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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Thorsten Botz-Borstein Virtual Reality and Dreams: Towards the Autistic Condition?
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The virtual annuls all suspension of time that could, through its tragic or stylistic character, confer to time an existential value. This condition is contrasted with time as it functions in dreams. On the grounds of these observations it is shown that there are resemblances between “autistic” symptoms and the virtual world.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Chienchih Chi A Mistaken Sense in Consciousness
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There is a mistaken sense in consciousness or phenomenal property. I propose that as a general term phenomenal property has no ontological status. When we understand consciousness as phenomenal properties in general to claim the irreducibility of the mind, we simply fall into a trap constructed by a mistaken concept.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Forrest Clingerman Beyond the Flowers and the Stones: “Emplacement” and the Modeling of Nature
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Using the example of a small oak savanna located in Iowa, I begin by presenting some of the problems that confront us in attempting to describe nature. Finding ourselves in a paradox in an attempt to model nature, I then suggest that modeling nature through the use of the concept of “emplacement” offers us the best way forward. To better define “emplacement,” the argument then turns to an exposition of Paul Ricoeur’s idea of “emplotment.” I conclude by detailing how one might use “emplacement” to construct a model of a specific place of nature.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Kevin Dodson Omission, Commission, and Blowback: A Response to Honderich
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The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have generated a number of responses by philosophers, perhaps the most controversial of which has been Ted Honderich’s book After the Terror. There Honderich inquires into the question of American responsibility for the events of September 11, 2001. Honderich argues that due to our acts of both commission and omission, we Americans bear partialresponsibility for the terrorist atrocities committed on that day. In this paper, I shall take issue with Honderich’s argument and propose an alternative to it based on the concept of blowback.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Michael Forest Hierarchy and the Animals
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Thomism and hierarchical metaphysical systems generally have rejected the moral status of animals. This paper demonstrates that a commitment to a hierarchical system involves the twin claim of being and goodness. This implies that grades of goodness perfuse the created order and also implies the proportional goodness of animals and other living beings. These implications have been consistently overlooked in traditional treatments of our moral relations to animals, yet such hierarchical systems provide an optimal grounding for such evaluations. An application is made to the practice of killing animals for food and a prescription for vegetarianism is advocated.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Rick Anthony Furtak Estrangement and Moral Agency
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By taking seriously the state of moral estrangement, we may learn something about the conditions of moral participation. Yet analytic discussions of this topic (for instance, by Hare and Nagel) have frequently been handicapped by an inadequate understanding of the intentionality of emotion. In the work of Albert Camus, we find a superior appreciation of the sense in which the individual’s revolt against prevailing values could be a justified response to objective conditions. Although a sense of the absurd is itself a hindrance to moral agency, it provides us with some insight into our subjective capacity for wholehearted involvement in the world.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Soraj Hongladarom, Michael R. Kelly Time, Technology and Globalization
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8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Sergio Koc-Menard Just War Tradition, Liberalism, and Civil War
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The just war tradition assumes that civil war is a possible site of justice. It has an uneasy relationship with liberalism, because the latter resists the idea that insurgency and counterinsurgency can be justified in moral terms. The paper suggests that, even if this is true, these two schools of thought are closer to each other than often appears to be the case. In particular, the paper argues that insurgency and counterinsurgency can be justified using the liberal assumptions that nonviolent opposition is the proper non-institutional technique to fight oppressive regimes, and that law enforcement is the appropriate response to unjustified rebellions. Given these assumptions, insurgent warfare is limited to circumstances in which, firstly, nonviolent resistance is no longer a reasonable course of action; and secondly, insurgents have the intention to create the political conditions that are needed to make it a coherent option again.Counter insurgent warfare, in turn, is restrained to those situations in which, first, there is a rebellion or revolution even though the use of nonviolent strategies for conflict and change remains a reasonable choice; and second, police agencies lack the resources that arerequired for managing and suppressing rebel activities. Of course, these requirements should be taken as presumptions, and there may be cases when they do not hold.
9. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
John-Michael Kuczynski Two Arguments Against the Cognitivist Theory of Emotions
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According to one point of view, emotions are recognitions of truths of a certain kind -- most probably valuative truths (truths to the effect that something is good or bad). After giving the standard arguments for this view, and also providing a new argument of my own for it, I set forth two arguments against it. First, this position makes all emotions be epistemically right or wrong. But this view is hard to sustain where certain emotions (especially desire) are concerned. Second, this position is guilty of presupposing what it is meant to explain; for it makes emotions be a pre-requisite for the very value judgments with which emotions are supposed, according to that theory, to be identical.
10. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Paul Newberry The Three Dimensions of Forgiveness
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Recent philosophical literature contains several definitions of ‘forgiveness.’ These fail because the meaning of one part of a complex notion is taken as the meaning of the whole. Ordinary language use indicates three kinds of sufficient conditions for forgiveness where by people canforgive by meeting any one of those conditions.
11. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Sigrid Sterckx A Critique of the Utilitarian Argument for the Patent System
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Attempts to justify the patent system can be based on three grounds: (1) natural rights; (2) distributive justice; and (3) utilitarian (economic) arguments. Each of these arguments is problematic in many ways. The first two are dealt with very briefly. The utilitarian argument is discussed more in depth.
12. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Siegfried Van Duffel How to Study Human Rights and Culture … Without Becoming a Relativist
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13. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Laura Duhan Kaplan, M. Carmela Epright Introduction: Feminist Approaches to the Body
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14. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Hilde Lindemann Nelson Damaged Bodies, Damaged Identities
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In this essay I examine Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer prizewinning play, Wit, to explore the numerous connections drawn there between damage to bodies and damage to identities. In the course of this exploration I aim to get clearer about the kinds of illness, injury, or medical interventions that damage patients’ identities; how the damage is inflicted; and what might be done to repair identities that have been damaged in these ways. I argue that just as bodily illness and injury can damage the identity-constituting narratives by which we understand ourselves and others, so too (as the play demonstrates) injurious identity-constituting narratives can result in bodily harm. Because identities are narrative constructions, the damage inflicted on them requires narrative repair. The defective stories must be uprooted and replaced, but the success of the repair depends on both the soundness of the replacement story and the willingness of others to take up the new story.
15. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Laura Duhan Kaplan Disfigured Bodies and Social Identity: Ancient and Modern Reintegration Rituals
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Beginning with a narrative about social reactions to my own temporary disfigurement, I note that an individual’s disfigurement can affect others by making them feel unsettled and unsafe. The contemporary approach to disfigurement, exemplified in the practice of cosmetic surgery, focuses on changing the disfigured individual. In contrast, ancient priestly rituals in Israelite culture focus on reintegrating the individual into the community. I compare and contrast the two approaches, noting the value of reintegration rituals, but also recognizing their insufficiency in several contemporary situations.
16. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Emily Caroline Martin-Hondros Anorexia Nervosa: The Illusion of Power, Perfection, and Purity
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In this paper anorexia nervosa is examined through three lenses to determine its possible causes. This paper contains a clinical analysis of the anorexic personality, a psychoanalytic/religious interpretation of the demands of society, and· a feminist reinterpretationof the effects of those demands on the female body. The societal demands to renounce instincts, when examined through a feminist lens, reveals that these demands, in concert with the detrimental effects of feminine socialization and characteristics of the anorexic personality, may lead some women to view their needs as not important, and cause a detachment from and turning against the body in the form of anorexia nervosa. It is concluded that anorexia is not just women taking a diet “too far.” There are other psychological, philosophical, and social factors leading to a prevalence of anorexia nervosa in Western culture.
17. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Marla Morton-Brown Artificial Ef-femination: Female Bodybuilding and Gender Disruption
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Many feminist and queer scholars believe that one way to fight racism, sexism and homophobia is to challenge identity labels---ideas of what it means to be “black,” “gay,” “white,” “woman,” “lesbian.” Biology, however, continues to thwart this political agenda; the Body---the biological reality of skin color and sex chromosomes---makes it difficult to propose the idea that identity labels are merely social constructs, not natural facts. Female bodybuilding is a performance that literalizes the body as a site of artificial construction, of intervention, modification. Furthermore, female bodybuilding is a performance of gender bending---women who construct hypermuscular bodies disrupt social norms of gender, performing a kind of self-styled hermaphroditism that begs the question, “why?” This essay explores how female body builders challenge identity labels of sex and gender because of the fact that their gender transgressions occur at the physiological level of the body. I argue that female bodybuilders parody dominant labeling philosophies of sex, gender, and sexual orientation, challenging our sex/gender paradigm in very unique ways.
18. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael Burke What would happen if a ‘Woman’ outpaced the Winner of the Gold Medal in the ‘Men’s’ One Hundred Meters?: Female Sport, Drugs and the Transgressive Cyborg Body
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The separation of men’s and women’s competitions in the sporting world has been suggested as a necessary protection for female athletes against the superior athletic performances of male athletes. The comparison of the most elite performers in these two categories maintains the historical pattern of viewing male sport and the male athlete as the standard, and female sport and the female athlete as the inferior ‘other’. This paper argues for a transformative utilization of the separation of men’s and women’s sports by female athletes and sporting organizations. Female sporting organizations may creatively change the rules and practices of the malestandard, so as to challenge the historical patterning of sport. This paper will use the image of the cyborg, and the motivation behind cyborg politics, to call for creativity in dealing with the ban on drugs in sport.
19. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Jennifer A. Parks Grin and Bare It: Philosophical Reflections on the “Public Breast”
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This paper considers the issues surrounding women’s bare-breastedness and breastfeeding in public. I argue that women should have equal freedoms with men to bare their breasts in public, but not for the reasons commonly cited Proponents of “the public breast” tend to focus on the similarities between women’s and men’s breasts; I argue that the sameness versus difference debate is unhelpful in resolving this question. As I argue, women’s breasts differ from men’s in significant ways, and by dismissing these differences we dismiss the possibility of women’s authentic breasted experience. Instead, I suggest that women share an equal interest with men in defining their sexuality: When women are denied the right to go topless or breastfeed in public, they are denied their own understandings of their breasts.
20. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Susanne Gannon, Babette Müller-Rockstroh In memory: Women’s experiences of (dangerous) breasts
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Women’s embodied memories of “Dangerous Breasts”, generated as part of a wider collective memory project on women’s breasts, Iconstruct women as always at risk of our bodies turning against us. We trace through memory stories how we inscribe our bodies as “dangerous” through practices involving silence, fear, surveillance and diagnosis. We examine how regimes directed at the prevention and treatment of breast cancer serve, in our memories, to increase anxiety and distance us from our bodies and any sense of agency.