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Displaying: 1-20 of 25 documents

1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Fritz Allhoff What Is Modesty?
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This paper examines the virtue of modesty and provides an account of what it means to be modest. A good account should not only delimit the proper application of the concept, but should also capture why it is that we think that modesty is a virtue. Recent work has yielded several interesting, but flawed, accounts of modesty. Julia Driver has argued that it consists in underestimating one’s self-worth, while Owen Flanagan has argued that modesty must entail an accurate—as opposed to underestimated or inflated—conception of one’s self worth. Neither of these accounts provides a satisfactory characterization of modesty as a virtue. Driver leaves us wondering why modesty, understood, at least in part, as misunderstanding one’s merits, should earn the status of virtue, whereas Flanagan’s characterization does not adequately and uniquely pick out the concept of modesty. These criticisms have been presented by G. F. Schueler who goes on to defend the doctrine that modesty is, roughly, the lack of one’s desire for other people to be impressed by one’s accomplishments. My goal is to provide an account of modesty that improves upon those currently before us. My own positive account will draw off of Schueler’s account as well as work done by Jean-Paul Sartre and Gabriele Taylor on the moral emotion of shame.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Carol V. A. Quinn On Integrity
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In this paper I develop a social conception of integrity while still holding onto the original meaning of the term. To that end I build mainly on the works of Cheshire Calhoun, whose view of integrity, developed over a decade ago, I consider to be one of the best, Charles Taylor, who has an insightful understanding of the self, which helps provide a richer conception of integrity than I believe Calhoun developed, and Lawrence Langer, who gives an instructive critique of Taylor, which I use to provide the foundation for an integrity richly grounded in community. Finally I discuss how community can contribute to or diminish one’s integrity and how it can help restore one’s integrity if it has been diminished or lost.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Ned Dobos From Revolution to Regime Change: Consequentialist Barriers to the Transfer of Rights
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The fact that armed revolution would be justified under certain circumstances does not guarantee the legitimacy of foreign intervention in aid of, or in place that revolution, even where the means employed and the ends sought are similar. One commonly given reason for this is that foreign intervention might fall short of the prudential constraints on war—proportionality, last resort, likelihood of success—where rebellion would live up to them. But those who make this argument often seem to assume that the prudential constraints on war apply asymmetrically, or demand more of humanitarian interveners than they do of rebels. I suggest that this double-standard is inconsistent with a basic principle of moral reasoning, and may need to be revised or abandoned. If we reject the asymmetry, however, can we still maintain that consequentialist considerations block the right of revolution from transferring across national boundaries and becoming a right of military intervention and regime change?
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Sagar Sanyal US Military and Covert Action and Global Justice
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US military intervention and covert action are significant contributors to global injustice. Discussion of this contributor to injustice is relatively common in social justice movements. Yet it has been ignored by the global justice literature in political philosophy. This paper aims to fill this gap by introducing the topic into the debate. While the global justice debate has focused on inter-national and supra-national institutions, I argue that an adequate analysis of US military and covert action must focus on domestic institutions of the US. I describe many such institutions including industry lobbying, the ubiquity of US military bases abroad, US programs for training foreign militaries, secrecy of the intelligence and military agencies, pliant news media and government propaganda.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Monday Lewis Igbafen The Existentialist Philosophy of Albert Camus and Africa’s Liberation
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This paper examines the practical utility of Albert Camus’ existentialist philosophy, especially in the context of the contemporary effort to improve the condition of human life and existence in Africa. The paper is a departure from prevailing mindset among some scholars and people of Africa that nothing good can be derived from Camus’ philosophy. In particular, the paper argues that the task of socio-political and economic transformation in today’s Africa has a lot to benefit from a critical and pragmatic engagement with the existentialist philosophy of Camus. The paper maintains that the practical benefit of Camus’ existentialist philosophy appears most clearly in the value it assigns to revolt/resistance, and ideals of friendship, commitment, solidarity and brotherhood to solve the cumulative problems of life. The obvious lack of all this has exasperated the human condition in modern African states.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
David N. McArthur, Elaine E. Englehardt, Jill O. Jasperson Progress toward the Rule of Law in China
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A small sample of sitting Chinese judges was each asked to describe a difficult case, what ethical issues were involved in the case, and how ethics hampered the case, among other questions. The narratives of the cases from family settings suggest—rising from the stew of Chinese social, political, and legal history, the mix of socialist and Confucian ethics, and case facts—that future research on the influence of Confucian ethics may well show that Chinese judges moderate (“democratize”) the rigors of a rule-based legal system, or that they feel pressure to do so by their ethics (which, for disputes and crimes in a family setting their ethics, are Confucian ethics). We argue that “democratizing” the legal system by including society’s ethics is allowable but unless there is a regular discourse on the role of Confucian ethics in legal decisions judges will continue to feel ethical tension as they go about their work. We recommend that ethics discourse be included along with the Chinese government’s structural reforms such as increasing legal education, mandating codes of judicial ethics, and other measures calculated to align the legal system with the Bangalore Principles of Judicial Conduct 2002.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Earl Spurgin Moral Judgments, Fantasies, and Virtual Worlds
