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21. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Val Codrin Tăut Conversio ad phantasmata: Gouvernement, sécurité et imagination
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This article investigates the technical rationalities of modern forms of government. Conceived in a Foucauldian vein, the paper argues for an interpretation of security dispositifs which sustain the structures of modern government. The main argument developed in the article is that there is a difference between two securities diagrams: the preventive and the anticipatory. The first one is using rational devices like the actuarial table while the second is aiming to instrumentalise the imagination.
22. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Silviu-Petru Grecu Difficulties of Democratic Transition in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova
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This article analyses, in a comparative manner, the situation of democratization in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova. The analysis is based on nine variables/ criteria: the effective number of political parties, the electoral system, institutional corruption, the legal background, the political freedom and civil rights, civil society, economic freedom, economic growth and the quality of democracy. The study shows that the two countries have a fragile democracy, emphasizing the main factor affecting their democratic consolidation: the fact that their Soviet past determines in the collective psychology the recurrence of communist values and practices. Democratic fragility is, therefore, both the product of a common communist history and of a civic model of the parish type, dominated by authoritarianism, political apathy and lack of ‘rule of law.’
23. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Roxana Marin Value Attainment, Orientations, and Quality-Based Profile of the Local Political Elites in East-Central Europe: Evidence from Four Towns
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The present paper is an attempt at examining the value configuration and the socio-demographical profiles of the local political elites in four countries of East-Central Europe: Romania, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Poland. The treatment is a comparative one, predominantly descriptive and exploratory, and employs, as a research method, the case-study, being a quite circumscribed endeavor. The cases focus on the members of the Municipal/Local Council in four towns similar in terms of demography and developmental strategies (i.e. small-to-medium sized communities of around 35,000 inhabitants, with economies largely based on food industry and commercial activities): Tecuci (Galați county, Romania), Česk| Lípa (Liberec region, Czech Republic), Targovishte (Targovishte province, Bulgaria), and Oleśnica (Lower Silesia province, Poland). Hypothesizing that the local elites of the former Sovietized Erurope tend to differ in outlook, priorities, and value attainment, as compared to their Western counterparts, the paper considers the former’s attitudes and perspectives in regard to seven values: a series of values customarily connected with the concept of ‘democracy’ (i.e. citizen participation, political conflict, gradual change, economic equality), state intervention in economy, decentralization and increased local autonomy, cultural-geographical self-identification. The study uses, as well, five models of value attainment in what concerns the ‘ideal portrait’ of the local councilor (Putnam 1976): ethical, pragmatic, technocratic, political, and gender. According to the results of a study applying a standard written questionnaire among the local councilors of the three communities in the period December 2010-February 2013, the paper distinguishes among three corresponding types of local elites: (1) ‘predominantly elitistic,’ (2) ‘democratic elitist,’ and (3) ‘predominantly democratic,’ following two types of explanation accounting for the differences among the four cases: the legacy of the defunct regime and the degree of administrative decentralization.
24. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Roxana Patraș On Diffident and Dissident Practices: a Picture of Romania at the End of the 19th Century
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The present paper explores diffident and dissident practices reflected by the political talk at the end of the 19th-century in Romania. Relying on Jacques Rancière’s theories on the ‘aesthetic regime of politics,’ the introduction sketches a historical frame and proposes a focus change: the relation between ‘politics’ and ‘aesthetics’ does not stand on a set of literary cases, but on political scripts as such. Thus, the hypotheses investigated by the next three parts can be formulated as follows: 1. though determined by an ideological direction (Conservative or Liberal), the political speech still preserves his tendency towards aesthetic autonomy. 2. oratorical merits (hinting at aesthetic autonomy) can turn into practices of political autonomy, diffidence and, then, dissidence. Methodologically, two types of aesthetic practices organize the chosen materials; both the diffident script and the theatre of dissidence help us to perceive how the philosophical and moral meaning of these practices could change into an ideology of dissidence. The formalization of diffident practices, their conversion to outspoken dissidence, also corresponds to the symmetrical symptom of unlimited authority; when oldtime politicians warned on ‘Caesarism,’ ‘Vizierate,’ ‘Despotism,’ ‘Omnipotence’ or ‘Tyranny,’ the Romanian society had already been training for a long experience of ‘dictatorship.’
25. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Information about authors
26. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Ward Blondé An Evolutionary Argument for a Self-Explanatory, Benevolent Metaphysics
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In this paper, a metaphysics is proposed that includes everything that can be represented by a well-founded multiset. It is shown that this metaphysics, apart from being self-explanatory, is also benevolent. Paradoxically, it turns out that the probability that we were born in another life than our own is zero. More insights are gained by inducing properties from a metaphysics that is not self-explanatory. In particular, digital metaphysics is analyzed, which claims that only computable things exist. First of all, it is shown that digital metaphysics contradicts itself by leading to the conclusion that the shortest computer program that computes the world is infinitely long. This means that the Church-Turing conjecture must be false. Secondly, the applicability of Occam’s razor is explained by evolution: in an evolving physics it can appear at each moment as if the world is caused by only finitely many things. Thirdly and most importantly, this metaphysics is benevolent in the sense that it organizes itself to fulfill the deepest wishes of its observers. Fourthly, universal computers with an infinite memory capacity cannot be builtin the world. And finally, all the properties of the world, both good and bad, can be explained by evolutionary conservation.
27. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Author Guidelines
28. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Emilia Alexandra Antonese Understanding Moral Judgments: The Role of the Agent’s Characteristics in Moral Evaluations
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Traditional studies have shown that the moral judgments are influenced by many biasing factors, like the consequences of a behavior, certain characteristics of the agent who commits the act, or the words chosen to describe the behavior. In the present study we investigated a new factor that could bias the evaluation of morally relevant human behavior: the perceived similarity between the participants and the agent described in the moral scenario. The participants read a storyabout a driver who illegally overtook another car and hit a pedestrian who was crossing the street. The latter was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. The driver was described either as being similar to the participant (a student, 21 years old, the same gender as the participant) or dissimilar (a retired person, 69 years old, different gender as the participant). The results show that the participants from the increased similarity group expressed more lenient evaluations of the immorality of the driver’s behavior compared to the participants from the decreased similarity group. The results are discussed within a framework which puts emphasis on motivational and protective reasons.
29. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
About the Journal
30. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Information About Authors
31. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Cristina Maria Bostan The Role of Motivational Persistence and Resilience Over the Well-being Changes Registered in Time
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The present study investigates the interaction between personal characteristics that are considered nowadays strengths used to face difficult events or transition period. A number of 200 married or living together participants completed self-reports for common goals, motivational persistence, resilience and well-being. Results show that persistence and resilience do interact with each other at an individual level but also from a family concept perspective. Moreover, maintaining apositive outlook and family spirituality do have an impact over the intensity and direction of the relationship between long term purposes pursuing (LTPP) and recurrence of unattained purposes (RUP) and changes in well-being registered in time. Resiliency as a personal characteristic and family resilience show good psychometric qualities for this study. Although some of the results are descriptive, in-depth analyses of direction and intensity of the relationships lead the finalconclusions to suggestions for further research and implications for psychological practice.
32. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Call for Papers
33. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Cornelia Măirean Individual Differences in Emotion and Thought Regulation Processes: Implications for Mental Health and Wellbeing
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This paper focuses on two strategies – cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression – that people use to regulate their emotions and thoughts in daily life. Cognitive reappraisal is considered to be the effort made by an individual with the aim of changing the meaning of a situation in order to decrease its intense and negative emotional impact. Expressive suppression represents the effort of inhibiting the outward signs of inner emotional states or unwanted thoughts. Many studies, both experimental and correlational, showed that cognitive reappraisal is often more effective than expressive suppression. In this paper, previousstudies about the role of emotion and thought dysregulation in the development of negative psychological outcomes were reviewed. First, the definition and characteristics of emotion and thought regulation strategies are presented. Secondly, the specific individual differences in the use of emotion and thought regulation strategies, in terms of personality traits, attachment, gender, and age, are discussed. The third section presents the associations between these emotion and thought regulation strategies and various mental disorders. In the last section, previous empirical studies that analyzed the associations between such strategies and wellbeing, defined as a low level of negative affect, a high level of positive affect, and life satisfaction, are presented.
34. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Ioana Grancea Visual Arguments and Moral Causes in Charity Advertising: Ethical Considerations
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Social advertising often employs persuasive imagery in support of a morally laden cause. These visual arguments can take the form of veridical representations of the given situation or the form of purposeful visual blends. Both visual routes to persuasion have serious ethical issues to confront. In what concerns the purportedly veridical images, controversies about picture retouching and framing have cast many doubts on their success in offering unmediated access to a given reality. Editorial interests have proven far too influential on the destiny of what and how is presented to the audience from the amount of visual material available on a topic. Even when the audience is certain that photos are not doctored, the use of veridical images may be seen as unethical. Their disproportionate affective impact may lead the audience to hold biased opinions, since other concerns may be impossible to capture in a vivid picture. Visual blends may be the answer to this problem, employing the fictional or the figurative to help the viewer grasp the moral anatomy of a given situation. Their generous use of figurative meaning may be seen as their strength and their weakness at the same time. It makes them less likely to face accusations of distorting reality, because they do not claim to be windows on reality per se. At the same time, it makes them vulnerable to interpretations that miss their true point – one might appreciate the artistry of a visual metaphor or a visual pun and fail to consider the statement it makes about a given situation. Contemporary philosophical approaches to the place of visuals in moral persuasion inform my analysis of the use of visual arguments in charity-oriented advertising.
35. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Scott Aikin Citizen Skeptic: Cicero’s Academic Republicanism
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The skeptical challenge to politics is that if knowledge is in short supply and it is a condition for the proper use of political power, then there is very little just politics. Cicero’s Republicanism is posed as a program for political legitimacy wherein both citizens and their states are far from ideal. The result is a form of what is termed negative conservatism, which shows political gridlock in a more positive light.
36. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Iovan Drehe Dialectical Strategic Planning in Aristotle
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The purpose of this paper is to give an account and a rational reconstruction of the heuristic advice provided by Aristotle in the Topics and Prior Analytics in regard to the difficulty or ease of strategic planning in the context of a dialectical dialogue. The general idea is that a Questioner can foresee what his refutational syllogism would have to look like given the character of the thesis defended by the Answerer, and therefore plan accordingly. A rational reconstruction of this advice will be attempted from three perspectives: strategic planning based on the acceptability of Answerer’s thesis, strategic planning based on the predicational form of the thesis, strategic planning based on the logical form of the thesis. In addition, we will provide an illustration of the potential of this heuristic advice as we apply it to the interpretation of a fragment from Plato, presuming that, in a similar way, a reading of this kind might be more generally applicable in the interpretation of the Platonic dialogues.
37. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Kevin Ross Nera A Sketch of a Humane Education: A Capability Approach Perspective
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Poverty, understood as basic capability deprivation, can only be solved through a process of expanding the freedoms that people value and have reason to value. This process can only begin if the capability to imagine and aspire for an altenative lifestyle worthy of human dignity is cultivated by an education program that develops both the capability to reason and to value. These two facets play a major role in the creative exercise of human agency. This program of humane education can only come from an adequate description of the human agent as a persona that seeks to actualize itself based on his/her understanding of the good. Education must therefore seek to cultivate the capability to have an adequate conception of the good (normative) as well as the capability to constantly re-evaluate one’s conception of the good (evaluative) in order to freely and reasonably choose a life that one values and has reason to value. Education must therefore entail not merely the development of skills nor specialization in a particular field but must concentrate on the integration of the human person as a whole which leads to self-creative praxis.
38. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Constantin Vică Intellectual Property, Globalization, and Left-Libertarianism
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Intellectual property has become the apple of discord in today’s moral and political debates. Although it has been approached from many different perspectives, a final conclusion has not been reached. In this paper I will offer a new way of thinking about intellectual property rights (IPRs), from a left-libertarian perspective. My thesis is that IPRs are not (natural) original rights, aprioric rights, as it is usually argued. They are derived rights hence any claim for intellectual property is weaker than the correlative duties attached to self-ownership and world-ownership rights, which are of crucial importance in any left-libertarian view. Moreover, IPRs lack priority in front of these two original rights and should be overridden by stronger claims of justice. Thus, as derived rights, IPRs should not benefit of strong enforcement like any original rights especially if it could be in the latters’ detriment.
39. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Lavinia Andreea Bejan From Moral Responsibility to Legal Responsibility in the Conduct of War
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Different societies came to consider certain behaviors as morally wrong, and, in time, due to a more or less general practice, those behaviors have also become legally prohibited. While, nowadays, the existence of legal responsibility of states and individuals for certain reprehensible acts committed during an armed conflict, international or non-international, is hard to be disputed, an inquiry into the manner in which the behavior of the belligerents has come to be considered reveals long discussions in the field of morals and theory of morality, and, especially, regarding the different manner of establishing the elements to whom obedience is rather owed (the divinity, the sovereign, the law) and the relations between these. Hence, the present paper aims at analyzing the connections between moral responsibility and legal responsibility for wrongful behaviur during war in a diachronic approach, along with the major shifts in paradigm (codification and individual liability). Understanding morality as practice, convention, custom, we are arguing that the nowadays requirement of liability for war crimes appeared due to an assumed intention and practice of the decision-making entities (the sovereign, the state) and, ultimately, to a decision-making process of the most influential states.
40. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Emanuel Ciocianu-Copilaș Perennialism and Modernism in Romanian National-Communism. An Ideological Dilemma?
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This article analyzes the theories of nationalism incorporated into the national-communist discourse active in Romania between 1965 and 1969. Although insisting upon its Marxist ideological core, Romanian national-communist discourse did not, however, embrace the Marxist vision upon nations and nationalism, namely modernism. Furthermore, its vision in this regard, primordialist perenialism, was typical of right-wing, even extreme right-wing ideologies. How was that possible is the main question of the following pages.