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Ľubomír Belás

Abstract

The paper focuses on some important philosophical issues of Kant’s philosophical legacy, especially on Kant’s thoughts on man and his acting in community with other human beings, his fellows, (Conjectural Beginning of Human History) from the aspect of morality based on moral-practical terms and categories. The field of Kant’s practical-critical thoughts is not only unusually broad but also full of ideological dynamics offered in a precise and modern linguistic form. The paper claims that Kant offers his own answer for the fourth question “Was ist der Mensch” (“What is man?”), introduced in Logic (Kant, 1992, p. 538) and at the same it also introduces a historical dimension to the issue of man, included in his short writings, in a compact form.

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Martin Hähnel

Abstract

In this paper I give a short overview about the general implications of issues of human nature within the field of human enhancement. The first section of my contribution deals with a certain intertwining of human enhancement and the intrinsic claims of human nature, showing that a non-statistical concept of human nature can play a crucial role in the debate on human enhancement. After that, my aim is to validate that particular enhancements (e.g. neuro-enhancement) fall under the same normative criteria as “normal enhancement”, only requiring a special contextual awareness to co-exist with it ethically. Methodically, my intention is to draw on quasi-naturalist approaches, which argue that our nature as humans is not a “mixed bag”, but seems to be wholly constituted by its species-related characteristics. As a result, we can state that our evaluations of living beings or life forms, which are also evaluations of our methods of medical treatments and of our ethical attitudes, depend on our picture of human nature.

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Vasil Gluchman

Abstract

G. E. Moore’s critical analysis of right action in utilitarian ethics and his consequentialist concept of right action is a starting point for a theory of moral/right action in ethics of social consequences. The terms right and wrong have different meanings in these theories. The author explores different aspects of right and wrong actions in ethics of social consequences and compares them with Moore’s ideas. He positively evaluates Moore’s contributions to the development his theory of moral/right action.

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Stephen R. Palmquist

Abstract

This first part of a two-part series exploring implications of the natural differences between the sexes for the cultural evolution of marriage assesses whether Kant should be condemned as a sexist due to his various offensive claims about women. Being antithetical to modern-day assumptions regarding the equality of the sexes, Kant’s views seem to contradict his own egalitarian ethics. A philosophical framework for making cross-cultural ethical assessments requires one to assess those in other cultures by their own ethical standards. Sexism is inappropriate if it exhibits or reinforces a tendency to dominate the opposite sex. Kant’s theory of marriage, by contrast, illustrates how sexism can be egalitarian: given the natural differences between the sexes, different roles and cultural norms help to ensure that females and males are equal. Judged by the standards of his own day and in the context of his philosophical system, Kant’s sexism is not ethically inappropriate.

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Lucas E. Misseri

Abstract

This paper deals with the ethical views of the 17th century Czech thinker Jan Amos Komenský, also known as Johann Amos Comenius. Comeniologic studies are focused on different aspects of his contribution to education, theology and philosophy but surprisingly there are only a few studies on his ethical standpoints. Jan Patočka classified Comenius’s work in three periods: prepansophic, pansophic and panorthotic. Here the focus is on the panorthotic works in order to trace the different conceptions of ethics, virtue and other ethical concepts specially the virtue of prudence (prudentia/phronesis). Furthermore, to have a broader perspective, a short analysis of his prepansophic period book The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart is also included in order to contrast the evolution of the concept of prudence and the ethical sphere in his world-view. The methodology is based on conceptual analysis, the contrast of different references to ethics in his late period books. At the same time, this work is an attempt to extract secular elements for understanding his ethics, although the organic link between philosophy, theology and politics is recognized in his thought.

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Bob Brecher

Abstract

Charity is often viewed as a paradigm of morality. I suggest, however, that charitable action is morally problematic – even morally wrong. Following a brief characterisation of charity, it will be suggested that it wrongly puts recipients in a position of dependency and dispensers in a self-congratulatory position of political quietism.

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Daniel Brennan

Abstract

The paper explores Václav Havel’s encounter with Emmanuel Levinas’ essay ‘Without Identity’, which Havel read while in prison. The discussion of this encounter will demonstrate the importance of this encounter for solidifying the humanist elements of Havel’s thought, whilst also demonstrating the pre-existing humanism in Havel, evidence itself of his large debt to Czechoslovak humanist thought. What emerges is a demonstration of the richness and timeliness of Havel’s writing on responsibility. The paper makes a case for rejecting popular Heideggerian interpretations of Havel’s oeuvre. Havel’s deep affinity for Levinas’ thinking demonstrates that Havel’s humanism, informed as it is from the Czech tradition as well as through his encounter with Levinas, is at odds with Heidegger’s essential anti-humanism.

Open access

Ľubomír Dunaj

Abstract

This paper consists of two parts. The first deals with the issue of whether it is possible to coherently employ the term ‘critical Confucian’ in general, i.e. whether it is a paradox or oxymoron. It will be argued that Confucianism should not be identified with any particular ideology and, therefore, can be critical. This critical potential, in turn, can be developed by bringing it into dialogue with Critical Theory. As such, the second part indicates, in an introductory way, some possible overlaps between Confucianism and Critical Theory by comparing Heiner Roetz’s and Axel Honneth’s respective interpretations of these traditions.

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Enikő Demény

Abstract

The principle of vulnerability is a specific principle within European Bioethics. On the one hand, vulnerability expresses human limits and frailty on the other hand it represents moral and ethical action principles. In this paper a discussion on the relationship between the concepts of autonomy, vulnerability and responsibility is proposed and presentation of some possible applications of the principle of vulnerability within bioethics. In conclusion, some potential benefits of applying the principle of vulnerability as well as possible difficulties in its application are highlighted.

Open access

Lukáš Švaňa

Abstract

The article deals with two consequentialist theories and their comparison in terms of promoting certain values and evaluation of moral agents’ actions and behaviour. A basic presupposition is their mutual compatibility based primarily on their consequentialist nature. The paper searches for possible evidence that presented theories might be denominated as hybrid theories based on their dynamic transformations and it also searches for possible mutual enrichment of these theories/approaches as their examined similar character might be a good starting point for such goals. The nature of ethical values is questioned as well as the idea (supported by relevant argumentation) of not distinguishing ethical theories based on their implicit inclination towards usage of specific values. The paper confronts these traditional (classical) ideas of making such differentiation and thus strictly connecting specific moral values with specific ethical theories and not allowing possible productive associations. Ethics of social consequences and the theory of lesser evil are chosen as examples to prove that not limited approaches in terms of operation with only specific type of values might be productive. Their dynamic character predestines these theories to be hybrid ethical theories and thus compatible in their value structure and theory of right.