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31. 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.
32. 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.
33. 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.
34. 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").
35. 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.
36. 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.
37. 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.
38. 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.
39. 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.
40. 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.