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A bitter diagnostic of the ultra-liberal human: Michel Houellebecq on some ethical issues

Abstract

The paper examines the ethical dimensions of Michel Houellebecq’s works of fiction. On the basis of keen diagnostics of contemporary Western culture, this world-renowned French writer predicts the destructive social consequences of ultra-liberalism and enters into an argument with transhumanist theories. His writings, depicting the misery of contemporary man and imagining a new human species enhanced by technologies, show that neither the so-called neo-humans nor the “last man” of liberal democracies can reach happiness. The latter can only be achieved if humanist values, shared by previous generations and promoted by the great 19th-century authors (Balzac, Flaubert), are reinvented.

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Environmental education in Slovakia in the context of ethics and ethics education

Abstract

This paper focuses on the current state of environmental education within formal education in Slovakia, emphasising its methodology and weak points. The author aims to identify the place and role of philosophicalethical theory within environmental education, which is an integral part of ethics education. What concrete knowledge, skills and instruments of both ethics and philosophy can (should) a teacher of ethics education put into effect when teaching environmental-educational topics? Before answering this question the place of environmental education within the broader context of moral education will be explored.

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The rules of the rationality of practical discourse in the light of ethics of discourse: An analysis of Robert Alexy’s proposal

References ALEXY, R. (1989): Teoría de la Argumentación Jurídica [ Theory of legal argumentation ], translated by Manuel Atienza and Isabel Espejo. Madrid: Centro de Estudios Constitucionales. ALEXY, R. (1999): The special case thesis. In: Ratio Juris. An international journal of jurisprudence and philosophy of law, 12(4), pp. 374–384. ALEXY, R. (2014): Constitutional rights and proportionality. In: Revus: journal for constitutional theory and philosophy of law, 22, pp. 51–65. ÁLVAREZ, S. (2008): Pluralismo Moral y Conflictos de

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Moral education and moral consumption

Abstract

The main aim of the presented paper is to suggest a new possible approach in moral education in Slovakia. The starting point for the presented argumentation is the position that moral education (ethics education) in Slovakia is based on insufficient foundations. One of the possible propositions of how to overcome this shortcoming is to supersede prosocial behavior (insufficient base) with value education and promotion of the development of critical and analytical moral thinking. The paper suggests that one of the possible ways how to achieve this goal is by the help of introducing the issue of moral (ethical) consumption as a topic of moral education.

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Death, ethical judgments and dignity

Abstract

In Peter Singer’s article “The Challenge of Brain Death for the Sanctity of Life Ethic”, he articulates that ethics has always played an important role in defining death. He claims that the demand for redefining death spreads rather from new ethical challenges than from a new, scientifically improved understanding of the nature of death. As thorough as his plea for dismissal of the brain-death definition is, he does not avoid the depiction of the complementary relationship between science and ethics. Quite the opposite, he tends to formulate a stronger, philosophically more consistent argument to help science and medical practitioners to define life, death, and the quality of life. In my commentary, I would like to focus on two issues presented in Singer’s study. Firstly, I will critically analyze the relationship between science and ethics. Secondly, I will follow on from Singer’s arguments differentiating between end of life as an organism and end of life as a person. The latter case is necessarily linked with man’s participation in her/his life, setting life goals, and fulfilling her/his idea of good life. Through the consequential definition of the dignity in ethics of social consequences, I will try to support Singer’s idea.

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The ethical problems of death pronouncement and organ donation: A commentary on Peter Singer’s article

Abstract

The article is a critical commentary on Peter Singer’s thesis that the brain death definition should be replaced by a rule outlining the conditions permitting organ harvesting from patients who are biologically alive but are no longer persons. Largely agreeing with the position, I believe it can be justified not only on the basis of utilitarian arguments, but also those based on Kantian ethics and Christianity. However, due to the lack of reliable methods diagnosing complete and irreversible loss of consciousness, we should refrain from implementing upper brain death into medical practice. Organs also should not be harvested from people in a persistent vegetative state or from anencephalic children, for similar reasons. At the same time, patients who suffered from whole-brain death should not be artificially sustained; in light of current knowledge they can be declared dead and become organ donors.

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On two modern hybrid forms of consequentialism

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.

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In defense of a pluralistic policy on the determination of death

Abstract

In his paper “The challenge of brain death for the sanctity of life ethic”, Peter Singer advocates two options for dealing with death criteria in a way that is compatible with efficient organ transplantation policy. He suggests that we should either (a) redefine death as cortical death or (b) go back to the old cardiopulmonary criterion and scrap the Dead Donor Rule. We welcome Singer’s line of argument but raise some concerns about the practicability of the two alternatives advocated by him. We propose adding a third alternative that also – as the two previous alternatives – preserves and extends the possibility of organ transplantation without using anyone without their consent. Namely, we would like to draw readers’ attention to a proposal by Robert Veatch, formulated 42 years ago in his 1976 book “Death, dying, and the biological revolution” and developed further in his later publications. Veatch argues for a conscience clause for the definition of death that would permit people to pick from a reasonable range of definitional options. This autonomy-based option, we believe, is more likely to be practicable than the two options advocated by Singer. Furthermore, we present data from a study with Lithuanian participants that suggest that there is quite pronounced variation of preferences concerning death determination.

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“Goodness itself must change” – Anthroponomy in an age of socially-caused, planetary environmental change

, MA: MIT Press. THOMPSON, M. (2006): What Is It to Wrong Someone? A Puzzle about Justice. In: R. J. Wallace, P. Pettit, S. Scheffler & M. Smith (eds.) (2006): Reason and Value: Themes in the Moral Philosophy of Joseph Raz . New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 333–384. VOGEL, S. (2015): Thinking like a Mall: Environmental Philosophy after the End of Nature . Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. VOGLER, C. (2009): Reasonably Vicious . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. WALZER, M. (2006): Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad

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Vaclav Havel’s Levinas: Timely remarks on humanism

University Press. RORTY, R. (1998): The End of Leninism, Havel and Social Hope. In: R. Rorty: Truth and Progress: Philosophical papers , vol. 3 . Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 228–243. SHARPE, M. (2015): On a Neglected Argument in French Philosophy: Sceptical humanism in Montaigne, Voltaire and Camus. In: Critical Horizons, 16(1), pp. 1–26. SIRE, J. (2001): Vaclav Havel: The Intellectual Conscience of International Politics . Illinois: Intervarsity Press. TUCKER, A. (2000): The Philosophy and Politics of Czech Dissidence: From

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