so-called able-bodied welfare recipients off welfare and into the labor market. This project seems destined to fail given a chronic scarcity of jobs, and especially decent paying jobs. Second, welfare reform does not provide an adequate framework for the general alleviation of poverty since many poor receive little or no welfare assistance. Third, welfare assistance is based on an invidious, stigmatizing distinction between the able-bodied poor (viewed as unworthy and disreputable) and the disabled poor. Thus, given disproportionate rates of poverty among people of color as well as a general (but mistaken) impression that US poverty is principally a “minority” problem, present policies and attitudes toward the poor insure that many people of color will bear the brunt of economic and symbolic marginalization despite gains which accrue to some people of color as the result of greater racial and cultural inclusiveness.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Raymond Kolcaba, Katharine Kolcaba Health Maintenance as Responsibility for Self
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Many kinds of health compromising norms, habits, and beliefs are highly resistant to change thereby preventing new knowledge about health maintenance from advancing widespread better health. Persons would be more responsive if they used a health ethic to harmonize personal behavior with health-maintaining practices. We argue that common sense morality includes a portion of a health ethic in the guise of responsibilities to maintain health as well as avoid self destruction. We discuss an example in which its application can retard decline in older age that results from a sedentary lifestyle.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Kate Lindemann Philosophy of Liberation in the North American Context: Transforming Oppressor Consciousness
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This paper utilizes concepts from the works of Paulo Freire and other Latin American philosophers of liberation to formulate a philosophy of liberation in a North American context. Since many North Americans experience a double consciousness, that is, both oppressor and oppressed consciousness, our liberating task is quite complex. This study offers both a philosophical framework and an example of the process of demythologizing one aspect of North American consciousness, the consciousness of privilege.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Edward L. Schoen The Methodological Isolation of Religious Belief
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According to Langdon Gilkey, both religion and science are cognitive enterprises, but they are separated methodologically. As a result, science and religion are concerned with different, though related levels of truth. Against these claims, historical examples are used to argue that scientific and religious explanations cannot be so neatly separated. To the contrary, both fields frequently treat overlapping ranges of data in methodologically opportunistic ways.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 2
Jorge M. Valadez The Sociopolitical Implications of Multiculturalism
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In this essay, I propose a definition of multiculturalism and provide pragmatic and theoretical reasons for accepting the multicultural perspective when it is defined in this manner. In addition, I discuss and defend three sociopolitical principles to which we are committed in adopting the multicultural perspective and discuss some of the concrete social and institutional changes needed for implementing these principles.