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Inter Alia Tinkara&Gasper

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  I NTER  A LIA : R ESEARCH  N EWS   AND  V IEWS The Status of Ethics in Society T INKARA   T IHELJ University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Address:    Aškerčeva 2, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.E-mail: tinkara.tihelj@gmail.com G  AŠPER   P IRC University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Address:    Aškerčeva 2, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.E-mail: gpirc.af@gmail.com  Abstract:  A review on the symposium “The Status of Ethics in Society”(Ljubljana, Slovenija, June 17, 2019) provided by Tinkara Tihelj and GašperPirc consists of two parts: a thematic introduction and a full report of discussions held. In the first text, one of the organizers and the moderator of the public discussion Gašper Pirc provides a foreword to the symposium,referencing the thematic horizon and the particular issues that the discussionintended to tackle. The text is the expanded version of his introductory speechat the symposium and relays the interpretation of contemporary society which was instrumental for the decision of the organizers to chart the said event. Inthe second part of the section, Tinkara Tihelj provides a full report of thediscussion, including a short overview of the specific contribution of eachparticipant. The report also reflects her own views on the importance of suchevents in the current society, pervaded by the lack of rational communicationand dialogue between different approaches to interpretation and differentacademic disciplines.  Key words : ethics, contemporary society, moral philosophy, philosophicalsymposium, public discussion, social and political philosophy.Received at July 05, 2019.  How to cite : Tihelj, Tinkara; Pirc, Gašper (2019). The Status of Ethics inSociety.  Researcher. European Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences .3 (2),   137–145.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.32777/r.2019.2.3.7  The Role of Philosophical Approach, Normative Standards,and Social Imagination in the Investigation of the Featuresof Contemporary Society: the Foreword to the Public Discussion The Status of Ethics in Society  In the past few decades, we witnessed a significant rise in thequantity of discussion upon the prevailing ethical issues,particularly in the encapsulated domains of medicine and law. Thequantity and the level in the undertaking, the vast majority of acknowledgment regrettably refers to the particularities of appliedethics and specialized moral standards. While academic debates inphilosophy usually transcend the hermetic contexts, characterized by the notion of immediacy, their practical import frequently remains negligible. Slovenian philosophical society attempted tochallenge this by organizing a discussion on the status and themanners of approaching the research upon the role of ethics as acritical sphere of social existence. As long as trivialization and formalization of communicationin both politics and media allow the reproduction of the logic of objectivized relations in society, the formal structure of politicsaffects the social lifeworld, not only with the impingement of thepossibility of positive freedom in Berlin’s sense of the term, butalso via functioning as the alienation by the effect of which theconcepts of political, freedom and recognition might be reduced totheir merely formal equivalents in a superficial appropriation of the common-world presentation. The prospect of the devaluationof the standards in investigation of facts and in recognition of truthcontent 1  might lead to the state of misrecognition of healthy socialrelations where the   objects, produced by power-based socialimagination, become the cornerstone of investigation upon theproperties of contemporary existence.The important negative consequence of the lack of a complexunderstanding of the interpretative and possibly ideologically  1  The term was Theodor W. Adorno’s favored expression in the explication of the natureof truth in art in its performative and historical dimensions. One might also with certainamount of cautiousness compare the gist of the following text with the grim imageof a suffering individual in a reified society, derided by the effects of culture industry and pervasive power of administration on social relations and physical self-presentationof individuals that the said German critical theorist showcased in Horkheimer, M., & Adorno, T. W. (2002).  Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments . Stanford:Stanford University Press; and Adorno, T. W. (2005).  Minima Moralia: Reflections From Damaged Life . London and New York: Verso.  