PHI Faculty Publications

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    Zhuangzi's ethical nihilism
    (Routledge, 2023-12) Soles, David E.; Soles, Deborah H.
    Zhuangzi often is portrayed as a kind of ethical relativist. This popular reading has been challenged by Philip Ivanhoe, who argues that Zhuangzi is not a relativist but rather that Zhuangzi articulates a normative theory of benignity. In this paper we argue against Ivanhoe's interpretation. We further argue that Zhuangzi is an ethical nihilist, who rejects all ethical positions.
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    Space Ethics
    (Taylor and Francis, 2023) Milligan, Tony; Johnson-Schwartz, J.S.
    The origins of space ethics are to be found within the space community, with professional philosophers and ethicists joining the discussion more recently. Typical concerns include space mining; risk, disclosure, and justice in space; and iconic topics such as the settlement and terraforming of Mars. These issues may be tackled from different disciplinary perspectives. To convey a constructive sense of the distinctive contribution of ethicists, this chapter highlights the balancing of value considerations, the enhancing of decision-making, the stress-testing of concepts and frameworks, and the importance of ongoing ethical engagement at all stages of space exploration programmes.
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    Appreciating What's Beautiful about Space
    (Oxford University Press, 2023-02-23) Schwartz, James S.J.
    "Appreciating What's Beautiful about Space" uses a critical perspective to explore spaceflight culture and the appreciation of space exploration in the United States. It argues that appreciating what's beautiful about space requires learning about the space environment for what it is in itself, for instance through scientific investigation (but also through literary, artistic, and other creative means provided they are focused on depicting the space environment itself, as opposed to depictions of human activities in space). It argues further that we should use the knowledge and experience gained through studying the space environment to craft our own visions for humanity's future in space. We should not rest content with underdeveloped plans for space expansion crafted by exorbitantly wealthy and powerful owners of major space firms, especially as their plans have been crafted neither in consultation with, nor to advance the interests of, the overwhelming majority of human beings on Earth.
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    Reclaiming Space: Progressive and Multicultural Visions of Space Exploration
    (Oxford University Press, 2023-02-23) Schwartz, James S.J.; Billings, Linda; Nesvold, Erika
    This volume aims to incubate, illuminate, and illustrate a more diverse and inclusive conservation about space exploration, at a time when Western, free-market capitalist values are dominant in spaceflight culture (and in human societies more generally). What would space exploration be like if we prioritized - or even simply acknowledged - the perspectives or value systems of individuals who are disabled, or aren't white, or aren't male, or aren't characteristically Western in their values? What can these perspectives teach us all about space exploration and its value (or even its potential for harm) that cannot be easily recognized or appreciated under the NewSpace status quo? The twenty-seven original essays of this volume provide perspectives from a wide range of home countries, backgrounds, and lived experiences, including academics who research space exploration, spaceflight culture, space ethics, and space policy, as well as space artists and authors of award-winning science and speculative fiction. Reclaiming Space offers perspectives on the history and development of spaceflight culture, both within and outside the United States; on the impact of science fiction and space art on how we conceptualize space; on the diverse cultural narratives and responses to space; on the ways space exploration might be leveraged in support of repairing injustices; and on what our responsibilities might be as a spacefaring species in the more distant future.
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    The evolution of Li Dazhao's Chinese nationalism
    (Routledge, 2023-03-30) Lu, Xiufen
    Studies on Chinese nationalism in Western academia have been influenced by a popular theory called ‘the culturalism-to-nationalism thesis’, a loosely formulated interpretive paradigm which emerged in late 1960s. The literature on this topic, however, reveals an inadequate understanding of traditional Chinese thinking and its influence on Chinese thought in modern history. An examination of the work of Li Dazhao (1889–1927) and his philosophical heritage not only will open up a valuable source for us to rethink about this thesis and its defects, but also will shed light on the complicated background and perspective that give rise to modern Chinese nationalism. Given the interest in Chinese nationalism in contemporary world, an understanding of its historical roots is particularly timely, since in order to understand China’s current and future actions one must understand the origins of Chinese nationalist thinking and its transformations in time. This paper makes a contribution to that historical understanding. I argue that traditional Chinese philosophy, especially the Daoist world view and Confucian ethics played a significant role in shaping Li’s patriotic and nationalist stance. It also predisposed him intellectually to accept the internationalist characteristic of Marxism.