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61. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
David Weberman

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We reconstruct past events, whether in history or in everyday life, in the form of narratives. Yet narratives describing one and the same set of events can and do differ. What is the relation between these different narratives? Must they necessarily conflict? When are they compatible and when not? If we can tell stories differently without getting the facts wrong, what constraints can there be for judging the adequacy of competing narratives?
62. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Joseph Ulatowski

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There are different approaches to the narrative self. I limit myself to one approach that argues narratives have an important role to play in our lives without it being true that a narrative constitutes and creates the self. My own position is broadly sympathetic with that view, but my interest lies with the question of whether there is truth in the claim that to create one’s self-narrative is to create oneself. I argue that a self-narrative may be multiply realised by the inner self—impressions and emotions—and the outer self—roles in work and life. I take an optimistic attitude to the idea that narrative provides a metaphor that may stimulate insight into the nature of self if we accept a plurality of narrative selves. This paper mines a vein of research on narratives for insights into selves without being bewitched into accepting implausible conclusions.
63. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Hari Narayanan V

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The paper seeks to argue that different ways in which the self is understood, even if radically distinct from one another, are cases of different narratives. This is done by appealing to conceptual metaphor theory. The paper begins by briefly explaining the difference between the minimal and narrative self and then argues that even radically different ways of understanding the self are cases of different narratives arising out of a metaphorical understanding of abstract concepts.
64. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Stefan Petkov

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This paper defends the view that narratives that bring understanding of the past need not be exhaustively analyzable as explanatory inferences, nor as causal narratives. Instead of treating historical narrative as explanations, I argue that understanding of history can be analyzed by the general epistemic criteria of understanding. I explore one such criterion, which is of chief importance for good historical narratives: potential inferential power. As a corollary, I dispute one of the distinctive features of narratives described by some philosophers: the non-aggregativity of narrative histories. Instead, I propose that historical narratives modestly aggregate and this aggregation depends on the success of the colligatory concepts they offer.
65. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Aaron J. Walayat

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More than a simple command of a sovereign, law is a form of moral communication, something that helps constitute the way we conceive of ourselves, our community, and our culture. In this essay, I argue that law is a form of “world projection,” a way for human communities to use law as an aesthetic way to understand themselves. Within this legal world are narratives that present an idealized reflection of our world. Law has two functions, a reflective function, in which it mirrors the actual world and a reflexive function, in which it corrects undesirable aspects of the actual world. It is through these functions that law describes the narratives within legal relationships in order to say something real and important about those corresponding relationships in the actual world.
66. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Paola Hernández-Chávez, Oscar Lozano-Carrillo

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Narratives play an important role in the conceptualizations and classifications of mental disorders and cognitive dysfunctions. They recur in psychiatry, psychology, cognitive sciences, impairments' therapeutics, etc. Despite their relevance, first-person reporting and specialists' recounting of clinical cases have been understated in the literature. This is intriguing since narratives can potentially influence diagnostic statements, procedures, and prescriptions of rehabilitation treatments. They can also account for the extent to which certain disorders are normalized or pathologized within specific cultural contexts. Nonetheless, a narrative/story/description cannot be substituted for the contributions of the brain and behavioral health sciences. In Section I, we summarize three reasons that could explain the deflationary view of narratives in the clinical and neuroscientific literature: a) The brain and behavioral health sciences’ aspiration to emulate successful disciplines centered on pathogen-causal models; b) The bioinspired explanatory patterns; and c) The brain and behavioral health sciences’ neglect of the big picture, i.e., the interaction of components when a cognitive/psychiatric/psychological problem presents. A concomitant core problem is presented in Section II: Psychiatry's out-of-date conception of personality assumes that personality traits are fixed features of a subject’s identity and that identity is a static closed system. In Section III, we challenge this view and urge brain and behavioral health sciences professionals to update their notion of personality and narrative. We conclude by offering some criteria that distinguish genuine narratives from story-like accounts (i.e., genuine narratives must be consistent, explanatory, coherent, and constant).
67. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Isabella Sarto-Jackson

