15th Annual International Symposium on EnvironmentProgram (Athens Local Time)(In the program presentations are included from all the subjects scheduled to be presented in parallel)
(Note: each presentation includes at least 10 minutes for questions and discussions if available)
Monday 25 May 2020
12.30-13.00 Opening and Welcoming Remarks:
Gregory T. Papanikos, President, ATINER.
13.00-13.45 Dominika Szoldrowska, Researcher, Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland. Title: Inventory of the Secondary Sources of the Biogenic Raw Materials in the Context of the Circular Economy (CE) Implementation in the Fertilizer Sector.(PowerPoint)
The main objective of a circular economy (CE), from the perspective of the waste management, is to transform waste into resources. Therefore, the use of waste as a source of biogenic raw materials in the fertilizer products and an implementation of nutrient recovery technologies are important parts of the transition process from linear economy into a sustainable and therefore well-balanced circular economy in the fertilizer sector. The current paper presents the inventory of the waste from which the fertilizer can be produced, due to the occurrence of nutrients (nitrogen – N, phosphorus – P and potassium – K) suitable for the growth and development of plants. The literature review has been done with the use of comprehensive analysis of existing data. The selection of primary literature items was proposed based on full-text databases (Elsevier, Scopus, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, BazTech, EUR-lex) and scientific articles available in a range of peer reviewed journals. The following waste streams have been identified as a possible sources of the secondary raw materials: household waste, food waste, green waste, digestion, sewage sludge (SS), sewage sludge ash (SSA), biomass ash, animal waste and plant waste. Based on the literature review, it was indicated that the analyzed waste show different values of the mentioned nutrients and therefore, various substitution potential for fertilizers. The average content of biogenic raw materials in household waste was equal to : 15,700 mg/kg for N –; 1,600 mg/kg for P; 14,800 mg/kg for K; food waste: 31,600 mg/kg for N; 5,200 mg/kg for P; 9,000 mg/kg for K; green waste: 20,800 mg/kg for N; 6,110 mg/kg for P; 24,500 mg/kg for K; SS: 35,600 mg/kg for N; 23,000 mg/kg for P; 12,685 mg/kg for K; digestate from municipal waste: 1,250.7 mg/dm3 for N; 14.30 mg/dm3 for P; SSA: 60,697 mg/kg for P; 9,756 mg/kg for K; biomass ash: 23,000 mg/kg for P; 440,000 mg/kg for K; post-fermentation pulp compost based on stillage: 11,900 mg/kg for N; 23,500 mg/kg for P; 58,400 mg/kg for K; animal waste: manure – 20,900 mg/kg for N; 21,400 mg/kg for P; 18,700 mg/kg for K; slurry – 3,500 mg/kg for N; 680 mg/kg for P; 1,900 mg/kg for K and plant waste: 13,300 mg/kg for N; 4,700 mg/kg for P; 25,400 mg/kg for K. The composition of presented waste streams can vary depending on many factors. The paper includes also the analysis of the content of other fertilizer components and heavy metals in the newest European fertilizer law. The disposal of identified waste as a source of biogenic raw materials is recommended direction in the European Union (EU), as a part of CE implementation. The study was developed under the project: „Monitoring of water and sewage management in the context of the implementation of the circular economy assumptions“ (MonGOS), no. PPI/APM/2019/1/00015/U/00001/ZU/00002 (2020-2021), which is financed by the Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange (NAWA) under the International Academic Partnerships Programme.
14:00-14:45 Agata Zdyb, Associate Professor, Lublin University of Technology, Poland. Title: The Study on the Performance of Thin Film Photovoltaic Technologies under Temperate Climatic Conditions(PowerPoint)
The increased interest is observed in renewable energy sources due to the limited amount of fossil fuels available and the effects of their combustion on the environment. Sunlight has by far the highest theoretical potential of all naturally replenished energy sources. The availability of solar energy varies with geographical location, however the progress in applications of photovoltaics (PV) is significant for the future development both in places of high solar irradiation and locations where less energy from the Sun is received. The presented study was carried in Poland, a country located at high latitude, where temperate climatic conditions occur. The investigation include the assessment of photovoltaic performance of thin film PV modules in juxtaposition with traditional polycrystalline modules (poly-Si). Three thin film technologies (based on amorphous silicon, cadmium telluride and copper indium gallium diselenide) were tested over three year period of time. The variations of efficiency, performance ratio and annual energy yield were evaluated in relation to seasonal changes of incoming solar radiation and temperature. The study reveals satisfactory energy production by copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) modules comparing to poly-Si, especially in summer when the solar irradiation and temperature are high. The investigation addresses also the performance of inverters, which contribute in system losses. This work indicates that in high latitude countries like Poland photovoltaics can be successfully implemented in spite of significant differences of external conditions in the warm and cold part of the year.
