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1. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Yixin Chen The Ethics of Climate Change
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Massive consumption of fossil energy since the Industrial Revolution has contributed to carbon dioxide emissions and accumulation. That, in turn, has led to global climate change, which is mainly characterized by warming. The necessity of immediate climate action can be justified from both moral and self-interest perspectives. Achieving the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change goal of getting the world to net-zero carbon by 2050 depends on undermining the libertarian and self-interested arguments that opponents have against trying to reach this goal. First, from an ethical perspective, these opponents wrongly set the free market against the welfare state and individual property rights against the redistribution of social wealth, ignoring the possibility that their own ideal of liberty might require a welfare system. Second, it is also possible to show that morality and self-interest go together here, requiring us to reduce carbon use right now.
2. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Yikunoamlak Mesfin The Will to Live and Reverence for Life: A Philosophical Base for Biocentrism
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Biocentrism environmental ethicists and animal rights defenders have been articulating ethical principles to extend moral standing to nonhuman beings. The natural propensities of living beings to pain and pleasure, being a subject of life, and having specific good and interest (as proposed by Singer, Regan, Tayler, and Goodpaster, respectively), have been taken as a reason to determine the moral status of the beings in question. This article makes the case that none of them can offer all-inclusive ideal for biocentrism to embrace all life forms as moral patients since they are either exclusive, hierarchical, or imprecise. To this end, I argue that it is possible to drive a unifying ideal from Schopenhauer’s metaphysics: the will to live. The will to live is a quality that all living beings share, regardless of their abilities and propensities. Both conscious and unconscious beings, sentient and non-sentient creatures, lower animals and plants are the embodi­ments or physical forms of the ultimate reality that is the will to live. Thus, biocentrism becomes more valid and effective in environmental preservation by incorporating the will to live into its ethical principle.
3. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Luca Lo Sapio The Ethics of Cultivated Meat: Hypes and Hopes of a New Challenging Technology
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The ethics of cultivated meat is an emerging field of applied ethics. As the world’s population increases, stakeholders, scholars, and producers have begun to devise new strategies to meet growing food needs and to prevent food production from having a deleterious environmental impact. In this paper, I will focus on the main moral arguments against the production and consumption of cultivated meat. I will then frame some arguments to show that none of the objections to the production and consumption of cultivated meat is convincing.In the concluding remarks, I will suggest that cultivated meat should be considered as one strategy in a wide array of options to embrace a new food model. Deciding not to invest on this technology prevents us from benefiting from a useful means that could improve our living conditions.
4. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
S.K. Wertz Food Dynamics: Reflections on Brillat-Savarin’s Physiology of Taste
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As an account of food, associationism has shortcomings as an explana­tion of taste and eating. It maintains that only ideas are associated or related to one another and not perceptions. Perceptions, according to this theory, are independent of one another. Food presents a challenge for associationism because food has a cogni­tive dimension, i.e., judgments are made about its ingredients, presentation, order or sequence of tasting, and so on. Consequently, the scientific field of dynamics offers a viable alternative explanation with its focus on change or reactions which take place in baking and cooking. An understanding of food chemistry leads to a greater appreciation of what one tastes and eats. This approach and emphasis on food chemistry was first appreciated by Brillat-Savarin in his La Physiologie du Gout (1825), and contemporary reflections are made on his treatise.
5. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Shannon Brandt Ford Rights-based Justifications for Self-Defense: Defending a Modified Unjust Threat Account
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I defend a modified rights-based unjust threat account for morally justified killing in self-defense. Rights-based moral justifications for killing in self-defense presume that human beings have a right to defend themselves from unjust threats. An unjust threat account of self-defense says that this right is derived from an agent’s moral obligation to not pose a deadly threat to the defender. The failure to keep this moral obligation creates the moral asymmetry necessary to justify a defender killing the unjust threat in self-defense. I argue that the other rights-based approaches explored here are unfair to the defender because they require her to prove moral fault in the threat. But then I suggest that the unjust threat account should be modified so that where the threat is non-culpable or only partially culpable, the defender should seek to share the cost and risk with the threat in order for both parties to survive.
6. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Stephen Kershnar Proportionality in Self-Defense: With an Application to Covid Vaccination-Mandates
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Proportionality matters. Intuitively, proportionality sets the ceiling on the amount of defensive violence that is permissible. A plausible view is that what justifies proportionality also justifies other defensive-violence requirements—for example, discrimination and necessity—and shows why other purported requirements are mistaken—for example, imminence. I argue that if defensive-violence proportionality is a part of moral reality, then there is a systematic justification of it. If there is a systematic justification of proportionality, then there is an adequate equation for it. There is no adequate equation for proportionality. Hence, proportionality is not part of moral reality. As a result, non-consequentialism does not justify defensive violence. The last part of this paper briefly applies these findings to vaccine mandates.
7. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Jana Kokesova Trolley Problem Applied: Compensation for Covid Restrictions
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Even a dog can tell if he was tripped over or kicked. Would entrepreneurs know? To slow down the progress of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, many states have taken restrictive measures, including the closing of private businesses. Are entrepreneurs therefore entitled to compensation? The answer is not obvious. In this paper, I suggest a solution which follows from a si mple test inspired by the famous trolley dilemma, asking whether the state used entrepreneurs as instruments (means) to slow down the pandemic. I argue that entrepreneurs were not “used” that way, which is why they possess no moral claim to compensation for the harm caused by the closure. However, I do argue for at least a moral claim of theirs to satisfaction. For the possible disruption of their relationship with other citizens, rather than for the monetary damage they were forced to bear.
8. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Caroline Stockman, Paulo Vieira Moral Machines: Critiquing Kantian Deontology for Blockchain Polygraphs
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Misinformation, disinformation, or fake news pose a new societal challenge. Through Kantian philosophy, we postulate this as an ethical challenge, one driven by social forces that shape social media’s use towards unethical knowledge production. However, automated or intelligent technologies can also be a solution in acting as a polygraph on social media platforms. We propose such technology could be ethical-by-design if we bring moral philosophy into a software architecture. Kant’s philosophical formalism is well-aligned with computing logic, especially blockchain applications. However, we must also remain highly vigilant to the conceptual complexities, the existing critiques on Kantian ethics and deontology, and the general approach of imbuing moral thinking into a machine-especially if based on only one, rather hard-lined philosophy. While the principled nature of Kant’s propositions make for a suitable architecture, it poses in itself critical ethical concerns and considerations.
9. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
Clifton Perry Public Support of Sectarian Education: A Tale of Two Cases
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Although separated by almost a decade, there are two relatively recent United States Supreme Court cases involving the first Amendment religion clauses and educational funding. Both cases involved public monies diverted for sectarian educational purposes. One case brought by a plaintiff challenging the diversion; the other by a plaintiff challenging the cession of the diversion. The comparison, contrast and evaluation of the two cases is the intended goal of this essay and is predicated upon the fact that while both cases essentially yield the same result, neither employs the same justifying foundational argument employed by the other. Finally, understanding these two cases may serve as a predicate to a third educational case now before the United States Supreme Court during the 2021 term.
10. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 36 > Issue: 1
About the Contributors
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symposium on philosophical practice: logic-based therapy (lbt)
11. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Vikas Beniwal Psychotherapy Using Religious Texts
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The paper presents a method for interpreting religious texts for use in psychotherapy. In particular, the paper takes the example of the pivotal character Arjuna in Bhagavad-Gita as having low frustration tolerance and uses the collective philosophy of the Bhagavad-Gita and Bhagavata-Purana through six steps of Logic-Based Therapy (LBT) to overcome it. Although the paper uses Hindu religious texts, the treatment of these texts will speak to anyone interested in the possibility of integrating religious texts into psychotherapy.
12. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Guy du Plessis Philosophy as a Way of Life for Addiction Recovery: A Logic-Based Therapy Case Study
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In this essay I explore the notion of philosophy as a way of life as a recovery pathway for individuals in addiction recovery. My hypothesis is that philosophy as a way of life can be a compelling, and legitimate recovery pathway for individuals in addiction recovery, as one of many recovery pathways. I will focus on logic-based therapy (LBT) applied in the context of addiction recovery. The aim of presenting a case study is to show how a client receiving LBT is provided with techniques and a worldview that can contribute to a philosophically oriented recovery program. In the case study the client was advised to apply the moral philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche as an uplifting philosophical framework to counteract his unproductive worldview and fallacious thinking. Considering that there is an ostensibly low efficacy rate for the treatment of addiction, articulating the value of philosophy as a way of life as a recovery pathway provides a conceptual and methodological framework for the development of novel philosophically-based addiction treatment and recovery-oriented programs—thus expanding the treatment and recovery options available for those seeking recovery from addiction.
13. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D. What is an Emotion?
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This paper distinguishes between two types of emotion: (1) “bottom-up” largely “prewired” or conditioned responses to environmental stimuli and (2) “top-down” “evaluative” emotions that are a function of a person’s evaluative inferences and use of “emotive” language. The paper, in turn, develops an analysis of the latter type of emotion and formulates a definition that tracks three interrelated levels of activity transpiring during an emotional episode: logico-linguistic (a chain of practical syllogistic inferences), phenomenological (interoceptive feelings), and neurological (cortical and subcortical brain activities). In the light of this analysis, it shows how Logic-Based Therapy (LBT), a prominent form of philosophical counseling created by the author, can be used to overcome self-destructive forms of evaluative emotions such as intense anxiety, anger, and guilt, and depression.
14. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Michael A. Istvan Jr. Addressing Albert’s Anger Through Logic-Based Therapy
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Here I recount my practicum sessions with Albert, a client who struggles with anger outbursts. Since it can be hard to draw a line between a DSM and a non-DSM issue, my first inclination as a practitioner of Logic-Based Therapy (LBT)—and in line with practice boundaries and referral standards affirmed by the National Philosophical Counseling Association (NPCA)—was to refer Albert to a licensed therapist. But since Albert was already seeing a therapist, and since Albert never loses cognizance of what he is doing during an outburst, I proceeded with Albert anyway. I did make it clear, however, that we would not focus directly on past traumas or substance abuse or family dynamics, but simply on his emotional reasoning in and around those times when he feels angry. Ultimately, I found (1) that damnation, can’tstipation, and perfectionism were the chief fallacies nurturing Albert’s tendency for outbursts and (2) that the uplifting philosophy of Spinoza would be especially effective at stoking self-respect, self-control, and metaphysical security (the direct antidotes to these fallacies) in someone like Albert, an informed and committed naturalist and determinist.
15. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Gianluca Di Muzio The Dawn of the Future-Like-Ours Argument Against Abortion
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Although several scholars have held that the Greeks and the Romans viewed abortion as morally unproblematic, an examination of three ancient texts reveals that, starting around the first century CE, some Greek and Roman writers were willing to explore reasons for opposing abortion on ethical grounds (i.e., reasons based on the conviction that abortion is an injustice committed against the fetus). The three texts introduce a form of opposition to abortion that has come to be known in our time as the future-like-ours argument against abortion. The present paper explores the argument that emerges from the three ancient texts and compares it to the work of Don Marquis, the best-known contemporary defender of a future-like-ours argument against abortion. The comparison reveals significant similarities, which are ultimately attributable to a common set of intuitions about what makes killing wrong and premature death tragic.
16. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Ognjen Arandjelović On the Value of Life
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That life has value is a tenet eliciting all but universal agreement, be it amongst philosophers, policy-makers, or the general public. Yet, when it comes to its employment in practice, especially in the context of policies which require the balancing of different moral choices—for example in health care, foreign aid, or animal rights related decisions—it takes little for cracks to appear and for disagreement to arise as to what the value of life actually means and how it should guide our actions in the real world. I argue that in no small part this state of affairs is a consequence of the infirmity of the foundations that the claim respecting the value of life supervenes upon once its theological foundations are abandoned. Hence, I depart radically from the contemporary thought and argue that life has no inherent value. Far from lowering the portcullis to Pandemonium, the abandonment of the quasi-Platonistic claim that life has intrinsic value, when understood and applied correctly, leads to a comprehensive, consistent, and compassionate ethical framework for understanding the related problems. I illustrate this using several hotly debated topics, including speciesism and show how the ideas I introduce help us to interpret people’s choices and to resolve outstanding challenges which present an insurmountable obstacle to the existing ethical theories.
17. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Jane Duran Applied Political Philosophy: Indira Gandhi and the Subcontinent
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More than one line of argument is adduced to buttress and support the contention that the writings of Indira Gandhi constitute a valuable political philosophy for today. Her Peoples and Problems is alluded to, and the advertence of her thought to Vedanta made clear.
18. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Uros Prokic Hume’s “Third Way”: A Pareto Optimal Account of Convention
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This inquiry critically assesses previous research utilizing a game theory framework to understand Hume’s account of convention as the tangible expression of justice for the purpose of regulating possessions. In so doing, this research offers an alternative understanding of Humean convention that first clearly lays out the rules and main assumptions of the game, as presented in A Treatise of Human Nature, and then proceeds to analyze the implied optimal strategy and outcome. Rejecting commonly held views considering Humean convention in terms of the Nash equilibrium and pure contractarianism, this research offers a novel middle approach—a “Third Way” between self-interest and sympathy, between cooperation versus non-cooperation, and ultimately between contractarianism versus utilitarianism. This “Third Way”conceives of Hume’s account of convention as a cooperative game with binding threats that necessarily always rests on the Pareto optimal strategy, and seeks a resulting Pareto optimal outcome.
19. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
James Rocha Professional Responsibility as a Response to Systematic Moral Ambiguity
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There is something mysterious about what explains the foundations or grounding for professional responsibility. What grounds the distinct professional responsibility that an engineer, doctor, or lawyer has that is separate from their moral duties and legal requirements? I argue that professional responsibility can derive from a systematic response to ambiguities that occur within moral issues that arise for given professions. Moral problems can often be solved in different ways that are equally permissible, which I will say provides a “moral ambiguity.” Sometimes these moral ambiguities in professional settings require the same solutions across the profession because of the public’s legitimate expectations for uniformity. In such cases, professional organizations set professional responsibilities to provide a uniform set of duties to establish a necessary and predictable order.
20. International Journal of Applied Philosophy: Volume > 35 > Issue: 2
Stephen Kershnar Bioethics and Non-Consequentialism: The Problem of Coming to Own One’s Self
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The various features of bioethics center around a person’s right to decide what happens to her body and what she may do with it. This is true for patients and medical professionals. Our intuitions concerning rights in bioethics are similar to our intuitions concerning rights in other areas. Consider, for example, rights concerning movement, privacy, religion, sex, speech, and thought. Intuitively, these rights are consistent with one another, trump other moral considerations, and can be lost. If people were to own themselves, this would provide a unified explanation of what justifies other rights, what particular rights people have, why these particular rights are consistent with one another, and why these particular rights have certain features, such as trumping utility. Here I explore whether people own themselves.