Humanities and Social Sciences

Przegląd Filozoficzny. Nowa Seria

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Przegląd Filozoficzny. Nowa Seria | 2020 | No 3 |

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Abstract

Ruth Klüger, a writer of Jewish origin born in Austria in 1931, initiates discourse on ethical issues in the modern humanities by suggesting that women displayed greater morality in the context of the drama of the Shoah. This discourse requires emphasis, but also critical analysis. Referring to the philosophical and psychological as well as to the historical context, that is specifically to the events of World War II, I attempt to reflect on the women’s ethics of care and answer the question whether the indicated differences undermine the existence of a human morality shared by both sexes, that is whether morality depends on sex. The purpose of the interdisciplinary interpretations in the present analysis is to recognize the challenges and problems related to the condition of human dignity raised by Klüger in her argumentation.

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Aleksandra Bak-Zawalski
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The paper discusses conditions of proper communication between the doctor and the patient focusing on the Treatise of the Hypochondriack and Hysterick Passions (1711) by Bernard Mandeville. The method of treating hypochondria, based mainly on dialogue, presented in this work allows the doctor to correctly recognize disease and to awaken self-knowledge in the patient. Combining hypochondria with stomach problems, expanding the field of factors influencing the development of this disease proves that Mandeville interprets man holistically in the treatment process, and his preferred method focuses more on psychological rather than physical problems. Philopirio, as a representative of Mandeville’s medical views, assumes the role of a medical advisor, whose main task is physical and constant contact with the patient. The Philopirio’s method of treatment becomes effective thanks to medical virtues, especially diligence and empathy. Mandeville’s work unambiguously proves that in the process of diagnosis and convalescence communication between the doctor and the patient has an important role, and sometimes it is essential in the process of curing the patient.

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Agnieszka Droś
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Business ethics – together with other branches of applied ethics – faces a challenge of the validity of its claims. These ethical claims must be convincing for participants of economic life and meet the requirement of impartiality. Of course, philosophical ethics helps in this search. Among many ethical propositions, the emphasis is on those that have sufficient epistemological grounding (often taking the form of a meta-ethical recommendations). Considering this condition, the choice of ethical tools is significantly reduced. For this reason, the search for ethical standards applicable in social practice is continued in the sphere of culture. Meanwhile, this widening of the research field must be done with caution. It is hard to find in culture an answer to the question about the criteria for ethical behavior. Culture, of course, is founded on such criteria. However, there are more of them than would be expected by an ethicist seeking – in this area – a solution to the problem of the validity of an ethical norm. The fact that complicates this search is that the changes that have been taking place in Western culture since the mid-twentieth century are very powerful. Their multi-faceted nature means that their systematization (carried out using the principle of non-contradiction) is not possible. The hypothesis regarding the complexity and heterogeneity of normative beliefs held by Western societies is confirmed (among others) by the analysis of processes initiated by the performative turn. Hence the choice of arguments offered by performance studies. They harmonize with the leading intention of this research paper. They explain why the world of cultural values – despite the multitude of practices of giving them significance – legitimately aspires to be the normative foundation of collective life, including economic life.

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Przemysław Rotengruber
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The purpose of the article is to present, analyze and evaluate the concept of freedom in Friedrich August von Hayek (1899–1992). First, I point out the main determinants of his understanding of freedom (with the emphasis on the fact that freedom means the absence of arbitral coercion towards the individual by other people), then I present Hayek’s arguments for his definition of freedom, as well as for his conviction that freedom is what should be absolutely valued and what is worth defending. An attempt is made to evaluate those ideas in terms of their relevance and convincingness – both in relation to Hayek’s analyses of notion of freedom as well as his normative statements.

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Halina Šimo
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A common observation of everyday life reveals the growing importance of data science methods, which are increasingly more and more important part of the mainstream of knowledge generation process. Digital technologies and their potential for data collection and data processing have initiated the birth of the fourth paradigm of science, based on Big Data. Key to these transformations is datafication and data mining that allow the discovery of knowledge from contaminated data. The main purpose of the considerations presented here is to describe the phenomena that make up these processes and indicate their possible epistemological consequences. It has been assumed that increasing datafication tendencies may result in the formation of a data- centric perception of all aspects of reality, making data and the methods of their processing a kind of higher instance shaping human thinking about the world. This research is theoretical in nature. Such issues as the process of datafication and data science have been analyzed with a focus on the areas that raise doubts about the validity of this form of cognition.