15:00-15:45 Myriam Elizabeth Vargas Morales, PhD Student, Universidad de los Andes, Colombia. Title: Characterizing Livelihoods of Artisanal Fishing Communities in Developing Countries: A Mid-Term Analysis.(PowerPoint)
The artisanal fishing communities in developing countries are characterized for having high levels of poverty and vulnerability, as well as an important dependence to fishing resources for their subsistence. The design of appropriate policies for the sustainable management of artisanal fisheries requires the understanding of livelihoods, food security and extraction decisions of fishing local communities. Despite a wealth examples of livelihoods of fishing communities analysis in the available literature, it is still poorly understood, theoretically and empirically, how these livelihoods are outcome of a wide range of simultaneous consumption and production decision. Moreover, the livelihoods of fishing communities has been studied with a static vision that not make possible to understand the highly vulnerability of these communities to shocks and external changes such as weather, prices, species’ physiology and ecology, environmental and climatic shocks, as well as other seasonal elements (e.g. tourism). In order to consider these dimensions, a household production model of fishermen is developed, where the households make simultaneous decisions of consumption and production, and fishing plays a main role in those decisions as a source of income and food security. The theoretical model is validated with the fishery and socioeconomic information collected once per month for three years from households of fishermen in the Corregimiento de Barú (Bolívar, Colombia). The results will allow contributing to improvement of small-scale fisheries performance and food security of marine fishing communities in tropical developing countries.
16:00-16:45 Tovo M. Andrianjafy, Research Scientist, Andriani Institute, Research Center, USA. Title: Chemical Ecology: Integrated Vector Management as an Alternative to Insecticides (Study in Madagascar).(PowerPoint)
In recent years, a recrudescence of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, zika, has been recorded worldwide, especially in tropical countries such as Madagascar. Insecticides are effective and increasingly selective for the control of vectors but still induce dangerous ecological consequences. The significant increase in resistance phenomena calls into question the overall viability of the approach. Female mosquitoes must have a blood meal for growth and maturation of their eggs. Thus, they spot their hosts via molecules of kairomones, found on animal and human skins. That selective and close interactions between host, vectors, and info-chemical molecules offer new possibilities for chemical ecology as biocontrol and alternative to insecticides. We have initiated search for attractant and repellent molecules that can be used as mosquito bait in specific traps and also to protect exposed populations with low ecological impacts. Known molecules for attractive effectiveness properties have been tested such as isovaleric acid and 1-octen-3-ol; other molecules known as repellent have also been tested such as picaridine and N,N-diethyl-metatoluamide. Repellent molecules are classified as DEET, (direct application to people’s skin to repel insects), meaning rather than killing mosquitoes, DEET works by making it hard for them to smell kairomones. Development of a new family of active compounds are being investigated, mainly based on coumarin derivatives. Field studies included the use of CDC (center for disease control) light traps and BG (biogent) sentinel traps. Trapping using bait provides information on the abundance and diversity of mosquito vector species in a given area.
17:00-17:30 Meredith Drees, Chair, Department of Religion and Philosophy, Kansas Wesleyan University, USA. Title: Sin, Death, and Moral Growth in Iris Murdoch’s Discussion of Art.(PowerPoint)
In Iris Murdoch’s view regarding the connection between Ethics and Aesthetics, the notion of a loving respect for an individual reality other than oneself is something that is relevant to all forms of art. However, she insists that the highest form of art is tragedy, “because its subject-matter is the most important and most individual that we know” (S&G 54). Usually, the artist strives to create something that is self-contained and self-explanatory, but what makes the art of tragedy “disturbing” is that self-contained form is combined with something that defies form, namely, “the individual being and destiny of human persons” (S&G 55). The aim of my paper is to examine why, exactly, Murdoch suggests that this is the case. I shall discuss Murdoch’s arguments regarding the art of tragedy, and I shall argue that, on her view, both the idea of original sin and tragedy concern the difference between suffering and death. Sin, she says, is “the evasion of the idea of death” (MGM 104). If, on the other hand, we acknowledge death, this will lead us to morality. That is, acknowledging the fact that part of our human condition is that we will die, leads to a humbling of the self, and in turn a death of the ego. I suggest that if sin is the evasion of the idea of death, it would make sense to say that, for Murdoch, sin also evades the defeat of the ego, and, hence, part of sinning just is acting in accordance with egotistic fantasies. With this in mind, I shall argue that, for Murdoch, the idea of death and the realization of it plays a role in defeating the ego; i.e., the selfish part of us. Since, for Murdoch, becoming moral involves becoming selfless, the experience of tragedy may motivate moral growth in a person.
