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1. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Shane Epting Introduction
2. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Samantha Elaine Noll, Laci Nichole Hubbard-Mattix Health Justice in the City: Why an Intersectional Analysis of Transportation Matters for Bioethics
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Recently, there has been a concerted effort to shift bioethics’ traditional focus from clinical and research settings to more robustly engage with issues of justice and health equity. This broader bioethics agenda seeks to embed health related issues in wider institutional and cultural contexts and to help develop fair policies. In this paper, we argue that bioethicists who ascribe to the broader bioethics’ agenda could gain valuable insights from the interdisciplinary field of environmental justice and transportation justice, in particular. We then proceed to demonstrate the importance of adopting an intersectional approach to transportation and health. The paper concludes with the argument that intersectional gender inequality is of particular importance when studying both health equity and the unequal distribution of burdens associated with transportation systems in local contexts. This essay is meant to be the beginning of a robust conversation concerning health equity, transportation justice, and intersectional distributions of both benefits and burdens.
3. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Miloš N. Mladenović, Sanna Lehtinen, Emily Soh, Karel Martens Emerging Urban Mobility Technologies through the Lens of Everyday Urban Aesthetics: Case of Self-Driving Vehicle
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The goal of this article is to deepen the concept of emerging urban mobility technology. Drawing on philosophical everyday and urban aesthetics, as well as the postphenomenological strand in the philosophy of technology, we explicate the relation between everyday aesthetic experience and urban mobility commoning. Thus, we shed light on the central role of aesthetics for providing depth to the important experiential and value-driven meaning of contemporary urban mobility. We use the example of self-driving vehicle (SDV), as potentially mundane, public, dynamic, and social urban robots, for expanding the range of perspectives relevant for our relations to urban mobility technology. We present the range of existing SDV conceptualizations and contrast them with experiential and aesthetic understanding of urban mobility. In conclusion, we reflect on the potential undesired consequences from the depolitization of technological development, and potential new pathways for speculative thinking concerning urban mobility futures in responsible innovation processes.
4. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Sana Iqbal Mobility Justice, Phenomenology and Gender: A Case from Karachi
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Karachi is considered the economic hub of Pakistan, but it lacks a systematized public transport service. Although the demand-supply gap in the transport sector and the poor quality of this deregulated service affects everyone, it wreaks havoc for women, manifesting in the form of social exclusion. Men can benefit from alternative, (and sometimes cheaper) private modes of transport such as motorbikes, which are socially discouraged for women, making them dependent on their male counterparts. Despite the seriousness of this issue, there is little literature showing how women are differentially deprived of their agency due to gender disparity in society. To better understand this issue, the aim of this paper is to study the cultural foundations of transport poverty to assess their impact on women’s life opportunities. For this purpose, the experiences of women while using public transport have been analysed. The study has identified a variety of reasons why women curtail their mobility. It concludes that the social exclusion of women motivates a greater concern for their freedom of movement and that their needs be adequately reflected in transportation policies.
5. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Shane Epting Transportation Planning for Automated Vehicles—Or Automated Vehicles for Transportation Planning?
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In recent years, philosophical examinations of automated vehicles have progressed far beyond initial concerns over the ethical decisions that pertain to programming in the event of a crash. In turn, this paper moves in that direction, focusing on the motivations behind efforts to implement driverless vehicles into urban settings. The author argues that the many perceived benefits of these technologies yield a received view of automated vehicles. This position holds that driverless vehicles can solve most if not all urban mobility issues. However, the problem with such an outlook is that it lends itself to transportation planning for automated vehicles, rather than using them as part of planning efforts that could serve urban mobility. Due to this condition, present efforts aimed at improving transportation systems should resist dogmatic thinking. Instead, they should focus on goals that keep topics such a human flourishing, sustainability, and transportation justice firmly in view.
6. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Maria Nordström, Sven Ove Hansson, Muriel Beser Hugosson Let Me Save You Some Time... On Valuing Travelers’ Time in Urban Transportation
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Systems of urban transportation are largely shaped through planning practices. In transport economics, the benefits of infrastructure investments consist mainly of travel time savings calculated using monetary values of time. The economic interpretation of the value of travel time has significantly shaped our urban environment and transportation schemes. However, there is often an underlying assumption of transferability between time and money, which arguably does not sufficiently take into account the specific features of time. In this paper, we analyze the various properties of time as an economic resource using findings in behavioral economics and psychology. Due to limitations in the standard model, it is proposed that an alternative model value should be investigated in which time rather than money is the primary carrier of and the basic features of such a model are outlined. An improved understanding the nature of time as a source of utility puts us in a better position to determine what aspects of time matter. Additionally, the analysis can be applied to further develop modeling where value of time plays a significant role; such as new models for the planning of urban transport.
7. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Ramona Ilea Introduction
8. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Eric Thomas Weber The Pragmatist’s Call to Democratic Activism in Higher Education
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This essay defends the Pragmatist’s call to activism in higher education, understanding it as a necessary development of good democratic inquiry. Some criticisms of activism have merit, but I distinguish crass or uncritical activism from judicious activism. I then argue that judicious activism in higher education and in philosophy is not only defensible, but both called for implicitly in the task of democratic education as well as an aspect of what John Dewey has articulated as the supreme intellectual obligation, namely to ensure that inquiry is put to use for the benefit of life.
9. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Julinna C. Oxley How to Be a (Good) Philosopher-Activist
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Can philosophers be good activists? This essay defines activism for the philosopher and then provides a normative conception of a good philosopher-activist that is grounded in rational integrity and sound rational deliberation. I argue that because philosophers have been trained in reasoning and argumentation, they can contribute these skills to an activist movement. An activist with rational integrity exhibits five skills or virtues: they are honest, rational, logical, deliberative, and respectful. Conversely, bad philosopher-activists display five vices: they are dishonest, manipulative, obfuscating, thoughtless, and insulting. Next, I argue that rhetorical and reasoning skills are only part of what define good activism, and describe the soft skills needed for effective activism. Philosophical training sometimes works against the development of these soft skills, but they are critical to the success of the philosopher-activist. I conclude by describing activism within the context of academic life and argue that philosophers who engage in activism can do so in an intellectually responsible way.
10. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Susan C. C. Hawthorne, Ramona C. Ilea, Monica “Mo” Janzen Engaged Philosophy: Showcasing Philosophers-Activists Working with the Media, Community Groups, Political Groups, Prisons, and Students
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By drawing on a selection of interviews from the website Engaged Philosophy, this paper highlights the work of philosopher-activists within their classrooms and communities. These philosophers have stepped out of the ivory towers and work directly with media, community and political groups, people in prison; or they encourage their students to engage in activist projects. The variety of approaches presented here shows the many ways philosophically inspired activism can give voice to those who are marginalized, shine a light on injustices, expose the root of social problems, and empower others to seek solutions. This work shows the relevance of philosophy to practical problems and the powerful effects it can have in the world.
11. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
R. A. Main Making Room for Activist Voices in a Philosophically Sound Theory of Disability: The Solidarity Thesis Versus the Welfarist Approach
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Against the medical and social models of disability are two newer proposals. Elizabeth Barnes’ Minority Body proposes that it is the bodies which are advocated for and included in the disability rights movement which are rightfully called “disabled.” Savulescu and Kahane’s Welfarist approach proposes that disability is intrinsically tied to the effects of bodily states on welfare. They put the need for a consistent and relatively simple normative theory above accounting for standard case judgements about who is and is not disabled or looking at all to membership of the disabled community. I argue that Barnes’ theory offers the best response to issues with the dominant models of disability. Further, I argue that the Welfarist theory operates in a space removed from the wishes and lived experiences of disabled people – separating ‘disability’ from activism entirely – to its detriment. Doing so compromises its explanatory power, over-generalizes the concept and prevents the insertion of meaningful boundaries. Barnes’ ‘solidarity thesis’ soundly conceptualizes disability whilst making room for activist voices. The centering of activist projects makes it stronger.
12. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Kyle York The Philosopher as Moral Activist: A Call for Ethical Caution in Publication
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It is normal to think that philosophers’ first dedication is to the truth. Publishers and writers consider ideas and papers according to criteria such as originality, eloquence, interestingness, soundness, and plausibility. I suggest that moral consequence should play a greater role in our choices to publish when serious harm is at stake. One’s credence in a particular idea should be weighed against the potential consequences of the publication of one’s ideas both if one turns out to be right and if one turns out to be wrong. This activist approach to philosophical writing combines moral concern with epistemic humility.
13. Essays in Philosophy: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1/2
Amy McKiernan Ethics Across Campus and the Curriculum: An Overview of Work in Progress
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In this essay, I offer an overview of the “Ethics Across Campus and the Curriculum Program” developed at Dickinson College over the past two years as part of a broader initiative to promote civic education and engagement. The essay proceeds in three parts. First, I explain the decision to adopt the language of “ethical reasoning” in our program and how I understand this work as supporting student activism. Second, I describe the faculty study group developed to incorporate ethical reasoning into already existing courses across the college. Third, I focus on how our college has incorporated ethical reasoning into new student orientation and first year student leadership retreats. Finally, I conclude with work on the horizon and a surprising result that has emerged from doing this work.