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181. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Jacoby Adeshei Carter Just/New War Theory: Non-State Actors in Asymmetric Conflicts
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This paper considers the increasingly common suggestion that a new form of warfare has emerged. It clarifies the notion of new wars and responds to an argument for the claim that in order to achieve military parity non-state actors must violate just war principles. I reject the claim that violation of just war principles is necessary and argue that we can make reasonable normative judgments about new wars in terms of just war theory. From there, I consider the possibility that military parity can be achieved in a way that does not violate these principles and argue that it is permissible for relatively weak non-state actors to fight with fewer restrictions than conventional states.
182. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Howard Ponzer A Case for Human Rights Feminism
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This article presents a case for human rights feminism as providing us with an effective, but too often under-recognized model for achieving equality in our society. From out of the context of recent feminism, with specific focus on Judith Butler, the author argues that the move to universal human rights is compatible with the critical tradition of identity politics as a means of realizing the goal of gender equality.
183. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Lani Roberts, José-Antonio Orosco The Philosophy of Diversity: An Interview with Lani Roberts
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In this interview, Lani Roberts provides a philosophical justification for the study of diversity issues and highlights the pedagogical methods needed to prepare students to live and thrive in a diverse society. This article is a partial transcript of a recorded interview.
184. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 16 > Issue: 2
Lawrence Quill After Philia? Friendship, the Market, and Late Modernity
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This paper offers some critical thoughts concerning the concept of "civic" or "political" friendship within commercial societies. In response to Badhwar's suggestion (2008) that the "free market" provides the best opportunities for political friendship, I argue that civic philia cannot be reduced to a form of "market-friendship." This was already apparent to early advocates of the market who recognized the fragility of friendship under capitalism. Subsequent attempts to address this dilemma bring into focus the deficiency of market friendships and the concept of friendship more broadly. In conclusion, I argue that Kant's attempt to circumscribe friendship for the sake of "civility" contains the seeds of friendship's renewal.
185. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
John A. Berteaux What about Race after Obama: Individualism, Multiculturalism, or Assimilationism?
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I argue that we do not get an adequate picture of society from liberal conceptions of race and racism. What this analysis does, then, is call for a synthesis of historical, social, and cultural insights to inform and enrich the philosophical conception of race and racism.
186. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Kim Díaz U.S. Border Wall: A Poggean Analysis of Illegal Immigration
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Drawing on the work of John Rawls and Thomas Pogge, I argue that the U.S. is in part responsible for the immigration of Mexicans and Central Americans into the U.S. By seeking to further its national interests through its foreign policies, the U.S. has created economic and politically oppressive conditions that Mexican and Central American people seek to escape. The significance of this project is to highlight the role of the U.S. in illegal immigration so that we may first acknowledge our responsibility in order to seek lasting humane solutions.
187. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Zbigniew Jan Marczuk Reasons for Moral Conduct: Groundwork of Scanlon's Contractualism
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Scanlon grounds all moral principles in claims about "what individuals have reasons to agree to." Analyzing Scanlon's groundwork, I discuss his central reason for being concerned with morality and why personal and impersonal reasons for moral conduct cannot co-exist in his contractualism. I demonstrate that personal values and reasons are incommensurable with impersonal values and reasons. Thus, Scanlon needs to exclude impersonal reasons from the moral theory he advocates. But I argue that there may be a means of inclusion of both the personal and impersonal values and reasons. I propose Aristotelian virtue ethics as a plausible foundation for subordinating the impersonal values and reasons to the value of human rationality in its full capacity. This subordination may provide the defensible condition that Scanlon's contractualism requires to justify moral principles to each person on the grounds of respect for human rationality.
188. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Stephen C. Ferguson II The Philosopher King: The Influence of Dialectics on King's Political Thought and Practice
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This paper examines the neglected topic of Martin Luther King's comprehension and employment of dialectics. When we examine King's political and ideological development dialectically, we see that there are stages in the development of his thought. Most importantly, the material context of the African-American liberation struggle, as a process of objective development, shaped and directed his thinking as a dialectician. Consequently, the materialcontext of the African-American liberation movement served as a dynamic process which greatly affected King's understanding of dialectics as a tool of analysis. King's early conception of dialectics is not Hegelian. However, after 1965, King becomes more Hegelian, approximating a regulative dialectic.
189. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
James A. Highland Daoism and Deliberative Dialogue
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I argue that there is a great deal in common between a Daoist sage and a contemporary moderator of deliberative dialogues. The most fundamental similarity is harmonious interaction of people facing the challenges of contemporary life. As they encourage and facilitate community action, the actions of the moderator of deliberative dialogue exemplify noncoercive action, wuwei, in the way such dialogue is eventually structured and in the ways the moderator acts to help all participants realize some common ground from which they may take action. The paper gives an example of wuwei that is not located in some agrarian, golden age of the past, but in contemporary, deliberative dialogue. It looks to discussion of wuwei in the Daodejing for further insight in how deliberative dialogue may be cultivated and facilitated. And it looks to deliberative dialogue for further insight into how wuwei can be understood when applied to contemporary community activities.
190. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 1
Benjamin A. Rider The Ethics of Superlongevity: Should We Cure Death?
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According to many scientists and futurists, technological advancements may soon make it possible significantly to extend average human life expectancy. This is often called "superlongevity." I discuss two arguments against superlongevity-first, a utilitarian argument from Peter Singer, and then an argument of my own. Although neither argument is decisive, I conclude that there are serious concerns about whether superlongevity would be a good idea that we need to reflect on as we consider the possibility.
191. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Charles W. Harvey The Conservative Limits of Liberal Education
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I argue that hopes and claims about the liberating power of liberal education are typically exaggerated, naive and wrong. Reflecting upon and borrowing terms from Jim Shelton's essay on "The Subversive Nature of Liberal Education," I use the work of Ivan Illich, Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu and Jean-Claude Passeron to argue that social education—training in efficient and productive consumeristic life—absorbs, muffles and domesticates any radical content liberal arts education may manage to provide. As with virtually all education, liberal education conserves the society from which it emerges.
192. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Susan Mooney Philosophy in the Field: Seeing^ Knowings Doing
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Designing curricular experiences that make the usefulness of the liberal arts vividly clear as early as possible in an undergraduate's education is our collective responsibility. In this essay, I argue for providing that experience by employing a critical pedagogy of awakening (seeing), interdisciplinary understanding (knowing) and agency (doing), and I illustrate the use of this pedagogy with an example that brings philosophy "into the field" with biology.
193. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Jim Shelton The Subversive Nature of Liberal Education
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In this paper, I distinguish liberal education and social education. The latter emphasizes obedience, conformity, efficiency and loss of critical examination of societal norms. Liberal education is defended not as supplanting social education but as a very important and often neglected aspect of education. Liberal education is and should be subversive in respect to the goals encouraged by social education.
194. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Ralph D. Ellis The Enactive Approach to Education: The Crucial Role of the Humanities
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If human motivation is "enactive" rather than merely a series of passive reactions to extemal stimuli, then a correspondingly "enactive" approach to education should be taken seriously. This paper argues that recent research on the emotional brain by such neuropsychologists as Jaak Panksepp, combined with a self-organizational approach to the concept of action, and the importance of the questioning process in human understanding of information, suggests that treating humanities education as intrinsically valuable, and not just as means toward other ends, is cmcially important. The questioning process that appealsto students' natural exploratory tendencies, or what Hume called a "love of truth," is fostered by an approach that, rather than dumbing down, actually appeals to the "glamour of the complex." The glamour of the complex cannot stop with interesting application of memorized information; it must go all the way down to basic epistemology and the basic questioning of human nature itself that are encouraged by taking the humanities seriously and for their own sake.
195. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Peter J. Mehl Educating for Life: Liberal Arts and the Human Spirit
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In this essay I argue that liberal arts education must reject scientism and embrace tmths about human flourishing, tmths that can be supported by both traditional wisdom and recent scientific studies. Liberal arts education can speak to the human spirit's yeaming for moral and spiritual meaning in life, and can help students come to terms with this interest. Current research into human flourishing enables us to make a more persuasive public case for the importanceof liberal arts education, and specifically for it as education for our moral and spiritual lives.
196. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Miguel Martinez-Saenz, Craig Hanks The Occlusion of Truth Seeking in a Fog of Marketing
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In this essay we argue that attempts to justify the value of the liberal arts in narrowly instrumental ways are a mistake, one that is likely to miss the central importance of a liberal arts education. Of course, we do not claim here that such instrumental justifications are completely wrong, but that in so far as liberal education is defended primarily in terms of enhanced practical outcomes (better paying jobs, saleable professional skills, higher scores on graduate and professional admissions exams, and so on) advocates will fail to articulate one of the most important reasons for study in the liberal arts. We will characterizeliberal education as a practice of reflecting on, discussing, and evaluating the question of what sort of lives I we should lead. Based on this, we then offer whatwe believe is a more promising, more consistent way of justifying liberal education.
197. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Peter J. Mehl Editor's Introduction: Special Issue on The Future of Liberal Arts Education
198. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Karen Adkins Against (Simple) Efficiency
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This paper defends the liberal arts as an effective way to acquire habits of thought (creativity, skepticism), as opposed to skills. The ability to think creatively, historically, and skeptically can only be acquired slowly, socially, and with a diverse population. While this defense of the liberal arts (as opposed to a skills-focused defense) well supports some of the hallmarks of American liberal arts education (in person, bricks and mortar, not accelerated), it also has some critical implications for how the liberal arts are taught.
199. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Richard A. Smith, John R. Leach Liberal Arts Education and Brain Plasticity
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This paper addresses what some view as a progressive and decades-long devaluing of the liberal arts in our educational institutions and society at large. It draws attention to symptoms of this trend and possible contributing factors, identifies benefits commonly attributed to the liberal arts, and then shows how insights from recent research on neuroplasticity provide good reason to believe that a traditional liberal education has positive effects on a person's brain. The paper supports the thesis that well-designed liberal arts courses can literally transform students' minds and lives as a result of unique and synergistic brain processes activated and strengthened by the leaming experiences such courses provide. It finishes with recommendations to help reinvigorate and promote the value of liberal education.
200. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 17 > Issue: 2
Erik W. Schmidt How to Value the Liberal Arts for Their Own Sake without Intrinsic Values
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I argue that there is an important problem with framing the value of a liberal arts education through a contrast between intrinsic and instrumental value. The paper breaks down into three sections. First, I argue that the traditional divide between intrinsic and instrumental value conflates two pairs of related concepts and that distinguishing those concepts frees us from an important impasse found in contemporary discussions about the liberal arts. Second, I argue that a liberal arts education is only intelligible as a practice if we value it for its own sake. Third, I explain how we can value a liberal arts education as an end even if we reject the possibility of intrinsic value. I conclude with a brief statement of the practical implications my account has for the way we approach the liberal arts.