17:30-18:10 Meredith McFadden, Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, USA. Title: When is it Wrong NOT to Have a Child?(PowerPoint)
Becoming a parent is not a morally neutral decision. There are better and worse ways of deciding to become a parent. The more medical technology advances, the more choices for the manner in which we can become parents will be available, and thereby more ways in which we can go wrong. In vitro fertilization paired with preimplanation genetic diagnosis allows parents to choose amongst potential embryos, prenatal testing allows parents to know more about their pregnancies, and the development of genetic editing via CRISPR points to a future of design that opens up further choice. With these choices comes questions of the permissibility of making selections between potential parenting relationships. Deciding to become a parent to certain potential children but not others draws out tensions in our understanding of the morality of the parental relationship itself. It is common for potential parents to screen for medical conditions in their children using current technology. In debates in biomedical ethics concerning the choice of potential parents to select against certain conditions that would lead to their child experiencing a life of more disadvantages, the focus has been on child-centered reasons. In noting this and expanding the discussion, I hope to make progress in articulating the framework of discussing the permissible attitudes towards advantage and disadvantage in a potential child’s life. Considerations that indicate the possibility of a child’s flourishing seem appropriately relevant to parental choice. In this paper, I articulate the moral landscape of parental choice in terms of child-centered and parent-centered reasons and the conditionality of the commitment of parenthood. When the focus of the choice is on the child’s flourishing, I suggest, as it is in child-centered reasons, then a potential parent is morally satisfactory so long as they meet epistemic standards of assessing that flourishing. The troubling forms of deliberation come in when parent-centered reasons are employed in particular manners. I articulate these deliberations as parent-centered conditional opting-in considerations. When someone decides to have a child conditionally, and the conditions rest on parent-centered considerations rather than child-centered ones, this is where the morally dubious attitudes arise, I argue. With this suggestion, we can make sense of the tension between the lines of discussion in disability rights that point towards the permissibility of advocating against smoking and drinking during pregnancy while dissuading parents from selecting against children that have the conditions that such behaviors lead to. This framework also aids in understanding the conditions in which vectors of disadvantage such as gender identity, race, sexual orientation, and ability function similarly or come apart in permissible parental deliberation.
18:10-18:30 Tennyson Samraj, Professor, Burman University, Canada. Title: Right to Life/Live – Core Tenets and the Inalienability Question.
The Right to life, liberty, and property are inalienable rights defined and guaranteed by most constitutions. The American declaration of independence claims that these inalienable rights are self-evident truths (1776). However, is the inalienability of this right defensible? This paper purports that the inalienability of this right is indefensible for three reasons. (1) While we have the right to life, we are aware of the existential option and choice to continue to live or choose to die. This existential option is real and should not be ignored. (2) The same American constitution that argues the right to life as a self-evident truth also states in the 5th and 14th amendments that the right to life, liberty, and property can be annulled by due process as in cases of crimes such as murder or treason. How can something inalienable be subjected to any due process? (3) As long as we engage in just wars, argue for killing in self-defense and argue for capital punishment as penalty for crimes like murder or treason, we cannot truly argue for the inalienability of the right to life. Inalienable human rights, when understood in the context of the legal world, become alienable. However, while the inalienability of the right to life is indefensible, it is possible to define what is entailed in this right by asking the following questions. Should we define the right to life in the context of the existential option and choice to live or die? If one chooses to live, does this right include the right to have a place to live? Is ownership of the place we live in necessary? Does this right imply the right to self-defense, and does it purport the right to procreate? Does this right demand the freedom to think, believe, and act freely? This paper posits that this right purports five fundamental tenets: (1) the right to self-determination. (2) the right of self-defense. (3) the right to have a place to live and the right to own the space one lives in. (4) the right to procreate—for if one chooses to live, one can also choose to procreate. (5) The right to follow the dictates of one’s conscience and the right to believe. It appears that the right to life cannot be addressed independently of the right to have a place to live. The right of self-defense cannot be addressed independently of the right to bear arms. The option and choice to continue to live cannot be addressed independently of the option and choice to die when life is unbearable–the choice to die is not about killing oneself; it is about choosing to end one’s life when necessary. So the five core tenets—namely, self-determination, self-defense, ownership, freedom of conscience, and procreation are fundamental to the right to life.
18:30-19:10 Mark Morelli, Distinguished Professor, Loyola Marymount University, USA. Title: Plato’s Gorgias: Uncovering the Spiritual Corruption of a Respectable Man.
