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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.
51. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Mao-tang Dai “死”的三重哲学解读: 从苏格拉底之死说起 ―读《柏拉图全集》“申辩篇”、“ 斐多篇”有感
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The paper has seriously explored the triple meanings of death in western philosophy by taking the instance of Socrates’ death. Comparing to God, the westernphilosophy emphasizes that death is necessary. Comparing to the materials, the western philosophy emphasizes that death is happy. Comparing to the man, the western philosophy emphasizes that death is independent.
52. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Ryan Fanselow A Kantian Solution to Thompson’s Puzzle about Justice
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In a recent paper, Michael Thompson (2006) argues that there is a problem about justice that holds for Aristotlean, Humean, and Kantian views of ethics. To see his problem, consider the normative judgment that “X wronged Y by killing her.” Thompson thinks that Aristotelian, Humean, and Kantian views can show why Xdid something wrong by killing Y but they cannot show that X wronged Y, at least not without taking on intolerable moral, metaphysical, or epistemological commitments. I argue that the Kantian can solve this problem without taking on any intolerable commitments, given the way that duties are derived from thecategorical imperative.
53. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sorin-Tudor Maxim, Elena Maxim La Critique de la tolérance
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A critical approach on tolerance can be done as an endeavor to asset its rational arguments brought in its support or/and as a justification of its moral value within the process of human being completion. The commitment to such critical task is more necessary as it is unyieldingness summon in contemporary debates in political religious and, especially moral contexts, it has been equally valorized and contested. The most remarkable analyses of this rather summary rubric for many and often contradictory connotations, then concept, underline the idea that a limit-matter is at stake: can be tolerated the intolerable? Because these boundaries are hard to be distinguished the critical position intellectually reasonable seems to be that of examining if is not more socially profitable and morally justifiable to be tolerant rather than intolerant.Developing possible arguments for and against the universal value of tolerance, critical discourse imposes a very meaningful statement: to uphold our humanity, even the demand for our right to intolerance must be done within the framework and with the means of tolerance.
54. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
C. L. Sheng, Harrison F.H. Lee On G. E. Moore’s View of Hedonistic Utilitarianism
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At Moore’s time, the main-stream ethical theory is the doctrine that pleasure alone is good as an end as held by the hedonistic utilitarianism. Moore, however, asserts that good, not composed of any parts, is a simple notion and indefinable, and naturalistic ethical theories, in particular hedonistic utilitarianism, interpret intrinsic good as a property of a single natural object---pleasure, which is also the sole end of life, thus violates naturalistic fallacy. Moore seems to believe that there exist things other than pleasure that are also intrinsically good and has searched for them. But Moore has not clearly stated what these things are, nor has he given any justification for why they are intrinsically good. This paper discusses Moore’s arguments and difficulties of utilitarianism. With the subjectivistic utilitarian theory of value, Unified Utilitarian Theory (UTT) discards the classification of value into intrinsic and instrumental and proves to be exempt of all theexisting difficulties with utilitarianism related to pleasure, including naturalistic fallacy, vagueness of pleasure and sole end of life, double counting, etc.
55. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Guangquan Cheng Can Virtue be Taught? ——the Angle of Epistemology
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The predicament of contemporary moral education lies in the fact that we simply accepted Socrates "virtue is knowledge", and considered that the virtue can be taught as the knowledge, but we neglect that the virtue can only be cultivated in social practices. Some have realized that, but they only concentrated on revivification of the life scene in the class, such as KohlBerg's moral paradox, or class debate, leading the moral education to a debate skill and returning tothe style of Sophist who depended on eloquence. But its value and moral sense were by no means solidified, they also did what one thought was right, and followed the others, making the moral nature lose its foundation. And they got lost in putting this kind of virtue into practice.
56. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Jean-Paul Martinon You Shall Not Kill
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This paper explores the meaning of the ethical command “You Shall Not Kill” subliminally included in the main exhibition of The Kigali Memorial Centre, Rwanda. The Centre was opened on the 10th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in April 2004 and contains a permanent exhibition of the Rwandan genocide and an exhibition of other genocides around the world. In order to achieve this aim, this paper takes as a point of departure, Emmanuel Levinas’s interpretation of the 6th Commandment. This well-known interpretation is then read through the prism of Jacques Derrida’s critique of Levinas’s early work in Violence and Metaphysics. The aim of this reading is to understand the subliminal message of the Memorial Centre as enounced not by the victimized Tutsi curators or by the Rwandan people in general, but by human beings unavoidable need to reach out towards the other, not in an effort for dialogue (forthat is always a form of violence), but in an effort to keep the future open, an opening without fulfillment.
57. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Sibel Oktar Is Moore a Metaphysical Ethicist?
