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Critical review of theory and practice in ethics of social consequences

Abstract

The article deals with ethics of social consequences as a modern ethical theory and proposes some critical remarks based on various elaborations of the theory presented in the newly published edited volume Ethics of social consequences: Philosophical, applied and professional challenges. It confronts and challenges several of the presented concepts and ideas and tries to find a solution for the theory to become even more elaborated but still remain within the boundaries of its ontological framework.

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The ethical context of social philosophy in contemporary India

Abstract

Public and academic philosophical thinking in contemporary India provides evidence that philosophy and religion have never been truly separated, although there have been attempts to bring philosophy closer to science and, thus, create two autonomous systems. In light of these changes, P. V. Athavale, C. T. K. Chari, N. S. Prasad and some other authors have formed and are developing modern ethical and social theories. Moreover, feminism and gender studies have appeared in the panorama of changing philosophical and sociological thinking in India, embracing gender equality in contemporary Indian society. There has been increasing interest in sociological research and a critical interpretation of Mahatma Gandhi’s spiritual message in the cause of India’s independence, whose thoughts authors engaged in contemporary ethical problems believe to be impractical and useless today. Existentialism as a philosophical stream earned broad public acceptance and played a significant role in the history of modern philosophical thinking in India in the second half of the 20th century.

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Ethico-political engagement and the self-constituting subject in Foucault

Abstract

Foucault is critical of the tendency to reduce all social and political problems according to predetermined ends and verifiable procedures. For Foucault, philosophical activity is a condition of possibility for the articulation of the question of the self. Inspired by his work on the desiring subject, Foucault begins to explore the ethical and political implications of self-care for modern day concerns. He presents an account of self-care that centres on developing an attitude that questions the personal relationship to truth, and puts to test those ideas and truths held most dearly. Processes of self-care evaluate the consistency between those truths a person regards as necessary and a person’s actions in the world. Interested in the ways in which people see themselves as subjects, Foucault directs his attention to the connection between systems of knowledge, power, and practices of the self. Crucial to Foucault’s process is the recognition that the self-subject is not given and does not have ontological precedence, and that subjectivity is transformable. By finding the lines and fractures in external and internal modes of objectification Foucault hopes to open up the space of freedom to bring about transformative events. The care of the self serves as a form of critique and resistance where it is both a way of living and acting in the world, and a critical response to a particular time and place.

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Ethics and politics of Great Moravia of the 9th century

Abstract

The author studies the role of Christianity in two forms of 9th century political ethics in the history of Great Moravia, represented by the Great Moravian rulers Rastislav and Svatopluk. Rastislav’s conception predominantly uses the pre-Erasmian model of political ethics based on the pursuit of welfare for the country and its inhabitants by achieving the clerical-political independence of Great Moravia from the Frankish kingdom and, moreover, by utilising Christianity for the advancement of culture, education, literature, law and legality, as well as by spreading Christian ethics and morality in the form of the Christian code of ethics expressed in ethicallegal documents. Svatopluk’s political conception was a prototype of Machiavellian political ethics, according to which one is, in the interest of the country and its power and fame, allowed to be a lion and/or a fox. Svatopluk abused Christianity in the name of achieving his power-oriented goals. Great Moravia outlived Rastislav; it did not, however, outlive Svatopluk, as, shortly after his death, it broke up and ceased to exist. The author came to the conclusion that Rastislav’s conception was more viable, as its cultural heritage lives on in the form of works by Constantine and Methodius.

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The golden rule of morality – an ethical paradox

Abstract

This paper focuses on the dynamics of ethical perspectives that embody the Golden Rule of Morality. Based on critical analysis of this rule in various cultural and religious contexts, but also from the perspective of humanism, the author presents its paradoxical character, the essence of which is interpreted here in terms of a pointer to metaphysical reality. It turns out that social conditionality, as well as the self-referential concept as a starting point of any ethical reasoning, are serious epistemological challenges for the application of the Golden Rule in the position of universal normativity that this study addresses. On the other hand, Judeo-Christian cosmology and the related basis for ethical foundations is presented here as an inspirational space of ethical reasoning in which the paradoxical character of the Golden Rule becomes rather an indicator of a deeper metaethical interpretation of one's own particular ethical attitudes and outcomes than a practical guide to the discovery of ethical universals.

