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21. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Toralba Cora Solidarity Facing World Problems
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Human beings consider the world's problems as such because they affect humanity. Problems are "created" by human beings directly or indirectly either through intended actions or consequences of unintended ones. Human beings inflict problems on themselves or others. One of the greatest social problems the world is facing is the lack of peace and security. The latest threat is caused by terrorism. The people in the regions known for terrorism are suffering from extreme poverty and use terrorism as a means to make their cause heard. Poverty is unfortunately caused mainly by lack of opportunity for self growth and development. Poverty has reduced the populace to living conditions that undermine human dignity. Lack of self-esteem or self worth creates a mind set that looks at human life as worthless. The only saving factor they see is in the spiritual realm, their religion; hence the tendency present among fundamentalists to become suicide bombers. A solution to these problems might be sought through solidarity, as envisioned by Karol Wojtyla. Solidarity sees others as equals and partners in attaining self-fulfillment. Forgetting this principle of social ethics has led to the rule of might, which has led to the human catastrophes that the world witnesses.
22. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Joanna G. Patsioti The Relevance of an Aretaic Model in Business Ethics
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In this paper, we provide a philosophical perspective on the domain of business ethics in our attempt to examine to what extent an aretaic model can serve as an adequate moral context that can also accommodate the practical requirements of business. Our main objective is to show that despite any conflicts that may occur between an aretaic model and what is required in business, the Aristotelian ethical theory can serve as a morally adequate theoretical framework for business. To that effect, we examine certain aspects of this model, such as the notion of virtue as a settled ethical quality, as well as that of practical wisdom as the capacity of making a choice on the basis of proper ethical reasoning. Certain criticisms of such a model are also discussed. We derive the conclusion that the aretaic model can serve the organization's objectives to a great extent, since it provides a creative fusion of individual morality with the integrity of the corporate environment as reflected in its collective responsibility
23. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Tuija Takala Designer Babies and Treating People as a Means
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Among the many ethical problems brought about by the latest developments in medical sciences is the possibility of creating "designer" babies. In this paper I will look at one such a case from the viewpoint of the Kantian "humanity principle". The various aspects of treating people as a means that can be brought up in discussions about "designer" babies are scrutinised. These will obviously include treating the future child as a mere means, but the proper role of the mother and others involved are also looked at. I will conclude by arguing that, contrary to the usual presuppositions, the humanity principle is of very limited use in discussions about designer babies, in this case and in others too.
24. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Hung-Yul So Beyond Rational Insanity
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Insanity is identified with irrationality, while rationality is considered to be the mark of sanity. Yet we want to say that rationality could be the cause of insanity. We can see a subtle kind of insanity inherent in an institution believed to be highly rational. Rationality in an ideological belief also turns into rational insanity when the ideology itself works for the interest of the advantaged as a tool of deception. We believe in the rationality of open communication. We believe that information technology has given us the most rational means for open communication. The Internet revolution or Internet democracy is expected to become the most rational means for the institutional goal of democracy. However the rationality of Internet communication has demonstrated a serious tendency to cause Internet insanity. We have been proud of being 'rational animals'. But now we are concerned because 'rational animal' could mean 'rational but animal-like' or 'rational but impulsive', which in turn could mean 'rational but violent' or 'rational but mad and insane'. Perhaps it is time for us to think seriously about the possibility of mass insanity through rational insanity, and seek the way beyond such rational insanity.
25. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Jerzy Pelc Human Cloning and Organ Transplants vs. Definition of Human Being: A Philosophical Point of View
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In bioethical discussions of human cloning there are sometimes employed definitions broadening the denotation of the term human being to include also, on an equal footing, human embryos. Also, the fact of being human is being equated with being a person. Consequently, embryos are treated as having dignity and calls are heard in the name of justice to protect the rights and interests of embryos whenever these clash with the interests of mature human beings. The author, being a layman in the area of human cloning, limits himself to indicating views he agrees with and those he finds doubtful. He expects human cloning will be taking place, albeit on a small scale, regardless of any bans which would only force the practice to become clandestine. Arguments in favor of controlled human cloning include not only the need to preserve freedom in scientific research, but also hopes for minimizing the adverse effects of cloning. The author indicates factors of an emotional nature which hamper discussions of cloning. He also argues that objections to experiments with humans and demands to make them conditional on prior consent of the people being experimented on are ineffective and often impossible to satisfy. The author also believes that it is impossible to unconditionally obey the commandment "You shall not kill". He does not see any threats posed by the fact that the clone and the cloned person will be identical. While not overlooking the potential dangers to clones (such as genetic defects), the author also sees potential advantages of cloning and transplantology (therapeutic, psychic, social).
26. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Harry van der Linden Is Global Poverty a Moral Problem for Citizens of Affluent Societies?
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The gap between the affluent and the global poor has increased during the past few decades, whether it is measured in terms of private consumption, income, or wealth. One would expect that severe poverty in a world of abundance would constitute a moral challenge to the affluent, but in fact it hardly seems a serious ethical concern. Affluent citizens seem so little morally concerned with global poverty. However, the most promising approach seems to be to explore and divulge factually and conceptually the numerous ways in which the affluent are implicated in a wholly unjust world of growing inequality. Changing people's moral perception is an arduous task and it is to be expected that affluent people will only gradually come to morally question their comfortable lives, at least in the absence of environmental or political disasters that might occur in the future. The immense human suffering at stake makes it a duty for moral philosophers to continue to work at and even increase their efforts towards this task.
27. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Donald M. Nolen Business Ethics after Enron: How American Ethicist Lost their Innocence
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Applied ethics in the United States has been a story of vacillation between micro-ethical and macro-ethical reforms. The tragedy of Enron has caused another crisis of confidence in how to pursue these reforms. However, the current rush toward macro-ethical critique will succeed only i f it builds on the gains made by the micro-ethical movement. One without the other will be doomed to failure.
28. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Laura E. Weed Clement and Sen: Social Dimensions in the Development of Autonomy
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In this paper I will present the accounts of two influential contemporary moral philosophers, Grace Clement and Amartya Sen, to argue for the social context and inter-related nature of autonomy. In fact, there can be no autonomy for anyone without a loving and caring social environment that actively promotes independent thinking and capacity empowerment among people. This social dimension of autonomy has often been ignored by traditional theorists, who have considered autonomy to be an individual accomplishment that is a function of an individual's will power, intellectual ability, or self-discipline and virtue.
29. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Kathleen Gill Moral Functions of Public Apologies
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Under certain circumstances the act of apologizing has moral import. It requires a commitment to truth, adherence to moral standards, and a willingness to acknowledge and regret one's own moral failures. In this paper I examine the moral import of apologizing within the U.S. legal system and as a response to historical acts of injustice. In both of these contexts apologies are expressed in a public forum, which adds an interesting dynamic to their moral significance. Within the legal system the judge, representing the interests of the community, may use apologizing to directly address the harm done to victims, as an indicator of recidivism on the part of offenders, and to help create an atmosphere of respect for law in the community at large. Different moral aspects of apologizing come to the fore in the context of historical acts of injustice. Interesting philosophical questions arise, e.g. the legitimacy of moral judgments across time and culture and the very possibility of group action. And skepticism is commonly expressed about the value of such apologies: aren't they empty words that provide no real benefit to victims or the descendants of victims? Aren't they irrelevant to the future? I identify what I hope are convincing reasons to believe that historical apologies can in fact have considerable moral value and a significant impact on the future.
30. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Vasil Gluchman Human Dignity and Non-Utilitarian Consequentialist "Ethics of Social Consequences"
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The main objective of my paper is to show that human dignity has a significant position in my ethics of social consequences (I defend a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism), arguing for a particular theory of the value of human dignity. I argue that my ethics of social consequences is capable of accepting human dignity and all authentic human moral values without exception. I think that my ethical theory of social consequences (as a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism) can provide the essential missing ingredient identified by the critics of utilitarianism.
31. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Simon Glynn Some Reflections upon the Supposed Moral Distinction between Terrorism and the Legitimate Use of Military Force
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Defining "terrorism" as the intentional targeting of non-combatant civilians, the paper argues that, other things being equal, it is not possible to effectively distinguish morally between "terrorism" and use of military power against combatant targets which might reasonably be expected to produce some guesstimable quantity of "collateral" or non-combatant civilian casualties; that it is upon the expected likely consequences of actions rather than upon the intentions underlying them, that actors should be morally judged. Furthermore I argue that other attempts to rationalize the use of conventional military force, as retaliatory for prior "terrorist" actions, or as preemptive, also often largely fail either on historical grounds ("terrorists" often see their actions as responses to previously unjustified killing or letting die of the non-combatant civilian population they see themselves as representing) or pragmatic grounds (as the unintentional killing of non-combatant civilians often increases the sense of righteous indignation which helps recruit further "terrorists").
32. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Contributors
33. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Jacob Dahi Rendtorff The Idea of Corporate Social Responsibility: Towards an Institutional Concept of Responsibility
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My aim in this analysis is to give a philosophical clarification of the scope of corporate social responsibility within our present market economy. The issue is to what extent social responsibility of the firm is compatible with existing market structures in our present economy. In this context, I will address the conceptions of corporate social responsibility within philosophy, economic theory, and economic sociology. This analysis aims at clarifying the concept of corporate social responsibility within traditional neoclassical economic thought and confronting it with the institutional theory of society. On this basis, I will look on the more fundamental philosophical issue about how it can be possible to ascribe moral personality, responsibility and intentionality to corporations. In this context, I will examine collectivist arguments for corporate responsibility in order to show the limits of a strong collectivist conception of corporate social responsibility. After this, I will look at the nominalist view of corporate social responsibility, which represents the view opposite to the collectivist position. Finally, I will put forward a third possible view on corporate intentionality, which aims at overcoming the oppositions between the collectivist and the nominalist view on corporate social responsibility.
34. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Speranta Dumitru Equal Minds behind the Veil of Ignorance
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Rawls' original position is a thought experiment by which we are asked to imagine ourselves as rational agents choosing the principles of justice under specific informational and motivational constraints. In this paper, I am concerned only with the informational constraints and I shall argue that the way Rawls designed them reveals an implausible conception of mind and knowledge. This conception, of a mind separable from knowledge, as well as one of its correlates which I will call epistemic egalitarianism, is not an objection one may address uniquely to the original position. However, the failure to construct the original position as a one-solution problem renders its epistemology not only implausible but of no use for moral reasoning.
35. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Matti Häyry The Tension between Self-Governance and Absolute Inner Worth in Kant's Moral Philosophy
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In contemporary discussions on practical ethics, the concepts of autonomy and dignity have frequently been opposed. This tendency has been particularly visible in controversies regarding cloning, abortion, organ sales, and euthanasia. Freedom of research and freedom of choice, as instances of professional and personal autonomy, have been cited in arguments favouring these practices, while the dignity and sanctity of human life have been evoked in arguments against them. In the moral theory of Immanuel Kant, however, the concepts of autonomy and dignity seem to coexist in mutual harmony. Respect for the freely chosen moral law and respect for the absolute value of humanity coincide, and give rise to a unified understanding of our duties toward ourselves and others. My question in this paper is, was Kant on to something here? Can autonomy and dignity, in the sense in which they are used in current debates, be brought together, and can the arguments be settled in a way that would satisfy both (or all) disagreeing parties? My answer to the question is, yes and no. Kant was definitely on to something in that he recognized two competing views in modern moral philosophy, and tried to consolidate them in an attempt to create a universal model of ethics. But in the end, he failed to fuse the two views together on equal terms. Instead, he sacrificed the modern idea of the self-governance of individuals on the altar of the premodern notion of the absolute inner worth of humanity.
36. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Rogene A. Buchholz, Sandra B. Rosenthal Corporate Growth as Inherently Moral: A Deweyian Reconstruction
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Dewey's understanding of growth is inseparably intertwined with his distinctively pragmatic understanding of the self-community relation and of knowledge as experimental. Within this framework, growth emerges as a process by which individual communities achieves fuller, richer, more inclusive, and more complex interactions with their environment by incorporating the perspective of "the other". Growth involves reintegration of problematic situations in ways which lead to expansion of self, of community, and of the relation between the two. In this way growth and workability go hand in hand, for growth involves the resolution of conflict through reconstructive expansion of contexts which work in bringing about the desired resolution. And in this way growth and workability properly understood in their concrete fullness are inherently moral, and the ethical dimension of business decisions involves consideration of both. In this sense, pragmatism can hold that the ultimate goal in the nurturing of moral maturity, whether for individuals, communities, or corporations, is the development of the ability for ongoing self-directed growth.
37. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Debika Saha The Ethical Aspects of Environmental Issues: An Approach
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Environmental debates are frequent nowadays. It is a common trend to seek the solutions of these issues in the fields of science and technology. There are at least two main arguments in support of this view. The first is that science provides objective answers that are based on fact. And the second is that the ecological threat that confronts us can only be measured with the help of advanced technology. The present paper tries to show that although science and technology are of great help in solving these issues, environmental problems are not exclusively of a scientific or technical nature. This paper is divided into two sections. The first section tries to show why these problems are not exclusively scientific or technical in nature. And the second section tries to unveil the need for environmental ethics in the present-day society.
38. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Michael Wreen Medical Futility and Physician Discretion
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Some patients have no chance of surviving if not treated, but very little chance if treated. A number of medical ethicists and physicians have argued that treatment in such cases is medically futile and a matter of physician discretion. This paper is a critical examination of that position. According to Howard Brody and others, a judgment of medical futility is a purely technical matter, and one which physicians are uniquely qualified to make. Although Brody later retracted these claims, he held fast to the view that physicians need not consult the patient or his family to determine their values before deciding not to treat. This is because professional integrity dictates that treatment shouldn't be undertaken. The argument for this claim is that medicine is a profession and a social practice, and thus capable of breaches of professional integrity. Underlying professional integrity are two moral principles, one concerning harm, the other fraud. Both point to the fact that when the odds of survival are very low treatment is a violation of professional integrity. The details of this skeletal argument are exposed and explained, and the full argument is subjected to criticism. On a number of counts, it's found wanting. If anything, professional integrity points to the opposite conclusion.
39. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Ieva Lapinska Philosophical Knowledge in the Context of Emmanuel Levinas's Ethics
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Considering world problems in a context of inter human relationship, I refer to the approach developed in Emmanuel Levinas' ethics. This approach encourages raising a question about the potential usefulness of knowledge in solving problems of human relationship. The fundamental trait of the human condition face-toface with the other is, according to Levinas, unrestricted responsibility of the I about the other. The other has ethical, not ontological, authority, which explains why observable deafness to one's responsibility can not serve as a proof against its absolute nature. Consequently, whatever one's judgement on the current situation, moral requirements are valid. The relationship between the I and the other comes before any theory and there is no need for the help of knowledge. However, the multiplicity of human beings demands a solution to problems involving many people. There arises a need for theoretical thought—its aim is to pose a question of justice. Ethical knowledge for Levinas is primary. Ethically motivated thought can seek knowledge as received from the other. Such knowledge can help to conceive of just action, if there is a wish to perform it. But it is not knowledge that motivates one to act morally and it is not argument that can convince one to act this way.
40. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ahmet Ulvi Türkbağ From the Evening of the East to the Dawn of the West: The Birth of the Concept that Created Modern Europe
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Why did philosophy and the sciences in the East lose their momentum and enthusiasm in the 12th century, leaving the West to take the most importantprogressive steps from the 17th century up to the present day? Can these two intellectual traditions be separated from each other to such an extent as to justify today's theses of conflict? If they cannot be separated, how can the historical events that place these theses on the agenda can be explained? The aim of this short study is to try to find answers to the above questions within the context of two representative philosophers, and to reveal the extent to which the easternand western traditions are implicated with each other, contrary to some claims, by examining the 17th century, which as a turning point is a very important historical period.