Plato’s Gorgias is remarkable for a variety of reasons. First, the likely date of its composition suggests that it may have been written by a Plato deeply angered by an unflattering revisionist account of Socrates’ conviction and execution circulated by Polycrates while Plato was away from Athens. It might be an attempt to correct the record and to expose the real reasons for Socrates’ execution. Secondly, despite the fact that the dialogue is named for Gorgias, the father of rhetoric, and was given the Thrasyllan subtitle “On Rhetoric,” the reader discovers quickly that Gorgias plays only a small role in the dialogue and is replaced by a follower and author of rhetoric textbooks Polus, and that Polus, in turn, is replaced almost as quickly by the politician Callicles. The bulk of Socrates’ conversation is with Callicles and is not about rhetoric but contrasts a life devoted to the pursuit of pleasure with one devoted to the pursuit of the good. Thirdly, none of Plato’s anatreptic/agonistic dialogues is as emphatically refutatory and polemical. The Gorgias is distinguished by the undertow of violence throughout, and each interlocutor is more volatile than his predecessor. Fourthly, while Socrates never succeeds in converting his opponents, no other dialogue concludes with so radical and hostile a standoff. Fifthly, Callicles is the only figure besides the Athenian Stranger in Plato’s dialogues of whom we’ve found no historical trace. The odd early disappearance of Gorgias after whom the dialogue is named, the dominant role of Callicles, the complete abandonment of the discussion of rhetoric, the ever-increasing volatility of the interlocutors, the radical final opposition, the absence of evidence of Callicles’ existence, and the unique structure of the dialogue – three conversations with three apparently quite different interlocutors – all have puzzled commentators. Dodds speculated that, despite their apparent differences, the interlocutors represent one force, are spiritually akin, that each subsequent interlocutor is the “spiritual heir” of the preceding one, and that the dialogue progresses from the superficial to the fundamental. His hypothesis has merit. I shall go farther than Dodds and propose that the three interlocutors are layers of the one personality, Gorgias, after whom the dialogue is therefore appropriately named, and that Plato is peeling away its outer layers, as one peels an onion, moving inward from its surface features to reveal its corrupt spiritual core. Instead of thinking of Polus and Callicles as “spiritual heirs” of Gorgias, it may be better to think of Gorgias and Polus as “spiritual descendants” or emanations of Callicles. On this view, Plato’s Gorgias exposes gradually the fundamentally aberrant core of Gorgias who, blissfully ignorant of his own aberrance, stands in radical opposition to the Socratic personality and is also obliviously complicit in its execution. Perhaps we find no historical traces of Callicles, not because he died young, a victim of his violent temperament, as some speculate, but because he’s actually a depiction of the darkest depths of the historical Gorgias. So it is, perhaps, that spatial framing of the Gorgias is minmal and an almost magical movement from ‘outside’ to ‘inside’.
19:10-19:40 Hugh Deery, Term Instructor, University of Alaska Anchorage, USA. Title: From Hawking to Nagarjuna: Interdisciplinary Infusion Tactics as a Means of Meeting Challenges, in a Competitive Work Environment.
The tremendous diversity in background and preparation of the student population of the University of Alaska Anchorage presents a unique set of challenges to delivering accessible content. Interdisciplinary learning methods are well-researched, effective means of meeting these challenges and can be implemented in online, hybrid, and conventional classroom settings. Unfortunately, the current political climate of not only our university, but many universities in the United States, makes it challenging to implement a number of these teaching styles. An infusion style of interdisciplinary learning can help avoid worrying about how to schedule and pay instructors from other departments, inconsistency in course content, reimbursement complications, requirement designation, the threat of loss of student population to another department, or being collapsed into another department altogether. Deliberately selecting hand-tailored examples based on researched assessment of student demographics, from disciplines that students focus on or engage elsewhere, infused into standard curriculum, can illustrate cross-disciplinary connections in a way that contributes to successful and fruitful application of concepts and theories outside of the use of classical formulations and examples. Actively using examples from anything from theoretical physics to Buddhism not only makes it apparent that philosophy applies to a variety of different fields but it can also expand discussion by allowing students who specialize in a different discipline or cultural background to take a lead in conversation. And, with any luck, this can establish a relationship between philosophy and a contemporary or personal interest with the student.
19:40-20:10 Pavel Stankov, Graduate Assistant, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, USA. Title: The Ontological Primacy of Life as an Argument against Abortion.(PowerPoint)
Abortion in the paradigm case is prima facie wrong because it disregards the ontologically more basic value of life in pursuit of other, subsequent values. My claim is that regardless of one’s theoretical framework, we can recognize that life is a necessary condition for all values because it’s the metaphysical bedrock that allows those values to exist. At the same time, there is something both binary and significant about conception: along with brain death, it’s a point of irreversibility marking a natural boundary of human lifespan. And since a fertilized ovum is numerically the same entity as an adult human organism, it follows that the future of that fertilized ovum is morally significant and should be taken seriously in our conversation about abortion. Unfortunately, much of that conversation implicitly or explicitly appeals to our identification with entities that are inherently difficult to empathize with (zygotes, embryos and fetuses), and the end of whose existence is less obviously morally significant. But not all kinds of empathy are helpful to the debate. I argue that the most helpful object of our empathy should be the fully developed adult human of a counterfactual future and one whose entire existence is prevented. Finally, I outline some political implications of my argument and argue that prevention of life is a form of discrimination at least as bad as any other form of political prejudice.
