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1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Todd Burkhardt Justified Drone Strikes are Predicated on R2P Norms
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The US has conducted or routinely conducts personality and signature drone strikes into Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and most likely other states as well. The US does this in order to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat terrorist organizations (Al Qaeda, Taliban, Haqqani, al-Shabaab, ISIL, and their affiliates). In some of these attacks, states have given their expressed (e.g., Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen) or tacit (e.g., Pakistan) consent to the US to conduct these drone strikes. However, some states do not consent to the US conducting kinetic drone strikes within their territory. In these cases, it seems prima facie reasonable to suggest that these acts or use of force are unjustified because they violate the political sovereignty and territorial integrity of a non-consenting state. Furthermore, the US is not at war with these other states so there is no leeway in suggesting that a state has a right to conduct these operations against another state. As it currently stands, attempting to use jus ad bellum (justice of war) criteria to discern a state’s moral justification for implementing force short of war (drone strikes) is not only unhelpful but fails to provide a reasonable framework. The use of armed drones is a recent phenomena that will continue to evolve, and with this comes a need for establishing a set of moral guidelines on a state’s implementation of them. In an attempt to remedy this shortcoming, we need to look at drone strikes not as an act of war but as an act or force short of war. I want to make the case that drone strikes can be morally justified using the Responsibility to Protect norms. That is, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norms should be the guiding norms with regard to jus ad vim (the just use of force short of war). Incorporating the R2P norms into a jus ad vim account provides a framework of when states can morally resort to the use of force.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Ross W. Bellaby The Ethics of Torture-Lite: A Justifiable Middle-Ground?
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Torture-lite has been advanced as a new form of interrogation that raises the prospect of offering a more ethical way of colleting the intelligence needed to protect the state. However, this paper will argue that there can be no such thing as torture-lite as this misunderstands what interrogational torture is in the first place. Interrogational torture is a form of behavioural modification that relies on breaking the individual and conditioning their responses. Torture-lite would never be able to create the self-betraying effect necessary for cases such as the ticking time bomb scenario without crossing over into the higher harms caused by full torture, and is unable to force the individual to provide the required information to serve as the good in the consequentialist argument.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Jane Duran The Problem of Polygamy: Moral Constraints and Attitudes
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The status of polygamy as a cultural artifact is investigated across a number of societies, and it is concluded that polygamy is extremely violative of the rights of a number of individuals in the societies in which it occurs, and not simply women. Extensive citation is made to the work of Elissa Wall on American polygamous groups in the Southwest.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
William Ferraiolo God or Atoms: Stoic Counsel With or Without Zeus
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In this paper, I make the case that metaphysical doctrines about the nature and existence of God, and a rationally governed cosmos, are rather cleanly separable from Stoic practical counsel, and its conductivity to a well-lived, eudaimonistic life. Stoicism may have developed within a worldview infused with presuppositions of a divinely-ordered universe, and, indeed, there may be a Creator or Designer of some type (I take no position, in this paper, regarding the existence of God), but the efficacy of Stoic counsel is not dependent upon creation, design, or any form of intelligent cosmological guidance. The Stoic practitioner does not require a divine stamp of approval to legitimize his pursuit of equanimity, excellence, and wise self-governance.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Ari Santas Diagonalized Asymmetry: Myofascial Pain and Social Dysfunction
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Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MFPS) is somatic pain due to muscular tension associated with muscular-skeletal imbalance. The pain and discomfort of the patient is not simply due to some isolated tension, but in the dynamic relationships between related structures. As the body adjusts to reestablish balance and symmetry, the tension and pain in one area “diagonalizes,” creating a tense correlate along a diagonal axis. This diagonalization of tension exacerbates and perpetuates the initial condition of pain and dysfunction. The purpose of this paper is to argue that there are moral and social analogues to MFPS with their own forms of diagonalized asymmetry. Following the Aristotelian model of virtue and vice, whereby moral traits and dispositions become vice as a result of a loss of balance in conduct, and George Herbert Mead’s social psychology, which describes the self in terms of dynamic interrelation and co-operation of multiple sub-selves, I maintain that otherwise positive strengths in personal character, when overemphasized or exaggerated, can be juxtaposed to analogous weaknesses in related areas of personal health and conduct. I will argue that the descriptive analogy of MFPS has a corollary set of prescriptions for restoring balance in a moral subject.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
James A. Rice Hong Kong’s Migrant Workers and Their Impact on the Rule of Law Narrative
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Hong Kong’s adherence to the rule of law has been widely understood as one of its “core values.” As such, it has been understood as an institution necessary for good governance and a check against the abuse of governmental power as well as a feature that differentiates Hong Kong’s system of governance from other parts of China. At the same time, intervening issues of immigration and of constitutional interpretation have begun to challenge this perception. This paper argues that a recent landmark decision involving the right to permanent residence has served to weaken the rule of law in Hong Kong. It has further highlighted a lack of commitment by the judiciary to either human rights claims or equal treatment under the law.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Jessica Payson A Third Aspect of Individual Responsibility for Justice: The Responsibility to Organize
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Iris Marion Young has written a compelling account of individuals’ normative responsibilities for structural justice. While I agree with much of Young’s account, in this article I argue that there is an underexplored aspect of Young’s account regarding the link between individuals’ shared responsibility for justice and the normative demand that individuals engage in collective action towards just structural reform. I argue that Young has neglected an important aspect of individual responsibility for justice that links the aforementioned responsibilities together—namely, the responsibility to organize. Recognizing this responsibility is crucial for understanding the real work of structural justice efforts in the nonideal world.
