Cover of Philosophy in the Contemporary World
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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Geoffrey F. Scarre Privacy and the Dead
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The privacy of the dead might be thought to be violated by, for instance, the disinterment for research purposes of human physical remains or the posthumous revelation of embarrassing facts about people's private lives. But are there any moral rights to privacy which extend beyond the grave? Although this notion can be challenged on the ground that death marks the end of the personal subject, with the consequent extinction of her interests, I argue that a right to privacy belongs to deceased persons in virtue of their moral status while alive and reflects their interest in the preservation of their dignity. The paper investigates what prima-facie privacy rights and interests may plausibly be ascribed to the dead and why these need to be taken seriously by those, such as archaeologists or biographers, who have "dealings with the dead."
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Robert William Fischer Why Incest is Usually Wrong
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I contend that there are strong moral reasons for most adult family members to avoid having sex with one another; indeed, I argue that even among consenting adults, incestuous sex is usually wrong. The argument is simple. Absent compelling reasons, it's wrong to take a significant risk with something that's extremely valuable. But having sex with a family member takes a significant risk with something extremely valuable—namely, a family relationship. And since compelling reasons for taking such a risk are very hard to come by, it follows that incest is usually wrong.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Tony Lynch, A.R.J. Fisher Pure Hypocrisy
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We argue that two mam accounts of hypocrisy— the deception-based and the moral-non-seriousness-based account—fail to capture a specific kind of hypocrite who is morally serious and sincere "all the way down." The kind of hypocrisy exemplified by this hypocrite is irreducible to deception, self-deception or a lack of moral seriousness. We call this elusive and peculiar kind of hypocrisy, pure hypocrisy. We articulate the characteristics of pure hypocrisy and describe the moral psychology of two kinds of pure hypocrites.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Michael Falgoust Derivative Works, Original Value
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Many arguments offered by the free culture movement emphasize the ways in which new works rely on works, which have gone before, the discoveries and data of other scientists, and a general stock of common knowledge. An exammation of the ways in which old works mform new works will show that drawmg on previous works is a necessary and inevitable part of the act of creation. Despite the negative connotations surrounding the label "derivative," all works are, in an important sense, derivative, and must be so in order to be recognized as novel and creative. As such, there should be greater freedom in the creation and circulation of derivative works. Under the current intellectual property regime, the creation of derivative works can be controlled at the discretion of the author. Therefore, any system of intellectual property rights must preserve the ability of creators to draw on previous works, including the ability to employ significant elements of protected works in their own creations.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
Robert Baird Achieving the Self
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Self-identity, in the sense of who one now is or who one may become, is widely recognized as a matter of both discovery and creativity. This understanding of self-identity is reflected in the often repeated admonition of Friedrich Nietzsche to become who one is. Against the background of a brief discussion of Nietzsche's admonition, two claims are advance. First, noting the role others play in our becommg who we are helps explicate the notion that self-identity involves both discovery and creativity. Second, emphasizing that self formation involves both discovery and creativity illummates several moral dimensions of the unfolding drama, perhaps the most important of which is the importance of creating a self which makes ongoing recreations of the self possible.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 19 > Issue: 1
C. Heike Schotten Reading Nietzsche in the Wake Of the 2008-09 War on Gaza
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This paper argues for a psychological understanding of Nietzsche's categories of master and slave morality. Disentangling Nietzsche's parallel discourses of strength, superiority, and spirituality in the first essay of On the Genealogy of Morals, I argue that master and slave morality are better understood as ethical practices of the self than surrogates for either a binary classification of strength and weakness or a political demarcation of oppressor and oppressed. In doing so, I offer an application of this analysis to the horrific violence visited upon the Gaza Strip by Israel in its 2008-09 military assault.