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41. 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.
42. 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.
43. 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.
44. 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.
45. 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.
46. 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.
47. 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.
48. 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.
49. 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.
50. 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.