volume LVI, number 67, November 2011


Dignidad y justicia global

[Dignity and Global Justice]

Thomas Pogge

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Abstract: With strong resonance across cultures, the word “dignity” has become increasingly prominent in international law and in discussions of global justice. It is used in two distinct but closely related senses. In one sense, dignity is a high worth which all human beings possess as human beings and which commands that they be treated with respect and consideration. In another sense, dignity is a characteristic of human lives that, for many, remains yet to be achieved. Because human beings have dignity in the first sense, it is imperative to enable them to lead a life with dignity. This paper explicates the two related senses of “dignity” and explores how they can inform and support a conception of global justice and efforts at its realization.
Keywords: human rights, humiliation, poverty, subordination, dignity, global order

¿Es la racionalidad de la ciencia una especie de la racionalidad práctica?

[Is Scientific Rationality a Kind of Practical Rationality?]

Jesús Vega Encabo

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Abstract: This paper discusses some ways of understanding scientific rationality as practical rationality. Firstly, instrumental models of the rationality of science are rejected. The instrumentalist can hardly establish the independence and goodness of certain ends. In the case of science, determinate ends with respect to which the normative force of our reasons is established do not seem to exist. A false identification of ends with values is what causes many of the confusions. Secondly, a model of practical rationality based in the mastery of tacit knowledge and skills is criticized. Any model of scientific rationality should take into account three constraints about what a “good reason” in scientific matters is, constraints that shape the practical identity and the normative face of science: the constraints of publicity, reliability and reflective authority.
Keywords: scientific rationality, instrumental rationality, values, ends

Multiculturalidad y ética pluralista

[Multiculturality and Pluralist Ethics]

Mónica Gómez Salazar

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Abstract: Given the intense current migration of diverse cultural groups to other States, in this article I defend the thesis that members of different cultures with norms and values in conflict are able to reach intercultural agreements of coexistence. I start explaining Rawls’ political conception of justice to point out that this liberal democratic stance cannot respond adequately to the current context of multiculturality. I show then the main points of J. Habermas’ universalist ethics in order to contrast it with what I call the “pluralist ethics” of J. Dewey and H. Putnam, and justify why norms, facts and values are contextual. Based on this, I conclude that it is possible to achieve plural ethical agreements that might differ from one culture to another and yet still be legitimate as minimum norms of coexistence.
Keywords: norms, values, cultural diversity, migration

La argumentación de Singer en Liberación animal: concepciones normativas, interés en vivir y agregacionismo

[Singer’s Argument in Animal Liberation: Normative Views, Interest in Living and Aggregationism]

Oscar Horta

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Abstract: This paper examines the methodological, axiological and normative assumptions on which Animal Liberation—arguably the most poular work by Peter Singer— rests. It explores the tensions between the normative position this book intends to adopt, which tries to compromise as little as possible with any specific normative theory, and Singer’s views on preference utilitarianism and the replaceability argument. In particular, the paper tries to assess the way in which such tensions arise when aggregationism and the question of the interest in living are considered in relation to the use of nonhuman animals.
Keywords: speciesism, principle of nonmaleficence, utilitarianism, value of life

El chiste como paradigma hermenéutico

[Joke as a Hermeneutic Paradigm]

Sixto J. Castro

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Abstract: In this paper, after introducing the different theories of laughter, we defend that basic laughter (that one without a social function) has incongruity as its necessary, though not sufficient, element. Besides, we propose the joke (made primarily to provoke laughter) as a hermeneutic paradigm of understanding that provides a new view of a state of affairs, and breaks with what should be naturally expected from the course of the narrative. Even though there is a series of possible interpretations, only one is the right one, and that is the one that makes the joke a joke.
Keywords: laughter, understanding, incongruity, meaning, ontology