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101. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1

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102. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Phillip Cole

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This paper examines toleration at two levels. At the first level, liberal individualism is concerned that the individual must be as free as possible to pursue their own goals and lifestyles. At the second level, liberal political theory is concerned with the value of liberal political culture and institutions and how to maintain and protect them. I argue that we can learn a great deal about the exercise of toleration and respect at the level of the liberal polity by examining them at the level of the liberal individual. Both tolerance and intolerance at the level of the polity must be principled. Principled tolerance and intolerance have the following features. First, the judgment whether to tolerate a particular belief or practice must be based on the value of toleration itself, not pragmatic political requirements. Second, it should be an issue of setting aside moral principles and convictions rather than dislikes, prejudices or fears. Third, it should respect the distinction between the public and the private, and should only recognise an issue as one of toleration if there is a public impact at stake.
103. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Nenad Miscevic

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What is the role of toleration in the present-day crisis, marked by the inflow of refugees and increase in populism? The seriousness of the crises demands efforts of active toleration, acceptance, and integration of refugees and the like. Active toleration brings with itself a series of very demanding duties, divided into immediate ones involving immediate Samaritan aid to people at our doors and the long-term ones involving their acculturation and possibilities of decent life for them. A cosmopolitan attitude can contribute a lot. In the context of a refugee crisis, cosmopolitanism is not disappearing but showing its non-traditional, more Samaritan face turned not to distant strangers, as the classical one, but towards strangers at our doors.We have conjectured that this work of active toleration can diminish the need for the passive one: the well-integrated immigrant is no longer seen as a strange, exotic person with an incomprehensible and unacceptable attitude, but as one of us so that her attitudes become less irritating and provocative. The social-psychological approach that sees integration as involving both the preservation of central aspects of the original identity and the copy-pasting of the new one over it offers an interesting rationale for the conjecture: once integrated, the former newcomer is perceived as one of ‘us’ and her views stop being exotic, incomprehensible and a priori unacceptable. Given the amount of need for toleration, and difficulties and paradoxes connected with its passive variety, the conjecture, if true, might be a piece of good news.Finally, we have briefly touched the question of deeper causes of the crisis. Once one turns to this question, the traditional cosmopolitan issues come back to the forefront: the deep poverty and unjust distribution on the one hand, and conflicts and wars on the other. Cosmopolitans have a duty to face these issues, and this is where active global toleration leads in our times.
104. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Francesco Trupia

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This paper deals with the principle of tolerance in our contemporary society in the attempt to highlight limits and paradoxes in the various aspects of minority issues. From this point of view, the first part of the paper discusses Kymlicka’s contribution to multiculturalism with regard to national minorities and immigrant communities, while the second part confronts his Theory of Minority Rights with Antonio Gramsci’s theory of hegemony and circle of humanity. Therefore, this paper aims at shifting the discourse over tolerance-related minority issues from a top-down approach toward an analysis of how tolerance is allowed to be performed. Thus, Gramsci’s philosophy of praxis is employed to disentangle moral and cultural set of values and norms within which both principle of tolerance and performativity of toleration are established and, in parallel, to reflect on reasons why others are not allowed to be performed.
105. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Plamen Makariev

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The limits of tolerance are discussed in this article with regard to the status of religious, ethnic, and national minorities in liberal-democratic societies. The question that the author is trying to answer is this: how can minority policies be designed in such a way that they provide the due conditions for the reproduction of minority identities over time which, at the same time, do not compromise national integrity. The line of demarcation between these two kinds of policy would also be the limit of tolerance, concerning the role of these identities in society. In the first part of the article a critical analysis is made of the policy of cultural neutrality of the state, based on the differentiation between the approaches to minority issues in the public and in the private life of the citizens. In the second part an alternative possible solution is presented―to draw the limits of tolerance by means of the legitimization of minority policies via public communication which is protected from manipulations by means of the methodology of public deliberation.
106. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Aderonke Ajiboro

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The responsibility for the wellbeing of people in a community is a germane question in socio-political discourse. I think this is because the aggregation of people in a community does not amount to the aggregation of the same socio-political interest for each and everyone in the community. The mode of organization that a society follows therefore has an impact on how citizens of a particular State attain their wellbeing or the good life. This paper engages the thought that tolerance is an inevitable part of the society, even in a perfectionist state.
107. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Mohammad Hussein Ganji

