The articles of this issue of Tattva – Journal of Philosophy discuss several important philosophical problems, which are closely linked to ongoing debates about ethics, technology, and religion.
Abey Koshy’s paper “Deconstructive Turn of Ethics: Subversion of Self-Identity in Derrida and Levinas” argues that French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas gives an ethical turn to deconstructive philosophy, which was introduced by Jacques Derrida and offered an alternative way of reading texts. By applying the praxis of deconstruction to the ethical field Levinas subverts the traditional view of the human being as having a stable self-identity and serving as the unique reference point for its relation to the world, including the other person. The fundamental problem of this idea is that it negates the alterity of the other in a concrete ethical situation, thus reducing him or her to a variant of the self. By showing that the autonomous ‘I’ is a construction that needs to be deconstructed Levinas makes room for an alternative view of ethical responsibility, which guarantees a passage from the reals of the self to the that of otherness.
The second article, “Moore on Scepticism & Certainty”, by Anandasagar analyses George Edward Moore’s proof of the external world and his discussion with Descartes’ famous dream argument. Moore has weakened this argument by showing that it is inconsistent. The author then highlights Moore’s claim that empirical propositions are certain and offers a logical explanation of this claim. The central systematic focus of this paper is the confrontation between scepticism and common sense, and the author argues that Moore succeeds to refute scepticism on the basis of common sense. In Moore’s view, the task of philosophy is confined to analysing the propositions supplied by common sense, which does not include establishing the truth or falsity of these propositions.
The next article by Kopal, entitled “The Art in Artificial: Locating the Artist in Machines”, discusses the impact of artificial intelligence on art production, a question that has gained a lot of traction due to the rapid spread of ChatGPT and other AI systems. The author explores the ways and means by which AI is able to make art and sometimes even fares better in this than human-made art. This is because AI is better at deconceptualisation and dissimilar juxtaposition, resulting in more creative works of art, although the drawback of these characteristics is that AI may produce nonsensical and absurd outcomes. The author concludes that works of art, produced by AI, deserve appraisal and encouragement.
The fourth paper of this issue is written by James Sundar Aaron John Samuel, and is entitled “St. Paul’s discourse and dialogue with King Agrippa and Governor Festus as a model for contemporary inter-religious understanding and communication”. It starts with a detailed textual analysis of Saint Paul’s dialogues with two rulers of different religious backgrounds about the central truth claims of Christian faith (the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus). In these dialogues, Paul uses rhetoric to argue the reasonability of his claims, thereby applying three ingredients for persuasive communication: ethos, referring to his credibility as a speaker, pathos, appealing to the emotion of his dialogue partners, and logos, referring to the content and the logic of his argument. The author argues that Paul’s threefold rhetorical method to discuss the truth of Christian faith offers a model for peaceful inter-religious communication in our times.
The final article is by Kamalpreet Kaur, and is entitled “Indian Ethics: Essence, Theory and Practice”. The author uses the difference between ethics, which is intuitive and comes close to innate and inclusive values, and morals, which is rational and law-bound, to point out the specificity of the ethical tradition in India. The fact that this tradition relies more on folktales than on rational argument and thus is more pragmatic than principled shows its uniqueness. Dharma, which summarizes the Indian ethical tradition, constitutes the ethical laws of the universe, harmonizing moral life in a way similar to how the laws of nature regulate the physical world. This means that this kind of ethics, embedding the idea of universal justice, involves responsibility in its widest sense, responsibility for the whole cosmos, yet not in the form of any external compulsion. Therefore, the author argues, Indian ethics serves as a complement to Western rational morals.
On behalf of the editorial board, I wish you a lot of intellectual pleasure in reading the articles of this issue and hope that they may stimulate your philosophical thinking and discussions about vital questions concerning our relationship with the other, the importance of common sense for our knowledge of the outside world, the impact of new technical developments upon the arts, the relevance of rhetoric for interreligious dialogue, and the contribution of Indian ethical traditions to the development of a global ethics.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 Peter Jonkers
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).