This paper defends an intellectualist interpretation of Diotima’s speech in Plato’s Symposium. I argue that Diotima’s purpose, in discussing the lower lovers, is to critique their erōs as aimed at a goal it can never secure, immortality, and as focused on an inferior object, themselves. By contrast, in loving the form of beauty, the philosopher gains a mortal sort of completion; in turning outside of himself, he also ceases to be preoccupied by his own incompleteness.
This paper offers an intellectualist interpretation of Diotima’s speech in Plato’s Symposium. Diotima’s purpose, in discussing the lower lovers, is to critique their erōs as aimed at a goal it can never secure, immortality, and as focused on an inferior object, themselves. By contrast, in loving beauty, the philosopher gains a mortal sort of completion; in turning outside of himself, he also ceases to be preoccupied by his own incompleteness.
Individuals are faced with the many opportunities to pirate. The decision to pirate or not may be related to an individual''s attitudes toward other ethical issues. A person''s ethical and moral predispositions and the judgments that they use to make decisions may be consistent across various ethical dilemmas and may indicate their likelihood to pirate software. This paper investigates the relationship between religion and a theoretical ethical decision making process that an individual uses when evaluating ethical or unethical situations. An (...) ethical decision making model was studied for general unethical scenarios and for the unethical behavior of software piracy. The research model was tested via path analysis using structural equation modeling and was found to be appropriate for the sample data. The results suggest that there is a relationship between religion and the stages of an ethical decision making process regarding general ethical situations and software piracy. (shrink)
Luck egalitarians equalize the outcome enjoyed by people who exemplify the same degree of distributive desert by removing the influence of luck. They also try to calibrate differential rewards according to the pattern of distributive desert. This entails that they have to decide upon, among other things, the rate of reward, i.e., a principled way of distributing rewards to groups exercising different degrees of the relevant desert. However, the problem of the choice of reward principle is a relatively and undeservedly (...) neglected issue among luck egalitarians. The main goal of this paper is to highlight the importance and difficulty of this problem, and to elaborate upon G. A. Cohen's community-oriented response to it. In the last section, I provide a taxonomy of distributive pluralism, contrasting Cohen’s view with other (not so genuine) pluralisms - especially with all-things-considered varieties - while trying to motivate readers to adopt the more robust form of pluralism. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the apraxia argument in Cicero’s Academica. It proposes that the argument assumes two modes: the evidential mode maintains that skepticism is false, while the pragmatic claims that it is disadvantageous. The paper then develops a tension between the two modes, and concludes by exploring some differences between ancient and contemporary skepticism.
Some scholars have argued that CEOs may have excessive influence on their foundation's trustees to give away a portion of company profits to charitable causes in order to gain access to elite circles or support the CEO's personal causes. This may result in charitable contributions that ultimately serve the personal interests of the CEOs without regard to corporate interests or social needs. We examine the extent that CEOs appear to direct charitable giving to be compatible with their own personal interests, (...) and if CEO participation on the foundation board affects the relationship between CEO personal interests and charitable giving. Using a sample of 160 corporate foundations, our results showed that CEOs' interests, as measured by membership in different non-profit organizations, was associated with foundation charitable giving. This association decreased, but was not eliminated, when CEOs were absent from the foundation board. Implications of these findings for researchers and managers are discussed in regards to both agency theory and stewardship theory. (shrink)
This chapter examines Plato's moral psychology in the Phaedrus. It argues against interpreters such as Burnyeat and Nussbaum that Plato's treatment of the soul is increasingly pessimistic: reason's desire to contemplate is at odds with its obligation to rule the soul, and psychic harmony can only be secured by violently suppressing the lower parts of the soul.