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The deepening and development of epistemological issues on the one hand, and the unpleasant historical experience on the other hand, made modern humanity after the Renaissance gradually became tolerant and recognized "the Other." The epistemological basis for tolerance is the obscurity and complexity of truth and difference in the understanding of human beings. Its moral basis is not to see oneself as above others and to endure the intricacies of practicing morality. Tolerance is rational for two reasons: one is the epistemological basis that hinders the dogma of possessing absolute truth, self-knowledge, and repudiating others; the other is the advantages of tolerance for collective living. This article seeks to show that Rumi, while paying attention to the moral and epistemological principles of tolerance, goes beyond the rational tolerance of calculating profits, losses, and trading. According to his mystical view, his tolerance is a “loving tolerance,” a tolerance which is based solely on love and compassion towards human beings, rather than being based on calculations of profit and loss, with no expectation for reward.


108. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Petar Radoev Dimkov

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Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky is one of the best Russian novelists. It is also known that he had been suffering from epilepsy―one can find many descriptions of this particular condition in Dostoevsky’s novels. These writings are most probably based on his personal experience. There are numerous neurological hypotheses about the type of epilepsy with which Dostoevsky suffered, the most notorious feature of his type of epilepsy being the so-called “ecstatic aura.” In fact, the type of epilepsy Dostoevsky experienced is often termed “Dostoevsky’s epilepsy with ecstatic aura.” In the current article, I offer a review of the literature on Dostoevsky’s epilepsy. Subsequently, the notorious feature “ecstatic aura” is compared with mystical experience, and a conclusion is reached: the two states are in fact identical in the sense that mystical experience can occur during ecstatic aura. A neuroscientific explanation of the experience is presented as well. Finally, a philosophical analysis is performed.
109. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Georgi Dzupanov, Drozdstoy Stoyanov

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book reviews

110. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 11 > Issue: 1
Alieva Cholpon

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111. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Franz Riffert

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Alfred North Whitehead, although probably known best for his collaborative work with Bertrand Russell on the Principia Mathematica, also developed an original theory of learning and instruction which has much to offer for our times. His theory will be discussed in this paper. In order to do so, two criteria are first developed which in their combination give rise to five categories: radical behaviorism, cognitivism, and radical constructivism, with the intermediary categories of moderate behaviorism and moderate constructivism. A great number of educational researchers are ascribed to one of these five categories. After discussing the shortcomings of the three major philosophical proponents of these three major educational approaches (Hume, Kant, and Berkeley), the basic assumptions of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism are presented, and his assumptions concerning learning and teaching are discussed in view of it. Finally, it is shown that Whitehead’s organismic philosophy is able to offer a frame for integrating Behaviorism, Cognitivism, and Constructivism, thereby solving a long standing scandal of education.
112. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Marina Bakalova

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Whitehead believed that education must give us ideas that are usable in our actual lives. This line of thought is naturally provoked by the significant abundance of inert ideas that people pile up though education. The main reason for that, I claim, is the wrong focus of traditional education. It aims at producing individuals that would deliver high results on exams and tests. I take Whitehead’s claim the education must put emphasis on usable ideas as my starting point. I give a specific interpretation of useable ideas as abilities or functions. This provides a ground for connecting Whiteheadian thought to an already existing educational platform, offered by Nel Noddings. Noddings develops a cognitive theory of education which places cognitive structures (I assume a robust analogy between structures, functions, and abilities) in the center of educational concern. At the end of the paper, I estimate some consequences from adopting the terminology of functions for connecting between human and machine learning.
113. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Rosen Lutskanov

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The paper explores the intricate interplay of two parallel developments: on the one hand, the Socratic turn in epistemology with its shifting focus on information retrieval, evidence-based reasoning, and the cognitive relevance of questions; and the advance of dynamic epistemic logic with its accent on knowledge-acquisition. Both are relevant for any realistic model of knowledge which pays due attention to learning. It is argued that the formal models are still wanting in some key respects, but the development of alternative and mutually complementing logical systems marks a promising trend for re-establishing the close links between epistemology and epistemic logic.
114. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Lino Bianco