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The role of narratives in clinical practice has long been underappreciated. This disregard is largely due to an overemphasis on reductionist interpretations of disease causes based on the primacy of the medical model of disease. This way of thinking has led to decontextualizing symptoms of disorders from patients’ lives. More recently, however, healthcare professionals have turned towards a biopsychosocial model that reintroduces sociocultural and psychosocial aspects into clinical diagnosis and treatment. To this end, narrative approaches have been increasingly explored as alternative diagnostic and therapeutic tools. Central to the narrative approach is the avoidance of pathologizing language that usually focuses on deficiencies. Instead, patients’ narratives are co-constructed and co-created together with the clinician or therapist to transform them into empowering stories about healing. To make narratives accessible and transformable for the patient, psychoeducational methods can be used to translate scientific and medical knowledge about the disease into stories described in everyday language that resonate with the patient’s own life stories. Consequently, psychoeducational narratives enhance the patient’s competence in coping with a physical or mental illness and re-contextualizing symptoms, and prompt an increased compliance with therapies.
68. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Nina A. Atanasova

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In this paper, I discuss the roles narratives play in the diagnostics, treatment, and recovery of chronic pain patients. I show that the successes of this narrative approach to the treatment of chronic pain support the biopsychosocial model of disease. The central example of narrative interventions discussed in the paper is pain neuroscience education. This is an intervention which aims at helping chronic pain patients reconceptualize their pain experiences so as to align them with neuroscientific knowledge of pain. Multiple clinical trials have established the success of these interventions in pain reduction. This shows that neuroscience pain education is in fact an evidence-based approach. I conclude that narrative and evidence-based medicine are compatible.
69. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Lilia Gurova

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When Bradley Lewis announced in 2014 that psychiatry needed to make a "narrative turn", he backed up his appeal as follows: (1) the different explanatory models of mental disorders that are currently competing in psychiatry tell us different stories about mental health; (2) none of these stories has the privilege of being the only true one, and its alternatives the wrong ones; (3) the choice of a model in each case should be made in dialogue with the patient in order to ensure that the model will be chosen that best meets the patient’s goals and desires and, accordingly, would best support the process of recovery. The latter suggestion, however, is not easy to follow when the patients’ subjective goals and desires diverge from the clinical goal of returning the patients to a normal way of life, as is the case with the so-called factitious disorders. The problem is worsened by the theory-ladenness of the interpretations of patients’ first-person narratives. This paper argues against a common assumption that biases our understanding of abnormal behavior, in particular the behavior of those who feign illness. The assumption in question is the following: that such behavior satisfies certain – possibly unknown – psychological needs.


70. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Slobodan Divjak

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book reviews

71. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Kamen Lozev

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72. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 13 > Issue: 1
Vesselin Petrov

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73. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Fabrice Pataut

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Ontological parsimony requires that if we can dispense with A when best explaining B, or when deducing a nominalistically statable conclusion B from nominalistically statable premises, we must indeed dispense with A. When A is a mathematical theory and it has been established that its conservativeness undermines the platonistic force of mathematical derivations (Field), or that a nonnumerical formulation of some explanans may be obtained so that the platonistic force of the best numerical-based account of the explanandum is also undermined (Rizza), the parsimony principle has been respected.Since both derivations resorting to conservative mathematics and nonnumerical best explanations also require abstract objects, concepts and principles, ontological parsimony must also be required of nominalistic accounts. One then might of course complain that such accounts turn out to be as metaphysically loaded as their platonistic counterparts. However, it might prove more fruitful to leave this particular worry to one side, to free oneself, as it were, from parsimony thus construed and to look at other important aspects of the defeating or undermining strategies that have been lavished on the disposal of platonism.Two aspects are worthy of our attention: epistemic cost and debunking arguments. Our knowledge that good mathematics is conservative is established at a cost, and so is our knowledge that nominalistic proofs play a theoretical role in best explanations. I will suggest that the knowledge one must acquire to show that nominalistic deductions and explanations do play their respective theoretical role involves some question-begging assumptions regarding the nature of proofs. As for debunking, even if the face value content of either conservative or platonistic mathematical claims didn’t figure in our explanation of why we hold the mathematical beliefs that we do, we could still be justified in holding them so that the distinction between nominalistic deductions and explanations and platonistic ones turns out to be invidious with respect to the relevant propositional attitude, i.e., with respect to belief.
74. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Adelin-Costin Dumitru

