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Abstract

In this paper, I critique the prevalent notion that only in the abyss can one emerge to be the Übermensch, or to use Hollingdale’s term, the Superman. To support this, I will first expound on the notion of the abyss as ethical nihilism from the perspective of the death of God to Nietzsche’s critique of morality. I argue that ethical nihilism as an abyss is insufficient in constituting Nietzsche’s Superman. I will then set how the Superman emerges through counter-stages. The paradox is that such tragic an abyss that serves as conditio sine qua non for the Superman falls flat when looked at in the perspective of life. There underlies a fundamental difficulty in simply accepting the proposals of acknowledging the abyss or ‘becoming what one is.’ Later, Nietzsche’s anti-romanticism and anti-Darwinism are explored to support such difficulty.

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to show the main thesis concerning the theory of cognition of the eminent neo-Kantian Heinrich Rickert, as presented in his work “Der Gegenstand der Erkenntnis”. On the one hand, Rickert finds out that thinking is fated to “clash with nothingness”, thus creating a temptation to reject all rigours and to yield to complete discretion. On the other hand, he attributes axiological status to nothingness which subjects thinking to a particular kind of “ought”. In his view, the cognizing subject is faced with an axiological choice: either discretion or truth and argues that it is worth opting for truth. His argumentation could be an interesting point of reference for contemporary culture gradually moving away from the type of thinking rooted in objectively existing principles.

Abstract

The paper unpacks the nuanced ethical potential in the metaphor of gardening that is depicted in Karel Čapek’s The Gardener’s Year, and the relevance of Čapek’s metaphor for understanding Voltaire’s famously ambiguous ending to Candide. Against more pessimistic or passive accounts of what Candide could have meant, the paper agrees with scholars who consider Candide’s maxim as meaning to engage in active, and communal practise of character development. By using Čapek’s much fuller account of the gardener in the practice of cultivation to fill in the gaps in Voltaire’s account, the paper shows that gardening is a rich metaphor of the virtuous person engaged in lifelong character cultivation.

Abstract

The paper focuses on the thinking of Jonáš Záborský (1812–1876) and Štěpán Launer (1821–1851), which were marginalized in Slovak national-forming thinking. Emphasis is placed on the comparison between non-romantic nationalism and Štúr’s ethnic enthusiasm. Attention is paid to the value of their thinking, which can be analyzed in the context of reflections in the role of cultural identity in Štúr’s conception of culture and its place in relation to European cultural and civilizational affiliation. At the same time, the critique of romantic thinking draws attention to the issue of the responsibility of nation-forming elites for the concept of civic development, which holistically approaches social change. Launer’s and, partly Záborský’s thinking draws attention to the dangers associated with the romantic search for ethnocultural specifics, which may result in the questioning the importance of civil liberties and Western cultural and civilizational affiliation.

Abstract

The development of the individual attributes of ethics of responsibility in conjunction with the principles of civic liberalism in Slovak political thought is associated with the thinking of Ján Palárik. His political ideas published in the second half of the 19th century come out of an effort to characterize and achieve reform of the Habsburg monarchy on the basis of constitutionalism and federalism. These attributes, in Palárik’s opinion, were to bring more effective solutions to the issue of educating people in their mother tongue and the creation of civic culture. A part of Palárik’s approach to the formation of civic skills is also the advocating of free expression, the idea of pluralism and gradualism within the idea of the unity of the different. His realistic approach to politics was framed by knowing and respecting the objective limits when implementing the aims of national civic freedom. Palárik linked the development of the state and the process of acculturation of the people with application of the principles of practical reasonableness and ethics of responsibility. He found its essence in understanding the interconnectedness of political goals and ideals, which were to be reflected in close association with the real limitations of the capabilities of individuals and social circumstances.

Abstract

The main aim of the presented paper is to look for an answer as to whether and how euthanasia reflected is in ethics of social consequences. Ethics of social consequences is a contemporary Slovak ethical theory with an original approach to delimitating moral agency. The paper puts this definition to the test while considering the main focus of the paper – responding to the question of whether euthanasia and end of life can be understood as a moral uncertainty. The intention is to find out whether the definition is clear and adequate to withstand the basic arguments against euthanasia. Since ethics of social consequences is a consequentialist ethical theory, another partial goal is to analyse the fitness of such a position to be used in bioethical inquires.

Abstract

The Society of Control is a philosophical concept developed by Gilles Deleuze in the early 1990s to highlight the transition from Michel Foucault’s Disciplinary Society to a new social constitution of power assisted by digital technologies. The Society of Control is organized around switches, which convert data, and, in this way, exercise power. These switches take data inputs (digitized information about individuals) and transform them into outputs (decisions) based on their pre-programmed instructions. I call these switches “automated decision-making algorithms” (ADMAs) and look at ethical issues that arise from their impact on human freedom. I distinguish between negative and positive aspects of freedom and examine the impact of the ADMAs on both. My main argument is that freedom becomes endangered in this new ecosystem of computerized control, which makes individuals powerless in new and unprecedented ways. Finally, I suggest a few ways to recover freedom, while preserving the economic benefits of the ADMAs.

Abstract

According to an old legend, during the Messenian Wars in Laconia in the 8th and 7th centuries BC, the Athenians sent the poet Tyrtaeus to the Spartans who were close to being defeated; he aroused in them the fighting spirit and renewed Spartan virtues. Philosophers in antiquity believed in the psychagogical power of the word, and this belief provided the foundation for ancient ethical literature, whose main purpose was to call for a spiritual transformation and to convert to philosophy. In this paper, I would like to demonstrate what tradition philosophy referred to in these efforts; what concept of man supported that belief; finally, what literary genres were used by ancient philosophers in ethics.

Abstract

The present article discusses the thoughts of Gregory of Nazianzus in relation to virtual reality especially man-made virtual reality in all its forms. We argue that the benefits of virtual reality, such as freedom, imagination, creativity can be paradoxically curtailed by virtual reality itself, since it is highly subjective and as its medium shows, can be an a priori matrix and prison for the human being. Gregory of Nazianzus, building his theology on a firm basis on substance and contemplation, offers a way out, where one acknowledges everything around us as beneficial and beautiful and therefore free, but this must be based on a firm grounding of truthfulness and guidance offered by an all-encompassing form of Divine love and creativity.