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48(2012)4 - Ethics of Christian inspiration

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The importance of substantial ethical issues. Is the diagnosis made by Tadeusz Styczeń correct?

  • language: English


Streszczenie

The author of the article reflects on what contemporary ethics could inherit from its long history. He investigates the question of the validity of Tadeusz Styczeń's claim that what we need is not a combination of ethics, but rather a multilateral approach to moral issues. Styczeń addressed a very important issue, namely he observed that nowadays contemporary ethics is very often wrongly juxtaposed with traditional ethics (whatever the latter refers to), because authors writing on the subject either miss the substantial issues raised by ethicists and confine themselves to meta-ethical considerations, or make attempts to "scientify" ethics, ipso facto reducing it to psychology or sociology of morality. He thus distinguished three approaches to the criterion of assigning value to human deeds, i.e. metaphysical, epistemological and linguistic, which the author of the article attempts to present to the reader. T. Styczeń believed that the above-mentioned approaches to assessing the moral value of an act are mutually complementary and there is no need to limit ethical considerations to only one method. It is necessary to use at least three. Further on in the article, the author briefly presents the way this is accomplished. Finally, the author wonders why Styczeń omitted the contractualism approach, advocated by such thinkers as Rawls, Habermas or Apel, to name but a few. It seems most probable that he considered it unnecessary as morality cannot be reduced to something that is of communal character. It has an individual dimension. It is also aimed at the ultimate goal. Moreover, justification of the value of a human act through reference to the social contract model may be only hypothetical, but not categorical in nature, as has been rightly – in the author’s opinion – pointed out by E. Tugendhat.

 

 
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47(2011)2 - Dissertations

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Correlations between phenomenology and metaphysics in French philosophy

  • language: English


Summary

Significant modifications to the understanding of phenomenology were introduced in the second half of the twentieth century in France. Some even speak about a theological turn, which may appear odd when the enlightenment tradition of this country is taken into consideration. The present work focuses mainly on the views of two thinkers, who seem the most representative of the changes, Jean-Luc Marion and Michel Henry. There is much evidence to support the claim that Husserl himself played a role in the changes as his views gave rise to certain interpretative doubts. He did not manage to free himself entirely from metaphysics as first philosophy. Thus many philosophers regarded phenomenology as unreliable, since its conclusions, they claimed, are too subjective and relative when it comes to determining sense. The author investigates whether the understanding of philosophy, and – to be more precise – the attempted transition to metaphysics proposed by the two philosophers is correct. The author discusses also to what extent the differences that occurred resulted from the translation from German into French. The analysis of the conceptions of the two philosophers is placed against a historical background. By referring to the work of philosophers such as Eckhart, Heidegger or Bergson, the author concludes that the main objection was raised not because Husserl proposed a new method, nor even because he referred to eidetics with all its restrictions, but because he claimed that pure phenomenology, considered as a science, can be solely the study of essence and absolutely not the study of existence. It is of no surprise that first Merleau-Ponty, and then Henry, Marion, and Ricoeur wanted to open philosophy to these dimensions, while saving phenomenological restrictions. Phenomenology opened its doors and became something between sciences and more speculative metaphysics. And this caused the theological turn.

 

 
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46(2010)1 - Dissertations

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An assessment of David Ross contribution to the understanding of obligations

  • language: Polish


Summary

This article goes beyond simply presenting the philosophy of D. Ross. It is rather a discussion, not only with his views, but also with those of his commentators. This discussion is quite focused, as it refers to those issues which show the dependence between theory and practice, and between the general moral law and specific laws. The analyses are also aimed at investigating the legitimacy of attempts to supplement the two best-known ethical theories (teleologism and deontologism), made both by Ross and by his commentators, to introduce the concept of prima facie obligations to Kant’s theory of perfect and imperfect obligations. Ross tries to review critically both the concepts of Aristotle and the theory of I. Kant.

It is not possible, however, to introduce either Ross’ prima facie obligations or Stratton-Lake’s propositions to Kant’s conception, if only because the philosopher from Königsberg understood obligations in a different way than Ross or his followers. For Ross, obligations are not specific instances of general duties, but reasons showing the proper features of human acts. They are not the principles of obligations, but only conditions on which specific demands may be made.