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Displaying: 1-13 of 13 documents

1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Sharon Kaye The Virtue of Playing Along
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Because playing along involves pretence, it is liable to be seen as an objectionable form of deception. In this paper, however, I argue that it is a virtue based on its role in creating and sustaining valuable relationships. According to William of Ockham and Michelle de Montaigne, to love another as a true friend is to will as he or she wills. Given that even the most like-minded individuals often will different things, there is need for a meta-level, at which one can validate the will of the other without actually willing it oneself. This is what it is to play along.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Jeremy Wisnewski Murder, Cannibalism, and Indirect Suicide
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Reeently, a man in Germany was put on trial for killing and consuming another German man. Disgust at this incident was exacerbated when the accused explained that he had placed an advertisement on the internet for someone to be slaughtered and eaten-and that his ‘vietim’ had answered this advertisement. In this paper, I will argue that this disturbing ease should not be seen as morally problematic. I will defend this view by arguing that (1) the so-called ‘vietim’ of this cannibalization is not in fact a victim of murder, and that (2) there is nothing wrong with cannibalism.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Ovadia Ezra Equality of Opportunity and Affirmative Action
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This paper deals with the policy of affirmative action as an additional means for achieving equality of opportunity in society. It assumes that in modem society-at least in principle-the superior positions are distributed according to merit, and on the basis of fair competition. I argue that formal equality of opportunity injects apparently neutral requirements, such as experience, into the selection procedure for top positions, that, in fact, act particularly against women, since they allow the past employment situation to affect the new selection. I use a statistical argument to show that without preferential treatment towards women, they will not overcome structural obstacles that prevent them from getting top positions. I also use the same argument to show that affirmative action at present contributes to equality of opportunity in the future.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
José-Antonio Orosco Pilgrimage, Penitence, and Revolution: Immigration and the Building of American Culture
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In this essay, l examine Cesar Chavez’s thoughts on the effects of Mexican immigration on the United States. I argue that neo-nativist authors are wrong in thinking that a growing Latino population will develop into a distinct political bloc that will destabilize the nation. Instead, I maintain that Chavez suggests how a strong Latino presence might occasion a shift of values in the United States toward a culture ofpeace. I argue that Chavez develops a logic of nonviolent practice, drawing on aspects of Mexican culture and political history, that is meant to guide the struggle for social justice in the United States. I explore how Chavez structured the nonviolent campaigns of the United Farm Workers around this logic of nonviolence in hopes of being a model that would revitalize the tradition of American nonviolent protest.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Albert Spalding Loyalty in the Workplace
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Corporate codes of conduct frequently impose a duty of loyalty upon employees. l examine the notion of loyalty in general, and loyalty in the workplace in particular. I conclude that unless loyalty is defined and articulated in favor of a larger social project (rather than in favor of aperson, a set of ruIes, or other entity), efforts to encourage loyalty will be a source of epistemic distortion at best, and oppression at worst.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Jarett Weintraub A Gadamerian Response to MacKinnon
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In this paper, the author examines the philosophical underpinnings of Catherine MacKinnon’s arguments for the Model Ordinance, particularly as put forth in her book Only Words. These arguments are then refuted, employing Gadamer’s explication of the necessary conditions for the possibility of interpretation and understanding.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
John Forge What are the Moral Limits of Weapons Research?
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The paper tries to locate the moral limits of weapons research, an issue that comes about because weapons harm and unjustified harms are wrong.Doing research does not itself harm, so first it is shown that a means principle holds. Weapons research then needs to be justified, and two ways to do this arecanvassed, historical and a historical. The former takes account of the context in which the work is done and the circumstances the products used. It is arguedthat there can only be historical justifications, given that there are no inherently defensive, deterrent or humane weapons. However, weapons designs live onbeyond the circumstances in which they were created, and even if these amount to ‘just war’ there can be an assurance that the products will not be used unjustlyin the future. A radical solution is suggested for this problem.
