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41. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
A. T. Nuyen The World Wide Web and the Web of Life: Some Critical Reflections on the Internet
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Heidegger is well known for his views on technology. What would he have to say about the crowning glory of digital technology, the Internet? This paper argues that he would not reject the new technology, which would be just as inauthentic as being delivered over to it. Instead, Heidegger would urge us to reflect critically on it to see how we could develop a free relationship to it. He would say that in order to have a free relationship to it, we need to avoid letting it serve to make us forget our Being as Being-in-the-world. An inauthentic relationship with the Internet occurs when we take to it because of the anonymity it affords, or because we mistake the wealth of information it makes available for real knowledge. For all that, Heidegger regards technology as having a “saving power,” or the potential to reveal Being. However, I argue that to be saved by technology’s saving power, we need to develop, on the one hand, what Foucault calls the “arts of existence,” and on the other what Habermas calls “human interests,” interests that will help realize the potential of the Internet.
42. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 1
John Kleinig The Blue Wall of Silence: An Ethical Analysis
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The “blue wall of silence” -- the rule that police officers will not testify against each other -- has its roots in an important associational virtue, loyalty, which, in the context of friendship and familial relations, is of central importance. This article seeks to distinguish the worthy roots of the “blue wall” from its frequent corruption in the covering up of serious criminality, and attempts to offer criteria for determining when to testify and when to respond in other ways to the flaws of fellow officers.
43. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David Benatar To Be or Not to Have Been?: Defective Counterfactual Reasoning About One’s Own Existence
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Most people think that their coming into existence benefited them. This paper reports on and analyses a study that shows that most people, when making such a judgement, do not really consider the counterfactual case -- the scenario in which they never come into existence. Because proper consideration is not given to both options, the ranking of one over the other is not an appropriately informed judgement. The preference for having come into existence is thus a profoundly unreliable indicator of whether it really is better to be than not to have been. The practical value of knowing this will be outlined.
44. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Robert Scott Stewart Hacking the Blues: The Construction of the Depressed Adolescent
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This paper employs Ian Hacking’s notion of interactive kinds to examine the recent construction of the kind, “depressed adolescent.” I examine first how adolescents themselves were constructed. I then trace how, in North America, we have moved in the past thirty-odd years from a situation of virtually no adolescent depression to the current situation where it is estimated that approximately one in four adolescents is depressed. I offer some reasons why we should be uncomfortable both with the exponential increases in this kind and with the way in which depressed adolescents are being treated at present. In conclusion, I tentatively suggest some ways of proceeding in the future.
45. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Charles Zola Geriatric Filial Piety
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Today many adult children find themselves in the position of caring for elderly parents and attending to the other demands of life. Because of the unique balance of power in the adult child/elderly parent relationship as well as other negative influences, many adult children find caring for parents a frustrating task. This article argues a solution to this dilemma can be found in a renewed appreciation of filial piety as it specifically relates to caring for elderly parents. Using the moral insights of Aristotle and Aquinas, this paper develops a contemporary theoretical framework for geriatric filial piety that incorporates the traditional virtues of gratitude, respect, honor and obedience. It also illustrates their practical application so that adult children can find caring for their elderly parents a meaningful activity.
46. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Brian T. Trainor Social Work, Social Policy, and Truth: Foucault and Bosanquet
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In this article, I wish to suggest that the relationship of social work and social policy to “Truth” is of crucial importance for sound professional practice, and I attempt to substantiate this claim by analyzing and highlighting the very harmful consequences of ignoring, dismissing or distorting this relationship. I will show that these very definite and deleterious consequences inevitably arise as soon as Foucauldian postmodernists attempt to cut the link between professional practice in social work and social policy, and the ongoing quest for the “Truth” of our humanity. I then suggest that if Foucault, taken as representative of contemporary postmodernism, is the “problem,” then the solution lies in the work of a theorist such as Bosanquet, taken as representative of traditional social philosophy and political theory. I conclude with an investigation into the role of what I call “ethico-political consciousness” in both the civic and professional pursuit of Truth in social life.
47. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Elias Baumgarten Curiosity as a Moral Virtue
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I argue that curiosity about the world deserves attention as a moral virtue, even apart from the role it may play in (the more generally praised) love of wisdom. First, close relationships and caring are reasonably considered part of a well-lived life, and curiosity is important for caring both about people and about things in the world. Second, curiosity helps us to define an appropriate way for persons to be affected by certain situations. Perhaps most important, curiosity can help one to live well because it addresses the most fundamental existential task humans face, the need to see their lives as meaningful. I argue that curiosity is a distinctive virtue but suggest that related virtues (e.g., receptivity, reverence) may contribute to different kinds of worthy engagement with the world.
48. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
George Schedler Are Confederate Monuments Racist?
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I offer a way of classifying Confederate monuments and two ways of extracting meaning from these monuments. A few of them are racist on one of the two interpretations. Most of them, in the final analysis, implicitly acknowledge racial equality by extolling in African Americans the same virtues to which southern whites themselves aspired. Toppling those which seem racist entails serious difficulties, constitutional and philosophical. Additional interpretive material about the controversial ones is the more appropriate response.
49. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David E. W. Fenner Virtues and Vices in Film Criticism
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Too often we relegate criticism of films to merely a rational or cognitive treatment of possible interpretations or meanings of the film under review. This is short sighted. After exploring the nature of the critical film review, this paper examines some of the potential vices that are found in film criticism today (such as “cerebralization,” “narrative fixation,” and “anticipatory blindness”), and highlights some of the virtues of a good film critic (such as “context sensitivity,” “aesthetic experiencing,” and “value maximization”).
50. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Valerie E. Broin Standing in the Way of Truth: Understanding Narratives of Domestic Violence
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Telling the truth about experiences of sexualized trauma is viewed as a necessary element of healing. Yet, the notion of truth as representational accuracy is seriously limited, and striving to achieve such a truth may actually hinder the healing process. This article examines the complexity of truth telling, reconceptualizing it as an ongoing event of expression that opens up a space for intimacy in which meanings can emerge that allow a survivor to navigate her way in the world.
51. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Noreen C. Facione, Peter A. Facione Analyzing Explanations for Seemingly Irrational Choices: Linking Argument Analysis and Cognitive Science
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People make significant decisions in contexts of risk and uncertainty. Some of these decisions seem wise under the circumstances, and others seem like irrational choices. In both cases, people offer reasons as clarifications and explanations of these choices to others and to themselves. Argument analysis, a technique well known in philosophy and more generally in the humanities, can explicate the strands of assumptions, intermediate conclusions, data, warrants, and claims that the person articulates. But alone, argument analysis often falls short of revealing why the person’s decision makes sense to that person. Thefindings of empirical research into the influences of cognitive heuristics, the mental shortcuts we all use in decision making and problem solving, adds focus to the analysis of these choices. This paper links these two powerful analytic strategies, and provides a much fuller, more fruitful picture of explanations for seemingly irrational choices. Using an example explanation for deciding not to quit smoking, the paper makes both its methodological argument and its implicit argument for the significance of extending this analytical strategy to applied contexts. The implications of extending this analysis of everyday argument to management, health care, and education could be profound.
52. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
John Forge Corporate Responsibility Revisited
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The fact that corporate responsibility supervenes on human action implies that there are two possible kinds of account of the former, namely reductive accounts in which the responsibility of the corporation devolves down without remainder to its officers, and those in which it does not. Two versions of the latter are discussed here. The first, due to Peter French, tries to satisfy the supervenience requirement by defining corporate action in terms of human action. It is argued that the corresponding view of intention, intentions as plans, does not serve to show how the defined notion of corporate action also brings with it attributions of responsibility. An alternative account, taking its point of departure from Feinberg’s ideas of vicarious and collective responsibility, is therefore proposed. It is argued that when officers of a corporation substitute the “decision-making mechanism” of the corporation for their own, then responsibility, but not action, can transfer to the corporation. Furthermore, it is argued that this nonreductivist account can be defended against the reductivist charge that attributions of moral responsibility to corporations is a category mistake.
53. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
John Mizzoni Against Rolston’s Defense of Eating Animals: Reckoning with the Nutritional Factor in the Argument for Vegetarianism
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In his critique of a common argument in favor of vegetarianism, Holmes Rolston III does not sufficiently address the nutritional factor. The nutritional factor is the important fact that the eating of animals is not nutritionally required to sustain human life. Also, although Rolston’s criterion for distinguishing when to model human conduct on animal conduct is defensible, he applies it inconsistently. One reason for this inconsistency is that Rolston misplaces the line he attempts to draw between culture and nature. Although he himself makes a distinction between culture and nature Rolston fails to recognize that the nutritional “need” to eat meat is a cultural creation, not a natural event. For these reasons, Rolston’s defense of eating animals as a purported way of respected ecology is severely impaired.
54. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Lisa H. Newton A Passport for Doing Good: A Framework for Business Ethics in an International Context
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Does “business ethics,” as we have developed it in the United States, apply without change when business goes abroad? We argue that we cannot assume, in foreign nations (especially in the developing world), that the assumptions of U.S. business practice and business ethics hold without modification. An attempt to find a universally applicable ethic for global business results in the tentative formulation of “ten commandments” to guide the practice of business in the nations of the world.
55. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
David Gilboa Premarital Sex and Exploitation in a Liberal Society
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Unimpressed by the exhortations of previous generations, our modern society accepts premarital sex. Advisably? In an attempt to answer this question, I shall make three related points, drawing on findings from evolutionary psychology and bargaining theory. First, premarital sex is potentially exploitative. Second, to allow premarital sex is not merely to extend a certain freedom, but indirectly to compel women to practice premarital sex, hence effectively to foster their exploitation. Third, some of the measures taken to combat the sexual exploitation of single women can make matters worse, as the implementation of these measures tends to increase rather than decrease the level of the exploitation.
56. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Jason Borenstein Authenticating Expertise: Philosophical and Legal Issues
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Our courts are regularly confronted with the claims of expert witnesses. Since experts are permitted to present testimony in the courtroom, we have to assume that judges and juries understand what it means to have expertise and can consistently recognize someone who has it. Yet these assumptions need to be examined, for the legal system probably underestimates the difficulty of identifying expertise. In this paper, several philosophical issues pertaining to expertise will be discussed, including what expertise is, why we rely on experts, what measures can be taken to verify expertise, and how we determine whether a particular individual is an expert.
57. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Alan S. Rosenbaum Some Philosophical and Legal Reflections on Remembering the Holocaust
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In my paper I propose to explore a defensible philosophical basis for affirming the significant uniqueness of the Holocaust in relation to other similar instances of genocide and, accordingly, to contribute to efforts to better secure its place in history for future generations, especially in terms of its impact on aspects of institutionalized remembrance in law and morality. The twentieth century has been a century of democide (a state’s killing of its own people) and genocide (a state’s murder of its own minorities in the general population): it ought to be or to promote a century of indelible remembrance. Perhaps the twenty-first century will be one not only of further institutionalized forms of remembrance to dissuade future genocidists, but also of the actualization of more effective internal mechanisms for preventing genocidal policies and practices. Short of prevention, however, mechanisms ought to be in place for either intervening in or stopping genocidal atrocities once they begin, and of apprehending, prosecuting, and punishing the perpetrators. Certainly the conceptual framework exists in international law and in popular moral discourse for identifying genocidal possibilities or attempts at genocide. Only a persistent global will needs to be present to make these mechanisms a reality.
58. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Judith Chelius Stark The Arrest in Kafka and Solzhenitsyn
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The twentieth century was unprecedented in the scope and enormity of the terrible deeds that human beings perpetrated against their fellows. Oftentimes, the unjust detention, imprisonment, tortures, and executions were set in motion by the event of the arrest. This paper examines the phenomenon of the arrest as it is depicted in two of the century’s literary giants -- Franz Kafka and Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Uncanny correspondences can be detected particularly between Kafka’s novel The Trial and Solzhenitsyn’s memoir The Gulag Archipelago. Moreover, through Kafka’s powerful literary imagination, he created works containing many features that were later to stand at the heart of the terror of totalitarian regimes. This paper analyzes and explores the arrest and, as a result, a philosophical typology of the arrest emerges. Due to the power and scope of Kafka’s genius, his work both prefigures and expresses many of the essential characteristics of totalitarian regimes that come to be enacted in flesh and blood later in the century. In The Trial, the arrest may be seen as an eerie and surreal foreshadowing of the millions of morally outrageous and legally spurious arrests that were to come in the twentieth century.
59. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
Brian J. Huschle Cyber Disobedience: When is Hacktivism Civil Disobedience?
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In this paper I focus on the role that cyberspace should play in social or political protest, and, in particular, in acts of civil disobedience. I have two main purposes in doing so. First, I want to address the question, “When is hacktivism civil disobedience?” I answer the question by including a more complete and explicit analysis of civil disobedience, as it is affected by information technology, than is currently done in the literature on hacktivism. This allows a clearer answer to the question posed here than currently provided in the relevant literature. Second, I analyze James Moor’s claim that information technology transforms old processes, as this claim applies to the context of civil disobedience. As we will see, while information technology may exacerbate certain issues, little transformation seems required in this case.
60. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 1
E. R. Klein Whither Academic Freedom?
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Academic freedom has become the enemy of the individual professors working in colleges and universities across the United States. Despite its historical (and maybe even essential) roots in the First Amendment, contemporary case law has consistently shown that professors, unlike most members of society, have no rights to free speech on their respective campuses. (Ironically, this is especially true on our State campuses.) Outlined is the dramatic change in the history of the courts from recognizing “academic freedom” as a construct needed to protect professors from the status quo, to the abuse of “academic freedom” appropriated to protect the institution from “undesirable” professorial actions such as politically incorrect speech or research. Klein warns all those in the academy to become familiar with this pernicious 180-degree turn in the use of the “academic freedom” construct.