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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ruben Apressyan Towards a Core Understanding of Morality
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The concept of morality proposed herein is an aggregated one – hence it is represented in sequential manner. At individual level, morality is shown up in values, which directs towards the good of others (individuals, groups, society in general, and all of humankind, potentially). The main values are: non-harming, recognition, solidarity, care. These values exist within a culture, and are recorded in texts of various kinds, in the form of abstract preferences or in the form of corresponding demands: cause no harm to others, recognize others, help others, care for others. The very existence of these demands determines the necessity of another type of values – the ones that would reflect an individual’s adherence to these demands. In other words, virtues understood as human qualities that enable an individual to fulfil these demands and reach the ideal of moral excellence, or perfection, expressed in corresponding demands, namely, to be virtuous and perfect. Moral demands have a number of traits which manifest the specific nature of moral imperatives (non-institutionalised, ideal character of sanctions, presumed independence and reflective autonomy of the moral agent, etc.) Morality manifests differently at individual and public levels, and, in this paper I will try to briefly describe these differences.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Olga Artemyeva What Morality is About?
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I presuppose that morality meets fundamental needs of human being as such. Its domain is interpersonal relationships. It uses particular values and norms in order to orient a person towards achieving personal perfection and fostering perfect relationships with other people. Moral perfectionism differs from all the other kinds (creative, religious, etc.) in the efforts aimed at attaining moral perfection that are made within the space of human relationships, relevant to them and, ultimately, for their sake. To a large extent these two orientations (towards personal perfection and perfect interpersonal relationships) are mutually dependant — one is a pre-requisite of the other. My aim is to demonstrate that undue emphasis on one of them in moral theory, at the expense of the other, results in irresolvable contradictions in the idea of morality and deformations in moral practice as well.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Yubraj Aryal Spinoza: Freedom in an Ultramoral Sense
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In the Spinozist universe man is free from the moral dogma of good and bad imposed from outside, but with a responsibility to understand the natural laws with which his own body encounters with other bodies in nature, as well as the nature of affections such encounters produce. Freedom here is understood not as acting freely but having ‘adequate ideas’ of how one body in nature encounters other body. For Spinoza, a free man knows how to act according to the nature of laws of his own body. This knowing makes him a free man. By knowing the laws of nature, he acts to maximize his pleasure. Spinozist universe is not free and man’s action is not free. Everything works with the necessity. But in knowing that he is determined in a way he is determined makes man free. It is because this understanding makes him active. And the more one becomes active, the more free man one becomes.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Robin Attfield The Ethics of Geo-engineering
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While climate change mitigation remains indispensable, together with adaptation to such climate change as cannot be prevented, current slowness of progress towards attaining an international agreement on these matters has fostered suggestions about climate engineering, originally proposed as supplementary to adaptation and mitigation. These suggestions take the forms of Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal. This paper discusses the ethics of researching and of deploying them. Solar Radiation Management ranges from harmless but inadequate measures such as making roofs reflect sunlight to ambitious ones such as projecting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere to reduce incoming radiation. Some favor this measure as a quick and inexpensive replacement for mitigation; but its possible side-effects and lack of an exit-strategy mean that its deployment would be misguided, and that researching it might undermine determination to reach a mitigation agreement. Some forms of Carbon Dioxide Removal (seeding the oceans with iron filings to grow carbon-reducing algae) face similar objections, but others, like afforestation and Carbon Capture and Storage (itself not yet operative), comprise acceptable enhancements of current technology. Even if they do not buy time, these measures could beneficially supplement a global Climate Change agreement.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Francesco Belfiore ‘Multifactorial’ Moral Motivation and the Triadic Structure of the Mind
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Moral motivation has been variously conceived and explained. The main theses maintain that moral motivation springs directly from moral judgments and beliefs (internalism) or that it is due to factors external to moral judgments and beliefs, such as desires (externalism). In this paper, I defend the thesis that moral motivation is contributed by several factors, so that it can be defined as “multifactorial”. I refer to my previously proposed conception according to which mind exerts three kinds of activity, each of which, in turn, creates outward/selfish and inward/moral products. Thus, mind rational activity creates outward/selfish ideas and beliefs and in ward/moral thoughts or beliefs; mind emotional activity creates outward/selfish sentiments (desires/aversions) and inward/moral feelings; and mind practical activity creates outward/selfish actions and inward/moral acts. The inward/moral activity is directed to mind itself, under stood and felt as an evolving entity, whose evolution is the moral good. I attempt to show that moral motivation does not spring only from ideas, thoughts, and beliefs (internalism) but is also contributed by moral feelings and selfish desires (as externalism holds) as well as by the cost of moral acts and selfish actions. Thus, moral motivation is contributed by all six mind products and, therefore, is multifactorial.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Tadeusz Buksiński Conditional and Unconditional Morality