21:30-23:00 Greek Night (The event did not take place due to the limited number of attendance. Those who paid and were not able to attend will be offered a free voucher according to our policy: https://www.atiner.gr/coronavirus)
Tuesday 26 May 2020(Joined Sessions with the Philosophy Conference)
09:00-12:00 Urban Walk (The event did not take place due to the limited number of attendance. Those who paid and were not able to attend will be offered a free voucher according to our policy: https://www.atiner.gr/coronavirus)
12:30-13:00 Daniela Matysová, PhD Student, Charles University, Czech Republic. Title: Emmanuel Levinas: Beauty and its Evil
Main aim of this paper is to present a philosophical exploration of the nature of aesthetic experience in the work of french philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. My attention is going to be paid mainly to the problem of Levinas´s strong condemnation of some aesthetic phenomena – nevertheless not all of them. The reason behind is that Levinas explored two possible but radically contrary conceptions of aesthetic experience. Without the effort of closer examination of the reason of this division, we are going to be concentrated directly to the question of second Levinas´s determination of aesthetic experience: why does Levinas equal some sort of aesthetic experience with the possibility of escape from the world of efforts and sufferings which we undergo to take care of our neighbours – from the the ordinary world of responsibility – to the world of dreams, illusions and cowardice? I am going to show that we need to uncover the underlying context of this problematic, namely Levinas´s philosophical polemic with Martin Heidegger´s ontology and explain properly its implicit connection with the Levinas´s critique of aesthetic experience in order to solve our problem of aesthetic immorality. The necessity of clearing this connection between Levinas aesthetics and criticism of ontology is manifested since publishing Levinas´s major work Otherwise than being or beyond essence where Levinas examines his idea that aesthetic experience is giving access to the „being itself“ – key notion of Heideggers´s philosophy. Nevertheless without any doubt, if Levinas de facto accepts this Heidegger´s own description of the aesthetic experience he does it only to change radically the overal conclusion: this experience of being itself, different from the ordinary everyday experience (which is to be defined, according to phenomenological tradition, as based on consciouss activity of identifying and objectifying comprehension), is not the opening of the process of „transcendence“ itself, is not something of the highest value for our lives – but the opposite. My intention is to demonstrate that if, according to Levinas, the aesthetic experience is extra-ordinary exactly thanks to its ability to leads us beyond the scope of ordinary thinking – and if this simultaneously means that we are returning to the experience of pure being – it has to mean that the aesthetic experience is only reprehensible regress to the thoughtless naivity.
13:00-13:30 Marko Jakic, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Split, Croatia. Title: Ethical Actuality of Kant’s Categorical Imperative.(PowerPoint)
The presentation deals with Kant’s founding of ethics. Kant’s categorical imperative was viewed as one of the dividing lines in the philosophy of morality. It was therefore viewed as the dividing line between ethical intuitionism and ethical relativism. Namely, until today there is no significant contemporary ethical theory that has not addressed this imperative. And so that it was: a) completely rejected, b) only partially challenged, c) fully accepted. This imperative was considered within the framework of the following theses: (a1) Historical relativism The thesis according to which the categorical imperative, as an ontological pins and the principle of moral judgment, is set as an extra-historical constant, and in an epistemological sense does not refer to anything in objective reality. Adorno’s and Habermas’s objections were considered in this regard. (a2) Ontological ambiguity: The thesis that the categorical imperative is unclear, since it is ontologically based on an unknowable (transcendent) thing in itself (Ding an Sich). According to this thesis The mode of ontological grounding leads Kant’s philosophy to the claim that there are unknowable causes that govern human behavior (how nortmeno,r). Sidgwicks objection was considered in this regard. (b) Psychological interpretation: The thesis according to which the categorical imperative is metaphysically established as an expression of speculative assumptions. Therefore, this imperative, with the help of psychological scientific interpretation, should be fitted into an empirical setting of mentality. c) Ethical intuitionism: The thesis that the categorical imperative is established as a statement of our intuitive ability to distinguish between moral good and evil. So, this imperative provides sufficient reason for intuitively establishing the foundation of philosophical reflection on morality. in this sense, Rawls’s view was considered as an example of the construction of a social contract; based on the intuition of justice as the moral value. Under the subtitle: ‘The Limits of Historical Relativization’ (al) objections were considered. The objection of ‘formality’ addressed to the part of the categorical imperative which defines it as ‘general law’ is critically considered. Also, the objection of ‘mono logical-quality’ addressed to the part of the categorical imperative that defines it as ‘imperative claim is critically considered. Hegel’s objection to this imperative is particularly singled out since Hegel’s philosophy- does not belong to historical moral relativism. Under the subtitle: ‘The Limits of Ontological Ambiguity, the (a2) objection was considered. With the help of an analysis of Kant’s views, Sidgwick’s objection was rejected as unfounded. Under the subtitle: ‘The Limits of Psychological Interpretation’, (b) thesis was considered. In intuitionistic-oriented contemporary philosophy of psychology; the epistemological value of the categorical imperative is recognized. But it is emphasized that contemporary psychology does not have such a theoretical explanatory power Explanatory power by which it could be able to express a philosophically understood intuition of morality in a ‘more scientific’ way. In conclusion, the (c) thesis was discussed; in an attempt to prove the relevance of Kant’s categorical imperative as an historical source of the foundation-oriented contemporary philosophy of morality. Kants notion of ‘unconditioned good’ (das Unbedingt Guten) was crucial here.
