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21. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Hahn Hsu Moral Reasons
22. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ruben Apressyan Whether there is the Golden Rule in Aristotle’s Ethics?
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In the context of his advanced theory of ethics Aristotle like later Kant seems considering the Golden Rule as trivial and not bound to be articulated. It is possible that Aristotle did not feel necessity to mention the Golden Rule, because the very Golden Rule was spread out in his ethics. Though he did not use the formula ofthe Golden Rule in his texts, he often expressed his understanding of virtuous character and virtuous relations using intellective constructions evidently relevant to the Golden Rule. The analysis of Aristotle’s reasoning on shame, social intercourse and, mainly, friendship shows that his ethics is saturated with the content andspirit of the Golden Rule, including such features agent’s initiative, activity, commitment and thus her/his responsibility for establishing relations, their potential reversibility, mutuality, and universalizability.
23. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Makoto Suzuki “They Ought to Do This, But They Can’t”: The Two Senses of “Ought”
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We tend to think every ought statement implies that an actual agent can comply. However, our uses of “ought” suggest that some ought statements fail to have this implication: it is possible that the actual agent ought to do something she has no chance of accomplishing even if she intends to do so. Rather they imply that if the agent and her circumstances were defect-free, she could and would perform the prescribed action. There are two types of evaluation for ought statements. One type of evaluation addresses the question of what to do given the agent’s peculiar capacity and condition. The point of this evaluation is giving personalized action guidance, and so recommends only what the actual agent can do under the actual condition. Another type of evaluation addresses a different question, that of what to do as a type of agents. The point of this evaluation is the coordination of individuals by selecting a shared norm for them: the standard that prescribes all of them to perform the same action and classifies for all of them the same traits as defect. This is why it endorses the ought statements that some actual agents cannot comply with, but that a normal agent could and would do so under normal conditions.
24. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
M. Lorenz Moises J. Festin Rediscovering the Sense of Pleasure in Morality
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Pleasure has always been an important issue in morality. And although ethical systems tend to focus the discussion on human action, this agreeable sentiment has remained a recurrent question in moral philosophy. In this paper, I go back to Aristotle’s treatment of pleasure in his writings, particularly in the Nicomachean Ethics. I will argue that the distinction he draws between bodily pleasures and those of the mind represents an important point not only in understanding eudaimonia but also in situating the very nature of ethical debates today. I will try to show how Aristotle’s distinction among pleasure matches up with his differentiation between energeia and kinésis as well as with the distinction between praxis and poiésis, and how these differentiations have enabled Aristotle toevade the pitfall of hedonism.
25. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Halla Kim The Method of Transition in Kant’s Groundwork
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This paper is an attempt to understand the main characteristics of the three transitions that Kant makes in his Groundwork in view of his professed purpose of grounding pure moral philosophy. In particular, I show that the method of transition is devised as a way in which Kant can secure the a priori basis of morality in his campaign against naturalism in ethics.
26. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Godwin Azenabor The Golden Rule Principle in African Ethics and Kant’s Categorical Imperative: A Comparative Study on the Foundation of Morality
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This research attempts to throw light on and show the fundamental similarities and differences between the African and Western ethical conceptions by examining the foundation of ethics and morality in the two systems, using the Golden rule principle in African ethics and Kant’s categorical imperative in Western ethics as tools of comparative analysis. The African indigenous ethics revolves round the “Golden Rule Principle” as the ultimate moral principle. This principle states that “Do unto others what you want them to do unto you”. This principle compares favourably with Immanuel Kant’s whose main thrust is found in his “Categorical Imperative”, with the injunction for us to “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” The categorical imperative becomes for Kant, the principle of universalizability, which according to Kant, is categorical and must be equally binding on everyone. This idea of Kant, we argue, compares with the “Golden Rule Principle”. Both are rationalistic and social but the limitations of Kant which we hope to point out, make it quite insufficient as the foundation of morality. The Africans’ which is more humanistic describes morality and is better served. The main difference between the two ethical systems lies in the fact that whereas the “golden rule” starts from the self and considers the consequences on the first before others, the universalizability principle on the other hand considers the consequences on others first before self.
27. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Francesco Belfiore In Search of an Objective Moral Good
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The moral good, being the end that human beings ought to pursue, cannot be defined without referring to what human beings, as ontological entities, actually are. According to my conception, human mind (or spirit or person) is a triadic entity made of intellect, sensitiveness, and power which, through their outward or selfish activity (directed to the external objects), produce ideas, sentiments, and actions, whereas through their inward or moral activity (directed to mind itself), produce moral thoughts, moral feelings, and moral acts, respectively. Moral thoughts allow us to understand that mind is an evolving entity, and that mind evolution consists of the development of intellect (knowledge), sensitiveness (sensitivity of the soul), and power (health/wealth/social status), through which mind continuously transcends itself. Moreover, moral thoughts give us the cognitive awareness that mind evolution, entailing changes into ever better states, is the objective human good, thus creating the ground moral principle. On the other hand, moral feelings enable human beings to feel that mind evolution is morally desirable or valuable, thus founding the moral values. The moral acts perform the good deeds under the guidance of the moral norms, which arise fromthe convergence of moral principles and moral values. The ground moral norm prescribes the promotion of mind evolution. The moral agent should help others until they reach the evolutionallowing condition, that is, the condition that allows the helped person to develop his own mind, thus fulfilling his moral duty toward himself. The conception of the moral good as consisting of mind evolution allows us to give ethics an ontological basis.
28. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jeffrey Benjamin White Good Will and the Conscience in Kant’s Ethical Theory
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The compass point of Kantian ethics is Kant’s categorical imperative. The compass point of Kantian ethics directs persons to ends of actions. It directs to ends the attainment of which can be universally prescribed. It directs away from those which can not. Most reviews of the demands of the categorical imperative tend torest in an assay of rationality and its demands. I think that this is a mistake. I think that on Kant’s mature view, the conscience, and so the categorical imperative, have nothing necessarily to do with rationality at all. The following work develops this position.
29. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Harald Stelzer Challenging Cultural Relativism From a Critical-Rationalist Ethical Perspective
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This paper is based on the assumption that critical rationalism represents a middle position between absolutist and relativistic positions because it rejects all attempts of ultimate justification as well as basic relativistic claims. Even though the critical-rationalist problem-solving-approach based on the method of trial and error leads to an acknowledgment of the plurality of theories and moral standards, it must not be confused with relativism. The relativistic claims of the incommensurability of cultures and the equality of all views of the world and all moral systems can be challenged by two basic critical‐rationalist arguments:(1) Popper’s critique of ‚the myth of the framework’; (2) the criticalrationalist conception of different levels of rationality (Albert, Agassi and Jarvie). In ethics moral standards and norms can be interpreted from a critical‐rationalist perspective as undogmatic suggestions for the regulation of social behaviour and as attempts to answer different problems, resulting from social life. This allows for the comparison of different moral standards, norms, practices and institutions with reference to the underlying problem situation and the search for culturally overlapping moral standards.
30. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Matthias Fritsch Deconstructing Ought Implies Can
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The present paper aims to view three ways of thinking time by Emmanuel Levinas. We distinguish existential, historical, and eschatological time demonstrating how they are connected with his central notion of responsibility toward the Other. The following analysis reorders and interprets what Levinas has said in response of Martin Heidegger’s and Hegel’s position. The text does not make any other claims but aims to offer a possible reading and exegesis of Levinas’s philosophy and open a further discussion on these topics.
31. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Glen Koehn Character, Situation and Intelligence
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Gilbert Harman and other situationists have argued, on thefollowing grounds, that many ordinary moral judgments are false.First, many moral judgments posit robust personal character traits inthe course of describing or explaining individual human behavior.Second, the empirical evidence strongly suggests these traits do notexist. I sketch some of the reasoning behind situationism and arguethat Harman’s view cannot be entirely right. He is himselfcommitted to there being at least one robust individual charactertrait, namely a form of personal intelligence. Moreover, the notion ofa situation upon which he relies is inadequate to his purpose.
32. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Alexander Shevchenko Obligations of Justice
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Growing philosophical interest in theories of obligation has many sources. Among the most important ones is the tendency to redefine the scope of the political. Then we are Inevitably confronted with the question about the nature and scope of our obligations towards others. An analysis of an important and popular distinction between obligations of justice and obligations of charity shows that their distinctive characteristics are seldom precise and clear-cut. Moreover, they are more superficial rather than substantive and do not allow to draw a clear line between obligatory and desirable behavior, or legally and morally obligatory behavior. In present-day ethical theory there is a tendency towards expanding the scope of obligations of justice and redefining their content. Actions whichtraditionally might have been considered as display of good nature are more and more often perceived as obligations avoidance of which is unjust. This also changes the role of institutions. The borders and content of individual obligations of justice should be considered in close connection with the problem of constructing just social institutions. The subjects of justice (the moral individual and the social institute) are interrelated and the search for an optimalbalance between two viewpoints – those of private interest and impartiality – becomes a unifying project both for political and moral philosophers.
33. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jung Soon Park Rawls’ Avowed Error in Rational Contractarianism
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Over twenty years after the publication of A Theory of Justice (1971), Rawls avowed that it was an error in Theory to describe a theory of justice as part of the theory of rational choice. This paper elucidates the reasons why Rawls had to make such an avowal of the error in connection with his contractarian rational deduction project of morality, i.e., rational contractarianism. Two major issues are involved here. They are about the construction of the original position and the maximin derivation of the two principles of justice. Because of the moral irrelevancy of rationality in Hobbes’ model, Rawls tries to construct a fair original position. Hence Rawls’ rational contractarianism turns out rationality cum fairness model. However, this model of Rawls’ commits the circularity of moral assumptionsprior to rationality, which might be rationally arbitrary. Furthermore, because of its highly conservative psychological attitude of risk-aversion, Rawls cannot show the superior rationality in the maximin strategic derivation of the two principles of justice over the other strategies. These are the reasons why Rawls had to admit the error. After the avowal of the error, Rawls shifted to Kantian conception of free and equal moral persons for the justificatory device of his theory of justice. Several polemical issues around the Kantian conception are discussed and adjudicated.
34. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Lorenzo Magnani Knowledge as Duty: Technological Artifacts as Moral Carriers and Mediators
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This paper aims at presenting a concise treatment of some key themes of my recent book Morality in a technological world. Knowledge as duty (Cambridge: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). In recent times, non-human beings, objects, and structures – for example computational tools and devices - haveacquired new moral worth and intrinsic values. Kantian tradition in ethics teaches that human beings do not have to be treated solely as “means”, or as “things”, that is in a merely instrumental way, but also have to be treated as “ends”'. I contend that human beings can be treated as “things” in the sense that they have to be “respected” as things are sometimes. To the aim of reconfiguring human dignity in our technological world I introduce the concept of moral mediator.
35. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Vasil Gluchman Human Dignity and its Non-Utilitarian Consequentialist Aspects
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According to author, value of human dignity has its place in his ethics of social consequences which is a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism. This is so because it is compatible with the value of positive consequences that creates one of the crucial criteria in ethics of social consequences. There exist two aspects of human dignity in this ethical theory. The first is related to the value of life that is worthy of esteem and respect, which brings positive consequences (moral biocentrism), second aspect is related to the fact that human dignity is a function of the positive consequences of our action and behavior prevailing over the negative consequences of our action and behavior. This creates a basis for assigning moral agents with an additional, qualitative value of human dignity. In caseof human beings without developed consciousness and who are only potential moral agents, the first aspect of human dignity is dominant in our judgments about them. In the judgments concerning moral agents the second aspect of human dignity dominates.
36. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ryan Fanselow A Kantian Solution to Thompson’s Puzzle about Justice
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In a recent paper, Michael Thompson (2006) argues that there is a problem about justice that holds for Aristotlean, Humean, and Kantian views of ethics. To see his problem, consider the normative judgment that “X wronged Y by killing her.” Thompson thinks that Aristotelian, Humean, and Kantian views can show why Xdid something wrong by killing Y but they cannot show that X wronged Y, at least not without taking on intolerable moral, metaphysical, or epistemological commitments. I argue that the Kantian can solve this problem without taking on any intolerable commitments, given the way that duties are derived from thecategorical imperative.
37. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
C. L. Sheng, Harrison F.H. Lee On G. E. Moore’s View of Hedonistic Utilitarianism
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At Moore’s time, the main-stream ethical theory is the doctrine that pleasure alone is good as an end as held by the hedonistic utilitarianism. Moore, however, asserts that good, not composed of any parts, is a simple notion and indefinable, and naturalistic ethical theories, in particular hedonistic utilitarianism, interpret intrinsic good as a property of a single natural object---pleasure, which is also the sole end of life, thus violates naturalistic fallacy. Moore seems to believe that there exist things other than pleasure that are also intrinsically good and has searched for them. But Moore has not clearly stated what these things are, nor has he given any justification for why they are intrinsically good. This paper discusses Moore’s arguments and difficulties of utilitarianism. With the subjectivistic utilitarian theory of value, Unified Utilitarian Theory (UTT) discards the classification of value into intrinsic and instrumental and proves to be exempt of all theexisting difficulties with utilitarianism related to pleasure, including naturalistic fallacy, vagueness of pleasure and sole end of life, double counting, etc.
38. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Guangquan Cheng Can Virtue be Taught? ——the Angle of Epistemology
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The predicament of contemporary moral education lies in the fact that we simply accepted Socrates "virtue is knowledge", and considered that the virtue can be taught as the knowledge, but we neglect that the virtue can only be cultivated in social practices. Some have realized that, but they only concentrated on revivification of the life scene in the class, such as KohlBerg's moral paradox, or class debate, leading the moral education to a debate skill and returning tothe style of Sophist who depended on eloquence. But its value and moral sense were by no means solidified, they also did what one thought was right, and followed the others, making the moral nature lose its foundation. And they got lost in putting this kind of virtue into practice.
39. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jean-Paul Martinon You Shall Not Kill
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This paper explores the meaning of the ethical command “You Shall Not Kill” subliminally included in the main exhibition of The Kigali Memorial Centre, Rwanda. The Centre was opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004 and contains a permanent exhibition of the Rwandan genocide and an exhibition of other genocides around the world. In order to achieve this aim, this paper takes as a point of departure, Emmanuel Levinas’s interpretation of the 6th Commandment. This well-known interpretation is then read through the prism of Jacques Derrida’s critique of Levinas’s early work in Violence and Metaphysics. The aim of this reading is to understand the subliminal message of the Memorial Centre as enounced not by the victimized Tutsi curators or by the Rwandan people in general, but by human beings unavoidable need to reach out towards the other, not in an effort for dialogue (forthat is always a form of violence), but in an effort to keep the future open, an opening without fulfillment.
40. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sibel Oktar Is Moore a Metaphysical Ethicist?
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“Naturalistic fallacy” is generally associated with Moore’s charge against the naturalists. But for Moore, metaphysical ethics, including those of Kant is as guilty as naturalistic ethics in committing the naturalistic fallacy. Here, the fallacy is identifying “good” with anything metaphysical. Moore appreciates that ‘metaphysical’ propositions provide us with a chance to talk about objects that are not natural. And he thinks that metaphysical ethicists’ do not recognise that these objects do not exist at all, rather they think if the object in question does not exist in nature and time it must exist somewhere else, i.e., in a supersensible reality. Moore’smain criticism of metaphysical ethics focuses on the belief that an objects existence is an essential requirement for its ‘goodness’. For Moore, there are non‐natural objects, by definition they do not belong to nature, they do not exist in nature, they are not sensible. Moore’s only difference from the metaphysical ethicists seems to be in saying that these non-natural objects are not supersensible and in fact they do not exist. In this paper I will investigate such similarities and differences between Moore and metaphysical ethicists and where Moore really stands in the metaphysical-naturalistic spectrum. I will concentrate on Kantian ethics, for Moore thinks that Kantian ethics is an exemplar of metaphysical ethics, and Kant has committed naturalistic fallacy. I will try to show that Moore’s argument on Kant committing naturalistic fallacy is gratuitous. I will argue that Moore’s notion of “good” as a non-natural object that does not exist in time ishard to conceive without assuming a ‘transcendental object’ and the existence of a supersensible reality, as Kant does. And I suggest that Moore is as guilty as Kant in stepping into the supersensible reality.