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articles
1. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Fabrice Pataut Platonism And Mathematical Explanations: Some Critical Remarks On Explanatory Proofs And Debunking Arguments (I)
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Ontological parsimony requires that if we can dispense with A when best explaining B, or when deducing a nominalistically statable conclusion B from nominalistically statable premises, we must indeed dispense with A. When A is a mathematical theory and it has been established that its conservativeness undermines the platonistic force of mathematical derivations (Field), or that a nonnumerical formulation of some explanans may be obtained so that the platonistic force of the best numerical-based account of the explanandum is also undermined (Rizza), the parsimony principle has been respected.Since both derivations resorting to conservative mathematics and nonnumerical best explanations also require abstract objects, concepts and principles, ontological parsimony must also be required of nominalistic accounts. One then might of course complain that such accounts turn out to be as metaphysically loaded as their platonistic counterparts. However, it might prove more fruitful to leave this particular worry to one side, to free oneself, as it were, from parsimony thus construed and to look at other important aspects of the defeating or undermining strategies that have been lavished on the disposal of platonism.Two aspects are worthy of our attention: epistemic cost and debunking arguments. Our knowledge that good mathematics is conservative is established at a cost, and so is our knowledge that nominalistic proofs play a theoretical role in best explanations. I will suggest that the knowledge one must acquire to show that nominalistic deductions and explanations do play their respective theoretical role involves some question-begging assumptions regarding the nature of proofs. As for debunking, even if the face value content of either conservative or platonistic mathematical claims didn’t figure in our explanation of why we hold the mathematical beliefs that we do, we could still be justified in holding them so that the distinction between nominalistic deductions and explanations and platonistic ones turns out to be invidious with respect to the relevant propositional attitude, i.e., with respect to belief.
2. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Adelin-Costin Dumitru Infinite Lifespans, Terraforming Planets, And Intergenerational Justice
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When it comes to specifying the moral duties we bear towards future generations, most political philosophers position themselves on what could be regarded as a safe ground. A variant of the Lockean proviso is commonplace in the literature on intergenerational justice, taking the form of an obligation to bestow upon future people a minimum of goods necessary for reaching a certain threshold of well-being (Meyer, 2017). Furthermore, even this minimum is often frowned upon, given the non-identity problem and the challenges this presents to the topic of justice between generations. Additional issues are raised at the level of non-ideal theory, the most significant being the problem of non-compliance (Gosseries and Meyer, 2009).In this paper I intend to probe the limits of “practical political possibility” (Rawls 1999), by inquiring whether embracing the sufficiency view (Frankfurt, 1987; Crisp, 2003; Benbaji, 2005) as a distributive pattern and capabilities as a metric can lead to more burdensome obligations for present generations. More specifically, I try to show that we have a duty to invest in research that aims at prolonging the lifespan of humans (the idea can already be found in the sufficientarian literature, for instance in Farrelly, 2007). Moreover, given the Earth’s limited resources, we ought to encourage the terraforming of other planets in order to make them inhabitable for (future) people.I argue that these two seemingly far-fetched projects are in fact worthwhile goals to pursue on the one hand, and moral obligations on the other hand. Nonetheless, they are not the only ones we ought to take on; for instance, we must simultaneously pursue them and try to improve the prospects of those who fall under a sufficiency threshold here and now. That is, specifying these (prima facie) duties towards future generations is connected with stronger obligations towards the current generation.Towards the end of the paper I engage in a discussion regarding the role of the feasibility constraint in a theory of justice, as rationales pertaining to feasibility are perhaps going to be the most recurrent criticisms raised against my proposal. To that end, I defend limitarian policies, which aim at setting an upper limit to how much money individuals are allowed to possess (Robeyns, 2017; Volacu and Dumitru, 2019).
3. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Stefan Petkov The Role Of Truth In Explanatory Understanding
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This paper discusses the polemical question of whether explanations that produce understanding must be true. It argues positively for the role of truth in reaching explanatory understanding, by presenting three lines of criticism of alternative accounts. The first is that by rejecting truth as a criterion for evaluating explanations, any non-factual account thereby effectively cuts ties with the central theories of explanations, which provide at least partial criteria for explanatory understanding. The second line of criticism is that some of the most well-known non-factual accounts implicitly operate over a notion of partial-truth, and as such, they do not provide a valid alternative. The final critical argument is that, in the place of truth evaluations, these accounts often offer a multiplicity of other criteria, and by changing a unitary criterion such as truth for a collection of other requirements, these non-factive theories introduce a level of ad hoc-ness, which diminishes their normative value.
4. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Rovshan Sabir Hajiyev On A Regularity Of The Intellectual Evolution Of Mankind
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The article explores yet another view of the history of mankind, and examines global problems related to historical processes, which are still far from receiving an unequivocal explanation. As an alternative to Marxism and other theories of social development that shed light on key historical events and global processes, I propose an account based on the hypothesis of the age periodization of the intellectual evolution of mankind. The main provisions of the hypothesis are set out in the content of the article. The methodological basis of the hypothesis is a comparative analysis of ontogenesis and phylogenesis. In other words, on the basis of known laws of intellectual development in ontogeny, I examine historical processes occurring in phylogeny, paying special attention to the substantiation of the main provisions of the hypothesis of the age periodization of the intellectual evolution of mankind.
5. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Silviya Serafimova How to Assign Weights to Values?: Some Challenges in Justifying Artificial Explicit Ethical Agents
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In this paper, one of my primary objectives is to analyze why adopting particular machine-learning techniques and using a moral AI as an adviser is an insufficient condition for eradicating racist human attitudes. By outlining some difficulties in justifying what artificial “explicit ethical agents” in Moor’s sense should look like, I explore why, even if the development of machine-learning techniques can be accepted in epistemic terms, it does not follow that the techniques in question will have a positive impact in changing immoral human behavior.
6. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Alexander M. Osipov “Paper Wave”, “Paper Pressing” And “Paper Genocide” As Applicable To The Russian Education System
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The article considers the metaphors of “paper wave,” “paper pressing” and “paper genocide” as reflecting the social realities of the Russian education system, which are nonetheless poorly understood in sociolinguistics and mostly tabooed within respectable Russian academia and top-management. The relevancy and applicability of these metaphors are substantiated as their criteria, social contexts, and basic connotations are specified. “Paper genocide” is analyzed in journalistic and academic contexts as a term that reproduces the most significant aspects of genocide but with a social and non-criminal meaning. “Paper genocide” helps draw attention to the most acute social and managerial problem, a deadlock within the contemporary Russian education system.
7. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Oana Șerban Healing the Black Sea’s Patrimony: Hospitals, Health and Heritage: An Argument In Favor Of Creating A Network Of Hospitals-Monument Belonging To The States Across The Black Sea
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The main aim of this paper is to examine the tangible forms of cultural heritage represented by European hospital buildings from states across the Black Sea that are still functional or have been closed, and that are subjected, due to the lack of sustainable financial means for conservation and restoration, to degradation, abandonment, and destruction. For the purpose of this analysis, I will tackle both elements of the operational plan of hospital buildings that have been evaluated and registered as national monuments, from the perspective of their clinical functionality, and the elements of architecture and aesthetic forms behind such structures that embrace medical canons and particularities. Therefore, hospitals will be treated as entities of tangible cultural heritage that develop, through their complementary medical and cultural history, forms of intangible cultural heritage.This wide range of buildings can be reduced to two operational categories: hospital buildings designed from the beginning to fulfil a clinical functionality, and cultural buildings – from ecumenical establishments, castles, or villas, such as hermitages and churches, to military structures, such as garrisons – which have been adapted for historical, social, or political reasons to clinical conversion. I will analyse not only the national constraints, prejudgments, and values that contributed to a certain medical and cultural imaginary of state hospitals as monuments, but also the similar strategies and cultural policies that different states across the Black Sea have adopted in preserving the memory and structure of these buildings. The main question I address is: To what extent is it possible to create a network Black Sea region state hospitals as European cultural monuments, and what advantages might this bring to the attempt to perform a more reflective and inclusive notion of European identity? The current research is designed to be a starting point for the development of transectorial public policies, which could lead to an improvement in standards for quality of life, the infrastructures of medical units, and the preservation of tangible forms of cultural heritage, such as the public state hospitals classified as monuments.
8. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Gyulnara Gadzhimuradova Muslims In Europe Between “European” And “Islamic” Values: Identity Crisis
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A world in constant motion, in a state of migration turbulence, presents humanity with new challenges and risks. Globalization is a blessing or a tragedy for humanity, occasioning the problem of how to preserve one’s identity, remaining “one’s own among strangers” while, at the same time, not becoming “a stranger among one’s own.” Integration processes in the world today are met with resistance by multidirectional processes that encourage a critical engagement with all spheres of life in modern society in order to counteract forces of depersonalization and the disappearance of one's identity – one's self – as expressed in the preservation of one's ethnic group, culture, religion, and so on. This is especially evident in attempts at preserving identity within Muslim communities in European countries.Given the growing Muslim population in Europe, it has become obvious that “European” and “Islamic” values are opposed in the context of preserving one's own identity, which is increasingly manifested in a religious context. Europe today has become a hostage of its values, which are despised by many of the immigrants who have poured into its borders. These are tolerance, political correctness, multiculturalism, democracy, and freedom of speech, among others, which are perceived as weakness and indecision. Eastern mentality, habits, and traditions are sometimes very different from European ones. The author examines the transformation of Muslim identity and the compatibility of “European” and “Islamic” values. The article also presents the opinions of various researchers on this issue, and provides possible scenarios for the trajectory of events, given continued intercultural contact through immigration and given the stakes and state of this collision of values.
