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21. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Neil MacCormick Rhetoric and the Rule of Law
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The thesis that propositions of law are intrinsically arguable is opposed by the antithesis that the Rule of Law is valued for the sake of legal certainty. The synthesis considers the insights of theories of rhetoric and proceduralist theories of practical reason, then locates the problem of indeterminacy of law in the context of the challengeable character of governmental action under free governments. This is not incompatible with, but required by the Rule of Law, which is misstated as securing legal certainty. Defeasible certainty is the most that is desirable or achievable.
22. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Olúfémi Táíwò On the Limits of Law at Century’s End
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In this paper, I examine the generally accepted idea that law has definite limits to what it can be used to achieve. Toward this end, I discuss the limits of law as suggested by the Truth Commissions and the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions (TRC), and summarize the divergences between law and the TRC. I suggest reasons why law may not serve or may underserve the purpose of healing and reconciliation in our time and conclude that the TRC is at best a reminder to us of the limits of law as a principle of social ordering.
23. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Rex Martin Rawls on Constitutional Consensus and the Problem of Stability
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This paper lays out the background and main features of Rawls’s new theory of justice. This is a theory that he began adumbrating about 1980 and that is given its fullest statement in his recent book Political Liberalism. I identify the main patterns of justification Rawls attempts to provide for his new theory and suggest a problem with one of these patterns in particular. The main lines of my analysis engage Rawls’s idea of constitutional consensus and his account of political stability.
24. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Gabriel Vargas Lozano Liberal Democracy and Radical Democracy: The Two Faces of Janus
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While the word “democracy” has proliferated in social and political discourse in recent decades, I suggest that the liberal democracy of the past, connected as it is (especially in the West) to the market economy, is insufficient for the challenges facing the contemporary Latin American context. I assess and criticize democratic ideas in order to suggest that the way forward is radical democracy based on socio-economic and political justice. These, however, have to be articulated at a variety of levels, from that of local and indigenous peoples to that of national and international relations.
25. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Peter A. French The Meaning of Democracy: A Western Perspective
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I suggest that part of the reason the on-going debate in the West between the liberal democrats and the communitarians about the future and/or the ills of democracy is futile because both sides are committed to conceptually different accounts of democracy. The roots of communitarianism in the Athenian polis and that of liberalism in the atomistic individualism of the Enlightenment are contrasted in order to discern the motivating visions and overarching structures of both. Whereas communitarian democracy is willdominated, liberal democracy is choice-dominated. My purpose here is not to argue for the supremacy of one over the other, but to call attention to the distinctions between the two that are often blurred in contemporary discussion about democracy.
26. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
James P. Sterba Reconciling Public Reason and Religious Values
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Philosophers who hold that religious considerations should play some role in public debate over fundamental issues have criticized Rawls’s ideal of public reason for being too restrictive in generally ruling out such considerations. In response, Rawls has modified his ideal so as to explicitly allow a role for religious considerations in public debate (others, such as Robert Audi, have also offered accounts of public reason along similar lines). Nevertheless, some critics of Rawls’s ideal of public reason, such as Nicholas Wolterstorff, remain unsatisfied. In this paper, I will argue that once Rawls’s ideal of public reason is correctly interpreted, it will be possible to reconcile that ideal with much of the role its critics want religion to have in public debate.
27. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jorge J. E. Gracia Philosophy in American Public Life: De Facto and De Jure
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My focus here is on two questions: Does philosophy have a place in contemporary American public life? and should philosophy have a place in American public life? Because my answer to the first question is negative, I also will discuss some of the reasons why I believe philosophy does not play a role in American public life. I suggest that philosophers have been excluded from the public conversation in part because the work of philosophy entails criticism and challenge—activities best accomplished from “outside” of the structures of power. This means that we have a role in public life, but it is an indirect role, as teachers and critics, not as advisers and active participants.
28. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Sirkku Kristiina Hellsten Communitarianism and Western Thought
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Within the Western tradition we can find important and interesting philosophical differences between the continental European and the Anglo-American ethical and political outlooks towards biotechnology. The Anglo-American attitude appears based on naturalistic and empiricist views, while continental European viewpoints are built on idealistic liberal humanism. A Northern European view integrates both of the above-mentioned liberal traditions. The main problem is that although these different outlooks can be said to be liberal in their common promotion of equality, autonomy, and individual rights, they still tend to conflict. I purpose to explicate the main differences of these liberalisms and to analyze how they affect the ethical views towards biotechnology in the Western world. Secondly, I will search for the shared values involved in these approaches in order to find common ground for open discussion on the ethical problems involved in biotechnological development.
29. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Margaret Gilbert Sociality, Unity, Objectivity
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Numerous social and political theorists have referred to social groups or societies as “unities.” What makes a unity of a social group? I address this question with special reference to the theory of social groups proposed in my books On Social Facts and Living Together: Rationality, Sociality and Obligation. I argue that social groups of a central kind require an underlying “joint commitment.” I explain what I mean by a “joint commitment” with care. If joint commitments in my sense underlie them, what kind of unity does this give social groups? In what sense or senses is it objective?
30. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Raimo Tuomela Collective Acceptance and Social Reality
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Many social properties and notions are collectively made. Two collectively created aspects of the social world have been emphasized in recent literature. The first is that of the performative character of many social things (entities, properties). The second is the reflexive nature of many social concepts. The present account adds to this list a third feature, the collective availability or “for-groupness” of collective social items. It is a precise account of social notions and social facts in terms of collective appearance. The collective acceptance account has ontological implications in that it accepts mind-independent, group-dependent, and simply mind-dependent social facts.
31. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Wolfgang Balzer Freedom and Equality in the Comparison of Political Systems
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The notions of freedom and equality in a group are precisely defined in terms of individual exertions of influence or power. Freedom is discussed in the version ‘freedom from’ influence rather than in the version ‘freedom to do’ what one wants. It is shown that at the ideal conceptual level complete freedom implies equality. Given the plausibility of the definitions this shows that political ‘folk rhetorics’ in which freedom and equality often are put in opposition are misled and misleading. Quantitative notions of ‘more freedom’ and ‘more equality’ are introduced and shown to be independent of each other. The bearing of these conceptual exercises on the comparison of political systems is discussed.
32. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Daniel O. Dahlstrom Love, Honor, and Resentment
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For much of contemporary ethical theory, the universalizability of the motive of a contemplated action forms a necessary part of the basis of the action’s moral character, legitimacy, or worth. Considering the possibility of resentment springing from the performance of an action also serves as a means of determining the morality of an action. However, considerations of universalizability and resentment are plainly inconsistent with the performance of some unselfish moral actions. I argue that the sphere of the moral adequacy of considerations of universalizability and resentment is limited. I profile key elements of “conformist” or “consensus-driven” ethical thinking modelled on Nagel’s ethical theory. Then, I elaborate the measure of validity of the profiled ethical thinking as well as its limitation, suggesting that its proper domain is located in an ethics of honor, delimited by an ethics of love and friendship.
33. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Robert L. Holmes A Western Perspective on the Problem of Violence
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The following sketches a constellation of views constituting the implicit philosophy of violence that one finds in much of the Western world. While I believe that much of this philosophy is deeply flawed, I shall, in a sense, be setting forth the case for violence because any hope of a nonviolent and peaceful world order must begin with a deeper understanding of violence and its attractiveness. After exploring various arguments for violence, I conclude that once we probe beneath the surface, it is clear that most of those who deplore violence do not oppose all violence, only that of which they disapprove, and that social manipulation backed by violence in the end seems to most people to be justified.
34. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Newton Garver Politics and Anti-Politics
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Three very different things present themselves under the title “politics,” even when we restrict the domain of politics to civic concerns. One is the highly partisan activity that begins with the distinction between friends and enemies and culminates in wars or elections. Another is legislation, litigation, and diplomacy, often making use of conciliatory negotiation with adversaries (no longer “enemies” but honorable fellows). The third is civic action aimed at limiting, circumventing, or constraining the role of the first two. I call the first kind “zero-sum politics,” the second “integrative politics,” and the third “anti-politics,” anti-politics having affinities with what Pettit calls anti-power. My aim is to distinguish the three by sketching their salient differences. The important point, as Wittgenstein said, is that these language-games are played. Clarity about their differences can enhance both our understanding of public affairs and the quality of public discourse.
35. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Michael Halberstam Aestheticism, or Aesthetic Approach, in Arendt and Heidegger on Politics
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Hannah Arendt’s aesthetic approach to politics is regarded as frequently reflecting the anti-political substitution of nonpolitical concerns for political ones characteristic of the German tradition from Schiller to Heidegger and beyond. Arendt’s relationship to this tradition can be understood as squarely calling into question her central claim to have rehabilitated the political. This paper examines the relationship between Arendt’s and Heidegger’s political thought in light of the distinction between an aestheticism and an aesthetic approach. Two issues are at stake: can such a distinction help distance Arendt’s aesthetic approach from those elements we find so troubling in Heidegger’s thinking and his relation to politics? Can this help us to recuperate a certain aspect of German political thought which is reflected in Arendt’s work?
36. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Thomas Magnell Educating for Practical Reasoning
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Some decisions can be made employing closed systems of practical reasoning. Other decisions require open systems of practical reasoning. These kinds of practical reasoning differ epistemically. Closed systems of practical reasoning can rely on thinking with a basis that is epistemically robust. Open systems of practical reasoning must also allow for thinking with a basis that is epistemically slight. In making moral and prudential decisions about what we are to make of our lives, we use open systems of practical reasoning that proceed by precept. Precepts are generalizations for use as premises in practical reasoning that may only be indirectly tied to empirical evidence. Intelligent selection of precepts may come from education in the arts and sciences. The twin towers of a liberal education offer the best hope for judgment in the practical reasoning that may help us to make the moral and prudential decisions that are our concern.
37. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Ioanna Kuçuradi Paideia as the Subjective Condition for a Sagacious Implementation of Human Rights
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Two opposite tendencies characterize the intellectual and political developments in our world as a whole at the end of the twentieth century: on the one hand, we promote respect for human rights, i.e., for certain “universal” norms; on the other, we promote equal respect for all cultures, i.e., respect also for sets of parochial, “relative” norms, which are not only often discrepant among themselves, but often discrepant vis-à-vis human rights as well. In light of this, I argue that we need paideia for a sagacious implementation of human rights in the twenty-first century.
38. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Pierre Aubenque Paideia et Physis dans la Conception Grecque Antique
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Ce discours va partir des livres VI and VII de la République de Platon pour montrer en quoi il gouverne encore notre projet d’éducation philosophique de l’humanité, mais aussi en quoi il n’est pas seul représentatif de la conception grecque antique, à l’intérieur de laquelle sont nés plusiers modèles concurrents, générateurs d’une alternative peut-être encore instructive pour la discussion actuelle.
series introduction
39. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jaakko Hintikka, Robert Cummings Neville, Ernest Sosa, Alan M. Olson, Stephen Dawson Series Introduction
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volume introduction
40. The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Tian Yu Cao Volume Introduction
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