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41. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Sara Waller Philosophical Counseling: An Almost Alternative Paradigm
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I offer a method for philosophical counseling that is contrasted with Marinoffs. This version of philosophical counseling is primarily epistemic and suggests therapy as the examination of the justification of a client's beliefs, with a goal of enabling the client to change belief systems if the client so chooses.
42. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Andrew Fiala Toleration and the Limits of the Moral Imagination
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This essay discusses one source of toleration: a modest recognition of the limits of our ability to imagine the situation of the other. It further connects this with both respect for the autonomy of the other and the moral need to engage the other in dialogue. The conclusion is that toleration is important in light of the ubiquity of failures of the moral imagination. It considers several examples of the failure of the moral imagination, including a discussion of the Hindu practice of sati or widow burning.
43. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Jeremiah Conway Gadamer on Experience and Questioning
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The suspicion of this article is that we don't really understand why questions matter. It addresses this topic by examining the connection Hans-Georg Gadamer draws in Truth and Method between questioning and the possibility of experience. It outlines what Gadamer means by "experience " and shows why he is convinced that we cannot have experiences without asking questions.
44. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
J. Robert Loftis Three Problems for the Aesthetic Foundations of Environmental Ethics
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This essay takes a critical look at aesthetics as the basis for nature preservation, presenting three reasons why we should not rely on aesthetic foundations to justify the environmentalist program. First, a comparison to other kinds of aesthetic value shows that the aesthetic value of nature can provide weak reasons foraction atbest. Second, not everything environmentalists want to protect has positive aesthetic qualities. Attempts have been made to get around this problem by developing a reformist attitude towards natural aesthetics. I argue that these approaches fail. Third, development can be as aesthetically positive as nature. If it is simply beauty we are looking for, why can't the beauty of a wellconstructed dam or a magnificent skyscraper suffice?
45. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Sylvanus Ifeanyi Nnoruka Judgement in African Thought
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Critical thinking plays a role in African judgement. Here, factors that influence judgement are: culture, communalism, wisdom of elders, revelation from the gods, and observation. Factors that obstruct judgement include: colonialism, modernization, and new religions. However, thanks to Kant's critical philosophy, only objectively valid knowledge is actually knowledge in African traditional thought.
46. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ronald Sandler Culture and the Specification of Environmental Virtue
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One concern about a virtue ethics approach to environmental ethics is that virtue ethics lack the theoretical resources to provide a specification of environmental virtue that does not pander to obtaining cultural practices and conceptions of the human-nature relationship. In this paper I argue that this concern is unfounded.
47. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
David DeMoss Connectionist Agency
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Any mind-brain theory eventually will have to deal with agency. I do not claim that no other theory could do this successfully. I do claim that connectionism is able to handle some key features of agency. First, I will offer a brief account of connectionism and the advantages of using it to account for human agency, comparing and contrasting connectionism with two other mind-brain accounts in cognitive science, symbolicism and dynamicism. Then, since a connectionist account of agency depends on a unique approach to inner representations, I discuss the connectionist account of representation and the implications this has for our appeal to reasons in explanations of human action. I conclude that, given a connectionist brain account, reasons cannot be causes.
48. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Steven Schroeder Notes Toward a Philosophy of Nonviolence: A City In Which Violence Is Not Necessary
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This paper takes Gandhi's satyagraha, which he defined as "holding on to truth" (associating it simultaneously with knowing and doing) as a basis for a political philosophy of nonviolence that draws on voices familiar from twentieth century nonviolent struggles as well as sociobiology, literary criticism, and feminist approaches to sacrifice.
49. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Kory Spencer Sorrell Authority, Epistemic Privileging, and Democratic Deliberation
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This essay focuses on the role relationships of authority play in the communal production of knowledge. The author draws on recent developments in feminist epistemology and the pragmatism of John Dewey to show that not only is authority representation ineluctable, but is desirable if held properly accountable.
50. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Alfred I. Tauber The Philosopher as Prophet: The Case of Emerson and Thoreau
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Emerson articulated his metaphysics of selfhood within a theistic framework; Thoreau reconfigured his ideas as a mystical pantheism. In this latter form, Transcendentalism offered twentieth century Americans a new religious sensibility based on an intimacy with nature, which became a spiritual and aesthetic resource for personal fulfillment.
51. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Cynthia Townley Trust and the Curse of Cassandra (An Exploration of the Value of Trust)
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Epistemological interest in trust concentrates mainly on whether and how it is a proper resource for responsible knowers. However, trust is important and valuable to epistemic agents for reasons that do not depend on its being knowledge-conducive, or knowledge enhancing. Being trusted is essential for full participation in an epistemic community. The story of Cassandra illustrates these dimensions of trust's value.
52. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
M. Carmela Epright Philosophical Counseling: A Paradigm for Clinical Medical Ethics?
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In this paper I will move away from what has become the "traditional" approach to writing and thinking about philosophical counseling - I will not compare and contrast the virtues of the philosophical and psychological paradigms, nor will I attempt to defend philosophical counseling against its critics. Instead, I will use the methods and practices employed by philosophical counselors as a paradigm to inform and govern another philosophical practice, that is, clinical medical ethics. I will show that clinical ethics and philosophical counseling share many common attributes, and argue that each discipline has much to offer to the other.
53. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Linda Zagzebski Epistemic Trust
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The value of epistemic trust has been neglected, as Townsley rightly observes, but I think a virtue epistemology of the kind! endorse is well suited to provide a framework for understanding it. The Cassandra of Greek legend illustrates the complex relationships among epistemic and non-epistemic goods, as welt as the fragility of knowledge. I think her case leads us to a more radical conclusion than the one Townsley proposes.
54. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Hilde Lindemann Nelson Damaged Bodies, Damaged Identities
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In this essay I examine Margaret Edson’s Pulitzer prizewinning play, Wit, to explore the numerous connections drawn there between damage to bodies and damage to identities. In the course of this exploration I aim to get clearer about the kinds of illness, injury, or medical interventions that damage patients’ identities; how the damage is inflicted; and what might be done to repair identities that have been damaged in these ways. I argue that just as bodily illness and injury can damage the identity-constituting narratives by which we understand ourselves and others, so too (as the play demonstrates) injurious identity-constituting narratives can result in bodily harm. Because identities are narrative constructions, the damage inflicted on them requires narrative repair. The defective stories must be uprooted and replaced, but the success of the repair depends on both the soundness of the replacement story and the willingness of others to take up the new story.
55. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Laura Duhan Kaplan Disfigured Bodies and Social Identity: Ancient and Modern Reintegration Rituals
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Beginning with a narrative about social reactions to my own temporary disfigurement, I note that an individual’s disfigurement can affect others by making them feel unsettled and unsafe. The contemporary approach to disfigurement, exemplified in the practice of cosmetic surgery, focuses on changing the disfigured individual. In contrast, ancient priestly rituals in Israelite culture focus on reintegrating the individual into the community. I compare and contrast the two approaches, noting the value of reintegration rituals, but also recognizing their insufficiency in several contemporary situations.
56. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Emily Caroline Martin-Hondros Anorexia Nervosa: The Illusion of Power, Perfection, and Purity
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In this paper anorexia nervosa is examined through three lenses to determine its possible causes. This paper contains a clinical analysis of the anorexic personality, a psychoanalytic/religious interpretation of the demands of society, and· a feminist reinterpretationof the effects of those demands on the female body. The societal demands to renounce instincts, when examined through a feminist lens, reveals that these demands, in concert with the detrimental effects of feminine socialization and characteristics of the anorexic personality, may lead some women to view their needs as not important, and cause a detachment from and turning against the body in the form of anorexia nervosa. It is concluded that anorexia is not just women taking a diet “too far.” There are other psychological, philosophical, and social factors leading to a prevalence of anorexia nervosa in Western culture.
57. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Marla Morton-Brown Artificial Ef-femination: Female Bodybuilding and Gender Disruption
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Many feminist and queer scholars believe that one way to fight racism, sexism and homophobia is to challenge identity labels---ideas of what it means to be “black,” “gay,” “white,” “woman,” “lesbian.” Biology, however, continues to thwart this political agenda; the Body---the biological reality of skin color and sex chromosomes---makes it difficult to propose the idea that identity labels are merely social constructs, not natural facts. Female bodybuilding is a performance that literalizes the body as a site of artificial construction, of intervention, modification. Furthermore, female bodybuilding is a performance of gender bending---women who construct hypermuscular bodies disrupt social norms of gender, performing a kind of self-styled hermaphroditism that begs the question, “why?” This essay explores how female body builders challenge identity labels of sex and gender because of the fact that their gender transgressions occur at the physiological level of the body. I argue that female bodybuilders parody dominant labeling philosophies of sex, gender, and sexual orientation, challenging our sex/gender paradigm in very unique ways.
58. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Michael Burke What would happen if a ‘Woman’ outpaced the Winner of the Gold Medal in the ‘Men’s’ One Hundred Meters?: Female Sport, Drugs and the Transgressive Cyborg Body
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The separation of men’s and women’s competitions in the sporting world has been suggested as a necessary protection for female athletes against the superior athletic performances of male athletes. The comparison of the most elite performers in these two categories maintains the historical pattern of viewing male sport and the male athlete as the standard, and female sport and the female athlete as the inferior ‘other’. This paper argues for a transformative utilization of the separation of men’s and women’s sports by female athletes and sporting organizations. Female sporting organizations may creatively change the rules and practices of the malestandard, so as to challenge the historical patterning of sport. This paper will use the image of the cyborg, and the motivation behind cyborg politics, to call for creativity in dealing with the ban on drugs in sport.
59. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Jennifer A. Parks Grin and Bare It: Philosophical Reflections on the “Public Breast”
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This paper considers the issues surrounding women’s bare-breastedness and breastfeeding in public. I argue that women should have equal freedoms with men to bare their breasts in public, but not for the reasons commonly cited Proponents of “the public breast” tend to focus on the similarities between women’s and men’s breasts; I argue that the sameness versus difference debate is unhelpful in resolving this question. As I argue, women’s breasts differ from men’s in significant ways, and by dismissing these differences we dismiss the possibility of women’s authentic breasted experience. Instead, I suggest that women share an equal interest with men in defining their sexuality: When women are denied the right to go topless or breastfeed in public, they are denied their own understandings of their breasts.
60. Philosophy in the Contemporary World: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Laura Duhan Kaplan, M. Carmela Epright Introduction: Feminist Approaches to the Body