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  • Natural Law Theory Under the Sun - How Iranian Political Thought Viewed Tyranny as opposed to the West

    Arshadnejad, Shahram (2023)
    This qualitative research aims to explore and unravel the theory of natural law within its Greek context and its influence on political thought, particularly addressing the need to counteract the damages of tyranny and the cyclical succession of regimes, as articulated by Plato. This study reveals that the concept of natural law predates Stoics and it is rooted within the pre-Socratic natural philosophy. The study exposes that Aristotelian ethics and politics are rooted in the concept of natural law, ultimately giving rise to the Aristotelian "mixed form of government" and laying the groundwork for republicanism. In extending this inquiry, I attempt to identify a parallel argument in ancient Iran, investigating the presence of natural law and its impact on the political landscape. The concept of natural law, emphasizing the alignment of social and political affairs with nature's rules, played a significant role in shaping the Indo-Iranian communities. The Sanskrit term rta and its Avestan equivalent, Aša, denote this foundational concept. However, the ascendancy of Zoroastrianism and its new theology led to the consolidation of all Indo-Iranian gods into the singular omnipotent deity, Ahura Mazdā. Ahura Mazdā, along with its prophet Zaraθuštra, possessed the authority to govern both earthly life and the afterlife. The exclusive attributes of Ahu and Ratu empowered God and its messenger to formulate and enact laws ensuring a place in heaven. Consequently, Divine Law and positive law became intricately intertwined within a unified legal framework. This divine law, sanctioned by God and enforced by the King, diverges from the Greek perspective, particularly that of Aristotle, where tyranny is seen as a deviation from the ideal political order. In the Iranian context, tyranny is synonymous with God's representation, sharing the holiness and regal attributes of a King, who, in the Iranian and Avestan sense, enjoys God's blessing as Xvarənah or Faer-e Izadi. The intertwining of law and authority of the King precludes the possibility of an independent legal sovereignty apart from the King’s authority. The monotheistic tenets of Zaraθuštra’s religion, officially established in the 4th century AD as the Religion of the State, solidify this integrated system. Consequently, the coexistence of republicanism or any mixed form of government within Iran becomes unattainable under the influence of this monotheistic doctrine.
  • Hope, Hate and Indignation: Spinoza and Political Emotion in the Trump Era

    Tucker, Ericka (2018)
    In the Ethics, Spinoza argues that individual human emotions and imagination shape the social world. This world, he argues, can in turn be shaped by political institutions to be more or less hopeful, more or less rational, or more or less angry and indignant. In his political works, Spinoza offered suggestions for how to shape a political imaginary that is more guided by hope than by fear or anger. In this chapter, using the framework of Spinoza’s theory of emotions, I will investigate how Barack Obama’s promise of ‘hope’ was translated into Donald Trump’s rhetoric of hate. Such a transition, from hope to fear is one that would be unsurprising to Spinoza. Spinoza worried about the political and personal effectiveness of hope. He argued that hope can easily be turned into what he called ‘indignatio’ or indignation—an emotion that he believed eroded trust in political institutions. Spinoza warned about the danger of governance that relies upon the emotions of anger and hatred. I will set out how the Trump administration’s reliance on the motivational forces of hate and anger risk what Spinoza called indignation. Spinoza’s political works were written to show how to turn political indignation and anger into a chastened, and perhaps more rational, hope. Finally, I will propose that we may derive from Spinoza participatory, democratic institutions that can overcome this indignation.
  • Ideal Theory, Literary Theory, Whither Transfeminism?

    Cull, Matthew J. (forthcomin)
    In 2005, Charles Mills published “‘Ideal Theory’ as Ideology” in Hypatia: a withering critique of much of contemporary political philosophy and ethics. For Mills such work in philosophy failed to attend to the realities of social life and politics, and in remaining silent on actual issues of domination and oppression served an ideological role in supporting the interests of white bourgeois men. Around the time that Charles Mills launched his broadside against ideal theory, trans theorists had been fighting their own battle against the abstraction of theory from the realities of trans lives and oppression. Vivian Namaste (2000) and Jay Prosser (1998) argued that contemporary gender theory failed to justice to the actuality of trans life, retreating instead to understanding trans life through literary archetypes and idealized radical figures. In this chapter I’ll compare Mills’ critique of ideal theory with the transfeminist critique of 1990s gender theory, arguing that they share much in common. Centrally, both critiques share an underlying commitment to theory needing to be grounded in the actuality of oppression and power relations. This common thread, I suggest, must continue to guide transfeminist thought and action: contra Marquis Bey (2022) transfeminist thought and praxis must continue to be about trans lives, about the oppression of trans women, and about ways of actually achieving liberation from our current dire position.
  • Spinozan Meditations on Life and Death