Note: "Next to Godliness" (Apeiron) is an expanded version of this paper. -/- According to Plato's successors, assimilation to god (homoiosis theoi) was the end (telos) of the Platonic system. There is ample evidence to support this claim in dialogues ranging from the Symposium through the Timaeus. However, the Philebus poses a puzzle for this conception of the Platonic telos. On the one hand, Plato states that the gods are beings beyond pleasure while, on the other hand, he argues that (...) the best human life necessarily involves pleasure. In this paper, I argue that the solution to this puzzle lies in the fact that the processes by which we assimilate to god, learning and becoming virtuous, are restitutive and hence pleasant. Thus, the reason why the best human life necessarily involves pleasure is that we can never become fully divine and perfect, but must constantly strive to become like the divine, through pleasureful restitutive processes. In this paper, I also provide a close examination and taxonomy of the different models that Plato presents throughout his corpus of assimilation to god. (shrink)
In this essay Suzanne Rice examines Aristotle's ideas about virtue, character, and education as elements in an Aristotelian conception of good listening. Rice begins by surveying of several different contexts in which listening typically occurs, using this information to introduce the argument that what should count as “good listening” must be determined in relation to the situation in which listening actually occurs. On this view, Rice concludes, there are no “essential” listening virtues, but rather ways of listening that may (...) be regarded as virtuous in the context of particular concrete circumstances. (shrink)
Plato's "Ion," despite its frail frame and traditionally modest status in the corpus, has given rise to large exegetical claims. Thus some historians of aesthetics, reading it alongside page 205 of the Symposium, have sought to identify in it the seeds of the post-Kantian notion of 'art' as non-technical making, and to trace to it the Romantic conception of the poet as a creative genius. Others have argued that, in the "Ion," Plato has Socrates assume the existence of a technē (...) of poetry. In this article, these claims are challenged on exegetical and philosophical grounds. To this effect, Plato's use of poiētēs and poiēsis in the Symposium is analysed, the defining criteria of technē in the "Ion" and other dialogues are identified and discussed, and the 'Romantic' interpretation of the dialogue is traced to Shelley's tendentious translation of it. These critical developments lead to what is presented as a more faithful reading of the dialogue. In the "Ion," it is claimed, Plato seeks to subvert the traditional status of poetry by having Socrates argue that poetry is both non-rational and non-cognitive in nature. In the third part of the article, suggestions are offered as to the contribution made by the "Ion" to the evolution of Plato's reflections on poetic composition, and particularly as to the reasons which later induced Plato to substitute the concept of mimesis for that of inspiration in his account of poetry. (shrink)
This paper has attempted to present Wonch'uk's Ban-ya pa-ra-mil-da sim gyeong chan (般若波羅蜜多心經贊) or Commentary on the Heart Sūtra which was written in classical Chinese in the 7th century. As an example of the intellectual analysis of a sūtra, Wonch'uk's Commentary is an important text that has exerted asignificant influence on East Asian Buddhist thought. A prominent Korean Yogācāra scholar, Wonch'uk authored twenty-three works during his lifetime; unfortunately, all but three have been lost. The Commentary on the Heart Sūtra is (...) the shortest among his extant writings, yet it clearly reflects his incomparable erudition. To date, there has been very limited research on Wonch'uk and his thought in both the East and West. Utilizing Wonch'uk's original Chinese text,this paper will examine the distinctive features of Wonch'uk's Commentary which may offer the contemporary readers an opportunity to remind the importance of sūtra study and the engagement in sūtra exegesis. (shrink)
Theories of citizenship have largely focused on the provision of rights by law and policy measures, as if rights are universally beneficial and cost-free and the invitations of rights will be accepted once offered. I challenge this assumption and highlight the need to empirically address how people negotiate with the benefit and cost of claiming rights. Based on ethnographic research in South Korea, this article delves into the everyday lives of migrant women in two feminized sectors of migration—cross-border marriage and (...) sexual commerce—to situate the act of claiming rights in relation to the gendered pursuit of moral respect. I show that feminist groups in South Korea relied on the discourse of victimization and trafficking in pressuring the South Korean state to account for the human rights of migrant wives and migrant hostesses, while reinforcing the moral hierarchy that renders problematic migrant women’s work and intimate relationships. I argue that the distinctive material and moral costs that accompanied human rights–based provisions compelled migrant wives and hostesses to pursue divergent paths in seeking alternate bases to citizenship that would support their inclusion as moral equals. (shrink)
Theological stateist theories, the most well-known of which is Divine Command Theory (DCT), ground our moral obligations directly in some state of God. The prior obligations objection poses a challenge to theological stateism. Is there a moral obligation to obey God’s commands? If no, it is hard to see how God’s commands can generate any moral obligations for us. If yes, then what grounds this prior obligation? To avoid circularity, the moral obligation must be grounded independent of God’s commands; and (...) therefore DCT fails to ground all moral obligations in God’s commands. I argue that DCT proponents should embrace “metaethical DCT.” On this view, there is no moral obligation to obey God. God creates our moral obligations out of normative nothingness. I argue that this helps DCT proponents to escape the prior obligations objection. Other theological stateist theories can modify their theory similarly to meet this objection. (shrink)
Drawing extensively on her letters and published writings, this study synthesizes Hannah Arendt’s own perspectives on her Jewish identity and the views of others, and then offers a reconsideration. What emerges is that Arendt’s Jewishness is problematic and interesting to her only in relation to Germany and Israel, and not in the American context where she engages in a universalistic discourse transcending identity conflicts and perplexities.
