HUMAN BEING: ITS NATURE AND FUNCTIONS. II
This issue of Dialogue and Universalism entitled HUMAN BEING: ITS NATURE AND FUNCTIONS. II includes the second part of papers presented at the 10th World Congress of the International Society for Universal Dialogue held at Craiova (Romania) in 2014.
The first volume of those texts was published in the previous Dialogue and Universalism issue (1/2015). The two volumes presented here reflect the on-going and vast intellectual legacy of the International Society for Universal Dialogue (ISUD).
Philosophical reflection on the meaning and nature of being human is a ceaseless and inexhaustible task. The richness and complexity of the philosophical approaches to exploring the meaning and nature of being human are on display in these engaging papers. These papers highlight that the problem of understanding who and what we humans are continually increases as the current experience of being human constantly adapts to new challenges and new reali-ties. In spite of the on-going articulation of philosophical insights into the meaning and nature of being human any final understanding of humanity remains a mystery as each generation must return to this issue time and again.
The depth and extensiveness of the problem of human being increases as each generation renews this timeless exploration. Traversing a classical dialectical expression, it can be said that man is cognitively non-exhaustible. Through their various theoretical backgrounds reflecting a diversity of cultures and philosophical traditions the papers collected here display and add to the depth, extensiveness, and richness of the problem of understanding what it means to be human. It should be noticed that the issues explored in the ISUD 10th World Congress anticipate the theme of the 24th World Congress of Philosophy to be held in Beijing: Learning to Be Human.
The papers presented here offer a wide panorama of the diverse philosophical perspectives within contemporary global philosophizing. The contents of the papers collected here constitute a journey to the many different aspects and multiple realms of being human. We hope these papers will inspire our readers to build on and continue this journey.
This initiative is an effect of the collective work shared by the authors, reviewers, ISUD editors, and the editorial staff of Dialogue and Universalism.
Dialogue and Universalism along with The International Society for Universal Dialogue wish to express our gratitude to the University of Craiova—the organizer of the ISUD 10th World Congress in 2014. Finally, the Dialogue and Universalism editorial staff would like to warmly thank the University of Craiova for the financial support of the publications of both the Congress issues.
EMOTIONS AND ETHICS. A CONVERSATION WITH MARTHA C. NUSSBAUM AND THOMAS AQUINAS
The paper tackles the question of the relevance of emotions in ethics. It argues that emotions are discerning and thus inherent components of morality and they deserve a place in adequate ethical projects. The paper engages into a conversation with Martha C. Nussbaum and Thomas Aquinas. Specifically, it presents accounts of compassion and anger to illustrate the discerning nature of these emotions and the moral value they might signal.
Keywords: Emotions, ethics, Martha C. Nussbaum, Thomas Aquinas, compassion, anger.
Affiliation: KU Leuven, Research Unit of Theological and Comparative Ethics, Sint-Michielsstraat 4, box 3101, 3000 Leuven, Belgium.
HUMAN FUNCTIONS AND HUMAN NATURE: RADIATION LIFE-THREAT
Radioactivity accompanied by ionizing radiation has always existed on the Earth, as well as in space, and so in every living tissue there are traces of radioactivity. With the discovery of the said radiation and identifying its effects on the human body, the fear of this phenomenon appeared. At high doses radiation causes serious tissue damages, while at small doses it can cause cancer and induce genetic defects. The best antidote for fear is knowledge. It is important to know the margins safety of radiation for human life. As a result, the topic of radioactive contamination of the environment has now become one of the most significant. In recent years the radon problem is a subject of a wide debate of geologists, geophysicists, ecologists, physicians, specialists in radiometry, and, of course, philosophers and sociologists, since the need for assessing the potential radon danger concerns human lives, human functions in society, and human future.
Keywords: radiation, radon, exhalation, radon volume activity, lung cancer, social security.
Affiliation: Department of Ecological Engineering, Kazan State Power Engineering University, Krasnoselskaya str., 51, Kazan, Russia
PERSON—FOR ME, AND OBJECT—FOR THE OTHER? HOW DOES HUMANISM OCCUR?
