Effective Altruism is a very new discipline. The first steps towards creating a community were made in 2009. Although the movement is young, it has already changed lives of many people and its popularity continues to rise. The idea of effective altruism is deeply rooted in philosophy, hence to understand it better an attempt will be made to reconstruct and present the philosophical framework of Effective Altruism. This part is intended to show the development of utilitarian thought that led to Effective Altruism. I intentionally limited this reconstruction to the views of Peter Singer, as his philosophy inspired many effective altruists, especially at the beginning of the movement. I have tried to show that his earliest works were the first steps on the way to effective altruism. In the second part selected details of the idea will be referred to in order to show the current state of development of this branch of utilitarianism. In the last part, selected doubts and critical remarks will be presented that might be inspiration to adapt Effective Altruism to specific conditions of Central and Eastern Europe. It will be argued that advocacy for Effective Altruism is a fair way for effective altruists in countries of Central and Eastern Europe.
In this opinion piece, some of the practices of academic publication in the biomedical field related to the rewarding, or the lack thereof, of peer reviewers are described and discussed. The role and possibly exploitative relationship of mainstream, established publishers of prestigious journals towards their contributors (authors), and peer reviewers is considered. In addition, the role and accountability of publishers and contributors in “predatory” journals is assessed. Professionals who are recruited by the publishing industry, especially the for-profit industry, either as peer reviewers or editors, to complete a professional task, should be rewarded financially as professionals, as for other sectors of the economy, and not simply exploited for free. Points systems or discounts off a publisher’s products do not constitute sufficient, or fair, compensation.
Given the reality of socially-caused, planetary-scaled, environmental change, how – if at all – should our ethical concepts change? It has been a hallmark of environmental literature in recent years to insist that they should or even must. It will be argued that, yes, our ethical concepts should change by exploring the changes needed for the core ethical concept of goodness. Goodness, it will be argued, must change to reflect a change in priority from personal intentions to the right relation between an agent and the collective to which he/she belongs. This relation, which is called herein the civic relation, centers on taking responsibility for the structure which produces unintentional, aggregate effects at the level of planetary ecology. Examples include a fossil fuel-based infrastructure, isolationist nationalism that undercuts international climate agreements to decarbonize energy, and the lack of a political forum to respect the rights of future generations. More generally, goodness according to the civic relation must express an anthroponomic orientation to life – a sustained, life-long attempt to build the practice of the collective self-regulation of humankind as a whole. Of the many consequences of this meta-ethical change in goodness, one is that it addresses the banality of evil today.
Moritz Schlick was the leader of an influential group of scientists, logicians and philosophers. The content of his book “Problems of Ethics” is the application of the method of logical analysis of language to some of traditional ethical problems. Schlick offers many topics in his book Problems of Ethics – what are the motives of human conduct, what is egoism, what is the meaning of “moral”, etc. In this article, focus will be on the explanation of only one of many areas of Schlick’s ethics – the meta-theoretical perspective describing the main aims of his ethical magnum opus – Problems of Ethics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In this article the author presents the contemporary understanding of the subject of moral education. Furthermore, he presents the historical development of the concept of moral education in Poland. He concludes that the current model of moral education in Poland was developed as early as the 18th century.
The present paper focuses on the interconnection and the impact of broader social events responsible for shaping the character of the young in the context of developments in both post-communist countries and the European Union as a whole. The attention of the paper is devoted to the changing perceptions of liberty in relation to a high standard of living in European countries and the need to promote moral education comprehensively, with regard to having a balanced impact on the development of moral knowing and moral feeling. Further, the paper offers an analysis of dimensions that determine moral actions and character accents, considered to be essential to convey in order to encourage the moral development of pupils. Finally, the paper ends with a presentation of the conditions that should help the ethical development of active goodness in the young generation.