    Klein, Julie R. (2021)
    In Ethics 4, Spinoza argues that “A free man thinks of nothing less than of death, and his wisdom is a meditation on life, not on death” (E4p67). Spinoza’s argument for this claim depends on his view of imagination, reason, and scientia intuitiva and on his notion of conatus. I explicate Spinoza’s view of life in terms of power (potentia) and show that Spinozan death amounts to reconfiguration rather than absolute annihilation. I then show that E4p67 reflects Spinoza’s well-known account of the three kinds of knowing. Thinking of death is quintessentially imaginative and passive. The free person of E4p67 is in contrast a rational person. To reason, and as becomes especially clear E5, to experience scientia intuitiva, moreover is to think of things “without any relation to time, but [rather] sub specie aeternatitis”(E2p44c2) and to experience activity To the extent, then, that we are rational, free, and active, death is a non-issue. Indeed, to the extent that we are able to meditate on life sub specie aeternitatis, we actually experience joy, love (E5p20s, p32c), eternity (Sp23s), and “the greatest satisfaction of the Mind” (E5p27).
  • Tinkering with Technology: How Experiential Engineering Ethics Pedagogy Can Accommodate Neurodivergent Students and Expose Ableist Assumptions

    Van Grunsven, Janna B.; Franssen, Trijsje; Gammon, Andrea; Marin, Lavinia (2024)
    The guiding premise of this chapter is that we, as teachers in higher education, must consider how the content and form of our teaching can foster inclusivity through a responsiveness to neurodiverse learning styles. A narrow pedagogical focus on lectures, textual engagement, and essay-writing threatens to exclude neurodivergent students whose ways of learning and making sense of the world may not be best supported through these traditional forms of pedagogy. As we discuss in this chapter, we, as engineering ethics educators, designed and implemented a new engineering ethics exercise with which we aimed to promote inclusivity at the levels of form and content. At the content level, students were invited to critically engage with inclusivity-undermining ableist assumptions in technology development. This took shape, at the form level, through a hands-on ‘material tinkering’ workshop in which students collaboratively and creatively altered (or ‘hacked’) artifacts used in contexts of disability and healthcare, so as to operationalize values of inclusivity and accessibility. Our hunch was that this hands-on tinkering workshop would simultaneously encourage a meaningful way of engagement with these ethical issues and values, while also enacting a more inclusive learning environment by enriching the range of pedagogical activities and learning formats available to our students.As we aim to show in this chapter, we believe this hunch largely panned out – though there are clear areas for future improvement pertaining to the pilot exercise itself and the research we conducted on the exercise. We begin by offering a description of our tinkering exercise. We discuss the exercise’s source of inspiration (Sect. 16.2.1) and its implementation (Sect. 16.2.2), which is visually captured via photographic documentation. We then discuss (Sect. 16.3) how we utilized a triangulated research method to assess the pedagogical value of the exercise. After we discuss our findings, we conclude by identifying areas for future improvement (Sect. 16.4).
  • Life in Process: The Lived-Body Ethics for Future

    Sauka, Anne (2020)
    The article explores the concept of ‘life’ via processual ontology, contrasting the approaches of substance and processual ontologies, and investigates the link between ontological assumptions and sociopolitical discourses, stating that the predominant substance ontologies also promote an objectifying and anthropocentric framework in sociopolitical discourses and ethical approaches. Arguing for a necessary shift in the ontological conceptualization of life to enable environmentally-minded ethics for the future, the article explores the tie between the sociopolitical discourses embedded in a worldview that is grounded in substance ontology and ethical frameworks. Whilst affirming this tie, this study also explicates the limitations and potential feasibility of a processual understanding of life, in the context of the existential disposition of the self-alienated lived-body self that is ontologically predisposed to objectification as a necessary pre-condition to human self-awareness.
  • Sufficient Reason and the Causal Argument for Monism

