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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.
51. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Dmitry Ivanov Wittgensteinean Philosophy as Foundation of Moral Phenomenology
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To explain evaluation we need to take into account the perspective of an evaluator, we need to turn to phenomenological approach in moral theory. This is the approach proposed by John McDowell. According to him, we need to approach to the question ‘How to live right?’ via the concept of a virtuous person. To lendsupport to his views McDowell employs Wittgensteinean philosophy that could be a good basis for establishing moral phenomenology as a metaethical approach to moral phenomena. First of all, introducing the notion of language-game we can provide a metaethical explanation of moral terms referring to roles they play in certain language-games. From this point of view there is no difference between moral terms and other terms. But understanding a language-game not just as a model of a certain kind of behavior formed by external observer, but as a form of life we can capture moral phenomena form within. The language-game considered as the form of life allows us to discern certain phenomena as moral ones. That is why trying to answer the question about right livingfrom the virtuous person perspective we should be involved in a language game that carves moral phenomena from the brute stuff of the world and forms a certain kind of sensitivity in us to these properties. Wittgensteinean philosophy also allows us to answer the question: how can mere knowledge of situation make us behave? Following Wittgensteinean ideas, we can present moral knowledge as something uncodifiable, which is exhibited in our everyday life, in our way of living and ‘going on doing the same thing’. It is impossible to understand this knowledge from the external point of view. To see how this knowledge can motivate someone, we need to capture the way the person appreciates a particular situation.
52. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Fernanda Barbosa dos Santos Hermeneutics: The Reconstruction of Dogmatism
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The paper reflects on the true meant of the happiness, or, specifically, on the hermeneutic value for happiness in the Aristotelian vision, being identified it as an activity of the soul in accord with the virtue. For a person without knowledge the happiness is an obvious thing as the pleasure or the wealth, different of the conception given to the term for a wise who will establish for being the activity of the soul. In the integrations of the activities, the ends can move, however the last end will be the happiness, gotten for the virtuous man - imperative logical. In such a way, to live happy is to make action/activities and, this is a conquest throughout the time, depending on the maturity for each person. A virtuous activity of the soul is required, being the too much goods instruments for itsaccomplishment. The “telos” of all the thought if assume as rational in the present time. But as to understand ahead of a process of reconstruction of the ethical values in a reality with so great diversity of certainties concerning what it is happiness? The subject is extremely involving, here it is that it searchs through new rules of the human behavior to establish a parameter on the life form, on what is to be happy.
53. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Yi Guo Human Nature, Mind and Virtue
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The key issue of traditional theories of human nature in China is De or virtue, Yu or desire and their correlation. It leads to two developing currents: one is the old tradition since Xia, Shang and Zhou, the Three Dynasties which take desire as nature, another is the new tradition later Confucius initiated which take virtue as nature. So the understanding of human nature in early China experienced a process from desire to virtue, or from the instinct of human to the essence of human. Prior to Confucius, nature is desire and instinct. In that time, the theories of human nature has two themes, namely to manage nature by virtue and to explain nature by Qi. Since Lao Zi, virtue was taken as the inner essence of human. Later Confucius further to take virtue as nature directly, so completes the fundamental transformation of traditional theory of human nature. This is the source of the idea nature of reason and the origin of the theory nature is good. Zisi advocated “what Heaven has conferred is called the nature” to promote the new tradition, and named desire as “the inner”. The new excavated bamboo book Xing Zi Ming Chu not only developed the idea of “the inner” of Zisi, but also further to restore desire as nature, and constructed a unique system of outer moral apriorism for it. Shortly afterward, Mencius turns this trend and advocates none but the four beginnings is nature, desire only is impartment, therefore he develops the new tradition to extremes. Even though, before the period between Tang and Song dynasties, the mainstream of the theory of human nature in China was the old tradition, and that the new tradition merely like a flash in the pan. In fact, the dualism of human nature in Song and Ming dynasties carried on the old tradition, and at the same time, succeeded the new tradition, and put them into a unified thought system.
54. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Debashis Guha Things That Should Be Done In Doing Ethics Today
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Through the ages we have been fond of monolithic ethics, which is either synthetic or analytic; the former covers ethical interests such as the normative, descriptive, empirical, and the practical and professional, whereas the latter covers the metaethical interests covering those of the analysis of language, and the interface of the ethics, logic and epistemology, particularly the issues of proving, justification and the epistemic claims about moral value. Monolithic ethics has its own problems, which troubles us today more than it did before, as it is difficult to see why both these interests cannot be assimilated though each of them well protected for their specific tasks. Rethinking in ethics today leads us to break away from the monolithic ethics – the paper argues why this should be the case.
55. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Krivykh Elena Moral Values: The Problem of Foundation in Evolutionary Ethics
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This article describes different positions of very specific human behavior features in Evolutionary Ethics and their correspondence with the Modern scientific paradigm.
56. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Eugen Schweitzer Atlantis: Theory of Science and Ethics
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It is proverbial that the European tradition of philosophy consists of a set of footnotes to Plato. However, one of his most informative works, the Atlantis story, had been totally neglected by the scientific community because for 2350 years it had simply not been understood. Plato wanted that only eligible persons shouldperceive his Atlantis story and therefore he codified it as an adventure tale. However, he placed a lot of ironical hints in his text. Anyhow, as irony isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, nobody could follow him. Because of respect for Plato’s credibility; the Atlantologists tried to solve the Atlantis riddle as phenomenon, whereas just a simple analytic disquisition supported by lateral thinking had been requested. This is a challenge to prompt science to render account after 2350 years of the previous omission of the Atlantis theme and to start a serious discussion about the here presented analytic approach by lateral thinking to Plato’s Atlantis irony, which turns out to be his humorous metaphysical legacy.
57. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Predrag Cicovacki Reverence for Life: A Moral Value or the Moral Value?
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Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) became well-known for his ethics of reverence for life. While Schweitzer’s life and his ethics have had an enormous appeal to wide audiences all over the world, philosophers have generally ignored his contribution. This may be a loss for philosophy, for, despite some internal problems and inconsistencies, Schweitzer’s ethics of reverence for life promises a viable alternative to utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics. The task of my paper is the following. Schweitzer argues that reverence for life is the basic ethical principle and the highest moral value. After briefly presenting Schweitzer’s view, I will consider two questions: 1. Can Schweitzer show that reverence for life is the highest moral value (principle)? 2. Is reverence for life a moral value in the firstplace? I will argue that, with some provision, Schweitzer’s position is tenable. In response to the second question, by comparing Schweitzer with Isaiah Berlin, I maintain that reverence for life is a moral value. In response to the first question, Schweitzer’s position must be modified. By comparing Schweitzer with Nicolai Hartmann, I make a case that reverence for life is the most basic and fundamental, but not the highest moral value.
58. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sebastian Schleidgen Sustainable Development and Bioethics – Ethical Thoughts on Decisions about Establishing Biobanks
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The so-called Brundtland-Report defines Sustainable Development as a conception of intra- and intergenerational justice, which is to be realized by a globally just distribution of possibilities for satisfying human basic needs as well as assuring such possibilities for future generations. Hence, any political and/or societal decision is addressed by the ethical demands of Sustainable Development insofar it affects possibilities for satisfying human basic needs. In particular, this concerns – contrary to the widespread opinion that Sustainable Development only has to deal with problems of environmental ethics – the legitimization of biomedical applications. After all, especially such decisions often face the problem of measuring and trading-off potential advantages and disadvantages regarding possibilities for satisfying human basic needs. Based on the example of decisions about establishing biobanks, my talk firstly will show that Sustainable Development actually demands much more from political and societal decisions than just being concerned about environmental ethics. Secondly, it will clarify these demands in detail. Thirdly, it will address the issues of how these demands can be implemented adequately. My talk therefore will show which conditions political and/or societal decision processes have to meet in order to comply with Sustainable Development.
59. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jeffrey Benjamin White Conscience: The A.C.T.With Model Of Moral Cognition
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This work introduces the ACTWith model of moral cognition. This is a model of conscience and conscientious agency, inspired by Socratic philosophy, neurology and artificial intelligence. The ACTWith model is a synthesis across these disciplines, integrating ancient and contemporary insights into the human condition, while distilling this synthesis into a practicable dynamic simplified via architectural paradigms imported from theories of computational models of human learning. It was developed in response to the need in these fields for a clear articulation of conscience. In the world at large, conscience is often referenced, yet hardly understood. This work fills this gap.
60. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Charles W. Wright Natural Selection and Moral Sentiment: Evolutionary Biology’s Challenge to Moral Philosophy
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Evolutionary biologists have suggested that human moral judgment is best understood as an emotionally mediated phenomenon. With few exceptions, philosophers have scorned these proposals. Recent research in moral psychology and social neuroscience indicates, though, that moral judgment is produced by the coordinated activity of multiple regions of the brain, and consists of both cognitive and affective processes. Evidence also suggests that different dimensions of moral judgment – the affective and cognitive processes, for instance – possess distinct evolutionary histories. Moral philosophers will need to reconsider longstanding debates – such as those between Humeans and anti-Humeans, and between motivation internalists and externalists – in light of this evidence. Otherwise we run the risk of disciplinary irrelevance.