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21. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Roxana Patraș On Diffident and Dissident Practices: a Picture of Romania at the End of the 19th Century
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The present paper explores diffident and dissident practices reflected by the political talk at the end of the 19th-century in Romania. Relying on Jacques Rancière’s theories on the ‘aesthetic regime of politics,’ the introduction sketches a historical frame and proposes a focus change: the relation between ‘politics’ and ‘aesthetics’ does not stand on a set of literary cases, but on political scripts as such. Thus, the hypotheses investigated by the next three parts can be formulated as follows: 1. though determined by an ideological direction (Conservative or Liberal), the political speech still preserves his tendency towards aesthetic autonomy. 2. oratorical merits (hinting at aesthetic autonomy) can turn into practices of political autonomy, diffidence and, then, dissidence. Methodologically, two types of aesthetic practices organize the chosen materials; both the diffident script and the theatre of dissidence help us to perceive how the philosophical and moral meaning of these practices could change into an ideology of dissidence. The formalization of diffident practices, their conversion to outspoken dissidence, also corresponds to the symmetrical symptom of unlimited authority; when oldtime politicians warned on ‘Caesarism,’ ‘Vizierate,’ ‘Despotism,’ ‘Omnipotence’ or ‘Tyranny,’ the Romanian society had already been training for a long experience of ‘dictatorship.’
22. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Ward Blondé An Evolutionary Argument for a Self-Explanatory, Benevolent Metaphysics
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In this paper, a metaphysics is proposed that includes everything that can be represented by a well-founded multiset. It is shown that this metaphysics, apart from being self-explanatory, is also benevolent. Paradoxically, it turns out that the probability that we were born in another life than our own is zero. More insights are gained by inducing properties from a metaphysics that is not self-explanatory. In particular, digital metaphysics is analyzed, which claims that only computable things exist. First of all, it is shown that digital metaphysics contradicts itself by leading to the conclusion that the shortest computer program that computes the world is infinitely long. This means that the Church-Turing conjecture must be false. Secondly, the applicability of Occam’s razor is explained by evolution: in an evolving physics it can appear at each moment as if the world is caused by only finitely many things. Thirdly and most importantly, this metaphysics is benevolent in the sense that it organizes itself to fulfill the deepest wishes of its observers. Fourthly, universal computers with an infinite memory capacity cannot be builtin the world. And finally, all the properties of the world, both good and bad, can be explained by evolutionary conservation.
23. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Emilia Alexandra Antonese Understanding Moral Judgments: The Role of the Agent’s Characteristics in Moral Evaluations
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Traditional studies have shown that the moral judgments are influenced by many biasing factors, like the consequences of a behavior, certain characteristics of the agent who commits the act, or the words chosen to describe the behavior. In the present study we investigated a new factor that could bias the evaluation of morally relevant human behavior: the perceived similarity between the participants and the agent described in the moral scenario. The participants read a storyabout a driver who illegally overtook another car and hit a pedestrian who was crossing the street. The latter was taken to the hospital with a broken leg. The driver was described either as being similar to the participant (a student, 21 years old, the same gender as the participant) or dissimilar (a retired person, 69 years old, different gender as the participant). The results show that the participants from the increased similarity group expressed more lenient evaluations of the immorality of the driver’s behavior compared to the participants from the decreased similarity group. The results are discussed within a framework which puts emphasis on motivational and protective reasons.
24. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Maja Alexandra Nazaruk Contre la prestance du déterminisme social: Bourdieu et Melançon
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Focused on the notion of the threshold of objectivity, my article dissects the empirical mirror-glass of the philosophy of Joseph Melançon. I propose to thrust this emblematic perspective of determinist discourse against the literary turn, acclaimed for its underpinning ambiguous subjectivity – here notably made relevant by Pierre Bourdieu. Both discursive practices complete each other and reject each other in a self-feeding spiral: incessant motivation for a hybrid, vexing study of mutual tensions.
25. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Cristina Maria Bostan The Role of Motivational Persistence and Resilience Over the Well-being Changes Registered in Time
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The present study investigates the interaction between personal characteristics that are considered nowadays strengths used to face difficult events or transition period. A number of 200 married or living together participants completed self-reports for common goals, motivational persistence, resilience and well-being. Results show that persistence and resilience do interact with each other at an individual level but also from a family concept perspective. Moreover, maintaining apositive outlook and family spirituality do have an impact over the intensity and direction of the relationship between long term purposes pursuing (LTPP) and recurrence of unattained purposes (RUP) and changes in well-being registered in time. Resiliency as a personal characteristic and family resilience show good psychometric qualities for this study. Although some of the results are descriptive, in-depth analyses of direction and intensity of the relationships lead the finalconclusions to suggestions for further research and implications for psychological practice.
26. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Cornelia Măirean Individual Differences in Emotion and Thought Regulation Processes: Implications for Mental Health and Wellbeing
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This paper focuses on two strategies – cognitive reappraisal and expressive suppression – that people use to regulate their emotions and thoughts in daily life. Cognitive reappraisal is considered to be the effort made by an individual with the aim of changing the meaning of a situation in order to decrease its intense and negative emotional impact. Expressive suppression represents the effort of inhibiting the outward signs of inner emotional states or unwanted thoughts. Many studies, both experimental and correlational, showed that cognitive reappraisal is often more effective than expressive suppression. In this paper, previousstudies about the role of emotion and thought dysregulation in the development of negative psychological outcomes were reviewed. First, the definition and characteristics of emotion and thought regulation strategies are presented. Secondly, the specific individual differences in the use of emotion and thought regulation strategies, in terms of personality traits, attachment, gender, and age, are discussed. The third section presents the associations between these emotion and thought regulation strategies and various mental disorders. In the last section, previous empirical studies that analyzed the associations between such strategies and wellbeing, defined as a low level of negative affect, a high level of positive affect, and life satisfaction, are presented.
27. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 2
Ioana Grancea Visual Arguments and Moral Causes in Charity Advertising: Ethical Considerations
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Social advertising often employs persuasive imagery in support of a morally laden cause. These visual arguments can take the form of veridical representations of the given situation or the form of purposeful visual blends. Both visual routes to persuasion have serious ethical issues to confront. In what concerns the purportedly veridical images, controversies about picture retouching and framing have cast many doubts on their success in offering unmediated access to a given reality. Editorial interests have proven far too influential on the destiny of what and how is presented to the audience from the amount of visual material available on a topic. Even when the audience is certain that photos are not doctored, the use of veridical images may be seen as unethical. Their disproportionate affective impact may lead the audience to hold biased opinions, since other concerns may be impossible to capture in a vivid picture. Visual blends may be the answer to this problem, employing the fictional or the figurative to help the viewer grasp the moral anatomy of a given situation. Their generous use of figurative meaning may be seen as their strength and their weakness at the same time. It makes them less likely to face accusations of distorting reality, because they do not claim to be windows on reality per se. At the same time, it makes them vulnerable to interpretations that miss their true point – one might appreciate the artistry of a visual metaphor or a visual pun and fail to consider the statement it makes about a given situation. Contemporary philosophical approaches to the place of visuals in moral persuasion inform my analysis of the use of visual arguments in charity-oriented advertising.
28. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Scott Aikin Citizen Skeptic: Cicero’s Academic Republicanism
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The skeptical challenge to politics is that if knowledge is in short supply and it is a condition for the proper use of political power, then there is very little just politics. Cicero’s Republicanism is posed as a program for political legitimacy wherein both citizens and their states are far from ideal. The result is a form of what is termed negative conservatism, which shows political gridlock in a more positive light.
29. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Iovan Drehe Dialectical Strategic Planning in Aristotle
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The purpose of this paper is to give an account and a rational reconstruction of the heuristic advice provided by Aristotle in the Topics and Prior Analytics in regard to the difficulty or ease of strategic planning in the context of a dialectical dialogue. The general idea is that a Questioner can foresee what his refutational syllogism would have to look like given the character of the thesis defended by the Answerer, and therefore plan accordingly. A rational reconstruction of this advice will be attempted from three perspectives: strategic planning based on the acceptability of Answerer’s thesis, strategic planning based on the predicational form of the thesis, strategic planning based on the logical form of the thesis. In addition, we will provide an illustration of the potential of this heuristic advice as we apply it to the interpretation of a fragment from Plato, presuming that, in a similar way, a reading of this kind might be more generally applicable in the interpretation of the Platonic dialogues.
30. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Kevin Ross Nera A Sketch of a Humane Education: A Capability Approach Perspective
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Poverty, understood as basic capability deprivation, can only be solved through a process of expanding the freedoms that people value and have reason to value. This process can only begin if the capability to imagine and aspire for an altenative lifestyle worthy of human dignity is cultivated by an education program that develops both the capability to reason and to value. These two facets play a major role in the creative exercise of human agency. This program of humane education can only come from an adequate description of the human agent as a persona that seeks to actualize itself based on his/her understanding of the good. Education must therefore seek to cultivate the capability to have an adequate conception of the good (normative) as well as the capability to constantly re-evaluate one’s conception of the good (evaluative) in order to freely and reasonably choose a life that one values and has reason to value. Education must therefore entail not merely the development of skills nor specialization in a particular field but must concentrate on the integration of the human person as a whole which leads to self-creative praxis.
31. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Constantin Vică Intellectual Property, Globalization, and Left-Libertarianism
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Intellectual property has become the apple of discord in today’s moral and political debates. Although it has been approached from many different perspectives, a final conclusion has not been reached. In this paper I will offer a new way of thinking about intellectual property rights (IPRs), from a left-libertarian perspective. My thesis is that IPRs are not (natural) original rights, aprioric rights, as it is usually argued. They are derived rights hence any claim for intellectual property is weaker than the correlative duties attached to self-ownership and world-ownership rights, which are of crucial importance in any left-libertarian view. Moreover, IPRs lack priority in front of these two original rights and should be overridden by stronger claims of justice. Thus, as derived rights, IPRs should not benefit of strong enforcement like any original rights especially if it could be in the latters’ detriment.
32. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Lavinia Andreea Bejan From Moral Responsibility to Legal Responsibility in the Conduct of War
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Different societies came to consider certain behaviors as morally wrong, and, in time, due to a more or less general practice, those behaviors have also become legally prohibited. While, nowadays, the existence of legal responsibility of states and individuals for certain reprehensible acts committed during an armed conflict, international or non-international, is hard to be disputed, an inquiry into the manner in which the behavior of the belligerents has come to be considered reveals long discussions in the field of morals and theory of morality, and, especially, regarding the different manner of establishing the elements to whom obedience is rather owed (the divinity, the sovereign, the law) and the relations between these. Hence, the present paper aims at analyzing the connections between moral responsibility and legal responsibility for wrongful behaviur during war in a diachronic approach, along with the major shifts in paradigm (codification and individual liability). Understanding morality as practice, convention, custom, we are arguing that the nowadays requirement of liability for war crimes appeared due to an assumed intention and practice of the decision-making entities (the sovereign, the state) and, ultimately, to a decision-making process of the most influential states.
33. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Emanuel Ciocianu-Copilaș Perennialism and Modernism in Romanian National-Communism. An Ideological Dilemma?
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This article analyzes the theories of nationalism incorporated into the national-communist discourse active in Romania between 1965 and 1969. Although insisting upon its Marxist ideological core, Romanian national-communist discourse did not, however, embrace the Marxist vision upon nations and nationalism, namely modernism. Furthermore, its vision in this regard, primordialist perenialism, was typical of right-wing, even extreme right-wing ideologies. How was that possible is the main question of the following pages.
34. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Olesea Ţaranu Conflicts and Instability in the Contemporary Security Environment
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While current doctrines try to separate conflicts within two distinct categories – conventional versus irregular, there are, however, a series of contemporary conflicts that challenge this western view on war showing that the disjunctive manner of classification in ‘big and conventional’ versus ‘small and irregular’ is limited and simplistic. The military strategists as well as the academics used a series of concepts in order to describe the main shifts in the character of war – from the Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) and ‘new wars’ to hybrid wars. This article aims to identify these mutations in war evolution in the new, post-Cold War international context. The traditional image we have on this well-known ‘labor division’ within the military field no longer reflects reality.
35. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 3
Roxana-Maria Ghiațău Ethical Competence for Teachers: A Possible Model
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In Education Sciences, the notion of ‘competence’ is widely used, both as an aim to be reached with students and as performance in teachers’ education. This article advances a type of competence that is highly relevant for teachers’ work, namely the ‘ethical competence.’ Ethical competence enables teachers to responsibly deal with the daily challenges arising from their professional roles. In this study, I put forward a definition of ethical competence and I propose a conceptual structure, both meant to support the illustration, description, and development of ethical competence for teachers.
36. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Annie Barthélémy Le self dans l’ouvrage de Ricoeur Soi-même comme un autre. L’attestation de soi : certitude et fragilité du self
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The paper aims to explain how Paul Ricoeur’s phenomenological and hermeneutic approach offers an original theory of the self as self-attestation. Considering useful an approach that combines the psychological uses of the notion of self with a reflection on one’s capacity to design himself/herself as a person, the paper offers a thorough analysis of Ricoeur’s work Soi-même comme un autre / Oneself as Another. The main purpose of this analysis is to highlight that, drawing a clear distinction between two forms of identity (la mêmeté/sameness and l’ipséité/selfhood) and proposing a dialectic between the self and the other, Ricoeur grounds his theory on a notion of self which includes one’s acceptance of the other.
37. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Oana Culache Transduction and Meaning–Making Issues Within Multimodal Messages
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This paper analyzes transduction as an action of transposing information from one mode to another within the communication process and its implications in terms of meaning and coherence of a multimodal message. First, I discuss the multimodal method and its conjunction with some key concepts such as: sign, meaning, mode, transduction. Secondly, I approach transduction as an essential method of translating messages across the media variety, describing my interdisciplinary approach – that brings together semiotics and communications – and proposing a framework of explanation for transduction in the field of advertising. Drawing from a previous model (Culache 2015), I illustrate the way transduction takes place and identify its meaning-making issues while introducing the concept of 'dominant mode.'
38. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Emilian Mihailov Does the Origin of Normativity Stem from the Internalization of Dominance Hierarchies?
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Many natural scientists explain the evolutionary origin of morality by documenting altruistic behaviour in our nearest nonhuman relatives. Christine Korsgaard has criticized such attempts on the premise that they do not put enough effort in explaining the capacity to be motivated by normative thoughts. She speculates that normative motivation may have originated with the internalization of the dominance instincts. In this article I will challenge the dominance hierarchy hypothesis by arguing that a proper investigation into how and when dominance inhibits behaviour does not seem to reveal a minimal normative dimension.
39. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Roxana Patraș Minding Literature’s Business: Cultivating a Sense of Evanescence Within Political Affairs
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The paper investigates the relationship between political oratory and literature in Romania during the second part of the 19th century. Extending the theories of Jacques Rancière, Fredric Jameson, Slavoj Žižec, and Leonidas Donskis, I analyze the relationship between politics and literature by comparing a set of illustrative speeches delivered by Take Ionescu and P. P. Carp, who distinguished themselves as brilliant political orators and also as personalities who gave up literature in order to assume a political career. My main goal is to determine how much of one’s appetite for aesthetic autonomy turns into mere appetite for political autonomy, and thus for dissent and dissidence. Both examples chosen for illustration brought me to the conclusion that prior literary habits and practices into a politician’s public career can determine his/her ways of legitimizing party-switches or volatile doctrinarian attitudes.
40. Symposion: Volume > 2 > Issue: 4
Venera Dimulescu Contemporary Representations of the Female Body: Consumerism and the Normative Discourse of Beauty
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In the context of the perpetual reproduction of consumerism in contemporary western societies, the varied and often contradictory principles of third wave feminism have been misunderstood or redefined by the dominant economic discourse of the markets. The lack of homogeneity in the theoretical debates of the third wave feminism seems to be a vulnerable point in the appropriation of its emancipatory ideals by the post-modern consumerist narratives. The beauty norm, particularly, brings the most problematic questions forth in the contemporary feminist dialogues. In this paper I will examine the validity of the concept of empowerment through practices of the body, practices that constitute the socially legitimized identity of women in a consumerist western society. My thesis is that the beauty norm is constructed as a socio-political instrument in order to preserve the old, patriarchal regulation of women’s bodies. Due to the power of invisibility of the new mechanisms of social control and subjection, the consumerist discourse offers the most effective political tool for gender inequality and a complex discussion about free will and emancipation in third wave feminism debates. This delicate theoretical issues question not only the existent social order, but the very political purposes of contemporary feminism.