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1. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Abdul Rashid Moten Social Justice, Islamic State and Muslim Countries
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A content analysis of the Qur’an shows that it lays utmost importance on the realization of justice and conversely the eradication of injustice in society. A historicalanalysis found that social justice was prevalent in Mecca under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad and was also practiced during the period of the first fourrightly guided caliphs (Khulafa-e-rashidun). Since then, the successive Muslim majority states have not taken the issue of social justice seriously. These states have failed in taking an active role in uplifting the ethical and moral standards of society. The documentary analysis of the existing 49 states in the Muslim world found majority of these states to have deviated from the real spirit of Islamic social justice falling within the category of “failed states.”
2. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani Politico-Religious Values in Malaysia: Comparing Asian Values and Islam Hadhari
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Malaysia has developed its own distinct value system that is accommodative to the country’s rich tapestry of different ethnicities and religions. It is no coincidence that previous Malaysian premiers have actively promoted such system. Leading the way is Mahathir Mohamad, the country’s fourth Prime Minister, who was a vocal advocate of “Asian values,” followed by his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who championed the idea of Islam Hadhari. These two sets of values are not entirely incompatible to each other but rather share some similarities. The concepts of “Asian values” and Islam Hadhari are premised on several fundamental tenets, which include: promoting Islamic values, championing the Malay agenda, protecting cultural values, and challenging Western cultural imperialism. Their origin can be traced from the aggressive attempt by the ruling power – the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) – Barisan Nasional (BN) to strengthen and consolidate the political supremacy of the alliance. Inevitably, both of these value systems have been subjected to many criticisms, predominantly under the pretext of misguided and ill-properly constructed values by the ruling regime to justify its autocratic rule. The very nature of such value systems has often triggered political debates in terms of defining Malaysia as a nation. The espoused agenda of Islamisation and possibly assimilation have stirred profound uneasiness among the country’s significantly large population of non-Muslims. The value system brought by “Asian values” and IslamHadhari can lead to one understanding of Mahathir’s and Abdullah’s leadership and administration in governing Islam and politics in Malaysia.
3. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Mohd Faizal Musa Axiology of Pilgrimage: Malaysian Shi’ites Ziyarat in Iran and Iraq
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The religious rites of Shia remain a mystery to Malaysia’s Sunnite majority. One such rite is the ziyarat (visits to sacred sites). This essay highlights the ritualsconducted and performed by Malaysian Shi’ites during their seasonal pilgrimage to Iran and Iraq. Their rituals and behaviors during these pilgrimages to holy shrines in Iran and Iraq were documented from the standpoint of a cultural anthropologist. Rites from two sites, Mashad and Karbala, are presented in this study. Applying Herbert Blumer’s symbolic interactionism as a conceptual framework, and Charles Brooks’s methodology through social interaction and participant-observation, this essay aims to analyze and understand their rites, and the values and significance of these rites. By doing so, the axiological aspects of the rites were observed and clarified, thus enabling non Shi’ite Muslims to perceive greyest area of Shia rites, as performed by Shi’ites from Malaysia in their pilgrimage to Iran and Iraq.
4. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Haggag Ali Secularism: from Solidity to Liquidity
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In contemporary Western and Arab cultural critique, secularism as a worldview is believed to have experienced inherent transformations from solid rationalmaterialism (the emphasis on reason, science, progress, emancipation, industrialization, and nation building) to liquid non-rational materialism (the celebrationof the body, sex, global markets and consumption). This paper explores the arguments of both Zygmunt Bauman and Abdelwahab Elmessiri who advocate this thesis in the light of the major manifestations of these transformations.
5. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Suwan Kim Framing Arab Islam Axiology Published in Korean Newspapers
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Mutual interest and cooperation between Korea and several Arab countries is increasing. Each country’s perceptions of each other serve as critical factorsin the development of mutual success in business and trade fields. Their perceptions also affect diplomatic and cultural affairs in the public and private sectors. The news media serve as the public faces of these countries’ daily lives. The news media also serve as primary information sources that determine these countries’ national images. This study attempted to discover whether news coverage related to Arabs published by Korean newspapers contributed to the Korean public’s negative perceptions of Arab axiological images. The results revealed that the strongest news coverage published in Korean newspapers related Arabs with “war, terror, and dangerous region.” The majority of the articles published in both newspapers were negative. However, the results revealed that, in general, Korean respondents did not possess negative perceptions of Arabs and Arab culture. Korean respondents were well aware that Arab individuals are kind, affectionate, well-mannered, and easygoing. In fact, the results reinforced the notion that Koreans possessed positive perceptions of Arab individuals’ “devout Islamic religious lifestyles,” as well as Arab individuals’ efforts to “inherit and develop Islamic cultural traditions.”
6. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Maszlee Malik The Role of Religion for an Alternative Sustainable Governance Theory
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In post-modern times, there has been much empirical evidence to indicate that religions and faiths play a pro-active role in the field of civil society but more importantly in the development of societies, which is a major factor in political and economic development of a country, as well as its governance. Accordingly, the contemporary reality of plurality demands a fresh look into the narratives of different civilisations, cultures and ideologies, rather than imposed meta-narratives of modernity. Hence, explorations of religion and faith to develop an alternative notion of “good governance” from “other’s” worldview are also necessary. Much could be learned from cultures, religions and faiths in the realm of governance studies from the phenomenological perspective. This paper is an attempt to explore how religion could play its functional role to create a sustainable governance concept based on values and ethics. It will look into the situation of religion at present, and how it fits into the framework of governance, and the arguments will be supported by examples and evidence of the viability of the relation between religion and governance.
7. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Maximiliano E. Korstanje Preemption and Terrorism. When the Future Governs
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The present paper explores not only the psychological effects of 11 September in the political fields, but also connects with the risk of pre-emption in USinternational affairs. What is important to discuss in this work is the role played by the media in portraying news, and a pejorative image of Islam. This ancient religion is presented as being backward and barbaric in many senses. Beyond having an encompassing understanding of the history of Islam, the media dissuades public opinion the preventive war is the only valid resource. The project of Enlightenment has been gone forever. It was replaced by modernity. As civilization West developed a technophile sentiment of superiority that fulfilled the gap given by secularization. It is hypothesized that 9/11 represents the encounter of two civilizations whose cultural values are at odds. This belief is oriented at creating a demonization of Islam. First and foremost, both religions, Islam and Christianity have coexisted in peace over centuries. Secondly, Arabs even supported Judaism in its attempts to achieve independence from Rome. This begs a striking question, to what groups these stereotypes are conducive? While demonization paves the ways to reduce the sentiment of culprit, preemption give a reason to act.
8. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Patrick Laude Acceptance as a Door of Mercy: Riḍā in Islamic Spirituality
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There is no religion that does not start from the premise that “something is rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark,” to make use of Hamlet’s suggestive expression:mankind has lost its connection with the principle of its being and disharmony has ensued. This state of affairs, that religion claims to remedy, may be deemed toresult from a sense of radical “otherness” symbolized, in the Abrahamic traditions, by the loss of the blissful unity and proximity of terrestrial paradise. In this paper we propose to show that the Islamic concept of ridā, particularly as it has been conceptualized and practiced in Sufism, is none other than both the means and the end of this re-connection with God and human beings as acceptance of “otherness.” The Quranic idea of Divine ridwān provides both the transcendent model and the infinite counterpart of this human virtue of acceptance.
9. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 10 > Issue: 1
Aimillia Mohd Ramli Decolonizing the Study of English Literature in a Muslim−Malaysian Context: An Argument for a Spiritual−based Comparative Paradigm
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The study of English literature was first introduced to the British colonies and protectorates, including Malaysia, in order to consolidate the cultural superiorityof the English people amongst the colonized natives. Its continuation in the postcolonial period of the twenty-first century, either as a component of the Englishlanguage subject at Malaysian secondary schools or as a degree program at Malaysian universities, has mainly been justified by the liberal-humanistic belief that canonical works in English literature display universal values that should be cultivated in the minds of readers regardless of their nationality or religion. In the past few decades, confusion surrounding the exact nature of these values has resulted in the advent of materialistic philosophies of literary theory. In many Muslim countries, such as Malaysia, these theories have only served to increase reliance on Eurocentric readings of literature, ignoring resistance coming from Muslim readers who have their own Tawhidic spiritual outlook and values. This paper suggests the use of a paradigm that places a concern for spiritual matters at the core of comparative studies of English and Islamic literature, especially at Islamic educational institutions. This can benefit Muslims worldwide in the sense that it will present for them a more comprehensive role than literature alone can play in contributing to their spiritual development as well as generating appreciation for the universality of Islamic teachings.
10. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Luka Zevnik The Discussion about the Universality of Happiness and the Promise of Neuroscience
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The main aim of this article is to contribute to the discussion about the universality of well-being by juxtaposing the theoretical and empirical arguments of the two extreme theoretical positions regarding the possibility of a universal notion of well-being. The article first explains that the question about the possibility of a universal notion of well-being is ultimately a matter of the (differences in the) nature of well-being. While researchers who opt for the universalist position are convinced that their empirical data show that the differences in the nature of well-being are minor enough that a universal notion is possible, the proponents of the culturalist position believe that their research uncovers more dramatic differences in the nature of well-being. Therefore, they reject a universal notion of well-being. By reading one position against the other on theoretical and empirical levels, the article illuminates and assesses the limitations, problems and possible dangers of both and considers which position regarding the possibility of a universal notion of well-being seems more convincing (and possibly less dangerous). The article concludes that currently the culturalist position seems more reasonable, as long as it remains open to a possible discovery of a more universal structure in the nature of well-being promised by the emerging field of neuroscience of happiness.
11. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Dragos Bigu The Place of Values in Scientific Knowledge
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In this paper I argue that the values supported by scientists can have a role in episodes of theory choice. In the first part, I characterize the value- and the rulebased accounts of theory choice. In the second part, I analyze how the thesis of underdetermination of theory by empirical data can be used to argue for a value-based account. I discuss two versions of the underdetermination thesis, arguing that the weaker version, underdetermination by the evidence available at a particular time, is sufficient for establishing the role of values in theory selection. Many authors distinguish between cognitive and non-cognitive values, considering that only the former ones have a legitimate role in theory choice. I defend this distinction, showing that it has both a normative and a descriptive dimension. I argue that cognitive values must not be seen as indicators of truth, but they can be characterized by their relation to the goal of science. In the end, I argue that, in spite of being justified and useful, the distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive values is not clear-cut.
12. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Pedro Blas González The Economics of Being: The Struggle for Existence in Prehistory
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This paper takes a phenomenological perspective regarding the difficulties encountered in daily life by man in prehistory. I argue that the economics of beingnecessarily establishes man as a being that must make choices. Of these, man must eventually arrive at the realization that higher, rather than lower choices will safeguard human survival, well being and allow for prosperity. The economics of being is a form of identifying economic choice-making as a natural disposition of man’s. It is the latter condition that makes man act in the world. However, even though man must act, action cannot be blind. Instead, human action is motivated and guided by man’s sense of interiority. That is, man’s existential capacity for self-reflection is also what can deliver us to autonomous rule. This form of reflective choice-making is a creative act. The paper attempts to trace this aspect of the human condition back to prehistory, in order to demonstrate that societies, institutions, invention, technology, artistic creation and economic responsibility come about as the result of human industriousness. None of the aforementioned are creations of modern man.
13. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Benaouda Bensaid, Fadila Grine Old Age and Elderly Care: An Islamic Perspective
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A proper understanding of the Islamic perspective on old age with particular consideration of significant current changes and adaptations affecting Muslim elderly’s emotional, cultural and socio-economic needs, transitions and transformations requires a degree of acquaintance with Islam’s religious principles and values. This paper discusses a number of theological and moral concepts and themes pertaining to the elderly in Islam while highlighting the moral and ethical value system underlying Muslims’ position on ageing and old age. This study shows the extent to which the axiomatic perspective of Islam on old age is essentially shaped by religious beliefs, laws and spiritual practice. This inquiry into Muslim values on old age and elderly care would be of benefit to researchers on religious and cultural values; particularly in multicultural contexts, and yet again more instrumental to health professionals, counselors and social workers interacting with the Muslim elderly.
14. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Georg W. Oesterdiekhoff Psychological Stage Development and Societal Evolution. A Completely New Foundation to the Interrelationship between Psychology and Sociology
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Auguste Comte, the founder of sociology, and Norbert Elias, the last classical sociologist, based their sociologies on the idea that humankind has gone from astage of childhood to adult stages. The essay shows that there has actually taken place a psychogenetic evolution of humankind in history. Empirical researchesacross the past generations, namely Piagetian and intelligence cross-cultural researches, have been continuing to support the idea, whether the researchers involved have been aware of it or not. The essay demonstrates further, that the history of society, economy, culture, law, morals, politics, customs, religion, etc. can only be described against the background of developmental psychology.
15. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Patrizia Torricelli The Cognitive Basis of Value in Grammatical Form: A Case Study of the Italian Verbs vedere volere and avere
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The grammar rules of the modal and auxiliary verbs vedere (see), volere (want) and avere (have) in modern Italian reveal a cognitive scheme underlying thesuperficial linguistic structure that depends on a certain conceptualization of reality within the Western world cultural models. The article therefore puts forward a semantic approach to grammatical rules based on these conceptual and cultural motivations. The principles of structural European semiology, as introduced by Saussure, form the basis of the paper; particularly the understanding of signs as double entities (signifier/signified) whose arbitrary connections are assured by a system of sociocultural values, so that the cultural value of historical linguistic association impacts upon grammatical rules, meaning and social understanding. Grammar enables the actualization of certain semantic meanings amidst the plurality of virtual values contained within a certain syntactic combination of units. The inclusion of certain values within a given discursive isotopy supports a mode of signification, but it does not annul the possibility of the others that might be anchored in alternative discursive isotopies. In other words, there is distinction between the function of a sign in a system (langue) and the function that the same sign possesses in the concrete act of its usage (parole). Thus, this paper revises Saussure’s semiological model from a cognitive perspective, placing particular emphasis on the question of cultural values.
16. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Kyung Han You, Jiha Kim Marcuse’s Legacy and Foucault’s Challenge: A Critical Inquiry into the Relationship between Comedic Pleasure and the Popular Media
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The primary goal of this paper is to investigate the theoretical and methodological applicability of the relevant theories of Marcuse and Foucault to analyzing the relationship between comedic pleasure and the popular media. The researchers investigate the similarities of and the differences between the respective positions of Marcuse and Foucault as they relate to power relations, subjectivity, and practice. Likewise, the methodological applicability of these theorists’ work to a discourse analysis of how media content constructs comedic pleasure is considered. Overall, the present study explored the arrangement and deployment of discourses of comedic pleasure as exploited by the power/knowledge mechanism of the media and the entertainment industry. And, through this discussion, the current study argued that three key statements constitute a discursive framework for the analysis of comedic pleasure in the popular media.
17. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Mahdi Dahmardeh, Hossein Timcheh Memar, Abbas Timcheh Memar On Ethics and Culture: A Matter of Variation or Deviation? A study on Top Notch Series
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In pursuit of moralities and beliefs in the grey area of culture, the researchers carried out a study on Top Notch series to pinpoint the trace of ethics. This paper seeks to unfold the representation of ethics as an indubitable part of culture in Top Notch series. After having extracted all culturally and ethically-related topics and texts of Top Notch Series, 25 instances, featuring 6 patterns, were collected. Later these 6 patterns were dubbed as: violence, superstition, modesty,individualised ethics, religion, and modernity. Having analysed these 6 themes, well representing beliefs and moralities, the researchers came to the conclusion that both misrepresentation of ethics and underrepresentation and overrepresentation of different cultures are at work. The results show a reconsideration of therepresentation of ethics, or better to say reconsideration of misrepresentation of ethics which might find its root in wrong dominance of culture over ethics.
18. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Peter Mathews The Morality Meme: Nietzsche and A Serious Man
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Pairing together the Coen brothers film A Serious Man (2009) with the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche, this paper looks at questions about morality, illusion, and the influence of Jewish thought on contemporary ethics. Beginning with a reading of Nietzsche that locates his discussion of the Jews within its properhistorical context, it traces the beginnings of the “morality meme,” the notion of a universal moral reward that, Nietzsche argues, arises during the Deuteronomistperiod of Jewish history. The second part of the paper looks at how A Serious Man also engages in an interrogation of this moralistic overcoding of the universe, with a particular emphasis on how these questions upset Larry Gopnik’s views of both science and religion. The essay then concludes with a look at the poisonous effects of the “morality meme,” showing in particular how it has influenced the psychology of anti-Semitism. Rather than a rejection of Jewishness, the paper concludes that in A Serious Man the Coen brothers engage in a careful but loving criticism of their own culture that requires them to distance themselves from the problematic effects of its religious morality.
19. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Cyril-Mary P. Olatunji, Olugbenga O. Alabi A Philosophical Comparison of John 1:1-18 and the Yoruba Concept of ÒrÒ
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The concept of ÒrÒ among the Yoruba people in Nigeria has a lot in common with the biblical concept of Λoγos. This paper explores Λoγos as derived from Greek Logos translated as Word into English, and its parallelisms with ÒrÒ a fêted concept among the Yoruba. The paper provides evidence that both conceptsare related to exoteric functions within their distinct cultural communities. Finally, the paper opens these issues to the possibilities of cross-cultural research and semiotics.
20. Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Adrian Nita Leibniz on Spontaneity as a Basic Value
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Leibniz sustains three arguments for spontaneity: the argument from the complete notion, the argument from substantial forms and the argument from monadicspontaneity. In order to see the nature of spontaneity and whether the spontaneity is an inferior value with respect to freedom, as it appears in the Theodicy, inthe first part of the paper I will present spontaneity in connection with the theory of complete notion; in the second part, spontaneity and substantial forms; in the third part, spontaneity of monads; then I will finish with a more general view about spontaneity and freedom.