The problem sketched here in a non-conformist phenomenological manner concerns the transition from the theory of the self-sufficient individual to the theories of the social character of human being, and to the theoretical possibility to control the social asymmetries opposing to its fulfilment.
Keywords: person, subject, the Other, Sartre, Heidegger, humanism.
Affiliation: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest, Bucuresti, str. Ion Slatineanu, 23-26, sector 1, cod 010601, Romania
Tetiana Matusevych, Oleg Bazaluk
CYBORG, MUTANT, ANDROGYNE: THE FUTURE HUMAN BEING—WHAT WILL IT BE LIKE
(ISSUES OF PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION)
We analyse some current trends of viewing transformational changes of humankind (transhumanism, theory of androgyny, etc.). We present the key role played by philosophy of education in shaping an image of the future human being. We also determine the main characteristics of the personality of the planetary-cosmic type and the system of his personal, local and global interactions.
Keywords: posthuman, transhumanism, androgyne, philosophy of education, image of a future human being.
Affiliation: Kyiv University of Tourism, Economics, and Law, 02192, Kiev, st. Generala Jmachenko, 26, Ukraine
Affiliation: Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky Hryhoriy Skovoroda State Pedagogical University, 30 Sukhomlynskoho St, Pereyaslav-Khmelnytsky, Kyiv Oblast, 08401, Ukraine
NATURE AND LIVED EXPERIENCE IN LATE SARTRE
The paper deals with the Sartrean concept of lived experience which constitutes a bridge between phenomenology and Marxism, psychology and ontology, individual and society, as well as between philosophy and literary criticism. The notion of lived experience is rooted in psychology, at the same time being embedded in literary criticism and phenomenology. It is interlinked with the notions of facticity, contingency, singularity, intersubjectivity, and body in the Being and Nothingness, and became the theoretical base of Sartre’s essays on Baudelaire, Genet, and especially of that on Flaubert. This lived experience is closely related to the Sartrean phenomenological concept of nature which consists in the non-reflexive conscience of our own presence-at-the-world, including corporeality.
Keywords: phenomenology, hermeneutics, ontology, psychology, Marxism, subjectivity, corporeality, contingency, facticity, nature.
Affiliation: French Department and Doctoral School in Literary Studies, University of Pécs, Hungary
ARISTOTELIAN EUDAIMONISM AND PATRIOTISM
This paper concerns the prospects for an internal validation of the Aristotelian virtues of character. With respect to the more contentious trait of patriotism, this approach for validating some specific trait of character as a virtue of character provides a plausible and nuanced Aristotelian position that does not fall neatly into any of the categories provided by a recent mapping of the terrain surrounding the issue of patriotism. According to the approach advocated here, patriotism can plausibly, though qualifiedly, be defended as a virtue, by stressing its similarities to another loyalty-exhibiting trait about which Aristotle has quite a bit to say: the virtue of friendship.
Keywords: Aristotle; patriotism; friendship; eudaimonism; virtue ethics; internal validation; Alasdair MacIntyre; Marcia Baron.
Affiliation: Wichita State University, Department of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, 1845 Fairmount St., Box 74, Wichita, KS, 67260, USA
PLURALISM OF VALUES AND CULTURAL COMMUNICATION TODAY
The paper presents the role of the experience of historical transformation in the modifications of the historical conscience: the fragmentation, the marginality and the removal from the rational foundation of values. It associates the postmodern world with different forms of losing the sense of values, the lack of measure and nuance in appreciation, the weak preoccupation for identity, authenticity, conscience of values in human behavior. In order to discuss the theory of values the paper introduces Rickertʼs theory of the autonomy of value, Andreiʼs and Vianuʼs conceptions on the system of values, Schelerʼs hierarchy of values, and Hartmannʼs concept of knowledge of value.
Keywords: comprehensive vision, value, validity, autonomy of value, value realizations, gnoseological and ontological consciousness, use of value, feeling of value, re-signification.
