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Open access

Werner Moskopp

Abstract

All of metaethical positions today can be replaced by a universal architecture of moral philosophy, all but one: moral realism. Here, I use the term “metaethics” to refer to any theory of ethics concerning the groundwork of ethics, on the one hand, and the inquiry of the use of philosophical words, concepts or methods on the other. In this article, I will present my hypothesis that in moral philosophy, we do not need any specialized metaethics at all. Metaethics as a discipline of philosophy is only required by the work of moral realists, who try to show us a realm of values and norms that exist (per se) naturally, non-naturally or supernaturally. How can they know? The effort of metaethical realists cannot be proven either in ontology or in the philosophy of language or in cognitive science or in any meta-science that works en plus to ethics, because even in every additional discipline, we have to accept the presupposition of a validity of judgments. So, let us try it the other way around; we have to find a way to found ethics by following its structures, and that means, based on David Velleman’s concepts: a) We have to search for a ubiquitous point of ethical theory in its foundation – here, no kind of value or norm can be found that is not based on a universal formal structure of normativity. b) We have to start an empirical inquiry to collect norms and values in actual use. MFT, moral psychology and moral sociology are in charge here. The combination of such an abstract groundwork with mere empirical study has to be legitimized again. Hence, I am going to try to sum up the main ideas of such a project to show the relevance of a new architecture of moral philosophy today. There is a line of reasoning that addresses the possibility of a transcendental critique in practical philosophy; therefore, it has to look into the different notions of “intuition” in moral methods like it was used by Sidgwick (Rashdall, Green, Ross, Brentano, McTaggart) and Moore on the one hand and Brentano and Bergson on the other. In my view, there is a way to combine these perspectives using the two-level-model of Hare, Singer, Greene, where “intuition” is used to categorize habits and customs of the common sense morality in general while a critical reflection uses act-utilitarian calculus to provide a universal decision – in the sense of “concrete reason” – for any possible actor in a singular situation (Hegel, Peirce, Bloch etc.). The change between these levels may be explained by means of a pragmatistic kind of continuum of research with an ideal summum bonum in the long run and a concept of common sense morality as can be found in every group or society.

Open access

Peter Kyslan

Abstract

The human issue with the concept of finality constitutes a fundamental platform for the philosophical concept of transhumanism. This paper addresses the historical-philosophical perspective of transhumanism with emphasis put on the 18th and 19th centuries, whereby possible anticipatory actions with respect to transhumanist thought are analyzed. In this sense, the need for a philosophical reflection on transhumanism is justified. The main part of this paper is aimed at philosophical and ethical questions related to cryonics as being one of the most dominant and feasible transhumanist practices. The characteristics and critical analysis of cryonics focuses on the problem of understanding death from a philosophical standpoint.

Open access

Roberto Franzini Tibaldeo

Abstract

The word “utopia” was coined by Thomas More and refers to the unreal and ideal state described in his Utopia, first published in 1516. Following the example of Plato’s Republic, More as well as other thinkers and writers of the 16th and 17th century reflect on the political relevance of utopia and provide unique accounts of ideal, just, and perfect “no places”, as paradigms and standards of social, political, and religious reformation of the coeval world. However, the political significance of utopia relies on a basic anthropological feature, which incidentally is already underlined by More: the relationship between imagination and experience. This means that: 1) the human being’s “eidetic” freedom is characterised by the inseparable relationship between imagination, reflection, experience and action; 2) utopia is capable of disclosing the transformative and normative features related to the human being’s constitution; 3) utopia can be fruitfully used to motivate human will and mobilise support for human flourishing. In this article I endeavour to show that among contemporary philosophers it is Hans Jonas who most fully develops the anthropological significance of utopia by investigating the very relationship between imagination and experience, and by underlining how the eidetic and reflective constitution of the human being leads to ethics. As a further goal, I wish to highlight that the anthropological relevance of utopia can shed light on our imaginative and ambivalent nature, and provide a practical and educational basis for the achievement of an “ethics of images” for the current digital era. For this purpose I shall draw on the thinking of Marie-José Mondzain and Jean-Jacques Wunenburger, among other scholars.

Open access

Guillermo Lariguet

Abstract

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.

Open access

Stefan Konstańczak

Abstract

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.

Open access

Slavomír Lesňák

Abstract

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).

Open access

Grzegorz Grzybek and Mira Malczyńska-Biały

Abstract

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.

Open access

Jakub Synowiec

Abstract

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.

Open access

Martin Gluchman

Abstract

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.

Open access

Peter Singer

Abstract

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.