Cover of Philosophy in the Contemporary World
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1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Jeremy Barris, Jeffrey C Ruff The Nature of Persons and Our Ethical Relations with Nonhuman Animals
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If we accept that at least some kinds of nonhuman animals are persons, a variety of paradoxes emerge in our ethical relations with them, involving apparently unavoidable disrespect of their personhood. We aim to show that these paradoxes are legitimate but can be illuminatingly resolved in the light of an adequate understanding of the nature of persons. Drawing on recent Western, Daoist, and Zen Buddhist thought, we argue that personhood is already paradoxical in the same way as these aspects of our ethical relations with nonhuman animals, and in fact is the source of their paradoxical character. In both contexts, depth and shallowness turn out to be internal to or crucial parts of each other, with logically anomalous consequences. We try to show that the character of this paradoxical relation between depth and shallowness in the nature of personhood involves a crucial inflection in the case of nonhuman animal persons that allows us to make sense of and resolve these ethical paradoxes.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Noel Boulting Forms of Domination and Conceptions of Violence: A Semiotic Approach
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By employing Peirce’s semiotics, Totalitarianism is distinguished indexically from forms of Dictatorship and Authoritarianism. The former can be cast, as Arendt argued, to initiate a project for world domination dispensing with any sense of Authoritarianism in forwarding some purely fictitious conception where violence is manifested in terror. Alternatively, distortion of intellectual activity may issue within Populism so that the rule of Demagogy emerges initiating Despotism or a form of Dictatorship – either Commissarial or Sovereign form – where lawless violence is sustained by secret police inducing fear but not terror. In the case of Authoritarianism induced iconically in a populace, violence may be tolerated accompanying either lawmaking or lawpreserving, both to be separated from Benjamin’s sense of pure violence. The latter – whether humanistically or spiritually understood – transcends both utilitarianism and sheer arbitrariness.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Eleonora Montuschi Science, Philosophy, Practice: Lessons from Use
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It has been urged that philosophers in the contemporary world should be able to engage with domains of practice and not just with each other. If that is the case, in what sense philosophy can become an ‘applied’ discipline, and with what consequences both for philosophy and for practice? As a preliminary I will rehearse some of the reasons why philosophical investigation is socially commendable. I will then show (sect. 1) how philosophy in so called knowledge societies should interact with science and the contexts where science is used. A suitably formulated idea of interdisciplinarity (sect.2) will suggest the necessary epistemic conditions to achieve this interaction. I will use two illustrations (sects. 4 and 5) from the specific field of the philosophy of science to point out the kinds of readjustments required by philosophical analysis not so much to apply but to ‘engage’ with practice (in a sense qualified in sect.3).
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Eoin O’Connell Is Cool a Virtue?
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This paper argues that cool is a virtue in a specific context: that of black Americans living under a specific modality of white supremacy. But cool is not merely a coping mechanism. A historical analysis of the term shows that cool is being unimpressed by, and calm in the face of, white supremacy. This is made manifest in a style, the “cool pose,” the sophistication of which is captured in the jazz of Lester Young and Miles Davis. Thus, cool is both a virtue of character and a feature of black American aesthetics. But as a cultural phenomenon, it has been appropriated by white American culture.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 28 > Issue: 1
Sam Badger Review of Norman Levine’s Marx’s Resurrection of Aristotle
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