14:00-14:30 Carlos Correia, Associate Professor, University of Lisbon, Portugal. Title: Redefinition of Art: A New Αesthetical Proposal.
The thesis we will argue is that any technical object can be interpreted as a no-technical work of art and thus be included in the set of art-objects themselves. We know that an appreciable number of artefacts or media are created to enhance their intrinsic properties, immediately making “visible” or “audible” features that in a sense are worth themselves, and thus this type of media is usually classified as a “genuine work of art”. However, ultimately, what constitutes something like a “real work of art” is an “aesthetical-institutional” decision to interpret any artefact as art. In the limit, there are no genuinely intrinsic artistic properties, but, as Danto pointed out, they are seen as such, which allows any humanly manipulated object – an artefact – to become a sufficient (non-technical) work of art. Original works of art are often the result of a certain kind of interpretation that “suspends” its practical purpose and focuses on the experience itself. Not everything can be a genuine work of art as it escapes human manipulation. The Messier 51a galaxy, also known as the “vortex galaxy”, is gorgeous and can be the subject of beautiful works of art such as photographs, but hardly, until proven otherwise, can itself be the object of any human manipulation. It is no technical art object prima facie – like a “garden” for instance -, and of course, there is no condition that allows it to be interpreted as a “genuine work of art”. In the absence of a better term, we can designate this philosophy of art as a theory that insists on the ‘as if’ (als ob) aspect, using an expression popularized by Hans Vaihinger.
14:30-15:00 Andrew Ward, Lecturer, University of York, UK. Title: Kant and Hume on the Judgment of Taste.
Hume holds that we determine the beauty of an object on the basis of a feeling of pleasure. So does Kant. Equally, both hold that judgments of beauty are not a mere matter of individual taste but claim to hold for all human beings. But whereas Hume thinks that the standard of taste or beauty rests on an empirical foundation, Kant thinks it rests on an a priori one. For Hume, the possibility of a standard depends on the contingent agreement of human beings in their sense of beauty; for Kant, this possibility depends on their sense of beauty being necessarily shared. The upshot is that while Hume holds that judgments of beauty only carry what Kant calls comparative universality (a claim to hold for everyone as a matter of fact), Kant holds that they carry strict universality (a claim to hold for everyone without possible exception). The paper investigates the main reasons for this difference between the two philosophers’ views on the nature of the judgment of beauty and offers an assessment of their respective positions.
15:00-15:30 Angela Michelis, Teacher, “G. Peano – S. Pellico” High School in Cuneo (Grammar and Scientific Lyceum), Italy. Title: The Idea of Justice: Between Eros and Thanatos.
Eros and Thanatos are impulses that have both revealed themselves to be evidently present in human action since the beginning of history and which Kultur tries to embed through rules of coexistence and education. However, for the sheer fact of existing the human being is involved in the often violent dynamics of the struggle for survival. This fight characterizes the natural world of which every living being is a part. On the other hand, equally evident in history is the action of men under the sign of free will, of independence from sensitive impulses to the point of self-sacrifice for others or for an idea. In the face of this, the questions on the ultimate meaning of human life reopen the perennial mystery of mankind. Life, in fact, has its roots in organic matter with its needing laws, but at the same time it transcends them continuously in desires and actions. In the contemporary world, whether human beings can answer such questions only in a private way, in the singularity of their conscience and their reflection, or rather, they can go back to confronting universal wisdom and finding comfort in it, is becoming an ever more pressing and excruciating issue. Can a renewed search for Dike, as a law of harmony on a rational and universal basis, still be a shareable goal?
15:30-16:00 Thomas Auxter, Associate Professor, University of Florida, USA. Title: Socrates at Eleusis: Existential Questions.
For Socrates, existential commitments in life shape his beliefs and actions. One such commitment is well-known. In the Apology, we find an existential statement in his response to what he took to be the deliverance of the Oracle of Delphi. By saying no one was wiser, the Oracle effectively gave him what he needed to continue on a path of questioning those who claimed to have knowledge of the truth. This was his own distinctive, existential commitment for an authentic life. Here we find a Socrates who values autonomy in fashioning a life of inquiry and wants always to follow the argument where it leads. However, it is also important to recognize other values affecting his choices and his identity. It is clear that the procession to Eleusis, and the values associated with it, are at the center of his thinking about choices in life. This is evident, for example, in his speech at the end of Politeia, a dialogue exploring all sides of human relations. Socrates not only tells the story of the myth of the cave to emphasize the value of autonomy; he also tells the story of the myth of Er, drawing conclusions about important life values. Here the value of community and building relationships with others is paramount. Indeed, the similarities between the journey in the myth of Er and the procession to Eleusis are striking. This reveals how important Eleusis was for Socrates. In both cases, those assembled move in a procession with others to make the ultimate choice in life. Along the way, they have plenty of opportunities to engage with others in dialogue and deliberation to consider the kind of life that is best. Participants realize that self-knowledge is inseparable from knowledge of how others have come to make choices and how they evaluate their experiences. Self-knowledge requires learning from others what they have experienced. We learn why they have chosen to reject what are for them false assumptions and false promises about life. We thereby avoid mistakes and overcome problems. Self-knowledge develops from this fundamental quest for orientation – with consequences for thinking, values, and judgement. At the end of the procession, it is time to choose fates. Those who learn from their experiences, and deliberate carefully, choose modest lives, with an emphasis on living well with others. A self that begins the journey in relation to others, ends that journey by turning into a relational self, one deeply interconnected with others. Commitments to values of intellectual integrity, self-knowledge, and community are what an authentically human existence means for Socrates. In the body of the paper, I develop these themes and raise questions about what existential commitments mean for Socrates. In notes, the reader will find a literature review discussing the historical evidence for what occurred in and around the procession. The list of scholars includes Jane Ellen Harrison, George Mylonas, Karoly Kerenyi, J.W. Roberts, Frank Snowden, Walter Burkert, and Eva C. Keuls.