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When it comes to specifying the moral duties we bear towards future generations, most political philosophers position themselves on what could be regarded as a safe ground. A variant of the Lockean proviso is commonplace in the literature on intergenerational justice, taking the form of an obligation to bestow upon future people a minimum of goods necessary for reaching a certain threshold of well-being (Meyer, 2017). Furthermore, even this minimum is often frowned upon, given the non-identity problem and the challenges this presents to the topic of justice between generations. Additional issues are raised at the level of non-ideal theory, the most significant being the problem of non-compliance (Gosseries and Meyer, 2009).In this paper I intend to probe the limits of “practical political possibility” (Rawls 1999), by inquiring whether embracing the sufficiency view (Frankfurt, 1987; Crisp, 2003; Benbaji, 2005) as a distributive pattern and capabilities as a metric can lead to more burdensome obligations for present generations. More specifically, I try to show that we have a duty to invest in research that aims at prolonging the lifespan of humans (the idea can already be found in the sufficientarian literature, for instance in Farrelly, 2007). Moreover, given the Earth’s limited resources, we ought to encourage the terraforming of other planets in order to make them inhabitable for (future) people.I argue that these two seemingly far-fetched projects are in fact worthwhile goals to pursue on the one hand, and moral obligations on the other hand. Nonetheless, they are not the only ones we ought to take on; for instance, we must simultaneously pursue them and try to improve the prospects of those who fall under a sufficiency threshold here and now. That is, specifying these (prima facie) duties towards future generations is connected with stronger obligations towards the current generation.Towards the end of the paper I engage in a discussion regarding the role of the feasibility constraint in a theory of justice, as rationales pertaining to feasibility are perhaps going to be the most recurrent criticisms raised against my proposal. To that end, I defend limitarian policies, which aim at setting an upper limit to how much money individuals are allowed to possess (Robeyns, 2017; Volacu and Dumitru, 2019).
75. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Stefan Petkov

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This paper discusses the polemical question of whether explanations that produce understanding must be true. It argues positively for the role of truth in reaching explanatory understanding, by presenting three lines of criticism of alternative accounts. The first is that by rejecting truth as a criterion for evaluating explanations, any non-factual account thereby effectively cuts ties with the central theories of explanations, which provide at least partial criteria for explanatory understanding. The second line of criticism is that some of the most well-known non-factual accounts implicitly operate over a notion of partial-truth, and as such, they do not provide a valid alternative. The final critical argument is that, in the place of truth evaluations, these accounts often offer a multiplicity of other criteria, and by changing a unitary criterion such as truth for a collection of other requirements, these non-factive theories introduce a level of ad hoc-ness, which diminishes their normative value.
76. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Rovshan Sabir Hajiyev

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The article explores yet another view of the history of mankind, and examines global problems related to historical processes, which are still far from receiving an unequivocal explanation. As an alternative to Marxism and other theories of social development that shed light on key historical events and global processes, I propose an account based on the hypothesis of the age periodization of the intellectual evolution of mankind. The main provisions of the hypothesis are set out in the content of the article. The methodological basis of the hypothesis is a comparative analysis of ontogenesis and phylogenesis. In other words, on the basis of known laws of intellectual development in ontogeny, I examine historical processes occurring in phylogeny, paying special attention to the substantiation of the main provisions of the hypothesis of the age periodization of the intellectual evolution of mankind.
77. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Silviya Serafimova

