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101. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
William Slaymaker The Green Color Line: African American Environmental Philosophy
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Academic African American philosophy is a specialized sub-discipline of American philosophy as it is taught in institutions of higher education. As a sub-discipline, it has its preferred topics of research which do not include (possibly have excluded) environmental philosophy, a larger sub-discipline and field of study as well as a pedagogical approach practiced by academic philosophers. Environmental philosophy has grown exponentially in size, scope and popularity in the past 25 years. In its poverty of interest and research in environmental philosophy, African American philosophers are not reflective of African American interests and investments in Black cultural concerns relevant to environmental issues. With a few exceptions, African American philosophy has exhibited in its research agendas, ethical positions, and cultural arguments, a general disregard for significant Black ecojustice scholarship, sociopolitical movements and popular, mediated manifestations of Black environmentalism. However, this academic vacuum is collapsing as the next generation of African American graduate philosophy students begin to research, write, and teach environmental philosophy.
102. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Sirajul Islam Siraj Buddhism and Ecological Crisis: Challenge and Promise in Global Perspective
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Buddhist religious teachings are nature and environment based, holistic and pragmatic in approach. Its environmentalists extend loving-kindness and compassion beyond people and animals to include plants and the earth itself. Hence, in Buddhism, both animate and inanimate objects are similarly important because they are reciprocally interlinked and interdependent. Existentially, buddhists affirm that all sentient beings share the fundamental conditions of birth, old age, suffering, and death. Buddha himself decides to share this existential insight into the cause and cessation of suffering which is regarded by the tradition as an act of universal compassion (karuna) and friendliness (maitree). Buddhist environmentalists assert that the mindful awareness of the universality of suffering produces compassionate empathy for all forms of life, particularly for all sentient species. Buddhist environmental movement suggests Buddhism to be an effective force for maintaining environmental poise, the traditional buddhist emphasis on individual moral and spiritual transformation must be adjusted to address more forcefully the structures of oppression, exploitation, and environmental degradation. It recognizes the value of all things/objects, which seems a very vital and necessary component in recognition of ecological articulation for human development. Buddhist ecological outlook is not only a retreat from the world but a place, where all forms of life, human, animal, and plant, live in a cooperative microcosm of a larger ecosystem and as a community, where humans can develop an ecological ethic. Such an ethic highlights the virtues of restraint, simplicity, loving-kindness, compassion, equanimity, patience, wisdom, nonviolence, and generosity. These virtues represent moral ideals for all members of Buddhism which are equally efficacious for all animate and inanimate species of the world. Many other points relevant to the topic will be discussed in the full paper.
103. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Mingming Wan What We Owe to Each Other: On Global Climate Justice
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The key to global climate justice is how to define or distribute greenhouse-gas (sometimes abbreviated GHG) emissions rights in different countries. Three questions are to be answered: First, what does global climate justice distribute? Second, on what principle does it distribute? Third, what is the moral foundation of the principle? The thesis analyzes the peculiarity of GHG emissions permits as a global public resource and its consequent ethical issues. On the ground of egalitarianism, it proves the basic principle of distributing GHG emissions permits required by global climate justice, and the basic ethical ground of global climate justice accepted by international community.
104. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Larisa Tronina Ecological Reality as a World of Senses
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The process of human alienation from the natural world has led to the current crisis of the system “Man-Nature”, expressing a fragmented worldview that is information oriented and pragmatic. To overcome this alienation, people should realize that they exist in a particular reality, which is described as the ecological world. This world has knowledge of the opportunities provided by living creatures. Extracting this information is an active process of direct perception of the environment. Disclosing meanings of nature, man forms an environmentally oriented consciousness which determines its place in the natural existence. Environmental consciousness is an orientation focused on understanding the unity of existence, including the environment and people.
105. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Harun Tepe Philosophical Ecology and Anthropology: Does Ecology Need Philosophical Anthropology?