16:00-16:30 Katherine Cooklin, Professor, Slippery Rock University, USA. Title: Ignorance, Epistemic Injustice, and Rape Myths.
I describe the relation between the epistemology of ignorance and epistemic injustices that women may face due to widely held rape myths. I suggest that in a patriarchal society, there exists a sexist epistemology of ignorance that scaffolds rape culture and influences the meaning of rape and sexual assault. The persistence and durability of these myths operate to actively construct an epistemology of ignorance that perpetuates male privilege and harms women not only because women are often assigned credibility deficits when telling their stories, but they are also harmed in their capacity to make sense of their experiences as rape or assault because myths restrict or diminish the conceptual resources available to them. In particular, I will address the relationship between functional beliefs that are influenced by rape myths, and the ways in which rape myths may contribute to two types of epistemic injustice identified by Miranda Fricker, testimonial injustice and hermeneutical injustice. I will address how rape myths widen the gap between the legal and promulgated rule of rape and the concepts used to interpret one’s own experiences, and the role that rape myths play in the uneven distribution of epistemic resources such that interpretive concepts are available to some but not to others due to the distortion of widely held myths. Fricker’s (2007) model of hermeneutical injustice focuses primarily on the absence of shared cultural resources, facts or concepts, necessary to adequately identify and make sense of one’s experience. But what about examples where concepts do exist, are codified in law and yet appear to be unavailable as epistemic resources to some? Many women, particularly those who are of college age, experience acts that fully meet the legal definition and concept of rape or assault, and yet they fail to acknowledge their experience as rape or sexual assault. Fricker’s model of hermeneutical injustice requires there be a conceptual lacuna, which raises the question of whether there can be a hermeneutical injustice regarding unacknowledged rape given that the concept of rape does exist. Jenkins argues that because of rape myths, the share of conceptual resources is genuinely compromised. There is an intelligibility deficit, so that they are unable to render their own experience intelligible as sexual violence. I argue that sexual violence myths alone are not sufficient to account for unacknowledged rape as a hermeneutical injustice, rather they are bolstered by neoliberal narratives of individual risk management. Together they undermine women’s ability to render their experience intelligible as sexual violence by inculpating victims of that violence and obscuring conceptual resources better suited to transforming rape culture.
16:30-17:00 William O’Meara, Professor, James Madison University, USA. Title: Dewey on Moral Principles as Hypotheses(PowerPoint)
In John Dewey’s Pragmatist theory of knowledge, all truths whether theoretical principles or practical moral guidelines are hypotheses that need to be tested. We focus on moral principles. Dewey is arguing that moral principles, whether they are negative prohibitions such as “do not take an innocent human life” or positive guidelines such as “do seek the good of marriage according to one’s mature and free choice” are not absolute moral truths but only tentative, hypothetical guidelines that need to be tested in their moral appropriateness for specific application to our lives. This paper proposes to examine: detailed examples of (1) negative and (2) positive moral rules to see if they are in fact better interpreted as hypotheses in need of testing in our lives rather than as absolute rules, and then, (3) to examine with George Herbert Mead why theoretical and, especially, moral principles are well conceived of as hypotheses. (1) We will consider four rules, (a) against harm to human beings, (b) against suicide and active euthanasia, (c) allowing capital punishment for the most serious of crimes, and (d) the 1896 Supreme Court decision allowing African-American children to be excluded from white schools, and we will find that none of these rules are absolute, allowing no exceptions. (2) We will consider four examples of positive moral ideals or rules and how they may be evaluated as moral hypotheses, not as absolute rules allowing no exceptions. (a) We look at the ideal of heterosexual marriage and how it has been expanded as a fundamental human right applying to the LGBT and Q community. (b) We examine the ideal age for mature and free consent to marriage and find reasonable variations amongst the states. (c) We consider the ideal for protecting free and mature consent for marriage in the states and find reasonable variations in how this ideal of free and continuing mature consent may be protected and enhanced. (d) Finally, we consider Aristotle’s famous conceptualization of virtue as the art of living, suited to the individual as a person of practical wisdom would decide, and we have emphasized that there is no mathematical calculation of this art by any individual. (3) Fesmire suggests the importance of Dewey’s agreement with George Herbert Mead on our need to understand sympathy’s key role in our understanding of the interaction of the self with the other for ethical deliberation in order to understand why moral principles are hypotheses, always in need of testing. For Mead understands the self as a process of the “I” taking on a “Me,” a social role which is always being tested through all our interactions with our social others. However, Fesmire does not use the thought of Mead to elaborate a pragmatic understanding of moral deliberation as imaginative, dramatic rehearsal [Fesmire, pp. 66, 81]. It is precisely this pragmatic understanding of moral deliberation as imaginative, dramatic rehearsal which this paper develops from Mead’s grasp of the self as involving both the “I” and the “Me”.
