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symposium on moral virtue
1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Elias Baumgarten Curiosity as a Moral Virtue
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I argue that curiosity about the world deserves attention as a moral virtue, even apart from the role it may play in (the more generally praised) love of wisdom. First, close relationships and caring are reasonably considered part of a well-lived life, and curiosity is important for caring both about people and about things in the world. Second, curiosity helps us to define an appropriate way for persons to be affected by certain situations. Perhaps most important, curiosity can help one to live well because it addresses the most fundamental existential task humans face, the need to see their lives as meaningful. I argue that curiosity is a distinctive virtue but suggest that related virtues (e.g., receptivity, reverence) may contribute to different kinds of worthy engagement with the world.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Charles Zola Geriatric Filial Piety
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Today many adult children find themselves in the position of caring for elderly parents and attending to the other demands of life. Because of the unique balance of power in the adult child/elderly parent relationship as well as other negative influences, many adult children find caring for parents a frustrating task. This article argues a solution to this dilemma can be found in a renewed appreciation of filial piety as it specifically relates to caring for elderly parents. Using the moral insights of Aristotle and Aquinas, this paper develops a contemporary theoretical framework for geriatric filial piety that incorporates the traditional virtues of gratitude, respect, honor and obedience. It also illustrates their practical application so that adult children can find caring for their elderly parents a meaningful activity.
symposium on truth and construction of reality in psychotherapy
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Valerie E. Broin Standing in the Way of Truth: Understanding Narratives of Domestic Violence
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Telling the truth about experiences of sexualized trauma is viewed as a necessary element of healing. Yet, the notion of truth as representational accuracy is seriously limited, and striving to achieve such a truth may actually hinder the healing process. This article examines the complexity of truth telling, reconceptualizing it as an ongoing event of expression that opens up a space for intimacy in which meanings can emerge that allow a survivor to navigate her way in the world.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Robert Scott Stewart Hacking the Blues: The Construction of the Depressed Adolescent
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This paper employs Ian Hacking’s notion of interactive kinds to examine the recent construction of the kind, “depressed adolescent.” I examine first how adolescents themselves were constructed. I then trace how, in North America, we have moved in the past thirty-odd years from a situation of virtually no adolescent depression to the current situation where it is estimated that approximately one in four adolescents is depressed. I offer some reasons why we should be uncomfortable both with the exponential increases in this kind and with the way in which depressed adolescents are being treated at present. In conclusion, I tentatively suggest some ways of proceeding in the future.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Brian T. Trainor Social Work, Social Policy, and Truth: Foucault and Bosanquet
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In this article, I wish to suggest that the relationship of social work and social policy to “Truth” is of crucial importance for sound professional practice, and I attempt to substantiate this claim by analyzing and highlighting the very harmful consequences of ignoring, dismissing or distorting this relationship. I will show that these very definite and deleterious consequences inevitably arise as soon as Foucauldian postmodernists attempt to cut the link between professional practice in social work and social policy, and the ongoing quest for the “Truth” of our humanity. I then suggest that if Foucault, taken as representative of contemporary postmodernism, is the “problem,” then the solution lies in the work of a theorist such as Bosanquet, taken as representative of traditional social philosophy and political theory. I conclude with an investigation into the role of what I call “ethico-political consciousness” in both the civic and professional pursuit of Truth in social life.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David Benatar To Be or Not to Have Been?: Defective Counterfactual Reasoning About One’s Own Existence
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Most people think that their coming into existence benefited them. This paper reports on and analyses a study that shows that most people, when making such a judgement, do not really consider the counterfactual case -- the scenario in which they never come into existence. Because proper consideration is not given to both options, the ranking of one over the other is not an appropriately informed judgement. The preference for having come into existence is thus a profoundly unreliable indicator of whether it really is better to be than not to have been. The practical value of knowing this will be outlined.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
Noreen C. Facione, Peter A. Facione Analyzing Explanations for Seemingly Irrational Choices: Linking Argument Analysis and Cognitive Science
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People make significant decisions in contexts of risk and uncertainty. Some of these decisions seem wise under the circumstances, and others seem like irrational choices. In both cases, people offer reasons as clarifications and explanations of these choices to others and to themselves. Argument analysis, a technique well known in philosophy and more generally in the humanities, can explicate the strands of assumptions, intermediate conclusions, data, warrants, and claims that the person articulates. But alone, argument analysis often falls short of revealing why the person’s decision makes sense to that person. Thefindings of empirical research into the influences of cognitive heuristics, the mental shortcuts we all use in decision making and problem solving, adds focus to the analysis of these choices. This paper links these two powerful analytic strategies, and provides a much fuller, more fruitful picture of explanations for seemingly irrational choices. Using an example explanation for deciding not to quit smoking, the paper makes both its methodological argument and its implicit argument for the significance of extending this analytical strategy to applied contexts. The implications of extending this analysis of everyday argument to management, health care, and education could be profound.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
George Schedler Are Confederate Monuments Racist?
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I offer a way of classifying Confederate monuments and two ways of extracting meaning from these monuments. A few of them are racist on one of the two interpretations. Most of them, in the final analysis, implicitly acknowledge racial equality by extolling in African Americans the same virtues to which southern whites themselves aspired. Toppling those which seem racist entails serious difficulties, constitutional and philosophical. Additional interpretive material about the controversial ones is the more appropriate response.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 15 > Issue: 2
David E. W. Fenner Virtues and Vices in Film Criticism
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Too often we relegate criticism of films to merely a rational or cognitive treatment of possible interpretations or meanings of the film under review. This is short sighted. After exploring the nature of the critical film review, this paper examines some of the potential vices that are found in film criticism today (such as “cerebralization,” “narrative fixation,” and “anticipatory blindness”), and highlights some of the virtues of a good film critic (such as “context sensitivity,” “aesthetic experiencing,” and “value maximization”).