    Frim, Landon (2011)
    What is the role of the principle of sufficient reason in Baruch Spinoza’s ontological proof for God’s existence? Is this role identical within Spinoza’s early work on method, the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, and his magnum opus, the Ethics? This paper argues affirmatively that the methodology employed within the Ethics is consonant with that method found within the Treatise, and this claim is substantiated through an engagement with the influential works of Don Garrett and Aaron Garrett. It is also demonstrated through an original reconstruction of the Treatise itself. In this reconstruction, basic premises are identified which can validly prove Spinoza’s intended conclusion of substance monism. It is finally determined that what the Treatise and the Ethics share, specifically, is a methodology which begins with non-nominal definitions that denote the real, sufficient causes of their respective objects. However, at certain junctures, this methodology is expressed with greater consistency within the Treatise as opposed to within the Ethics. Evidence for this will be provided from the primary texts themselves and from the subsequent analyses of Don Garrett and Aaron Garret as well.
  • The Infinite Passion of Responsibility: A Critique of Absolute Knowing

    Beach, Dennis (1998)
    What is the relationship between knowledge and ethics? Does what we know and the reason that secures knowledge determine ethical responsibility, or might ethical responsibility itself awaken and animate the enterprise of knowing? The dissertation affirms the priority of ethics by juxtaposing two accounts of the relationship between truth and goodness. It critiques Hegel's systematic conception of absolute knowing by showing that this knowing elides the anarchical ethical demand arising from the other person. Hegel's dialectic reconciles the problem of the relation with the other by transposing it to the plane of cognition where it becomes spirit's self-knowing. However, Emmanuel Levinas's phenomenological reduction of the structures of knowing exposes an ethical level of experience that both inspires and interrupts this adventure of knowing. ;After the introduction of this problematic, Chapter 1 examines the challenge that Levinas poses to Hegel, discovering in experience and subjectivity a ground where real dialogue can take place. Chapter 2 traces the reconception of subjectivity by which Hegel brings all exteriority within the experience of self-consciousness and compares this with Levinas's notion of "lived experience." In Chapter 3, I show how Levinas's account of sensibility and enjoyment resists incorporation into Hegel's notion of self-consciousness. Chapter 4 examines the encounter with the other person and explicates why Hegel's and Levinas's accounts cannot be reconciled or made to complement one another, for the non-allergic responsibility incurred in the face to face relation is inassimilable to the antagonism of the same and the other experienced as self-consciousness. Then, in Chapter 5, I trace Hegel's pursuit of a more authentic recognition of otherness through the development of the concept of spirit, paying special attention to the role of language. The ultimate accomplishment of spiritual recognition in Hegel's account is again challenged by Levinas's notion of responsibility, which signifies as an ethical "saying" apart from the "said." Finally, I contest the absoluteness of knowing without denying the dialectic that animates it by suggesting that philosophy can be maintained as a human enterprise, a pursuit of knowing that is ever subject to and interrupted by the face of the other
  • Quantum Technologies in Industry 4.0: Navigating the Ethical Frontier with Value-Sensitive Design

    Umbrello, Steven (2024)
    With the emergence of quantum technologies such as quantum computing, quantum communications, and quantum sensing, new potential has emerged for smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0. These technologies, however, present ethical concerns that must be addressed in order to ensure they are developed and used responsibly. This article outlines some of the ethical challenges that quantum technologies may raise for Industry 4.0 and presents the value sensitive design methodology as a strategy for ethics-by-design of quantum computing in Industry 4.0. This research further investigates the potential ethical difficulties that may come from the use of quantum technologies in Industry 4.0, such as concerns about privacy, security, accountability, and the influence of these technologies on workers and society as a whole. The article argues, based on current literature, that these issues necessitate a proactive and comprehensive approach to ethics-by-design.
  • Lični interes i moralna motivacija vernika

