Challenging Carel’s (2007) Phenomenological Account of Illness: What Physical Comedy May Tell Us About Defining Health and Illness

By Kaitlin Sibbald, The University of King’s College Introduction In this paper, I critically examine Havi Carel’s definitions of ‘health’ and ‘illness’ as explored in her article “Can I be Ill and Happy?”. Using analogous phenomenological accounts described in theories of comedy, I argue that Carel’s account is too limited to include all phenomenological experiences of health and illness and propose an adaptation to her definition to account for experiences she may neglect. In “Can I be Ill and Happy?”, Havi Carel argues that incorporating a phenomenological account into how we understand illness gives credence to the lived experience of … Continue reading Challenging Carel’s (2007) Phenomenological Account of Illness: What Physical Comedy May Tell Us About Defining Health and Illness

Virtue in an Unjust Society: Do We Need a Consequentialist Perspective to Flourish?

By Kaitlin Sibbald, The University of King’s College In this paper, I will examine the role of virtue in an unjust world. I will begin by giving a brief account of virtue theory, as described by Aristotle. Drawing on ideas from Lisa Tessman, I will subsequently argue that when society is unjust, acting virtuously may prevent people from cultivating virtuous traits, prevent even the most virtuous person from flourishing, and direct those who pursue virtue away from flourishing rather than towards it. Next, I will provide arguments from Tessman and Chris Frakes, who suggest that we may need to redefine … Continue reading Virtue in an Unjust Society: Do We Need a Consequentialist Perspective to Flourish?

The Liturgical and the Ethical in Lacoste and Kierkegaard

By: ALEXANDER GILMAN The relationship between the liturgical, defined by Jean-Yves Lacoste as “the logic that presides over the encounter between man and God writ large,” and the ethical is deeply ambiguous. Throughout Lacoste’s phenomenological work, Experience and the Absolute, the call of man and the world is set in contrast with the call of the Absolute. In this text Lacoste begins with the Heideggerian notion of our being as being-in-the world-toward-death and explores how a liturgical relationship with the absolute subverts, but also sublates, our being-in-the-world in favor of a being-toward-God. Without rejecting Heidegger’s fundamental ontology, Lacoste aims to … Continue reading The Liturgical and the Ethical in Lacoste and Kierkegaard

Reason and Self-Interest in Hobbes’ Reply to the Fool

By JOSEPH CARLSMITH ABSTRACT: The Fool offers a famous objection to Hobbesian ethics: if practical rationality is rooted in self-interest, then isn’t it rational to abandon ethical reasoning when doing so “conduces to one’s benefit”? In this paper, I examine Hobbes’ reply to the Fool as it reveals the limitations of the moral theory presented in Leviathan. I begin by sketching out the reply and two traditional ways of interpreting it – the “case-by-case” interpretation and the “rule-commitment” interpretation. I argue that for empirical reasons both these interpretations fail to answer the Fool’s challenge. I then turn to an interpretation … Continue reading Reason and Self-Interest in Hobbes’ Reply to the Fool

Therapy, Ethics, and Religiosity: The Necessity of Conversion Included in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Therapy

By MICHAEL PUTNAM In Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, he writes that the ideal philosopher “treats a question; like an illness” (PI 255). This move from treating a question as something to be answered to treating it as something to be cured might encapsulate the focus of the Investigations; it certainly sums up Wittgenstein’s approach to various problems relating to the philosophy of language, the philosophy of logic, and the philosophy of mind. In this sense, Wittgenstein considers his method therapeutic and concludes that philosophy should do nothing more than demonstrate how its own questions are rooted in mistake. But Wittgenstein … Continue reading Therapy, Ethics, and Religiosity: The Necessity of Conversion Included in Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Therapy

Brain Steroids: Ethical Concerns Regarding Cosmetic Neurology and Psychopharmacology

By GENNADIY KATSEVMAN ABSTRACT: Advancements in the field of medicine have created several novel ethical concerns. Developments in neuroscience, for example, have resulted in the creation of a new field called “neuroethics.” This paper addresses the neuroethical issue of psychopharmacological enhancement; should society have rules against psychopharmacological enhancement or “brain steroids,” particularly in academia? If so, on what guidelines should the rules be based? I argue that there should be no major restrictions against enhancement itself, although drugs that are blatantly harmful should be prohibited as with therapeutic drugs. In Part One, I provide arguments in favor of psychopharmacological enhancement. In Part Two, I describe and refute arguments against such enhancement. Finally, in Part Three, I provide … Continue reading Brain Steroids: Ethical Concerns Regarding Cosmetic Neurology and Psychopharmacology

Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on the Ethical

By Raj N. Patel .. Nietzsche and Kierkegaard are two great thinkers of the 19th century who had numerous points of philosophical intersection. Both had a distaste and suspicion for religious authority and instead emphasized individualism and subjectivity. However, one main area of disagreement between them the conception of the “ethical”: Nietzsche had a great distaste toward a conventional universal moral code of behavior, whereas it is precisely this universal ethic that characterizes Kierkegaard’s “ethical stage of life” which constitutes an important presupposition for his notion of the “religious stage of life”. In this paper, I will explore Kierkegaard and … Continue reading Nietzsche and Kierkegaard on the Ethical

Philosophical Opposition of Liberty and Utility

By Raafay Syed John Stuart Mill, one of the most prominent British philosophers of the 19th century, has had a tremendous influence on political philosophy, ethical theory, and much of the liberal thought which has dominated contemporary Western culture. His libertarian viewpoints are espoused in his essay On Liberty, which is an unwavering defense of individual liberty and freedom from limitations imposed by society. A few years later, Mill published his essay Utilitarianism, in which he argues that utility is the fundamental principle of morality. The principle of utility, or the greatest happiness principle, states that right actions are those … Continue reading Philosophical Opposition of Liberty and Utility

Role of Will in a Neuroscientific World

By Markus Prinz I. Introduction The debate on the role of neuroscience in the context of the law has crucial repercussions for the notion of legal responsibility. Legal responsibility and moral responsibility are not necessarily analogous; however, there is a strong correlation. Moral responsibility often informs our sense of legal responsibility, but the latter is best understood as a subset of the former. Legal responsibility is less demanding than moral responsibility mainly due to the context of its function: the courtroom. In the courtroom, evidence is the focus of judgments, whereas moral responsibility adjudicates in cases that are purely internal … Continue reading Role of Will in a Neuroscientific World