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Displaying: 1-10 of 10 documents

1. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Robert M. Baird The Deep Spirit of the Enlightenment: A Defense
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Currently the Enlightenment tradition is under such intense attack that Richard Bernstein calls the present mood a “rage against the enlightenment.” The purpose of this essay is to defend the deep spirit of the Enlightenment, the position that no idea, proposition, or principle should be beyond critical assessment. The defense involves an examination of and a response to two criticisms of the Enlightenment: first that the Enlightenment disdainfully rejects religion, particularly Christianity, and second that Enlightenment thinkers had a misguided confidence in the powers of a-historical reason, i. e. the notion that humans have a rational capacity, unaffected by context or historical circumstance, to arrive at truth.
2. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Charles Bingham Language and Intersubjectivity: Recognizing the Other Without Taking Over or Giving In
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Using the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jessica Benjamin, I here describe the role of language in achieving intersubjective relationships among persons.
3. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Mary Bloodsworth The Implications of Consistency: Plato on Protagoras and Heidegger on Technology
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Scholars have argued that Socrates’s activity in Plato’s early dialogues involves generating, or exposing, logical inconsistencies within his interlocutors belief-sets. Possessing an inconsistent set of beliefs undermines coherence and is considered a great danger. In contrast to the prevailing view, I claim that it is not inconsistency as much as consistency that Socrates often regards as the greatest threat. Using the figure of Protagoras in Plato’s Protagoras and insights gained from Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology,” I suggest that it is Protagoras’s emphasis on technology and science (techne) that Socrates finds disturbing. It is Protagoras’s consistent shift in worldview away from Athenian belief in chance or luck (tuché), that poses the greatest danger, according to Socrates---a danger still evident, according to Heidegger, in the modern world.
4. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Noel E. Boulting The Aesthetics of Nature
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Three paradigms for making sense of the aesthetic experience of nature---Specularism, Scientific Exemplarism and Perspectivalism---are found in the literature on the aesthetics of nature. The first focuses on seeing nature as a picture, the second on grasping aesthetic experience through the categories of scientific enquiry and the third emphasizes a more phenomenological relation between the experienced and the experiencer. After the historical development which fashioned Specularism’s approach to aestheticshas been indicated and the ahistorical nature of Scientific Exemplarism has been explained, the relative strengths of these three paradigms are explored before the implications of the third are related to a possible spiritual view of nature.
5. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Judith Bradford Sociality and the Aesthetic Sphere: The Revelations of Offense and Transgression
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In this paper, I examine the textual evidence for the thesis that the so-called “aesthetic sphere” of existence as depicted in Either/Or, Part I, is best described as a certain mode of relation to the social: a relation of distrust and despite. Throughout that work, themes of distrust, misunderstanding, offense, and deliberate deception recur in different profiles; I offer a social diagnosis of the “aesthetic” and support the analysis through interpretation of the text.
6. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
James Conlon Cities and the Place of Philosophy
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This essay takes seriously Heidegger’s claim that a given place influences what gets built in it, which both expresses and creates how we dwell in that place. This in turn is a guiding metaphor for how we think about ourselves as dwellers, which for Heidegger is the true nature of philosophy. I argue that philosophy itself is most fully supported in an urban, city environment.
7. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Ralph D. Ellis The Existential Condition at the Millennium
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This essay describes the authentic use of religious experience to address the value expressive dimension of being human. This value expressive dimension intensifies our experiential affirmation of the value of existence itself in a way not available through attaining valued or valuable outcomes.
8. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Patrick Hayden Sentimentality and Human Rights: Critical Remarks on Rorty
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Richard Rorty has recently argued that support for human rights ought to be cultivated in terms of a sentimental education which manipulates our emotions through detailed stories intended to produce feelings of sympathy and solidarity. Rorty contends that a sentimental education will be more effective in promoting respect for human rights than will a moral discourse grounded on rationality and universalism. In this paper, I critically examine Rorty’s proposal and argue that it fails to recognize the necessity of moral reasoning in creating and implementing the types of international human rights regimes which are required precisely when our sympathy is lacking or completely fails. In addition to a sentimental education, an effective human rights culture must include strong principles of moral agency, such as freedom and equality, and a commitment to the institutionalization of those principles as human rights norms.
9. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
Barry L. Padgett Alienation in the “Cashless Society”
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Since the global political events of the early 1990’s Marxian philosophy has faced significant challenges. This essay attempts to reinterpret Marx’s theory of alienation in light of contemporary social issues. In particular, Marx claims that labor is alienated because workers lose control over the process of production, its outcomes and effects. In order to support my argument that alienation of labor is still a relevant concept to post-modem, post-industrial social critique, I examine the contemporary proliferation of credit (especially in the form of credit cards) in the United States. I demonstrate that the preponderance and reliance on credit in American culture serves as an excellent example of Marxian alienation.
10. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 6 > Issue: 3/4
William C. Pamerleau Making a Meaningful Life: Rereading Beauvoir
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In this paper. I will explain the key elements of freedom in Beauvoir’s work, and I will show that they acknowledge a process of development and the effects of socialization. This account of freedom, I will argue, makes her view more attractive than the views of other existentialists, which many find to be too rooted in a subject-centered philosophy. However, to make Beauvoir’s views on freedom more consistent with contemporary philosophy, I suggest we read them as offering us a goal to achieve and not a capacity that we have inherently.