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1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Charles Brown, Malgorzata Czarnocka Values and Ideals. Theory and Praxis
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eco philosophy for the human and more than human world
2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Sam Cocks Environmental Pluralism, Polar Harmonies and Resolution
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The point of this essay is to draw on the resources of phenomenology to argue that a global environmental ethics is one that should embrace cultural pluralism. My further claim is that due to the presence of a large variety of what Edmund Husserl understands as home-worlds and alien-worlds, any attempt at a universal environmental ethics might be impossible and perhaps unattractive. Nonetheless, I do believe there should be a dialogue that unfolds across these differences for the sake some operative environmental ethics. I believe that an aesthetic model that can help us understand the former is the idea of “polar harmonies” put forth by Hebert Speigelberg. I end by claiming that even when a “common nature” is discovered through the interaction with the alien-world, what is found cannot become universalized due to the unavoidable influence of cultural differences upon this very commonality.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Nadja Furlan Štante Eco-Feminist Ethics of Interdependence
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The paper examines the perception of nature and of the human-nature relationship which is deeply marked by the collective memory of human’s destroying domination over nature, especially in the Western world. In this segment the positive contribution of Christian theological eco-feminism is of utmost importance, as it discloses and breaks down the prejudice of the model of human’s superiority over nature by means of a critical historical overview of individual religious traditions. The centrepiece here is an analysis of the tensions inherent in contemporary gender and nature religious policy and the implication of theological eco-feminist ethics of interdependence in everyday life and in understanding the identity of women and nature from this perspective.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Renat Apkin Science and Environmental Health. Case of Radon Radiation
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This paper offers a contribution to ecophilosophy from the perspective of the scientific research of the environment. The problem considered in the paper deals with a specific issue of environmental risk, namely, the problem of radon ionizing radiation and the highest permissible security norms of it. This problem, now rarely discussed in ecological communities, is one of more important for humankind’s health and safe existence. The awareness of harmful and beneficial biological effects of various environmental factors is a basic step towards ensuring the security of public health. The admissible norms of radon radiation are different in different countries. The article suggests possible causes of these differences and puts forward the thesis that today’s science alone is not a sufficient ground of resolving ecological problems.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Krystyna Najder-Stefaniak Security and Sustained Development
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Interesting for the debate on human security is the concept of coexistence of culture and civilization. According to Albert Schweitzer, civilization and culture were not mutually exclusive and did not compete against each other. However, if civilizational growth began to dominate over cultural development, or, in other words, if culture began to lag behind civilization, human life would be reduced to its biological aspect and man would become unable to take the adequate care of his natural and social ecosystems. He/she, dominated by the impersonal forces of nature and economy, would be reduced by them to an object. That is what Schweitzer called the neoprimitive man. Contemporary man is in danger of becoming the neoprimitive man.Culture adapted to contemporary technological civilization grows out of a thought paradigm ordered by a metaphor rooted in the eco-system concept, which replaces the modern machine metaphor. In thinking based on eco-systemic relations the difference between them does not antagonize but enriches, and rivalry is replaced by synergy. In this new paradigm the axiological aspect of the modern-day development concept becomes very complicated and needs the qualifier “sustained,” thanks to which development ceases to threaten the coincidental and ruthless change. The application of the term “sustained development” to the relation between technological civilization and culture forces the discourse on human security to take stock of the human capacity for metanoia and existence within the ethical dimension, and make room for education in formulating creative responses to danger.
