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101. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 1
James P. Sterba Comments on Pell’s “The Nature of Claims About Race and the Debate Over Racial Preferences”
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In my comments on Mr. Pell’s paper, I consider the premises of his argument against diversity affirmative action showing how these premises can be either reasonably rejected or reformulated so that what remains from his argument is a set of premises that supports, or at least is consistent with, a defense of diversity affirmative action.
102. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Ann Margaret Sharp And the Children Shall Lead Them
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Philosophy for Children engages students in philosophical deliberation characterized by dialogue, inquiry, reasoning and self-reflection. Philosophy for Children assumes a pluralistic conception of philosophy which, when practiced in a community of inquiry with children, is a necessary tool for the liberation from oppression. It is on this basis that an analogous relationship with feminist philosophy is established. Students of Philosophy for Children commit themselves, either consciously or unconsciously, to such principles as egalitarianism, respect for persons, fallibilism, pluralism, open-mindedness, tolerance, and the procedures of democracy. Some procedures for philosophizing with children are enumerated. The author concludes that Philosophy for Children is not just a discipline to be added to the curriculum, but represents an alternative model of education in which thinking, questioning, self-correction, judgment making, collaboration, dialogue, and inquiry are central.
103. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Megan Laverty Introduction: Philosophy for Children and/as Philosophical Practice
104. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Joseph P. DeMarco, Maurie Markman The Research Misconception
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Recently, several researchers and philosophers argued that clinical research trials are not therapy. Their position is based on foundational research ethics documents, such as the Belmont Report, on conceptual analysis, and on the general way clinical trials are conducted. After examining and rejecting these arguments, we claim that good research is consistent with good therapy; that often trials are good therapy; and that a blanket attack on clinical trials as non-therapeutic creates a research misconception. This misconception is potentially harmful because it could weaken trial recruitment, could adversely affect funding for trials, and could overturn needed moral safeguards on therapeutic trials. Our more careful and accurate analysis of the nature of clinical trials can avoid such problems.
105. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
David Kennedy Communal Philosophical Dialogue and the Intersubject
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The self is a historical and cultural phenomenon in the sense of a dialectically evolving narrative construct about who we are, what our borders and limits and capacities are, what is pathology, and what is normality, and so on. These ontological and epistemological narratives are usually linked to grand explanatory narratives like science and religion, and are intimately linked to cosmological pictures. The “intersubject” is an emergent form of subjectivity in our time which reconstructs its borders to include the other, and which understands itself as always building and being built through a combination of internal and external dialogue. The shift from monological to dialogical discourse is both a product and a producer of the intersubject, and is in turn made possible by a shift—underway for the last one hundred years or so—in the human information environment. The major educational innovation which reconstructs theory and practice for the intersubject—community of philosophical inquiry (CPI)—assumes, following field and systems theory, that any group gathered together is an interactive system. It also assumes that the fundamental forms of growth and development both of the individual and of the collective take place through a process of communal deliberative inquiry into meaning, resulting in the reconstruction of beliefs, values, and discourses on both an individual and a collective level. CPI is a process in which subject and object are both active and passive, shaping and being shaped, determining and determined, in and through their transaction. It assumes that its interlocutors are in a relation of both mutual and self-interrogation. As the phenomenon of the intersubject gains credence in human culture, philosophy is gaining power as an educational idea in the elementary and high school classroom. Communal philosophical dialogue is the discursive space where the subject’s fundamental assumptions about self, world, knowledge, belief, beauty, right action and normative ideals enter a dialectical process of confrontation, mediation, and reconstruction.
106. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Mark Weinstein Ruminations on Philosophical Practice
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An autobiographical narrative forms the basis for the exploration of a tension at the heart of philosophical practice. This paper considers whether Philosophy should be construed as a text-driven, expert-based endeavor as is typical in University programs or whether there is a primordial philosophical experience that grounds a more informal process of philosophical engagement? That is, is Philosophy a natural extension of human perplexity available as a tool for understanding without the trappings of Professorial scholarship and the authority of canonical texts, or has the historical development of Philosophy so constructed its practice that it is beholden to sophisticated scholarship and the professional interpretation of a definitive body of classical and contemporary sources?
107. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Benedict Sheehy The Challenge of Objectivist Ethics: Ethical Thinking in Business, Rationalism, and Ayn Rand
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Few people think of business ethics as being addressed outside of main-stream business ethics, philosophy and corporate social responsibility circles. This view is in error. Arguably the most prominent philosopher of the last century, Ayn Rand, has provided a philosophy of business that is satisfying to many people, not the least of which is Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan. Rand’s philosophy suggests that self-interested behaviour is not merely an economic modeling of human behaviour, but an ethical imperative. To professional philosophers, Rand is naïve and unsatisfying; however, that does not diminish her appeal to the less sophisticated. After a review of Rand’s great popular appeal, the article then moves on to some of the main points of her philosophy, offers a critique of those points and then encourages a more serious analysis of Rand’s philosophy, particularly for those teaching and consulting on ethics.
108. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Carol V. A. Quinn On the Virtue of Not Forgiving: When Withholding Forgiveness Is Morally Praiseworthy
109. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Seumas Miller Terrorism and Collective Responsibility: A Response to Narveson and Rosenbaum
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In this paper I consider the general view of terrorism put forward by Jan Narveson in his “Pacificism and Terrorism: Why We Should Condemn Both” and by Alan Rosenbaum in his “On Terrorism and the Just War: Some Philosophical Reflections.” This is the view that terrorism is morally indefensible. Contra Narveson and Rosenbaum, I argue that some forms of terrorism are morally defensible in some circumstances.In the first section of the paper I will discuss the definition of terrorism, including the definitions put forward by Narveson and Rosenbaum. In the second section, I will outline an account of collective moral responsibility as a necessary precursor to identifying potentially morally defensible forms of terrorism. In the third section I outline a morally defensible form of terrorism, namely terrorism in which certain categories of morally culpable non-attackers are targeted.
110. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Maughn Gregory Practicing Democracy: Social Intelligence and Philosophical Practice
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In pragmatist social theory communities faced with significant troubles or opportunities inquire after their advantage and reconstruct their habits and their environments. Three programs of philosophical practice—Socratic Dialogue, the Philosophy Café and Philosophy for Children—cultivate citizenly virtues necessary for this process. They facilitate dialogue and open-ended inquiry, give practice in cognitive and social skills, and institute shared authority. However, certain factors limit the programs’ effectiveness for citizenship education. They tend to construe social problems and opportunities in strictly discursive terms; they do not encourage empirical experiment with philosophical judgments; and they do not extend the shared governance of the dialogue to other aspects of social life. None of these are limitations of the programs’ stated objectives.
111. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Clifton Perry A Reductio Ad Absurdum of Restricted, Tribal Criminal Jurisdiction
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As Federal Indian Law has evolved, many questions have been posed regarding tribal jurisdiction. This paper examines the jurisdiction tribes have over member Indians, non-member Indians, and non-member, non-Indians. It addresses the ethical challenge faced by tribal attorneys who represent non-member Indian clients in a manner that ultimately undermines tribal sovereignty.
112. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 18 > Issue: 2
Megan Laverty Philosophical Dialogue and Ethics: Redefining the Virtues
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If philosophical dialogue is broadly defined by concepts that are central to our lives and essentially contested, then philosophical dialogue is ethically valuable because it engages participants in the kind of communal and reasonable deliberation necessary for ethical life. Discourse Ethics acknowledges the instrumental value of philosophical dialogue for the making of ethical judgments. I defend the intrinsically ethical value of philosophical dialogue on the grounds that it potentially orients us towards that which transcends human subjectivity in an effort to include it (which could also be called “otherness,” “alterity,” “Thou,” or “the unthinkable”). If respect is the modality of reason, then love is the modality of the transcendent, and, as with respect, love is recognizable by the virtues that express it. These include faith, grace, naivety, irony, and genius. My observation that these qualities are more readily found in children than adults suggests that children are particularly suited to philosophical dialogue because they can engage in it with an appreciation of its value and limits.
113. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Asher Seidel Facing Immortality
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This study is primarily a call to philosophers to attend the concerns raised by the increasing possibility of indefinitely extended human life. While these concerns are largely moral and socio-political, questions arising from this possibility are seen to involve other philosophical areas, including epistemology.Starting with the age-old desire for extended, enjoyable life, possible strategies for realizing such life are considered. Such realization is shown to conflict with the desire for children. Various reasons for choice between the alternatives of indefinitely extended life and what is currently understood to be a normal life, including the possibility of offspring, are examined. Competing social visions are sketched for the purpose of resolving this dilemma. It is argued that humanity’s likely choice from among the competing social sketches favors the decision for extended life against that for limited lifespan with the possibility of children. Assuming that the extended life will be a life of learning leads to epistemological considerations regarding what is to be learned.
114. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Janet McCracken Falsely, Sanely, Shallowly: Reflections on the Special Character of Grief
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Our reluctance to demystify grief is a sign of the distinctive obligation and discomfort that people feel towards those who have died. These feelings, however, are instructive about the nature of grief. As a vehicle of a living person’s relation to the dead, grief is mysterious—and we are rightly reluctant to take that mystery away. But grief is not to be avoided by philosophy on that account. I defend a less Romantic view of grief, in which a grieving person’s experience of “normal” grief: 1) is felt to require an objectively recognized loss; 2) is felt to be dedicated to that lost object; 3) seems to most people to be something that she ought to feel; and 4) probably ought not to be medicalized, nor consequently medicated. This view of grief affords an understanding and appreciation of this rather special and important emotion without reducing its mystery.
115. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
William Patterson To Fight or Not to Fight?: The Ethics of Military Desertion
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Many controversial issues have come under discussion regarding the recent war in Iraq. The justifications given for the war itself, the way the war was prosecuted, and the handling of the post-war situation have all been hotly contested matters. This paper focuses on an aspect of the war that has not drawn much attention—the decisions made by members of the Iraqi military to either fight or not to fight. From the very beginning of hostilities the United States made concerted efforts, through such methods as e-mails and leaflets dropped from aircraft, to encourage the desertion of Iraqi military personnel. Many Iraqi soldiers followed this advice and surrendered to U.S. forces at the first opportunity; others continue to fight to this day. Were the soldiers that deserted the military or surrendered without a fight morally justified in doing so? This article attempts to answer that question through an examination of such related issues as patriotism, political and moral duties, obligations arising from oaths and promises, and political legitimacy. Though this analysis does not lead to the development of iron-clad rules that definitively resolve the moral issues underlying military desertion, it can help us to get a clearer understanding of these issues and to develop guidelines by which to judge the morality of specific instances of desertion.
116. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
An Ravelingien, André Krom Earning Points for Moral Behavior: Organ Allocation Based on Reciprocity
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Anticipating the reevaluation of the Dutch organ procurement system, in late 2003 the Rathenau Institute published a study entitled ‘Gift or Contribution?’ In this study, the author, Govert den Hartogh, carries out a thorough moral analysis of the problem of organ shortage and fair allocation of organs. He suggests there should be a change in mentality whereby organ donation is no longer viewed in terms of charity and the volunteer spirit, but rather in terms of duty and reciprocity. The procurement and allocation of donor organs should be seen as a system of mutually assured help. Fair allocation would imply to give priority to those who recognize and comply with their duty: the registered donors. The idea of viewing organ donation as an undertaking involving mutual benefit rather than as a matter of charity, however, is not new. Notwithstanding the fact that reference to charity and altruism is not required in order for the organ donation to be of moral significance, we will argue against the reciprocity-based scenario. Steering organ allocation towards those who are themselves willing to donate organs is both an ineffective and morally questionable means of attempting to counter the organ shortage.
117. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
A. T. Anchustegui Biocentric Ethics and Animal Prosperity
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Singer’s utilitarian and Regan’s deontological views must be rejected because: (1) they rely on criteria for moral standing that can only be known a priori and (2) if these criteria were successful, they’d be too restrictive. I hold that while mental properties may be sufficient for moral standing, they are not necessary. (3) Their criteria of moral standing do not unambiguously abrogate needless harm to animals. I defend a theory of biocentric individualism that upholds the principle of species egalitarianism while at the same time recognizing that in certain cases, human needs must outweigh the needs of non-humans. On this view, moral consideration is not conferred only on beings that have human-like mental properties. Finally, it offers an unambiguous recommendation for the abolition of harmful animal experimentation, factory farming, and killing animals for sport.
118. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Miron Mushkat, Roda Mushkat The Political Economy of Recasting the Constitutional Debate in Hong Kong
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People obtain value, or gain utility, from procedures rather than merely from outcomes. Academic researchers are slowly and selectively coming to terms with this fact, but it is neither sufficiently nor widely appreciated by actors in Hong Kong’s political arena, whether at the center or on the periphery. The territory is grappling with the issue of democratic reform—both its pace and scope—but the heated exchanges between the proponents and the opponents of representative government are confined to the outcome utility of the various constitutional proposals. It is essential to incorporate the procedural element into this incomplete picture.
119. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Wendy Wyatt Barger True Confessions of The New York Times: Making Moral Meaning from the Discourse of Flawed Iraq Coverage
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On the morning of May 26, 2004, New York Times readers found a note from the paper’s editors on Page A10. The headline read “From the Editors—The Times and Iraq,” and the 1,000-word article that followed served as a disclosure that the Times had failed in its duty of both aggressive information gathering and careful reporting with a critical eye. Response to the note was fast and widespread as newspeople across the country commented on the paper’s public admission of its flawed coverage. The editors’ note, together with the responses it generated, provides a glimpse into the state of American journalism and the way those enmeshed in it understand and expect the practice to operate. Beyond serving a descriptive purpose, however, the texts can be used to start a discourse in the normative realm, to offer suggestions for how our understanding of journalism perhaps ought to change to better reflect the reality of what is truly a human institution. This paper provides both a descriptive and normative analysis of themes that emerge from the case, and it prompts both journalists and citizens to reflect on the practice and then continue moving forward through a landscape in constant flux.
120. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Harry van der Linden, Josh Clark Economic Migration and Justice
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Our main thesis is that the U.S. has a duty of justice to adopt an open-border policy with regard to economic migrants because it is significantly responsible for the unjust social and economic conditions that bring such migrants to its borders. From this perspective, President Bush’s recent “guest worker” proposal is morally objectionable because it is designed more to serve U.S. business interests than the interests of the migrants. We address three objections to opening borders: it will worsen the economic condition especially of low-skilled native workers; it will harm developing countries by increasing the so-called “brain drain”; and it is preferable to discharge our responsibility to the global poor by increasing development assistance instead of adopting an open-border policy.