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“Naturalistic fallacy” is generally associated with Moore’s charge against the naturalists. But for Moore, metaphysical ethics, including those of Kant is as guilty as naturalistic ethics in committing the naturalistic fallacy. Here, the fallacy is identifying “good” with anything metaphysical. Moore appreciates that ‘metaphysical’ propositions provide us with a chance to talk about objects that are not natural. And he thinks that metaphysical ethicists’ do not recognise that these objects do not exist at all, rather they think if the object in question does not exist in nature and time it must exist somewhere else, i.e., in a supersensible reality. Moore’smain criticism of metaphysical ethics focuses on the belief that an objects existence is an essential requirement for its ‘goodness’. For Moore, there are non‐natural objects, by definition they do not belong to nature, they do not exist in nature, they are not sensible. Moore’s only difference from the metaphysical ethicists seems to be in saying that these non-natural objects are not supersensible and in fact they do not exist. In this paper I will investigate such similarities and differences between Moore and metaphysical ethicists and where Moore really stands in the metaphysical-naturalistic spectrum. I will concentrate on Kantian ethics, for Moore thinks that Kantian ethics is an exemplar of metaphysical ethics, and Kant has committed naturalistic fallacy. I will try to show that Moore’s argument on Kant committing naturalistic fallacy is gratuitous. I will argue that Moore’s notion of “good” as a non-natural object that does not exist in time ishard to conceive without assuming a ‘transcendental object’ and the existence of a supersensible reality, as Kant does. And I suggest that Moore is as guilty as Kant in stepping into the supersensible reality.
58. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Dmitry Ivanov Wittgensteinean Philosophy as Foundation of Moral Phenomenology
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To explain evaluation we need to take into account the perspective of an evaluator, we need to turn to phenomenological approach in moral theory. This is the approach proposed by John McDowell. According to him, we need to approach to the question ‘How to live right?’ via the concept of a virtuous person. To lendsupport to his views McDowell employs Wittgensteinean philosophy that could be a good basis for establishing moral phenomenology as a metaethical approach to moral phenomena. First of all, introducing the notion of language-game we can provide a metaethical explanation of moral terms referring to roles they play in certain language-games. From this point of view there is no difference between moral terms and other terms. But understanding a language-game not just as a model of a certain kind of behavior formed by external observer, but as a form of life we can capture moral phenomena form within. The language-game considered as the form of life allows us to discern certain phenomena as moral ones. That is why trying to answer the question about right livingfrom the virtuous person perspective we should be involved in a language game that carves moral phenomena from the brute stuff of the world and forms a certain kind of sensitivity in us to these properties. Wittgensteinean philosophy also allows us to answer the question: how can mere knowledge of situation make us behave? Following Wittgensteinean ideas, we can present moral knowledge as something uncodifiable, which is exhibited in our everyday life, in our way of living and ‘going on doing the same thing’. It is impossible to understand this knowledge from the external point of view. To see how this knowledge can motivate someone, we need to capture the way the person appreciates a particular situation.
59. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Fernanda Barbosa dos Santos Hermeneutics: The Reconstruction of Dogmatism
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The paper reflects on the true meant of the happiness, or, specifically, on the hermeneutic value for happiness in the Aristotelian vision, being identified it as an activity of the soul in accord with the virtue. For a person without knowledge the happiness is an obvious thing as the pleasure or the wealth, different of the conception given to the term for a wise who will establish for being the activity of the soul. In the integrations of the activities, the ends can move, however the last end will be the happiness, gotten for the virtuous man - imperative logical. In such a way, to live happy is to make action/activities and, this is a conquest throughout the time, depending on the maturity for each person. A virtuous activity of the soul is required, being the too much goods instruments for itsaccomplishment. The “telos” of all the thought if assume as rational in the present time. But as to understand ahead of a process of reconstruction of the ethical values in a reality with so great diversity of certainties concerning what it is happiness? The subject is extremely involving, here it is that it searchs through new rules of the human behavior to establish a parameter on the life form, on what is to be happy.
60. Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 10
Yi Guo Human Nature, Mind and Virtue
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The key issue of traditional theories of human nature in China is De or virtue, Yu or desire and their correlation. It leads to two developing currents: one is the old tradition since Xia, Shang and Zhou, the Three Dynasties which take desire as nature, another is the new tradition later Confucius initiated which take virtue as nature. So the understanding of human nature in early China experienced a process from desire to virtue, or from the instinct of human to the essence of human. Prior to Confucius, nature is desire and instinct. In that time, the theories of human nature has two themes, namely to manage nature by virtue and to explain nature by Qi. Since Lao Zi, virtue was taken as the inner essence of human. Later Confucius further to take virtue as nature directly, so completes the fundamental transformation of traditional theory of human nature. This is the source of the idea nature of reason and the origin of the theory nature is good. Zisi advocated “what Heaven has conferred is called the nature” to promote the new tradition, and named desire as “the inner”. The new excavated bamboo book Xing Zi Ming Chu not only developed the idea of “the inner” of Zisi, but also further to restore desire as nature, and constructed a unique system of outer moral apriorism for it. Shortly afterward, Mencius turns this trend and advocates none but the four beginnings is nature, desire only is impartment, therefore he develops the new tradition to extremes. Even though, before the period between Tang and Song dynasties, the mainstream of the theory of human nature in China was the old tradition, and that the new tradition merely like a flash in the pan. In fact, the dualism of human nature in Song and Ming dynasties carried on the old tradition, and at the same time, succeeded the new tradition, and put them into a unified thought system.