human values and ideals. their role in personal and cultural identities
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Andrey I. Matsyna The Metaphysics of Overcoming—Ontological Foundations
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This article studies the phenomenon of overcoming and provides a rationale of the understanding of the totality of human experience that integrates the situation of overcoming as that of the transcendence of human existence. As the basis of the research we use an integrated model of archaic cultural overcoming of the life–death dichotomy—a metaphysics of overcoming. A result of this metaphysics is a specific dialectical ontology of myth, represented as an ontology of return. Manifestationism, holism, alogism, metamorphism, animism, cyclism, and sacralism are the general principles of this ontology. Return ontologies are in conflict with the ontology and metaphysics of the finite present in the religious and scientific worldviews. The author sees the prospects for a further study of the phenomenon of overcoming in using the subjective energistic approach that leads to understanding the phenomenon of overcoming at the biosocial level. The results of the research can be used as a philosophical basis for the development of an archaeological activity theory, in particular, a unified integrated approach to the ancient burial ritualism. They also allow to deepen the theoretical concepts of man, society, and culture.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Hu Jihua Bildung and Paideia: The Connection between the Early German Romanticism’s and Plato’s Ideas about Humanist Education
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The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the role of humanistic education (Bildung) played in the cultural project of the early German Romanticism through tracing back to Plato’s idea of philosophical cultivation (paideia). Like Plato, the early German Romantics postulate Bildung or the education of humanity as the central goal or the highest aspiration for the cultural practice of mankind in order to settle the fundamental problems concerning the social and political crisis. This attitude is similar to Plato’s critique of the degenerate regime in the guise of democratic politics. There is an apparent and inevitable divergence between Plato’s aristo-cracy and the Romanticism poesie-cracy. That is to say, the early German Romanticism wagered a war against ancient moral idealism represented by Plato and finally turned it on its head, but they write a paradigmatic apocalypse of the soul for moderns.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Sheldon Richmond How to Alleviate the Cultural Obstacles to Dialogue: Socratic Dialogue as Social Architecture
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How do we alleviate the cultural obstacles to dialogue? The answer, we argue, is by using Socratic dialogue as the architecture for the design of social systems, societies can overcome the cultural obstacles to inter-cultural dialogue of imposed insider-outsider social divisions, of imposed social hierarchies, and of imposed social walls around cultures. We elaborate on how Socratic Dialogue removes those cultural obstacles to intercultural dialogue when used as social architecture or as a blueprint for institutions that open the social gates to all “outsiders” through the social levelling of hierarchies, and through the creation of social bridges among all “parallel” cultures.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Xing Guozhong The Chinese Moral Crisis and Moral Capital
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“Moral capital” is a concept emerged in the China ethical community at the end of the 20th century. The issue of moral capital arises from discussions about economy and ethics. The controversial point in this concept consists in that morality is a kind of capital. Will morality become a capital? I think it is possible. The interpretation of the concept “capital” should go back to the logical starting point of economics, namely, “rational-economic man.” From the perspective of moral philosophy, every economic activity is committed to morality. The maximization of self-interest is only a part of rationality. Rationality should also cover the acquisition of no self-interest valuable goals. People’s economic behaviors may also be connected with culture, ethics, intelligence, aesthetic appreciation or emotions. I think it is time to radically reform rationality. The issue of moral capital reinterprets capital by basing on humanity. The core of moral capital consists in the revealing of capital’s property of value; this value functions against the background of the socialist market economy system. It is the issue of economic justice in the context of contemporary China.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
German Melikhov Ludwig Wittgenstein: Philosophizing as the Gesture of Keeping Silent
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Ludwig Wittgenstein’s philosophizing is deeply ontological, and can be defined as a reflexive gesture of keeping silent. The silence secured by reflexing is an essential part of a philosophy. A philosopher has to use language, but things that pass over in silence must influence things he or she says. The speech manifests not only in the spoken, but also in the unspoken. How is it possible? Through understanding a reflexive speech as an action or gesture of annihilation of speech. The expressed words in philosophy and expressed philosophical concepts are just means of referring to the ultimate value which should be thrown away immediately because it cannot say anything about the inexpressible. The philosophy as a gesture of keeping silent is an attempt to meaningfully keep silent through the constantly evolving reflexive annihilation of your own speech. The philosophizing which takes into account the importance of silence becomes a minimalistic gesture.
11. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Józef Leszek Krakowiak An Activistic and Relational Axiology of a Universalistic Philosophy of Life
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My reflection is dedicated to a universalist and personalistic conception of Andrzej Grzegorczyk and his main idea on deriving the sphere of spiritual values from vital ones. I try to interpret Andrzej Grzegorczyk’s ethics in a broad way, that is, as a universalistic philosophy of life. I mean by “philosophy of life” the basic aspect of the practical realization of values, that is, social life as an attitude to fate. I use Martin Heidegger’s concept of human handiness, filtered through its use by Grzegorczyk, as a tool of exposing vitality values (generated the organs of the human body) which grow into universal spiritual values
12. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Titus Lateş Reflections on the Nobility of Spirit in Romanian Philosophy
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At the turn of the 17th century, in Romanian philosophy the nobility of spirit is seen as a certain but intermediate value, to be cherished while man waits for his divine reward, which is everlasting life, as presented in Divanul [The Divan] by Dimitrie Cantemir. Two hundred and fifty years later, man is regarded as having evolved from the animal forms of life in Mihai Ralea’s systematic presentation Explicarea omului [An Explanation of Man], and the sole meaning of nobility is the revolutionary one, the heroic one, that is the ethical one. From a totally different point of view, during the interwar period, Constantin Micu Stavilă developed a general theory of man and society thus compellingly arguing against the claims of all ideologists of the natural genesis of human spirituality. In this theory the nobility of spirit was said to come from work and creation. By presenting these examples, my intention is to rediscover this spiritual, moral and socio-cultural ideal in order to find its place, role and profile in designing a new view of human nature, for a more decent human world.
13. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Muk-Yan Wong The Ideal Love: Platonic or Frommian?
