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1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Fausto Corvino The Non-Identity Objection to Intergenerational Harm: A Critical Re-Examination
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In this article I analyse those that I consider the most powerful counterarguments that have been advanced against the non-identity objection to the idea of intergenerational harm, according to which an action cannot cause harm to a given agent if her biological identity does actually depend—in a partial but still determinant way—on the performance of this action. In doing this, I firstly go through the deontological criticisms to the person-affecting view of harm, before moving on to sufficientarian and communitarian accounts of intergenerational harm. My argument is that neither of these theories manage to defuse the non-identity objection. Yet, I conclude by observing that a possible way out of the non-identity paradox might consist in developing an ethical account of intergenerational negative justice that focuses on the functional value of the natural and social structures in which humans develop their lives, rather than on their instrumental or intrinsic value.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Kazi A. S. M. Nurul Huda The Motivation Problem, Future Generations, and the Idea of “Leaving the Earth No Worse”
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The author examines the problem of motivation about future generations. He argues that though many philosophers think that direct motivations are problematic for future generations only, they are not unproblematic for the current generations too, and that the motivation problem can be solved if we consider the idea of “leaving the earth no worse.” He also shows why such an idea should be promoted and can motivate us to work in the best interests of current and future generations. The author also contends that prioritizing the idea of “leaving the earth no worse” is not exclusively anthropocentric.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Andrew Fiala Legal But Rare: Toward a Transformative Critical Theory of Abortion and Unwanted Pregnancy
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This paper argues that it is not incoherent to think that abortion should be “legal but rare.” The argument draws upon virtue ethics, feminism, critical theory, and the theory of biopolitics to argue that the idea that abortion should be legal but rare is best understood as aiming at the elimination of unwanted pregnancies. Some pro-choice defenders of abortion rights worry that the “legal but rare” idea stigmatizes women who choose abortion. But when this idea is unpacked using the tools of intersectional analysis, biopolitical theory, and virtue ethics it can be understood as pointing toward a transformation of social reality that empowers women.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Michael Hartsock, Eric Roark Exploitation without Exchange: An Analysis of Consumer Exploitation of Sweatshop Workers
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Extant accounts of exploitation typically focus on either an exchange or interaction between persons, or on exploitative systems (i.e., global capitalism). We propose a new account of exploitation that focuses instead on the benefits an exploiter enjoys which are had at the expense of another, the exploited party. This account is developed by considering the benefits enjoyed by consumers (e.g., inexpensive sweatshop-made goods) and the manner in which those benefits are produced (e.g., the loss of dignity suffered by sweatshop workers). On our account, an exploitative relationship need not involve any interaction or exchange between exploiter and exploited. Neither is exploitation a property of systems or institutions. Instead, we argue that a consumer who buys a shirt produced under near slave-like conditions engages in a moral wrong by exploiting the worker who made it even though the two may be far-removed in space and time.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Jane Duran Ethics and Microcredit: The Realities of Assistance
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An analysis of the specific yogurt and phone microcredit schemes in Bangladesh is made along three lines of argument. It is important to note that these schemes are pulled together by NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) to assist women and children in developing areas to attain financial independence—the first line employs leftist criticism of the corporate constructs, and an additional line of inquiry compares some of the programs to those in other nations. A final line of argument analyzes the specific cultural views of Bengali Islam and the long tradition of Bengali literacy. It is concluded that, despite areas of difficulty, the programs are in general beneficial.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
James Stacey Taylor Satz and Semiotics: Brennan and Jaworski’s Misplaced Criticisms
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Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski have recently developed an argument against semiotic objections to markets. They argue that all such semiotic arguments are unsound because they fail to recognize that the meaning of market transactions is a contingent socially-constructed fact. They attribute this type of argument to Debra Satz. This paper argues both that Brennan and Jaworski are mistaken to attribute this particular semiotic objection to Satz and that they are mistaken to attribute to her a semiotic objection of this type. It then argues that Brennan and Jaworski have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of Satz’s project. It concludes by defending Satz against Brennan and Jaworski’s charge that one of her criticisms of markets is based on an equivocation.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Sandra McCalla Sexism or Fair Play: Intersex Women in Competitive Sports
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It is true that not all women are born equal, and likewise, not all men are born equal, so before the game even starts, there are some athletes with longer legs, bigger hands and unusually high testosterone levels. These are natural properties and structures that have the potential to cause an unfair advantage. It is argued that since athletes are not born equal, natural properties should not be controlled or suppressed but ought to be considered as fair play in sports. Forcing intersex female athletes to lower their testosterone levels to compete is not only sexist and discriminatory, it is unethical. The question of fair play is at the forefront here as I seek to work from the premise that natural inequalities have always existed and will continue to exist in competitive sports. As long as these exist, competitions will not be fair. Since athletes have no control over these natural inequalities, they are neither causally nor morally responsible for them.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Todd Jones Can We Learn about Real Social Worlds from Fictional Ones?
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It is very common for social scientists to be asked whether their findings about human nature could also be learned from reading great works of literature. Literature teachers frequently assign readings partly to teach people important truths about the world. But it is unclear how looking at a work of fiction can tell us about the real world at all. In this paper I carefully examine questions about the conditions under which the fictional world can teach us about the real world.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
S. K. Wertz Food and the Association of Perceptions
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It has long been claimed and supposedly substantiated that there exists an association of ideas, but not of perceptions (that is, sensations or impressions). Collingwood echoed this claim from Hume, but Hume later in the Treatise produced an association of impressions (actually emotions and passions), so he came close to Hobbes’s position: human physiology has “trains of sense” and these are carried on in human thought—what we call “ideas” (he called “decaying sense”). A strong case can be made for this claim when we examine the phenomenon of food. Concerning food, I explore Chinese cuisine and more recently Kunz and Kaminsky’s The Elements of Taste for examples that provide substantiation of the association of perceptions. This proves to be a rewarding way to look at the phenomenon of food and leads us to re-examine traditional theories of perception.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Stephen Kershnar The Paradox of Consent
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If consent is valid (that is, morally transformative), then in every case it is either valid or invalid. This is because of the notion that (when valid) consent eliminates a right and a person either has or lacks a right against another. A parallel problem to the paradox of symmetrical attackers applies to consent. That is, there is a case in which two people neither consent nor do not consent to one another. As a practical matter, attorneys, judges, legislators, physicians, and sex partners should not treat consent as morally significant, except perhaps as defeasible evidence of what makes another person’s life go better. They might still want to follow the law because there is likely a duty to follow law even when its purported justification is mistaken.
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Victoria I. Burke, Robin D. Burke Powerlessness and Personalization
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Is privacy the key ethical issue of the internet age? This coauthored essay argues that even if all of a user’s privacy concerns were met through secure communication and computation, there are still ethical problems with personalized information systems. Our objective is to show how computer-mediated life generates what Ernesto Laclou and Chantal Mouffe call an “atypical form of social struggle.” Laclau and Mouffe develop a politics of contingent identity and transient articulation (or social integration) by means of the notions of absent, symbolic, hegemonic power and antagonistic transitions or relations. In this essay, we introduce a critical approach to one twenty-first-century atypical social struggle that, we claim, has a disproportionate effect on those who experience themselves as powerless. Our aim is to render explicit the forms of social mediation and distortion that result from large-scale machine learning as applied to personal preference information. We thus bracket privacy in order to defend some aspects of the EU GDPR that will give individuals more control over their experience of the internet if they want to use it and, thereby, decrease the unwanted epistemic effects of the internet. Our study is thus a micropolitics in in the Deleuzian micropolitical sense and a preliminary analysis of an atypical social struggle.
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
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