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Grażyna Osika
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The article presents possible ways of development of decision-making processes in autonomous vehicles. The highest degree of autonomy means that it is not the driver but the system, machine or artificial intelligence that makes decisions about road activities. The total autonomy of vehicles gives them predictability, limits the number of accidents they cause, but also highlights the need to develop an ethical system that artificial intelligence will be able to refer to in a critical situation. It is not possible to foresee all the situations that will occur on the roads, so it is necessary to create robot- -human rights that will be a new and binding kind of decalogue. The key issue is that robotic-human rights should be universal, transparent and really applicable to everyone, otherwise there will be chaos on the road and the expected decrease of the number of accidents due to the introduction of autonomous vehicles will not come to pass.

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Dorota Szymborska
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Weak mysterianism defines the situation in philosophy of mind in which we can neither formulate a solvable problem of consciousness nor prove that it is unsolvable. To develop the issue the author starts with a description of the theories and concepts described as mysterious. General mysterianism is a position in the philosophy of mind, according to which we are admittedly able to indicate scientific issues but cannot formulate them as scientific problems and thus solve them. These issues are called ‘mysteries’ by Noam Chomsky. The article presents several argumentation strategies typical for mysterian theories – evolutionary closure, autonomy of consciousness, and methodological mysterianism of William Seager. Each is subject to criticism, which shows that the mysterian argumentation is non-conclusive. It turns out, therefore, that the problem of mysteriousness is that indicating the possibility of mysteries in science does not entail a proof that we are dealing with specific mysteries (first and foremost the mystery of the mind).

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Witold Marzęda
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In the article, the topic of mentalization as the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others is considered. The author concentrates on the aspect of the mental states in different approaches to mentalization. She proposes that the inclusion of various mental states is justified, although it induces some difficulties. In the conclusion, consequences of applying current conceptions and using them to elucidate the variety of mental states are presented.

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Adrianna Smurzyńska
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Sophie de Grouchy in her Letters on sympathy analyses the notion of sympathy, as a starting point using a critique of Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments. She also points out that sympathising with other people’s joys brings us pleasure, other people’s good experiences make us happy (especially if we are the ones who contribute to their well-being) and we want to see other people happy and not suffering. As she assumes, we naturally seek other people’s well-being and not their harm. De Grouchy underlines the role of imagination and reason, discerning coincidental good deeds and those that are an effect of intended actions. The paper aims to reconstruct a way in which de Grouchy seeks the grounds for morality in sympathy that is based on feeling and observation of physical pain and pleasure. This presentation of her theory that Polish readers are not closely accustomed with is a good starting point to inquire whether the argumentation presented by the author of the Letters on sympathy is coherent within her theory and whether it has proper justification.

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Anna Markwart
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The author presents the concept of man in the philosophy of Erich Fromm. The article consists of two parts. In the first part, the author presents how Fromm characterised the existential situation of man; in the second part he describes love as the main factor in the action and development of a human being. Man is part of nature, subjected to the rules of its laws, but he also transcends nature by the ability to use mind. A human subject is aware of his/her limitations and weaknesses with regard to nature. He/she feels lost and lonely in relation to other people and the natural world. Therefore, s/he looks for the frame of orientation and references. This search is the most important existential problem. Love is the solution to all problems of human existence. According to Fromm, man is the subject of love.

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Tadeusz Sznajderski
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The distinction between primary and secondary qualities, most famously outlined by Galileo, and subsequently supported, inter alia, by Descartes and by Locke, has widely been considered one of the crucial factors in the development of modern idealism. In its contemporary form, the distinction identifies some of the perceived properties as mental phenomena due to their content and structural dependence on the mind. However, this account of the primary/secondary distinction is largely different from its original version developed by the above-mentioned philosophers, within whose work the mental being of the perceived qualities was demonstrated objectively, from the conceptually-derived nature of matter, and not subjectively, by referring to the mind’s participation in the cognitive process. It was only at the next stage of the early modern subjectivisation of sense perception, best exemplified by such philosophers as Arnold Geulincx and Richard Burthogge, that the creative role played by the mind in sensation and, consequently, the mind-dependency of the sensible qualities was recognised – a turn influenced by the reinterpretation of Aristotelian philosophy offered by Jacopo Zabarella and the Paduan school, as well as by anti-Aristotelianism of the kind developed in Netherlands. Furthermore, the two different approaches to the primary/ secondary distinction can be linked with two main types of post-Cartesian idealism, i.e. Berkeleian and Kantian – a claim for which illustrative evidence from British philosophy, namely from Berkeley’s and Burthogge’s respective theories, can be drawn.