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The paper describes the modern morality as conditional morality, represented by theories of social contract and utilitarianism. They conditionally impose the moral duties on people, if the other people fulfil moral duties, too. As a result they justify the use of the political power to compel the citizens to public morality, leaving a certain margin of freedom to individual morality in the private domain which is fairly inconsequential for collective life. Public morality, on the other hand, is rigorously regulated and precisely defined by statutory laws and political authority. An individual citizen thus becomes incapacitated in the public domain: reduced to accepting decisions adopted by the ruling group, perhaps also electing them once per several years. Unconditional morality, as represented by evangelical or Kant’s ethics, imposes rights, obligations and moral duties on individuals, requires compliance with them regardless of other individuals or groups. It may never constitute a foundation justifying violence, use of force, abuse of power, deception or restriction of liberty. Within this framework, such actions are considered immoral, irrespective of whether they occur in the institutionalized form or otherwise.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Clark Butler Human Rights Ethics: A Contemporary Normative Ethical Theory
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Human rights have increasingly come to the center of political and social philosophy since 1945. The have been widely discussed in publications on topical human rights issues, in the work of some of the most notable philosophers of the time like Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls, and in volumes on global justice. But, despite Habermas work in Diskurs Ethik, discussion ethics (what I call ‘Human Rights Ethics’) has never clearly been presented as a normative ethical theory in competition with the classical rivals such as utilitarianism and Kantian ethics. This paper makes a clear, concise case recognition of human rights ethics as a contemporary normative ethical theory, and for its inclusion in future elementary textbooks. Universal legal human rights protect the central ethical human right to freedom of expression (as integral to a cooperative search for the truth, including the truth as to the correct normative ethical theory). Human Rights Ethics supersedes classical theories based on evident first principles because these principles are either merely asserted without justification (once the appeal to self-evidence has been has been dropped) or are justified (or refuted) by being superseded by the final self-justifying standard of definable ethical discussion. The very refutation of human rights ethics could be sound only through ethical discussion, with all parties exercising the ethical, but not yet universally legal, right to freedom of expression. Hence the refutation of the ethical right to freedom of expression cannot be sound.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Leonardo Caffo, Sarah De Sanctis Ethical New Realism
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For the past thirty years postmodernism has been the major philosophical trend. Starting as a potentially emancipatory tool, though, it has virtually resolved into an acceptance of any kind of (epistemological, ethical) position, in the name of a very politically correct relativism. The aim of this essay is to provide an overview of New Realism (Ferraris 2012) in its opposition and reaction to Postmodernism, showing that it does not imply a return to a ‘traditional’ or ‘strong’ realism but that, on the contrary, it involves a kind of ‘weak realism’: a blend between realism and constructivism. An analysis of the implications of both philosophical approaches in diverse fields will be offered, from epistemology, to politics, to ethics. Where postmodern epistemological claims will be proved to be quite easily confutable, its ethical implications will be faced more carefully. Ethical new realism will, therefore, be presented as particularly challenging (Caffo, De Sanctis 2012), but also promising and important to the future of philosophy.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Patrice Canivez Paul Ricoeur’s Critical Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Ethics
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In Oneself as Another Paul Ricoeur develops a practical philosophy that articulates the Aristotelian and Kantian traditions, the pursuit of the “good life” and the moral imperative. What he proposes is a critical reconstruction of Aristotle’s ethics. Ricoeur does not merely seek to give a faithful rendering of Aristotle’s theory. Rather, he is interested in discussing the problems that are posed by this theory. In particular, there are two problems that deserve attention: The distinction between praxis and poiesis and the concept of happiness. On the one hand, Ricoeur gives an interesting account of the distinction between praxis and poiesis. However, he concludes by questioning the philosophical relevance of this distinction. On the other hand, Ricoeur interprets the human ergon – in the effectuation of which happiness consists – as the realization of a personal life project. In this paper, I discuss Ricoeur’s interpretation of Aristotle on both points. Firstly, I envisage a reformulation of Ricoeur’s solution to the problem of praxis that preserves the relevance of the distinction between praxis and poiesis. Secondly, I propose an alternative interpretation of the human ergon that relates happiness to a sort of “practical presence” rather than to the temporality of a life project.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Asha Chaudhary The Need for Moral Training Today
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The world is a statuette of realism where everything is an element or aspect of reality. In ancient times, need and situations made the man to progress towards a definite evolution. Thoughts gave way to human demeanor which was later regarded as ethics. Thus, ethics is an integral branch of philosophy which determines its rules by taking into consideration both, necessity for a human being to survive gracefully and reasons propelling a human being to commit inhuman acts. Moral consciousness cannot exist since birth, as archaeological explorations have already established that the early peoples did not have any ethical knowledge. It was the experience of nature that helped them to discover an abstract of moral consciousness. However, in today’s scenario, people seem to have forgotten the significance of ethics and are excessively concerned over materialistic behoove. The current scenario does not require mere ethical theories, but learning and practical application, which, actually, are now getting dormant. It does not matter if we discover our moral consciousness from within or from something or someone else. The point is to start practicing and not wait and ponder as to when morality will knock the doors within.