    Prnjat, Aleksandar (2012)
    In this paper, I consider an important objection to moral motivation of believers. It is the objection that their acts are motivated by self-interest,i.e. their personal salvation. Such motivation is sometimes identified as selfish. Therefore, I demonstrate the distinction between self-interest and selfishness. I would like to remind the reader that the critique of self-interest as moral motivation of believers appears within the very traditions of the major world religions. Then, I argue that some contemporary forms of secular ethics still refer to a certain form of self-interest.
  • Your Feelings Are Wrong

    Miller, Stephen Kekoa (2016)
    We live at a time when many aspects of our educational culture are declared to be in crisis. Increasingly, the STEM movement dominates initiatives at the same time that there is less agreement about what constitutes a Humanities or liberal arts education. Relatively broad consensus indicates that it should make students somehow “better”. Within the field of pre-college normative ethics surveys, a survey of textbooks shows that most agree on what a course like this should look like. In evaluating the effects of an ethics curriculum, however, most show diffidence to claim moral transformation in their students. At least part of this problem seems to stem from mainstream philosophy’s longtime bias against and misunderstanding of emotions. A closer look at emotions and how they might be educated offers a very different picture how a successful ethics curriculum could look. A typical ethics curriculum of any level presumes that a course neutral in regards to which, if any, of the normative ethical theories covered is true. However, any such course begins with a host of implied values that might not necessarily be shared with the students. If it’s the case, as contemporary moral psychology suggests that at the very least, our rational minds inform our behavior and moral judgments far less than we might have thought, then a course in normative ethics needs to engage emotions far more effectively. Martha Nussbaum’s recent work Political Emotions suggests some important ways that desirable emotions like civic love and undesirable emotions like disgust might relate to a curriculum. With the right approach, perhaps we can begin to claim that a moral philosophy course might make someone more moral.
  • Why Aristotle Isn’t a Virtue Ethicist. Living Well and Virtuously in Aristotelian and Contemporary Aretaic Ethics

    Kaya, Deniz A. (2024)
    Drawing on Anscombe, in this essay I argue that we should not take Aristotle to be a moral philosopher, nor a virtue ethicist. This is because contemporary virtue ethics has little to do with Aristotelian ethics. While contemporary virtue ethics (or aretaic moral theory, as one may call it) operates on the level of moral and thus categorical norms, Aristotelian ethics—an aretaic life ethics—is primarily concerned with pragmatic norms. The main question for Aristotle is what a good general conduct of life is. The major concern of aretaic moral theory, on the other hand, is to provide a criterion of morally right action and hence to define the concepts of the morally right, the impermissible and moral duty in aretaic terms. This shows that contemporary authors assume a primacy of virtue, while Aristotle assumes a primacy of eudaimonia. I illustrate this distinction by addressing the question of how the virtues benefit their possessor.
  • Ethical Extensionism Defended

    MacClellan, Joel (2024)
    Ethical extensionism is a common argument pattern in environmental and animal ethics, which takes a morally valuable trait already recognized in us and argues that we should recognize that value in other entities such as nonhuman animals. I exposit ethical extensionism’s core argument, argue for its validity and soundness, and trace its history to 18th century progressivist calls to expand the moral community and legal franchise. However, ethical extensionism has its critics. The bulk of the paper responds to recent criticisms, including (1) environmental ethicists’ objection against its austere conception of moral value (2), feminist ethicists’ claim that extensionism fails to account for the moral significance of difference, (3) disability theorists’ concern that ethical extensionist arguments are offensive, and (4) animal rights theorists’ lament that extensionism is a practical failure. While something is to be gained from each criticism, I argue that they ultimately fail and that extensionism remains compelling.
  • Survival as a Reason to Live Morally: A Critical Examination of the Evolutionist Perspective

    Mortazavi, Fateme (2022)
    Morality is one of the most important issues for humans and a common concern of human beings. Talking about the importance of morality, prompts people to think about the question of why should we live morally? The answer to this question can be found among the various functions that thinkers have proposed for ethics, because if the agent’s knowledge confirms the usefulness of the action, then the agent will be motivated to do it. Therefore, the functions of an action can be an answer to why the action is performed. One of the functions of moral life is to increase the chance of survival, which has been introduced by moral evolutionists. The question of the present article is: how much this function can create motivation for a person to perform a moral act? Can the agent’s knowledge that ethical life increases the chances of survival motivate her/him to observe moral values? Considering the challenge of not believing in resurrection and sacrificing life, and many problems in life and the difficulties of ethical life, it is concluded that although increasing the chance of survival can motivate a person to live morally, but just increasing the chances of survival is not worth accepting the costs of being moral and does not provide enough motivation to endure the hardships of moral life. Therefore, evolutionary ethics is facing the challenge of lack of explanatory power for moral motivations and cannot be accepted as a comprehensive theory in the field of moral motivation.
  • L'épineuse question de l'odium Dei chez André de Neufchâteau

