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Displaying: 1-20 of 27 documents


1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jeremiah Conway Gadamer on Experience and Questioning
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The suspicion of this article is that we don't really understand why questions matter. It addresses this topic by examining the connection Hans-Georg Gadamer draws in Truth and Method between questioning and the possibility of experience. It outlines what Gadamer means by "experience " and shows why he is convinced that we cannot have experiences without asking questions.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
David DeMoss Connectionist Agency
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Any mind-brain theory eventually will have to deal with agency. I do not claim that no other theory could do this successfully. I do claim that connectionism is able to handle some key features of agency. First, I will offer a brief account of connectionism and the advantages of using it to account for human agency, comparing and contrasting connectionism with two other mind-brain accounts in cognitive science, symbolicism and dynamicism. Then, since a connectionist account of agency depends on a unique approach to inner representations, I discuss the connectionist account of representation and the implications this has for our appeal to reasons in explanations of human action. I conclude that, given a connectionist brain account, reasons cannot be causes.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
M. Carmela Epright Philosophical Counseling: A Paradigm for Clinical Medical Ethics?
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In this paper I will move away from what has become the "traditional" approach to writing and thinking about philosophical counseling - I will not compare and contrast the virtues of the philosophical and psychological paradigms, nor will I attempt to defend philosophical counseling against its critics. Instead, I will use the methods and practices employed by philosophical counselors as a paradigm to inform and govern another philosophical practice, that is, clinical medical ethics. I will show that clinical ethics and philosophical counseling share many common attributes, and argue that each discipline has much to offer to the other.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Sara Waller Philosophical Counseling: An Almost Alternative Paradigm
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I offer a method for philosophical counseling that is contrasted with Marinoffs. This version of philosophical counseling is primarily epistemic and suggests therapy as the examination of the justification of a client's beliefs, with a goal of enabling the client to change belief systems if the client so chooses.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Andrew Fiala Toleration and the Limits of the Moral Imagination
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This essay discusses one source of toleration: a modest recognition of the limits of our ability to imagine the situation of the other. It further connects this with both respect for the autonomy of the other and the moral need to engage the other in dialogue. The conclusion is that toleration is important in light of the ubiquity of failures of the moral imagination. It considers several examples of the failure of the moral imagination, including a discussion of the Hindu practice of sati or widow burning.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
J. Robert Loftis Three Problems for the Aesthetic Foundations of Environmental Ethics
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This essay takes a critical look at aesthetics as the basis for nature preservation, presenting three reasons why we should not rely on aesthetic foundations to justify the environmentalist program. First, a comparison to other kinds of aesthetic value shows that the aesthetic value of nature can provide weak reasons foraction atbest. Second, not everything environmentalists want to protect has positive aesthetic qualities. Attempts have been made to get around this problem by developing a reformist attitude towards natural aesthetics. I argue that these approaches fail. Third, development can be as aesthetically positive as nature. If it is simply beauty we are looking for, why can't the beauty of a wellconstructed dam or a magnificent skyscraper suffice?
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Sylvanus Ifeanyi Nnoruka Judgement in African Thought
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Critical thinking plays a role in African judgement. Here, factors that influence judgement are: culture, communalism, wisdom of elders, revelation from the gods, and observation. Factors that obstruct judgement include: colonialism, modernization, and new religions. However, thanks to Kant's critical philosophy, only objectively valid knowledge is actually knowledge in African traditional thought.
8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ronald Sandler Culture and the Specification of Environmental Virtue
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One concern about a virtue ethics approach to environmental ethics is that virtue ethics lack the theoretical resources to provide a specification of environmental virtue that does not pander to obtaining cultural practices and conceptions of the human-nature relationship. In this paper I argue that this concern is unfounded.
9. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Steven Schroeder Notes Toward a Philosophy of Nonviolence: A City In Which Violence Is Not Necessary
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This paper takes Gandhi's satyagraha, which he defined as "holding on to truth" (associating it simultaneously with knowing and doing) as a basis for a political philosophy of nonviolence that draws on voices familiar from twentieth century nonviolent struggles as well as sociobiology, literary criticism, and feminist approaches to sacrifice.
10. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Kory Spencer Sorrell Authority, Epistemic Privileging, and Democratic Deliberation
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This essay focuses on the role relationships of authority play in the communal production of knowledge. The author draws on recent developments in feminist epistemology and the pragmatism of John Dewey to show that not only is authority representation ineluctable, but is desirable if held properly accountable.
11. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Alfred I. Tauber The Philosopher as Prophet: The Case of Emerson and Thoreau
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Emerson articulated his metaphysics of selfhood within a theistic framework; Thoreau reconfigured his ideas as a mystical pantheism. In this latter form, Transcendentalism offered twentieth century Americans a new religious sensibility based on an intimacy with nature, which became a spiritual and aesthetic resource for personal fulfillment.
12. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Cynthia Townley Trust and the Curse of Cassandra (An Exploration of the Value of Trust)
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Epistemological interest in trust concentrates mainly on whether and how it is a proper resource for responsible knowers. However, trust is important and valuable to epistemic agents for reasons that do not depend on its being knowledge-conducive, or knowledge enhancing. Being trusted is essential for full participation in an epistemic community. The story of Cassandra illustrates these dimensions of trust's value.
13. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Linda Zagzebski Epistemic Trust
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The value of epistemic trust has been neglected, as Townsley rightly observes, but I think a virtue epistemology of the kind! endorse is well suited to provide a framework for understanding it. The Cassandra of Greek legend illustrates the complex relationships among epistemic and non-epistemic goods, as welt as the fragility of knowledge. I think her case leads us to a more radical conclusion than the one Townsley proposes.
articles
14. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Robert Paul Churchill, Stiv Fleishman, Joe Frank Jones III Introduction for the Special Issue on Fiduciary Ethics
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15. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Samuel V. Bruton Duties of Gratitude
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This paper is a response to a recent article by Christopher Wellman in which Wellman argues that gratitude is better understood as a virtue rather than a source of moral obligations. First, I offer several examples intended to dispute his claim that gratitude does not impose duties. Second, I provide my own reasons for thinking that deontic notions alone cannot capture the moral significance of gratitude. Wellman’s mistake is attributable to an overly narrow conception of duty that his argument presupposes. Finally, I consider the implications of my analysis for fiduciary ethics generally given the indeterminacy of the principle of gratitude.
16. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Jessica Miller Trust in Strangers, Trust in Friends
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Recent literature on trust commonly contains the claim that the trust which characterizes intimate relationships is a different phenomenon altogether from the trust that characterizes professional and other sorts of non-intimate relationships. In this paper I argue that while there are important differences among kinds of trust, an invidious distinction between trust in strangers and trust infriends is not only unwarranted but it obscures the fundamentally affective and relational base of all forms of interpersonal trust. In this essay I construct an account of interpersonal trust, which recognizes the similarities that pervade its different forms. Without such a complex approach, we lose theoretical sight not only of key features of trust, but of the relationship of trust to significant dimensions of human existence.
17. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Thomas D. Kennedy Duties of Neighbors: Patriotism, Projects and Fiduciary Bonds of Nearness
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A primary fiduciary bond, rarely examined, is that of neighbor. I distinguish this bond from others that may overlap it, those of fellow citizen or compatriot. I argue that the nature of moral identity and the nature of moral formation require moral agents to acknowledge the fiduciary duties of neighbor.
18. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Evelyn Keyes Representative Democracy and the Public Trust
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The “Idea of Intrinsic Equality” is central to democracy, but in what respects are persons intrinsically equal, and what requirements, if any, does their equality impose on a process for making collective decisions? This paper seeks to answer that question with respect to our own representative democracy. It examines three theories of collective decision-making that arguably characterize the democratic process under the United States Constitution. It concludes that, while all preserve the Idea of Intrinsic Equality in the election of representatives and legislative voting, only the third theory, Democratic Egalitarianism, which treats all like interests alike in promulgating laws and preserves the fundamental liberties of all, both preserves the Idea of Intrinsic Equality throughout the legislative process and fulfills the fiduciary mandate that legislators legislate in the interests of the people.
19. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Stephen de Wijze Democracy, Trust and the Problem of ‘Dirty Hands’
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‘Dirty hands’ scenarios require politicians to commit moral violations to achieve worthwhile goals. To mitigate the harm done to the fiduciary relationship underlying a democratic society, I argue for the adoption of two procedures: retrospective accountability and special oversight committees. I also offer three criteria for a much-required political ethic.
20. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Patricia C. Flynn Ethics in the Board Room: Contracts or Fiduciary Relationships?
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Most contemporary discussions of institutional ethics take contractual rather than fiduciary relations as the model for describing moralresponsibilities, leaving institutional boards with few resources to support and critique their moral behavior. I argue that institutional fiduciary relationships cannot be characterized as contracts, either in fact or function. Each form of relationship privileges a different set of behaviors and values that are far from interchangeable.