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41. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sebastian Schleidgen Sustainable Development and Bioethics – Ethical Thoughts on Decisions about Establishing Biobanks
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The so-called Brundtland-Report defines Sustainable Development as a conception of intra- and intergenerational justice, which is to be realized by a globally just distribution of possibilities for satisfying human basic needs as well as assuring such possibilities for future generations. Hence, any political and/or societal decision is addressed by the ethical demands of Sustainable Development insofar it affects possibilities for satisfying human basic needs. In particular, this concerns – contrary to the widespread opinion that Sustainable Development only has to deal with problems of environmental ethics – the legitimization of biomedical applications. After all, especially such decisions often face the problem of measuring and trading-off potential advantages and disadvantages regarding possibilities for satisfying human basic needs. Based on the example of decisions about establishing biobanks, my talk firstly will show that Sustainable Development actually demands much more from political and societal decisions than just being concerned about environmental ethics. Secondly, it will clarify these demands in detail. Thirdly, it will address the issues of how these demands can be implemented adequately. My talk therefore will show which conditions political and/or societal decision processes have to meet in order to comply with Sustainable Development.
42. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Eugen Schweitzer Atlantis: Theory of Science and Ethics
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It is proverbial that the European tradition of philosophy consists of a set of footnotes to Plato. However, one of his most informative works, the Atlantis story, had been totally neglected by the scientific community because for 2350 years it had simply not been understood. Plato wanted that only eligible persons shouldperceive his Atlantis story and therefore he codified it as an adventure tale. However, he placed a lot of ironical hints in his text. Anyhow, as irony isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, nobody could follow him. Because of respect for Plato’s credibility; the Atlantologists tried to solve the Atlantis riddle as phenomenon, whereas just a simple analytic disquisition supported by lateral thinking had been requested. This is a challenge to prompt science to render account after 2350 years of the previous omission of the Atlantis theme and to start a serious discussion about the here presented analytic approach by lateral thinking to Plato’s Atlantis irony, which turns out to be his humorous metaphysical legacy.
43. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Alexander Shevchenko Obligations of Justice
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Growing philosophical interest in theories of obligation has many sources. Among the most important ones is the tendency to redefine the scope of the political. Then we are Inevitably confronted with the question about the nature and scope of our obligations towards others. An analysis of an important and popular distinction between obligations of justice and obligations of charity shows that their distinctive characteristics are seldom precise and clear-cut. Moreover, they are more superficial rather than substantive and do not allow to draw a clear line between obligatory and desirable behavior, or legally and morally obligatory behavior. In present-day ethical theory there is a tendency towards expanding the scope of obligations of justice and redefining their content. Actions whichtraditionally might have been considered as display of good nature are more and more often perceived as obligations avoidance of which is unjust. This also changes the role of institutions. The borders and content of individual obligations of justice should be considered in close connection with the problem of constructing just social institutions. The subjects of justice (the moral individual and the social institute) are interrelated and the search for an optimalbalance between two viewpoints – those of private interest and impartiality – becomes a unifying project both for political and moral philosophers.
44. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Kenneth Shockley The Agent Relativity of Directed Reasons
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Directed reasons are reasons that rely for their normative significance on the authority one individual has with respect to another. Acts such as promising seem to generate such reasons. These reasons seem paradigmatically agent relative: they do not hold for all agents. This paper provides a defense of the claim that theform of agent relativism seemingly required by directed reasons is innocuous, and poses no general problem for a practice dependent account of directed reasons, and, therefore, for consequentialism. While the position I present does not constitute a complete teleological account of value, it points toward a way of integrating directed reasons into a practice-based account of value. The position presented also remains consistent with the so called Compelling Idea that often motivates consequentialism: it is always permissible for an agent to do what will lead to the outcome that is best.
45. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Harald Stelzer Challenging Cultural Relativism From a Critical-Rationalist Ethical Perspective
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This paper is based on the assumption that critical rationalism represents a middle position between absolutist and relativistic positions because it rejects all attempts of ultimate justification as well as basic relativistic claims. Even though the critical-rationalist problem-solving-approach based on the method of trial and error leads to an acknowledgment of the plurality of theories and moral standards, it must not be confused with relativism. The relativistic claims of the incommensurability of cultures and the equality of all views of the world and all moral systems can be challenged by two basic critical‐rationalist arguments:(1) Popper’s critique of ‚the myth of the framework’; (2) the criticalrationalist conception of different levels of rationality (Albert, Agassi and Jarvie). In ethics moral standards and norms can be interpreted from a critical‐rationalist perspective as undogmatic suggestions for the regulation of social behaviour and as attempts to answer different problems, resulting from social life. This allows for the comparison of different moral standards, norms, practices and institutions with reference to the underlying problem situation and the search for culturally overlapping moral standards.
46. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Makoto Suzuki “They Ought to Do This, But They Can’t”: The Two Senses of “Ought”
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We tend to think every ought statement implies that an actual agent can comply. However, our uses of “ought” suggest that some ought statements fail to have this implication: it is possible that the actual agent ought to do something she has no chance of accomplishing even if she intends to do so. Rather they imply that if the agent and her circumstances were defect-free, she could and would perform the prescribed action. There are two types of evaluation for ought statements. One type of evaluation addresses the question of what to do given the agent’s peculiar capacity and condition. The point of this evaluation is giving personalized action guidance, and so recommends only what the actual agent can do under the actual condition. Another type of evaluation addresses a different question, that of what to do as a type of agents. The point of this evaluation is the coordination of individuals by selecting a shared norm for them: the standard that prescribes all of them to perform the same action and classifies for all of them the same traits as defect. This is why it endorses the ought statements that some actual agents cannot comply with, but that a normal agent could and would do so under normal conditions.
47. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ryan Tanner Ouch, That Doesn’t Fit There: A Problem for Fitting-Attitudes Accounts of Value
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According to the “fitting-attitudes” (FA) account of value, for a thing to be valuable is for it to be the fitting object of a pro-attitude. Value here is analyzed in terms of reasons for and against favoring, admiring, desiring, preferring, loving, etc. a thing. Whichever particular FA analysis you prefer, the basic idea is just that a thing’s value depends on extant reasons to be favorably (or disfavorably) disposed toward it. Of course, proponents of FA analyses deny that just any such reasons suffice to ground a thing’s value. The reasons must be of the right sort. If I threaten to stab you in the face unless you become favorably disposed toward Rob Schneider movies, you now have a reason to do just that. But it seems clear that while my threat does make Rob Schneider movies to you worth liking, it does not make them valuable or good. The difficulty then is to distinguish the right kind of reasons from the wrong kind. Several writers have recently tried to offer principled ways of resolving the so-called “wrong kind of reasons” (WKR) problem, though I will not closely examine them here. Instead I wish to focus on one particular FAaccount of value whom some have suggested is immune to WKR-style problems, specifically the one Michael Zimmerman offers in The Nature of Intrinsic Value. I argue that even Zimmerman’s account incurs WKR difficulties, and that it can actually help illustrate a certain deep problem with FA accounts in general.
48. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Toshiro Terada Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals as Global Ethics
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In this paper I explore the possibility of reading Immanuel Kant’s metaphysics of morals as a proposal of global ethics, that is, ethics of the globalizing world. We have a good reason to undertake this exploration because Kant suggests that the earth being a globe with a finite spherical surface is a fundamental condition ofrealization of the universal principle of right among the world citizens. Unfortunately, however, Kant did not develop a theory of cosmopolitan rights as far as he could have. The reason is that he faced with a serious question which originated from his realistic judgment of his time, that it would be almost impossible to establish a cosmopolitan constitution without constraint of power. Today, however, we can hope to find an answer to this question in the development of global civil society and by virtue of this hope we can conceive global ethics which is further developed from Kant’s metaphysics of morals.
49. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jeffrey Benjamin White Conscience: The A.C.T.With Model Of Moral Cognition
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This work introduces the ACTWith model of moral cognition. This is a model of conscience and conscientious agency, inspired by Socratic philosophy, neurology and artificial intelligence. The ACTWith model is a synthesis across these disciplines, integrating ancient and contemporary insights into the human condition, while distilling this synthesis into a practicable dynamic simplified via architectural paradigms imported from theories of computational models of human learning. It was developed in response to the need in these fields for a clear articulation of conscience. In the world at large, conscience is often referenced, yet hardly understood. This work fills this gap.
50. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jeffrey Benjamin White Good Will and the Conscience in Kant’s Ethical Theory
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The compass point of Kantian ethics is Kant’s categorical imperative. The compass point of Kantian ethics directs persons to ends of actions. It directs to ends the attainment of which can be universally prescribed. It directs away from those which can not. Most reviews of the demands of the categorical imperative tend torest in an assay of rationality and its demands. I think that this is a mistake. I think that on Kant’s mature view, the conscience, and so the categorical imperative, have nothing necessarily to do with rationality at all. The following work develops this position.
51. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Michael Wreen Three Related Objections to Relativism
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The most frequent charges brought against moral relativism are probably that it is inconsistent, that it has morally repugnant implications, and that it leads to amoralism, or the breakdown of morality altogether. A less frequent but still common objection is more conceptual in nature: relativism cannot make any sense of a certain species of comparative moral judgment, namely those that morally compare two moral codes. The general form of this kind of judgment is: ‘Moral code A is morally superior to moral code B.’ Stace lodges this objection, and others have as well. Is it cogent? Using Stace as a springboard for discussion, I critically examine three related arguments against relativism that claim that comparative judgments of the sort in question are impossible on relativism.
52. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Charles W. Wright Natural Selection and Moral Sentiment: Evolutionary Biology’s Challenge to Moral Philosophy
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Evolutionary biologists have suggested that human moral judgment is best understood as an emotionally mediated phenomenon. With few exceptions, philosophers have scorned these proposals. Recent research in moral psychology and social neuroscience indicates, though, that moral judgment is produced by the coordinated activity of multiple regions of the brain, and consists of both cognitive and affective processes. Evidence also suggests that different dimensions of moral judgment – the affective and cognitive processes, for instance – possess distinct evolutionary histories. Moral philosophers will need to reconsider longstanding debates – such as those between Humeans and anti-Humeans, and between motivation internalists and externalists – in light of this evidence. Otherwise we run the risk of disciplinary irrelevance.
53. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sunny Yang Moral Emotions and Thick Ethical Concepts: A Critical Notice of Gibbard’s Non-Reductive Noncognitivism.
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My aim in this paper is to illuminate the limitations of adopting thick ethical concepts to support the rationality of moral emotion. To this end, I shall first of all concentrate on whether emotions, especially moral emotions are thick concepts and can be analysed into both evaluative and descriptive components. Secondly,I shall examine Gibbard’s thesis that to judge an act wrong is to think guilt and anger warranted. I then raise the following question. If we identify moral considerations with anger in particular, it overly emphasizes one seemingly arbitrary emotion. In other words, I doubt whether ‘other’s anger’ can be the general concept corresponding to thick concepts such as courage or generosity. My doubt about the objectivity of Gibbard’s moral emotion depends on Bernard Williams’doubt about ethical objectivity in terms of a critical notice of the distinction between thick and thin ethical concepts. Finally, I shall pose a challenge to the distinction between thick and thin ethical concepts on the ground that it is not in fact a clear one. I shall argue that it is impossible clearly to classify various ethical concepts either as thick or thin. This is because, I shall argue, as Scheffler points out, “any division of ethical concepts into the two categories of the thick and the thin is itself a considerable oversimplication.” Indeed, I shall argue, our ethical vocabulary is tragically rich with an irreconcilable plurality of values. If my analysis is right, I argue Gibbard’s attempt to appeal to thick concepts to explain the rationality of moral emotion is open to question.
54. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Guo Yi Human Nature, Mind and Virtue
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The key issue of traditional theories of human nature in China is De or virtue, Yu or desire and their correlation. It leads to two developing currents: one is the old tradition since Xia, Shang and Zhou, the Three Dynasties which take desire as nature, another is the new tradition later Confucius initiated which take virtue as nature. So the understanding of human nature in early China experienced a process from desire to virtue, or from the instinct of human to the essence of human. Prior to Confucius, nature is desire and instinct. In that time, the theories of human nature has two themes, namely to manage nature by virtue and to explain nature by Qi. Since Lao Zi, virtue was taken as the inner essence of human. Later Confucius further to take virtue as nature directly, so completes the fundamental transformation of traditional theory of human nature. This is the source of the idea nature of reason and the origin of the theory nature is good. Zisi advocated “what Heaven has conferred is called the nature” to promote the new tradition, and named desire as “the inner”. The new excavated bamboo book Xing Zi Ming Chu not only developed the idea of “the inner” of Zisi, but also further to restore desire as nature, and constructed a unique system of outer moral apriorism for it. Shortly afterward, Mencius turns this trend and advocates none but the four beginnings is nature, desire only is impartment, therefore he develops the new tradition to extremes. Even though, before the period between Tang and Song dynasties, the mainstream of the theory of human nature in China was the oldtradition, and that the new tradition merely like a flash in the pan. In fact, the dualism of human nature in Song and Ming dynasties carried on the old tradition, and at the same time, succeeded the new tradition, and put them into a unified thought system.
55. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Lijun Yuan A Balance of Justice and Care: Reading Feminist Ethics
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Since early the 1980s Feminist philosophers started to put up the value of care on agenda in study of ethics, investigating issues of valuing care as a balance of justice. A book came up as The Ethics of Care: Personal, Political, and Global in 2006, written by Virginia Held (VH). She called her balancing approach as “fairer caring” and caring justice”. These two terms show the essence of VH’s analysis of notions of care and justice: meshing them together as inseparable but emphasizing care as a wider framework into which justice should be fitted. Hence, care should be the priority in a more comprehensive moral theory, the ethics of care (EC). I will interpret VH’s thoughts and arguments of EC as priority and how justice and care integrated for each other and why EC will work out a better wayregarding many ethical issues. Finally, I will compare VH’s EC with Confucian ethical idea of reciprocity as the golden rule of Confucianism, and evaluate the difference between the two and strengths of each.
articles in french
56. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sorin-Tudor Maxim, Elena Maxim La Critique de la tolérance
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A critical approach on tolerance can be done as an endeavor to asset its rational arguments brought in its support or/and as a justification of its moral value within the process of human being completion. The commitment to such critical task is more necessary as it is unyieldingness summon in contemporary debates in political religious and, especially moral contexts, it has been equally valorized and contested. The most remarkable analyses of this rather summary rubric for many and often contradictory connotations, then concept, underline the idea that a limit-matter is at stake: can be tolerated the intolerable? Because these boundaries are hard to be distinguished the critical position intellectually reasonable seems to be that of examining if is not more socially profitable and morally justifiable to be tolerant rather than intolerant.Developing possible arguments for and against the universal value of tolerance, critical discourse imposes a very meaningful statement: to uphold our humanity, even the demand for our right to intolerance must be done within the framework and with the means of tolerance.
57. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Lambert Nieme Par-delà Kant et Hans Jonas: L’Éthique de la Visibilité dans l’Invisible
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L’existant humain est par essence un être-au-monde. Cette dimension ontologique (pré)suppose une réalité ontique, à savoir la nature comme espace de visibilité de notre existence. Cependant, le pouvoir technologique défigure cette nature et se retourne contre l’homme au point que même l’éthique traditionnelle devient inopérante face aux défis de ce pouvoir. C’est à juste titre que Hans Jonas soutient que la réflexion éthique doit cesser de s’occuper uniquement de l’action humaine en rapport avec les hommes entre eux pour s’intéresser à l’homme comme une force agissante au sein de la nature. Ainsi, contrairement à Kant, Jonas pose les effets de l’acte comme condition de sa moralité. Et pourtant, il nous semble que la disposition intérieure du sujet agissant, la volonté bonne,n’est pas non plus à négliger. D’où la pertinence de l’impératif de l’éthique de la visibilité dans l’invisible qui réconcilie les deux positions : Agis de telle sorte que ton acte, sous-tendu par une intention pure, produise des effets compatibles avec la permanence d’une vie authentiquement humaine sur terre en assurant ainsi ta visibilité dans l’invisible. L’inflexion de cet impératif dans la praxis quotidienne passe par l’éducation ; laquelle doit s’organiser autour de trois principes cardinaux, à savoir : le principe de préséance de la vie, le principe d’interaction des générations et le principe de discontinuité des antivaleurs.
articles in spanish
58. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Cătălina Elena Dobre, Rafael García Pavón Abraham y la Ética del Silencio en el Pensamiento de Søren A. Kierkegaard
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This paper presents an interpretation of the paradoxical decision of Abraham done by Søren A. Kierkegaard in his work Fear and Trembling as an ethics of silence. The main idea is to understand ethics not as moral standards or specific duties, but as the responsibility of becoming a single individual in time; singularity as the intimate and personal relationship with the calling of love. In such a way, that silence is the experience of the encounter with the paradox that being human means to be singular in conditions that claim an universal and general transparent manifestation dependent of the dominant rational discourse.Then, silence becomes the fundamental ethical claim to become a human person, as spirit in time, where it becomes a time of trial and examination, a temporality, where the trial is the fidelity to love’s calling, the listening of the possibilities that are presented by the anxiety of the decision. These possibilities are not immanent to the world or to history, they call for a personal choice, always containing a space of revelation; therefore of listening to the interiority of the personal choice that for Kierkegaard is the passion of faith, communicated and lived in silence. Concluding that an ethics of silence by the image of Abraham implies to re-think the role of philosophy in relationship to faith, hope and love in time, as a silent thought.
articles in russian
59. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Artemov The Prerequisites of the Responsibility: The Liberty and the Morality
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The responsibility of the subjects is the most important basis of the social life. Recurrences of irresponsible behaviour on the all levels of the modern society do the problem of the purposeful cultivation of the liberty and the morality to be more actual nowadays. The liberty and the morality realized by any personality become the prerequisites of the responsibility that are so necessary for the society. Became the true reality the responsibility provides the sustainable reproduction of all system of feelings, convictions and actions and raises the liberty to the higher and more deliberate stage. Responding to the changes of the time the philosophy has to be urged to clarify the idea of the closing of the social anthropology, aksiologiya and ethics.
60. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
О.В. Артемьева Аретический подход к исследованию общественной морали
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Traditionally virtue ethics was considered as a theory about personal perfection. So it may seem that virtue theory hardly can be adopted to the study of social morality which, as some researchers demonstrate, is formalized and institutionalized, effect-oriented and presupposes not personal but shared imputation. However, as impartial analysis of the history of moral philosophy displays, virtue ethics has always had social dimension and has never existed out ofit. For example, Aristotelian ethics extends to politics and his politics is considerably mediated by ethics. And many of modern virtue ethicists proclaim the social orientation of their theories as of high priority. Today social virtue ethics is making substantial progress in applied and professional spheres. My aim is to demonstrate which peculiar basic features of virtue ethics make it effective in dealing with the most urgent social problems.