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41. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Andrew Fiala Toleration and the Limits of the Moral Imagination
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This essay discusses one source of toleration: a modest recognition of the limits of our ability to imagine the situation of the other. It further connects this with both respect for the autonomy of the other and the moral need to engage the other in dialogue. The conclusion is that toleration is important in light of the ubiquity of failures of the moral imagination. It considers several examples of the failure of the moral imagination, including a discussion of the Hindu practice of sati or widow burning.
42. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jeremiah Conway Gadamer on Experience and Questioning
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The suspicion of this article is that we don't really understand why questions matter. It addresses this topic by examining the connection Hans-Georg Gadamer draws in Truth and Method between questioning and the possibility of experience. It outlines what Gadamer means by "experience " and shows why he is convinced that we cannot have experiences without asking questions.
43. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
J. Robert Loftis Three Problems for the Aesthetic Foundations of Environmental Ethics
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This essay takes a critical look at aesthetics as the basis for nature preservation, presenting three reasons why we should not rely on aesthetic foundations to justify the environmentalist program. First, a comparison to other kinds of aesthetic value shows that the aesthetic value of nature can provide weak reasons foraction atbest. Second, not everything environmentalists want to protect has positive aesthetic qualities. Attempts have been made to get around this problem by developing a reformist attitude towards natural aesthetics. I argue that these approaches fail. Third, development can be as aesthetically positive as nature. If it is simply beauty we are looking for, why can't the beauty of a wellconstructed dam or a magnificent skyscraper suffice?
44. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Sylvanus Ifeanyi Nnoruka Judgement in African Thought
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Critical thinking plays a role in African judgement. Here, factors that influence judgement are: culture, communalism, wisdom of elders, revelation from the gods, and observation. Factors that obstruct judgement include: colonialism, modernization, and new religions. However, thanks to Kant's critical philosophy, only objectively valid knowledge is actually knowledge in African traditional thought.
45. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ronald Sandler Culture and the Specification of Environmental Virtue
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One concern about a virtue ethics approach to environmental ethics is that virtue ethics lack the theoretical resources to provide a specification of environmental virtue that does not pander to obtaining cultural practices and conceptions of the human-nature relationship. In this paper I argue that this concern is unfounded.
46. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
David DeMoss Connectionist Agency
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Any mind-brain theory eventually will have to deal with agency. I do not claim that no other theory could do this successfully. I do claim that connectionism is able to handle some key features of agency. First, I will offer a brief account of connectionism and the advantages of using it to account for human agency, comparing and contrasting connectionism with two other mind-brain accounts in cognitive science, symbolicism and dynamicism. Then, since a connectionist account of agency depends on a unique approach to inner representations, I discuss the connectionist account of representation and the implications this has for our appeal to reasons in explanations of human action. I conclude that, given a connectionist brain account, reasons cannot be causes.
47. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Steven Schroeder Notes Toward a Philosophy of Nonviolence: A City In Which Violence Is Not Necessary
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This paper takes Gandhi's satyagraha, which he defined as "holding on to truth" (associating it simultaneously with knowing and doing) as a basis for a political philosophy of nonviolence that draws on voices familiar from twentieth century nonviolent struggles as well as sociobiology, literary criticism, and feminist approaches to sacrifice.
48. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Kory Spencer Sorrell Authority, Epistemic Privileging, and Democratic Deliberation
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This essay focuses on the role relationships of authority play in the communal production of knowledge. The author draws on recent developments in feminist epistemology and the pragmatism of John Dewey to show that not only is authority representation ineluctable, but is desirable if held properly accountable.
49. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Alfred I. Tauber The Philosopher as Prophet: The Case of Emerson and Thoreau
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Emerson articulated his metaphysics of selfhood within a theistic framework; Thoreau reconfigured his ideas as a mystical pantheism. In this latter form, Transcendentalism offered twentieth century Americans a new religious sensibility based on an intimacy with nature, which became a spiritual and aesthetic resource for personal fulfillment.
50. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Cynthia Townley Trust and the Curse of Cassandra (An Exploration of the Value of Trust)
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Epistemological interest in trust concentrates mainly on whether and how it is a proper resource for responsible knowers. However, trust is important and valuable to epistemic agents for reasons that do not depend on its being knowledge-conducive, or knowledge enhancing. Being trusted is essential for full participation in an epistemic community. The story of Cassandra illustrates these dimensions of trust's value.