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21. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Xavier Pavie Ancient Spiritual Exercises in Contemporary Philosophy: Actualization of Philosophy as a Way of Life
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The goal of this paper is to understand in what way contemporary philosophy apprehends spiritual exercises as they were conceived, shared and practiced by ancient philosophers. Aimed at self-improvement and self-trans-formation, spiritual exercises were intended to enable one to live a philosophical life. As such they represented an essential element in the main concerns of antique schools. Thus philosophers elaborated doctrines and theories, while maintaining a real and daily practice of these views. Indeed, the axis theôria/praxis is one the most important of spiritual exercises and is also a connecting thread in this paper leading to a better understanding of the notion of “spiritual exercise” itself. Pierre Hadot is the one who discovered traces of spiritual exer-cises - their construction and implementation in ancient philosophy. However, philosophy goes far beyond the antique philosophers, to our contemporary era. As a result, for more than 2,500 years spiritual exercises have been ques-tioned, reorganized by their environment, notably the religious environment. Consequently, the aim here is to determine the very essence of the antique spiritual exercises in the evolution of philosophy in a general sense, and more particularly in contemporary philosophy. Keeping in mind both theory and daily practices we can notice that there has been a certain re-introduction and actualization of ancient philosophy. First, in America through Pierce’s pragmatism, which tends towards melioration and self-transformation, and through Stanley Cavell’s thoughts - notably his “ordinary” theory - which questioning the very existence of contemporary popular spiritual exercise. And then in the old continent through Nietzsche, Wittgenstein or even Foucault, who seems to have defined spiritual exercises with his aesthetics of existence.
22. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Kasem Phenpinant Lévinas, the Lapse of Time and the Clamor of the Other: Re-Opening Totality and Infinity
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How does Being justify itself? Emmanuel Lévinas poses this question in order to claim that ethics is the first philosophy. The answer is not only an attempt to search for the right to do justice with a human existence, but it also leads us to consider the relation of the one to the other. Subsequently, the question directs us towards the clamor of the other. In this paper I argue that, in Totality and Infinity, Lévinas still locates his philosophical demonstration in the shadow of Heidegger’s Being and Time. He transcendentally demonstrates the other by requiring ontology to facilitate the one-for-the-oth-er as significantly as the understanding of Being. By doing so, Lévinas uses the lapse of time to designate the ontology of the present as a revelation of the other. Although Heidegger demonstrates that Being discloses itself in its presence, Lévinas claims that Being is passively preceded by the relation to the other. He later insists on this procedure by making a polemic against the Hedeggerian notion of death. Heidegger examines death as the possibility of the impossibility of Being, whereas Lévinas disputes that death is the impossibility of possibility. Lévinas seizes death as the presence of Being’s virility, while turning Being around the passivity of the present. Consequently, time becomes the horizon in which the invasion of the other ruptures the existential meaning of Being. It pulls Being back to justify its own existence in relation to the other. Lévinas considers this justification as self-assurance of human existence in the face of the other, while the lapse of time makes the relation to the other as living.
23. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Derya Aybakan Saliya Feminism, Gender and Representation
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Judith Butler criticizes the feminism for it assume universal category of women. According to her category women don’t have coherent and stable meaning. Therefore she thinks that idea of political representation in feminist policy should be discussed. Besides she opens the concepts of identity and gender up for discussion for according to her the categories of gender and identity don’t say about our inherent coherent. In terms of Butler gender is a norm so it serves to regulate and normalize to subjects. In this context she thinks that gender categories create abnormal and unintelligible fields. So she warns feminism about exclusionary policies because for her if feminism accept universal category of women it may ignore different expe-riences of women.
24. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Karla Pinhel Ribeiro Law and Violence in Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin
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The paper investigates concepts of law and violence in Hannah Arendt and Walter Benjamin, especially in their works On violence and Critique of violence. The main objective of the research is to find similarities and differences between the definitions of these concepts in the thought of these philosophers. The main thesis of the research is the understanding that concepts of law and violence for Hannah Arendt are very different and the other hand, concepts of law and violence for Walter Benjamin apparently are the same.
25. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Zhenlin Wang Contemporary Practical Philosophy and Life-World Theory
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Life-world is a basic fact concerning our life. By inventing the concept of life-world, the importance of the problem of practice was distinguished and the traditional understanding that theory overweighs practice was reversed. Thereupon, the rational agent is charged, and philosophy of practice revived. The revival of philosophy of practice demonstrates the transformation of the mode of philosophical thinking and the changing of philosophical problematic. The mode of practical thinking means reflecting the human behavior and all the relevant basic problems from the perspective of human practice and the understanding of this practice. This is the inevitable tendency in the development of philosophy in the process of self-critique, self-transcendence, and self-renewal.
26. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
William Schultz Progress in Contemporary Continental or Speculative Philosophy: Lyotard’s Criticism and Development of Derrida’s Philosophy
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Contemporary French philosopher, Jean-Francois Lyotard, claims to have developed a new system based on the ideas of Jacques Derrida. I present Derrida’s three main dialectical a priori concepts structuring his phi-losophy, following the patterns that I call canonical, classical, or traditional.” Each of these three concepts is a model for any object of knowledge, and they are related in an increasing development of his theory of knowledge. Although the third dialectical a priori concept (the supplement) does guarantee the con-sistency of his previous concepts, it leads to a dilemma that is unsolvable on the basis of an implicit faulty presupposition. The only way for philosophy to progress, in Lyotard’s view, is to transform the faulty presupposition into a new hypothesis about knowledge. I present all three of Derrida’s dialectical a priori concepts because the new start by Lyotard is a change of Derrida’s philosophy as a whole, and even of all of the history of philosophy. I present the passage in which Lyotard claims that epistemology should be based on the idea of figurality in discourse; in Discourse, Figure (1971) he also calls this the “figure image,” which in a general way is analogous to the start of Derrida’s philosophy: both (Derrida’s difference and Lyotard’s figurality in discourse) are new beginnings in philosophy; both are dialectical a priori concepts; and both lead to a philosophical system having a tripartite structure. This paper, thus, focuses on Lyotard’s new idea of figurality in discourse as a transforma-tion of Derrida’s supplement.
27. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Alexander Ch. Zistakis Paul Virilio’s Phenomenology of Perception
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In this paper I examine some aspects and elements of the work of Paul Virilio that specifically concern the changes in perceptual and representational practices and structures in contemporary western societies. To that effect, I situate his thought in relation to his most immediate and direct predecessors, e.g. some elements of Kant’s philosophy and of the work of earlier phenomenologists, most notably Husserl and Merleau-Ponty. In addition to that, throughout the text references are being made to certain key concepts of Virilio’s theory of perception, reproduction and representation, such as: the logistics of perception, the vision machine and the aesthetic of disappearance, then also the concepts of critical space and the lost dimension, as well as the key themes and concepts of speed and acceleration. These concepts establish Virilio’s general position with regard to contemporary communication and information technologies, providing a path for his general understanding of time as the main (and the only remaining) dimension of consciousness and perception.
28. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jean Du Toit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as response to modernity’s nature-human dichotomy: A philosophical-critical study
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Modernity as a philosophical and intellectual movement has cultivated a perspective of humanity as separated from nature. In modernity, nature is valuable only insofar as it has instrumental value (i.e. that it may be utilized for the benefit of humanity). This paper postulates that such an approach to the nature-human relationship may have led to considerable environmental damage and misuse, and that the perspective of humanity as separate from nature should be re-evaluated. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s philosophy is investigated as a possible means to overcome this dichotomy. De Chardin describes varying ontologies that are embedded in the evolutionary process and against which all human relevance and action must be sketched. This differs from an evolutionistic approach, because whilst engaging with scientific discourse (which tends to be reductionist in approach), de Chardin also incorporates spiritual and religious ideas and perspectives. Furthermore, de Chardin’s ideas differ from vague pantheism because he engages with the terminology used in modern science and re-evaluates this terminology’s application and conclusions in relation to his newly developed cosmology (or cosmogenesis). Several questions are central in this paper: Firstly, could de Chardin’s approach be incorporated into the natural scientific discourse? Secondly, does de Chardin’s cosmology provide new avenues for investigation into a closer and more sustainable relationship between humanity and the natural world?
29. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Nirmal Baid Jain Acceptance of Life in Nonhuman Entities as a Basis for Environmental Ethics
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Environmental ethics as a discipline deals with the morality of human actions and its consequences on the environment and its nonhuman elements. It addresses the question of whether there is a moral implication in harming the nonhuman contents of the environment, animate or inanimate. Jains identify with life being existent not only in humans and animals but also equally in earth, fire, air, water and vegetation. Life in these seemingly inanimate objects is considered at par with human or animal life form. Code of conduct for Jain householders and monks alike stipulates avoiding unnecessary harm to life including these inanimate life forms. When the entire world around us comes alive, this code of conduct helps create an abiding ethics that requires one to protect and pledge non-harming to all elements of the environment we live in.
30. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Sandra Baquedano Jer The Axiologic Undertone of the Bio-diversity in East Wisdoms
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The Hindu worldview works on the principle that all mortals are usually found immersed within the illusion of Maya. This illusion encompasses the common essence which all living beings share, and in an illusory way, wraps the human being within his or her ‘self’, presenting this individuality as an absolute truth. That natural selfishness represents the main enemy which human beings have to struggle against, to remove and tear apart, in order to overcome the individual barriers which limit and master the ‘self’. In this presentation we will probe the Hindu society tradition and its mechanism to protect and care for diversity as substantial values. Moreover, we will examine prominent scholars and historical characters in the Indian and East culture who have actively manifested a philosophical activism during their lives. We will examine the importance of the precautions, related to the balance in the adaequatio between any increase in the number of the individuals that could be preserved indefinitely in an environment, and those who would cause an increasing damage to it.
31. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jianxia Cui The Analysis of Historical Dialectics on Marxist Ecological Thought
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Does Marxist philosophy and economics contain ecological thought? Does Marxist unified ontology amount to ecological thought? Whatever the answer, ecology was not the original intention of Marx. In Marx’s view, nature refers to objective nature, as the medium of subjective practice, and man is realistic man as the natural beings. Unification of the two sides makes clear the substantive characteristics of Marxist ecological thought - dual realization of humanism and naturalism - which in Marx is a principle thought. Probing this question, how to achieve the goal of dual realization in historical dialectics, is the mission of academic research.
32. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Philip Cafaro Economic Growth or the Flourishing of Life: The Ethical Choice Global Climate Change Puts to Humanity in the 21st Century
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The phenomenon of global warming suggests that today’s dominant economic paradigm is bumping up against physical and biological limits. As will likely become ever clearer in coming decades, endlessly growing populations, consumption and economic activity are incompatible with human happiness, the flourishing of other species, and maintaining the basic ecosystem services on which these depend. The world’s peoples need to shift to an economic paradigm focused on providing sufficient resources for a limited number of people, rather than ever more resources for ever more people. For at least 2500 years, philosophers East and West, religious and secular, have claimed that wealth is not the key to happiness and that goodness is better than greatness. This talk argues that philosophers should redouble these efforts and join environmentalists in working to convince our societies to grow up and develop nobler, less materialistic, more sustainable goals and definitions of human flourishing as the necessary and the only alternative to trying to shoehorn a few more decades of economic growth into already overstressed ecological systems.
33. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Yanfeng Hu A Humble Opinion on the Relationship Between Humans and Nature
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The present ecological crisis reflects the alienation between humans and nature. The key to solve this problem is the correct understanding by humans of their position in nature. They should grasp correctly the relationship between humans and nature. For humans, nature is an object and also a subject. The fact that nature is subject or has subjectivity can be demonstrated at least in the following aspects: The natural world not only exists independently of humans or human consciousness, but also has its own operation mode; the creatures except human are not only passive objects, they all display the initiative in their behavior to defend their own interests; the natural world has taken retaliatory action on human activity that destroys natural circles and leads to interruption of material exchange and ecological metabolism. Nature has instrumental value and also the purposive value. The instrumental value of nature to humans is concretely reflected in meeting the demands of physical and spiritual life of humans, etc.; the purposive value of natural to human means keeping the relative stability in the operation of natural ecosystems in accord with the fundamental interests of human survival and development. The essence of the relationship between human and natural is the relationship between the natural world and himself. The natural world is the only homeland for humans. Humans should treat the natural world with an attitude that promotes harmony through rational utilization.
34. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Magdalena Holy-Luczaj Ontological Egalitarianism as the Basis for Ecological Egalitarianism: A Heideggerian Rejection of the Great Chain of Being
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This paper presents a part of my research project, which is a comprehensive study of the relation between deep ecology and Martin Heidegger’s philosophy. Its aim is to consider whether there is an actual coincidence between deep ecology and the philosophy of Martin Heidegger or whether it only appears so, on the basis of superficial coincidences and historical contingencies. The research that I have carried out to date strongly inclines me to state that deep ecology is largely justified to trace its philosophical heritage to Heidegger. Moreover, it seems that deep ecology does not take full advantage of the potential of Heidegger’s philosophy to lend support to its own foundational assumptions. In this paper I draw attention to the fact that deep ecology, concentrating on such issues as ethos related to the concept of “dwelling the Earth” or his critique of technology (from the latest work by Heidegger during the 1950’s), ignores his rejection of the concept of the “great chain of being” in works from the mid 1930’s, which perfectly corresponds with eco-egalitarianism and can be recognized as the theory of the “ontological egalitarianism.”
35. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Zinaida Ivanova Towns and Settlements Compatible with the Biosphereas the Future of the Humankind
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The concept of the biosphere is a most valuable academic contribution made by V.I. Vernadsky, a Russian scholar, whose 150th anniversary will be celebrated in 2013. Acute deterioration of the condition of the environment, threats of the upcoming ecological crisis have caused the academic community to turn to V.I. Vernadsky’s ideas and to develop further the basic provisions of his theory. The present-day challenge is the rescue of the Biosphere and the introduction of growth limits. Towns and cities are the main sources of degradation of the biosphere. Therefore, there is a need to initiate the recovery of cities. This opinion is formulated by academic V.A. Ilyichev, leader of the program of fundamental research into ‘biosphere-compatible’ settlements and the development of Man. The program is implemented by the Russian Academy of Architectural and Construction Sciences. The core idea of the project consists in the integration of the settlement (from the farmstead to the megalopolis) and the environment aimed at the progressive harmonious development of people, technologies and the biosphere. I.A. Ilyichev has developed the basic principles of transformation of cities, making them compatible with the biosphere and capable of developing humans. The diagnosis “The Earth is sick with Man” is to be treated through the formation of a different philosophy.
36. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Feng Jun Interrogation and Item: Philosophical Thinking on the Logic Level of “Man and Nature” Relationship
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Three are three dimensions in the logical framework of the relationship between man and nature, namely “dimension of awareness”, “dimension of desire” and “dimension of emotion”. But “dimension of awareness” and “dimension of desire” do not occupy a prominent position in the logical level of the relationship between man and nature. “Dimension of emotion” is destined to be in the highest position in the logical level of the relationship between man and nature. “Dimension of emotion” between man and nature refers to man’s ability for empathy, starting from the most vivid and direct experience of life in the heart, through expression towards the outside world and the establishment of a reply to itself. Then nature becomes “emotional things to feel”, leading to an ontology of “material and I blend” or “subject and object don’t distinguish”, leading to a direct identity relationship with nature.
37. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Vladimir Korotenko The Phenomenon of Ecological Consciousness: Theory and Interpretation
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A systematic approach to the description of phenomenon of environmental consciousness began to emerge in the second half of the ХХ century. An understanding strengthened by the widening environmental crisis had become a paradigmatic basis for this description. Its reasons lie in a dominant way of human techno-centrism, and it cannot be overcome without a change of this predominant worldview, universal and specific consciousness being a “psychological basis” of the ecological crisis. In a certain sense, the most appropriate reflection of the scheme of environmental consciousness will be the concept of semiotic fields or certain semiotic structures and specific symbolic series. These constructs are: Apocalyptic (predetermination of the end of history); the expansion of the human self-boundaries to the community and to the living in general; the value of life, regardless of its forms. One can say that environmental consciousness has a certain set of qualities, knowledge, symbolic means for addressing environmental situations, where the primary is the collision with environmental problems, and then there emerges a technical problem, aimed at resolving them in the space design of consciousness. However, when studying the phenomenon of environmental consciousness, some authors point out that the idea of environmental consciousness as a conceptual system can meet objections since the basis for the development of man’s relationship to nature lies in unconscious processes. Without denying the possibility of their participation, it must be emphasized that, in our interpretation, environmental consciousness is based on the knowledge gained from active and passive experience with the objects of the external world, situation analysis, and forecasts. Furthermore, exploring the phenomenon of environmental consciousness and its relationship with other mental phenomenon - unconscious, it is necessary to indicate the paradigmatic premise: the idea of multiplicity of events, that our lives can be at the same time turned in polysemantic (multi-character and multi-conceptual) space. Environmental consciousness can be seen as a very complex, self-regulating (i.e. having the ability to change the very purpose, functions and links) system, created to meet the challenges of establishing, stabilizing or changing relationship with nature and its objects that arise in the process of meeting man’s needs.
38. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
David R. Keller Political Economy as Foundation for Environmental Ethics
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In this paper, I argue that the subject of environmental ethics demands the critique of political economy: a political economy is always at the core of the human relationship to nonhuman nature. The elaboration of an ecological political economy is therefore a central task of Environmental Ethics. I make this argument in 4 stages. First, I argue that an “economy” is the interface of a social system (culture) and the biosphere. This interface is the political economy. Second, I argue for a principle of ontological interconnectedness between the human and the nonhuman. Third, I argue that since no human society exists without an economic fundament, the political economy is directly integrated to the ecology of the local. Here we have a standard for normativity: the consistency or inconsistency of a political economy with its ecological system provides a standard for normativity. Fourth, I conclude by asserting that the task of environmental ethics inexorably involves the critique of political economy. Environmental ethics concerns the human relationship to nonhuman nature. Because the fundament of the relationship of humans to nonhuman nature is economic, the subject of environmental ethics ultimately leads to a critique of the political economy in terms of the lessons of ecological science. Therefore, the goal of environmental ethics is the elaboration of ecological political economy.
39. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Ruth Miller Lucier Environmental Justice and Global Human Rights: Aspects of Self as Agency for Sustaining the Natural World
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This paper begins, in Part I, with a brief discussion of the “objective self” described in John Rawls’ Theory of Justice (Harvard University Press, 1971), and Michael J. Sandal’s criticism of it (in Liberalism and the Limits of Justice, (Cambridge University Press, 1985) with the purpose of proposing a ‘thickening’ of the concept of Rawls’ “thin (or objective) self” that would make sense of moral obligations and commitments to global environmental stewardship. In part II, a ‘thicker self’ is envisioned as one that incorporates indigenous, earth nurturing, values as essential to its own identity, and that, hence, has properties that promote commitment to environmental preservation. Part III, sets forth the suggestion that philosophers need to construe the human self in a thicker, more environmentally friendly, way than Rawls’s thin self is construed—-namely, in a way that involves the respecting of the wisdom of earth-preserving peoples and cultures, thus allowing the concept self to include awareness of globally focused environmental justice responsibilities.
40. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Eleni Kavadia Ecocentrism and Identification: Cubism and Mixanthropoi in Avant-Garde Ecology
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In this essay I discuss ecocentrism and identification as a way to perceive nature presenting the view that identification with other centers of our oikos does not need to result in homogenization but allows one to discern equally identity and otherness, leading possibly to empathy. I maintain that, as a multiperspective point of view, resembles a cubist standpoint and I discuss some of the merits of such a connection besides being an aid to visualisation. I also refer to the mixanthropic forms, related mainly to the Dionysian thiasos, as examples of the process of identification with nature ante litteram. I also comment on the possible value of such connections as means of “defamiliarization”, a way to prevent “over-automatization” when faced with ecological issues, and as a defence against kitsch, seen in the attempt to identify the ecological movement with the “eco-market”, restricting its broader scope.