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An undiscovered chapter in the history of architecture comes from the ex-Soviet Republic of Georgia. Poetics of Architecture is the name given to the studioworkshop at the Georgian Technical University set up by the Georgian architect Shota Bostanashvili (1948–2013). From 1990 until his death he delivered insightful, playful and rather provocative lectures on architecture at this university. He preferred to call his architectural philosophy, critical discourse on architecture. Themes ranged from poetics to metapoetics of architecture. His philosophy of architecture is illustrated by some of his designs and executed projects which demonstrate a drift from existentialism to the philosophy of play. This study includes reference to his last building, a project whose demolition Bostanashvili witnessed before passing away. Based on the concept of the return of the sacred, this edifice was a sort of counter movement to technogenic architecture.
115. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Radu Uszkai

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The purpose of the present study is that of examining what I call Robert Nozick’s “evolutionist turn” in ethics. More specifically, my aim is to provide an answer to the following question: what type of ethical theory does Robert Nozick sketch in his last book, Invariances? My first objective will be that of delineating the philosophical framework which will accommodate my future discussion, highlighting the distinction between the metaphysical and scientific approaches to ethics as proposed by Ken Binmore, but also Emanuel Socaciu's taxonomy of ethical theories, which stems from the particular way in which moral philosophers tackle the nature of ethical norms and moral motivation. I then set forth to show that, in the philosophical framework previously described, Robert Nozick's approach from Anarchy, State, and Utopia should be seen as a metaphysical one. The last and most important part of my study aims to show how Nozick's “evolutionist turn” took place and developed, from his perspective on rationality in The Nature of Rationality, to his ethical theory advanced in Invariances.
116. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Ramona Ardelean

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Processuality as refusal to “freeze,” “eternize,” and fragment reality is an attempt to deconstruct the I’s main mechanism, which is, as it was named in psychoanalysis, the compulsion of repetition. Through this deceit and illusion fabrication mechanism, the knowing I tries to “freeze”, to “fixate” and to fragment reality, through “catching” it in different images, formulae, dogmas, theories, ideologies, symbols and systems which become just as many “icons” or graven images of reality. This attempt of deconstruction is made from the perspective of a philosophy/vision of process, quite sporadic in the Western space, bringing arguments from the perspective of Henri Bergson and Emil Cioran’s intuitionist philosophy, as well as from that of the new scientific paradigm of quantum mechanics. All these philosophies could be seen as philosophies of process, demanding as it were an understanding of reality in terms of process, and not of result. This understanding of process takes place with the help of intuition, the only one which can grasp, beyond the static, rigid and artificial concepts or categories of the intellect, the movement, “verb” or interior pulsation of things within the framework of an integration process which reveals the unity, non-separability, intercorrelation and mutual interconnectivity of things.
117. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Hristo Ivanov Valchev

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In the present inquiry I explore the concept of conceptual analysis, looking for ways for it to be improved, and I come to the following conclusions. Conceptual analysis as ordinarily understood in analytic philosophy is a method which consists in drawing a conclusion about what the definition of a predicate is on the basis of an armchair investigation into whether the predicate is semantically applicable in different possible cases; but, the concept of conceptual analysis can be improved by making two changes to it: 1) the investigation into whether the predicate is semantically applicable in different possible cases is not to serve as a basis for a conclusion about what the definition of the predicate is, but as a basis for a conclusion about whether this-and-this is an only necessary, only sufficient, both necessary and sufficient, or neither necessary nor sufficient condition for the predicate’s semantic application; 2) the investigation into whether the predicate is semantically applicable in different possible cases is done not only from the armchair, but also empirically.


118. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2

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119. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Richard Robson

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120. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 10 > Issue: 2
Slobodan Divjak

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In the first part of this text, the author exposes the main features of the liberal or civic state, because both communitarians and multiculturalists tend to criticize that type of state. Their critique of the liberal state and the liberal self as an unencumbered self is “culturalist” by its character. However, it is an expression of conceptual confusion, i.e. of their incomprehension of an essential difference between two conceptual levels: one that belongs to the purely normative rights-justifying perspective and the other that refers to the ontological perspective. Consequently, both of them reject the central liberal thesis according to which the right is prior to the good.The author agrees with an assessment of Richard Robson that multiculturalism is only a form of communitarianism. Contrary to communitarians and multiculturalists, he additionally argues that collective rights are incompatible with the civic state in its pure form because there are structural differences between civic and specific minority rights.Further, the author attempts to show that communitarianism and multiculturalism are forms of postmodernism. Namely, brought to their ultimate logical consequences, the mentioned orientations can be connected to the postmodern notion of radical, irreducible difference.In the conclusive part of the text, he summarizes the common points of communitarianism and multiculturalism and emphasizes the importance of these contemporary theoretical tendencies.