This article discusses the nature of euthanasia, and the way in which redevelopment of the concept of euthanasia in some influential recent philosophical writing has led to morally less discriminating killing/letting die/not saving being misdescribed as euthanasia. Peter Singer's defence of non-voluntary ‘euthanasia’of defective infants in his influential book Practical Ethics is critically evaluated. We argue that Singer's pseudo-euthanasia arguments in Practical Ethics are unsatisfactory as approaches to determining the legitimacy of killing, and that these arguments present a total utilitarian (...) improvement policy—not a case for non-voluntary euthanasia. (shrink)
In this paper, I offer a new interpretation of Aristophanes’ speech in Plato’s Symposium. Though Plato deliberately draws attention to the significance of Aristophanes’ speech in relation to Diotima’s (205d-206a, 211d), it has received relatively little philosophical attention. Critics who discuss it typically treat it as a comic fable, of little philosophical merit (e.g. Guthrie 1975, Rowe 1998), or uncover in it an appealing and even romantic treatment of love that emphasizes the significance of human individuals as love-objects to be (...) valued for their own sakes (e.g. Dover 1966, Nussbaum 1986). Against the first set of interpreters, I maintain that Aristophanes’ speech is of the utmost philosophical significance to the dialogue; in it, he sets forth a view of eros as a state of lack and a corresponding desire for completion, which is the starting-point for Diotima’s subsequent analysis. Against the second, I argue that Aristophanes’ speech contains a profoundly pessimistic account of eros. Far from being an appreciative response to the individuality of the beloved, eros, for Aristophanes, is an irrational urge, incapable of satisfaction. It is this irrationality that precludes Aristophanes’ lovers from achieving the partial satisfaction of erotic desire that is open to their Socratic counterparts through their relationship to the forms. (shrink)
This chapter provides a general, philosophical account of the use of harmful force in self-defence as a type of retaliation. It argues that pre-emption — the use of harmful force for prevention — is not an act of self-defence. The associations between the concepts of retaliation, self-defence, and pre-emption are discussed.
The Dutch law states that a physician may perform euthanasia according to a written advance euthanasia directive when a patient is incompetent as long as all legal criteria of due care are met. This may also hold for patients with advanced dementia. We investigated the differing opinions of physicians and members of the general public on the acceptability of euthanasia in patients with advanced dementia.
This paper critically addresses two central aspects of Frances Kamm’s account of conceptual and evaluative issues of terrorism in ‘Terrorism and Intending Evil’, Ethics for Enemies (oup 2011), chapter 2. The paper engages with what Kamm says about cases in which an act done from a morally bad intention or motive overtly exactly mimics a justifiable act. I argue that in such a case, an actor’s intention to terrorise is more significant to the question of whether what he or she (...) does is a terrorist act than Kamm allows. I also press considerations that run counter to Kamm’s view that in such cases an actor’s intention or motive is not directly relevant to the moral permissibility of actions that harm other people who are not otherwise liable to receive that type and degree of harm. (shrink)
An educational intervention using forgiveness as the goal was implemented with 10 at-risk adolescents attending an alternative school in a Midwestern city. The adolescents ranged in age from 15 to 19 years of age. A randomized experimental and active control group pre- and post-test design was used. Twenty-one participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group or the control group. Classes met daily for 31 sessions for approximately 23 hours of education. Enright’s process model of forgiveness was used as (...) the focus of the intervention. Dependent variables included forgiveness, self-esteem, hope, depression, and state-trait anxiety scales. After the education, the experimental group gained more than the control group in forgiveness and hope, and decreased significantly more than the control group in anxiety and depression. Verbal reports from the experimental participants following the education also illustrate the positive impact forgiveness had on the students. (shrink)
Plato's Hesiod is a neglected topic, scholars having long regarded Plato's Homer as a more promising field of inquiry. My aim in this chapter is to demonstrate that this particular bias of scholarly attention, although understandable, is unjustified. Of no other dialogue is this truer than of the Ion.