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In this paper, one of my primary objectives is to analyze why adopting particular machine-learning techniques and using a moral AI as an adviser is an insufficient condition for eradicating racist human attitudes. By outlining some difficulties in justifying what artificial “explicit ethical agents” in Moor’s sense should look like, I explore why, even if the development of machine-learning techniques can be accepted in epistemic terms, it does not follow that the techniques in question will have a positive impact in changing immoral human behavior.
78. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Alexander M. Osipov

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The article considers the metaphors of “paper wave,” “paper pressing” and “paper genocide” as reflecting the social realities of the Russian education system, which are nonetheless poorly understood in sociolinguistics and mostly tabooed within respectable Russian academia and top-management. The relevancy and applicability of these metaphors are substantiated as their criteria, social contexts, and basic connotations are specified. “Paper genocide” is analyzed in journalistic and academic contexts as a term that reproduces the most significant aspects of genocide but with a social and non-criminal meaning. “Paper genocide” helps draw attention to the most acute social and managerial problem, a deadlock within the contemporary Russian education system.
79. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Oana Șerban

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The main aim of this paper is to examine the tangible forms of cultural heritage represented by European hospital buildings from states across the Black Sea that are still functional or have been closed, and that are subjected, due to the lack of sustainable financial means for conservation and restoration, to degradation, abandonment, and destruction. For the purpose of this analysis, I will tackle both elements of the operational plan of hospital buildings that have been evaluated and registered as national monuments, from the perspective of their clinical functionality, and the elements of architecture and aesthetic forms behind such structures that embrace medical canons and particularities. Therefore, hospitals will be treated as entities of tangible cultural heritage that develop, through their complementary medical and cultural history, forms of intangible cultural heritage.This wide range of buildings can be reduced to two operational categories: hospital buildings designed from the beginning to fulfil a clinical functionality, and cultural buildings – from ecumenical establishments, castles, or villas, such as hermitages and churches, to military structures, such as garrisons – which have been adapted for historical, social, or political reasons to clinical conversion. I will analyse not only the national constraints, prejudgments, and values that contributed to a certain medical and cultural imaginary of state hospitals as monuments, but also the similar strategies and cultural policies that different states across the Black Sea have adopted in preserving the memory and structure of these buildings. The main question I address is: To what extent is it possible to create a network Black Sea region state hospitals as European cultural monuments, and what advantages might this bring to the attempt to perform a more reflective and inclusive notion of European identity? The current research is designed to be a starting point for the development of transectorial public policies, which could lead to an improvement in standards for quality of life, the infrastructures of medical units, and the preservation of tangible forms of cultural heritage, such as the public state hospitals classified as monuments.
80. Balkan Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 12 > Issue: 2
Gyulnara Gadzhimuradova

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A world in constant motion, in a state of migration turbulence, presents humanity with new challenges and risks. Globalization is a blessing or a tragedy for humanity, occasioning the problem of how to preserve one’s identity, remaining “one’s own among strangers” while, at the same time, not becoming “a stranger among one’s own.” Integration processes in the world today are met with resistance by multidirectional processes that encourage a critical engagement with all spheres of life in modern society in order to counteract forces of depersonalization and the disappearance of one's identity – one's self – as expressed in the preservation of one's ethnic group, culture, religion, and so on. This is especially evident in attempts at preserving identity within Muslim communities in European countries.Given the growing Muslim population in Europe, it has become obvious that “European” and “Islamic” values are opposed in the context of preserving one's own identity, which is increasingly manifested in a religious context. Europe today has become a hostage of its values, which are despised by many of the immigrants who have poured into its borders. These are tolerance, political correctness, multiculturalism, democracy, and freedom of speech, among others, which are perceived as weakness and indecision. Eastern mentality, habits, and traditions are sometimes very different from European ones. The author examines the transformation of Muslim identity and the compatibility of “European” and “Islamic” values. The article also presents the opinions of various researchers on this issue, and provides possible scenarios for the trajectory of events, given continued intercultural contact through immigration and given the stakes and state of this collision of values.