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HARMONY OF THE ECOSYSTEM FROM THE LENS OF DELEUZIAN ASSEMBLAGE THEORYIn the 21st century, crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and global warming require us to radically change our visions with respect to the ecological world. This paper reveals a new horizon of harmony, heralds a non-anthropocentric vision where harmony may be perceived to be a process of the combination, connection, and detachment of various elements of the ecosystem, through the lens of Deleuzian assemblage theory. My arguments re-establish a new ontological framework that is based on the new materialism proposed by Deleuze, Guattari, and DeLanda. First, we will refute the mechanical and organic notion of the harmony of the ecosystem through the concept of ‘machinic arrangement’ proposed by Deleuze and Guattari. This will allow the traditional notion of harmonious world to be seen as an anthropocentric projection. Next, we will examine the notion of the world and that of harmony through complexity theory and chaos theory, which have guided the arguments of Deleuze, demonstrating the forces of dynamic interactions of elements which produce a fundamental change in the perspective of the ecological horizon. This revises the anthropocentric perspective, which distributes a finality to the world, to direct us toward a non-anthropocentric perspective, and a new materialist vision which consists in changing our ontological framework as well as our relationship with the ecological world.
NON-ANTHROPOCENTRIC AND DYNAMIC VISION OF HARMONYThis article deconstructs the static approach to harmony and elucidates its dynamic dimension. First, I provide critical analysis of Plato’s functionalist notion of harmony in the Republic, where harmony is viewed not as the suspension of the power relationship between the dominant and subjugated, but as the establishment of the relationship of domination that gives rise to the governability of one’s own soul and the city, and, further, contributes to the stability of the self and the system. Second, I emphasize the Aristotelian anthropocentric perspective of harmony in the Politics, where harmony is considered a fraternity of the political animal that shares the logical capacity of speech and excludes the inhuman. Third, through the lens of Latour’s new materialism, I seek to redefine harmony as a dynamic process and as material assemblages between humans and non-humans that foster creative tensions and increase the intensity of agency.
NATURAL LAW AND SOCIETYAbstract This study argues that natural law is a body of laws imbedded in the order of creation, which provides rationale for the created order including human person both in a state of rationality or spirituality. Natural law lays the key frame for the understanding of the self and other non-human beings in creation. Aristotle developed the concept, but Thomas Aquinas put a garb of ethical theory on it, chiefly from a Christian outlook. Thus, the phenomenon is considered from its nature, meaning, functions and significance including extant controversies. The Catholic Church’s pedagogy and ethics also form the study’s scope. From methodology, the work is phenomenological, historical, and analytical as well as logically compliant with syllogism in collection and analysis of data. The research infers that natural law is useful to societal wellbeing.
COMPETITION AND HARMONYThis essay draws on the limitations of materialistic naturalism and ethical aspects attempted by Kato Hiroyuki in the 19th century Japan. In order to overcome the crisis of Western entry into East Asia in the 19th century, Kato Hiroyuki argued that Japan must achieve the development of a modern country through 'Harmony between People'. He studied Western state theory, especially through Bluntschli's political science and state theory, and criticized the Western state theory based on social contracts or natural rights as having an unproven metaphysical basis and insisted on the validity of the naturalist state theory which sees the state as an organism. However, when Kato realized that the organism state theory evolving through competition could harm the 'harmony between people' of the modern Japan, he argued that true evolution could only be possible through competition for harmony of community. In the end, he failed to overcome anti-metaphysical metaphysics called ‘materialistic naturalism’, as the Western social contract theory or natural rights theory he criticized.
THE POSSIBILITY OF ETHICAL BUSINESSAs the business activity is an integral part of our social life, building an ethical society must include, among others, ensuring the ethical conduct of this activity. The concept of ethical business, however, has always been controversial especially in light of the alleged incompatibility of the profit motive with the motive of benevolence. Accordingly, it is thought that the profit motive is essentially selfish which thereby contradicts the selfless motive of benevolence. A standard strategy for reconciling these two motives takes the profit motive as a means to perform benevolent acts, which, however, only separates the business act from the ethical one. This essay advances an alternative strategy in which said motives occur simultaneously as motives for performing the same act. After demonstrating its possibility through a case involving General Motors, the essay shows how this strategy can be ethically justified using the Kantian moral principle of respect for persons.