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Some argue that moral judgments apply to fantasies because they can lead to action. Others argue that we should not assume that fantasies will lead to action and should not judge them morally unless they do. Still others argue that evaluating fantasies through their possible connections to action is misguided since fantasies contribute to our characters. I argue for the liberal position that fantasies that do not contribute causally to immoral acts are not subject to moral judgments. I make that argument by, first, distinguishing several categories of clear fantasies and demonstrating why the liberal position is correct for each. Then, I examine a recent development that blurs the fantasy/reality distinction: virtual worlds such as Second Life, an on-line, interactive environment in which millions of users worldwide create virtual identities and lives. Some of the activities of these users create an interesting challenge for the liberal position.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Robert Scott Stewart, Sue A. Korol De-Signing Fat: Re-Constructing the Global Obesity Epidemic
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This paper argues first that claims that we are in the midst of a global obesity epidemic are vastly overblown and hardly new since we can find such calls to alarm for over a century at least. Second, we suggest that claims made about the possibility of losing weight are, for most people, simply false. Bluntly stated, there is lots of evidence to suggest that diets don’t work for the vast majority of people: even for those who lose weight, their reprieve from fat tends to be short lived with 90% regaining their lost weight. Third, we maintain that claims made that obesity is either itself a disease or is causally and directly linked to harmful and sometimes lethal diseases are also misguided. Finally, we discuss the ways in which the construction of obesity as an epidemic disease has affected various parties, including fat people themselves. In particular, we discuss two approaches that have been made to the general anti-fat attitudes of contemporary western societies: the ‘fat and fit’ and ‘fat and proud’ movements.
symposium on torture
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
D. R. Koukal Torture
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This paper offers a phenomenological description of torture that delves beneath its mere physical effect on the human body, in order to demonstrate that bodily pain is only one dimension of the experiential structure of torture. In fact, this paper’s central claim is that torture is better understood as a radical ontological violation of a lived world through the body. This claim is supported through Merleau-Ponty’s theory of the embodied subject. The main purpose of this paper is to show that no matter how physically “unscarred” a survivor of torture may be, their lived world remains irretrievably damaged.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Eric M. Rovie Tortured Knowledge: Epistemological Problems with Ticking-Bomb Cases
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The use of torture for interrogational purposes is frequently justified by a ‘ticking-bomb’ case, claiming that serious harms will come to a large group of people if a suspect is not tortured for the location of the bomb. In this paper, I will argue that an important recent defense of interrogational torture (Seumas Miller’s) faces several practical and epistemological problems. In this paper, I argue that these epistemological problems lead to the failure of Miller’s argument. I also argue that a minimalist conception of epistemological duties gives us further reason to reject both Miller’s argument and torture more generally. I conclude that arguments for torture that are based on ticking-bomb cases are bound to face an irresolvable epistemological problem, closing one of the more prominent avenues used to justify torture.
book review
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
Michael Boylan Institutions, Actors, and Moral Accountability
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12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 2
About the Contributors
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13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Nicholas Dixon Why Mainstream Conservatives Should Support Government-Mandated Universal Health Care
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Menzel and Light have argued that the conservative principle of self-sufficiency gives good reasons to strive for universal health coverage. This paper gives further reasons for connecting universal health care with self-sufficiency and continues Menzel’s and Light’s project in four more ways. First, a more extended analysis of a conservative conception of government shows how a general opposition to welfare programs is consistent with guaranteeing universal basic health care. Second, common fears about the abuse of health care when universal access is guaranteed are unfounded. Third, worldwide experience shows that the most effective way to bring high quality health care to a population is through a government mandate, not the free market. Fourth, while socioeconomic status is an important determinant of health independent of the accessibility of health care itself, this does not undermine the case for universal health care based on a minimal, conservative conception of equality of opportunity.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
J. Caleb Clanton A Moral Case Against Certain Uses of Plagiarism Detection Services
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The statistics on plagiarism are staggering. No wonder, then, that many colleges and universities have started using plagiarism detection services (PDSs) such as Turnitin. But there are problems—and more problems than most critics have recognized. Whereas critics typically focus on legal issues related to intellectual property and privacy rights, I argue that unless we can reasonably suspect academic dishonesty, it’s morally problematic to require submission through a PDS. Even if we insist that the benefits of PDS use are worth the costs of saddling students with an undeserved burden of proof, blanket PDS use—that is, using PDSs across the boardand without reasonable suspicion—is problematic because it conflicts with one of the aims of educational institutions: to cultivate students’ characters. Although blanket PDS use may in fact deter plagiarism, it doesn’t create an environment conducive to the formation of honor, and it may even be a hindrance.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Jeffrey Hershfield The Ethics of Sexual Fantasy
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I defend the thesis that a person’s sexual fantasies function autonomously from his desires, beliefs, and intentions, a fact I attributeto their different forms of intentionality: the contents of sexual fantasies, unlike those of the latter, lack a direction of fit and thus fail to express satisfaction conditions. I then show how the autonomy thesis helps to answer important questions about the ethics of sexual fantasy. I also argue that the autonomy thesis can claim empirical support from several areas, including interesting recent work on meta-representation and simulation theory.