Preference utilitarianism is widely considered a significant advance on classical utilitarianism when it comes to explaining why it is wrong to kill people. This paper focuses attention on the nature of the preference utilitarian 'direct' objection to killing a person and on the related claim that a person's preferences are non-replaceable. I argue that the preference utilitarian case against killing people is overstated and overrated. My concluding remarks indicate the relevance of this discussion to deeper issues in normative moral theory.
Part personal documentary, part exercise in medical semantics, this essay brings the analytical tools of a linguist and the human perspective of a patient receiving treatment in the American health care system to bear on the language we use—for the most part unconsciously—to talk about illness and disease. Topics to be explored include linguistic ramifications of the illness/disease distinction; referring expressions for health disorders; the “linguistic construction” of disease (what's in a name?); the “translation” of biomedical information from the specialists' (...) dialect into everyday idiom; and the metaphoric/symbolic dimension of body-parts and their afflictions. (shrink)
In today’s pluralistic society, clinical ethics consultation cannot count on a pre-given set of rules and principles to be applied to a specific situation, because such an approach would deny the existence of different and divergent backgrounds by imposing a dogmatic and transcultural morality. Clinical ethics support needs to overcome this lack of foundations and conjugate the respect for the difference at stake with the necessity to find shared and workable solutions for ethical issues encountered in clinical practice. We argue (...) that a pragmatist approach to CES, based on the philosophical theories of William James, John Dewey, and Charles Sanders Peirce, can help to achieve the goal of reaching practical solutions for moral problems in the context of today’s clinical environment, characterized by ethical pluralism. In this article, we outline a pragmatist theoretical framework for CES. Furthermore, we will show that moral case deliberation, making use of the dilemma method, can be regarded an example of a pragmatist approach to CES. (shrink)
If you have never had a conversation with Tony La Vopa—and I mean a serious, four-hour conversation, in which topics range from Rousseau to the Final Four to marzipan to Kant—you have missed out on one of academia's great pleasures. Tony is one of intellectual history's most beloved conversationalists: because he knows many things, because he loves to tell stories, because he listens, because he argues. He also, incidentally, has mastered the pithy, but somehow personal, email: he once wrote me, (...) simply “You’re not resting,” and another time: “I’m alarmed about your porcelain addiction.” Those readers who know Tony only from his work on this journal or his published works will know the clarity, deep intelligence, and admirable density of his research and his editing, but may not know much about the conversations that he has sustained and that have sustained him across his career, and haven't caught the impish glint in his eye when he launches into a story about his own current fetishes, or lightly, invitingly, teases you about your own. And so, having had the pleasure of being a friend, coconspirator, and conversation partner of Tony's for several decades now, I have gladly accepted the honor of further acquaintingModern Intellectual History's readership with the career and contributions of Anthony J. La Vopa, whose work has done so much to make intellectual history the thriving field it is today. (shrink)
This essay argues that in overlooking the assault on the autonomy, unity, and tenacity of the classical world underway in Europe after 1880, historians have failed to appreciate an important element of historiographical reorientation at the fin de siècle. This second "revolution" in humanistic scholarship challenged the conviction of the educated elite that European culture was rooted exclusively in classical antiquity in part by introducing as evidence non-textual forms of evidence; the testimony of artifacts allowed writers to reach beyond romantic-nationalist (...) histories toward the identification of cultural areas, defined by morphological similarities, and to disrupt the traditional categories of the civilized and the barbaric. The essay focuses on a relatively obscure Austrian art historian, Josef Strzygowski, whose insistence upon Europe's dependence on Oriental forms and upon the superior historical value of material, over textual, evidence provided critics of philologically-based humanism with two important argumentative avenues. Strzygowski also represents a para-academic type, whose rise to power and prestige contributed to the so-called "decline of the German mandarins." In sketching his career, the essay attempts to show how this "decline" is bound up with the waning institutional and popular status of Renaissance humanism--and a corresponding rise of biologistic Germanophilia--in the two intellectual milieux Strzygowski inhabited . A final section suggests that this antihumanist crusade contributed not only to the articulation of racist historiography, but also to the eventual transference of politico-moral legitimacy to a non-elitist, anthropological definition of culture. (shrink)
