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Anthropomorphism as a methodological problem of animal ethics (in the memory of Sir Patrick Bateson)

Abstract

The paper aims to highlight the serious methodological issue of contemporary bioethics (especially topics on the subject of animal ethics). In the discourse on the issue of the pain and suffering of animals and in derived questions, a certain form of anthropomorphism is manifested. Ethical applications of empirical research results that are relevant to humans (or humans as an anatomically and physiologically analogous animal species) are preferred. Subsequently, these extrapolations serve as a criterion for judging the qualitative level of the capabilities of all animals. Serious ethical conclusions are drawn from this reduction.

Open access
Egalitarian sexism: Kant’s defense of monogamy and its implications for the future evolution of marriage II

Abstract

This second part of a two-part series exploring implications of the natural differences between the sexes for the cultural evolution of marriage considers how the institution of marriage might evolve, if Kant’s reasons for defending monogamy are extended and applied to a future culture. After summarizing the philosophical framework for making cross-cultural ethical assessments that was introduced in Part I and then explaining Kant’s portrayal of marriage as an antidote to the objectifying tendencies of sex, I summarize Kant’s reasons for rejecting polygamy and for viewing monogamy as the only ethically acceptable form of marriage. Finally, I argue that if we apply Kantian principles to the real situation of marriage in many modern cultures, and if we wish to maintain a legitimate place for marriage in the future evolution of human culture, then the future evolution of marriage laws must recognize polyfidelity (i.e., plural marriages for both men and women) as being just as legitimate as monogamy.

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Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz’s proposal of ethical norms

Abstract

Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz is known primarily as a logician and methodologist. Ethics was a side discipline to his scientific research, which he lectured at Lvov University in the 1930s. Assuming that ethics is a philosophical science, he tried to systematise its contemplations according to the scientific principles developed at the Lvov–Warsaw School of thought. However, in his research he also took into account the philosophical tradition which recognised ethics as one of the chief branches of philosophy. Ajdukiewicz’s submission of ethics to the requirements of logic was related to an attempt to analyse its core concepts. Consequently, an outline of the original ethical concept was developed, but never developed into a system.

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Moral Virtues in J. A. Comenius’ Mundus Moralis

Abstract

The aim of the article is to reconstruct Jan Amos Comenius’ (1592–1670) conception of moral virtues as it is presented in his major work General Consultation on an Improvement of All Things Human (De rerum humanarum emendatione consultatio catholica), mainly in its part Pansophia – Mundus Moralis with respect to the role which prudence plays (prudentia) in relation to the other cardinal virtues – fortitude (fortitude), justice (justitia), and temperance (temperantia). Comenius’ conception of virtues is further compared with the traditional Aristotelian-Scholastic doctrine formulated prevailingly by Aquinas. In conclusion, it is shown that it is the position of prudence (prudentia), as an intellectual virtue that connects significantly Comenius with the Aristotle-Thomistic tradition in this perspective.

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On the puzzling value of human life

Abstract

The author examines our conflicting attitudes regarding the proper value of human life. While the main issue initially appears to deal with whether or not human life has an intrinsic (or absolute) value, it turns out that a far more important and complex issue concerns the tension between the equal value of every human life and the differences in the quality of one’s life. The author discusses the views of Kant, Schweitzer, Berlin, Scheler, and then Hartmann, in whose views the author recognizes the most important contributions to this puzzle.

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The problem of indoctrination, with a focus on moral education

Abstract

Indoctrination is a large and important issue in (not only moral) education. It is considered to be one of the capital pedagogical faults. However, the question is, what does it mean to indoctrinate? Educators from the liberal camp of the educational spectrum have had the tendency to criticize the traditional approach as “indoctrinational.” On the other hand, proponents of the traditional approach object that if indoctrination were defined properly then even the liberal approach would not be immune. This raises two fundamental questions that will be the subject of this study: a) what exactly does it mean to indoctrinate? b) is education without indoctrination even possible?

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Theoretical foundations of the Bratislava School of Business Ethics

Abstract

The aim of this article is to explain the key theoretical foundations of business ethics as a social scientific and academic discipline that was established and further developed at the Faculty of Management at Comenius University in Bratislava. The authors of this article refer to this school of thought as the “Bratislava School of Business Ethics” with the intention of pointing out its relative autonomy in research and higher education in the Slovak academic environment.

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Against charity: Some preliminary considerations

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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Comenius’ ethics: from the heart to the world

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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Egalitarian Sexism: A Kantian Framework for Assessing the Cultural Evolution of Marriage (I)

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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