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Though ecology is mainly regarded as a sub-discipline of biology, today ecological problems are dealt with by different kinds of scientific and philosophical studies. As one of the new sub disciplines of philosophy, philosophical ecology tackles ecological problems from an ethical point of view and puts man’s responsibility for ecological disasters into question. Ecological analyses include not only human beings, but also animals and plants as well as the inanimate components of the environment such as soil, rocks, and water. On the other side, philosophical anthropology is concerned with human being as its object, putting aside other components of nature. Criticizing the so called conventional ethics which takes only human being as valuable, philosophical ecology tries to combine the ecological and anthropological perspectives and shed light on the ecological problems of our age. In this paper, I will try to show that an anthropocentric point of view cannot prevent ecological disasters without recognizing the ecological cycle in which each part can survive only connected with other parts but also that an ecological perspective cannot reach its aim without realizing the central position of human being in nature.
106. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Tipsatree Tipmontree, Pratumtip Thongcharoen Climate Change and Future Generations
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The majority of people acknowledge the change in the world following a law-like reality that has appeared not only in the human life cycle but also in other creations and non-creations, according to their ontological perspective. However, studies have shown that the climate has changed whether people acknowledge it or not, following an epistemic perspective in philosophy that brings to light information of our modern world. Effects from climate change include disasters and other phenomena such as El Nino, La Nina, global warming, and the greenhouse effect. It is clear that both nature and humans are important actors influencing climate change. Increasing populations in many countries, along with the effects of capitalism, are major factors that lead to climatic change. Consequently, scholars have at least two serious concerns: Do we have responsibilities towards future generations? In addition, do future generations have a right to a sustainable environment? This article encourages answers to these questions. A “safety valve” may be an effective way to reach the elusive sustainability in conjunction with the four noble truths of Buddhism and the philosophy of the “sufficiency economy”. Not only older but also younger people need to take the responsibility to work together in order to preserve and protect the environment.
107. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jack L. Weir Monism or Pluralism in Environmental Ethics?
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This paper argues that moral pluralism is the best theory of environmental ethics. Pluralism has been widely used in legal and medical ethics, but not in environmental ethics. Current theories of environmental ethics make two errors: (a) attempting directly to derive non-consequential obligations (duties, rights, respect, and justice) from values, and (b) failing to explain and resolve indecision and disagreement. This paper argues that moral pluralism does not make the two errors. In addition, pluralism is theoretically justified by giving a complete account of the depth, particularity, and diversity of human moral experience, including non-consequential duties to the environment. Pluralism is not arbitrary moral relativism. Rooted in the way the world actually is, moral pluralism is like the sciences in that lower-level generalizations (basic principles) rest on particular facts, events, and cases in the world. Because pluralism’s moral principles are derived from facts about cases, the principles are inductively warranted, confirmed, and revisable. What is needed today is an ethical theory that will empower decision-makers, legitimize tolerance, and peacefully resolve problems, either by producing agreement or by explaining the reasons for the continuing disagreements. Pluralism is that theory.
108. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Xiaona Yao Ch’eng as an Environmental Virtue
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Environmental virtues are the proper disposition or character for human beings to live well with nature. Ch’eng (sincerely, realness, integrity), a classical concept in Chinese philosophy, can be specified as an environmental virtue. Ch’eng is the law of nature and can be regarded as the virtue of nature (cheng zhe tian zhi dao ye). Ch’eng is the requirement for humans to respect and obey nature, is the approach to realize the harmony of human and nature, is the way to be a perfection or integrity person of virtue. Be human of the virtue of ch’eng, one should consummate oneself and nature. That means a person of virtue not only have the virtue of human relationship but also have the virtue of environmental virtue.
109. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Jeanette L. Yasol-Naval On the Ethos of Rice and Aldo Leopold’s Land Ethic and Aesthetics
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This paper presents a narrative on the Ethos of Rice based on the study of the local farming practices in one of the central rice granaries in the Philippines. It tackles the endless debate of the economics of rice production and how it impacts the farm and the farmers’ relation with the land. While it is seen as inevitable and necessary, because rice is the saving grains of the family, their local farming practices and valuation has shown respect to the land that is akin to the land ethic of Leopold. At the same time, the author argues that the aesthetic of the land, which presupposes an ecological conscience and sensitivity to the ‘finer beauty’ of the farm as it becomes the extension of the farmers’ lives, their completeness and fulfillment, may also help facilitate a lasting relationship with land. The appreciation of the its value is therefore a matter of understanding the ecology of the farm and the dynamics of emotions, predilections, valuations, dispositions and the whole breadth of relations that are there. The seasoned farmers of Nueva Ecija have learned this difficult subject of land ethics and aesthetics through their intimate commune with their rice farms, and from there a vision of conservation may be glimpsed.
110. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Xueqin Wu Analysis of the Negotiations of the International Climate Changeand Environmental Justice
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Since the Club of Rome published “Limits to Growth” in 1972, the environmental problems have received the attention of people around the world and have become a global issue. The international community has also organized special meetings to promote the study of environmental issues. One of the most important meetings is the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, held every year since 1972. The most important issue is on how to deal with climate change, which has become an international mainstream issue. From the perspective of environmental justice, the paper is a brief analysis of the negotiations on international climate changes, based on the opportunities of the 2009 Copenhagen Summit, the 2010 Cancun Summit and the 2011 South Africa Bender Climate Summit.
111. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 11
Mira Sultanova Homo Sapiens and His World
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The ancient saying Nosce te ipsum (“Know thyself”), inscribed on the pediment of Apollo’s Temple in Delphi, has been stirring mankind for centuries. Even in the third millennium, who could claim to know themselves or to have understood what human being or his mind is? If human conscious-ness could be explored, the secret of human nature may have the chance to be revealed as well as the human controversial acts. Many philosophers, scien-tists and writers call the human being a genius, a unique creature in the Uni-verse. Indeed, humanity did create a new world, a new civilization on Earth. But philosophers, scientists and writers devote no less attention to the cur-rent environmental and anthropological crises, stating that civilization itself is becoming an increasing threat to people and nature. In this situation, the anthropological issue becomes critical. What the human being is? What are we all? Where did we come from? Where we are going? The great ancient Greek philosopher Socrates would reply, “I know that I know nothing.” In this paper I express the concerns I share especially with two eco-philosophers from the US and Russia, about mankind destroying itself and nature, its own world, for false and unworthy causes.
112. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Yubraj Aryal Spinoza: Freedom in an Ultramoral Sense
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In the Spinozist universe man is free from the moral dogma of good and bad imposed from outside, but with a responsibility to understand the natural laws with which his own body encounters with other bodies in nature, as well as the nature of affections such encounters produce. Freedom here is understood not as acting freely but having ‘adequate ideas’ of how one body in nature encounters other body. For Spinoza, a free man knows how to act according to the nature of laws of his own body. This knowing makes him a free man. By knowing the laws of nature, he acts to maximize his pleasure. Spinozist universe is not free and man’s action is not free. Everything works with the necessity. But in knowing that he is determined in a way he is determined makes man free. It is because this understanding makes him active. And the more one becomes active, the more free man one becomes.
113. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Olga Artemyeva What Morality is About?
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I presuppose that morality meets fundamental needs of human being as such. Its domain is interpersonal relationships. It uses particular values and norms in order to orient a person towards achieving personal perfection and fostering perfect relationships with other people. Moral perfectionism differs from all the other kinds (creative, religious, etc.) in the efforts aimed at attaining moral perfection that are made within the space of human relationships, relevant to them and, ultimately, for their sake. To a large extent these two orientations (towards personal perfection and perfect interpersonal relationships) are mutually dependant — one is a pre-requisite of the other. My aim is to demonstrate that undue emphasis on one of them in moral theory, at the expense of the other, results in irresolvable contradictions in the idea of morality and deformations in moral practice as well.
114. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Ruben Apressyan Towards a Core Understanding of Morality
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The concept of morality proposed herein is an aggregated one – hence it is represented in sequential manner. At individual level, morality is shown up in values, which directs towards the good of others (individuals, groups, society in general, and all of humankind, potentially). The main values are: non-harming, recognition, solidarity, care. These values exist within a culture, and are recorded in texts of various kinds, in the form of abstract preferences or in the form of corresponding demands: cause no harm to others, recognize others, help others, care for others. The very existence of these demands determines the necessity of another type of values – the ones that would reflect an individual’s adherence to these demands. In other words, virtues understood as human qualities that enable an individual to fulfil these demands and reach the ideal of moral excellence, or perfection, expressed in corresponding demands, namely, to be virtuous and perfect. Moral demands have a number of traits which manifest the specific nature of moral imperatives (non-institutionalised, ideal character of sanctions, presumed independence and reflective autonomy of the moral agent, etc.) Morality manifests differently at individual and public levels, and, in this paper I will try to briefly describe these differences.
115. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Francesco Belfiore ‘Multifactorial’ Moral Motivation and the Triadic Structure of the Mind
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Moral motivation has been variously conceived and explained. The main theses maintain that moral motivation springs directly from moral judgments and beliefs (internalism) or that it is due to factors external to moral judgments and beliefs, such as desires (externalism). In this paper, I defend the thesis that moral motivation is contributed by several factors, so that it can be defined as “multifactorial”. I refer to my previously proposed conception according to which mind exerts three kinds of activity, each of which, in turn, creates outward/selfish and inward/moral products. Thus, mind rational activity creates outward/selfish ideas and beliefs and in ward/moral thoughts or beliefs; mind emotional activity creates outward/selfish sentiments (desires/aversions) and inward/moral feelings; and mind practical activity creates outward/selfish actions and inward/moral acts. The inward/moral activity is directed to mind itself, under stood and felt as an evolving entity, whose evolution is the moral good. I attempt to show that moral motivation does not spring only from ideas, thoughts, and beliefs (internalism) but is also contributed by moral feelings and selfish desires (as externalism holds) as well as by the cost of moral acts and selfish actions. Thus, moral motivation is contributed by all six mind products and, therefore, is multifactorial.
116. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Robin Attfield The Ethics of Geo-engineering
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While climate change mitigation remains indispensable, together with adaptation to such climate change as cannot be prevented, current slowness of progress towards attaining an international agreement on these matters has fostered suggestions about climate engineering, originally proposed as supplementary to adaptation and mitigation. These suggestions take the forms of Solar Radiation Management and Carbon Dioxide Removal. This paper discusses the ethics of researching and of deploying them. Solar Radiation Management ranges from harmless but inadequate measures such as making roofs reflect sunlight to ambitious ones such as projecting sulphate aerosols into the stratosphere to reduce incoming radiation. Some favor this measure as a quick and inexpensive replacement for mitigation; but its possible side-effects and lack of an exit-strategy mean that its deployment would be misguided, and that researching it might undermine determination to reach a mitigation agreement. Some forms of Carbon Dioxide Removal (seeding the oceans with iron filings to grow carbon-reducing algae) face similar objections, but others, like afforestation and Carbon Capture and Storage (itself not yet operative), comprise acceptable enhancements of current technology. Even if they do not buy time, these measures could beneficially supplement a global Climate Change agreement.
117. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Clark Butler Human Rights Ethics: A Contemporary Normative Ethical Theory
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Human rights have increasingly come to the center of political and social philosophy since 1945. The have been widely discussed in publications on topical human rights issues, in the work of some of the most notable philosophers of the time like Jürgen Habermas and John Rawls, and in volumes on global justice. But, despite Habermas work in Diskurs Ethik, discussion ethics (what I call ‘Human Rights Ethics’) has never clearly been presented as a normative ethical theory in competition with the classical rivals such as utilitarianism and Kantian ethics. This paper makes a clear, concise case recognition of human rights ethics as a contemporary normative ethical theory, and for its inclusion in future elementary textbooks. Universal legal human rights protect the central ethical human right to freedom of expression (as integral to a cooperative search for the truth, including the truth as to the correct normative ethical theory). Human Rights Ethics supersedes classical theories based on evident first principles because these principles are either merely asserted without justification (once the appeal to self-evidence has been has been dropped) or are justified (or refuted) by being superseded by the final self-justifying standard of definable ethical discussion. The very refutation of human rights ethics could be sound only through ethical discussion, with all parties exercising the ethical, but not yet universally legal, right to freedom of expression. Hence the refutation of the ethical right to freedom of expression cannot be sound.
118. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Tadeusz Buksiński Conditional and Unconditional Morality
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The paper describes the modern morality as conditional morality, represented by theories of social contract and utilitarianism. They conditionally impose the moral duties on people, if the other people fulfil moral duties, too. As a result they justify the use of the political power to compel the citizens to public morality, leaving a certain margin of freedom to individual morality in the private domain which is fairly inconsequential for collective life. Public morality, on the other hand, is rigorously regulated and precisely defined by statutory laws and political authority. An individual citizen thus becomes incapacitated in the public domain: reduced to accepting decisions adopted by the ruling group, perhaps also electing them once per several years. Unconditional morality, as represented by evangelical or Kant’s ethics, imposes rights, obligations and moral duties on individuals, requires compliance with them regardless of other individuals or groups. It may never constitute a foundation justifying violence, use of force, abuse of power, deception or restriction of liberty. Within this framework, such actions are considered immoral, irrespective of whether they occur in the institutionalized form or otherwise.
119. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Leonardo Caffo, Sarah De Sanctis Ethical New Realism
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For the past thirty years postmodernism has been the major philosophical trend. Starting as a potentially emancipatory tool, though, it has virtually resolved into an acceptance of any kind of (epistemological, ethical) position, in the name of a very politically correct relativism. The aim of this essay is to provide an overview of New Realism (Ferraris 2012) in its opposition and reaction to Postmodernism, showing that it does not imply a return to a ‘traditional’ or ‘strong’ realism but that, on the contrary, it involves a kind of ‘weak realism’: a blend between realism and constructivism. An analysis of the implications of both philosophical approaches in diverse fields will be offered, from epistemology, to politics, to ethics. Where postmodern epistemological claims will be proved to be quite easily confutable, its ethical implications will be faced more carefully. Ethical new realism will, therefore, be presented as particularly challenging (Caffo, De Sanctis 2012), but also promising and important to the future of philosophy.
120. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 12
Patrice Canivez Paul Ricoeur’s Critical Reconstruction of Aristotle’s Ethics
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In Oneself as Another Paul Ricoeur develops a practical philosophy that articulates the Aristotelian and Kantian traditions, the pursuit of the “good life” and the moral imperative. What he proposes is a critical reconstruction of Aristotle’s ethics. Ricoeur does not merely seek to give a faithful rendering of Aristotle’s theory. Rather, he is interested in discussing the problems that are posed by this theory. In particular, there are two problems that deserve attention: The distinction between praxis and poiesis and the concept of happiness. On the one hand, Ricoeur gives an interesting account of the distinction between praxis and poiesis. However, he concludes by questioning the philosophical relevance of this distinction. On the other hand, Ricoeur interprets the human ergon – in the effectuation of which happiness consists – as the realization of a personal life project. In this paper, I discuss Ricoeur’s interpretation of Aristotle on both points. Firstly, I envisage a reformulation of Ricoeur’s solution to the problem of praxis that preserves the relevance of the distinction between praxis and poiesis. Secondly, I propose an alternative interpretation of the human ergon that relates happiness to a sort of “practical presence” rather than to the temporality of a life project.