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21. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Earnest N. Bracey Politics, Racism, and Environmental (In)justice in the United States
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Fairness has long been denied for African-Americans and other people of color when it comes to environmental injustices, or crimes committed by state governments and polluting industries/corporations. Unfortunately, polluting companies often go unpunished for their environmental misdeeds, particularly if what they do is in minority or marginalized communities. Furthermore, environmental biases in American courts, unfortunately, are still prevalent in our society today—that is, when it comes to vulnerable groups, who continue to seek environmental justice, but cannot fight back. Environmental injustice, therefore, should be considered unjust acts when it comes to polluting communities of color. Also, environmental issues are always problematic, especially in regard to climate change. In a certain sense, there is an urgent need to protect these disadvantaged communities of color from polluting corporations. Indeed, can we end this environmental cruelty? More importantly, how can we stop polluters from burying hazardous material in landfills on lands owned by Indigenous people or Native Americans? Polluting industries must also be put on notice, and we must question anyone in the energy business who is deceptive about their nasty pollution. It should be obvious that nothing will change anytime soon regarding the environmental injustice issue if we do not get involved and fight the polluters head-on, and without reservation.
22. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Maraizu Elechi Ecogynism as Unspoken Dialogue between Humans and Nature
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The possibility of dialogue between human beings and nature has been a subject of controversy with fundamental interpretations and reinterpretations among philosophers. Some have argued that the idea of human–nature dialogue is ill-informed, absurd and misleading because humans and non-humans lack the capacity for mutual linguistic understanding and reciprocity. This paper argues otherwise, by appropriating Marie Pauline Eboh’s concept of “Ecogynism as Unspoken Dialogue” to analytically show the dialogical possibility between human beings and nature. Ecogynism is considered as an approach and method towards the consideration of a new form of dialogue with a view to achieving friendly and harmonious synthesis of existence, and proffering solutions to natural disasters and issues relating to environmental sustainability. However, the form of dialogue accentuated in this article is not akin to conversation or discussion that requires an exchange of views, but an unspoken dialogue that is based on meta-epistemic and existential modes of communication, sensibility, and interaction, to reveal the natural interrelatedness and mutuality of all existents and supplant the dominance of androcentrism.
23. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Dilipkumar Mohanta Buddhist Environmental Ethics: Two Methodological Models
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There is no greater threat today to the security of life on this earth than environmental degradation covering all aspects of Nature—plants, animals and human. It is imperative to take interest in a future which lies beyond the boundary of our short-sighted outlook and self-interests. Non-western and indigenous cultural approaches to environmental issues are relevant today. Following Buddhist Ethics we can extend love, compassion, and non-violence in practice and limit our greed, and also we can take interest in protecting the right to happiness of future generations. In the light of the ethical teachings contained in the texts of Buddhism, I propose two different methodological models, namely the “Honey-Bee Model” and “Mother-Child Model,” for addressing an ideal relation between humans and Nature. The Buddhist approach to environmental issues is based on the law of Dependent Origination and the theory of Not-Self or Relational Self. I shall also argue that Buddha’s teaching integrates all aspects of the ecosphere—individuals and general species—in terms of mutual interdependence, which in a sense an attempt to institutionalize care and welfare ethics beyond the human domain to also reach the animal and plant worlds. This paper is an attempt to address current ecological problems from the moral perspective of Buddhism.
24. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Oluwatobi David Esan, Solomon Kolawole Awe The Yoruba Concept of the Okun Omo Iya as a Critique of Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” and the Quest for Environmental Sustainability
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This paper attempts to critique the existential philosophy of Martin Buber’s theory of the “I-Thou” using the Yoruba concept of okun omo iya. The need for the realization of a sustainable environment has been a point of focus for researchers, scholars, and government policy makers. The reason for this realization is not far-fetched. According to a record from World Health Organisation (WHO), one-quarter of all deaths worldwide are attributed to over-exploitation and reckless usage of the environment. This undoubtedly has caused several human-induced disasters such as floods. The reckless usage and abuse of the environment is predicated on the domineering tendency of humans towards the environment. Martin Buber, in his existentialist philosophy, argues that humans should treat their relations as “I-Thou” (as subjects) and not as “I-It” (as objects). It follows that humans must be considerate in relating with each other such that fellow humans should not be treated as a means to an end, rather as ends in themselves. Simply put, fellow humans should not be seen as objects that others can either control, dominate, or subdue. However, Buber’s existentialist philosophy is human-centered, as it excludes the non-human entities and as well, failed to explain the relationship that should exist between humans and non-human entities. Hence, the Yoruba concept of okun omo iya will be used as a paradigm to remodel and re-configure the existentialist philosophy of Buber in a way that is environmentally inclusive.
25. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Wang Hai-qin The Role of the Glance in Overcoming the Disunity of Knowledge and Practice in Environmental Philosophy
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Statistics show, that even though an ethical respect for nature is both widely advocated by current mainstream environmental philosophy and is increasingly publicly accepted, this is not enough to ensure the needed practical actions to protect and preserve the natural world and its living beings. This reflects a disconnection between the related intellectual or theoretical appreciation of the integrity or value within the natural world and the sorts of practices needed to heal or to motivate the actions needed for ecological integrity and sustainability. Awareness of this disunity or disconnection calls for a philosophical examination of this disconnection. This paper argues that the disunity between knowledge and practice reflects a “blind spot” in those sorts of mainstream environmental philosophy that attempt to establish a rational basis for an ethical respect for nature and humans’ ethical responsibility to the environment. This paper shall reveal that blind spot and its origin by examining and building on Ed Casey’s analysis and phenomenological description of an original and authentic directly lived ethical response to the environment that he calls the “first moment of ethical response.” Casey’s description of this “first moment of ethical response,” rooted in his phenomenological horizon, allows him to break away from the horizon of current mainstream environmental ethics and uncover a field of original and authentic ethical experience that opens an area of investigation closed to current environmental ethics. In this way Casey’s work can reveal the limitations of the scientific horizon of mainstream environmental ethics and has great value in the overcoming of the blind spot and its ill effect.
26. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 2
Charles Brown Leopold, Husserl, Darwin and the Possibility of Intercultural Dialogue
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J. Baird Callicott et al. have argued that Aldo Leopold developed a descriptive technique that has something in common with phenomenology and that it would not be farfetched to explore A Sand County Almanac as a kind of Heideggerian clearing in which usually unnoticed beings come to light. They further suggest that Leopold describes animal others as fellow subjects who co-constitute the world and that through his method of observation, description, and reflection Leopold reveals a “multi-perspective experience of a common environment” that discloses an inter-species intersubjectivity comparable to Husserl’s more formal descriptions of intersubjectivity. I shall argue that the similarities between Husserl and Leopold are stronger and deeper than Callicott et al. suggest. Husserl’s method is designed to expose what has been hidden by “ideological positivism,” while Leopold’s method is designed to reveal what has been concealed by what he labels “conventional physics. Both agree that what we might today call a “scientistic worldview” denies, devalues, and dismisses subjectivity, meaning, and value from rational discourse. In Husserl’s view this leads to cultural crisis and barbarism, while in Leopold’s view it leads to ecological catastrophe. For Husserl the only alternative is a cultural renewal rooted in a rethinking of the dominant scientistic worldview while for Leopold the alternative lies in the construction of a new ethical system. These two alternatives are deeply compatible. Finally, I will discuss the ways in which Husserl’s understanding of the intentionality of our subjective experiences and Leopold’s integration of the evolutionary and ecological kinship of humans and non-humans with the social sciences have important implications for the possibility of intercultural understanding and dialogue and thereby allow us to overcome the thesis of incommensurability that denies the possibility of meaningful intercultural understanding and dialogue.
27. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Magorzata Czarnocka Editorial
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28. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Charley Mejame Ejede Philosophy and African Sapiential Tradition: Giving Voice to Wisdom and the Conceptualization of Traditional African Society. Part I
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The purpose of this study is not to show, as does Obenga, how Europe drew on Egypt or how Africa is the origin of all philosophies and the origin of all humanity, but to show African thinkers who, in the future, will want to take a serious look at developing a philosophy that embraces the major values of African culture, for this is supremely possible. This African culture subsists above all in the inexplorable African linguistic corpus. I argue that if we speak of African wisdom, we must first show its existence in the linguistic underpinning of the sapiential function in African culture. The solution to Africa’s problems will never come entirely from outside Africa; per contra, it will come from Africa itself, in her inherent values. The realms of salvation, therefore, of Africa lie in the norms implicit in its culture, but which are universal and are applicable to other cultures as well. The principal objective, therefore, of this paper, is the encounter between the logos and the African sapiential tradition for the two modes of thought mutually enrich themselves to address our contemporary problems. I show the crisis of the African humanity and the spheres of redemption in its sapiential function and the transmission of knowledge and reason in its multifarious facets. The work shows the major ideas inherent in the African sapiential tradition (African languages). African philosophy can incontrovertibly be found in African languages which conceal great knowledge and a use of life we have neglected today. The article explores the Kiluba language and deals with diverse questions in philosophy from its areas, i.e. ethics, politics, psychology, modern philosophy, linguistics, moral philosophy.
29. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Charley Mejame Ejede Philosophy and African Sapiential Tradition: Giving Voice to Wisdom and the Conceptualization of Traditional African Society. Part II
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In the first part of our considerations we show how, according to Senghor, going back to the source is necessary to discover the richness of African languages and their philosophical significance. It is an effort which will enable the African to be in harmony with his/her history and the cardinal values found in the original Africa. Identity awareness must push us to lay the groundwork for the African philosophical creation found in African languages themselves. In this paper, the second part of our considerations, we are going to revisit the kiluba language. Besides, we are also going to look at the seSotho language, the language spoken in the Southern part of the continent of Africa. The major interest of this article therefore is the openness to the treasures of African thought via its linguistic corpus.
30. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Cecilia Coronado Angulo Instrumental Reason, Technology, and Society
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Technological development is accompanied by a paradox: while it often promises enormous benefits for humanity, it can also lead to inconceivable tragedy, including the instrumentalization of the individual, growing social inequality, environmental impact, etc. What causes this paradox? a) Could it be that the nature of technology generates this contradiction? b) Is it the agent that uses it? c) Or is it the circumstances in which technology is used that determine its suitability or disservice? My aim in this paper is to revise nature, causes and political explanations of the paradox. To do so, the first section will give a historical overview of this phenomenon, the second will assess three proposals that attempt to explain its origin, and, finally, the paper will weigh such approaches from the view of the Frankfurt School. Evaluating the paradoxical conditions that surround technology allows us to better understand its role in our societies.
31. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Zhanna Vavilova Cyber Inclusion vs Isolation: A Way Out of the Virtual Ghetto
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Recent restrictions of movement during the pandemic have forced people worldwide, even neo-luddites, to turn to communicating online. The virtualization of social processes that we are witnessing today, suggests constant rethinking of the role of the Internet for humanity so that we could optimize conditions of our existence that seem to be irreversibly transformed by technology, and integrate every individual with a unique set of features in the life of society. The author deals with the notions of cyberinclusion, virtual ghetto, isolation and alienation to come to the conclusion that virtual communication allows one to form communities based not on segregation criteria of socio-demographics, but on unifying grounds of shared interest. Cyber inclusion already exists, along with virtual ghettoization; for the former to prevail, people must be ready to communicate beyond borders, regardless of their socio-demographical characteristics, state of health, or immediate benefit.
32. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Stanisław Czerniak Three Interpretations of the “Ideology” Category. Max Horkheimer’s Conception of Ideology
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The article consists of the following thematic threads: a) an overview of three interpretations of the term “ideology” in subject literature; b) a reconstruction of Max Horkheimer's ideology conception, presented in the first half of the 1930s in writings published in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung [Social Research Journal]; c) an attempt to answer the question to what degree this conception was paradigmatic for the early Frankfurt School (here, for comparative purposes, the author cites writings by Leo Löwenthal and Paul Landsberg, which were also published in the Zeitschrift für Sozialforschung).
33. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Jonathan O. Chimakonam, Dorothy N. Oluwagbemi-Jacob Self-Preservation and Coloniality
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In this paper, we will critically examine the notion of rationality and the disabling instinct of self-preservation that play out in human relationships. That “man is a rational animal,” as Aristotle declared is usually taken for granted in social studies. But whether humans act rationally all the time, and in all circumstances remains questionable. Here, we shall investigate this concern from a decolonial perspective by engaging some contradictions thrown up in the context of coloniality within which a section of humanity dehumanizes the rest. The question then is, how rational is the intellectual program of coloniality? Taking a cue from conversational thinking that places the notion of relationship at the center of decolonial analysis, we argue that coloniality fractures the inter and intra-racial relationships due mainly to the instinct of self-preservation that overwhelms human rationality. What has emerged today as the superior/inferior divide, racialism, classism, internal colonialism, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, xenophobia, and genocide are some of the consequences of warped and uncritical thinking driven by an extreme form of the instinct of self-preservation. We argue that the promotion of critical (higher-order) thinking in addition to ordinary (lower-order) thinking could be crucial in a decolonial program.
34. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Mitchell Atkinson III Habit, Type, and Alterity in Social Life. Recoiling Protentions and Social Invisibility
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The question of the possibility of a phenomenological sociology is of the utmost importance today. In this paper, techniques in transcendental-genetic phenomenology are introduced as applicable to sociological work. I introduce the concept of recoil, a habit of thought which negatively determines protentions and expectations concerning types sedimented in far retention. Recoil is seen to be an important element in the theory of alterity in social life, including the understanding of alters as invisible. Finally, arguments in favor of the use of the epoché in sociological work is given, as the epoché allows us to engage with the experience of the subject of study without a latent invidious comparison to a naturalistic substructure.
35. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Emilia A. Tajsin On Two-Valued and Multiple-Valued Logic and on Paradoxes of Verity
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The phenomena of truth, truthfulness, veracity and “truthiness” discussed widely in logic, epistemology as theory of science and gnoseology as general theory of knowledge, have received many interpretations—and not a single one to be generally accepted. Discussions continue not only upon narrow technical, operational questions of the predicate calculus and/or propositions calculus, but also on logic-gnoseological problems, one of which casts doubt on the maxim “logic is the house of truth,” and the other highlights the laxity of the opposition of “truth—falsehood” meanings as the main categories of the two-valued logic. These evaluations of proposition do not in fact oppose each other in the sense of a contradiction. Verity and falsity are controversial (opposite), but not contradictory (antithetical) concepts; it is truth and non-truth that are contradictory. Therefore, there is not only the possibility, but also the reality of the existence of a field, or zone, of transition between the values “true—false.”
36. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Nataliia Shelkovaia Problems of the Unknowability and Total Unity in the Light of Philosophy of Semyon L. Frank
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The article analyzes the problems of unknowability and total unity in the light of philosophy of Semyon L. Frank, set forth by him in the work The Unknowable. The author of the paper considers all the problems that arise as “icebergs” and tries to find the reasons for the distortion of the vision of the “top of the iceberg” and the “underwater part of the iceberg,” which is often unaware. The author examines the problems of the inadequate perception of reality: a narrow “one’s own little world” of the world perception, passed off as the truth in the final instance; absolutization of the mind, which considers itself able to know everything; the cultivation of negative information and cruelty in society; the role of media forming world perception; antagonistic dichotomy of the world perception; lack of a sense of connection of everything that exists, in particular of a sense of unity of “I” and “Thou;” loss of the “culture of heart” and the ability to love. As a result of the analysis undertaken, the author concludes that only by changing the causes that give rise to the “world of evil and separation” can the lost integrity and harmony of man, society and world civilization be restored. The revival of the earth’s civilization is possible only in total unity.
37. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Aivaras Stepukonis Re-Thinking Cultural Hedonism: On the Principle of Utility according to John Stuart Mill
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Hedonism, driven by mass culture and widespread consumerism, is a salient factor in the modus vivendi of contemporary Western civilization. This general psychological and behavioral backdrop is exploited in the article as an opportunity to both reinvigorate and re-appraise the theoretical underpinnings of modern hedonism as developed by John Stuart Mill in his Utilitarianism. The article proceeds in two steps: Firstly, a detailed exposition of Mill’s arguments for the principle of utility is undertaken, with an accompanying elucidation of the core notions of utility, expediency, happiness, and pleasure. Secondly, five points of criticism (logical, phenomenological, and analytical in method) are raised to challenge what the author thinks are the weakest links in Mill’s syllogistic chain.
on the need of an enlightenment
38. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Michael H. Mitias Do We Really Need a New Enlightenment for the 21st Century?
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This article is a critical response to the claim advanced by Robert Elliott Allinson in three issues of Dialogue and Universalism that we need a new Enlightenment for the 21st century. In contradistinction to this claim, I argue that what we really need is a new interpretation of the ideals of the European Enlightenment. This assertion is based on the assumption that the basic beliefs and values that constitute the heart and soul of the European Enlightenment are founded in human nature and that this nature is one and the same among all human beings. My discussion is composed of two parts, the first is formal, and the second is analytical. In the first part, I present general observations on the cultural and historical dynamics of the European Enlightenment. In the second part, I advance an analysis and a critical evaluation of the arguments Allinson advances in the editorial he wrote for the three issues of Dialogue and Universalism. The proposition I defend is that we need not a new Enlightenment but an interpretation and a comprehensive, efficacious implementation of the ideals of reason, science, and humanism.
39. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Robert Elliott Allinson On the Question of Whether We Need a New Enlightenment for the 21st Century
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It is gratifying to learn that there are fellow humanist philosophers who pay homage to the Enlightenment and its legacy. Such a humanist philosopher is Michael Mitias. He has taken precious time and the labor of his active and synoptic thought to both read the trilogy I have had the privilege of guest editing and what is more, to write about it. Hence, I feel that he deserves a response. I shall address some of the key points that he has raised in the interest of dialogue, an activity which he has praised and which rightly forms the heart of our journal. I intend to respond to the following points: (i) that we do not need a new enlightenment, but a reinterpretation of the old; (ii) that the editorials are not consistent with the articles of the contributors; (iii) that the method I have utilized, to endeavor to invoke a new Enlightenment through self-conscious intention, via rallying philosophers together is at odds with the origin of the classical Enlightenment; (iv) that the viewpoint I have expressed suffers from its Eurocentrism.
40. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 33 > Issue: 1
Małgorzata Czarnocka How Do We Shape a Reform of the 21st-Century Human World in an Enlightenment Spirit? On Projects by Robert E. Allinson and Michael H. Mitias
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In this essay I wish to add my voice to Michael H. Mitias’s polemic with Robert E. Allinson’s view that an Enlightenment-driven reform of the human world is desirable, and even necessary. Allinson calls the outcome of such a reform the “New Enlightenment.” I also consider the few main threads of Mitias’s alternative proposal for repairing the human world, which involves the reinterpretation of the Enlightenment ideology, and I strive to show that, contrary to Mitias’s belief, both his and Allinson’s positions have important common points. Moreover, I also take a closer look at Mitias’s project, especially his postulate to begin funding the reforming of the human world in human nature.