symposium on punishment
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Jesper Ryberg Youth Discounts, Diminished Culpability, and Retributivism
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An often-suggested way of giving content to the view that adolescent offenders should be punished more leniently than adult offenders has been to advocate the idea of a general youth discount for adolescents. Several theorists hold that a youth discount can be justified on a retributivist ground. But is the idea of a general youth discount consistent with the basic idea of giving individual offenders their just deserts? This article examines three arguments that have been presented to this effect. It is argued that the arguments are implausible and that the idea of a retributively justified general youth discount for adolescent offenders is unpersuasive.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Clifton Perry Proportionality and the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Clause
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The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted.” Although treasured as a statement of fundamental rights, the Amendment’s terms and relations are not uniformly read. This is amply illustrated by the various positions on the Amendment’s correct meaning expressed in the various majority, plurality, and dissenting opinions issued by the United States Supreme Court (U.S.S.C.). This is not to suggest that a more or less uniform interpretation fails to obtain with all of the phrases of the Amendment. The clauses covering excessive bail and excessive fines do enjoy some level of agreed meaning among the Court’s members. This, however, does not pertain to the Cruel and Unusual Clause. An apparent majority of the Court holds that the extent of application of an otherwise acceptable punitive sanction may nevertheless constitute cruel and unusual punishment. A minority of the Court denies this. This essay will critically examine the two major positions concerning the questioned Clause. Additionally, it will offer an argument which especially favors one of the noted positions.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
Fausto Corvino Punishing Atypical Dirty Hands: Assessing the Moral Value of Coordination Failure
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Should those who get dirty hands (DH) always be punished in the same way? Must their punishment be regardless of the background elements that determined the DH dilemma, which has polluted their morality? This paper holds that common arguments in favour of punishing DH overlook the important difference between classic DH dilemmas that are structurally inescapable and those that are caused by a collective action problem. My thesis emphasizes that in talking about DH, our analysis should go beyond the structure of the dilemma. We should also take into serious consideration the background dynamics that made the choice between two evils inevitable.
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 2
About the Contributors
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12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Carol V. A. Quinn What Ulrichs Knew: Resurrecting the Nineteenth-Century Debate on Same-Sex Marriage
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German human rights campaigner Karl Heinrich Ulrichs advocated for same-sex marriage in the nineteenth century. Over a century later, we still have a long way to go. Arguing before his time, he took the Church, both Catholic and Protestant, head on. Ulrichs’s insights seem to have been all but forgotten. No one, to my knowledge, has invoked Ulrichs in contemporary debates about same-sex marriage, and yet he expertly diagnosed the problem and proposed a solution: start with the Church. In this paper, I resurrect his insights, and strengthen his case, for same-sex marriage.
13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Adam Cureton Some Virtues of Disability
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When we encounter people with disabilities in our everyday lives, we may sincerely wonder how (if at all) we ought to help them. Our concern in these ordinary contexts is typically not about securing basic justice. We want to know instead, as a matter of interpersonal morality, when and how it is appropriate for us to open a door for a wheelchair user, to pick up a dropped napkin for her, or to engage her in conversation about her condition. When we do try to give help, we can be surprised and hurt by the cold reception we receive for our efforts. It is worth considering, therefore, how the attitudes of someone who is sincerely trying to help can nonetheless be less than ideal and what kinds of attitudes a disabled person should have toward herself and those who are trying to provide assistance to her. In this paper, I characterize some common attitudes about people with disabilities, explain how conscientious people of good will could come to have them, and then argue that these attitudes are less than ideal because they are incompatible with the virtues of respect, acceptance, and appreciation.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Jennifer Mei Sze ANG Kant and the Responsibility to Protect
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Since the World Summit endorsed the Responsibility to Protect document (R2P) in 2005, a growing number of governments have begun to shape their foreign policies with R2P in mind. This paper seeks to clarify the basis, the nature, and the extent of our duty-to-others in the situations specified by R2P by bringing together current concerns and discussions surrounding the conceptualization of R2P as an imperfect duty. I begin by demonstrating that our imperfect duties to others are not optional, that Kantian imperfect duty is relevant to the discussion on R2P if read correctly, and that R2P must not be converted to perfect duties for meritorious deeds and what it mean to be a virtuous person to remain meaningful. Next, I discuss the scope of our duty-to-others, primarily regarding the limitations that we ought to observe when framing specific R2P operational duties. I argue that Kantian ethics must guide political and military responses to human catastrophes in order to ensure humanitarian ends are achieved.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Simon Beck, Stephen de Wijze Interrogating the ‘Ticking Bomb Scenario’: Reassessing the Thought Experiment
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The aim of this paper is to re-evaluate the manner in which the Ticking Bomb Scenario (TBS), a thought experiment in philosophical enquiry, has been used in the discussion of the justifiability or otherwise of forward-looking interrogational torture (FLIT). The paper argues that criticisms commonly raised against the thought-experiment are often inappropriate or irrelevant. A great many critics misunderstand the way in which thought experiments in general, and the TBS in particular, are supposed to work in philosophical (and for that matter scientific) inquiry. The paper is not about the acceptability or otherwise of FLIT per se but rather an attempt to show that thought experiments such as the TBS are useful analytic tools and ought not to be rejected due to their inappropriate use by those engaged in the justifiability or otherwise of FLIT. By rescuing the TBS from its erroneous use the paper seeks to show its proper worth as part of an argumentative device in uncovering conflicting moral intuitions in our search for ethical truths.
