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281. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Michael Davis Licensing, Philosophical Counselors, and Barbers: A New Look at an Old Debate about Professions
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Philosophical counselors are now debating whether they should be licensed in the way psychiatrists, psychologists, and other similar helping professions are. The side favoring licensing claim it is a step on the way to making philosophical counseling “a profession.” In this paper I explain why licensing has nothing to do with making a profession of philosophical counseling—and what does. In particular, I offer a definition of profession, explain its application to philosophical counseling, and defend it against competitors (especially various sociological definitions). I also explain the importance of licensing, registration, and certification—and its disadvantages for philosophical counseling.
282. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 24 > Issue: 2
Harry van der Linden Just Military Preparedness, U.S. Military Hegemony, and Contingency Planning for Intervention in Sudan: A Reply to Lango and Patterson
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This paper rejects most aspects of John W. Lango and Eric Patterson’s proposal that the United States should plan for a possible intervention in Sudan on secessionist and humanitarian grounds and announce this planning as a deterrent to the central government of Sudan attacking the people of South Sudan if they would opt in a January 2011 referendum for independence. I argue that secession is not a just cause for armed intervention and that, rightfully, neither the American people nor many of its men and women in uniform would be prepared to engage in an intervention that might easily escalate. I also caution that American intervention against an Islamic regime might have high global security costs. For the sake of avoiding these negative consequences and harm to the people of Sudan, available nonviolent policy alternatives should be pursued. Still, I grant that the global community should intervene in Sudan if mass slaughter of civilians were to occur as a result of renewed hostilities between North and South Sudan. My objections to Lango and Patterson’s intervention proposal appeal to jus ad bellum principles as well as just military preparedness (jus ante bellum) principles.
283. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Mark A. Davidson No Conscience to Shock: The Ethical Dimensions of Non-Discretionary Personal Debt Assumption
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Over the last thirty years, personal debt loads have increased dramatically. Lower income earners borrow money to purchase basic goods and services, so their debt is frequently non-discretionary. The impact of non-discretionary personal debt on debtors can be as, if not more, harmful than government regulations that have been declared unconstitutional. In this regard, the impact of personal debt is tantamount to the impact of a civil rights violation. What separates the impact of unconstitutional state action from that of personal debt is the assumption that only the latter are the result of consensual transactions. Consent, however, is not a dyadic phenomenon, it exists in gradations. The quality of consent is weakened when the agent is making choices in response to pressures, and the empiricalquestion of the extent to which a consent transaction is unforced is distinct from the normative question of whether a transaction is legitimate, or fair. It is necessary to devise a new taxonomy of language to clearly distinguish the empirical and normative questions. This elucidates the fact that lower income people are under more pressure to borrow money than are upper income individuals to pay progressive rates of income tax. To argue that the latter are ‘coerced,’ is to admit that the low income individual’s decision to borrow is similarly forced. This admission suggests that a significant portion of citizens of market-based economies (notably Canada and the U.S.) are being forced to endure harms tantamount to civil rights violations. The admission also suggests that free markets harbour forces that undermine individual autonomy, and the absence of corrective state regulation exacerbates the problem.
284. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Allan Gibbard Narveson on Liberty and Equality
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At issue with Narveson is not the independence of persons, but an extreme form of ownership. Many people could be more independent with ownership of a moderate kind. All Narveson’s arguments depend on presupposing that extreme ownership has a special moral status.
285. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Peter Vallentyne Equal Negative Liberty and Welfare Rights
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In Are Equal Liberty and Equality Compatible?, Jan Narveson and James Sterba insightfully debate whether a right to maximum equal negative liberty requires, or at least is compatible with, a right to welfare. Narveson argues that the two rights are incompatible, whereas Sterba argues that the rights are compatible and indeed that the right to maximum equal negative liberty requires a right to welfare. I argue that Sterba is correct that the two rights are conceptually compatible and that Narveson is right that right to negative liberty does not conceptually require a right to welfare.
286. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Monica Aufrecht Climate Change and Structural Emissions: Moral Obligations at the Individual Level
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Given that mitigating climate change is a large-scale global issue, what obligations do individuals have to lower their personal carbon emissions? I survey recent suggestions by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Dale Jamieson and offer models for thinking about their respective approaches. I then present a third model based on the notion of structural violence. While the three models are not mutually incompatible, each one suggests a different focus for mitigating climate change. In the end, I agree with Sinnott-Armstrong that people have limited moral obligations to directly lower personal emissions, but I offer different reasons for this conclusion, namely that the structural arrangements of our lives place a limit on how much individuals can restrict their own emissions. Thus, individuals should focus their efforts on changing the systems instead (e.g., the design of cities, laws and regulation, etc.), which will lead to lower emissions on a larger scale.
287. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Jan Narveson, James P. Sterba Introduction
288. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Nicholas Dixon Handguns, Philosophers, and the Right to Self-Defense
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Within the last decade or so several philosophers have argued against handgun prohibition on the ground that it violates the right to self-defense. However, even these philosophers grant that the right to own handguns is not absolute and could be overridden if doing so would bring about an enormous social good. Analysis of intra-United States empirical data cited by gun rights advocates indicates that guns do not make us safer, while international data lends powerful support to the thesis that guns do indeed increase homicide. If handguns do not make us safer, then appealing to the right to self-defense as an objection to prohibition is moot. Prohibition neither violates the right to self-defense nor sacrifices anyone’s interests for the common good, since it makes each person less likely to be murderedthan the current permissive handgun laws. Moreover, we also must take into account the right to life of victims of handgun crimes made possible by liberal handgun laws. Consequently, invoking the right to self-defense does not provide any sound reason against handgun prohibition over and above familiar utilitarian objections, which are themselves refuted by the empirical evidence.
289. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Sherwin Klein Technology, Corporations, and Contemporary Globalization: An Ethical and Social Critique
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I explore certain interconnections and commonalities among technology, corporations, and contemporary globalization in order to best understand the dangerous ethical and social consequences that accrue from them. I begin by discussing the notion of means becoming ends. Technology as means and corporate instrumental values tend to become endsin-themselves. I then suggest that technologist’s and corporate manager’s quantitative methods are ill-equipped to deal with questions of intrinsic value or ends, which are qualitative. Moreover, “development,” a key term in globalization discussions, is often defined quantitatively (in economic terms) rather than qualitatively. I argue that this view is too narrow. Next, I discuss limiting autonomy as an important issue common to technology, corporations, and contemporary globalization. Material progress as a goal common to technology, corporations, and contemporary globalization is also considered. Technological mistakes and a neo-liberal, laissez-faire economy are said to be self-corrective, and this feature is used to support the notion of material progress. I argue that this has proved to be too optimistic. In the last section, I use certain contemporary leadership theorists to criticizeKenneth Galbraith’s and Peter Drucker’s views on corporate governance by technocratic specialists. I also discuss recent developments of the concept of technological assessment and related work by TU Delft researchers.
290. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
James P. Sterba Responses to Vallentyne, Thomas, and Gibbard
291. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Jan Narveson Response
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Gibbard accuses me of having an “extreme” view of property rights, even though he agrees that liberty is a good thing. But is it good enough to justify excluding handouts to the poor? He thinks not. I argue that the “social contract” idea of justice, which he in general shares, would underwrite the sort of strong property rights I plump for—noting that voluntary assistance to the poor (or anyone) is, after all, not only perfectly acceptable but much to be commended. I believe I agree entirely with Laurence Thomas, who argues that although decency calls for assisting the poor, we are not literally bound to do that. Contra Peter Vallentyne, I argue that liberty doesn’t permit the exceptions to the acquisition principle that he proposes: when we prevent someone from an acquiring that would harmno one, we do him a harm, which is forbidden by the liberty principle. The arguments, though, rather defy brief summary.
292. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Ben Hale The Methods of Applied Philosophy and the Tools of the Policy Sciences
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In this paper I argue that applied philosophers hoping to develop a stronger role in public policy formation can begin by aligning their methods with the tools employed in the policy sciences. I proceed first by characterizing the standard view of policymaking and policy education as instrumentally oriented toward the employment of specific policy tools. I then investigate pressures internal to philosophy that nudge work in applied philosophy toward the periphery of policy debates. I capture the dynamics of these pressures by framing them as the “dilemma dilemma” and the “problem problem.” Seeking a remedy, I turn to the interdisciplinarity of a unique approach to policymaking generally known as the “policy sciences.” Finally, I investigate the case of bioethics, an instance where philosophy has made decent headway with policymakers. From this I draw parallels to public policy. I suggest that because the policy sciences are essentially analchemist’s brew of academic fields, and because philosophy covers many of the foundational questions associated with these fields, it is only natural that applied philosophers should begin collaborations with other applied academics by adopting the strategies that have so successfully applied in other theoretical fields.
293. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
About the Contributors
294. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Christopher Arroyo Same-Sex Marriage, ‘Homosexual Desire,’ and the Capacity to Love
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The issue of same-sex marriage continues to be controversial in the United States. Opponents of same-sex marriage offer a variety of objections in defense of their position. One such objection (which I identify as the Inability to Love objection, or ILO) is that legalizing same-sex marriage would promote a counterfeit good (homosexual marriage) as a genuine good (heterosexual marriage), since homosexuals are incapable of genuine, full erotic love. Proponents of ILO argue that homosexuals are incapable of genuine erotic love because all homosexual relationships lack genuine sexual and affective complementarity. Relying on the arguments of Gareth Moore, I argue against ILO, claiming that it rests on an erroneous conception of desire. Once this conception of desire is corrected, the mythof “homosexual desire” is debunked and along with it the main argument in support of the claim that homosexuals are incapable of love.
295. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Laurence Thomas Liberty and a Spirit of Moral Decency
296. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Matthew C. Altman On the Uses and Disadvantages of the Ticking Bomb Case for Life
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The ticking bomb case is meant to challenge absolute prohibitions on the use of torture. In “Imaginary Cases,” Michael Davis attempts to show that such cases can only be legitimately employed within certain limited parameters. In this paper, I explain how the ticking bomb case, suitably revised, does not run afoul of Davis’s prohibition on impossible content. The fact that torture could elicit the necessary information is enough; we need not stipulate a guaranteed result. I also defend philosophers’ use of the case to identify our moral intuitions and to evaluate our theoretical assumptions. Although our responses to actual events are better at mapping our actual commitments, imaginary events can also reveal our pre-theoretic intuitions. Ultimately, however, I reject the use of the ticking bomb case on practical grounds, because the imaginary case distorts our moral reasoning in actual cases and leads to our acceptance of torture more generally.
297. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Sylvia Burrow Protecting One’s Commitments: Integrity and Self-Defense
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Living in a culture of violence against women leads women to employ any number of avoidance and defensive strategies on a daily basis. Such strategies may be self protective but do little to counter women’s fear of violence. A pervasive fear of violence comes with a cost to integrity not addressed in moral philosophy. Restricting choice and action to avoid possibility of harm compromises the ability to stand for one’s commitments before others. If Calhoun is right that integrity is a matter of standing for one’s commitments then fear for safety undermines integrity. This paper extends Calhoun’s view through arguing that integrity further requires resiliency to protect one’s commitments. My account shows that self-defense training is a key source of this resiliency because it cultivates self-confidence. The practical point is that self-defense training directly counters fear and other passive responses to violence that undermine integrity. The theoretical significance is that violence against women is a social condition threatening integrity. Hence, integrity requires self-protection for more socially minded reasons than moral theorists have previously recognized.
298. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Patrick Clipsham Reasons and Refusals: The Relevance of Moral Distress
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Health-care professionals sometimes appeal to their own consciences in order to justify their exemption from professional duties. I argue that we can only understand the content of a conscientious refusal as either a claim about the psychological dispositions of the refusing professional or as a purely normative claim about the status of the action that is the object of the refusal. If we adopt the former view, we would still need to adjudicate these refusals in terms of the acceptability of the moral views that ground them. If the latter, then we effectively abandon the conception of conscientious refusals that is most widely discussed in the philosophical literature. Whichever option we choose, we must conclude that there is no reason to allow for traditionally understood conscientious refusals by health-care professionals.
299. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Jane Duran Reintroduction of Species: Benefits and Harms
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The questions surrounding the reintroduction of species, both avian and mammal, to areas in which they were originally found are examined with citation to the literature involving actual attempts at reintroduction, and lines of argument brought to bear on the discussion by ethicists and ecologists. It is concluded that the dangers surrounding most reintroductions are, if anything, understated, but that deep ecology or preservationist views still support such efforts, if undertaken in sound ways.
300. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 26 > Issue: 1
Bradley Wilson Justice With Mercy: An Arugment against Capital Punishment
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Crimes such as the mass murder recently committed in Norway provoke the strongest calls for the death penalty. Among ethicists, the morality of capital punishment typically is discussed in terms of whether or not capital punishment can be morally justified, i.e., the question is whether or not capital punishment is ever permissible. However, neither the morality nor immorality of capital punishment has been decisively demonstrated. My argument assumes that capital punishment is permissible in at least some circumstances. I argue that, even if we think that capital punishment is (sometimes) morally permissible, if we take into account the moral value of mercy, we can see that rejecting capital punishment as a form of punishment is preferable to using it. My argument takes the following form:1. Capital punishment is not morally required in any case.2. Mercy is a morally valuable trait; actions that demonstrate mercy have more moral worth than those that do not, ceteris paribus. Thus, a moral viewpoint that incorporates mercy is preferable to one that does not.3. Not executing those who have committed capital crimes (under some conditions) demonstrates mercy.4. Just punishment of capital crimes is compatible with showing mercy.5. Thus, not executing those who have committed capital crimes (under some conditions) is morally preferable to executing them. I conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of my argument.