Affiliation: University of Bucharest, Faculty of Philosophy , Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 4-12, Bucharest 030018, Rumunia
GLOBALIZATION AND COSMOPOLITANISM: SOME CHALLENGES
This paper discusses certain major challenges to the justification of ethical cosmopolitanism`s existence. They can be understood in the context of effects of the global economy on human life and values, due its social imbalances and inequalities. The foremost guiding idea of ethical cosmopolitanism maintains that all humans must be considered to be equal. However, this postulate is questioned in the globalization era.
Keywords: globalization, cosmopolitanism, communitarianism, inequality.
Affiliation: St. Cyril and St. Methodius University in Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria
CONSIDERING VALUE—WHAT ARE THE WAYS AND MEANS OF ITS EXPRESSION?
This essay considers the concrete consequences for human lives of social and economic values. Through case studies indicative of the Victorian age, early 20th century and contemporary 21st century, the evolutionary change in specific values is exhibited. Values are recognized as essentially shaping human conduct, while the exercise of individual choices in this milieu has resulted in progressive shifts breaking up the rigid adherence to values, establishing the possibility in some areas for greater tolerance, such as in the area of mores determining the institution of marriage. The destructive nature of corruption through material values is also presented.
Keywords: social values, economic growth, financial predation.
Affiliation: New York University, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, USA
THE HUMAN CHARACTER IN TIMES OF CONFLICT IN SELECTED TWENTIETH CENTURY AFRICAN AMERICAN NOVELS
The novels of the Civil Rights Era are the place where voices speak the unspeakable, where the reader is showed from various angles the human character in times of conflict. The novels chosen for analysis—The Color Purple and Native Son uncover oppression and trauma, ways to cope with the ills of a society, and the forms of redemption or healing methods according to the case. The issues tackled are not just racial, they are human issues too. In every story there are universal lessons for times of conflict when the power of reason should prevail. The message is to learn from history and thus prevent evil from reappearing.
Keywords: human character, conflict, oppression, abuse, prejudice, power, resistance, protest, trauma, healing.
Affiliation: the University of Craiova, 13 A. I. Cuza Street, Craiova, Romania
WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHARACTERS GONE? UNDERSTANDING THE CHANGING ETHOS OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND THE RECLAIMING OF “BEING” IN HIGHER EDUCATION VIA AN ANALYTICAL MATRIX
Loosely drawing its inspiration from the movie “The Matrix,” the article first walks the reader through the seminal work of two philosophers not usually placed together—Stephen Pepper and Richard Weaver. Specifically, the paper draws from Pepper’s philosophical categories of knowledge (formism, mechanism, contextualism and organicism) and Weaver’s philosophical categories of argument (argument by definition, argument by analogy and argument by cause-and-effect/ circumstance) to create an analytical matrix of twelve categories by which the varied formative institutions of higher education today, both in structure and exemplars, can be profitably compared both to the ethos of the “classic” university of the past. From within these competing historical models and their present-day reiterations, the locus of the often “disappearing” human being within them can (perhaps) be re-discovered by a reclaiming of a comprehensively self-reflective and critical reconstruction of meaning, a meaning which is often cloaked by a “secret” ideology governed by an unacknowledged worldview.
Keywords: Root metaphors/worldviews (Stephen Pepper), categories of argument (Richard Weaver), idea of the university (John Henry Newman), higher learning in America (Thorstein Veblen).
Affiliation: Department of Communication and Development Studies, The Papua New Guinea University of Technology (UNITECH), Lae, Morobe Province, 411, Papua New Guinea
E-mails: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
THE EMBODIED MIND: FROM MIND POWER TO LIFE VITALITY
This article discusses the corporeal component of the human mind. Uncertainty is a fundamental attribute of the human body due to which a body transforms itself into the body that allows to connect the world with the human mind. The process of overcoming the transcendental register of the human mind results in the ontological and anthropological shifts from ego to soma. Tracing the trajectory of these shifts we discover the bodily dimension in the human mind as its constitutive transcendental ground. This dimension makes the mind not only open to the world but makes the world a part of the human mind. It prevents the mind from exerting power over the world, and gives rise to life vitality of the embodied mind.
