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volume introduction
1. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Klaus Brinkmann Volume Introduction
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articles
2. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Alasdair MacIntyre Moral Pluralism Without Moral Relativism
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When we deny the truth of someone else’s moral beliefs and give our grounds for so doing, we make or imply judgments about the inadequacy of their reasons for belief and about the causes of their belief. And we presuppose a difference between them and us in both respects. In so doing we provide matter for a shared philosophical inquiry about the relevant types of reason and cause. It is a mark of rational disagreement on matters of serious moral import that we who so disagree should be prepared to engage in this inquiry and to recognize its standards as binding on us unqualifiedly. This recognition commits us to a denial of moral relativism. Some of these best examples of rational disagreement are found in some, although only some, of the exchanges between medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian philosophers.
3. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
So Hung-yul Pluralism and the Moral Mind
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Cultural pluralism has caused disturbing problems for philosophers in applied ethics. If moral sanctions, theories, and applications are culturally bound, then moral conflicts ensuing from cultural differences would seem to be irresolvable. Even human nature, good or evil, is not free from cultural determination. One way out of this pluralistic impasse is the expansion of the moral mind. It is the outlet taken by religion, the arts, and philosophy from the earliest time in human culture. In philosophy we find an authentic example of this in Socrates. Following the practice of Socrates, we can try to expand the moral mind philosophically, that is, by working on various forms of reasoning, both deductive and non-deductive, including induction, abduction, dialectics, analogy, and pragmatics.
4. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Stephen Darwall Why Ethics is Part of Philosophy: A Plea for a Philosophical Ethics
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Ethics is frequently divided into three parts: metaethics, normative ethical theory, and the more specific normative ethics. However, only metaethics is explicitly philosophical insofar as it is concerned with fundamental questions about the content, objects, and status of ethical thought and discourse. During the heyday of conceptual analysis, philosophers were admonished to restrict themselves entirely to metaethics. Since, it was said, they lacked any special expertise as philosophers on normative questions, their pronouncements could be no more than hortatory. I will argue that there is no satisfactory alternative to conducting normative ethical inquiry in conjunction with metaethics. Only by investigating normative and metaethical questions together in an integrated philosophical ethics can we hope to make real progress with either. Ethics should remain part of philosophy.
5. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Stuart Rosenbaum Moral Theory and the Reflective Life
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In what follows I want to endorse and to reinforce what seems to me a pragmatic, and more specifically a Deweyan, account of the dim prospects for traditional moral theory. I want further to describe a role for moral philosophy that accepts the demise of moral theory, a role exemplified by Dewey himself in his insistence on the place of intelligence and reflection in a satisfactory life. Dewey’s insistence on intelligence and reflection in the good life gives rise to a large–scale moral ideal, the ideal of the reflective life; I describe that ideal and contrast it with some others.
6. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Virginia Held Feminist Ethical Theory
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I will treat feminist ethical theory as a distinct type of theory. Although some feminists are skeptical about the need for theory as distinct from cultivating practices of being morally perceptive and sensitive, many others argue for the theory they see as needed. Feminist ethical theory usually includes, but is not limited to, the concerns that have been developed under the heading of ‘the ethics of care’ or ‘care ethics’. Care ethics are usually contrasted with ethics of justice, such as Kantian and utilitarian moral theories. Instead of being a theory primarily focused on right action, an ethic of care seeks moral evaluations of relations between persons, and reinterprets both personal and political relations in light of the value of care. I will show how feminist ethical theory differs from virtue theory as well as from Kantian and utilitarian theories.
7. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Michael Slote Moral Theories and Virtue Ethics
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The recent revival of virtue ethics may have a salutary effect on normative ethical theory. Over the past few years, an ‘agent-based’ virtue ethics inspired by the moral sentimentalism of Hutcheson, Hume, Martineau, and (more recently) Nel Noddings has taken shape. Because this approach allows room for a generalized humanitarianism that is notably absent in Aristotle, it may have more contemporary promise than neo-Aristotelian views. But agent-based virtue ethics also enables us to make some new distinctions within more familiar views and to that extent, therefore, has something to offer advocates of the very approaches with which it disagrees.
8. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Jonathan Dancy Can a Particularist Learn the Difference Between Right and Wrong?
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This paper is an attempt to answer the charge that extreme moral particularism is unable to explain the possibility of moral concepts and our ability to acquire them. This charge is based on the claim that we acquire moral concepts from experience of instances, and that the sorts of similarities that there must be between the instances are ones that only a generalist can countenance. I argue that this inference is unsound.
9. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Margarita M. Valdés Practical Ethics and Moral Objectivism
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Moral philosophers working today on concrete moral issues seem to assume certain views that are opposite to those of their predecessors; chief among these is that morality has an objective basis, that it is not just the result of subjective reactions, but comprises a body of beliefs acquired through some kind of perception of certain traits of reality. However, the reasons for thinking that people who discuss substantive moral issues are committed to moral objectivism are either not very clear or not entirely convincing. In what follows I shall examine the reasons given by John Mackie for considering that the use of first-level moral language—the language frequently used in the discussion of concrete moral problems—commits the user to moral objectivism.
10. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Ricardo Maliandi Principios de Equidad Discursiva
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This paper relates the concept of “discourse” (in the discourse-ethics’ meaning) with the concept of “social justice.” I maintain that the social nature of reason is a condition of possibility of such justice. According to the Alexy-Habermas system, the rules for the practical discourse mean in their third level the conditions of symmetry, that is, the absence of privileges among the participants. My paper introduces the concept of discursive fairness, referred to the requirements for maintaining the discursive symmetry, even under circumstances of non-discursive, but real asymmetry. Two principles of discursive fairness are offered (by analogy to Rawls’ “principles of justice”): 1. equality of rights among the participants in the practical discourse, and 2. possibility of reviewing all arguments used in the discourse, together with guarantees of benefits for the unsuccessful participants.