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61. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Reginald Raymer Sounds of Silence
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In this article, I suggest that exclusive attention to questions of individual moral responsibility for the killing of Vietnamese civilians in raids on My Lai and Thanh Phong (March 16, 1968, and February 24.25, 1969, respectively), while important, may serve only to silence equally important ethical questions like: Are these cases genocide and mass murder? What does the response or lack thereof of the American government and public to these events tell us about our quest for justice? If we cannot ascertain a reliable account of the facts, does this relegate such actions to meaninglessness? What role does memory play in our representation of horror as well as our memorializing the past? Do we have to be both victims and executioners or can we, in Albert Camus.s words, become “neither victims nor executioners”? My point is that the relevance of this issue is less about returning to the past and assigning guilt and moral culpability and more about the pragmatic-ethical concern of addressing the conditions that make such actions possible.
62. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Joseph Betz Kerrey and Calley: Is There Really a Moral Difference?
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Lieutenant Bob Kerrey, later Governor and Senator Kerrey, revealed in the spring of 2001 that he was being accused by a former military subordinate that he had ordered a massacre during the Vietnamese War. Kerrey denied most parts of the charge. If guilty, however, he would be a war criminal of roughly the same kind that a court martial found Lieutenant Rusty Calley to be. I examine the available evidence and argue that a court martial would probably find Kerrey guilty and I compare him in many ways to Calley.
63. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Jan Narveson Kerrey and Calley: What Is the Moral Difference?
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In the Vietnam war, Lieutenant Calley, claiming to be following orders, ordered the killing of several hundred women, children, and elderly people in the village of My Lai. In 1969, Lieutenant (later Senator) Kerrey led a small group of SEALs in the dead of night on a dangerous military venture. In course, a dozen or so innocent villagers were either shot in crossfire or killed intentionally because there seemed a real chance that they would inform the enemy, endangering themselves and the mission. I argue that Calley was clearly not justified and that Kerrey, given the circumstances, may have been. More generally, I argue that all soldiers at all ranks must be expected to act decently, with as much regard to the distinction of civilian/combatant as circumstances permit. That one is following superiors’ orders is never sufficient, of itself, to justify what would otherwise be grossly evil acts.
64. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Tom Grassey When He Was a Young Man
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This article examines the events in Thanh Phong, Vietnam, on the night of 25.26 February 1969, when Lieutenant (junior grade) Bob Kerrey led a squad of U.S. Navy SEa-Air-Land (SEAL)s on a mission to capture a Viet Cong district chief. It studies the events at an outlying hooch the SEALs encountered as they approached the village, and what happened in Thanh Phong, examining several sources, most notably Gregory Vistica’s New York Times Magazine article and Kerrey.s recent memoir, When I Was a Young Man. The article explains the differing accounts at the hooch and in the village, and considers whether military necessity, fear for their own lives, or obedience to superior orders can justify what these accounts offer. It concludes that neither Gerhard Klann.s nor the combined conflicting versions offered as his “best memory” by Kerrey gives sufficient reason to justify the deaths of about two dozen Vietnamese civilians.
65. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Daniel A. Dombrowski Rawls and War
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The purpose of the present article is to explicate John Rawls’s views on war as they are scattered across several of his writings. Three claims are made: (1) Rawls is generally a just war theorist who usually argues against the “realist” view of war; (2) Under the influence of Michael Walzer, however, Rawls ends up making an illadvised concession to the realist view concerning conditions of “supreme emergency”; and (3), despite Rawls’s blend of just war theory/realism, the logic of his theory of justice and his political liberalism should push him in the opposite direction toward a blend of just war theory/pacifism.
66. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Yotam Lurie The Ontology of Sports Injuries: Professional Ethics of Sports Medicine
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Disclosing the ontology of sports injuries by looking closer at their meaning provides us with insight into the professional ethics of the sports medicine specialist. The aim of this article is twofold: to disclose the “the ontology of sports injuries,” and to use the disclosure as an insightful perspective for dwelling on the ethics of sports medicine. Because of the unique nature of sports, the standard ethical prescriptions usually associated with medical ethics are of little use for the sports medicine specialist in treating sport injuries. In spelling out the special ethical context of sports medicine, this paper suggests several distinctions. I propose several models, which provide different conceptions of what constitutes a sport injury: (1) The Medical Model; (2) The Normative Model; (3) The Liberal Model; (4) The Phenomenological Model. The implications of each of these models for sports medicine is assessed, and through them the concept of a sports injury is clarified in a way that can assist us in inferring what is to be done from an ethical point of view.
67. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Messay Kebede Generational Imbalance and Disruptive Change
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According to most scholars, what defines modernity is the prevalence of change and mobility in all aspects of life, as opposed to traditionality in which immobility of beliefs and statuses is said to be the dominant trait. One major implication of this definition is the conclusion that the occurrence of modernity involves generational conflicts on the grounds that older people are less open to innovation and change. This paradigm of modernity has led to the exclusion of elders from political life in Third World countries, especially in those countries that opted for a revolutionary course. In light of traditional views of old age and recent gerontological findings, this paper examines the validity of the assumption according to which younger leadership is best equipped to achieve modernity in developing countries. It finds out that both factual and theoretical considerations underline that integration as much as deviation defines positive change and that the failure of generational interaction results in detrimental outcomes.
68. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Ali Paya “Dialogue” In a “Real World”: Quixotic Pursuit or sine qua non?
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Can dialogue make real impact on the state of affairs in the real world, or is it a pastime of the polite societies or a lullaby useful for sending gullible grown-ups into “sleep”? In the present paper, following a two-tier analysis of the notion of dialogue, as “shared exploration towards greater understanding, connection, or possibility,” and as a product of our “collective intentionality,” I shall develop a bifurcated argument. Against the cynic pundits, who preach that realpolitik and not dialogue is the name of the game in our daily interactions with each other, I shall argue that in an increasingly pluralistic world, dialogue is a powerful and indispensable means for making desirable changes. Similarly, against the over-enthusiastic optimists who believe that dialogue provides us with a magical wand, I shall argue that dialogue is as good as we can make it: dialogue cannot work miracles in a vacuum of collective will. The upshot of my argument is that firstly, dialogue is an indicator of the rationality and maturity of the social actors: the more rational the social actors the more ubiquitous and effective the dialogue and vice versa. And secondly, although, dialogue itself may lead to frustration or even violence, it is the absence of dialogue that poses the greatest danger for the future of mankind.
69. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Peter Johnstone, Joe Frank Jones, III Noble Cause Police Corruption: Suggestions for Training
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This essay confronts police corruption historically and conceptually, isolating noble cause corruption as a neglected yet powerful motivator of corrupt police behavior. Noble cause corruption is defined in some detail and several specific suggestions are made regarding police training programs to address the issue.
70. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Candace Cummins Gauthier News Media Coverage of National Tragedies: Public Discourse As Public Grieving
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The coverage of national tragedies by the news media has come under increasing criticism. Yet, we continue to watch, listen, and read. One approach to resolving this conflict is through an understanding and recognition of the contribution the news media make to public discourse and public grieving.Themes from communication studies, political theory, and contemporary ethics are all employed to develop a new perspective on this type of news coverage. The perspective taken here is based on the ritual view of communication, according to which the purpose of communication is the maintenance of society and the representation of shared beliefs. The argument is made that the news media in these tragic situations have the responsibility of providing needed information, stimulating public discourse, bringing us together as a community of fellow-citizens, and telling stories that engage our emotions and lead us to re-evaluate our own values, attitudes, choices, and actions. Specific examples are provided from the September 11 attacks to demonstrate that in all of these ways the news media make a valuable contribution to public grieving by initiating and supporting the kind of public discourse that can meet human needs in the face of grief and loss.
71. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Wendy Barger Voice for America?: A Feminist Analysis of Thomas Friedman’s Pulitzer-Winning Commentary
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In April 2002, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for a series of columns he wrote in the months following September 11. On the surface, the columns seemed to fit Cummins Gauthier’s criteria for public grieving: they engaged readers emotionally; they empathized with victims and survivors; and they helped readers develop moral attitudes, opinions and responses. However, in analyzing the columns from a feminist ethic of care perspective—one that expands the boundaries of the moral community beyond the borders of a nation-state—one finds that Friedman’s columns can distort the process of public grieving, leading citizens toward anger and an “us” verus “them” mentality rather than healing and a genuine concern that embraces the value of all human beings.
72. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
William Hare Is It Good to Be Open-Minded?
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Although open-mindedness is still widely regarded as an intellectual virtue and an aim of education, it is also commonly held that this attitude carries with it certain implications that ultimately threaten serious inquiry. In particular, open-mindedness is often thought (i) to encourage credulity, (ii) to discourage the formation of definite views, and (iii) to detract from the tenacious pursuit of an idea. These confusions turn up in the work of reputable philosophers and it is important to address them if cynicism about this ideal is to be avoided. Properly understood, open-mindedness is free from these unwelcome consequences, and it remains central to the task of education.
73. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Fritz Allhoff Terrorism and Torture
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This paper investigates the moral permissibility of torture. After briefly considering some empirical evidence, it discusses the conflict between deontological and consequentialist approaches to torture. It is argued that, even if we are to take rights seriously, torture should at least be allowed if some conditions are satisfied. Finally, the paper discusses what those conditions should be and what sorts of torture are morally permissible.
74. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Lee Wilkins Militant Tolerance
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This essay calls for consideration of a “new” professional journalistic virtue: militant tolerance. The historic and philosophical foundations of tolerance is reviewed, and the concept of militant tolerance linked to Gandhi’s construction of “truth force” as a form of political action. Journalistic militant tolerance suggests that virtuous journalists will be those who recognize hate and systemic discrimination, particularly at the institutional level, and who work to counteract it in a professional role. This understanding of role emphasizes not just individual choice, but the stance that journalistic institutions (media corporations, professional groups) take to counteract intolerance reified in both individual and institutional acts. Philosophically, it places justice on a more equal footing with truth as a central professional value. The concept is examined through two case studies, one involving political rhetoric and the second journalistic use of whistleblowers.
75. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Saul Smilansky The Inevitability of Injustice: What to Do?
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Few will dispute the claim that existing societies are unjust, although of course there are vast differences in the forms and degrees of injustice in them. Nevertheless, most probably think that a just social order is possible, or at least would be possible except for the narrowmindedness, stupidity or selfishness of individuals and social groups. This, I argue, is a mistake. Injustice is inevitable; indeed it is part of the human condition. My case is based upon the free will problem. I consider objections to this claim, and what we should do if it is true.
76. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
David B. Fletcher Gambling and Character
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Legalized gambling has all the hallmarks of a large-scale moral and social concern, yet, remarkably, philosophers have paid scarce attention to the moral issues surrounding this phenomenon. I believe that this neglect is unjustified. While much could be said about gambling in terms of its social impact, I offer an account on the moral status of gambling and avoid the temptation to give a “thin” account in simply categorizing gambling as “permissible” or “impermissible.” I attempt to assess its impact on character and the moral life, felt in five closely interrelated ways. In particular, I will argue that gambling A) injures self-control, fosters moral incontinence, and indeed courts addiction; B) involves greed; C) shows a disregard for money that is incompatible with responsible care of one’s resources; D) cultivates indifference to others’ welfare; and E) represents a reckless assault on practical rationality, the faculty necessary for the moral life and the discharge of one’s responsibilities.
77. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Kenneth Einar Himma What Philosophy of Mind Can Tell Us About the Morality of Abortion: Personhood, Materialism, and the Existence of Self
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I attempt to show that, under materialist assumptions about the nature of mind, it is a necessary condition for fetal personhood that electrical activity has begun in the brain. First, I argue that it is a necessary condition for a thing to be a moral person that it is (or has) a self—understood as something that is capable of serving as the subject of a mental experience. Second, I argue that it is a necessary condition for a fetus to be (or have) a self that some form of electrical brain activity occurs. Third, I argue that since the beginning of brain activity typically occurs at around 10 weeks of gestational age, most fetuses are not persons during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy and hence that abortion of most fetuses during this period does not rise to the moral level of murder.
78. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Lisa H. Newton Gambling: Some Afterthoughts
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This article responds to the preceding papers by Fletcher and Pasternack. Accepting Fletcher’s virtue-based approach as a useful starting point, it suggests the need for more careful philosophical work on the morality of gambling.
79. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Lawrence Pasternack Gambling Maxims and their Universalizability
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This paper explores the moral status of various gambling maxims, particularly as they relate to the bettor’s interest in profit and the mathematical expectation of the game being played. Certain difficulties with the prevailing interpretations of the Formula of Universalizability will also be discussed, particularly in relation to games for which the bettor can have a positive expectation.
80. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
James Rice Orcid-ID The End of Human Rights?
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In an article entitled, “Imagining Human Rights” Professor Ian Ward considers the fate of human rights at the beginning of the twenty-first century. While, as he argues, human rights have been seen as an epitome of liberalism’s triumph, this perception has come to be regarded as a delusion amid the acts of genocide and inhumanity that have characterized the past decade. Ward argues for a re-evaluation of the idea of human rights through an accommodation of “sense and sensibility” that allows for a vision of a pluralistic conception of human rights. This paper seeks to refute this view. In this respect, it examines Kant’s views on human freedom as well as the relevance of Dworkin’s notion of “integrity” in terms of achieving a workable framework for the achievement of human rights despite diverse and competing notions of justice.