17:00-17:40 Chin-Tai Kim, Professor, Case Western Reserve University, USA. Title: Rethinking the Foundation of Normative Ethics.
Few would dispute that normative ethics needs a foundation. But whence and how such a foundation originates and how its constituent elements should relate to concrete human moral life are complex issues. The expression “The foundation of normative ethics” carries the implication that the beliefs and values belonging to the foundation must be consciously presupposed and brought to concrete existential contexts to occasion, support or justify moral judgments or decisions by agents–persons or institutions. Many traditional philosophical systems portray a mode of human existence characterized by consistent applications of relevant elements of a system to concrete moral life. But from the other end of reflective perspective on human moral life comes a portrayal of human subjects-agents making moral judgments, decisions or actions with little better than situational justification with intuition or inclination.. A comparative critique of contending ontologies of human life with a moral dimension presents itself as a weighty foundational task. Should a moral act be viewed as an occasion to apply and fortify a worldview with justificatory tools one already has, as a Kairos for deliberate but free choice of it along with an entire supportive framework, as a moment in a teleological process toward an “absolute” resolution, or as an occasion to optimally solve a problem with whatever effective tools that can be found and put to use? And what principles, if any, should guide such a critique and whence do they come? A special concern in the handling of these issues will be to clarify once again how being moral.
17:40-18:10 Peter Simpson, Professor, The City University of New York, USA. Title: A Suggestion for Abortion Laws.(PowerPoint)
It is a curious fact about current laws that abortion is viewed as the solution for which pregnancy is the problem. Thus, laws that lay down limitations or prohibitions on abortion also contain clauses making exceptions for the life and health of the mother—as if the mother’s life and health were threatened by pregnancy and preserved by abortion. What is puzzling here is that, on any fair assessment of the issue, these exceptions are one-sided if not even back to front. Of course, continuing a pregnancy has its risks, but it is hardly as if abortion has none of its own. So why not think of things in a different way? Instead of wording abortion laws so that they say abortion is permitted for the sake of the life and health of the mother, word them so that they say abortion is permitted except for the sake of the life and health of the mother. Accordingly, I offer the following proposal for a single, and very simple, law to cover all cases of abortion: “abortion is permitted through the whole of pregnancy, up to and including the final month, except for the sake of the life and health of the mother.” The paper explores the implications of this change.
18:10-18:40 Katerina Psaroudaki, Doctor of Philosophy, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA. Title: Group Reparations and Race-Conscious Affirmative Action.
Is a black American today worthy of reparations in virtue of being a member of a historically disadvantaged group? And if so, is affirmative action the appropriate remedy? I will show that black Americans are not entitled to receive group reparations in the context of race-conscious affirmative action. My argument proceeds as follows. First, I make a distinction between the special duty of Reparation and the general duty of Compensation, showing that an argument in favor of affirmative action for the sake of rectifying racial injustice should be modeled upon the former. Modeling affirmative action upon the duty of Reparation entails that we can a) identify the victim of injustice, b) identify the perpetrator of injustice, and c) explain why affirmative action restores the equivalent of what the victim of injustice has lost. Next, I argue that an argument defending group reparations for black Americans fails to satisfy the above desiderata: a) the morally arbitrary property “being black” does not effectively track the morally relevant property “being a victim of injustice”, b) the morally arbitrary property “being white” does not effectively track the morally relevant property “being a perpetrator of injustice”, and c) affirmative action does not seem to restore perfectly the group loss that has been historically inflicted upon black Americans.
20:00-21:30 Dinner (The event did not take place due to the limited number of attendance. Those who paid and were not able to attend will be offered a free voucher according to our policy: https://www.atiner.gr/coronavirus)
Wednesday 27 May 2020Educational Islands Cruise
Thursday 28 May 2020Delphi Tour
(The event did not take place due to the limited number of attendance. Those who paid and were not able to attend will be offered a free voucher according to our policy: https://www.atiner.gr/coronavirus)