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101. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Jana Mohr Lone Introduction to the Symposium on Moral Philosophy with Children
102. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Michael Davis Revenge, Victim’s Rights, and Criminal Justice
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Barton’s view in Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice (Open Court Chicago, 19991 is that revenge -- in the form of victim participation in trial. sentencing, and punishment -- should have a large place in criminal justice. I argue that what he suggests in the way of reform has no essential relation with criminal justice.
103. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Stephen Kershnar A Defense of Retributivism
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The moral theory justifying punishment will shape the debate over numerous controversial issues such as the moral permissibility of the death penalty, probation, parole, and plea bargaining, as well as issues about conditions in prison and access to educational opportunities in prison. In this essay I argue that the primary goal of the criminal justice system is to inflict suffering on, and only on, those who deserve it. If I am correct, the answer to issues involving the criminal justice system should be answered in large part by considering whether the practice in question furthers the infliction of suffering on, and only on, those who deserve it.
104. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Kristján Kristjánsson Utilitarian Naturalism and the Moral Justification of Emotions
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The virtue ethicist Rosalind Hursthouse has recently admitted that the commonly supposed link between a belief in the moral significance of human emotions and an adherence to virtue ethics may rest on a “historical accident,” and that utilitarians could, for instance, be equally concerned with emotions. The present essay takes up Hursthouse’s challenge and explores both what utilitarians have said and what they should say about the moral justification of emotions. Mill’s classical utilitarianism is rehearsed and applied to the emotions, some relevant objections to utilitarianism are rebutted, and a link is suggested to Aristotle’s conception of happiness. Finally, the essay discusses the scope of utilitarianism as a naturalistic strategy, and explains how naturalistic moral reasoning on the emotions must, in practice, be answerable to empirical research and, hence, interdisciplinary.
105. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
David A. Shapiro Action Learning and Moral Philosophy with Children
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This paper suggests that young people can explore moral philosophy in ways that will help them both think and act in ways that are consistent with good moral reasoning. It describes several games and exercises that allow children to explore various moral principles in their behavior toward others. Participating in activities that give children practice in making moral decisions helps them to appreciate the role of principles in moral reasoning. The author contends that it is important for young people to examine ethical dilemmas from the “inside out”; that is, not by listening to the wisdom of philosophers telling them how to approach these issues, but by facing them head on themselves.
106. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Elizabeth Baird Saenger Exploring Ethics through Children’s Literature
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In this paper, the author describes some of her experiences over the past almost twenty years discussing ethics with children. She gives many examples of children’s literature as sources for inspiring moral reflection and imaginative thinking on the part of children. She notes that stories allow children to take risks in thinking about ethical decisions. They provide young people with ways to empathize with others who are living very different lives from the ones they live.
107. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Gareth B. Matthews The Ring of Gyges: Plato in Grade School
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This paper illustrates some of the exciting and interesting philosophical discussions we can have with children when we let them develop the thread of the conversation in their own ways. The author discusses the virtue of patience when doing philosophy with children, and the importance of letting the rhythms of the discussion unfold without undue adult interference. Adults (and especially teachers) often attempt to control the ways in which children discuss issues with one another. The author reminds us of how powerful it can be for a philosophical conversation among children to develop organically. and of how allowing silences to occur can inspire further philosophical explorations among the children.
108. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Charles Barton Getting Even Again: A Reply to Davis
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In his review of Getting Even: Revenge as a Form of Justice (Open Court: Chicago. 1999). Michael Davis challenges the view put forward in the book that revenge is personal retributive punishment. Davis also claims that “the purpose Barton seeks to achieve under the banner of ‘victims rights’ has no more to do with punishment than with revenge.” In my response, I argue that Davis’s views and conclusions are based partly on a misreading of Getting Even, and partly on mistaken assumptions about the nature of victim rights, justice, punishment, and revenge.
109. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Gail M. Presbey On a Mission to Morally Improve One’s Society: Odera Oruka’s African Sages and the Socratic Paradigm
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This paper explores Odera Oruka’s sage philosophy project, focusing on his insistence of the parallels between Socrates and the rural Kenyan sages whom he interviewed and who he considered to be orally philosophizing. Sages, he explained are those who possess wisdom, insight, ethical inspiration, and who use their talents for the benefit of the community. Key parallels between the sages and Socrates are: Socrates’ criticisms of conventional morality; his insistence on the moral virtues of practicing temperance; his emphasis on dialogue and his methods of guiding dialogue; and his guiding individuals as well as the community. Socrates says he is called by the god to challenge individual Athenians to become morally better; this descriptor, while fitting some contemporary academic philosophers, accurately reflects the convictions and actions of most African sages. Socrates often depicted his wisdom as listening to a “voice” within him that came beyond himself; similarly, Kenyan sages interviewed attributed their wisdom to God. But both Socrates and the Kenyan sages assess the truth of insights communicated spiritually, and are able to explain the ideas to others using reason.
110. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Thomas I. White Doing Business in Morally Troubled Waters: Dolphins, the Entertainment Industry, and the Ethics of Captivity
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This essay argues that humans have not fully understood the cognitive and affective capacities of dolphins, and that we have mistakenly defended as morally acceptable practices that actually harm dolphins. In particular, this essay argues that the current use of hundreds of captive dolphins by Sea World and similar facilities in the entertainment industry is ethically indefensible. Focusing primarily on critical differences between humans and dolphins, this essay argues that central concepts like “intelligence” and “language” (which have played a critical role in discussions about whether dolphins have moral standing) should be seen as species-specific, not universal notions. As a result, there are insufficient grounds to make the traditional claim that dolphins’ cognitive capacities place them on a significantly lower spot in the moral hierarchy than humans. This paper also claims that the full development of dolphin personalities may depend on the richness of social interaction that is common in the life of a dolphin in the wild. Consequently, dolphins can probably experience a greater degree of emotional pain or deprivation in captivity than has traditionally been thought.
111. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Robert P. Lawry Heavy Drinking on Campus: A Paradoxical Proposal
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The alarming rise in heavy drinking on college campuses has resulted in a new federal law allowing colleges to notify parents of infractions of alcohol related laws and policies. Before mandating such notifications a college should remember its “nurturing role” vis-a-vis students. Since no proffered reason is strong enough to justify mandatory notification, colleges should engage only in selective notification based on carefully established criteria. Finally, since “binge drinking” is the major new factor within the larger problem of heavy drinking, efforts should be made at the legislative level to lower the legal age to eighteen. This change will lead to more responsible drinking on the part of students.
112. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Jane Duran Rape as a Form of Torture
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Using material taken from contemporary feminist theory and also from work on human rights, it is argued that rape is a form of torture, and that it operates on powerful levels, both literally and metaphorically. Part of the argument is that rape has achieved the status it has as political force for exploitation because of strong beliefs about cultural reproduction and about the roles that women play in cultural reproduction.
113. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Stephen Kershnar Mercy, Retributivism, and Harsh Punishment
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In this article I argue that mercy does not prevent the imposition of harsh punishment from being morally permissible. This article has two parts. In the first part, I argue that mercy is an imperfect duty, because only such a duty-type explains the attributes that are commonly ascribed to mercy. In the second part, I argue that mercy does not present a sufficient moral reason against the regular imposition of harsh punishment because it neither undermines nor systematically overrides or weakens the retributive duties. This is in part because the imperfect duty to be merciful can be satisfied by actions taken in nonpunitive contexts alone. This is also in part because mercy is not particularly appropriate given the lack of positive desert of and good moral character in most of the culpable wrongdoers who deserve harsh punishment.
114. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Richard Nault Heavy Drinking on Campus: The University, Paternalism, and Civil Rights
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This article reviews the extent to which illegal and abusive alcohol consumption on college campuses negatively affects students and campus communities, outlines strategies for dealing with heavy student use of alcohol, reviews how federal law now permits colleges and universities to notify parents when students are found responsible for illegal alcohol use, and presents the arguments for and against parental notification.
115. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Rick Momeyer Heavy Drinking on Campus and University Paternalism
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Both for reasons of their own and because of congressionally mandated changes in the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, many colleges and universities have changed the way they deal with alcohol abuse by their students. One of these changes has been to adopt a policy of “Parental Notification” according to which parents of an underaged student found guilty of consuming alcohol are notified after a first offense. I argue that this is a paternalistic policy in need of justification, and that justifying it is made the more difficult because of barriers to its being successfully pursued. Nonetheless, I suggest that such a policy, if a weak paternalistic one, can be morally justified.
116. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Gabriel Palmer-Fernández Innocence in War
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Just war morality draws an important distinction between soldiers and civilians. Unlike soldiers, civilians may never be intentionally killed because they are innocent. But the prohibition on intentionally killing civilians cannot be adequately explained by the wrongness of killing the innocent. This paper examines several views on the meaning of innocence in war, exposes difficulties with each that warrant their rejection, and proposes an alternative view on the wrongness of killing civilians that is independent of the wrongness of killing the innocent. It concludes by noting some concerns with the proposed alternative.
117. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Seumas Miller Collective Rights and Minority Rights
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The main purpose of this paper is to argue that there are no minority moral rights. Rights claimed to be minority moral rights, such as land rights and hunting rights of indigenous peoples, and the political and language rights of some minority cultures, turn out to be either collective moral rights which are not also minority moral rights, or else to be merely (possibly morally justified) legal minority rights which are not also minority moral rights.
118. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
Elliot D. Cohen Permitting Suicide of Competent Clients in Counseling Legal and Moral Considerations
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State statutes, case law, and professional codes of ethics in the mental health professions typically stress either a duty or the permissibility of disclosing confidential information in order to prevent clients from seriously harming themselves. These sources are intended to address cases where clients are deemed to be suffering from cognitive dysfunction for which paternalistic intervention, including involuntary hospitalization, is considered necessary to prevent self-destructive behavior.The counselor’s moral and legal responsibility is less apparent when mentally competent clients desire suicide as release from irremediable suffering due to severe physical illness, and this desire is defensible within these clients’ value systems. This paper will explore moral and legal dimensions of a counselor’s decision not to intervene in such cases. The concept of permitted suicide will be introduced and defined, and guidelines for its application developed.
119. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 14 > Issue: 2
R. J. Connelly Just-War Theory and the Role of the Police Sniper
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As critical incidents and terrorist threats are on the increase, the military/SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) aspects of U.S. civilian policing are being expanded. The person called upon as a last resort to kill the criminal agent has a unique position on the SWAT team. The police sniper is asked to kill with premeditation and usually not in a situation of self-defense. Very little appears in the ethics literature analyzing the morality of the sniper role. This paper will tentatively outline a process of analysis that draws upon the framework of principles associated with the just-war tradition. Elements examined are the ends of sniper killing, intention and motives, relevant emotions, and implementation means used. The conclusion is that a plausible case can be made for the moral justification of such killing as long as certain conditions or tests are met.
120. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
John Michael Atherton Ethics through Aikido: Practical Ethics Gets Physical
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A mugging can overwhelm our ability to apply moral principles. When words fail, we still need advice that allows us to remain moral in the face of an attack. Self-defense offers just such advice and can be supported by utilitarian, deontological, and virtue approaches to ethics. Self-defense increases safety and security that enhance our freedom and well-being, which, in turn, allow us to survive and flourish as moral agents. Self-defense must, however, itself be qualified because its violent treatment of muggers may produce human time bombs that reduce the safety and security of society.The martial art of Aikido trains our hand to act morally in the face of a physical attack when our mind is otherwise occupied. Aikido teaches self-defense, but it goes beyond self-centeredness to also protect the attacker. Such concern helps build community because it reduces vectors of resentment that spread when violence is perpetuated. The defense-only nature of Aikido teaches virtues in an embodied form on the mat. It offers philosophers an experiential and kinesthetic view of moral conduct that supplements and complements an exclusively intellectual approach. Moral philosophy cannot demand that we learn a martial art since it is only one of many possibilities to assist us in living a moral life; nevertheless, a reasonable attention to those conditions necessary for freedom and well-being entails an awareness of self-defense.