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Deborah Mower Teaching Ethics via Sympathy
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Given the specific educational, psychological, and sociological factors of juvenile inmates, I developed a course to teach such students moral concepts and reasoning without high level theorizing. I combined Hume’s account of sympathy with current philosophical and psychological research to develop the students’ natural sympathy as an aid in developing emotional, contextual, and moral literacy. In this paper, I explain (1) how the course developed the students’ natural sympathy, (2) how sympathy can provide a simple and familiar process of moral deliberation, (3) how sympathy aids in learning moral concepts, and (4) some interesting implications for public policy regarding moral education and recidivism, early childhood moral education, and teaching ethics courses generally.
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Richard McClelland The Dark Side of Mentoring Explaining Mentor-on-Mentee Aggression
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Recently available social scientific evidence suggests strongly that harmful aggressive behavior by mentors aimed at their mentees(mentor-on-mentee-aggression, or MOMA) is a common occurrence in such relationships. This paper seeks to characterize such aggression and to account for its persistence by means of confluence of three etiological perspectives: ethological (mentoring as a form of “alloparenting” and as a form of coalition building), broadly evolutionary (MOMA as a form of “handicap” attaching to the bonds that constitute mentoring coalitions), and psychodynamic (MOMA as a function of “normal narcissism”). The net result is that MOMA is an expectable feature of most mentoring relationships.
symposium on obama and u.s. foreign policy
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
George R. Lucas, Jr. Pirates and PMCs: Internationalism and Military Interoperability
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Originally presented at a forum sponsored by Concerned Philosophers for Peace at the Eastern Division annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association (Philadelphia, PA: 29 December 2008), this essay discusses two ethical challenges in foreign policy likely to be confronted by the new U.S. presidential administration. The increased reliance on private military contractors, including security contractors, poses a number of difficulties, the most troubling of which is the erosion of civil-military relations. Modern military campaigns cannot be waged without some degree of reliance on the logistical support such contractors provide, but their use makes it easier for governments to hide the true risks and costs of modern war from the electorate, serving to undermine key conceptions of “just war” principles like “legitimate authority” and “public declaration” of war. On the other hand, the dramatic increase in maritime piracy forces an unpleasant choice between either increasing defense spending on appropriate weapons systems and personnel during a global economic crises in order to provide enhanced maritime security, or else, ironically, relying even more on private security contractors to protect global shipping and transportation. Both these and similar foreign policy challenges focus attention on the need for “ethical interoperability,” the ability to share common notions of military ethics, public service, and professional responsibility among coalition military forces otherwise drawn from a variety of disparate national, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds.
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
Harry van der Linden Barack Obama, Resort to Force, and U.S. Military Hegemony
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Just War Theorists have neglected that a lack of “just military preparedness” on the side of a country seriously undermines its capability to resort justly to military force. In this paper, I put forth five principles of “just military preparedness” and show that since the new Obama administration will seek to maintain the United States’ dominant military position in the world, it will violate each of the principles. I conclude on this basis that we should anticipate that the Obama administration will add another page to the United States’ history of unjust military interventions.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 23 > Issue: 1
John W. Lango Global Policy and the United Nations
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President Barack Obama should strive to realize the ideal goals expressed in the UN Charter. Accordingly, the concept of U.S. foreign policy should be replaced by a concept of UN global policy. Relatedly, the traditional concept of national security should be replaced by a cosmopolitan concept of global state and human security. Topics discussed include the role of the Security Council, the responsibility to protect (R2P), just war principles, UN peacekeeping operations, genocide in Darfur, treaties and other sources of international law, nuclear abolition, climate change, the role of diplomacy, and the common good.