Keywords: embodied mind, the human body, ontology, ontological negativity, de-somatization, re-somatization.
Affiliation: The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine H. Skovoroda Institute of Philosophy, Philosophy of Culture, Ethics and Esthetics Department, 41 Reitarska, 5 Apt., Kyiv, 04053 Ukraine
REDUNDANCY AS A DRIVING FORCE OF HUMAN EXISTENCE
The technosocial formula is a key concept in social cognition. It means that society needs a larger amount of life resources than people can produce. The main social goal-means relationship along with technology is a provision of material production. Man is redundant to the extent to which his appearance goes beyond the natural balance. Production growth increases the amount of excess consumption and population, and at the same time the scarcity of natural resources. The volume of world energy consumption is increasing, while hydrocarbon energy sources are exhaustible. It is necessary to change the technology of energy-oriented use of oil. The main consequence of the reorientation to the use of biological resources will be the restructuring of the social world.
Keywords: technosocial formula, goal-means relationship, life resources, the excessive existence, environment, energy consumption, biological resources.
Affiliation: St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University, 29, Polytechnicheskaya st., 195251, St. Petersburg, Russia
THE SOCRATES TREATMENT
The first section of this paper examines the discursive procedure employed by Socrates to subvert common preconceptions of important socio-behavioral notions. The point of reference will be the concept of courage which is the main concern in Plato’s Laches. The key characteristics of paideia can be exhibited by reconstructing the procedure common sense is subjected to in this example. The second section discusses the tremendous influence this pattern of inquiry has had on traditional philosophy. Particular attention is drawn to the way it confers superiority to philosophers in “pedagogical” discourse and to the fact that this privileged stance can by no means be taken for granted under present circumstances.
Keywords: Socrates, quest for essences, paideia, Goethe.
Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Indoo Pandey Khanduri
THE NATURE OF HUMAN BEINGS AND THE MORAL REGULATION OF PASSIONS
Passionate human behavior should be regulated by moral instructions, teaching and practices. For explaining the issue, Rene Descartes in The Passions of the Soul and the Hindu traditions of Sāṁkhya are here considered. These two systems provide four-dimensional physical, mental/moral and spiritual descriptions of human nature and a mechanism of regulating passions. The first two parts of the paper are focused on the nature of human beings, its holistic and integrative character, and on understanding emotional behavior. The next two parts describe moral ways used to regulate passions on the basis of Samkhya’s eight steps, i.e., reasoning, hearing, studying, Pramod, Mudita̅ and Modma̅n, respect and gratitude. Descartes’ concept of generosity as a basis of the inculcation of virtues like self-esteem, veneration, hope, courage and bravery, self-satisfaction, is also analyzed. In conclusion, the relevance of the aforementioned mechanism is presented at the individual and social levels.
Keywords: Self-interest, benevolence, Purush, Prakriti, Triguna-Sattva, Rajas and Tamas, “Antahkaran”, mind, body, dualism, substance, six primitive passions.
Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hemvati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal Central University, Srinagar [Garhwal] Uttarakhand-246174, India
Email: indoo_khanduri @rediffmail.com
Anna M. Ivanova
THE COHERENTIST METHOD IN INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
The article introduces theories of epistemic justification to the problems of understanding in communication. Two dominant approaches in contemporary epistemology—foundationalism and coherentism—are applied in intercultural discourse. Since the intended meaning of utterances in communication is reached through inference, beliefs about the intended meaning are justified with respect to the evidence of communicative behaviour and context. Tracing the difficulties of intercultural dialogue, the article argues that the coherentist method of justification is more useful than foundationalist one. Coherentism is consistent with the open-mindedness and unprejudiced reasoning, both of which are crucial parts of intercultural competency.
Keywords: intercultural communication, understanding, utterance, linguistic meaning, epistemic justification, coherentism, foundationalism.
