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1. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ruben Apressyan Whether there is the Golden Rule in Aristotle’s Ethics?
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In the context of his advanced theory of ethics Aristotle like later Kant seems considering the Golden Rule as trivial and not bound to be articulated. It is possible that Aristotle did not feel necessity to mention the Golden Rule, because the very Golden Rule was spread out in his ethics. Though he did not use the formula ofthe Golden Rule in his texts, he often expressed his understanding of virtuous character and virtuous relations using intellective constructions evidently relevant to the Golden Rule. The analysis of Aristotle’s reasoning on shame, social intercourse and, mainly, friendship shows that his ethics is saturated with the content andspirit of the Golden Rule, including such features agent’s initiative, activity, commitment and thus her/his responsibility for establishing relations, their potential reversibility, mutuality, and universalizability.
2. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Godwin Azenabor The Golden Rule Principle in African Ethics and Kant’s Categorical Imperative: A Comparative Study on the Foundation of Morality
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This research attempts to throw light on and show the fundamental similarities and differences between the African and Western ethical conceptions by examining the foundation of ethics and morality in the two systems, using the Golden rule principle in African ethics and Kant’s categorical imperative in Western ethics as tools of comparative analysis. The African indigenous ethics revolves round the “Golden Rule Principle” as the ultimate moral principle. This principle states that “Do unto others what you want them to do unto you”. This principle compares favourably with Immanuel Kant’s whose main thrust is found in his “Categorical Imperative”, with the injunction for us to “Act only on that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” The categorical imperative becomes for Kant, the principle of universalizability, which according to Kant, is categorical and must be equally binding on everyone. This idea of Kant, we argue, compares with the “Golden Rule Principle”. Both are rationalistic and social but the limitations of Kant which we hope to point out, make it quite insufficient as the foundation of morality. The Africans’ which is more humanistic describes morality and is better served. The main difference between the two ethical systems lies in the fact that whereas the “golden rule” starts from the self and considers the consequences on the first before others, the universalizability principle on the other hand considers the consequences on others first before self.
3. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Francesco Belfiore In Search of an Objective Moral Good
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The moral good, being the end that human beings ought to pursue, cannot be defined without referring to what human beings, as ontological entities, actually are. According to my conception, human mind (or spirit or person) is a triadic entity made of intellect, sensitiveness, and power which, through their outward or selfish activity (directed to the external objects), produce ideas, sentiments, and actions, whereas through their inward or moral activity (directed to mind itself), produce moral thoughts, moral feelings, and moral acts, respectively. Moral thoughts allow us to understand that mind is an evolving entity, and that mind evolution consists of the development of intellect (knowledge), sensitiveness (sensitivity of the soul), and power (health/wealth/social status), through which mind continuously transcends itself. Moreover, moral thoughts give us the cognitive awareness that mind evolution, entailing changes into ever better states, is the objective human good, thus creating the ground moral principle. On the other hand, moral feelings enable human beings to feel that mind evolution is morally desirable or valuable, thus founding the moral values. The moral acts perform the good deeds under the guidance of the moral norms, which arise fromthe convergence of moral principles and moral values. The ground moral norm prescribes the promotion of mind evolution. The moral agent should help others until they reach the evolutionallowing condition, that is, the condition that allows the helped person to develop his own mind, thus fulfilling his moral duty toward himself. The conception of the moral good as consisting of mind evolution allows us to give ethics an ontological basis.
4. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Guangquan Cheng Can Virtue be Taught? ——the Angle of Epistemology
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The predicament of contemporary moral education lies in the fact that we simply accepted Socrates "virtue is knowledge", and considered that the virtue can be taught as the knowledge, but we neglect that the virtue can only be cultivated in social practices. Some have realized that, but they only concentrated on revivification of the life scene in the class, such as KohlBerg's moral paradox, or class debate, leading the moral education to a debate skill and returning tothe style of Sophist who depended on eloquence. But its value and moral sense were by no means solidified, they also did what one thought was right, and followed the others, making the moral nature lose its foundation. And they got lost in putting this kind of virtue into practice.
5. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Kyungsuk Choi “Bioethics” as a New Challenge to Philosophy
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The advance of medical and biological science and technology has presented us with new ethical and legal issues. Is embryonic stem cell research morally justified and legally allowed? What moral status do embryos have? Who can be a morally appropriate user of In Vitro fertilization? Who can use donated sperm and/or egg? What is the scope of reproductive liberty?” What is the meaning of a family and that of reproduction? How far does our genetic intervention go?”Scientists, lawyers, and laymen are waiting for clear answers from philosophers. Unfortunately, philosophers have not seemed to give satisfactory answers to them. We may have various reasons. One of main reasons, however, seems to me that the above philosophical questions have not been the main research topics for philosophers since philosophy gave up metaphysical and/or religious questions. Thus, I argue that biomedical ethical issues urge philosophers tochange the philosopher’s attitude of doing philosophy. Those issues make them consider and rethink our fundamental concepts of life, death, family, and values pursued by human beings. In addition, it is easy to find conflicting ethical and philosophical answers to the above questions. Thus, it is very hard to reach consensus on the above ethical issues. This makes philosophers consider how we make a group decision over ethical issues showing conflicting but reasonable ethical answers in a plural society. This requires philosophers, especially scholars of ethics, develop a new ethics and its relevant concepts. This ethics must be able to work in a plural society where reasonable comprehensive belief systems coexist. In these respects, I argue that bioethics has to struggle with a newchallenge to philosophy.
6. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Hun Chung Can Classical Utilitarianism Participate in Overlapping Consensus? Why Not?: A Reply to Samuel Scheffler
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The main objective of Rawls’ Political Liberalism was to explain how a workable theory of justice can be established and sustained within a society that is marked by reasonable pluralism. In order to meet this end, Rawls introduces the following three concepts: political conception of justice, public reason, andoverlapping consensus. By relying on these three concepts, Rawls presents his two principles of justice as a two stage process. In the first stage, the two principles of justice are presented as a freestanding political conception justified solely by public reason. In the second stage, individuals engage in overlapping consensus which enables them to find additional supporting reasons for the political conception of justice from their own comprehensive doctrine. According to Rawls, even classical utilitarianism can support his two principles of justice by participating in overlapping consensus. However, Samuel Scheffler thinks that this is impossible. Scheffler’s argument relies on the fact that classical utilitarianism is decisively rejected by the initial contracting parties of the original position. Iargue that Scheffler misconceives the main purpose of the original position and that his argument doesn’t show that it is impossible for classical utilitarianism to participate in overlapping consensus.
7. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Predrag Cicovacki Reverence for Life: A Moral Value or the Moral Value?
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Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) became well-known for his ethics of reverence for life. While Schweitzer’s life and his ethics have had an enormous appeal to wide audiences all over the world, philosophers have generally ignored his contribution. This may be a loss for philosophy, for, despite some internal problems and inconsistencies, Schweitzer’s ethics of reverence for life promises a viable alternative to utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics. The task of my paper is the following. Schweitzer argues that reverence for life is the basic ethical principle and the highest moral value. After briefly presenting Schweitzer’s view, I will consider two questions: 1. Can Schweitzer show that reverence for life is the highest moral value (principle)? 2. Is reverence for life a moral value in the firstplace? I will argue that, with some provision, Schweitzer’s position is tenable. In response to the second question, by comparing Schweitzer with Isaiah Berlin, I maintain that reverence for life is a moral value. In response to the first question, Schweitzer’s position must be modified. By comparing Schweitzer with Nicolai Hartmann, I make a case that reverence for life is the most basic and fundamental, but not the highest moral value.
8. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Maria Dimitrova Emmanuel Levinas: Time and Responsibility
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The present paper aims to view three ways of thinking time by Emmanuel Levinas. We distinguish existential, historical, and eschatological time demonstrating how they are connected with his central notion of responsibility toward the Other. The following analysis reorders and interprets what Levinas has said in response of Martin Heidegger’s and Hegel’s position. The text does not make any other claims but aims to offer a possible reading and exegesis of Levinas’s philosophy and open a further discussion on these topics.
9. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Mikhail Epstein From the Golden Rule to the Diamond Rule: An Introduction to Stereo Ethics
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Aristotle stated one of the most influential postulates in the history of ethics: virtue is the middle point between two vicious extremes: "…excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue. For men are good in but one way, but bad in many." The paper argues that between two vices there are two virtues that comprise two different moral perspectives as perceived by stereoethics. For example, two virtues can be found between the vices of miserliness and wastefulness: generosity, which is further from miserliness, and thrift, which is further from wastefulness. Just as there are stereo music and stereo cinema, which convey the full volume of sounds and objects, there is stereo ethics, based on the duality of virtues. From the point of view of stereo ethics we can rethink the "golden rule": "Whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them." At the basis of both the golden rule and, later, the Kantian categorical imperative, lies the reversibility of moral subjects: you should put yourself in somebody else's place and treat you neighbor as you wish him or her to treat you. Today, however, ithas become obvious that only the ethics of differentiation can save us from relativism, which is a negative reaction against traditional morals with their universal norms. It is precisely this irreducibility of the individual to the general that may become a source of new moral energy. Two questions form a moral criterion: Would you wish to become an object of your own actions? Could anyone but you be the subject of your actions? The best action is that which corresponds to the needs of the largest number and the capacities of the smallest number of people. Act in such a way that you yourself would like to become an object of your actions, but no one else could be their subject. It is moral to do for others that which no one else can do except myself : to be for-others, but not like-others.
10. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ryan Fanselow A Kantian Solution to Thompson’s Puzzle about Justice
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In a recent paper, Michael Thompson (2006) argues that there is a problem about justice that holds for Aristotlean, Humean, and Kantian views of ethics. To see his problem, consider the normative judgment that “X wronged Y by killing her.” Thompson thinks that Aristotelian, Humean, and Kantian views can show why Xdid something wrong by killing Y but they cannot show that X wronged Y, at least not without taking on intolerable moral, metaphysical, or epistemological commitments. I argue that the Kantian can solve this problem without taking on any intolerable commitments, given the way that duties are derived from thecategorical imperative.
11. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
M. Lorenz Moises J. Festin Rediscovering the Sense of Pleasure in Morality
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Pleasure has always been an important issue in morality. And although ethical systems tend to focus the discussion on human action, this agreeable sentiment has remained a recurrent question in moral philosophy. In this paper, I go back to Aristotle’s treatment of pleasure in his writings, particularly in the Nicomachean Ethics. I will argue that the distinction he draws between bodily pleasures and those of the mind represents an important point not only in understanding eudaimonia but also in situating the very nature of ethical debates today. I will try to show how Aristotle’s distinction among pleasure matches up with his differentiation between energeia and kinésis as well as with the distinction between praxis and poiésis, and how these differentiations have enabled Aristotle toevade the pitfall of hedonism.
12. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Matthias Fritsch Deconstructing Ought Implies Can
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The present paper aims to view three ways of thinking time by Emmanuel Levinas. We distinguish existential, historical, and eschatological time demonstrating how they are connected with his central notion of responsibility toward the Other. The following analysis reorders and interprets what Levinas has said in response of Martin Heidegger’s and Hegel’s position. The text does not make any other claims but aims to offer a possible reading and exegesis of Levinas’s philosophy and open a further discussion on these topics.
13. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Susan T. Gardner Moving Beyond Universalizability
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The use of Kant’s universalizability principle as a method of determining the warrantability of an ethical claim has two fundamental flaws. On the one hand, it renders the universalizing moralizer mute in the face of fanaticism, and, on the other, it too easily dissolves into irrational rule worship. In the face of such flaws,many have argued that this “rational” approach to ethics ought to be abandoned in favor of fanning the flames of sentiment. Such a proposal suggests that we have trapped ourselves into a false dilemma. While there is no doubt that the employment of the universalizability principle is more “reflective” than simply following what springs from the heart, nonetheless, it is no where near the pinnacle of rationality to which we can aspire. Ethicists, like their natural and social scientific colleagues, can adopt a form of scientific ethicism that demands that the legitimacy of any ethical claim depends upon the degree to which the reasons that back it are subjected to the formal demands of both local and global sufficiency, and as well, that the legitimacy of the entire procedure survive scrutiny in a public forum of objective inquirers. Paradoxically, since this process is inter- rather than intra-subjective, and since the surviving claims will be maximally unbiased, the widespread adoption of scientific ethicism has the potential to proportionally expand “the circle of we”—which is precisely what critics of rationality, who advocate non-rational sentiment expansion, would have us do.
14. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Vasil Gluchman Human Dignity and its Non-Utilitarian Consequentialist Aspects
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According to author, value of human dignity has its place in his ethics of social consequences which is a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism. This is so because it is compatible with the value of positive consequences that creates one of the crucial criteria in ethics of social consequences. There exist two aspects of human dignity in this ethical theory. The first is related to the value of life that is worthy of esteem and respect, which brings positive consequences (moral biocentrism), second aspect is related to the fact that human dignity is a function of the positive consequences of our action and behavior prevailing over the negative consequences of our action and behavior. This creates a basis for assigning moral agents with an additional, qualitative value of human dignity. In caseof human beings without developed consciousness and who are only potential moral agents, the first aspect of human dignity is dominant in our judgments about them. In the judgments concerning moral agents the second aspect of human dignity dominates.
15. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Debashis Guha Things That Should Be Done In Doing Ethics Today
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Through the ages we have been fond of monolithic ethics, which is either synthetic or analytic; the former covers ethical interests such as the normative, descriptive, empirical, and the practical and professional, whereas the latter covers the metaethical interests covering those of the analysis of language, and the interface of the ethics, logic and epistemology, particularly the issues of proving, justification and the epistemic claims about moral value. Monolithic ethics has its own problems, which troubles us today more than it did before, as it is difficult to see why both these interests cannot be assimilated though each of them well protected for their specific tasks. Rethinking in ethics today leads us to break away from the monolithic ethics – the paper argues why this should be the case.
16. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Yi Guo Human Nature, Mind and Virtue
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The key issue of traditional theories of human nature in China is De or virtue, Yu or desire and their correlation. It leads to two developing currents: one is the old tradition since Xia, Shang and Zhou, the Three Dynasties which take desire as nature, another is the new tradition later Confucius initiated which take virtue as nature. So the understanding of human nature in early China experienced a process from desire to virtue, or from the instinct of human to the essence of human. Prior to Confucius, nature is desire and instinct. In that time, the theories of human nature has two themes, namely to manage nature by virtue and to explain nature by Qi. Since Lao Zi, virtue was taken as the inner essence of human. Later Confucius further to take virtue as nature directly, so completes the fundamental transformation of traditional theory of human nature. This is the source of the idea nature of reason and the origin of the theory nature is good. Zisi advocated “what Heaven has conferred is called the nature” to promote the new tradition, and named desire as “the inner”. The new excavated bamboo book Xing Zi Ming Chu not only developed the idea of “the inner” of Zisi, but also further to restore desire as nature, and constructed a unique system of outer moral apriorism for it. Shortly afterward, Mencius turns this trend and advocates none but the four beginnings is nature, desire only is impartment, therefore he develops the new tradition to extremes. Even though, before the period between Tang and Song dynasties, the mainstream of the theory of human nature in China was the old tradition, and that the new tradition merely like a flash in the pan. In fact, the dualism of human nature in Song and Ming dynasties carried on the old tradition, and at the same time, succeeded the new tradition, and put them into a unified thought system.
17. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jason J. Howard The Trouble with Our Convictions: Re-thinking the Role of Conscience
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In recent decades few moral concepts have suffered as much neglect at the hands of ethicists as the notion of conscience. My paper argues that this neglect is largely in reaction to an ‘authoritarian’ conception of conscience that is outdated and based on a naïve faculty psychology. When construed in terms of a narrative of self-integration, in which conscience designates our struggle to balance the affective and cognitive dimensions of moral experience, its neglect appears unjustified. It is my contention that the phenomenon of conscience discloses the experience of moral agency in a way that is highly instructive, and that we miss a valuable window into moral behavior by ignoring it. In order to make this case I argue that the most serious criticisms of conscience—that it has no justifiablemoral criteria, clear distinguishing ‘identity,’ or motivating power—are leveled against a largely obsolete and essentialist reading of conscience. Once we see that ‘having a conscience’ refers to how people contend with the multiple moral warrants that anchor their own sense of accountability, and not some timeless moral intuition, the indispensability of the concept becomes clear.
18. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Hahn Hsu Moral Reasons
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19. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Donald C. Hubin The Limits of Consequentialism
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Modern consequentialism is a very broad theory. Consequentialists can invoke a distribution sensitive theory of value to address the issues of distributive justice that bedeviled utilitarianism. They can attach intrinsic moral value to such acts truth-telling and promise-keeping and, so, acknowledge the essential moral significance of such acts in a way that classical utilitarianism could not. It can appear that there are no limits to consequentialism’s ability to respond to the criticisms against utilitarian theories by embracing a sophisticated theory of value. But there are limits. They are imposed by consequentialism’s commitment to ground considerations of rightness solely on considerations of goodness. Some consequentialists have attempted to incorporate elements of guilt and desert into the theory of value. This can be done, consistent with consequentialist scruples, only if these notions can be analyzed without appeal to deontic concepts such as right and wrong. I analyze the problem consequentialists face and suggest a way incorporate notions of guilt and desert in a theory of value without relying in any fundamental way on concepts of right and wrong action.
20. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Kyung Sig Hwang Modern Society and Moral Education of South Korea: Discussing the Tasks of Justification and Motivation
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Generally speaking, the ethics of Korean society today are going through an unstable stage, in which the traditional ethics of the East are becoming blended with the Western values that were introduced during the modern age. The resulting chaos has become a critical issue for debate, especially after the birth of a new subject, ‘national ethics’ in school education. Yet even nowadays, questions remain regarding whether the two systems of ethics are independent,complementary, or combinable in some way. I’m going to propose a multi-layered structure of moral education; ‘ the three steps of Ethics’ for designing ethical system and moral education of South Korea. First, etiquette education, which is provided in the household prior to self-controlled critical thinking, will be discussed as an infrastructure of moral education. Then, one of the main purposes of schooling, moral thinking education will be described in terms ofdilemma model of organic form. Lastly, a long forgotten side of today’s moral education, the practical implications of ‘virtue education’, will be emphasized because of their cardinal importance to both Eastern and Western traditions.