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Jessenius’ contribution to social ethics in 17th century Central Europe

Abstract

The aim of the article is to examine and evaluate the social ethics aspects of the pamphlet Pro vindiciis contra tyrannos oratio by the scholar and rector of Prague University Jan Jesenský - Jessenius (1566-1621); first published in Frankfurt in 1614 and for the second time in Prague in 1620 during the Czech Estate Revolt. Therefore, the broader intellectual context of the time is introduced, specifically the conflict between two theories of ruling power correlating with that between the ruler and the Estates after the ideas of the Protestant reformation started to spread. The first theory supported the idea of a sovereign ruler whose authority would stand above the estates to be able to keep the kingdom under control. On the contrary, the so-called resistance theory strived to limit the monarch’s power and to justify a possible intervention against a malevolent ruler - the tyrant. I intend to show that Jessenius´ social ethics which refers to the latter resistance theory was of a premodern nature since its conception of State and its reign remained in a denominationally limited framework. Nevertheless; Jessenius’ polemics with the supporters of ruling sovereignty, which seem to be his original contribution, makes his writing a unique political work in Central Europe. Moreover, the second edition of Jessenius’ text (1620, Prague), which for a long time had disappeared from public view, can rightly be considered a remarkable projection of resistance theory toward actual political struggle at the very beginning of the Thirty Years War.

Open access
Patočka, Charter 77, the state and morality: “May it all be for the benefit of the community!”

Abstract

In this paper, I will argue that Patočka’s decision to become a signatory and one of the spokesperson of Charter 77 was both deeply informed, and in fact necessitated, by his whole philosophical understanding. I will suggest that the importance of Patočka’s contribution to Charter 77 goes beyond the original aim of the declaration, pointing to the broader significance of the moral and political crisis in a society reduced to the sphere of instrumental rationality. For Patočka, to think about humans and their existence in the world is irreducible to instrumental rationality.

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Specifics of introducing a code of ethics into the academic environment

Abstract

The implementation of tools and techniques of the management of ethics in the academic environment has its own peculiarities arising from the nature of the expert, scientific, pedagogical, but also administrative work of university staff, requiring a considerable degree of autonomy and freedom. The aim of this case study is to present the views of university teachers and PhD students from a selected faculty of a public university in Slovakia on the implementation of tools and techniques for the management of ethics and to identify specific risks associated with the nature of the code of ethics and its introduction into practice. Qualitative research was conducted using focus groups during the implementation of the code of ethics, while quantitative research was subsequently conducted by an anonymous electronic questionnaire shortly after the introduction of the code into practice.

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Spinozian consequentialism of ethics of social consequences

Abstract

The present article deals with specific normative concepts of Spinoza’s ethical system and compares them to certain aspects of the theory of ethics of social consequences. At first, a way to approach the problem of normativity in Spinoza is presented, concentrating on the obligatory character of rational - or intellectual - motives. Then, theoretical evidence is presented which links Spinoza to normative-ethical consequentialism. The basis for a consequentialist model of Spinoza’s ethics is the concept of perfection, and on this basis it seems possible to consider its compatibility with non-utilitarian forms of consequentialism, such as ethics of social consequences. Conclusively, the paper’s aim is to present the possibility of considering Spinozian consequentialism as a non-utilitarian consequentialism, while considering ethics of social consequences as a contemporary form of Spinozian consequentialism.

Open access
Truth and lies in journalism: A dispute concerning the accurate presentation of information

Abstract

The aim of the article is to analyze the modern mass media, in which the line between truth and lies has been blurred, leading to a lack of responsibility for words and their cognitive value. In the first part of the article, the value of truth in journalism is explored and the professional ethos associated with it, known as being ‘pro-truth’. In the second part, the negative effects of media lies and their various forms are described.

Open access