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41. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Margaret Gilbert Sociality, Unity, Objectivity
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Numerous social and political theorists have referred to social groups or societies as “unities.” What makes a unity of a social group? I address this question with special reference to the theory of social groups proposed in my books On Social Facts and Living Together: Rationality, Sociality and Obligation. I argue that social groups of a central kind require an underlying “joint commitment.” I explain what I mean by a “joint commitment” with care. If joint commitments in my sense underlie them, what kind of unity does this give social groups? In what sense or senses is it objective?
42. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Raimo Tuomela Collective Acceptance and Social Reality
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Many social properties and notions are collectively made. Two collectively created aspects of the social world have been emphasized in recent literature. The first is that of the performative character of many social things (entities, properties). The second is the reflexive nature of many social concepts. The present account adds to this list a third feature, the collective availability or “for-groupness” of collective social items. It is a precise account of social notions and social facts in terms of collective appearance. The collective acceptance account has ontological implications in that it accepts mind-independent, group-dependent, and simply mind-dependent social facts.
43. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Wolfgang Balzer Freedom and Equality in the Comparison of Political Systems
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The notions of freedom and equality in a group are precisely defined in terms of individual exertions of influence or power. Freedom is discussed in the version ‘freedom from’ influence rather than in the version ‘freedom to do’ what one wants. It is shown that at the ideal conceptual level complete freedom implies equality. Given the plausibility of the definitions this shows that political ‘folk rhetorics’ in which freedom and equality often are put in opposition are misled and misleading. Quantitative notions of ‘more freedom’ and ‘more equality’ are introduced and shown to be independent of each other. The bearing of these conceptual exercises on the comparison of political systems is discussed.
44. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Daniel O. Dahlstrom Love, Honor, and Resentment
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For much of contemporary ethical theory, the universalizability of the motive of a contemplated action forms a necessary part of the basis of the action’s moral character, legitimacy, or worth. Considering the possibility of resentment springing from the performance of an action also serves as a means of determining the morality of an action. However, considerations of universalizability and resentment are plainly inconsistent with the performance of some unselfish moral actions. I argue that the sphere of the moral adequacy of considerations of universalizability and resentment is limited. I profile key elements of “conformist” or “consensus-driven” ethical thinking modelled on Nagel’s ethical theory. Then, I elaborate the measure of validity of the profiled ethical thinking as well as its limitation, suggesting that its proper domain is located in an ethics of honor, delimited by an ethics of love and friendship.
45. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Robert L. Holmes A Western Perspective on the Problem of Violence
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The following sketches a constellation of views constituting the implicit philosophy of violence that one finds in much of the Western world. While I believe that much of this philosophy is deeply flawed, I shall, in a sense, be setting forth the case for violence because any hope of a nonviolent and peaceful world order must begin with a deeper understanding of violence and its attractiveness. After exploring various arguments for violence, I conclude that once we probe beneath the surface, it is clear that most of those who deplore violence do not oppose all violence, only that of which they disapprove, and that social manipulation backed by violence in the end seems to most people to be justified.
46. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jaakko Hintikka, Robert Cummings Neville, Ernest Sosa, Alan M. Olson, Stephen Dawson Series Introduction
47. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
David M. Rasmussen Volume Introduction
48. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
D. A. Masolo Communitarianism: An African Perspective
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How is the sense (knowledge and feelings) of community produced? What roles do various units of society play in producing such knowledge and feelings? What are the values of the ethic engendered by such knowledge and feelings? I suggest that a communitarian theory indigenous to African culture enables us to respond to these questions. Against the objections of those who advocate an ideology of modern democratic liberalism, I argue that the values of individual worth and freedom are indeed compatible with those of communitarianism. Further, while I agree that communities are natural orders into which individuals are born, I deny any ontological determinism that would seek to restrict such orders in terms of ethnicity or race. Rather, communities also need to be understood as products of deliberate human organization and choices.
49. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
D. P. Chattopadhyaya Communitarianism from an Eastern Perspective
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I make a distinction between regional and national movements toward union and uniformity. The former suppresses individuality, both at the level of the human being and at that of their political aggregates, while the latter allows space for criticism and creativity. I briefly rehearse communitarian movements of the past so as to draw historical lessons from their failures. From this, I go on to sketch some features of the kind of regional and even global communitarianism that is required in today’s political and economic context.
50. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Andrzej Maciej Kaniowski Is Globalization a Real Threat to Democracy?: Remarks from an Eastern European Perspective
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In this paper, I argue that if the process of globalization leads to more severe social discrepancies that are not acceptable to many groups of people, then globalization would become the factor of primary relevance that threatens democracy; but if globalization and the present democratic order manage to solve social problems, then globalization will be a factor supporting the democratic way of thinking that is not oriented to exclusiveness. Globalization, I believe, coincides rather with a way of thinking that is non-xenophobic and which refuses to see moral thinking in the strict dichotomy of good and evil.