Volume 22, Issue 1 (2014)
Vulnerability, Power, and Gender: An Anthropological Mediation Between Critical Theory and Poststructuralism
by Vida Pavesich
This article addresses what philosophical anthropology may contribute to the debate between critical theory and poststructuralism. It examines one prong of Amy Allen’s critique of Judith Butler’s collapse of normal dependency into subjection. Allen is correct that Butler’s assessment of agency necessary for political action in inadequate theoretically. However, I believe that some accounting of the nature of the being for whom suffering and flourishing matter is necessary. To this end, I provide an ontogenesis of intentionality as a response to Butler’s notion of the corporeal vulnerability shared by all human beings. On this basis, I articulate an anthropology that renders intelligible the sources of and links between mutual recognition and agency—as well as clarifying the sense in which the historical association between complementarity and gender can still be a resource for progressive thinking.
Anxiety and the Emerging Child: Engaging “What is”
By Christopher Kazanjian
This paper utilizes a humanistic psychology theoretical framework and pays attention to the rampancy of anxiety affecting youth in the United States. This paper intends to explore the phenomena of anxiety and discuss how it could be perceived as an opportunity for growth if approached in a constructive way. Specifically, we argue that youth need to be able to meet their inner self in the phenomena of anxiety in an empowering way, rather than unconsciously fleeting its destructive affects.
Fatalism, Determinism and Free Will as the Axiomatic Foundations of Rival Moral World Views
By Yair Schlein
One of the prominent questions of moral thought throughout history is the question of moral responsibility. In other words, to what measure do human actions result from free will rather than from being subordinate to a common “predetermined” law. In ancient Greece, this question was associated with mythical figures like Moira and Ananke while in recent times it is connected with concepts such as determinism and compatibilism. The argument between these two world views crosses cultures and historical periods, giving the notion that there are two types of ethical point of view that have assumed shapes during history. These points of view are mutually exclusive on the one hand, and on the other, they both stand as axiomatic standpoints of morality throughout history. The dialectical relationship between the two formulates the moral discourse throughout history.
Epicurean Ethics in the Pragmatist Philosophical Counsel
By Aleksandar Fatic
This article explores the extent to which Epicurean ethics as a general philosophy of life can be integrated in a composite pragmatist approach to philosophical counseling. Epicureanism emerged in a historical era that was very different from the modern time and addressed a different philosophical ethos of the time. This alone makes it difficult for Epicureanism to satisfy all of the normative criteria for a modern ethics. On the other hand, the article discusses aspects of the modern “external”—duty- and demand-driven ethics that may contribute to the emergence of some of the main issues for modern philosophical counseling. The author points out aspects of Epicurean ethics that are potentially powerful tools to address the issues of mood and meaning in philosophical counseling, and thus serve as a contemporary complement to a complex duty-bound, yet pragmatist view of ethics.
“All the Consequences of This”: Why Atheistic Existentialism is more Consistent than Religious Existentialism
By Kile Jones
The variety of existentialist thought show existentialism to be a flexible denotation, one that can be shared by believers and atheists alike. When approaching such a loosely defined term as “existentialism” a few questions arise. What are the boundaries for inclusion or exclusion? Are there more authentic forms of existentialism than others? The former question is usually dealt with by showing the history of existentialism—from Kierkegaard to Nietzsche, Heidegger to Sartre—along with noting some common strands amongst their writings (e.g. subjectivity, powerlessness, anxiety, despair, dread, isolation, tragedy, nothingness, meaninglessness, absurdity, etc.). The latter question is much harder to deal with. It asks for a value judgment as to which kind of existentialism is more authentic than others. It relates to the former because the person answering such a question has to have an idea of what existentialism ought to look like, but it goes beyond it by asking a deliberately evaluative question. This article is going to take both questions into account by examining the concepts and content of existentialist authors, their strengths and weaknesses, and is going to explain why I think atheistic existentialism is more authentic than religious existentialism.
God? No and Yes: A Skeptic’s View
By Carl Stecher
After a mild indoctrination into the Christian faith, at the age of 15 I discovered myself to be a non-believer: the idea of an invisible, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God suddenly seemed simply unbelievable. Years later I decided to re-examine the question. Perhaps I had missed something. This in turn led to a fascination with God questions and religious belief, but a re-confirmation of my earlier discovery: the traditional Christian concept of God was not only unbelievable, but incoherent and morally muddled. But further reflection has yielded a qualifying conclusion: God—or rather gods, many gods—do exist but as ideas, tremendously powerful ideas that shape our reality. The crucial concern is that these be good ideas, which has not always been the case.
A Born Again Humanist
By Joseph J. Locascio
I died on February 10, 2000, a few weeks before my fiftieth birthday. I was in an indoor shopping mall in Cambridge, Massachusetts and I had a massive heart attack. My heart stopped, my breathing stopped, blood stopped deliv-ering oxygen fuel to my brain so my brain stopped and with it all conscious awareness for me completely ceased. That’s about as dead as you can get, wouldn’t you say?