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Journal of Philosophical Research

Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life

Volume 40, Issue Supplement, 2015
Selected Papers from the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

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Displaying: 21-40 of 47 documents

21. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jonathan Lear Ironic Eros: Notes on a Fantastic Pregnancy
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This paper is an investigation of Plato’s thought that the disruptive force of Eros can lead us in a good direction. It takes seriously Diotima’s teaching to Socrates that the erotic encounter with the beautiful beloved stimulates a pregnancy in the lover. This paper argues that Plato did not, and we should not, think of this pregnancy merely as a metaphor or an allegory. The paper also argues that we misread Diotoma’s account of erotic ascent if we think of the lover as coming to disdain his first loves, the beautiful body or the beautiful individual. What he comes to disdain is the thought that this could be the ultimate telos of his quest. But the beloved, or the memory of the beloved, in all his or her corporeality remains of crucial importance throughout the lover’s life. Giving birth in the beautiful—however creative the act—occurs in the aura of the beloved. The paper then takes these Platonic ideas and investigates them in relation to a fantasy-pregnancy that was long suppressed in the history of psychoanalysis: that of the patient known as Anna O. giving birth to her doctor’s baby. The paper argues that this should be understood as a pregnancy of soul—one that played a significant role in giving birth to psychoanalysis itself.
philosophy and religions
22. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jean Ferrari Philosophie et Religions
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La problématique générale de ce symposium est celle de la confrontation de la philosophie, considérée dans son unicité comme une démarche critique à laquelle rien de ce qui est humain n’est étranger et les religions dans leur diversité à travers l’espace et le temps. Il en résulte des types de rapports très divers, selon que la philosophie emprunte aux religions certains thèmes de sa réflexion ou que, par ses concepts, elle contribue à la théorisation dogmatique de celles-ci. La question essentielle demeure aujourd’hui celle des rapports entre la raison philosophique et les croyances religieuses, que l’on en fasse l’histoire ou qu’en fonction des évolutions de l’une et des autres dans le monde contemporain, l’on tente d’en inventer des formes nouvelles.
23. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Suwanna Satha-Anand Silencing Metaphysics: Reflections on the Silence of the Buddha on Questions of Metaphysics
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Past discussions on the silence of the Buddha have focused on speculations on the “reasons” of the Buddha’s silence. Most scholars offer an analysis of the Buddha’s pragmatic considerations or his argument on human epistemic limits, that is, either that the metaphysical questions are irrelevant to the cessation of suffering or that the metaphysical contents cannot be known. This paper argues that the silence of the Buddha can be seen as a “speech act” whose absence of words actually achieves two purposes, first, the silence expresses the Buddha’s refusal to participate in these debates, and second, the silence creates a “space” which guides the interlocutors to re-direct the focus of their religious understanding. It will be illustrated that this silence of the Buddha is a point of both distinction and connectivity between philosophy as pure speculation on the one hand, and religion as a problem-solving practice on the other.
24. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Seizō Sekine Philosophical Inquiries into Religions: A Japanese Old Testament Scholar’s Perspective
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Philosophy, which is limitless but abstract, and religions, which are concrete but unable to shed the limitations of their symbols, must construct a complementary relationship that draws on the strengths of both. Through developing philosophical insights into religious truth and values, we can shine new light on our modern maladies and urgent problems, such as the tendency to pursue facts but not truth in scholarly research (section 1), religious conflicts (section 2), and the rivalry between religion and ethics (section 3). The author demonstrates ways this is possible from the perspectives of Old Testament studies, ethics, and modern Japanese Philosophy.
25. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Michael von Brück Wisdom and Responsibility: Towards a Relationship of Knowing and Acting in Mahayana-Buddhism
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art and cultures
26. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jos de Mul Athens, or the Fate of Europe
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In his essay ‘The Idea of Europe’ George Steiner claims that European culture derives from “a primordial duality, the twofold inheritance of Athens and Jerusalem.” For Steiner, the relationship between Greek rationalism and Jewish religion, which is at once conflictual and syncretic, has engaged the entire history of European philosophy, morality, and politics. However, given this definition, at present the United States of America seem to be more European than ‘the old Europe’ itself. Against Steiner, it will be argued that in order to fathom the distinctive characteristic of European culture, we have to take a third European tradition into account, which is inextricably bound up with Athens: the tradition of Greek tragedy. If we may call Europe a tragic continent, it is not only because its history is characterised by an abundance of real political tragedies, but also because it embodies, as an idea and an ideal, a tragic awareness of the fragility of human life. Instead of reducing the ‘idea of Europe’ to a financial and economic issue, Europe should remain faithful to this idea and ideal.
27. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Yacouba Konaté Pour Qui L’artiste Contemporain Africain Cree-T-Il?
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La scène contemporaine des arts visuels et de la danse contemporaine en Afrique, semble proposer une illustration réussie du mot de Theodor Adorno selon lequel « l’art a perdu son caractère d’évidence.» Et nombreux sont les artistes qui acceptent de ne pas être compris des publics locaux. En fait, on remarque que les productions artistiques de type patrimonial ou de type moderne et contemporain, apparaissent dans des occurrences inégales. Parfois, l’offre et la demande se raccordent avec bonheur. Parfois, l’offre attend en vain la demande et il apparaît qu’en art comme ailleurs sur d’autres marchés, la valeur n’est pas tant un attribut intrinsèque de l’objet, qu’une valeur ajoutée par l’artiste et les opérateurs culturels.
28. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Tom Rockmore Remarks on Art, Truth, and Culture
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Plato both created the Western aesthetic tradition and rejected the artistic claim to truth. I suggest that Plato’s rejection of the view that non-philosophical art is true gave rise to a debate later traversing the entire Western aesthetic tradition. I further suggest that the post-Platonic Western aesthetic tradition can be reconstructed as an effort by many hands to come to grips with and if possible overturn the Platonic judgment. I finally suggest that Hegel, in disagreeing with both Kant and Plato, presents an interesting anti-Platonic argument for “reforging” as it were the ancient link between art and truth. For in the final analysis, art, or at least some kinds of art, is not only beautiful but also in a deep sense true.
29. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Wolfgang Welsch Protokulturelle und Transkulturelle Dimensionen der Kunst
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Are all cultural products to be understood in cultural terms alone? The paper tries to open up our awareness beyond current culturalistic constrictions towards protocultural as well as transcultural factors involved in the production and understanding of art and other cultural phenomena.
technology and the environment
30. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Workineh Kelbessa Technology and the Environment: Introductory Remarks for this Session
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This paper explores the relationship between technology and the environment. Although technological intervention can help humanity to address some of the most pressing environmental challenges, technological advances alone cannot solve all environmental ills. In some cases, the attempt to manipulate the environment through technology can lead to different types of environmental destruction. This paper thus suggests that the introduction and use of technology requires a critical assessment of its ethical and environmental benefits.
31. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Junichi Murata What Can We Learn From Fukushima?: The Multi-Dimensionality of Technology
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The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which occurred on the occasion of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, caused enormous damage to the political, social, cultural and natural environments in Japan and still continues to create problems.What can we learn from the case of Fukushima from the viewpoint of the philosophy of technology?First, I emphasize that technology is not considered a closed system constituted only of a technological factor in the narrow sense of the term, but must be considered an open system related to and constituted of various factors, including social, cultural, and natural environmental factors. In this sense, technology is inherently multidimensional.Second, as there is no guarantee that multiple factors maintain a harmonious and stable unity under various circumstances, technology inevitably brings about unintended consequences. We must always consider the unmanageable and unpredictable character of technology, which can be characterized as the “otherness” character of technology and is to be considered a central problem of the philosophy and ethics of technology.
32. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Moritz Riemann Taking Out the Trash: Radioactive Waste, Technology Assessment, and Democracy
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The management of radioactive waste, particularly of High-Level Radioactive Waste (HLW) containing isotopes, whose half-life exceeds one million years, is a wicked and aporetic problem. The amount of waste increases continuously, while the question of management remains technologically and politically unsolved. Not only do the technological challenges involved exceed the horizon of scientists, but the ethical problems raised by the use of nuclear power have been neglected from the beginning. The history of nuclear power is as well a history of neglecting its consequences. No country is able to provide a suitable concept of storage for HLW. Instead, we have failing approaches: for example, decaying barrels in the Channel and the Atlantic Ocean, and in Germany two salt mines stuffed with unregistered amounts of waste on the edge of collapse.After the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in March 2011, the German Federal Government decided for the second time to stop using nuclear power as an energy source, and on July 5th 2013, it passed a law mandating a new search for a storage site. In the beginning of 2013, an interdisciplinary project—ENTRIA—was launched to investigate options for radioactive waste management from the perspectives of the technical sciences and the humanities. ENTRIA is evaluating three possible options for storage: deep geological disposal, retrievable deep geological repository with monitoring, and permanent dry cask storage above ground. Each of the three options bears particular technological and ethical challenges.
33. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Esa Saarinen Life-Philosophical Lecturing as a Systems-Intelligent Technology of the Self
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This paper describes life-philosophical lecturing, as developed by the author, as a form of performing art and as a positive, oral and non-directive philosophical practice that revitalizes the Socratic ideal of philosophy. Life-philosophical lecturing is explicated as a systems-intelligent technology of the self.
34. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Kristin Shrader-Frechette Wearing Glaucon’s Ring, Stopping Invisible Pollution Harms: Epigenetic Toxins, Child Malprogramming, Disease/Dysfunction
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Although we are likely unaware of it, in one troubling respect nearly all of us today wear the ring of Gyges. Because we are “invisible,” we use the ring to harm others with impunity. What is our ring of Gyges? It is our use/release of epigenetically toxic environmental pollutants (ETEP), such as endocrine disruptors, metals, and some pesticides. For developmentally/pre- and-postnatally-exposed children, ETEP often cause heritable gene-expression changes, developmental toxicity (DT) that increases later-life disease/dysfunction/death, including asthma/allergy, cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression, diabetes, hypertension, immune/precocious autoimmune diseases, infertility, neuro-developmental/neuro-degenerative diseases, obesity, osteoporosis, puberty, and schizophrenia.Yet, like Gyges, we offenders are “invisible” in at least two senses: (i) invisible before the law, because current regulations do not prohibit ETEP exposures able to cause DT; (ii) invisible as perpetrators, because most child-DT harms appear later in life. This paper (1) uses ETEP and DT to explain how we cause severe, hidden, pollution harms to children and future generations, (2) argues that no major ethical theory can justify allowing avoidable ETEP, and (3) shows that we have justice-based duties to help stop avoidable ETEP exposures, because, to varying degrees, we help cause ETEP and profit from them. Finally, the paper (4) answers objections to (3).
current trends in epistemology
35. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Pascal Engel Is There Really Something Wrong With Contemporary Epistemology?
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Analytic epistemology is thriving. Many people, however, think that it has gone wrong. They judge that it has become a new scholastics, narrow-minded, obsessed by a small set of problems, most of them examined through repetitive examples, thought experiments and paradoxes, such as the Gettier cases, stories about fake barns, bank cases, brains in vats and evil demons, or the lottery paradox. Philip Kitcher is one of these critics. In an article called “Epistemology without history is blind” published in Erkenntnis in 2011, he takes his stand from William James, “There can be no difference anywhere that doesn’t make a difference elsewhere” and judges severely the production of contemporary epistemologists. I disagree. Kitcher’s judgment is hasty, and analytic epistemology is not guilty of the sins that he denounces
36. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Dismas A. Masolo Knowledge and the Social World: Ethical Problems With Non-Holistic Views of Science and Technology
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I argue in this essay that practices of epistemological injustice by European scholars and researchers are neither a thing of the past nor a confine of philosophical debates driven by bad social science. Recent dimensions can be termed experimentations in science and ethics. Taking Africa as a place for scientific experimentation with hypotheses that have been classified as unethical is rife today, with the potential for far more serious and life threatening consequences. There are two phenomena that raise ethical questions and concerns: they are carried out by scientists and agencies who know well both short-term and long-term effects of the materials or products; moreover, the exportation of both the knowledge and materials for these experimentations is licensed by agencies of the governments of origin. The first concerns the exportation to and dumping in Africa of obsolete technological materials with high levels of toxity and radiation. The second concerns the mass exportation to Africa of scientific experimentations with genetically modified crops and foods when these are known in the countries of origin in Europe and America to bear pathogens harmful to both humans and ecological systems. The potential harm associated with these practices is comparable with, and puts them at the same level with, weapons of mass destruction, and their use ought to be questioned at the same level of concern as the use of sarin gas or cyanide in warfare.
37. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Ernest Sosa On Metaphysical Analysis
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What follows offers a solution for the problem of causal deviance in its three varieties. We consider Davidson on action, Grice on perception, and the account of knowledge as apt belief, as belief that gets it right through competence rather than luck. We take up the opposition between such traditional accounts and “disjunctivist” alternatives. And we explore how our take on the point and substance of metaphysical analysis bears on the problem and on competing reactions to it.
38. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Jason Stanley Knowledge, Habit, Practice, Skill
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According to Pierre Bourdieu, practices and habits are out the realm of rationality; this claim about their nature explains their peculiar resistance to rational revision. I argue that one can explain the fact that practices and habits are difficult to revise, without abandoning the view that they are within the space of reasons.
philosophy in modern and contemporary greece
39. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Georgia Apostolopoulou Neokantianism and Platonism in Neohellenic Philosophy
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‘Neokantianism and Platonism’ indicates an important issue of Neo-Hellenic Philosophy during the 1920s and the 1930s. The protagonist was Johannes Theodorakopoulos. His Heidelberg dissertation Platons Dialektik des Seins (1927) follows the Neokantian theories of judgement (of Emil Lask and Heinrich Rickert) and explores Plato’s theory of judgement with emphasis on Philebos’ categories of peras and apeiron. Theodorakopoulos’ prolegomena to the Greek translation (1929) of Paul Natorp’s Platos Ideenlehre are relevant here. Nevertheless, Theodorakopoulos developed a personal interpretation of Plato’s philosophy and almost demoted the Neokantian interpretation, as is clear in his Introduction to Plato (1941, in Greek) as also in his Heidelberg Vorlesungen 1969 entitled Die Hauptprobleme der Platonischen Philosophie. Besides, other interpretations of Plato came forward. Evangelos Papanoutsos wrote his Tübingen dissertation Das religiöse Erlebnis bei Platon (1926) under the supervision of Adickes. Konstantinos Georgoules, an earlier student of Husserl and Heidegger, published a translation of Plato’s Politeia (1939, in Greek) with a rather philological introduction.The Marxist Demetres Glenos, an opponent of Neokantianism, proposed a realistic interpretation of Plato’s Sophistes (1939, in Greek). Basileios Tatakes (an adherent of Henri Bergson) presented Plato’s philosophy as a reconciliation of reason and mysticism.
40. Journal of Philosophical Research: Volume > 40 > Issue: Supplement
Athanasia Glycofrydi-Leontsini Neohellenic Philosophy From Enlightenment to Romanticism
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This paper attempts to present, both historically and analytically, the way philosophy had been exercised and developed in Modern Greece from the middle of the eighteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century in connection with its culture and history. It aims to introduce the reader to Neohellenic philosophy and its distinctive characteristics, and to acquaint her with the endeavours of many outstanding Greek intellectuals to continue the Hellenic philosophical and cultural tradition, going back to Greek Antiquity that had been transmitted through the Byzantine learning, while, at the same time, to incorporate into their thinking Western philosophical traditions. My exegesis starts from the fifteenth century, when the Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Greek intellectuals went into exile in the West. Dealing with issues of educational reforms and with philosophical and linguistic controversies (seventeenth–nineteenth centuries), I shall examine, systematically and selectively, the Western influences that made possible the revival of traditional philosophy in Greek thought as well as the renewal of Greek cultural identity that led to the Greek War of Independence (1821–1827) and into the modern period of Greek history and intellectual thought.