Labyrinth of the world and paradise of the heart belongs to the jewels of Czech literature. The author – Jan Amos Comenius – consciously uses allegorical narrative for didactic purposes – mainly for his own moral self-reflection in the face of suffering. His method proved to be very effective. The goal of this text is to explore the potential of the literary method from the perspective of moral (trans)formation. The key question is: How did Comenius convey the moral content of his “lesson” in the Labyrinth? Or in general: How does allegorical narrative work as a tool of moral (trans)formation – both for the reader and author of the text. Specifically, this paper attempts to show several literary functions of the Labyrinth as a tool of moral (trans)formation: the therapeutic function, the emphatic function, the imitation function, the organizational function, the performative function and the plot function.
Can a good man do evil things? This paper offers a moral philosophical reading of Hilary Mantel’s novels Wolf Hall and Bring up the bodies, focusing on Mantel’s fictional portrayal of Thomas Cromwell as a good person, in spite of his growing involvement in the dirty work of Henry VIII. The narrative resists interpretations of Cromwell as someone corrupted by power. It also thwarts attempts to read his deeds as results of a deficient capacity for sympathetic imagination, which has been a focalized moral flaw in contemporary moral philosophical discussions of literature. By thus resisting moralized readings of his character, the novels invite intensified attention to the complex dynamics of character and circumstance.
In the article, I try to emphasize that our way of using language affects moral decisions and attitudes. As we think as we speak and simultaneously, we act. By using chauvinistic language, first of all, we simplify our reality; secondly, we push those beings that we define in the language to the margins. I think that our language is homocentric and therefore leads us to speciesism.
My recent article, “The challenge of brain death for the sanctity of life ethic” (Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe), 2018, 8 (3–4), pp. 153–165) elicited five commentaries. In this brief response, I clarify my own position in the light of some misunderstandings, and discuss whether the definition of death is best thought of as an ethical question, or as a matter of fact. I also comment on the suggestion that we should allow people to choose the criteria by which they wish their own death to be determined, or their organs removed to be donated to others.
The paper presents different approaches to the relationship of life and death among selected authors as a review of their articles within the last volume of the Ethics & Bioethics (in Central Europe) journal. The resource of the review is an article by Peter Singer The challenge of brain death for the sanctity of life ethics. Firstly, I try to analyze the issue when death occurs and when we can talk about death as a phenomenon that each and every living human being must come to terms within the course of their lives. Ethics of social consequences is used to analyze different approaches and states a conclusion defending the principles of humanity and human dignity within the scope of this ethical theory applied to various problem cases. I strive to support the question of the quality of life through the paternalistic approach of physicians influenced by their humane and dignified understanding of their relationship towards the patients. Ethics of social consequences offers many solutions to the discussed issues throughout the reviewed articles.
The aim of the paper is to contribute to the debate on effective altruism. It is an attempt to present it as a universal moral proposition – not only a new charity model for the richest citizens of the world. The article starts with a definition of a hypothetical group of relatively-poor effective altruists. Their hypothetical living conditions and opportunities are juxtaposed with the theory of effective altruism developed by Peter Singer and William MacAskill and with career guides proposed by 80000hours.org – one of the websites gathering effective altruists. In the last part, selected practices for relatively poor effective altruists are described. The conclusion of the paper is, that although most of the reflections behind the concept of effective altruism are developed for the richest people in the world, it is a universal ethical position that can be applied into lives of relatively poor people, whose contribution should not be underestimated.
In the present thesis the characteristics of current consumer society are presented in the context of female-male relationships and any inter-human relationships. It has been shown that the ideology of consumption may have an impact on the changeability of female-male relationships, as well as on the stereotypical division of roles in a relationship. The importance of consumer ethics has here been emphasised. For this purpose, the model of erotic ethos, based on sexual aesthetics, has been discussed in this article. This model is connected with the contemporary consumption model, in which one can compare material product consumption with relationship consumption. It seems that consumer ethics concerning relationships not only should consider current changes, but also, in the context of a relationship, bear in mind life ethos and sexual aesthetics.
This article uses the post-modern Nietzsche affirmation as a criterion for an analysis of the philosophical concept of the Constitution for the Earth (Šmajs, 2015) and other texts by Josef Šmajs, the principal author of the theory of evolutionary ontology. The author draws the attention of the group of authors of the Constitution for the Earth to the risk of the modernist and nihilist application of evolutionary ontology and proposes that the theory be extended to include new criteria and methods to enable it to be applied in a more acceptable manner. The author places efforts aimed at the biophilic transformation of culture into the value-based and ethical framework of moderate anthropocentrism instead of the ecocentric approach preferred by the creators of evolutionary ontology. The author also underlines the risk of the application of an ecocentric approach through the application of recent analysis of media presentations of those who support and deny climate change in the work entitled Environmental Ethics and Behavioural Change (Franks, Hanscomb & Johnston, 2018).
In this article, the author attempts to identify the sources of good and evil as undertaken by the Lvov-Warsaw School of Philosophy (LWSP) founded by Kazimierz Twardowski. Such attempts were undertaken by both Twardowski himself and his closest students and associates; Władysław Witwicki, Tadeusz Kotarbiński. Tadeusz Czeżowski, and Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz. The best-known approach is Kotarbiński’s independent ethics in which the author refers to Aristotle perceiving such potential in the characteristics of each individual as to distinguish elementary qualities in the form of opposites including opposition to good and evil. According to this approach, man acts in an evil manner because he stops following the natural voice of his own heart and instead implements set proposals provided by external factors. In the opinion of the author, the proposals formulated within the LWSP can form the basis for a rational explanation of the atrocities committed during World War II which modern ethics, being focused on neutral metaethical issues, fails to do.
The author discusses the rational argumentation of the values from a proposal defended by the legal philosopher Robert Alexy. The paper shows that discourse for Alexy is essentially a regulated activity. A model of certain rules ensure the rationality and correctness of practical discourse oriented towards resolving conflicts of value. Firstly, the types of rules responsible for the rationality of practical argumentation are described. Secondly, some open problems relating to the claim to correctness of reasoned practical discourse are posed, namely problems derived from the idea of consensus and that of a single correct answer to certain practical issues that include conflicts of values and raise basic disagreements.