Cover of The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy
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Displaying: 21-40 of 43 documents


section: views of ethics in discussion
21. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Speranta Dumitru Equal Minds behind the Veil of Ignorance
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Rawls' original position is a thought experiment by which we are asked to imagine ourselves as rational agents choosing the principles of justice under specific informational and motivational constraints. In this paper, I am concerned only with the informational constraints and I shall argue that the way Rawls designed them reveals an implausible conception of mind and knowledge. This conception, of a mind separable from knowledge, as well as one of its correlates which I will call epistemic egalitarianism, is not an objection one may address uniquely to the original position. However, the failure to construct the original position as a one-solution problem renders its epistemology not only implausible but of no use for moral reasoning.
22. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Gerd Gerhardt Sorge um das Wesentliche: Moralische Verpflichtung - im Blick auf Kant und Habermas
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In der Kantischen Tradition wird moralische Verbindlichkeit formal bestimmt. Kant berücksichtigt jedoch in seiner gesamten Entwicklung aber immer auch eine inhaltliche Komponente, die er glaubt formal uminterpretieren zu können. Ich versuche zu .zeigen, dass Moral in einer gestuften Reflexion zu gewinnen ist: Auf einer fundamentalen Ebene reflektiere ich auf das mir Wesentliche; Verbindlichkeit ist auf dieser Ebene nicht ohne die Motivation der Selbstsorge zu erreichen. Habermas' Trennung von ethischer Verbindlichkeit (Bereich des für mich oder uns Guten) und moralischer Verbindlichkeit (Bereich des Gerechten, des für alle Guten) greift erst auf einer höheren Stufe, wenn die fundamentale Verbindlichkeit bereits gestiftet ist. Die Sorge um das Wesentliche wird als Leben gemäß der Vernunft expliziert, die sich in verschiedenen Lebensbezügen als Autonomie, als Sachlichkeit bzw. als Achtung und Liebe artikuliert.
23. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Luc Langlois Fondation et application: de quelques apories de la Diskursethik de Karl-Otto Apel
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Dans ses travaux recents, Karl-Otto Apel s'est employe ä redefinir la structure architectonique de la Diskursethik, en distinguant en eile deux moments fondamentaux et interrelies. Un premier volet, fondationnel et deontique, vise ä retracer, ä partir des presupposes contrefactuels et inevitables de la communaute ideale de communication, le principe universaliste du jugement moral, qui comme tel fait abstraction de l'histoire et revendique une validite inconditionnelle. Dans son second volet par contre, la Diskursethik en tend jeter les bases d'une « ethique de la responsabilite sensible ä l'histoire », c'est-ä-dire attentive aux facteurs historico-culturels et aux circonstances de Taction qui empechent l'etablissement d'un dialogue sans contrainte. La Diskursethik se trouve par la enrichie d'une dimension teleologique, vouee ä la realisation progressive, et ä la preservation ä long terme, des conditions de l'entente rationnelle. Seule l'integration de ces deux volets, deontique et teleologique, permet d'acceder selon Apel ä une authentique «ethique planetaire», capable d'affronter les crises du temps present—au premier chef la crise ecologique, la crise du sous-developpement et la crise du sur-armement. Notre expose interrogera cette architectonique complexe de la Diskursethik. II soutiendra, contre Apel, que les questions de fondation des normes ne se laissent pas disjoindre du probleme de leur application. II reviendra aussi sur la these apelienne liant le probleme de l'application concrete des normes ethiques ä la relation dialectique des communautes ideale et reelle de communication. Nous suggererons plutöt qu'une « ethique de la responsabilite sensible ä l'histoire » peut se soutenir elle-meme sans la fiction d'une communaute ideale de communication.
24. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Matti Häyry The Tension between Self-Governance and Absolute Inner Worth in Kant's Moral Philosophy
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In contemporary discussions on practical ethics, the concepts of autonomy and dignity have frequently been opposed. This tendency has been particularly visible in controversies regarding cloning, abortion, organ sales, and euthanasia. Freedom of research and freedom of choice, as instances of professional and personal autonomy, have been cited in arguments favouring these practices, while the dignity and sanctity of human life have been evoked in arguments against them. In the moral theory of Immanuel Kant, however, the concepts of autonomy and dignity seem to coexist in mutual harmony. Respect for the freely chosen moral law and respect for the absolute value of humanity coincide, and give rise to a unified understanding of our duties toward ourselves and others. My question in this paper is, was Kant on to something here? Can autonomy and dignity, in the sense in which they are used in current debates, be brought together, and can the arguments be settled in a way that would satisfy both (or all) disagreeing parties? My answer to the question is, yes and no. Kant was definitely on to something in that he recognized two competing views in modern moral philosophy, and tried to consolidate them in an attempt to create a universal model of ethics. But in the end, he failed to fuse the two views together on equal terms. Instead, he sacrificed the modern idea of the self-governance of individuals on the altar of the premodern notion of the absolute inner worth of humanity.
25. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Vasil Gluchman Human Dignity and Non-Utilitarian Consequentialist "Ethics of Social Consequences"
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The main objective of my paper is to show that human dignity has a significant position in my ethics of social consequences (I defend a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism), arguing for a particular theory of the value of human dignity. I argue that my ethics of social consequences is capable of accepting human dignity and all authentic human moral values without exception. I think that my ethical theory of social consequences (as a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism) can provide the essential missing ingredient identified by the critics of utilitarianism.
26. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Paul Grosch Against the Utilitarian Grain: Alternative Approaches to Health Care Ethics
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One of the many general problems that I wish to examine is that to do with the ethics of health care practice and provision. Consequently, I aim to undertake the following: first, I examine, in the light of Rorty's famous dictum concerning suffering, the current state of international policies on health care resource provision. Second, following Brock, I argue that such policies of allocation are founded on broad utilitarian principles. Third, I lay the foundations for an argument that moral utilitarianism, like economic utilitarianism, is dependent upon a form of calculative reasoning which is a necessary feature of the broad Anglo-American analytic approach to philosophical issues, and as a means of helping us to understand both the complex moral status of persons and the way(s) in which health care policies need to be framed for such persons, that approach is found wanting. Fourth, I propose some alternative approaches to minking about health care which are informed more by the phenomenological tradition. I mention both Heidegger and Levinas, whilst concentrating on the work of Hadot, whose emphasis on spiritual exercises has close affinities to the practical health care work and research undertaken by Bradshaw. Such a phenomenological approach can, I suggest, help to lessen what Bradshaw claims is a current dependence upon a 'contract' view of care, whilst attempting to replace it with what she terms a 'covenant' view.
27. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Joanna G. Patsioti The Relevance of an Aretaic Model in Business Ethics
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In this paper, we provide a philosophical perspective on the domain of business ethics in our attempt to examine to what extent an aretaic model can serve as an adequate moral context that can also accommodate the practical requirements of business. Our main objective is to show that despite any conflicts that may occur between an aretaic model and what is required in business, the Aristotelian ethical theory can serve as a morally adequate theoretical framework for business. To that effect, we examine certain aspects of this model, such as the notion of virtue as a settled ethical quality, as well as that of practical wisdom as the capacity of making a choice on the basis of proper ethical reasoning. Certain criticisms of such a model are also discussed. We derive the conclusion that the aretaic model can serve the organization's objectives to a great extent, since it provides a creative fusion of individual morality with the integrity of the corporate environment as reflected in its collective responsibility
28. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Rogene A. Buchholz, Sandra B. Rosenthal Corporate Growth as Inherently Moral: A Deweyian Reconstruction
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Dewey's understanding of growth is inseparably intertwined with his distinctively pragmatic understanding of the self-community relation and of knowledge as experimental. Within this framework, growth emerges as a process by which individual communities achieves fuller, richer, more inclusive, and more complex interactions with their environment by incorporating the perspective of "the other". Growth involves reintegration of problematic situations in ways which lead to expansion of self, of community, and of the relation between the two. In this way growth and workability go hand in hand, for growth involves the resolution of conflict through reconstructive expansion of contexts which work in bringing about the desired resolution. And in this way growth and workability properly understood in their concrete fullness are inherently moral, and the ethical dimension of business decisions involves consideration of both. In this sense, pragmatism can hold that the ultimate goal in the nurturing of moral maturity, whether for individuals, communities, or corporations, is the development of the ability for ongoing self-directed growth.
29. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Debika Saha The Ethical Aspects of Environmental Issues: An Approach
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Environmental debates are frequent nowadays. It is a common trend to seek the solutions of these issues in the fields of science and technology. There are at least two main arguments in support of this view. The first is that science provides objective answers that are based on fact. And the second is that the ecological threat that confronts us can only be measured with the help of advanced technology. The present paper tries to show that although science and technology are of great help in solving these issues, environmental problems are not exclusively of a scientific or technical nature. This paper is divided into two sections. The first section tries to show why these problems are not exclusively scientific or technical in nature. And the second section tries to unveil the need for environmental ethics in the present-day society.
30. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Rodney G. Peffer World Hunger and Moral Theory
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I canvass the major contending normative theories /approaches concerning the world hungerabsolute poverty problem by going through a set of questions— some normative, some empirical, and some a mixture of both—in order to elucidate what the germane issues are in this ongoing debate and in order to provide a decision procedure for progressively weeding out the less plausible theories from the more plausible ones until we arrive at what I believe to be the most plausible and well-supported theory and solution to this momentous problem. Theories are eliminated if they are empirically unsupportable in terms of their analysis of the problem (or their recommendations aimed at solving the problems) and/or they are morally unsupportable in terms of not showing sufficient concern and respect for people in the design of the principles, rights, duties, and/or obligations they propose or, alternatively, not respecting the root values of autonomy and fairness. My main conclusion is that although Amartya Sen's capability ethic has made important contributions to moral theory, a Rawlsian theory (such as mine) that specifically accepts a Basic Rights principle is preferable to it since, for one reason, it is less vague in what policies are to be recommended on such issues as world hunger (given the same set of empirical assumptions). I also conclude that although Sen's empirical (economic and socialtheoretical) work on famines, hunger, and absolute poverty in general is to be much commended, it contains claims that are highly suspect.
section: ethics facing problems of our century
31. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Simon Glynn Some Reflections upon the Supposed Moral Distinction between Terrorism and the Legitimate Use of Military Force
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Defining "terrorism" as the intentional targeting of non-combatant civilians, the paper argues that, other things being equal, it is not possible to effectively distinguish morally between "terrorism" and use of military power against combatant targets which might reasonably be expected to produce some guesstimable quantity of "collateral" or non-combatant civilian casualties; that it is upon the expected likely consequences of actions rather than upon the intentions underlying them, that actors should be morally judged. Furthermore I argue that other attempts to rationalize the use of conventional military force, as retaliatory for prior "terrorist" actions, or as preemptive, also often largely fail either on historical grounds ("terrorists" often see their actions as responses to previously unjustified killing or letting die of the non-combatant civilian population they see themselves as representing) or pragmatic grounds (as the unintentional killing of non-combatant civilians often increases the sense of righteous indignation which helps recruit further "terrorists").
32. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Toralba Cora Solidarity Facing World Problems
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Human beings consider the world's problems as such because they affect humanity. Problems are "created" by human beings directly or indirectly either through intended actions or consequences of unintended ones. Human beings inflict problems on themselves or others. One of the greatest social problems the world is facing is the lack of peace and security. The latest threat is caused by terrorism. The people in the regions known for terrorism are suffering from extreme poverty and use terrorism as a means to make their cause heard. Poverty is unfortunately caused mainly by lack of opportunity for self growth and development. Poverty has reduced the populace to living conditions that undermine human dignity. Lack of self-esteem or self worth creates a mind set that looks at human life as worthless. The only saving factor they see is in the spiritual realm, their religion; hence the tendency present among fundamentalists to become suicide bombers. A solution to these problems might be sought through solidarity, as envisioned by Karol Wojtyla. Solidarity sees others as equals and partners in attaining self-fulfillment. Forgetting this principle of social ethics has led to the rule of might, which has led to the human catastrophes that the world witnesses.
33. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Hung-Yul So Beyond Rational Insanity
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Insanity is identified with irrationality, while rationality is considered to be the mark of sanity. Yet we want to say that rationality could be the cause of insanity. We can see a subtle kind of insanity inherent in an institution believed to be highly rational. Rationality in an ideological belief also turns into rational insanity when the ideology itself works for the interest of the advantaged as a tool of deception. We believe in the rationality of open communication. We believe that information technology has given us the most rational means for open communication. The Internet revolution or Internet democracy is expected to become the most rational means for the institutional goal of democracy. However the rationality of Internet communication has demonstrated a serious tendency to cause Internet insanity. We have been proud of being 'rational animals'. But now we are concerned because 'rational animal' could mean 'rational but animal-like' or 'rational but impulsive', which in turn could mean 'rational but violent' or 'rational but mad and insane'. Perhaps it is time for us to think seriously about the possibility of mass insanity through rational insanity, and seek the way beyond such rational insanity.
34. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Harry van der Linden Is Global Poverty a Moral Problem for Citizens of Affluent Societies?
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The gap between the affluent and the global poor has increased during the past few decades, whether it is measured in terms of private consumption, income, or wealth. One would expect that severe poverty in a world of abundance would constitute a moral challenge to the affluent, but in fact it hardly seems a serious ethical concern. Affluent citizens seem so little morally concerned with global poverty. However, the most promising approach seems to be to explore and divulge factually and conceptually the numerous ways in which the affluent are implicated in a wholly unjust world of growing inequality. Changing people's moral perception is an arduous task and it is to be expected that affluent people will only gradually come to morally question their comfortable lives, at least in the absence of environmental or political disasters that might occur in the future. The immense human suffering at stake makes it a duty for moral philosophers to continue to work at and even increase their efforts towards this task.
35. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Jerzy Pelc Human Cloning and Organ Transplants vs. Definition of Human Being: A Philosophical Point of View
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In bioethical discussions of human cloning there are sometimes employed definitions broadening the denotation of the term human being to include also, on an equal footing, human embryos. Also, the fact of being human is being equated with being a person. Consequently, embryos are treated as having dignity and calls are heard in the name of justice to protect the rights and interests of embryos whenever these clash with the interests of mature human beings. The author, being a layman in the area of human cloning, limits himself to indicating views he agrees with and those he finds doubtful. He expects human cloning will be taking place, albeit on a small scale, regardless of any bans which would only force the practice to become clandestine. Arguments in favor of controlled human cloning include not only the need to preserve freedom in scientific research, but also hopes for minimizing the adverse effects of cloning. The author indicates factors of an emotional nature which hamper discussions of cloning. He also argues that objections to experiments with humans and demands to make them conditional on prior consent of the people being experimented on are ineffective and often impossible to satisfy. The author also believes that it is impossible to unconditionally obey the commandment "You shall not kill". He does not see any threats posed by the fact that the clone and the cloned person will be identical. While not overlooking the potential dangers to clones (such as genetic defects), the author also sees potential advantages of cloning and transplantology (therapeutic, psychic, social).
36. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Tuija Takala Designer Babies and Treating People as a Means
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Among the many ethical problems brought about by the latest developments in medical sciences is the possibility of creating "designer" babies. In this paper I will look at one such a case from the viewpoint of the Kantian "humanity principle". The various aspects of treating people as a means that can be brought up in discussions about "designer" babies are scrutinised. These will obviously include treating the future child as a mere means, but the proper role of the mother and others involved are also looked at. I will conclude by arguing that, contrary to the usual presuppositions, the humanity principle is of very limited use in discussions about designer babies, in this case and in others too.
37. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Donald Ipperciel The Latimer Decision: A Case Study on Euthanasia
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I would like to use the highly publicized Latimer decision in Canada as a case study on euthanasia. In this case, Robert Latimer killed his severely disabled 12-year-old child in order, in his mind, to end her suffering. Consequently, he was convicted of first-degree murder. I will argue that condemning Robert Latimer's act 1) ensues from hermeneutically misconstruing the concrete situation; 2) does not respect the criterion of reasonableness, which is linked to the consideration of an ethos. The elaboration of the arguments will refer to the ruling of the Canadian Supreme Court (R. v. Latimer, 2001), which produced the most comprehensive case against Latimer's actions.
38. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Michael Wreen Medical Futility and Physician Discretion
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Some patients have no chance of surviving if not treated, but very little chance if treated. A number of medical ethicists and physicians have argued that treatment in such cases is medically futile and a matter of physician discretion. This paper is a critical examination of that position. According to Howard Brody and others, a judgment of medical futility is a purely technical matter, and one which physicians are uniquely qualified to make. Although Brody later retracted these claims, he held fast to the view that physicians need not consult the patient or his family to determine their values before deciding not to treat. This is because professional integrity dictates that treatment shouldn't be undertaken. The argument for this claim is that medicine is a profession and a social practice, and thus capable of breaches of professional integrity. Underlying professional integrity are two moral principles, one concerning harm, the other fraud. Both point to the fact that when the odds of survival are very low treatment is a violation of professional integrity. The details of this skeletal argument are exposed and explained, and the full argument is subjected to criticism. On a number of counts, it's found wanting. If anything, professional integrity points to the opposite conclusion.
39. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Mary Richardson "Challenged Forth by the Need for Paper": Ethical Aspects of Genetic Modification of Trees
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Genetic modification of trees has the potential to change our forests forever, yet there has been little publicly available information or debate on this important topic. Ethical analysis of genetic modification of plants to date has been focussed mainly on food and feed crops and pharmaceutical production. The purpose of this paper is to examine one major ethical issue arising in connection with the genetic modification of trees, the necessity to examine the practice in its full scientific, social, economic, political and environmental context. It is argued that if this is not done, important factors that play a role in a through ethical critique will be overlooked. The analysis focuses mainly on the Canadian situation, but there are implications for other timber-producing nations as well. The paper concludes that a thorough ethical critique must take into account the ends for which biotechnology is being pursued.
40. The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 1
Raymond Anthony Animal Welfare, Trust, Governance, and the Public Good: Putting Ethics to Task
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Pragmatic philosophy and discourse ethics are offered as an alternative way to respond to and understand the concerns of philosophical animal ethics and animal welfare science, especially as they relate to ethical decision-making and democratic participation in today's technical animal agriculture. The two major challenges facing philosophical animal ethics and animal welfare are: the acceptability of alienating individual animals from their genetic and social identities through practices that seek to alter their genome or which fail to provide for their respective natures, and the extent to which the former concern will contribute to further deterioration of already fractured human-farm-animal and consumer-producer relationships. This paper considers how we might ethically and strategically rise to the challenge of reshaping conventional animal farming practices in liberal democracies, especially as it applies to making improvements in animal welfare standards and promoting public trust and confidence in science, the production sector and government. I suggest some ways to empower consumers and farmers to realize this end.