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101. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Nadire Ozdemir Ethics and the Confidentiality Rule for Lawyers: Can Ethical Norms Be an Excuse for Breaching the Rule?
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The confidentiality rule ensures lawyers not to reveal their client’s confidence that has been learnt through their professions. However sometimes confidentiality can involve to hide serious dangers. This is a small field work that searches theoretical basement of morality-centered or law-centered lawyers. The research question of this study is “the role of ethics/ethical norms in the breach of the confidentiality rule between the lawyer and her client”. In order to understand this, I have specified three sub-topics: Ethics, dilemma and the perception of profession. What does it mean ethics for lawyers, how do they act in ethical dilemmas and on what grounds they are breaching or they would breach the confidentiality rule were the relevant questions for my research question.
102. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Alexander Shevchenko Overcoming Moral Minimalism
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The paper is a critical analysis of minimalistic interpretations of the notion of moral obligation. The main grounds and arguments for this interpretation are the liberal understanding of justice and priority of negative rights and obligations over positive ones. To move to a more expansive morality we need to change the balance between negative and positive obligations by reconsidering the status of general and positive obligations. However, raising the status of positive obligations (from special to general) immediately leads to the problem of “moral overburden”. One possible way to overcoming moral minimalism could be based on treating positive obligations as a correlate of a set of rights that cannot be ignored. An important qualification is that the recognition of the right to a resource (material or moral) does not automatically mean placing an obligation on all persons satisfying some eligibility criteria. Instead, it could lead to a moral division of labor when different people take on the responsibility to meet positive moral obligations to those with a legitimate “natural right”. An additional consequence is that this approach helps to cope with the “moral overburden” of a moral agent.
103. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Krishna M. Pathak Why Vegetarianism: An Argument for Animals’ Right to Life
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There is a teeth-biting debate between vegetarianism and non-vegetarianism on human obligations towards animals. Vegetarianism appeals for equal and ethical treatment for animals whereas non-vegetarianism simply denies any such treatments considering that animals do not have a sense of morality. Non-vegetarianism seems to be ignoring some obligatory duties towards animals and undermines ethical arguments for animal rights. It does not provide sound reason for why humans should deliberately kill animals, painlessly or with least harm, for their own sake. It also overlooks the world economic situation of global hunger in which the use of the total food resources and distribution in terms of nutrition would be much more equitable if everyone was a vegetarian. This paper argues against non-vegetarianism and defends vegetarianism by making a claim that we do have moral obligations of certain kinds towards animals same as we have moral obligations towards us in terms of natural right to survival.
104. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ilektra Stampoulou Derrida on Justice: The à-venir and the Undeconstructible
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In the first part of “Force of Law”, Jacques Derrida has creatively linked and analyzed (among other) the concepts of law, justice, force and the à-venir. What is surprising though, and is argued below, is that for the first time he introduces an undeconstructible concept which he also identifies and equates with deconstruction: justice. The aim of this paper is to prove that Derrida has attempted in this way to lead his ethical theory towards a more positive direction and utter a demand for a justice “to come”, something which philosophically would grant the possibility of “improvementability” - if I am granted permission for the neologism - in a political level. Finally, the non-deconstructible and “to come” aspect and characteristic of justice are criticized in the paper, as they oppose in a peculiar way the very concept of différance -on which deconstructive theory rests- inherently threatening Derrida’s syllogism.
105. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ashok Kumar Sinha, Neelima Sinha Geo-ethics: Nature and Principles
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Geosciences have been increasingly interested in ethics due to the challenges thrown by advancements of studies and researches in the area of geosciences towards global community. This results in the emergence of a new discipline during the last decade of 20th century named ‘Geo-Ethics’. The great task assigned to this discipline is to provide an ethical face to geosciences so that these may be maximum useful to global community. Although it is very difficult to define any growing discipline and that is the case with geo-ethics, this paper aims to discuss the nature and core principles of this emerging discipline, an amalgamation of geosciences and ethics. Geo-ethics, an application of a value-system in the area of studies and researches of geosciences, is a part of applied ethics. Its proposed principles are: Refrain from superstitions and supernatural affairs, Interconnectedness, Rationality, Non-rigidness and Coherence, Non-maleficence, Beneficence, Justice.
106. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Pandora Sifnioti “Experiments” in Ethics: The Burning Embryos
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A philosopher is typically linked to pure intellectual activity, aiming to give answers to epistemological, ontological, metaphysical or other abstract and theoretical questions. However, a fairly recent movement, under the name “experimental philosophy”, is calling for philosophers to “burn the armchair” and use methods from the social and cognitive sciences in order to interpret intuitions or even predict reactions under given circumstances. This paper recognizes the potential of “experimental” philosophy as a philosophical tool through ample historical examples, and applies it to the field of bioethics. More specifically, it tests people’s intuitions regarding three different versions of the ethical dilemma first expressed by George Annas: “In a burning clinic, we have the time to save a 5-year-old girl or a tray of 20 frozen embryos”. Using an online survey tool, 292 people answered 3 questions regarding the prioritization of a new born baby over 5 frozen embryos. In the first and “simplest” scenario, the respondent had to choose between saving the 5 frozen embryos or a newborn baby. In the second scenario, the newborn to be saved had only 5% chances to survive due to a serious illness, whereas in the third scenario, the newborn is healthy but the embryos belong to the respondent. The responses to all three scenarios verify the hypothesis of traditional philosophers who claim that the newborn will have priority over the embryos; however, the reasons for choosing the baby vary (feeling of pain, more advanced being, greater cost of loss for parents, closer emotional relationship with baby). The respondents, who chose the embryos in all three cases, followed Bentham’s utilitarian approach of saving five lives versus one. The statistical analysis showed no significant differences in responses due to gender, nationality or being a parent. These results do not provide answers for normative ethics and in most cases experimental philosophy cannot stand alone, but the data can be the basis for further philosophical explorations.
107. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Stan van Hooft Two Concepts of Virtue Ethics
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This paper describes two concepts of virtue ethics. The first is tied to modern moral theory in that it is concerned to present a new way of deciding which actions are right and wrong. It depends on a conception of moral realism which sees the rightness of an action as an objective feature of it and on metaphysics of subjectivity that sees the self as a rational and self-aware deliberator. The second, contrasting conception of virtue ethics derives from Aristotle and focuses on the character of the agent. It relies on an expression theory of action and on a concept of normativity which is more akin to standards of honor and appropriateness than to the standard of moral rightness.
108. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Harald Stelzer Climate Change Induced Risk Imposition – Challenging Sufficientarianism
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Climate change induced uncertainties put forward important challenges to normative theory, as we cannot say that we harm future generations directly, but rather impose risks of harms on them by our actions. In the paper I will take up this challenge by outlining a risk-averse interpretation of intergenerational sufficientarianism. I will show that even though such an approach seems promising it gives rise to different problems. As an example I will refer to the Climate Engineering technique of stratospheric aerosol injection (SAI). Even though it seems realistic to assume due to the great uncertainties and the severe risks that a possible deployment of SAI would extend below the sufficiency threshold, we cannot exclude SAI as a possible legitimate option based on the permissibility of non-avoidable risk imposition, ‘worngless harmdoing‘, and distributive aspects of taking and imposing risks. This clearly indicates – or so I will argue – the need for developing a more complex account of a sufficientarian approach, one that allows the weighing of risks and to make trade-offs between losses and benefits.
109. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Manasvini M. Yogi We are What We Buy: Consumption and Morality
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Business and commerce take place in a defined framework, defined by unwritten rules. Within the business arena, normal ethics is suspended. The aim of philosophy for business is to understand the rules that define the business framework, in other words, to grasp from an ethical perspective how business is possible. But if normal ethics is suspended then what are the consequences? But how fair is the business game, really? On the face of it, producers and consumers have a very different view. The marketplace is not a level playing field, and the chief culprit is advertising. The dream is not extraneous to the product. It is part of the complete package. The treasure that is the collected works of Plato has added to the value of philosophy, not just through novel arguments or its addition to the storehouse of human knowledge but through the sheer seductive power of Plato’s storytelling. Living and breathing the atmosphere of the dialogues we become more, we become better, we are enhanced. But is that also true out there in the commercial marketplace, where we barter out love of material goods, succumb to the dreams that advertisers sell?
110. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Jinfen Yan Moral Authority in John Stuart Mill’s the Spirit of the Age
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This paper examines moral authority and its relation with worldly power through a study of the uses and meanings of spirit in John Stuart Mill’s the Spirit of the Age for the purpose of further exploration of the ways in which spirit transformed into and became central in Mill’s later philosophy. Here spirit plays an important role in shaping, motivating, and empowering the minds historical agents who effect change. Spirit as a category of analysis structured Mill’s thought and gave 19th century liberalism, religion and utili-tarianism a new kind of coherence and power. Mill’s substantive argument in the Spirit of the Age focuses on the two states of morality as moral influence and moral authority that are correspond to conditions of worldly power in the two states of ages. Spirit used here is a self or self-control power that organizes both personalities and societies, infusing both with purpose and will. Mill’s opinions in the Spirit of the Age are challenged by some as diametrically op-posite to some of his later ideas. I attempt to show that there is coherence con-sidering the relation between individuality, that the spirit of the age fostered, and moral authority.
111. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Yuan Yu On the ‘Le’ Thought of Wang Yang-ming
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Wang Yang-ming is the most prominent philosopher in Ming Dynasty. His system of Hsin Hsüeh (mind-study), which assembles the characteristics of his contemporary Neo-Confucianists, has rich connotations and a far-reaching influence. Le is a substantial part in the system. His philosophical dialectic blends with his hardship and ‘Le’, which is the further development of ‘Le’ from ancient Confucianists, and affected by his family’s inherence and is both the comprehension of sufferings and the concentration of his living wisdom. Wang Yang-ming said clearly that ‘Le’ is the noumenon of Hsin, thinking ‘Le’ is a natural state, which presents itself during living experiences as a reality. As a noumenon, it determines the state of ‘Le’ as a should-be existence. Thus, ‘Le’ is identical with noumenon, effect and spiritual realm, with the starting point of life, the pursuit of life and the final goal of life. These three dimensions is the basic theoretical frame to the study of ‘Le’. They are three dimensions in logic, but are homoousia in existence. ‘Le’ becomes the expression of Wang’s ideal state, which is the ultimate state with the experience of ‘Le’ as noumenon, ‘Le’ as effect.
112. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Olga Zubets Morality as Subjectness
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The paper is devoted to the philosophical understanding of morality which is essentially different from any other way of cognition of moral phenomena and is able to reconstruct morality as the subjectness. Human being lives in the world of absolute determination, but, at the same time, acts on one’s own behalf and takes responsibility for the action and for the whole world created by this action, both in the past and the future. The one overcomes her subjectiveness by reaffirming her subjectness — as I sweep away the importance and influence over my responsibility for the world, all of my subjective motives, intentions, abilities to cognize and understand the world in general, as well as every particular situation where an action takes place.
113. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Yuhua Yu The Moral Inquiry into the Lack of Corporate Social Responsibility
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The corporate social responsibilities (CSR) can neither be detached from the considerations of profit-making, nor only confined to that. Only if explained from an inner perspective of an enterprise, The CSR can be regarded as a moral one. The moral CSR means that an enterprise, having its ethical personality, is an ethical player in economic activities and also a player which fulfills social responsibilities. An enterprise’s ethical personality is incessantly and closely related with its economic activities, and represents the pursuit and manifestation of human nature herein. It is the ethical personality of the enterprise that keeps it sticking to the life principle and shared social responsibilities. The enterprise’s ethical personality can be built up only when it harmonizes its economic and social commitment and unifies its profit-oriented and ethical-personality-oriented activities.
114. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
M. Rakibuz Zaman Moral Skepticism: A Critical Note
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Skepticism is a recurrent theme in the philosopher’s concern about knowledge, be it knowledge of the external world, other minds, the past, values, God and after life. It touches everything that one claims to know, but in different ways and with different effects. Within the broad scheme of skepticism I wish, in the first section of the paper, to distinguish between epistemological skepticism and moral skepticism. In the second part I proceed by sketching out moral skepticism. In the third part, I discuss the case of skepticism, with a special reference to J. L. Mackie. I close this discussion referring to the widespread suspicion that moral skepticism would have a pernicious influence on society. Paraphrasing Dostoyevsky, one might declare “If there is no moral truth, then everything is permitted”. There is the fear that moral skepticism will lead to moral anarchy.
115. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Rosa Josefina Fantoni Ethical Challenges to Democracy
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Thought and ethical actions in contemporary society are marked by uncertainty and paradox. It delineates a complex web of thought and social action that cannot visualize a defined and constituted ethical horizon, but paradoxically, makes of the uncertainty an opportunity to recognize the non-ethical predetermination, and therefore reconstitute its configuration from responsibility. The debate and current events in the ethical-political relationship, requires us, before insisting on the conditions and situations we live in, to point out some keys to building an ethical agenda that supports minimum conditions of democracy. All this is about rethinking and building an ethics like an open strategy without a closure, to re-discover the principles hidden in culture, society and history. We need to rethink the ethical-political relationship from an approach that takes responsibility of situations and processes that asks about the conditions of a realization of democracy, not to reduce the analysis to justificatory descriptivism, but to rethink political practices in light of the multidimensionality of human problems and assume their destiny and future.
116. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
Marina F. Bykova On the Interpretation of Geist in Hegel
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The paper explores Hegel’s notion of Geist how it appears in his philosophical system. Critically analyzing a recently resurgent interpretation of Geist as a supernatural or divine principle determining the development of the system and guiding human civilization and history, the author shows its interpretive mistakes and shortcomings. Rejecting the divine interpretation of Hegel’s account of Geist as erroneous, the author provides a more accurate reading of the above concept which does justice to intended meaning of the term and also allows adequately understanding and appreciating Hegel’s insights into social philosophy, especially the importance he attached to universality and fundamental universal elements within his system. What Hegel designates “Geist” is our collective effort of a social being. Thus the exposition of self-development of Geist reveals the communal nature of humanity.
117. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
Jeremiah Alberg Reading Kant: From Rousseau to Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason
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This paper extends Richard Velkely’s interpretation of the influence of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the philosophy of Immanuel Kant by examining it in the light of the concept of “scandal.” Kant himself saw the “scandal of ostensible contradiction of reason with itself” as what drove him to a critical examination of reason. My own research has shown that Rousseau’s system is rooted in scandal, so the task it to connect these two facts. First, the exact meaning and nature of scandal has to be determined through a close reading of Kant’s Remarks in the Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime. Next, one must trace the connection between Kant’s reading of Rousseau and the problem that eventually becomes known as the antinomy of pure reason.
118. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
Richard Feist Warfare and Ethics: Toward the Idea of War’s Influence on Philosophy
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I argue that warfare, typically seen as essentially and solely destructive, should be seen as essentially destructive, but accidentally creative. This view of war is then applied to the relationship between philosophy (ethics) and warfare. The argument is made that the nature of warfare has been an influence on philosophy. This argument is made by considering the Athenian experience in the conflict at Delium where Socrates is known to have taken part.
119. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
Rodica Croitoru Platonic Idea and Transcendental Idea as Investigation and Opening to Life
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Thinking of the system of rational ideas as extensions of conceiving, Kant deemed as necessary to pay his respects to Plato, the first who mapped out the philosophical career of those instruments of rational investigation. From the view of his transcendental idealism, he appreciated two elements: the utilization of ideas as a cognitive instrument distinct from senses, as well as the involvement of the human reason in their operationalization. Kant does not attach himself to the supra-individual force represented by the prototypes of things, because every source of knowledge excepting human faculties is deemed as devoid of any real ground. In consequence, the human faculty of reason is the one which gave Kant the opportunity to conceive the ideas of reason as investigations through systematic reflection, but also as an opening to three philosophical disciplines, which means three life options; among them especially the last one, aiming at the express orientation of life towards the moral faith, is a character modeler.
120. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
Marco Duichin A Neglected Episode in the History of Nineteenth-century Ideas: Marx and Engels Facing Phrenology
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At the end of the 18th century, the German physician and anatomist F.J. Gall founded Schädellehre, a new discipline – better known today by the name “phrenology”, popularized by his disciple J. C. Spurzheim – designed to show the functional connections between psychic faculties, areas of the brain, and the shape of the skull. In contrast to Gall’s belief that the individual’s moral and intellectual endowments were biologically innate, and could be measured by cranioscopy, 20th century Marxism took a critical view of phrenology, branding it as a “pseudoscientific”, “vulgar-materialistic”, and “reactionary” doctrine, the preserve of “spiritualists” and “charlatans of every stripe”. Up until today it has seldom been pointed out that – in spite of this harsh judgment by the Marxist literature – also Marx and Engels make an unexpected appearance amidst the varied array of 19th century supporters of phrenology. During his stay in Manchester (1842/44), the Young Engels, who had recently turned atheist, carried out cranioscopic experiments in order to disprove the claims made by the “Christianizing phreno-mesmerist” S.T. Hall that there was a specific cerebral organ of religiosity and faith in God; and even in his ripe age he was not above, having a phrenologist examine him to assess his aptitudes for business and foreign languages. As for Marx, after his early discovery of Schädellehre through reading Hegel’s works, he consolidated his knowledge of the subject during his long exile in London (1849/83). While in London, he read books on medicine and phrenology, watched anatomical demonstrations, made friends with some German refugees who were followers of the doctrines of Gall and Spurzheim, and used the cranioscopic method to make a personal selection of the militants of the Communist League. This paper aims to draw attention to a little-known and unexplored episode in the history of philosophical and scientific ideas of the 19th century.