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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Charles W. Harvey Paradise Well Lost: Communitarian Nostalgia and the Lonely Logic of the Liberal Self
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“Paradise Well Lost” offers a description and criticism of communitarian claims that in contemporary liberal society the self is in sad shape, that liberal society is out of harmony with the needs of the self, and that such a society makes the good life nearly impossible to achieve. It is argued that communitarian thought is driven by a false and deluded nostalgia for a self-world unity that never was andnever can be, that human consciousness prohibits the neatly unified communialization of self and world that seems desired by much communitarian thinking. A final argument claims that there are nontrivial connections between the communitarian desire for self-world unity, and the twentieth-century emergence of totalitarian society--connections about which it is wise to be worried.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Kenneth W. Kemp Right Intention and the Oil Factor in the Second Gulf War
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This essay responds to the argument that US interest in Kuwaiti oil made its war against Iraq fail the just-war criterion of right intention. That argument is based on a misunderstanding of the criterion, namely, that right intention requires not merely the presence of a concern for justice but the absence of any other (especially self-interested) motives. Correction of this misunderstanding is important to application of the just-war theory to the general question of intervention in foreign wars.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Lee F. Kerckhove Moral Fanaticism and the Holocaust: A Defense of Kant Against Silber
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I defend Kant’s moral psychology against John R. Silber’s argument that Kant cannot account for the radical evil of Hitler. Silber’s argument cannot be maintained, I argue, if Kant’s account of theological and moral fanaticism, and the personality of the moral fanatic, are taken into account. I contend that Kant’s writings support an analogy between the fanatical pursuit of religious and moral ideals and Hitler’s fanatical pursuit of an ideal of racial purity. I conclude that Kant’s account of moral fanaticism is adequate to account for the actions and moral psychology of Hitler.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Egbeke Aja Time and Space in African (Igbo) Thought
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This paper is an attempt to articulate an African (Igbo) conception of space and time. Igbo terms and phrases are explained in light of their traditional, non-European cultural and linguistic background. Care is taken to present a distinctively African account, not a neo-colonial one. The African conceptions of space and time account for some African beliefs and practices regarding causality, including such widely misunderstood phenomena as divination, the “medicine man,” and “magic.”
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Ric Caric Northrup Identity, Social Relations, and Time: The Implications of Mead for Democratic Social Theory
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This essay analyzes the nature of social relations when individual identity is conceived as both autonomous and socially constructed. Viewing identity as autonomous and socially constructed makes it necessary both to conceive individuals as socially related to others in the present and past, and to incorporate individuals into multiple systems of social relations. I argue that George Herbert Mead’s theory of social systems provides a basis for performing these tasks. By adding a concept of “contemporaneous consciousness” to Mead’s notion of temporal systems, it is possible to view individuals as autonomous within a multiplicity of temporal systems.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Saranindranath Tagore Death and Pictures in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus
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The Picture Theory based on a realist ontology is central to the argument of the Tractatus. Wittgenstein, however, makes idealist claims while discussing the notion of the metaphysical subject. In this paper, I develop an interpretation of this text in which realism and idealism are reconciled. The task is accomplished by focusing on the later remarks of the Tractatus in general and the remarks on death in particular.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Constitution and By-Laws
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.