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81. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Stylianos Giamarelos Contemporary Pursuits of Philosophy as a Way of Life: Cooper, Hadot, Nehamas
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The recent (2012) publication of John M. Cooper’s latest work, Pursuits of Wisdom. Six Ways of Life in Ancient Philosophy from Socrates to Plotinus proves to be the ideal occasion to initiate a dialogue between the three major philosophers of the art of living of our age (John M. Cooper, Pierre Hadot and Alexander Nehamas). By serially addressing the same question to all three of them, this paper retraces and explores their respective (possible) replies on the contemporary relevance of the ancient conception of philosophy as a way of life. Thus, the intellectualism stemming from Cooper’s conception of philosophy as a way of life might imply a challenging reconsideration of our prevalent models of psychological motivation, as well as a radical re-placement of philosophy at the zenith of human knowledge. By granting autonomy to the existential stances, practices and spiritual exercises that originally stemmed from the ancient philosophical schools and their specific discourses, Hadot manages to assert the perpetual relevance of philosophy as an ethical way of life. This serves as a counterpoint to a philosophical art of living that is more akin to a (post-) Nietzschean aesthetics of existence, as exemplified by the last reply offered by Nehamas.
82. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Scott Forschler The “Necessity” Fallacy in Kantian Ethics
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A common strategy in ethical argumentation tries to derive ethical obligations from the rational necessity of not acting against certain “necessary” conditions for satisfying some good end. This strategy is very often fallacious, and works by equivocating over what counts as a “necessary” condition. Very often, what is counted as a necessary condition is not logically necessary for the end in question, but is at most related to it by affecting the probability of the end’s satisfaction. If other conditions affecting the probability of satisfying this (or similar) ends are then discounted as merely “instrumental” or “probabilistic” (in contrast to others imagined as being “necessary”), this strategy has the function of hypocritically privileging some of the arguer’s preferred values over others. We should instead recognize that nearly all conditions affecting the probability of satisfying some good end borrow some value from the value of the end, in proportion to how much they tend to affect its probability of satisfaction. The fallacy tends to support rigid deontological norms; once we abandon it, many arguments against consequentialism are revealed merely as special pleading. Many ethical arguments use this fallacy, but I focus here on its use by Immanuel Kant.
83. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Gerasimos Kakoliris Some Problems with Jacques Derrida’s Concept of Hospitality
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My text focuses on Derrida’s ethics of hospitality. For Derrida, the logic of the concept of hospitality is governed by an absolute antinomy or aporia. On the one hand, there is the law of unlimited hospitality that ordains the unconditional reception of the stranger. On the other, there are the conditional laws of hospitality, which relate to the unconditional law through the imposition of terms and conditions (political, juridical, and moral) upon it. For Derrida, the responsible political action and decision consists of the need to continuously negotiate between these two heterogeneous requirements. One of the problems I trace in Derrida’s aforementioned position is that it resorts to the use of terms such as “pure”, “real”, “genuine” or “absolute”, in order to describe unconditional hospitality and to differentiate it from conditional hospitality. Yet, such terms have been placed into question by deconstruction itself. Moreover, the disjunctive distinction that Derrida installs, at an initial level, between “unconditional” and “conditional” hospitality contradicts the work which he had undertaken during the 1960s and the 1970s of deconstructing basic conceptual hierarchical binary oppositions that govern Western metaphysical thought. Against the rather problematic guiding concept of “unconditional” hospitality, I counter-propose a continuous, incessant effort of limiting violence towards the arriving stranger. My argument draws from the particularly insightful remarks of Derrida regarding the violence that inescapably resides in every act of hospitality as a result of the host’s exercise of sovereignty over his/her home.
84. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Kathie Jenni Bearing Witness for the Animal Dead
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Images of human violence to animals challenge us both psychologically and morally. Sometimes images are so graphic, the treatment they capture so degrading and cruel, that they approach the pornographic. How can we responsibly approach them? Is it more respectful to witness such suffering, or to look away? I explore the notion of bearing witness to animal suffering as a manifestation of respect. I begin by asking why it is important to bear witness to human atrocities such as the Holocaust. Some rationales are forward-looking and consequentialist. We bear witness in the spirit of “never again”: to stir moral motivation and preventive action. But there are also backward-looking and expressive reasons: to show respect for the dead, to express our solidarity and grief, to affirm the moral value of both the lost and the saved. Some might argue that differences between human and nonhuman victims of violence make the latter rationales irrelevant when animal victims are in question. The animal dead did not value being remembered; animal survivors do not share a degrading collective memory of horror and do not care if we acknowledge it. Yet obligations of memory do find a foothold here. Bearing witness to human-animal violence affirms the moral status of animals; it expresses respect and is part of constitutive justice. Bearing witness, however, carries moral risks, so that it matters greatly how one does so. One problem is that witnesses’ “testimony” - usually visual documentation of animal abuse - does not find its way only to compassionate audiences, but also to others who will use it in pernicious ways and some who are simply voyeurs. In this way, the witness can unwillingly become “a pornographer of pain.” Given the motive of paying respect to the animal dead, this is the last outcome a moral witness desires. Yet showing atrocities done to animals in all their horrific detail is among the most powerful ways of gaining allies in the struggle to end animal abuse. In light of such dilemmas, I explore the importance of bearing witness in private and as communal activity, of who attends to animal suffering, and of how and through what media we do so.
85. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Toshihiko Ise Generality and Partiality from a Humean Point of View
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Hume offers two ways of reconciling the partiality of people’s feelings with the generality of moral thinking. First, the general point of view in moral evaluation is not that of a disinterested observer, but of another person who has a close relationship with the person to be judged. Here I find something analogous to the idea of Nel Noddings, who attempts to build an ethical theory on the basis of caring relationships. Second, according to Hume, the generality of the rules of justice is also compatible with partial feelings. Such rules allow everyone to pursue his or her goals without fear of violent intervention from others. My idea is that these rules are comparable to those of a competitive game. The idea of fair competition is not necessarily alien to Noddings’ type of ethical theory. As children, human beings normally learn to be fair in competitive games, along with caring for family members and friends. An ethical ideal of fairness may develop through competitions and help people get along with others beyond narrow circles. Taking into account of the competitive elements in relationship between people will be helpful in giving a fuller picture of a broadly Humean, sentimentalist ethical theory.
86. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Georgy Ishmaev Privacy as an Ethical Value: Is it Natural or Relative?
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Ethics of privacy is not a new but rather well developed topic especially in such areas as medical ethics and genome research. However it is safe to say that this problem is far less explored in moral philosophy. Namely there is a lack of consensus on Meta ethical status of privacy as moral value. This essay suggests some clarifications on the notion of privacy in the ethics of ICT and considers possible approaches to research on privacy issues in ethics. Moral relativism suggests that privacy is a conventional value and it is possible to accept that it may become obsolete if confronted with changing social and cultural environment. Such approach also contributes to the view that privacy is an individual value and it may come in contradiction with societal values. Naturalistic approach on the other hand suggests that privacy is a value intrinsic to human nature, as it is deeply interrelated with phenomena of self-identity. Thus privacy is a crucial value not only to individual but to society as well.
87. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Baruch Herzl On Tolerating the Intolerant
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Popper (1945, 1987, 1994, 1999) was one of the first to diagnose the danger of tolerating those who might undermine toleration. He suggested that new forms of intolerance and violence have created an “unpleasant condition” that the classical liberal philosophers didn’t witness and therefore toleration should be limited only to those who are tolerant and withdrawn from those who are intolerant in the first place. Following Popper, the question “should the intolerant be tolerated?” is usually asked in order to justify a negative answer. In this paper I propose that intolerance as a sole or primary reason to determine toleration is misleading and will probably result with limited toleration and much intolerance. Rather, what is really at stake, I suggest, is whether and how new forms of violence create a kind of intolerance that shouldn’t be tolerated. First, focusing on the question of tolerating the intolerant I compare Popper with the classical liberal philosophers and discuss his explanation of the shift that he undertakes. Then, I examine Ghandi’s creative counter paradigm to the Nazi-kind of threat to toleration, which Popper was, probably, not aware of. Contrary to Popper’s view (and that of many liberal democrats today) I find that most cases of intolerance are partial and transient and not total. Thus, I conclude that we better start with the attitude of tolerating the intolerant.
88. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Indoo Pandey Khanduri Aristotle’s Rectificatory Justice as Foundation of Social Justice
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The present research paper is a modest attempt to explore the philosophical foundations of contemporary social justice from the underlying spirit of rectificatory justice of Aristotle as elaborated in the book five of Nicomachean Ethics. From Aristotlean Ethics, the foundations of social justice could be explored on four fold dimension of spirit, base, assumptions and mechanism. The spirit of rectificatory justice is rectification or correction. The base is arithmetical distribution of the resources on the basis of positive discrimination. The assumption is that injustice has occurred and mechanism is to reduce the undue gains and undue losses. For clear understanding of the theme, we divide it in three parts. The first part of the paper will examine Aristotle’s definition and types of justice and describe briefly the notion of rectificatory justice. The second part will discuss the complex notion of social justice which incorporating brief description of the unjust discrimination based on false assumptions of caste, creed, and sex etc., for debarring and depriving the suppressed group from the due facility and opportunities.. And in the third concluding part, we shall try to see how four fundamentals of Aristotle’s rectificatory justice: spirit, base, assumption and mechanism have contributed to social justice. We shall also try to understand peculiarity of social justice and Aristotelian foundation of recificatory justice in terms of its relevance as the remedial directions.
89. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Anastasia A. Kokovkina Ecological Crisis and Global Responsibility Ethics
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The paper presents an analysis of man and nature relation dynamic in the European culture, its aftermaths and formation of ecology oriented ethic theory. After man has realized his/her being divorced from nature he/she begins perceiving him/herself in the light of his/her own interests. Nature is deprived of its self virtue, it is only considered as a sphere servicing man’s need, its objects have the right to exist as long as they are useful or pleasurable. Nature is excluded from the sphere of morals which only covers interpersonal relation. This attitude leads to the biosphere system crisis, fraught with destruction of natural and human world. The current unprecedented situation of man’s radically increasing technogenic influence on nature demands that this new theory be built up, the theory ought to cover nature and to take into account aftereffect of man’s activities remote in space and time. Hans Jonas is making an attempt to create the theory in his book Das Prinzip Verantwortung: Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische Zivilisation.
90. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Angela Kallhoff Four Types of Natural Norms: A Reconsideration of Aristotelian Naturalism
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Since the Aristotelian notion of eudaimonia was translated as “human flourishing”, the underlying premises have been under discussion. Aristotle appears to say that eudiamonia consists in an excellent development of persons; a human life-form can be sorted out in comparison with other species. This is the starting-point for discussing the relationship between natural capacities of persons and their good lives. In this contribution, I shall develop a scheme which allows interpreting Aristotelian naturalism in four ways: as a theory about natural functions, about natural thriving, about natural mastership, and about comprehensive self-realization. In particular, I shall argue that at its heart Aristotelian naturalism is not about the good life of persons. Instead, it comprises a set of normative claims inherent in his understanding of nature. Building these claims into a theory of the good life is a second step which needs to be analysed on different grounds. In discussing these possibilities, one central outcome will be that none of these ways of reasoning about the good life needs to be rejected because it reintroduces evaluative statements into a theory of nature. Instead, the central problem in reintroducing them into contemporary theories results from interpreting them as a norm for the good life of persons.
91. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Hua Chu Liu On Hursthouse’s Argument for the Objectivity of Virtues
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Rosalind Husthouse’s argumentation for the objectivity of virtue ethics includes three sub-arguments. But her explanations are problematic, because the “objectivity” argument does not have sufficient perspicuity, nor have abundant explanatory persuasion. In comparison with the perspicuity of structure in her work On Virtue Ethics, the three concerning explanations appear more obscure. And such obscurity results in her distinction of the three propositions being groundless, and the effect of her explanations lower than expected. Therefore, argumentation for the objectivity of virtue ethics should use another approach.
92. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Pokker Perilamkulath Kunhammadhajee Ethics and Deconstruction: A Subaltern Perspective
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Deconstruction has paved way for new understanding in almost all realms of knowledge. As a philosophical tool it has produced unprecedented results by its peculiar analysis of many of the canonical texts. Jacques Derrida has shown the way of revealing the limits of our own understanding and of realizing the role of margins in the life-world. In any society the hegemony of ideas exists as the reigning force and the cerebral activities inevitably involve the play of hegemonic ideas. Margins necessarily remain in the periphery of the center. All social discourses hence harbor both hegemonic and marginal implications. Hegemony stands for the ruling ideas and margin for the oppressed or receding ideas. So, in the social interactions communicative ethics is possible only by revealing the relation between the hegemonic and the marginalized. The deconstructive strategy has produced radical shift in the approaches towards the texts. In India or elsewhere the written words communicate certain ideological positions in all realms of life. One of the most important socio-ethical spheres is the implementation of law and the constitutional procedures. Death penalty, for instance, claims to stand for the fulfillment of justice. It is based on “a tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye” principle. Actually justice never implies punishment since it does not serve any of the interests of social justice. On the other hand, retribution is based on the principle of violence incurring the annihilation of the other. Any punishment involving violence or harm is unethical on the basis of its own logic. The present paper proceeds to deconstruct the logic of punishment and ethics of the constitutional kind.
93. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Dan Lin The 3H Pattern of Scientific Ethics Norms
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Scientific ethics norms include human nature, history, honesty, etc. Owing to scientific ethics norms have resolved into responsibility of the subjects of all kinds of benefit, it means that the responsibility of organizational system of science is not only expanding the correct knowledge, but also the goal that towards trying to gain greater benefits for human being society and the environment. So, in different situation, it can constitute the different understanding and evaluation of scientific activities. The tetrahedron changes with the specific conditions.
94. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ali Haydar Kutan Is Epicurus’ Ataraxia Individualistic?
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According to Kant Epicurean ethics is a “self-love” ethics, or “an ethics in pursuit of one’s own happiness.” He contends that such a conception of ethics cannot produce any morality in an objective sense. Epicurus contends that ataraxia, a state in which all bodily and mental disturbances are remedied is the ultimate goal of life. In this paper, I will try to show how by beginning the concept of pleasure Epicurus tries to erect a system of ethics which is based on equality and justice. We will see that in this ethical system the attainment of happiness for an individual is necessarily bound with the happiness of the other individuals. And the attainment of pleasure or happiness is conditioned by virtue. In this regard, it would not be wrong to draw the conclusion that the ethical goal of Epicurus turns out to be ataraxia for all which thus refutes the Kant’s depiction of Epicurean ethics as self-love ethics.
95. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
A. J. Kreider Rights, Burdens, and the Ethics of Care
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A consequence of adopting an ethics of care is that society would reorganize itself in a way that directs greater resources to more vulnerable people. This is surely a good thing. However, something that has been largely ignored in the literature is the relationship between empathy and a caring attitude, rights, and the burdens that we place on one another. The view I will defend here suggests that while a caring attitude will generally work to enhance the lives and opportunities of vulnerable members of society, there are some cases wherein the opposite will result – that in some cases an ethics of care demands that these more vulnerable members eschew a focus on their interests, even if they have a right to society’s resources. The reason is that accepting these resources places too great a burden on the rest of society, and that failing to recognize the burden reflects a lack of empathy.
96. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Nikil Mukerji The Use and Abuse of Trolley Cases
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When moral philosophers evaluate moral theories they often draw on trolley cases. A number of authors have recently put forward objections against this approach to moral inquiry. In my paper, I will consider some of their criticisms. In doing so, I will not try to address the question whether the methodic use of trolley cases is ultimately defensible. I will rather draw attention to an important distinction that has hitherto been neglected. This distinction is between two uses to which trolley cases can be put, viz. the constructive use and the destructive use. I will argue that this differentiation is important, because some of the most powerful objections to the use of trolley cases apply only to their constructive use. Conclusions regarding the ultimate tenability of the methodic application of trolley cases may, hence, turn on assumptions as to how they are applied. I will start my talk with a discussion of the characteristics of trolley cases. Then, I will distinguish their constructive and destructive use. Finally, I will address arguments against trolley cases in light of this distinction.
97. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Madhumita Mitra A Pleasurable Life: J. S. Mill Re-visited
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The traditional interpretation of Mill’s ‘qualitative superiority of pleasure’ urges that pleasures can be qualitatively distinguished in terms of mental or intellectual pleasure on the one hand and physical or sensuous pleasure on the other. The traditional interpretation assumes that Mill, by introducing ‘qualitative dimension’ in his value theory, has stressed upon living a purely intellectual life, ignoring physical or sensuous life. On this understanding, Mill’s qualitative distinction between pleasures has frequently been exemplified as distinction between pleasure obtained from reading poetry, literature etc. and pleasure obtained from physical enjoyment. But, in this paper, I argue that the traditional interpretation actually suffers from a conceptual error. As a result, such interpretation has failed to capture the real essence of the qualitative distinction made by Mill and consequently, his view has been misrepresented through all such examples. Mill’s view can be appropriately understood only in the light of his broad utilitarian perspective.
98. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Malcolm Murray The Normativity Problem for Rational Reductions of Morality
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My goal in this paper is to point out that whatever difficulty evolutionary reductions have in capturing the normativity essential to moral talk, rational reductions face the same problem. My paper is arranged in two parts. In the first, I distinguish between rational and evolutionary reductions of morality, and highlight the basic normativity problem for evolutionists1. In the second, I offer a tu quoque against rationalists.
99. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Robert Myers Reasons, Motives and Desires
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According to Michael Smith’s practicality requirement, if an agent judges that there is reason for her to f in circumstances C, then either she is motivated to f in C or she is practically irrational. As a number of critics have noted, however, it is far from clear that this is correct, for if an agent’s normative judgments have often proven unreliable before, or seem otherwise suspect now, it is not always clear what practical rationality demands of her. I therefore begin by proposing a friendly amendment to Smith’s requirement, one that makes it much easier to defend. I then go on to argue that this requirement is actually much harder to satisfy than Smith thinks it is, and in fact that there is good reason to doubt that it could be satisfied if desires were nothing more than the purely functional states that Smith claims they are.
100. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ramkhok Raikhan Moral Reasoning: Rethinking Rawls’ and Sen’s Approaches to Justice
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The moral reasoning of Rawls tends to follow Kant in so far as Rawls assumes reason as the primary faculty which decides moral action of what to do and how to do it. By assuming reason as the primary faculty neglecting interests and inclinations which are not encompassed by the primary goods, Rawls searches for an impartial principles of justice to safeguard the priority of ‘right’ over ‘good’. While in Sen’s moral reasoning well-being takes the central place and somehow reason as a faculty is subsumed as an instrument of our wants. When wellbeing takes the primary attention in moral discourse it becomes difficult for Sen to evaluate and rank different alternatives, since wellbeing can be understood differently bsy different people and people value different lives. However, Rawls’ abstraction (as in the case of the hypothetical situation) from the actual situations of life seems to face theoretical as well as practical problems.