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In this paper, I compare two theories of ideal love, the Platonic and Frommian, and argue that they give opposite advices to lovers in practice. While Plato emphasizes “whom to love” and urges one to continuously look for a better beloved, Erich Fromm emphasizes “how to love” and urges one to grow and change with one’s imperfect lover. Using the movie Her as an example, I explain why an ideal love is extremely difficult to attain under the guidance of the Platonic and Frommian ideals. In an imperfect love, to leave or to stay seems to be a question with no simple answer.
14. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Shuang Zhang The Independent Thinking of Justice: To Begin with the Banality of Evil
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Hannah Arendt’s concept “the banality of evil” was subverted by Bettina Stangneth’s recent research. But with the concept of the banality of evil, the inherent continuity of her “radical evil,” Arendt enriched the discourse of evil which allows us to gain insight into the relationship between evil and ordinary human beings. At the same time, Arendt also raised the question about law, ethics and politics when evil was put to justice. In fact, what she cares about, is justice to everyone; what she wants is to understand the evil and to make her own critical thinking about it.
moral systems and moral practices
15. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Adriana Neacșu Virtue and Vice in Plotinus’ Enneads
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In Enneads, Plotinus outlines an ethical ideal founded on the similarity between human being and divinity, in which the values of virtue and vice have a central role. Vice is a weakness of the soul that prevents it from performing its functions, so that instead of moving to good, it turns to evil. The soul can exit this state only through virtue, which is a good by which it can dominate matter and become like the supreme God. The ascension to God is achieved through several stages, represented by: the civic virtues, the purifying virtues and the contemplative virtues.
16. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Ana Bazac Aristotle, the Names of Vices and Virtues: What Is the Criterion of Quantitative Evaluation of the Moral Behaviour?
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In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle has given a tableau of the desirable virtues and their infringement through the surpassing of their limits. Thus, every virtue is framed or delimited by vices that represent either its excess or its deficiency. However, this type of defining is related to deep, metaphysical reasons: since every being, especially the living one, has its telos. Man’s telos is to practise and fulfil his human specificity, i.e. reason, and reason is the measure/quality of virtue as such; the excess or deficiency in his behaviour perverts and even stops the realisation of the humanity of man. And this humanity is, in turn, in accordance to the telos of nature, the good in and for the preservation of all things. If, hypothetically, persons would not be virtuous at all, this accordance would not be realised and man would be an accident in the logic of nature: and accidents are removed, sooner or later. The criterion of the “quantitative” moral evaluation is thus qualitative: a quality, the good aimed at by mindfulness applied to the concrete particular moral relations and learned from experience.
17. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Topi Heikkerö On Compassion: The Good beyond Values
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This paper is a dialogue that considers compassion as a grounding for ethics. Its approach is thematic but it draws significantly from Arthur Schopenhauer’s account of compassion (Mitleid). In Schopenhauer’s thought, values (Werthe) are functions of a subject’s willing and therefore inevitably tied to an ego-centric viewpoint. Real ethics needs to find a good beyond subjective valuations. Schopenhauer finds an ethical phenomenon beyond values in Mitleid, “suffering-together,” compassion. Compassion is a pre-reflective benevolent feeling toward another’s suffering. Compassion can occur only if the ego-world duality is overcome at least to some extent. In this way compassion is a metaphysical sentiment.
18. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 4
Indoo Pandey Khanduri Descartes on Generosity as an Ideal Character Virtue: Theoretical Foundations
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This paper humbly attempts to explore Descartes’ conception of generosity as an ideal character virtue which can address the problems of the global world like struggle, intolerance and segregation; and thereby creates healthy routes for universal dialogue. The first part attempts to clarify Descartes’ conception of the foundations of generosity. The second part narrates Descartes’ views on generosity as passions and as a virtue. The third part explores the possibility of generosity as a virtue of the individual as well as social character. It also proposes to take the practice of generosity as a mechanism of developing cooperation, tolerance, and, consequently, universal dialogue and harmony.
19. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 3
Małgorzata Czarnocka, Emily Tajsin Values and Ideals. Theory and Praxis
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ideals and values in religion and myth
20. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 27 > Issue: 3
Konrad Waloszczyk On Three Philosophical Premises of Religious Tolerance
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My contention is to adumbrate three general premises leading to religious tolerance. The first is that emphasis should be laid much more on ethics than on metaphysics. Religions greatly differ in supernatural beliefs but all advocate justice, love, truthfulness, self-control and other virtues. Second, the beliefs about God are not true in their exact meaning, but rather as remote analogies to scientific truth. Religion is more resemblant of poetry than science. Third, real tolerance consists in the readiness to assimilate some of the values of other religions, since no one has expressed the transcendent in an exhausting and perfect way.