    Braekman, Valentin (2022)
    Among others, the recent work of Janine Idziak presents Andrew of Neufchateau (†1400) as a fervent advocate of “divine command ethics,” a promoter of radical voluntarism, according to which moral values depend solely on the divine will. One example that illustrates this theory is the “hatred of God” (odium Dei ), often discussed in the fourteenth century. Since moral values depend on the divine will, it can be morally good to hate God if that is his command. Andrew has been seen and is still seen today as a supporter of this view. The present paper aims to reconsider this interpretation.
  • Kritik der ethischen Institution

    Münchow, Thies (transcript Verlag, 2024-03-14)
    Die Idee des modernen Verfassungsstaats beruht auf dem Akt der freiheitlichen Selbstbestimmung aller Bürger*innen. Insofern bildet er die ethische Institution schlechthin. Denn wo das Volk die Parameter der Freiheit bestimmt, da gilt es, das Wesen der Freiheit selbst zu begreifen. Bleibt dieses Begreifen aus, wird der Gründungsakt zur gewesenen Freiheit und die Verwaltung des Staats zur Expert*innensache. Doch wo bleibt da die kreative Freiheit? Diese Frage macht eine Kritik der ethischen Institution notwendig. Dabei zeigt Thies Münchow in Anschluss an Kant und Hegel den integralen Zusammenhang von Ethik und Politik auf und nimmt zuletzt eine Neubestimmung der politischen Theologie vor.
  • Die Kunst des Möglichen III

    Hubig, Christoph (transcript Verlag, 2024-03-21)
    Inwieweit sind unsere Handlungsvollzüge und ihre Ordnungen durch Technik bedingt? Nachdem Christoph Hubig die Ermöglichungsfunktion der Technik freigelegt (Band I) und eine Moral für den Umgang mit technischen Möglichkeiten entwickelt hat (Band II), entwirft er nun in diesem (eigenständig lesbaren) Band III in kritischer Auseinandersetzung mit Foucault und der Akteur-Netzwerk-Theorie ein technikadäquates Machtkonzept. Jenseits eines »Technikdeterminismus« oder der Behauptung einer eigendynamischen Technikevolution steht dabei der Unterschied zwischen einer Strukturdynamik und einer Netzdynamik im Vordergrund. Zudem werden die Erträge dieser Modellierung für die Frage eines Wandels von Autonomie und (ethischer) Kontrolle geltend gemacht.
  • Herausforderungen für die Politik und die Ethik

    transcript Verlag, 2024-03-21
    Politik soll ihre Entscheidungen nicht nur sachgerecht und gemäß den rechtlichen Rahmenbedingungen treffen, sondern ebenso den Ansprüchen der Moralität genügen. Anhand der vier Themen Moral, Terrorismus, Globalisierung und Demokratie zeigen renommierte Experten allgemeinverständlich auf, welche Herausforderungen damit für Politik und Ethik verbunden sind. Mit Beiträgen von Moritz Leuenberger, Herfried Münkler, Francis Cheneval und Julian Nida-Rümelin.
  • Hat die Schweiz ein Solidaritätsproblem zwischen Jung und Alt? Francis Cheneval im Gespräch mit Brigitte Kramer im Echo der Zeit, 04.03.2024

    Cheneval, Francis;; Kramer, Brigitte (SRF-Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, 2024-03-04)
    Erstmals in der Geschichte nimmt die Schweiz eine linke Initiative zum Ausbau des Sozialstaates an. Offenbar haben dabei die Älteren die Jungen überstimmt, wie eine Nachwahlbefragung von Tamedia zeigt. Ein Blick auf das Resultat mit dem Philosophen und Politikwissenschaftler Francis Cheneval unter den Aspekten Generationengraben, Egoismus, Solidarität und Finanzierung.

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