8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Danielle Poe On U.S. Lynching: Remembrance, Apology, and Reconciliation
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This paper considers the philosophical links between remembrance, apology, and reconciliation, as they pertain to Senate Resolution 39, which apologizes to the victims of lynching and their descendants. Although S. Res. 39 is admirable in its attempts to remember the senate’s role in supporting lynching by its failure to enact legislation, the resolution fails as an apology because it does not adequately support reconciliation. An adequate apology would require acts to ameliorate the harms that the past failures created, but S. Res. 39 is written in such a way that no action is required of the senate. This paper concludes by considering Congressman John Conyers, Jr.’s bill, H.R. 40: Commission to Study Reparation Proposals for African Americans Act. This bill takes the necessary steps to normalize American race relations, and if considered alongside of S. Res. 39, these two bills could lead to a more adequate understanding of the connection between remembrance, apology, and reconciliation.
9. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Robert Paul Churchill Moral Toleration and Deep Reconciliation
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Societies emerging from severe internal bloodshed along ethnic, racial or religious lines face significant problems of reconciliation. A particularly “deep” form of recognition between former victims and offenders is necessary to end enmity and achieve solidarity. Yet it appears that deep reconciliation is logically incoherent as it requires that forgiveness be asked and be given for acts that are inexcusable and unforgivable. I argue, however, that toleration, understood as moral attitudes and dispositions, helps us understand why deep reconciliation is logically coherent. Dispelling the apparent paradox lies in understanding the role of toleration in forming what I call relationships of “acknowledgment and forbearance.” Relationships of acknowledgement and forbearance overcome elements of enmity and estrangement, and such relationships are necessary, in turn, for deep reconciliation.
10. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Phil Jenkins Anxiety and Knowledge
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In a democracy, disadvantaged group members may experience emotions dissimilar to those of dominant group members. Alison Jaggar calls emotions such as these, outlaw emotions. Interestingly, recent emotion research findings actually accord with Jaggar’s conclusions. In this paper, I argue that members of marginalized, subordinated groups in a democracy, with their enhanced sense of the difference between the promise of equality and the reality of inequality, tend to have more knowledge than dominant group members in political situations, and therefore should be considered even more valuable as leaders than members of dominant groups.
11. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
James McBain Epistemological Expertise and the Problem of Epistemic Assessment
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How do laypeople sitting on a jury make determinations of expertise? How, if at all, can laypersons epistemically assess the expertise of an expert or rival experts? Given that the domains of expertise are quite technical, if laypersons are to adjudicate the various proposed and often conflicting claims of experts, they must be able to determine the reliability of the experts as well as the truth of their claims. One way to address these concems is to say that the layperson needs to be in a position to make the determination herself. This view I will call individualism. Individualism maintains the burden of epistemic assessment is on the layperson, not on the expert. One such version of individualism is Jason Borenstein’s proposal as to what is needed for laypersons to make such an assessment. Borenstein’s proposal turns on the laypersons’ ability to understand the domain of expertise as well as the putative expert’s ability to satisfy a proficiency test. What I hope to show is that this proposal fails for two reasons. I argue that the nlove to proficiency tests does not warrant any layperson’s determination of truth or reliability and that given the limited epistemic abilities of laypersons they are not able to satisfy Borenstein’s proposed conditions for determination.
12. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Sarah E. Worth The Dangers of Da Vinci, or the Power of Popular Fiction
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Philosophers of literature direct their studies to the moral, cognitive, and emotional aspects of our involvement with fiction. In spite of this, they rarely engage works of popular fiction. In this paper I use The Da Vinci Code as a case study of the impact of popular fiction on readers in terms of these three areas. Although this book will never be considered good literature, its impact is far reaching. l address concerns dealing with the fiction/non-fiction distinction as weIl as issues with history, accuracy, and falsehoods. I flesh out the issues The Da Vinci Code brings up and argue that it, along with other works of popular fiction (Oprah’s book club for example), might be taken more seriously by philosophers of literature.
13. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 14 > Issue: 1
Robert Baird The Responsible Self: An Interpretation of Jean-Paul Sartre
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Struggle with self identity is a life-Iong moral undertaking, an essential dimension of which is connecting one’s past and future in a way that preserves integrity and wholeness. The argument of this paper is that one reading of Sartre’s understanding of bad faith and authenticity can illuminate this project. More specifically, the essay provides an interpretation of Sartre’s claim that “I am not what I am and I am what Iam not” that avoids understanding the self as an ontological nothingness poised between past and future. Rather, Sartre’s phrase is interpreted as recognizing that we experience ourselves as a rich, complex continuum that connects past and future. This understanding of the self acknowledges the tension between past and future, but sees that tension as the matrix out of which a responsible self emerges.