book reviews
9. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Vesselin Petrov A Coherent Temporalist Metaphysics
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10. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Michele Vagnetti Rudolph Hermann Lotze: Mikrokosmos: Ideen zur Naturgeschichte und Geschichte der Menschheit. Versuch einer Anthropologie
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11. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Note from the Editorial Board
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articles
12. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Dan Goodley Challenging Transhumanism: Clutching at Straws and Assistive Technologies
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This paper cautiously ponders the offerings of transhumanism. We begin the paper by introducing the transhumanist movement and related transdisciplinary thinking before giving space to the emergence of critical disability studies. We argue that the latter field has the potential to ground a critical and reflexive analysis of transhumanism– not least through a consideration of the contributions of posthuman and green disability studies. Drawing on these two perspectives, two specific areas of transhuman contemplation are offered. First, we consider (in the section titled, ‘The Ban on Straws: Disability prosthetics and the complication of eco-politics’) the relationship between disability advocacy politics and the potential ableism present in popular eco-political discourse. Second, we explore mainstreaming assistive technologies and e-waste collateral. These analytical thematics highlight the complexities of a critical transhuman disability studies, not least, in relation to the clash of disability and green politics. We conclude the paper with some considerations for future theory and research that trouble an uncritical acceptance of transhumanism in the area of critical disability studies.
13. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Antonio Maturo, Margaret Shea The Quantified Self or the Marketized Self?: How Data and the Drive to Optimize Lead to Neoliberal Performance Culture
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We show how interest in “human enhancement” and "optimization” is rooted in a broader social phenomenon – the medicalization of life – and argue that the push to enhance and optimize human beings has a distinctively neoliberal character. Indeed, human enhancement and optimization practices reflect a growing tendency to apply market concepts and logic to individuals, who increasingly conceive of themselves as performative subjects. The Quantified Self is, we suggest, the Marketized Self. Moreover, the Quantified Self is not merely a symptom of the marketization of individuals but serves also to perpetuate that marketization: the Quantified Self threatens to become that concept which defines who the individual “really” is. We argue that this metaphysically weighty idea affects how we think about what is good for human beings.
14. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Sorin Hostiuc Procreative Autonomy Versus Beneficence in Assisted Reproductive Technologies
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Since its beginning, healthcare has focused its attention on helping patients become healthier and live longer. One of the areas in which medical technology has made impressive strides is assisted reproductive technologies. Some bioethical issues are common to most or all of these newer reproductive technologies. The uncertainty of long-term risks posed by reproductive technologies generate potential challenges to the values of beneficence and non-maleficence and strain the already divisive dichotomy between procreative autonomy and procreative beneficence. Procreative autonomy and procreative beneficence are both important values that physicians and prospective parents ought to evaluate when considering the use of assisted reproductive technologies. However, the moral prescriptives associated with each value may diverge and conflict with one another; when this occurs, minute arguments may shift the balance between them. For physicians, prioritizing the value of procreative autonomy or procreative beneficence mainly influences the way in which they choose to present information–that is, whether they are directive or non-directive when consulted about family-planning options. Assisted reproductive technologies have dramatically increased the range of choices available to prospective parents, and this breadth of choice may lead to potential ethical conflicts between the competing values of procreative autonomy and procreative beneficence. In the following article, we will address this friction, focusing our attention on normative considerations related to medical risk management and the telos of the prospective child.
15. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Vassil Vidinsky (Post)phenomenological Approach to Homo Sapiens Technicus
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In this paper I use a (post)phenomenological approach to clarify the objective cultural expansion of our technology. Thus, I establish a conceptual analogy between two different philosophical analyses of human–machine relations – one historical and one phenomenological. I develop the analogy between them and their corresponding concepts in several steps. (1) First, I present the Homo sapiens technicus tendency and then the phenomenological differentiation between body schema and body image. All of these elucidate our involvement with machines. (2) Then, I conceptualize the term ‘context’, coupling its structural stability with the idea of distextaulity in order to achieve a better empirical understanding of our technological contradictions. (3) I continue to develop and enrich the analogy by illuminating the functional similarities – fluid boundary, automation, complexity – between contextual structures on the one hand and body schemata on the other. (4) Finally, I explore a deeper causal and narrative connection between those strands, shedding light on an interesting twofold circularity: a circular causation and a double narrative within Homo sapiens technicus.
16. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
George Gherjikov Transhumanism and the Western Monotheistic Traditions
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The article offers an overview of the (dis)continuities between the major Abrahamic religions (especially Christianity) and transhumanism, as well as some possibilities envisioned by scholars for their ongoing dialogue. Important points that come up along the way include: ecology vs. space exploration; the neglect of injustices suffered by past generations; the importance of bodily and mental imperfections for the development of culture; and our all-too human expectations for what posthumans may desire.Also presented is a review of various possible criticisms against wildly ambitious projects, such as Frank Tipler’s attempt to fuse transhumanism with Christian eschatology. It is argued that process theology and James Gardner’s “Biocosm hypothesis” offer a more intriguing view: a salvation which is not predestined but merely possible, and whose details are being negotiated through specific historic events and even through our day-to-day decisions and deliberations. Such a view overcomes Nietzsche’s notion of eternal recurrence by stressing the importance of rethinking, redaction, and creating variations of what already exists.
17. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Ruslan Klymenko Artificial Evolution in Transhumanism
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Transhumanism is a contemporary philosophy based on the belief that human nature is evolving over time not only because of Darwin's natural evolution, but also because of the impact of social movements and technical innovations. The philosophy has been shaped by many historical forerunners, for example, Nietzsche's famous idea that the human being is a mere rope tied between animal and posthuman (i.e. Übermensch), or Fedorov's reflections on the possibility of immortality.In this article, the author will show that – from a current technological perspective – in the not-so-distant future humans will be able to choose their own personal way to evolve, “upgrading” themselves with electronic or organic devices that will modify, improve, or simply introduce new forms of sensation and experience to their being . Included in the analysis of this potential are the historical preconditions of such revolutionary social and technological change.
discussion
18. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 1
Milenko Bodin Multiculturalism and (Neo)liberalism
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Questions related to the politics and practice of multiculturalism remain hotly debated, even though it is unclear what generally is meant by the term “multiculturalism” and how multiculturalism fits into the politics of liberalism. To many proponents of identity politics movements, ‘normative multiculturalism’ represents an unquestioned good, and collective identities are seen as a primary subject of democratic deliberation and national policy. Liberal activists, however, may be justifiably concerned that this interpretation of multiculturalism impinges on the foundations of liberalism itself, including the core value of perfect equality between autonomous rights-bearing subjects.We respond to these concerns by interrogating the philosophical nature of liberalism and multiculturalism, respectively, and fleshing out the complex relationship that exists between these concepts. Using discourse analysis we find that the discourse of normative multiculturalism corresponds to the broader concept of liberalism – neoliberalism. We argue that the discourse of neoliberalism integrates the model and empirical sense of the classical concept of liberalism and that the goal – normative neutrality towards cultural and other identities – is more efficiently achieved..
articles
19. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Franz Riffert Consciousness: The Point of View of Process Philosophy and Genetic Structuralism: A Critical Comparison and Some Consequences
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First a sketch of the current state of the debate of the phenomenon of consciousness is provided; based on it David Chalmer’s distinction between the weak and the hard problem of consciousness will be introduced. It will be indicated that Whitehead’s process philosophy is able to offer a promising basis for solving the hard problem by showing how the concept of consciousness is anchored in his metaphysical theory. In the remaining parts of the paper the so-called weak problem of consciousness will be addressed in more detail by comparing Whitehead’s speculative account with Piaget’s empirical research results concerning the phenomenon of consciousness. By showing that Whitehead’s and Piaget’s positions on consciousness overlap widely a kind of indirect empirical support of Whitehead’s philosophical position will be achieved. At those points where the two positions deviate – that is in only two points – there are indications that Whitehead holds the more plausible position. So this investigation confirms William Seager’s suggestion that more attention should be drawn to Whitehead’s process philosophy when trying to solve the hard, as well as the weak problem of consciousness. In order to substantiate this claim two topics are discussed from the point of view of Whitehead’s position of consciousness: (a) learning and consciousness and (b) artificial consciousness.
20. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 2
Martin Zach Conceptual Analysis in the Philosophy of Science
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Conceptual analysis as a method of inquiry has long enjoyed popularity in analytic philosophy, including the philosophy of science. In this article I offer a perspective on the ways in which the method of conceptual analysis has been used, and distinguish two broad kinds, namely philosophical and empirical conceptual analysis. In so doing I outline a historical trend in which non-naturalized approaches to conceptual analysis are being replaced by a variety of naturalized approaches. I outline the basic characteristics of these approaches with illustrative examples, arguing that recent developments in the philosophy of science show that in order to achieve a more adequate understanding of scientific endeavour we need to prioritize the naturalized accounts of the method.