symposium on professional ethics
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis On the Possibility of Ethical Expertise
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After distinguishing between moral and ethical expertise, I divide ethical expertise into five categories: knowledge of fact (propositions); knowledge of procedure (rules, commands, or guidelines); easily derivable knowledge of fact or procedure; skill (tacit knowledge or know-how); and judgment (the ability to evaluate a situation, design a reasonable course of action, and act accordingly more often than would an algorithm, computer, or clerk with a book of rules). Having explained the five categories of expertise so that each turns out to be relatively unmysterious, I describe how I would counsel a fellow faculty member who sought my help with an “ethics case” because she regarded me as an “ethics expert.” I make clear the part each of the five categories of expertise would have in my counseling. In this way, I show that my ethical expertise is possible. I then consider stronger claims of ethical expertise, such as one finds in Gesang (2010), “Are Moral Philosophers Moral Experts?” Bioethics 24: 153–9. We may divide experts by the demands of the role they fill: The greater the demands, the less plausible (all else equal) the claim of expertise. There are experts who: 1) merely know something specific and testify about it (expert witnesses); 2) claim (like me) to counsel (help people think through what to do); 3) advise, that is, recommend courses of action (physicians or financial advisers, for example); 4) act as agents (such as surgeons or courtroom lawyers); and 5) rule over us or at least claim the right to (technocrats, Plato’s philosopher-kings).
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Andreas Eriksen Beyond Professional Duty: Does Supererogation Belong to the Morality of Roles?
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Professionals have a role obligation to satisfy certain standards when performing their work. However, as professionals, can they perform morally praiseworthy acts that are not within the scope of duty? According to applied professional ethics, the answer is yes, whereas some theoretical accounts of supererogation deny this possibility. I examine and ultimately reject two very different theoretical accounts that deny professional supererogation. First, a recent interpretation of Aristotle uses examples from the professional context to illustrate that the moral category of supererogation is not needed to describe heroic acts. Second, David Heyd’s account of supererogation argues that the category applies to natural duties alone and not to professional as professionals. Contrary to these claims, I argue that it is not only conceptually coherent to allow for the possibility of going beyond the call of duty but also morally important for assessments of responsibility and blame in professional life.
symposium on democracy
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Piero Moraro Introduction to Symposium on Democracy
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19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Tom Campbell Is Democracy a Human Right?
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After dealing with some methodological (Part 1) and definitional (Part 2) questions aimed at justifying its focus on bringing out the practical consequences of adopting democracy as a human right, in Part 3 the paper outlines and criticises arguments commonly made against having such a human right. It distinguishes between those arguments that deal with: (a) alleged conceptual inadequacies, such as that democracy does not satisfy defining criteria for human rights, such as universality, importance and intrinsic worth, (b) political doubts relating to the practicality of ‘self-determination’ and the acceptability of international intervention on the grounds of democratic deficits, and (c) weaknesses and inconsistencies relating to the legal implementation of democracy, such as the problem of having democracy as a human right when a function of human rights is to limit democracy and, in international law, the reluctance to adopt measures against non-democratic regimes. The paper questions these arguments individually, and points out that, if sound, they would exclude several generally accepted human rights. This exposes a pattern of unjustified discrimination against the idea that democracy is or ought to be a human right.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 29 > Issue: 1
Anthony J. Langlois Framing the Right to Democracy
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The question of whether democracy is a human right or not has received increased attention in recent years from philosophers, and in the light of recent world events, from the general public. Tom Campbell provides a minimalist strategy to support the human rights status of democracy, one linked to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 21) and subsequent developments in International Law and global institutions. I suggest that we need to consider the question at a more philosophical level and argue that Campbell’s minimalist strategy for understanding the right to democracy is inadequate to both the normative and symbolic claims associated with the idea. I develop my argument by considering two themes also engaged by Campbell: the demandingness of democracy, and the relationship between rights and interventions.