Lawrence Hinman, one of today's most respected and accomplished educators in ethics and philosophy education, presents a text that gives students plentiful opportunities to explore ethical theory and their own responses to them, using ...
Rarely has a philosopher demanded such a purity of moral motives. Even when he discusses those “many spirits of so sympathetic a temper that, without any further motive of vanity or self-interest, they find an inner pleasure in spreading happiness around them and can take delight in the contentment of others as their own work,” Kant maintains that, “in such a case an action of this kind, however right and however amiable it may be, still has no genuinely moral worth.” (...) Because the action is done from inclination rather than duty, it cannot qualify as a morally good action in Kant’s eyes. Indeed, this seems to suggest that from a moral point of view the person who is naturally unsympathetic to others almost has an advantage, at least in terms of the opportunity for moral action, over those who are naturally inclined to altruistic acts. Kant hardly seems to shrink from such a conclusion. His own words best convey his position here. (shrink)
Search engines play an increasingly pivotal role in the distribution and eventual construction of knowledge, yet they are largely unnoticed, their procedures are opaque, and they are almost completely devoid of independent oversight. In this paper the author examines three areas in which we encounter difficult and persistent ethical issues in search engine technology: The problem of algorithm and the lack of transparency of the search process, the problem of privacy with regards of the possibility to monitor search histories, and (...) the problem of local censorship. The given findings lead to the conclusion that the development of structures of accountability for search engines is an important task for the near future. (shrink)
This paper explores various methods of developing a website that caters to the pedagogical needs of an introductory ethics course. Incorporating web sites into the course curriculum allows students to access a range of journal articles, a database for relevant secondary materials, and links to helpful websites. Online educational spaces are also an important pedagogical tool to facilitate student discussion. The site can be use for a discussion board for students within the course and from different institutions that are interested (...) in similar topics. Students are able to upload their own research and discuss it with their peers without the direct presence of the instructor. (shrink)
The title of our session today is “Virtue Ethics from a Global Perspective.” In my remarks, I would like to sketch out an account of what a global perspective on virtue ethics would look like. Here’s how I’ll proceed. First, I would like to explore some of the reasons why we need a global perspective on virtue ethics. This leads naturally to the second issue, which is a clarification of what we mean by a global perspective on virtue ethics. I (...) shall suggest a three part framework—consisting of the object of the virtue, the virtue itself, and the actions through which that virtue is expressed—for a global perspective on virtue ethics. This framework is a pluralistic one, striking a middle ground between absolutism and relativism. Along the way, especially in part two, I will look at several specific virtues, especially respect and courage, to see how this tripartite framework can be applied. The final result, I hope, will be an outline of what a global perspective on virtue ethics would look like. (shrink)
Cloning and reproductive technologies -- Abortion -- Euthanasia -- Punishment and the death penalty -- War, terrorism, and counterterrorism -- Race and ethnicity -- Gender -- Sexual orientation -- World hunger and poverty -- Living together with animals -- Environmental ethics -- Cyberethics.
It is a tacit assumption among most contemporary American and British philosophers that the question of style in philosophy is, at most, an issue of peripheral importance. Although it is generally agreed that a well developed sense of style may make a philosopher’s work more accessible and thus be a factor in its acceptance by a wider audience, and although it seems self-evident to many that the apparent inaccessibility of much of continental philosophy is due in part to stylistic vagaries (...) to which it is particularly prone, few would accord to style an importance beyond this. Certainly style is not an integral part of a philosophical position. It is always possible in principle, so the dominant view today suggests, to separate the position being expressed from the style the author employs in expressing it. The position itself is equated with the body of propositions that the philosopher is asserting; the style in which these are expressed either has no bearing on the truth value of the propositions and is consequently irrelevant or else it can be incorporated into either the propositions themselves or the structure of the argument, in which case it is no longer primarily a stylistic consideration. In either case, a philosopher’s style is ultimately not integral to the position which he advances. (shrink)
In recent years, a particular doctrine about forms of life has come to be associated with Wittgenstein's name by followers and critics of his philosophy alike. It is not a doctrine which Wittgenstein espoused or even, given his understanding of philosophy, one which he could have accepted; nor is it worthy of acceptance on its own merits. I shall here outline the standard interpretation of Wittgenstein's remarks on forms of life, consider the textual basis for such a reading of Wittgenstein, (...) present a more consistent reading of the texts, place the problem of forms of life within a wider philosophical context, and show the ways in which it is indeed possible to say that a form of life is wrong. In the process, I shall note some important similarities between Wittgenstein's actual position, Quine's analysis of scientific knowledge, and Hans-Georg Gadamer's claims about the fusion of horizons. (shrink)