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41. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Bill Uzgalis Paidea and Identity: Meditations on Hobbes and Locke
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Thomas Hobbes, like Francis Bacon before him, disliked Aristotle and scholasticism. They were both quite familiar with the objects of their dislike, having encountered Aristotle and scholasticism first hand at Oxford University. Bacon later described his tutors as "men of sharp wits, shut up in their cells of a few authors, chiefly Aristotle, their Dictator." Bacon clearly saw the extent of new possibilities in thought. He held that Europeans of his time needed to sail beyond the Pillars of Hercules (the limits of ancient learning) into an ocean of new learning. Hobbes, for similar reasons described the universities as places for the production of insignificant speech. Locke also echoed this rejection of scholasticism and contempt for the universities. The purpose of this paper is to talk about this rejection and the ways in which the continuing revolt against university education by Hobbes and Locke has contributed to a new view of the self.
42. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Johannes J. Venter Reality as History: The Historic Turn in Western Thought
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Most philosophers have noted the linguistic turn at the end of the nineteenth century. Few, if any, have noted the historical turn in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Living in a time of anxiety in which the universe and life present problems to be solved, the problem for this paper can be stated as: Why was history so imprtant until recently, and is narrative so important now? I examine the advent of irrationalism in order to provide some explanation for the substitution of story for history. Some find the origins of modern humanism in Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's contention that human beings have been given the wonderfully unique ability to choose for themselves. But Pico still limited the options for humankind to provisions of the traditional hierarchical ontology of the Middle Ages. Thus, for him, the journey of humankind to itself was not a historical one, but rather the choice between a vertical descent into vegetative or brute state of being, or a mystical ascent along the hierarchy to the angelic or even divine level. But Modern thought relinquished this hierarchy in favour of a human centred teleology, framing the ontology in between nature (individuality, non-rationality) as the origin and culture (reason, the social) as its outcome. Thus the ontology became historicised from Defoe, Lessing, Rousseau, through Kant down to Marx. In irrationalism this became a mythical movement remaining within the non-rational, as in Nietzsche, and Mussolini, and finally story, as in Virginia Woolff, and films such as Dead Poets Society and A River Runs Through It, or New Age neo-romanticism.
43. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Wing-Chun Wong A Kantian Interpretation of Demonstrative Reference
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According to Kant, we refer to what is out there in the world by performing a demonstrative act, like pointing at an object with a finger. A Kantian mode of demonstrative reference is characterized by the existence of a real, 2-placed affective relation between an intuiting subject and the referent. Parsons suggests that Kantian intuition is both singular and immediate, and immediacy demands an object of intuition to be present, a condition clearly satisfied by objects within our immediate perceptual field. But since we do not have an immediate relation with remote objects, the scope of our demonstrative reference is severely restricted by intuitional immediacy. I wish to develop a global Kantian intuition in order to extend the scope of demonstrative reference. Kant's ontology of space entails that the global representability of space be given to an intuiting subject as a form of intuition. According to Melnick, Kantian intuition is a kinematic operation which involves directing attention and moving about. To make contact with the world, the subject must move away from its locale: although a spatially remote object (W) is not immediately present, we can shift our location by taking a path such that W will become so. Once we are close enough to be affected by W, we will be able to point at W and say "This." Thus, the intuitive scope of demonstrative reference is globalized as we shift our location.
44. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
L. Hughes Cox Aristotle’s Ordinary versus Kant’s Revisionist De nition of Virtue as Habit
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In what follows I examine the following question: does it make a difference in moral psychology whether one adopts Aristotle's ordinary or Kant's revisionist definition of virtue as habit? Points of commensurability and critical comparison are provided by Kant's attempt to refute Aristotle's definition of virtue as a mean and by the moral problems of ignorance (I don't know what I ought to do) and weakness (I don't do what I know I ought to do). These two problems are essential topics for moral psychology. I show two things. First, Kant's definition is revisionist because he excludes from moral habit-formation what Aristotle includes, that is, (i) practice in prudential calculation of a mean, and (ii) habit-formation by repetition. This follows from Kant's insistence that an act is virtuous only if the moral agent is willing freely and universally. Secondly, Aristotle's virtues modify behavior directly, whereas Kant's virtues modify behavior indirectly by creating moral feeling which, in turn, represses the temptations of the natural inclination. I suggest, thirdly, that as one approximates Kant's ideal of perfect virtue, entailed by the broad duties of beneficence and self-perfection, the difference in kind invented by Kant between virtue and prudence, as a morally neutral rational skill, erodes and becomes a difference in degree. I conclude that Aristotle's ordinary definition of virtue is better able to modify human behavior and solve these two moral problems.
45. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Michael Beaty Paideia: Moral Education in the University?
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Does the title of the World Congress of Philosophy, Paideia: Philosophy Educating Humanity, reflect hubris, irony or a pragmatic optimism? How is it possible for philosophy to educate the human community in the twenty-first century? More specifically, at a time when few people besides academic philosophers read philosophy, in what sense can philosophy educate humanity? In this essay I examine one possible way philosophy can educate humanity advanced by Derek Bok, former president of Harvard University. In a variety of public lectures, published essays and books Bok insists that America's leading colleges and universities ought to recommit themselves to moral education as one of their central tasks. I argue that recommitment to this task on the part of these elite universities is far more difficult than Bok admits. Indeed, I contend that as long as America's elite educational institutions retain the intellectual and structural commitments that displaced paideia, Bok's vision for moral education has little chance of success.
46. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
David Conway Nietzsche’s Revaluation of Schopenhauer as Educator
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On the basis of his metaphysics, Schopenhauer was led to advocate quietism and resignation as attitudes toward life. In the course of his career, Nietzsche reversed his estimation of Schopenhauer from initial agreement to final excoriation. In what follows, I examine and assess the grounds on which Nietzsche revised his opinion of Schopenhauer as educator of humanity. I argue that three fundamental issues divide Nietzsche and Schopenhauer. The first concerns the eliminability of human suffering. The second regards the value of sympathy to those who feel rather than are recipients of this sentiment. The third is the value of cultivating indifference to the suffering of others. Schopenhauer considers suffering as inextricably bound up with human existence, whereas Nietzsche views suffering as a sign of weakness that is ultimately eliminable from human existence. Schopenhauer assumed that sympathy and compassion have a benign effect upon those who experience these emotions; Nietzsche maintains they have the opposite effect. Contra Nietzsche, Schopenhauer deplores the cultivation of indifference towards the suffering of others. I defend Schopenhauer against Nietzsche on all three issues, though I argue that Schopenhauer exaggerates the ubiquity of human suffering and hence the need and desirability of the cultivation of self-denial.
47. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Juha Räikkä Regret and Obligation
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In Albert Camus' 1950 play Just Assassins, terrorists are at work in nineteenth-century Russia. They kill people, and they all believe that there is a superior moral reason for doing so. But they also know that killing is wrong. In their own view, they are innocent criminals; innocent, because their action is justified, but criminals, because they kill. So tacitly they conclude that they deserve punishment that will remove the regret from their shoulders. Their execution, by the same despotic authorities they are attacking, completes their actions: regret, caused by justified killing, gets its counterpart. Regret is an interesting mental phenomenon. Some people say that feeling regret is irrational, or even that it is immoral. But surely the usual opinion is that in some situations regret is an appropriate way to react. An interesting question is what it means to say that sometimes it is 'appropriate' to feel regret. Do we have a moral obligation to feel regret sometimes? How could one have an obligation to feel anything, since, at least seemingly, feelings are not voluntary acts. If we do have a moral obligation to feel regret in some cases, does it follow that all good people are emotionally "hot," while "cool" persons, who are not able to feel deep regret, are bad?
48. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
William A. Rottschaefer Moral Learning and Moral Realism: How Empirical Psychology Illuminates Issues in Moral Ontology
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Although scientific naturalistic philosophers have been concerned with the role of scientific psychology in illuminating problems in moral psychology, they have paid less attention to the contributions that it might make to issues of moral ontology. In this paper, I illustrate how findings in moral developmental psychology illuminate and advance the discussion of a long-standing issue in moral ontology, that of moral realism. To do this, I examine Gilbert Harman and Nicholas Sturgeon's discussion of that issue. I contend that their explorations leave the issue unresolved. To break the stalemate, I appeal to empirical psychological findings about moral internalization-the process by which children acquire the capacity to act in terms of moral norms. I contend that these findings illuminate the issue, suggest a way to advance it, and tend to support a moral realist position.
49. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Sergi Avaliani Philosophy of the Pseudoabsolute
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Since human knowledge is relative, human beings consciously (or often unconsciously) dismiss the relative by creating the absolute. The absolute thus created is the psuedoabsolute which, by virtue of its human origins, is relative. However, it functions in both the practical and theoretical life of homo sapien as a genuine absolute. Hence, the psuedoabsolute is relatively absolutized by the human person. The psuedoabsolute is a dialectical unity of the absolute and relative and, as a "third reality," plays a great role in the spiritual life of humankind.
50. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
John M. Berry The Reliability of Heidegger’s Reading of Plato’s Gigantomachia
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At issue is the reliability of Heidegger’s contention that Greek thinking, especially Plato’s, was constricted by an unthought "pre-ontology." "The meaning of being" supposedly guiding and controlling Greek ontology is "Being = presence." This made "the question of the meaning of ousia itself" inaccessible to the Greeks. Heidegger’s Plato’s Sophist is his most extensive treatment of a single dialogue. To test his own reliability, he proposes "to demonstrate, by the success of an actual interpretation of [the Gigantomachia], that this sense of Being [as presence] in fact guided [Plato’s] ontological questioning . . .". I will show Heidegger’s strategy in connecting what he takes to be Plato’s naive pre-ontology — Being = Presence — to the ontology of the Gigantomachia — Being = Power. I will show that Heidegger blatantly misreads the text to make the connection: he completely misses the distinction between bodies and bodiless things. The text makes sense, I will show, if and only if its explicit ontology — Being = Power — is its implicit pre-ontology. Plato wrote his text not to discuss, but to exemplify, Heidegger’s ontology-preontology distinction. He wrote the Gigantomachia for Heidegger, but Heidegger missed it.
51. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Andrzej Chmielecki A Vindication of Ontology
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I argue that ontology, when distinguished from metaphysics and taken to mean the most general theory of reality, is a genuinely cognitive enterprise. Thus it follows that ontology, and not epistemology, lays the foundation for all philosophical thought. The main task of ontology is to elaborate a conceptual framework that can deal with all domains of being (material and spiritual, real as well as ideal) and then solve problems appearing at the point of contact between different domains of being.
52. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Louise D. Derksen Anne Conway’s Critique of Cartesian Dualism
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I describe and analyze Anne Conway’s critique of Cartesian dualism. After a brief biographical introduction to Conway, I sketch some of the influences on her philosophy. I then describe her non-Cartesian view of substance. According to Conway, there is only one substance in created reality. This substance contains both matter and spirit. A purely material or spiritual substance is, she argues, an impossibility. Next, I discuss several of Conway’s arguments against Cartesian dualism. Firstly, dualism is inconsistent because dualists, while denying that concepts such as divisibility and extension are applicable to spiritual substance, nevertheless use such terms when describing the soul or spirit. They assume that soul or spirit is something particular which can be located somewhere. Secondly, she argues that dualism results in mechanism because it makes too sharp a distinction between body and soul, thus regarding the body as a mechanical machine and the soul as something which is not integrally related to the body. Thirdly, dualism cannot account for the interaction between mind and body. The two substances of which a dualist speaks are defined on the basis of the exclusion of characteristics. But the two things which have nothing in common cannot influence each other causally.
53. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Daisuke Kachi The Ontology of Many-Worlds: Modality and Time
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There are two types of theories regarding many worlds: one is modal, while the other is temporal. The former regards reality as consisting of many possible worlds, while the latter holds that reality consists of many momentary worlds, which are usually called moments. I compare these two theories, paying close attention to the concept of transworld identity and compare trans-possible world identity with trans-momentary world identity (or transmoment identity). I characterize time from the point of many-worlds view, believing this to be one of the best ways of grasping the reality of time. First, I show that there is reason to adopt the many-worlds view because transworld identity is meaningful for both of them, while it is not for space. Second, I argue that transmoment identity is different from transpossible world identity concerning reality. The former is a realistic relation, while the latter is not. Thus, I find that the reality of time is in the relation of transmoment identity. Such a view, I contend, has merit on the basis that it recognizes the reality of time in a sense that is not true of space.
54. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
William L. Reese The Structure of Possibility
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I call attention to the following theses concerning possibility. 1) Anything that has become actual must have been possible in the period of time immediately preceding its actualization. 2) The logically possible is a conception, and conceptions exist within the mind. 3) The possible is not a mere name. 4) The possible is not a mental entity and that alone. 5) Every possibility, whether mental entity or not must be, or image, an ontological entity, real although not (yet) actual. 6) For all we know logical possibility is the sufficient condition of ontological possibility. 7) Philosophers who lack the category of ontological possibility nonetheless refer to it as an implicit, if hidden, feature of their systems. 8) In some part of the period of time preceding its actualization, an ontological possibility becomes a nascent actuality, and external consistency a necessary condition for nascency. 9) The rise or fall of energy level through directed energy vectors, on human and nonhuman levels, is the third condition for the actualizing of possibilities, or for their failure to actualize.
55. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Michael Rahnfeld The Structure of Wholeness
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Using a part-whole-calculus the vague concept of wholeness is rendered precisely as the structure of an atomic boolean lattice. The so-defined prototypical structure of wholeness has the status of a category, since every element of our experience may be considered as an intended application of it. This will be illustrated using examples from different ontological spheres. The hypothetical and therefore fallible character of the structure is shown in its inadequacy in grasping quantum logical facts. This demands a differentiation of wholeness. The defined structure may be seen as circular in two respects: On the one hand it is the precondition for the understanding of its own syntactic and semantic basics, on the other hand there exists a mutual defineability between its atoms, which leads us to the thesis that wholeness cannot be defined in a non-circular manner.
56. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Nathan M. Solodukho Starting Philosophic Problem
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The starting philosophic problem is related to the categories ‘being’ and ‘nonbeing.’ This is the problem of the relationship between being and nonbeing. The cardinal question of philosophy is: ‘What can be considered to be primary, being or nonbeing?’ In the history of philosophy, it is possible to speak about two basic philosophic paradigms: philosophy of being and philosophy of nonbeing. This paper is an elaboration of the ‘philosophy of nonbeing.’
57. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Yiwei Zhang Why the Tractarian Objects Cannot Be Properties and Relations
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One of the most frequently discussed notions in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus is the notion of simple object. However, among the literature on Tractarian objects, recent or classic, none has treated configurations of objects as a major and non-trivial issue. In this paper, I show that a detailed study of configurations of objects will yield a series of interesting and important results: it leads to a new understanding of the picture theory, helps us calculate the maximum numbers of internal and external properties of objects, and enables us to reinterpret and reach a solution to the notorious debate on whether properties and relations should be included as Tractarian objects.
58. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 13
Sanjyot D. Pai Vernekar Aurobindonian Ontology: Salient Peculiarities
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Aurobindo envisages a cosmic salvation via an endlessly openended, eternally optimistic, and forward-looking ontology. The purpose of humankind is to go beyond its present form of ordinary (mental) consciousness until it attains the Supermind. Aurobindo says this can be done by a technique he calls Integral Yoga that enables humankind to purposefully cooperate with the cosmic evolutionary urge and thereby rise from the present mental stage to the supramental stage. Another peculiarity of Aurobindo’s ontology is his concept of Brahman. It negates illusionism and gives his metaphysical scheme a religious dimension. There is no room in his system for any adversary, anti-Divine or Satan as an independent entity. Thus, evil and suffering also stand accounted for. Peculiarities of this order make him the very first and, so far, the only ontologist claiming a preordained divination of the universe.
59. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
Fahmina Ahmed Morality of Population Control of Bangladesh
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The rapid rate of population growth in the last half of the present century causes anxiety about the future of humanity because the amount of resources needed to satisfy basic necessities is extremely large. Correspondingly, the satisfaction of basic needs cannot be the sole criterion of the good life. Human beings have a right to live a life composed of things that make life go best. The case of Bangladesh shows that the majority of people live a life barely worth living, a life morally undesirable. One major reason is the rapid increase in population. Bangladesh covers an area slightly less than that of the state of Illinois, but has a population that is roughly half of the total population of the United States. The quality of life is inexorably linked to population growth. Further, human welfare and the quality of life are closely linked to the availability of resources. Rapid increases in population growth reduces resource availability and often degrades the environment. At some point, regulation is needed to limit population growth in Bangladesh in order to maximize opportunities for living worthwhile lives both by present as well as future generations. I develop a moral viewpoint that justifies population control in Bangladesh.
60. The Paideia Archive: Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 14
William W. Clohesy Untimely Thoughts on the Public Market
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The marketplace as an institution enjoys widespread popularity today. Many economists hold that most of society’s problems could be best solved by applying the market mechanism to them. Government, by contrast, is widely considered to be a problem rather than a solution. Some would like to see the government restructured along market lines so that policies would follow voter choice, as products follow that of consumers. Some, myself included, believe that a world in which all relationships are rendered matters of private choice would lack the "public happiness" that comes from participation in public discourse and concerted action. In this paper I address what it would mean for the market to be truly public. A market that is truly public will discourage speculative investment so that managers of various firms can concentrate on the long term good of creating a social institution through which the concerted efforts of various stakeholders are coordinated. In this way, stakeholders can enrich the world through their work.