dissimulated nature of social and political reality lies in the potentialof the distorted presentation of the normative structure of society  which often accompanies mechanistic appropriation of applied ethicsto the specific areas of interest. This is where philosophy canproductively contribute to the otherwise interdisciplinary undertakingof the thorough investigation of the features of contemporary socialexistence. By taking into account different explanatory modelsand principles of understanding, a responsible philosophical approachto answering to the appeal of social normativity might a privileged way of doing justice in response to the critical issues by researchingthe possibility, evaluation administration of general normativestandards for the particular focal domains in the society in which thefaceless alienation, instigated by the operative model of capitalismrepresents a constant threat of impingement of personal autonomy and the mutual recognition of the other in a common social world.Nowadays, the prospect of universal moral norms might soundutopian, but it seems that even a utopian vision that strives towardsnon-exclusionary politics and communication which is notpredominantly driven by strategic goals of self-interested physical andlegal personas with malleable moral standards could still beproductively utilized as a noble regulative idea, even if such anexpression might retain some problematic metaphysical undertones. Ancient Greek had a meaningful term referring to the form of populargovernment: isēgoría , which expressed the notion of equality beforethe law but also entertained the demand that the individual voicesshould be heard in acknowledged in public discourse. Perhaps there isstill a place for the ideals of rational communication in thecontemporary world?Is it not so that only ten years after the global economic crisis which disrupted the foundations of the self-referring economic worldand revealed the illness of self-centered neoliberalism. And when itseems that the communicative patterns of socio-political realms havefailed in the much-needed transformation the time has come forsociety and not only an individual to recognize the role of autonomy, which is nevertheless not without certain limitations and can be found within the dialectic between the acknowledgement of pre-setconditions and the ability of seeing more, operated by the responsibleuse of imagination?In such times, the programs like critical hermeneutics inaugurated by Paul Ricoeur, and critical social philosophy may become revelatory   since they may recognize the possibility of constructive dialectic of reproductive and productive imagination, particularly via the interplay of ideology and utopia where ideology ―  the ways of the dominantideological structure which confers legitimacy to society ―  andutopia ―  the plane of imaginary, ahistorical if merely virtual and, letus confess, frequently overly confident critique of ideology as well asthe sphere of proposals for the expansion of the social opportunitiesand of the hope for a better future ―  can co-exist in a mutually constructive and conditional relationship (Ricoeur 1986). And wheredoes the need for the understanding of the properties of socialinteraction and optimal normative standards express itself moreclearly than in the time and space where such a relationship is broken,utopia is repressed and ideology transforms, if one can use Hannah Arendt’s term, into logocracy , a society of pure processes and in whichthe ideas are reified and losing their meaning? (Arendt 1954).Does not something like that happen in a notoriously namedpostfactical era in which we are said to be now ―  the age of the reifiedcommunicative relations?The investigations on ethical reasoning and the considerationsof the normative character of human action loom large over thediscussions upon the properties of our common social world. InSlovenian Philosophical Society we tried to answer to the challenge of the diverging ethical policies and manners of moral reasoning. It isthus why we intended to give the voice to the philosophers whose work concerns the status of ethics in contemporary society ―  whilephilosophical approach to those critical issues may not be able toproduce simple solutions and offer definite answers, the possibility of open discussion on the status of ethics in the understanding of society can be regarded as the task well worthy of being undertaken. References  Adorno, T. W. (2005).  Minima Moralia: Reflections From Damaged Life .London and New York: Verso. Arendt, H. (1954). Diskussionsbeitrag. In Totalitarianism: Proceedings of a Conference Held at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, March 1953 , Friedrich, C. J. (ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.   Horkheimer, M., & Adorno, T. W. (2002).  Dialectic of Enlightenment: Philosophical Fragments . Stanford: Stanford University Press.Ricoeur, P. (1986).  Lectures on Ideology and Utopia . New York: ColumbiaUniversity Press.    The report on the Public Discussion The Status of Ethics in Society  On Monday, 17th June 2019 the conference The Status of Ethics in Society  took place in the hall of Slovenska matica. The event wasorganized by Slovensko filozofsko društvo (Slovenian PhilosophicalSociety) in co-organization with Slovenska matica. The participantsof the conference were numerous Slovenian philosophers, university professors and other invited speakers whose work is concerned withthe understanding of ethics and the role of ethics in society:  Borut Ošlaj, Jernej Pisk, Janez Juhant, Smiljana Gartner, Friderik Klampfer, Vojko Strahovnik, Luka Omladič, Igor Pribac, Cvetka Hedžet Tóth, Ignacija Fridl Jarc, Marjan Šimenc . The moderator of the conference was Gašper Pirc .Introductory remarks were given by the editor of Slovenska maticaIgnacija Fridl Jarc, the president of Slovenian Philosophical Society Tomaž Grušovnik, and the moderator Gašper Pirc.Ignacija Fridl Jarc emphasized the fact that ethics as a discipline isnot in crisis since it is discussed all around the world and that theconference’s purpose is in questioning about ethics in an affirmative way. Speaking on behalf of the hosts at Slovenska matica, shecommended the selection of the venue for the discussion due to the
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