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81. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Landon W. Schurtz The Business of Complaining Ethically
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Beginning from an analysis of what factors disqualify a person from complaining about a given moral breach, I show that the prima facie presumption that a complaint is justified in the face of non-moral offense in the context of a business transaction must be balanced against the potential consequences to the object of the complaint, especially given the particular realities of popular employment practices. In particular, I will identify three cases in which complamts are justified, presuming unjust employment arrangements, as a way of showing that complaints in other situations should be, contrary to naive intuition, considered inappropriate.
82. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Robin Byerly Eudaemonia, Well-Beings and the Pursuit of Sustainability
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Human well-being is a core global issue and a challenge for individual citizens, governments, and intemational organizations world-wide. It is a future-oriented concept that cannot be narrowly defined. In this paper, it is argued that retrieving the wisdom of Aristotle provides a thmking way forward. His is a philosophy that can be meaningfully directed and usefully applied across multiple dimensions to our current world, its state of being, and the pursuit of human, psychological, and ecological well-bemg.
83. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Sergia Hay, Greg Hibbard Why Ignorance Fails to Excuse Climate Debt: An Aristotelian Critique
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The United States has rejected climate reparations requests from other nations by claiming historical ignorance of the global effects of anthropogenic climate change. This objection to climate reparations, called the epistemic objection in this paper, appeals to a concept of fairness concerning moral responsibility which can be traced back to Aristotle's distinction between voluntary and involuntary actions. However, on closer examination, the epistemic objection fails to fulfill Aristotle's criteria for excusable involuntary actions, and therefore the authors of this paper conclude that claims of ignorance concerning climate change do not provide a substantial objection to climate reparation requests.
84. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Kelly Agra The World as "Is" and the World as "Ought": Contemporary Philosophy and the Crisis of Subjectivity
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Within this working context, this paper exammes how philosophy is situated within the horizon of circulated knowledge. Using Alain Badiou's discussion about the fate of philosophy after Hegel, this paper highlights three distinct phenomena: the end of philosophy, the linguistic turn, and the suture of philosophy to other disciplines. This paper argues that these three signal a paradigm shift in philosophizing, namely, the shift of orientation from the metaphysical to the finite. After the discussion about contemporary philosophy, this paper argues in the spirit of Badiou that philosophy's current form is incapable of addressing one of the most alarmmg crises in the world today, the crisis of subjectivity.
85. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Charles Harvey Sex Robots and Solipsism: Towards a Culture of Empty Contact
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"Sex Robots and Solipsism" presents and reflects upon rapidly evolving developments in human-robot relations. It argues that psychological, phenomenological and neuro-physiological evidence suggests that our new media-saturated environment is eroding the human capacity for deep and prolonged concentration, empathy and attachment. As machines become more human-like, humans become more machine-like. This sets the stage for diminished relations between humans - shallow relations that are increasingly capable of being replaced by relations with artificially intelligent (and sexy) machines.
86. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 2
Joan Woolfrey The Infectiousness of Hope
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Perhaps not wholly unrelatedly to the message of the first Obama presidential campaign, the concept of hope has been receiving increased philosophical attention in recent years. A good bit has been written on honing a definition of hope, and investigating the morally relevant territory. After a brief summary of that literature, I situate myself amongst those who advocate for hope—at its best—as a virtue, and I then suggest that hope seems to have a unique status amongst the virtues insofar as it appears to be foundational for moral progress. I want to suggest that virtue generally can be seen as having an infectious quality, and that along with hope's foundational status, this infectiousness is particularly crucial as regards the development of hope for working on solutions to structural injustice.
87. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Raymond Kolcaba Editor's Introduction: Art in the World Today—Danto and Beyond
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88. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Joe Frank Jones III Being There: Theatre and Existentialist Ethics
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A complete sense of the world is an alternative normative ethical standard utilizing aesthetic integration. The temporary nature of aesthetic integration renders it a more useful tool for understanding human experience than does any philosophical or religious system containing allegedly permanent truths. The aesthetic integration of theatre provides a basis for discussion of the cognitive content of choice in action. I show that theatre reflects ethics. Then I turn to Jean-Paul Sartre's and Karl Marx's notions of "reciprocal freedom" as an example ethic. A consequence of reciprocal freedom is that the needs of others must be taken into account. I contend that a life lived in pursuit of aesthetic integration can indeed be an ethical life—and even serve as a model for an ethical life. This is not an idea generally embraced in Western culture, particularly when it is contrasted with military meaning-visions
89. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Joshua M. Hall Apposite Bodies: Dancing with Danto
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Though Arthur Danto has long been engaged with issues of embodiment in art and beyond, neither he nor most of his interlocutors have devoted significant attention to die art form in which art and embodiment most vividly intersect, namely dance. This article, first, considers Danto's brief references to dance in his early magnum opus. The Transfiguration of the Commonplace, Second, it tracks the changes in Danto's philosophy of art as evidenced in his later After the End of Art and The Abuse of Beauty. And finally, it utilizes Danto's most recent work on the philosophy of action to suggest a new Danto-inspired definition of art, namely "apposite bodies."
90. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Gregory L. Burgin Danto's Error: Sustaining Art's Narrative with the Primacy of the Aesthetic
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According to Artlrnr C. Danto, widiout the progressive development of a dominant style the historical narrative structure of art in the West can no longer be sustained. It is thus the case in the contemporary world that art where liberated, has found its end in the arrival of a myriad of art-making styles where none is above the other. It is the aim of the present paper to suggest that the historical nanative structure of art cannot end in the way diat Danto asserted. Instead, by examining the issue through the application of the aesthetic conceptions of Benedetto Croce and R.G. Collingwood it can be shown that Danto is committing a philosophical error by abstraction. It is then the focus of this paper to resolve die error and to provide a descriptive account of art's liberated state in the world today by making the argument for the primacy of the aesthetic
91. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Stephen Snyder Danto's Narrative Philosophy of History and the End of Art: Does Inexplicability Mean Freedom
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This paper investigates Danto's claim that the narrative of art is over. In this state, which Danto sees as ideal, art is free from any master narrative, and its direction cannot be predicted. The claim that art ought to remain in its current state—pluralistic, free and with no further historical development—is problematic. Danto is correct that late 20th c. art could not be explained through a single narrative, and the myriad forms art takes demonstrate its pluralism. But Danto's assertions that freedom is the outcome of inexplicability and that progress is measured according to amenability to narrative do not necessarily follow. Based on Gombrich's theory of pictorial representation, I provide an alternative explanation of Danto's claim that art no longer manifests the narrative of the era of art, arguing that the shift in art's preferred form of presentation, though no longer supporting narrative explanation, is developing as a language of disclosure
92. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Travis T. Anderson Artistic Freedom in Kant and Hegel: Prolegomena to a Critique of Artistic Judgment
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Current controversies manifest an inherent tension between artistic freedom and moral constraint—a tension exacerbated by our reluctance or inability to define modem art. This paper maintains that Kant and Hegel are two of the pivotal figures with which any reflections on the ground, nature, and limits of artistic freedom must begin. Both phdosophers, for example, explicitly argue that artist and audience alike require a certain kind and a certain degree of freedom in order to carry out their respective projects, be they creative, cognitive, or aesthetic. While Kant's interest in art is limited mostly to its aesthetic affects, i.e., the faculty-driven feelings associated with beauty and the sublime, Hegel rejects feelings of any kind as constituting a proper subject-matter for philosophy, and so reaffirms the classical conception of art as essentially an expression of truth. Despite these fundamental differences, the two phdosophers' respective explanations of art and artistic autonomy must both be considered if we are to understand properly modem and post-historical forms of art, which for all their novelty and differences (both real and apparent) draw heavily on both the Kantian and Hegelian traditions for theh justification. So, while Kant and Hegel may not supply us with direct or decisive ways to think through contemporary issues involving artistic freedom or questions concerning the moral legitimacy of art, they can help us map out the historical landscape of philosophical thought on art and artistic autonomy and thereby provide us with the prolegomena to such an effort
93. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Spencer Bradley The Face of Modern Art: The Creation of Fascist Art
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Despite common perspectives, art has become less about creativity and more about cultural worth and service to the state. Using Deleuze, Guattari and Žižek, I argue the appropriation creates subjectivity subordinate to the state. This stifles the creative power of art and creates subjectivity by division. The state carries out this appropriation through the creation of propaganda. This ultimately leads to a negation of the subject. I then propose several methods to disassemble instituted subjectivity and shift art's creative powers back to the viewer and the artist. However, there are stdl possibilities of slipping back into this false art of the state. Thus, to free aesthetics and art from hierarchy and binaries, we must reexamine art's role and creative processes in order to return the creation of subjectivity to come from within, as opposed to from without
94. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Raymond Kolcaba Finding Art in the World
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The task of finding art in the world is presented as a tale of three dynamic forces that have shaped art in recent times. The first is expansion of the domain of art. This is reflected in linguistic change. The term "art" has grown enormously in sense and extension. The second force is the public's subjective response to art writ large. Our commercial culture compels reaction. The third force is the art world's active promotion of the expansion of art's domain and the contextualization of the public's subjective response to it. The aspiration of the paper is to bring some clarity to how we presently identify art, respond to it, understand it, and institutionalize it. The tale concludes with discussion of the fiiture of art m the world today.
95. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Walter J. Riker Toward Limits on Diversity in Press Freedom
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Some argue that at least some non-liberal, non-democratic societies deserve fiill and good standing in the international community. These arguments imply that some divergence in understanding the role of the press is also justified and should be tolerated. But what are the limits of diversity here? I begin to find these limits by considering John Rawls's "decent" societies in the context of Amartya Sen's work on famine. Sen claims that a free press plays an important role in famine prevention. After giving an account of press rights, I argue that a partially free press can play the role Sen attributes to the free press. I then argue that decent societies could and should accommodate such partially free presses.
96. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Kate Padgett Walsh Consent, Kant, and the Ethics of Debt
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The 2008 housing and financial crisis brought to light many ethically questionable lending and borrowing practices. As we learn more about what caused this crisis, it has become apparent that we need to think more carefully about the conditions under which can loans be ethically offered and accepted, but also about when it might be morally permissible to default on debts. I critique two distinct philosophical approaches to assessing the ethics of debt, arguing that bothapproaches are too simplistic because they focus only on individual borrowers and lenders. As a result, neither approach can adequately grasp the moral implications of the social and economic failures that frame actual dilemmas of debt facing many individuals today.
97. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Wendell O'Brien The Permissibility of Happiness in a World of Suffering
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There is a rather disturbing argument that it is wrong for us ever to smile and be glad, in light of our knowledge of horrors happening everywhere all the time. The paper's primary aim is to respond to the challenge this argument presents and to see what can be said for being happy in spite of it. Drawing from the works of Tolstoy, Joseph Butler, and others, the author develops two or three lines of response to the argument against happiness. One line of response makes heavy use of what human nature is like and what some of our limitations are. The second line of response considers the consequences of the fact that we naturallycease to be moved by things we are used to. The third line explores the idea that it is justifiable to be happy in the midst of suffering if you yourself are sufferingtoo. The author believes that these lines of argument may answer to some degree the argument against happiness.
98. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
Caroline Meline Human and Animal Minds: Against the Discontinuity Thesis
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Are animals and humans different in kind or only different in degree when it comes to the mental springs of behavior? The source of this question is Charles Darwin's 1871 The Descent of Man, in which he argued for a difference in degree between animals and humans in mental abilities, rather than a difference in kind. Darwin's opponents in the ensuing debate were theologians and scientific traditionalists who insisted upon human specialness when it came to the mind,even if evolution held sway for explaining the body. In this paper I take up the same question, which has not gone away. Representing the continuity (differencein degree) thesis is Donald R. Griffin, a zoologist who founded the field of cognitive ethology in the 1980s, and voicing the discontinuity (difference in kind) thesis is Raymond Tallis, a neuroscientist and self-described humanist. Tallis's apparent mission is to protect human dignity from the onslaught of writing and research by evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists, who claim to be demonstrating the evolutionary basis for all human mental capabilities, including higher reasoning and ethics. To raise humans up, Tallis lowers animals down, making disparaging remarks like, "Chimps are chumps." I defend the chimps by finding serious flaws in Tallis's reasoning. Tallis locates the crux ofthe cognitive difference between humans and nonhumans in the linguistic concept of intentionality. I present and counter his charge of a difference in kind by relying on empirical evidence provided by Griffin and others, and on my logical analysis of Tallis's claims. The paper has 3 sections: (1) introduction, (2) first point of argument, (3) second point of argument, and (4) concluding note.
99. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 21 > Issue: 2
David Alexander Craig From Philosophy of Race to Antiracist Politics: On Rorty's Approach to Race and Racism
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Shannon Sullivan has criticized Richard Rorty for the discrepancy in his treatments of Cornel West and Marilyn Frye's prophetic philosophies, which Sullivan reads to indicate a racial bias on Rorty's part. This article defends Rorty from this criticism, first clarifying his view of the discontinuous relation of philosophy to politics, then, on the basis of this clarification, arguing that Rorty's different treatments of West and Frye do not reveal a racial bias as Sullivan claims. Finally, revisiting Rorty's exchange with Nancy Fraser, it is argued that although Rorty has no philosophy of race, he does offer a strong antiracist politics.
100. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
David K. Chan Luck, Fairness, and Professional Mobility
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I compare the distribution of jobs and research opportunities in academic philosophy with how American society distributes economic rewards. In both cases, there is gross inequality and lack of upward mobility. Luck always plays a role in hiring decisions and the acceptance of papers by journals, but the entrenchment of luck has led to elitism which is unhealthy for the profession of philosophy, just as it is for the capitalist economy. I suggest some revolutionary steps to bridge the gap between the two tiers of philosophers.