According to Plato's successors, assimilation to god (homoiosis theoi) was the end (telos) of the Platonic system. There is ample evidence to support this claim in dialogues ranging from the Symposium through the Timaeus. However, the Philebus poses a puzzle for this conception of the Platonic telos. On the one hand, Plato states that the gods are beings beyond pleasure while, on the other hand, he argues that the best human life necessarily involves pleasure. In this paper, I argue that (...) the solution to this puzzle lies in the fact that the processes by which we assimilate to god, learning and becoming virtuous, are restitutive and hence pleasant. Thus, the reason why the best human life necessarily involves pleasure is that we can never become fully divine and perfect, but must constantly strive to become like the divine, through pleasureful restitutive processes. In this paper, I also provide a close examination and taxonomy of the different models that Plato presents throughout his corpus of assimilation to god. -/- Note: "Fleeing the Divine" (Philebus: Selected Papers from the VIII Symposium Platonicum) is an earlier, shorter version of this paper. (shrink)
To advance current knowledge on ethical decision-making in organizations, we integrate two perspectives that have thus far developed independently: the organizational identification perspective and the ethical climate perspective. We illustrate the interaction between these perspectives in two studies, in which we presented participants with moral business dilemmas. Specifically, we found that organizational identification increased moral decision-making only when the organization’s climate was perceived to be ethical. In addition, we disentangle this effect in Study 2 from participants’ moral identity. We argue (...) that the interactive influence of organizational identification and ethical climate, rather than the independent influence of either of these perspectives, is crucial for understanding moral decision-making in organizations. (shrink)
Even in a society of meat-eaters such as the United States, when diet is addressed in school at all, it is widely treated as matter of personal choice, the consequences of which are borne by individual consumers. Overlooked are myriad connections involved in human diet and the implications of consumption for other entities. In the first part of this essay, Suzanne Rice discusses ways in which diet, particularly meat-eating, is connected to animal suffering, environmental harms including climate change and (...) pollution, and risks to the health of agricultural workers and consumers. In the second part, she discusses ways in which education might be “ecologized” in efforts to help students gain insight into such connections. There are many ways to ecologize education, but regardless of how teachers proceed, they are likely to encounter not only simple ignorance, relatively unproblematic gaps in students' knowledge linked to youth and inexperience, but also willful ignorance, more problematic gaps linked to avoidance, manipulation, or rejection of evidence perceived as threatening. (shrink)
: This essay concerns the dignity of nonhuman animals. It is composed of three sections. The first recounts my experience of a Moscow Circus performance and records some of my thoughts, feelings, and observations of this circus' famous bears. As is obvious from that account, the performance and presentation of the bears seemed to me to be undignified in a nontrivial, that is, morally objectionable sense of the word. The second section of the essay tries to specify that sense, to (...) identify the wrong(s) with these sorts of undignified performances, by developing a moral sense of dignity that might extend, generally, to nonhuman animals. I believe that the setting of this performance and my own frame of mind—the fact that it took place in Moscow and in the midst of my exposure to sites and stories of communist oppression—helped me to see the oppression of human and nonhuman animals as linked and the performance as a performance of power relations. The third section of the essay explores these power relations from an ecofeminist perspective through the circus' depiction of the 'momma bear.'. (shrink)