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101. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 18
Natalei Bredder Exclusion and the Responsibilities of the Liberal State
102. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 18
Phillip Cole Reply to Professor Brender and Professor Byrne
103. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 18
104. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Cheryl Hughes, Andrew Light Preface
105. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
106. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Lawrence Blum Reply To Byrne And Silliman
107. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Roger J. H. King The Place of Domesticated Spaces in Environmental Ethics: Toward an Environmentally Responsible Culture
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Environmental ethics has traditionally focused on a defense of the intrinsic value of animals and wild habitats. However, this ethical project needs to be supplemented by a consideration of the kind of culture that can take such an ethical point of view seriously. This essay argues that one component of an environmentally responsible culture is its domesticated environment. How we construct the domesticated environment has an impact on our perception of our own identities and our relations to wild nature. If we care about wild nature, we must also care about the domesticated environment in which we live our lives. This essay contributes to an ethical reflection on the need to overcome the traditional dualism between domesticated and wild, built and natural that permeates environmental ethical thinking.
108. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Jeremy Bendik-Keymer The Idea of an Ecological Orientation
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In this paper, I do two things. First, I interpret a cultural shift in our understanding of what it is to be human. I focus on the self-understanding in three international documents: (1) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), (2) The Rio Charter on Sustainable Development (1992), and (3) The Earth Charter (2002). These documents are symptomatic: what it is to be human shifts from not considering environmental issues as central to our humanity to understanding respect for the environment as exemplary of our humanity. Second, I open up a way of justification: I ask that we consider how the shift contributes to the human good, not how it is morally required. In so doing, we provide a richer justification of environmentalism. I conclude with brief remarks on how this method of justification isimportant for the future of environmental ethics.
109. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Brian K. Steverson Evolutionary Emotivism and the Land Ethic
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In developing the metaethical foundation for the Land Ethic, J. Baird Callicott has relied on the cognitive plasticity and directionality of the moral sentiments in order to argue for an extension of those sentiments to the environment. As he sees it, reason plays a substantial role in determining which objects we direct those sentiments toward, and ecology has now shown to reason’s satisfaction that we are part of larger, land communities. In this essay, I would like to develop the claim that we should be careful not to overemphasize the cognitive nature of the “moral sentiments” at the expense of their biological basis as an ecologicaladaptation. I hope to show that this is of special importance for the Land Ethic, where the metaethic involved is entirely dependent on a “felt” sense of community to generate the extension of moral consideration to the environment.
110. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Bradford Z. Mahon The Genetics of Environment and the Environment of Genotypes
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In this paper I discuss one possible extension of Richard Lewontin’s proposal in The Triple Helix. After reviewing the theoretical commitments common to discussions that assume we will be able to compute an organism from its genes, I turn to Lewontin’s arguments that we will never be able to compute phenotype from genotype because the genotype specifies an organism’s phenotype relative to a range of environments. The focus of the discussion in this paper, however, is on what might follow if we take seriously the claim that genetic structure does not determine phenotypic structure. The question is: What becomes causally efficacious in an explanation of the development of a heritable trait if genes are not sufficient? Any answer to this question, and even the question itself, is central to an understanding of the types of relations and structures into which humans enter and which they create in an environment.
111. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Steve Vanderheiden Justice in the Greenhouse: Climate Change and the Idea of Fairness
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The current debate surrounding the implementation of the Kyoto Treaty raises several issues that ought to be of interest to social and political philosophers. Proponents and critics alike have invoked ideas of fairness in justification of their positions. The two distinct conceptions of fairness that are involved in this debate—one of fair shares, and another of fair burdens—helpfully illuminate the proper role of fairness in designing an equitable and effective global climate regime. In this paper, I critically examine the idea of fairness as manifest in two contending visions of the proper international response to mounting evidence that human activity is causing climate change, and that harm from this change is likely to exacerbate existing inequalities. In addition, I recommend one idea of fairness (the fair shares conception) and the political program that it implies.
112. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Jordy Rocheleau Liberal Public Reason and the Legitimacy of Environmental Regulations: Toward a Deliberative Democratic Approach
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There is a little explored tension between the regulations called for by environmentalists and the predominant liberal political theory. The latter says that laws are only legitimate when publicly defensible to all who must follow them and thus does not support the state adoption of particular values. Environmental concerns frequently fall under the category of particular values. I explore ways that liberalism does in fact support environmental regulations as furthering universal rights and justice within and between generations. However, some forms of environmental preservation are clearly government pursuits of particular values. I explore possible liberal justifications of publicly fostering environmental values and conclude by arguing for a deliberative democratic approach.
113. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Andrew Light Introduction: Social Hope and Environmental Philosophy
114. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Yolanda Estes Society, Embodiment, and Nature in J. G. Fichte's Practical Philosophy
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In this essay, I argue that society, embodiment, and nature are crucial to J. G. Fichte’s practical philosophy, which implies responsibilities regarding the natural environment and its non-rational denizens. In section one, I summarize Fichte’s argument that self-consciousness presupposes social interaction between embodied rational beings within a sensible environment. In section two, I explain the relation between rational beings and human bodies. In section three, I discuss the relation between rational beings and nature. In section four, I describe ethical duties toward rational beings. In conclusion, I examine ethical duties regarding non-rational beings.
115. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
E. E. Flynn Living Right: Need and Punishment in Kant and Hegel
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In this essay I contrast Kant and Hegel on the so-called right of necessity, or distress. The contrast is significant because it summarizes succinctly the difference between their respective philosophies of right. Furthermore, I take the difference to indicate what in Hegel’s philosophy of right makes it preferable to Kant’s. In sum, the issue between the two is whether or not the concept of justice is determined in part by what I term in the paper the vicissitudes of making a worthwhile living.
116. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Andrew F. Smith Pluralism and Political Legitimacy: Toward a Perfectionist Defense of Deliberative Democracy
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In recent writings, both John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas address how to ensure that all reasonable citizens have the capacity to live a good life when there exist in modern society a wide variety of competing conceptions thereof. Yet, according to James Bohman, both thinkers in fact fail to resolve this “dilemma of the good.” He offers a deliberative conception of democracy intended to make up for their shortcomings. I argue, however, that Bohman’s conception covertly relies upon moderately perfectionist values that cause him to fall prey to what Bert van den Brink calls the “tragic predicament” of liberalism: he cannot articulate howa resolution to the dilemma of the good can (seem to) be achieved without defending ideals that let some doctrines of the good life appear more worthy of state promotion than others. But far from undermining Bohman’s conception, explicit acknowledgement of his moderate perfectionism can, ironically, serve to strengthen it.
117. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Greg Johnson On the Importance of Reversibility in Deliberative Democracy
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In this essay I argue that proponents of deliberative democracy too quickly assume that the idea of reciprocity is the best moral foundation. I further argue that a more fundamental ground, namely that of reversibility, is overlooked, a ground that transforms the nature of deliberative interaction. Thus, my aim is to develop this alternate ground and indicate how it augments the notion of democratic reciprocity. I demonstrate how the appeal to reason by proponents of deliberative democracy is an epistemic ground from which a notion of reciprocity emerges that regulates what is and is not deliberatively acceptable. I contend, however, thatsuch a reliance on this epistemic ground of reason overlooks a more fundamental ground without which reciprocity is impossible. This other ground that I develop is what I call the phenomenological ground of reversibility.
118. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Edmund F. Byrne The Post-9/11 State Of Emergency: Reality versus Rhetoric
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After the 9/11 attacks the U.S. administration went beyond emergency response towards imperialism, but cloaked its agenda in the rhetoric of fighting ‘terrorists’ and ‘terrorism.’ After distinguishing between emergency thinking and emergency planning, I question the administration’s “war on terrorism” rhetoric in three stages. First, upon examining the post-9/11 antiterrorism discourse I find that it splits into two agendas: domestic, protect our infrastructure; and foreign, select military targets. Second, I review (legitimate) approaches to emergency planning already in place. Third, after reviewing what philosophers have said aboutemergencies, I recommend they turn their attention to the biases inherent in and misleading uses of antiterrorist terminology.
119. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Ovadia Ezra Human Rights: The Inapplicable Concept
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This paper seeks to ascertain the reasons for the regrettable gap between the extent to which human rights are acknowledged in many countries, and the extent to which residents of those countries in fact are able to enjoy these rights. However, when we seek to assess to what extent residents of those countries in fact enjoy these rights, the findings are somewhat depressing. In this paper I suggest an explanation for this phenomenon and argue that its cause is built into the very structure of Human Rights as these have hitherto been understood. I maintain that because the addressees of such rights are the states’ governments, there is no external body that functions as the guarantor of such rights that has the authority and power to force the governments when they renege on their correlative duties as the addressees of Human Rights.
120. Social Philosophy Today: Volume > 19
Catriona Sandilands Eco Homo: Queering the Ecological Body Politic
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This paper raises the issue of governmentality in popular environmental understandings of the (human) body. Understood as object-subjects of environmental management, “ecological bodies politic” are increasingly produced and organized by disciplinary discourses that have the (ironic) effect of reifying, enclosing and surveilling corporeal experiences in the world, especially for bodies deemed unruly. This paper thus deploys queer theories of corporeal materialization (Butler), and queer histories of corporeal-ecological abjection, toward a political account of embodiment oriented to creative opening and transgression, rather than the increasingly hysterical bodily managerialism of pollution discourses. This paper also performs, through the transgressive presence of body narratives from dance experiences generated as part of a workshop on Japanese Butoh traditions, the kind of practiced body awareness suggested in the political account.