Affiliation: St Cyril and St Methodius University in Veliko Turnovo, 5000 Veliko Turnovo, 10 – A “Bulgaria” blvd, ap. 8, Bulgaria
THE CLASSIC MYTHOLOGY AND POLITICAL REGIME
This paper focuses on the relationship of myth with the ancient regime and on the transformation of poetic wisdom into poetic politics. The basic idea of this study claims that the political life in ancient communities was been projected into a mythology, and, in turn, a mythology often legitimizes political life. By reading Plato’s Timaeus and Novalis’ Heinrich von Afterdingen, this study aims to bring out the connection between the ancient and modern political regimes.
Keywords: Mythology; ancient regime; political life; Romantic politics.
Affiliation: Institute for Transcultural Studies (ITS), Beijing International Studies University (BISU), No. 1 Dingfuzhuang Nanli, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100024, China
Liu Jingzhao, Guo Jie
THE FUNCTION OF INTENTIONALITY IN IDEOLOGICAL COGNITION AND PRACTICAL ACTIVITIES
The aim of our research is to demonstrate that intentionality as a major property of consciousness and as a basic state of mind plays an important role in all the activities in which the subject is related to the objective world. This paper is based on John Searle’s theory of intentionality. Both ideological cognition and practical activity are object oriented activities. However, the objects targeted by them and the ways they are associated with their subjects are different. The function of intentionality of ideological cognition is mainly reflected on its directedness, whereas in practical activities—on its motivating and regulating capacities.
Keywords: intentionality; ideological cognition; practical activity; directedness.
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences, No.116 Bingzhou South Road, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province,030006,China
Affiliation: International Scientific Exchange Center in Shanxi Academy of Social Sciences, No.116 Bingzhou South Road, Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province,030006, China
VIRTUE EPISTEMOLOGY AS AN ANSWER TO SKEPTICAL CHALLENGE
The paper analyzes the strategy of refuting skepticism by virtue epistemology of Ernest Sosa. Responses to skeptical challenge are overviewed. The philosophical and meta-philosophical strategies are outlined. The solution based on distinguishing between reflective knowledge and animal knowledge is considered. The internalist assumptions of skepticism are critically exposed. The notion of web of belief is further used to support an anti-skeptical position. Shane Ryan’s notion of epistemic grace is put forward in defense of the virtue epistemology approach.
Keywords: skepticism, epistemology, virtue epistemology, Ernest Sosa, reliabilism, internalism, externalism.
Affiliation: Institute of Philosophy, Social Sciences and Mass Communications, Kazan Federal University, Kremlevskaya St. 35, Office 1602, Kazan, Russia
HUMAN NATURE IN THE POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY OF MODERNITY
This paper examines the relation between the problem of human nature and political theory; it is claimed that every such theory is founded on some anthropological preconditions. The paper studies the political conceptions of four modern philosophers: Thomas Hobbes, Jean Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, Pyotr Kropotkin. It reveals that two opposing tendencies form the imaginary of the modern era: the authoritative one that identifies an egoistic/ unsociable human nature that needs control, and the libertarian one that recognizes a human being capable of more advanced types of social fabric. It is also investigated how anthropological dualism can be transcended to permit the conception of a new anthropological type as well as the type of society that will help the human potentiality of consciousness and coexistence to unfold.
Keywords: human nature, political theory, modernity, society, social contract, civilization, sovereignty, freedom, needs, happiness, constitution, subject, consciousness, coexistence.
Affiliation: National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; Attikis 5, Rafina Attikis, 19009, Greece
OBJECTIVE KNOWLEDGE IN COMMUNICATIVE PRACTICE
The paper considers the nature of knowledge in communicative action. It is emphasized that knowledge is not a hypostatized sphere. Objective meaning is an element of the discourse space, which may be defined as an interaction between speech acts, extra-linguistic reality and texts. We intend to show that discourse is a purview of social schemes and standards, and its impact on communicative community is connected with the fact that the speech act is a perlocutionary effect.
Keywords: communicative practice, discourse, society, speech acts, objective knowledge, language.
Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, Kazan State Power Engineering University, 420066, Kazan, Krasnoselskaya str., 51, Russian Federation
EXPLORING MYTHS: A KEY TO UNDERSTANDING IGBO CULTURAL VALUES
Although the cultural values of the Igbo of South-East Nigeria are multiple and diverse, research seems to have identified a seminal link between most of them to the much touted sense of communality. In communality, the sheer strength and vivacity of the Igbo spirit is magnificently showcased, and in it there is a concrete assemblage of the Igbo mythology.
In this paper the Igbo myths of the origin of mankind and death are explored to evaluate their rich meaning-contents, their significant influence on the religious-cultural, and, in consequence, the whole gamut of the traditional people’s worldview was duly x-rayed. In conclusion, observations were presented which indicate that even the contemporary Igbo pathways are not bereft of the daunting influences of ancient myths.
Keywords: myths, cultural values, communality, destiny, hermeneutics recreation.
Affiliation: Institute of Foundation Studies, Rivers State University of Science & Technology, Port Harcourt, Nigeria P. O. Box 75, RSUST Post Office, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
HANNAH ARENDT ON THE RELATION BETWEEN MORALITY AND PLURALITY
In this article, we examine, in the light of Arendt’s categories, the fundamental structure of traditional claims on moral life. In other words, we evaluate the spirit in which traditional morality relates to the human world, especially, to the human condition of plurality. In this way, we shall be led to a perceptive reading of Arendt’s groundbreaking view on morality and its borderline possibility of assuming a paradoxically significant role in the worldly affairs.
Keywords: Arendt, Plato, Socrates, morality, plurality, thinking.
Affiliation: Department of Philosophy, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Philosophy, Pedagogy and Psychology, Secretariat Panepistimiopolis, 15784 Ilissia, Greece
THE IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON HUMANISM AND MORALITY
Advances in commercialism, materialism, and especially the exponential growth of telecommunication and social media, have dramatically altered the way human beings relate to one another and their environment. New means for providing access to education have arisen including online courses and programs thereby enhancing opportunities for participation in educational offerings and collaborative exchanges across the globe. This paper proposes to examine the online learning and its connection to the ultimate principle governing the values—integrity.
Keywords: online learning, internet, telecommunication, ethics, integrity.
Affiliation: Philosophy, Northern Illinois University, School of Art and Design, Jack Arends Building, Dekalb, IL, 60115-2883, USA
FROM “THE KINGDOM OF DARKNESS” TO “THE PIT BENEATH THE CAVE”: LEO STRAUSS’S CRITIQUE OF “STEADY PROGRESS” AND THE CONTEMPORARY IDEAL OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
In the Persecution and the Art of Writing (1952) Leo Strauss criticized the replacement of philosophical enquiry in youth education with history of philosophy and of philosophers with specialists in certain scientific fields. Contemporary calls for a “global social contract” (Philippe Moreau Defarges, 2010) emphasize the need of reforming international institutions and the importance of a youth education “for” sustainable development (UNESCO Decade of Education for Sustainable Development 2005–2014). Philosophical voices decry the ever-growing importance of institutions at the expense of individual freedom of expression and action. The article explores common points and differences between our ideal of sustainable development and the Straussian ideal of creative philosophical thought.
Keywords: Sustainable development, steady progress, Leo Strauss, early modern thought, contemporary political thought, international relations, global social contract, youth education, environmentalism.
Affiliation: Foundation for Intercultural and Interreligious Research and Dialogue (FIIRD) and The Levant Foundation at the University of Geneva 10, rue Albert-Gos, 1206, Geneva, Switzerland
Svetla Borisova Yordanova
MANIPULATIONS OF QUESTIONS OR MANIPULATIONS WITH QUESTIONS
I consider problem of questions used with the purpose of manipulating. If one is proficient in the art of asking questions, he/she can manipulate answers to the posed questions. If one does not want to be manipulated by questions, one should manipulate questions themselves. Moreover, I show that questions are not only a tool of gaining new information.
Keywords: natural language questions, manipulations, logic.
Affiliation: St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Turnovo, 5003 Veliko Turnovo 2, T. Turnovski str., Bulgaria