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Bartosz Żukowski
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In the opinion of Bogusław Wolniewicz (1927–2017), Wittgenstein in his Tractatus presented a new metaphysics – a modern ‘metaphysics of facts’, in opposition to the traditional ‘metaphysics of substance’ (Aristotle) or to the ‘metaphysics of things’ (Tadeusz Kotarbiński’s ‘reism’). The new metaphysics describes, just like the old ones did, the structure of the world. First, it refers to the world as a whole, seeing in it an actualization of one of numerous possible worlds. It also refers to the elementary unit of world-structure, which is an ‘atomic fact’ (an independent unit, though at the same time not the simplest one, since it involves further ‘simple objects’). Those concepts of ‘world’, ‘atom’ and ‘possible beings’ make the system of Tractatus ‘metaphysics’, comparable to the Aristotle’s metaphysics of ‘form’ and ‘matter’. In Tractatus, the Aristotelian ‘matter’ turns into ‘simple objects’, while ‘form’ becomes a form of ‘fact’. In this view, the world is conceived as a set of facts and equals a particular choice made from the universe of possible situations. But one element is missing in Wittgenstein’s system, namely, the ‘efficient cause’ responsible for the choice of facts (actualization of possibilities). Leibniz believed there was a ‘sufficient reason’ why a particular choice was made among possible situations and one possible world has become real. This ‘sufficient reason’ finally turned out to be God’s rational will. In Wolniewicz’s late philosophy however, the ‘efficient cause’ is only ‘fate’ or ‘chance’ (τύχη). Fate is therefore the mysterious deus absconditus of Wittgenstein’s metaphysics.

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Łukasz Kowalik
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The aim of the paper is to highlight St. Anselm’s way of thinking about nature and order in the world created by God. God for Anselm is the highest nature, one which exists most fully; He possesses the fullness of being, because His essence is identical to His existence. He is the cause of all existing things and does not have a cause Himself, for He exists per se. The order of nature may be observed in two ways: when departing from the diversity of existing beings and when considering these beings before their creation, existing in the divine intellect as ideas and models, after which God called into existence particular objects.

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Monika Malmon
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The aim of present paper is to analyse two different interpretations of Xenophanes’ scepticism sketched by Sextus Empiricus in his work Against Logicians. The very first attempt of a systematic grasping of the meaning of the poet’s epistemological concerns can be understood in the light of the so called hypatyphos problem ascribed to Xenophanes already by Timon of Phlius, namely the question of alleged tension between two sides of Colophonian’s thought: dogmatic and sceptical ones. As a result, shared vital points of these interpretations can be mentioned: an endeavour to understand the poet’s philosophical doubts through later concepts of the sceptical school and its distinctive technical terms on the basis of silent epistemological assumptions. Also some characteristic features are presented (different modes of grasping the idea of opinion – dokos). Some prospective analyses concerning traits of these exegetic approaches in contemporary interpretations of Xenophanes’ scepticism are needed.

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Sebastian Śpiewak
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In the author’s opinion the traditional image of a human is incorrect: it is not the rational soul that directs people’s behaviour, but a set of programs (neural applications) recorded in the brain. The ego (sense, awareness, will) is able to block their action as long as the upbringing of the person in question has created the right habits and thus initiated proper programs in the brain. Human (as well as animals) turns out to be a combination of the matter (‘body’), spirit (‘ego’) and abstracts (neural applications). The difference between humans and animals is the complexity of human’s neural software and the ability to pursue the non-utilitarian purposes.

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Jędrzej Stanisławek

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Redakcja


Jacek Hołówka (Redaktor naczelny)

Bogdan Dziobkowski (Zastępca redaktora naczelnego)

Justyna Grudzińska

Jakub Kloc-Konkołowicz

Joanna Odrowąż-Sypniewska

Renata Wieczorek

Łukasz Kowalik (Sekretarz redakcji)

 

Rada Programowa


Adam Chmielewski (UWr)

Jan Hertrich-Woleński (UJ)

Paweł Kawalec (KUL)

Małgorzata Kowalska (UwB)

Anna Latawiec (UKSW)

Adam Nowaczyk (UŁ)

Jacek Paśniczek (UMCS)

Andrzej Przyłębski (UAM)

Andrzej Szahaj (UMK)

Renata Ziemińska (US)

 

Contact

Instytut Filozofii UW
ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, pok. 310
00-927 Warszawa
e-mail: przegfil@uw.edu.pl
tel. (22) 55-23-718
Sekretarz redakcji odbywa dyżury od poniedziałku do piątku w godz. 11.00−15.00.

http://pf.uw.edu.pl/

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