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41. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Francesco Belfiore In Search of an Objective Moral Good
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The moral good, being the end that human beings ought to pursue, cannot be defined without referring to what human beings, as ontological entities, actually are. According to my conception, human mind (or spirit or person) is a triadic entity made of intellect, sensitiveness, and power which, through their outward or selfish activity (directed to the external objects), produce ideas, sentiments, and actions, whereas through their inward or moral activity (directed to mind itself), produce moral thoughts, moral feelings, and moral acts, respectively. Moral thoughts allow us to understand that mind is an evolving entity, and that mind evolution consists of the development of intellect (knowledge), sensitiveness (sensitivity of the soul), and power (health/wealth/social status), through which mind continuously transcends itself. Moreover, moral thoughts give us the cognitive awareness that mind evolution, entailing changes into ever better states, is the objective human good, thus creating the ground moral principle. On the other hand, moral feelings enable human beings to feel that mind evolution is morally desirable or valuable, thus founding the moral values. The moral acts perform the good deeds under the guidance of the moral norms, which arise fromthe convergence of moral principles and moral values. The ground moral norm prescribes the promotion of mind evolution. The moral agent should help others until they reach the evolutionallowing condition, that is, the condition that allows the helped person to develop his own mind, thus fulfilling his moral duty toward himself. The conception of the moral good as consisting of mind evolution allows us to give ethics an ontological basis.
42. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jeffrey Benjamin White Good Will and the Conscience in Kant’s Ethical Theory
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The compass point of Kantian ethics is Kant’s categorical imperative. The compass point of Kantian ethics directs persons to ends of actions. It directs to ends the attainment of which can be universally prescribed. It directs away from those which can not. Most reviews of the demands of the categorical imperative tend torest in an assay of rationality and its demands. I think that this is a mistake. I think that on Kant’s mature view, the conscience, and so the categorical imperative, have nothing necessarily to do with rationality at all. The following work develops this position.
43. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Harald Stelzer Challenging Cultural Relativism From a Critical-Rationalist Ethical Perspective
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This paper is based on the assumption that critical rationalism represents a middle position between absolutist and relativistic positions because it rejects all attempts of ultimate justification as well as basic relativistic claims. Even though the critical-rationalist problem-solving-approach based on the method of trial and error leads to an acknowledgment of the plurality of theories and moral standards, it must not be confused with relativism. The relativistic claims of the incommensurability of cultures and the equality of all views of the world and all moral systems can be challenged by two basic critical‐rationalist arguments:(1) Popper’s critique of ‚the myth of the framework’; (2) the criticalrationalist conception of different levels of rationality (Albert, Agassi and Jarvie). In ethics moral standards and norms can be interpreted from a critical‐rationalist perspective as undogmatic suggestions for the regulation of social behaviour and as attempts to answer different problems, resulting from social life. This allows for the comparison of different moral standards, norms, practices and institutions with reference to the underlying problem situation and the search for culturally overlapping moral standards.
44. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Matthias Fritsch Deconstructing Ought Implies Can
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The present paper aims to view three ways of thinking time by Emmanuel Levinas. We distinguish existential, historical, and eschatological time demonstrating how they are connected with his central notion of responsibility toward the Other. The following analysis reorders and interprets what Levinas has said in response of Martin Heidegger’s and Hegel’s position. The text does not make any other claims but aims to offer a possible reading and exegesis of Levinas’s philosophy and open a further discussion on these topics.
45. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Glen Koehn Character, Situation and Intelligence
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Gilbert Harman and other situationists have argued, on thefollowing grounds, that many ordinary moral judgments are false.First, many moral judgments posit robust personal character traits inthe course of describing or explaining individual human behavior.Second, the empirical evidence strongly suggests these traits do notexist. I sketch some of the reasoning behind situationism and arguethat Harman’s view cannot be entirely right. He is himselfcommitted to there being at least one robust individual charactertrait, namely a form of personal intelligence. Moreover, the notion ofa situation upon which he relies is inadequate to his purpose.
46. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Alexander Shevchenko Obligations of Justice
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Growing philosophical interest in theories of obligation has many sources. Among the most important ones is the tendency to redefine the scope of the political. Then we are Inevitably confronted with the question about the nature and scope of our obligations towards others. An analysis of an important and popular distinction between obligations of justice and obligations of charity shows that their distinctive characteristics are seldom precise and clear-cut. Moreover, they are more superficial rather than substantive and do not allow to draw a clear line between obligatory and desirable behavior, or legally and morally obligatory behavior. In present-day ethical theory there is a tendency towards expanding the scope of obligations of justice and redefining their content. Actions whichtraditionally might have been considered as display of good nature are more and more often perceived as obligations avoidance of which is unjust. This also changes the role of institutions. The borders and content of individual obligations of justice should be considered in close connection with the problem of constructing just social institutions. The subjects of justice (the moral individual and the social institute) are interrelated and the search for an optimalbalance between two viewpoints – those of private interest and impartiality – becomes a unifying project both for political and moral philosophers.
47. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Lihua Liu 马克思主义价值观上的误区
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Marxist value standpoint taking the value of working classes as more important and higher than universal human value has already been proved wrong by the antihuman practice led by the standpoint in the 20th century. Though the disastrous historical reality was definitely beyond or not the expectation of Marxism founders, the practice is logically necessary result of the unavoidable historical limitation and theory mistake of Marxism. In their early years, both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels held the criterion of the universal human value such as freedom, democracy, equality and fraternity. However, decided or required by the spacetime concrete circumstance, they had to concretize the ideal of ‘human liberation’ into the aim of ‘the liberation of proletariat’. According to such the three principles: social existence decides social consciousness, there is no common human nature in a society in which people belong to the different classes, and productive forces is the final motive power and cause of social development, historical materialism demonstrates the supreme position of the value of working classes. These arguments are not persuasive in theory. Marxism itself has to take the universal human value as moral criterion against capitalism. Historical materialism has the problem of inherent reductionism in its epistemic methodology. Also, Marxism commits the obvious simple mistake to negate generality with specialty in expounding no common human nature existing in a class society. And The Marxism founders were rational arrogance when building their theory system. These are epistemology and psychology factors to form the prejudiced value standpoint. This reflection on the mistake of Marxist value standpoint expects to reach such a common consensus: to accept consciously and further improve and perfect the universal human values that mark the maturity level of today’s human spirit as human’s qualification.
48. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jung Soon Park Rawls’ Avowed Error in Rational Contractarianism
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Over twenty years after the publication of A Theory of Justice (1971), Rawls avowed that it was an error in Theory to describe a theory of justice as part of the theory of rational choice. This paper elucidates the reasons why Rawls had to make such an avowal of the error in connection with his contractarian rational deduction project of morality, i.e., rational contractarianism. Two major issues are involved here. They are about the construction of the original position and the maximin derivation of the two principles of justice. Because of the moral irrelevancy of rationality in Hobbes’ model, Rawls tries to construct a fair original position. Hence Rawls’ rational contractarianism turns out rationality cum fairness model. However, this model of Rawls’ commits the circularity of moral assumptionsprior to rationality, which might be rationally arbitrary. Furthermore, because of its highly conservative psychological attitude of risk-aversion, Rawls cannot show the superior rationality in the maximin strategic derivation of the two principles of justice over the other strategies. These are the reasons why Rawls had to admit the error. After the avowal of the error, Rawls shifted to Kantian conception of free and equal moral persons for the justificatory device of his theory of justice. Several polemical issues around the Kantian conception are discussed and adjudicated.
49. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Lorenzo Magnani Knowledge as Duty: Technological Artifacts as Moral Carriers and Mediators
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This paper aims at presenting a concise treatment of some key themes of my recent book Morality in a technological world. Knowledge as duty (Cambridge: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007). In recent times, non-human beings, objects, and structures – for example computational tools and devices - haveacquired new moral worth and intrinsic values. Kantian tradition in ethics teaches that human beings do not have to be treated solely as “means”, or as “things”, that is in a merely instrumental way, but also have to be treated as “ends”'. I contend that human beings can be treated as “things” in the sense that they have to be “respected” as things are sometimes. To the aim of reconfiguring human dignity in our technological world I introduce the concept of moral mediator.
50. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Vasil Gluchman Human Dignity and its Non-Utilitarian Consequentialist Aspects
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According to author, value of human dignity has its place in his ethics of social consequences which is a form of non-utilitarian consequentialism. This is so because it is compatible with the value of positive consequences that creates one of the crucial criteria in ethics of social consequences. There exist two aspects of human dignity in this ethical theory. The first is related to the value of life that is worthy of esteem and respect, which brings positive consequences (moral biocentrism), second aspect is related to the fact that human dignity is a function of the positive consequences of our action and behavior prevailing over the negative consequences of our action and behavior. This creates a basis for assigning moral agents with an additional, qualitative value of human dignity. In caseof human beings without developed consciousness and who are only potential moral agents, the first aspect of human dignity is dominant in our judgments about them. In the judgments concerning moral agents the second aspect of human dignity dominates.