rss_2.0Ethics & Bioethics FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Ethics & Bioethics & Bioethics Feed Novak’s understanding of capitalism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper examines the work of Michael Novak, a prominent American philosopher and theologian with roots in Central Europe. The study focuses on Novak’s understanding of democratic capitalism and its role in promoting economic growth and human flourishing. Novak argues that when properly understood and practiced, capitalism can lead to a more just and prosperous society, as it is based on the human desire for freedom, creativity, and self-expression. However, he emphasizes that the success of capitalism depends on the presence of moral and spiritual values, which he believes are necessary for it to function properly. This paper explores Novak’s arguments and evaluates them in the light of current knowledge. It also examines which values Novak deems important and why. The paper concludes that while Novak’s understanding of capitalism has some limitations, it offers valuable insights into the relationship between economics and morality. Novak’s framework provides a starting point for future discussions on how to ensure that capitalism operates ethically and promotes the common good.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, the and the spirit of scholastic reasoning<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This essay traces a thread between the Novak’s philosophical and theological contribution and the economic and ethical reflection on the <italic>commons</italic>. Although present embryonically, these interconnections have not been taken into consideration so far. This convergence will be presented through three interrelated stages: a sound theological background, Scholastic reasoning and the evolution of the idea of <italic>common goods</italic>. From these points some interesting insights will emerge.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue vision of Caritapolis and perspectives of the future: The high point of Michael Novak’s work<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The pinnacle of the Novak’s reflections on possible perspectives for the future of the world and the development of international relations is his vision of “Caritapolis” (“Civilization of love”), which is presented especially in the book <italic>The universal hunger for liberty – Why the clash of civilizations is not inevitable</italic> (2004a). Novak builds the concept on the religious assumptions and on the minimum level of general belief in basic principles (cultural humility, regulative idea of truth, the dignity of the individual person, solidarity), which he considers to be the key to the world security, prosperity and the democratic future of the globalized world. This “vision for the 21st century” is to contribute to the consideration of a universal civilization that would respect all its internal variations and create a certain unity despite its rich diversity of value and religious ideas. The aim of this paper is to present Novak’s concept of Caritapolis and to evaluate it in terms of context of the social doctrine of the Church, Catholic social thought debates, relevance in the context of debates in the social sciences, especially the theories of international relations.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue idea of democracy and the progress of society in the work of Michael Novak: A look at the theory and subsequent development of Michael Novak’s predictions in the context of Central European countries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>If we want to think about Michael Novak’s contribution to the development of democracy and the progress of society in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, it will be necessary to look at several authors from whom he drew his ideas. With the help of the Italian moralist, Giuseppe Angelini, we will try to explain the historical and contemporary development of the concept of development as understood in the Social Doctrine of the Church and Novak’s commentaries on John Paul II’s encyclicals on progress and development. Novak cites “Aquinas’s forgotten conclusion that social order is based on civil dialogue”. With these reflections, he seeks to build on the work of other prominent American philosophers and political scientists, such as John Courtney Murray, Paul Steidl-Meier, and others, while presenting his vision of economic and social progress for the countries living under the totalitarian regime of the Soviet bloc. The most important ideas here are directed towards notions such as the right to economic initiative and especially a notion of genuine individual freedom in society.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Novak, wealth and virtue: Work, creativity and the poor in democratic capitalism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The idea of this paper is to discuss the role of virtues in promoting general wellbeing for the common people. This is meant to contribute to the debate about possible linkages between overall wealth and individual character. My main source of inspiration is Michael Novak’s perspectives on the cultural basis for capitalism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue foundations of Jacques Maritain’s and Michael Novak’s conception of human rights<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the contribution is to outline the ethical foundations in Maritain’s and Novak’s interpretation of human rights in a wider historical context and to assess its meaning for the present, with special regard to our Central European area. The issue of human rights has, in addition to its political aspect, an inherent ethical one. Fundamental human rights relate to the possibility of autonomy of a person as a moral being endowed with reason and striving for a meaningful life. Therefore, these rights have a fundamental role in practical life; however, they have also become an issue of speculative philosophy and theology, where the focus is upon concepts of freedom and reason. Jacques Maritain and Michael Novak were important figures in the advancement of human rights at the international level, with exceptional impacts especially in Central Europe. Both have their roots in Christian humanism, and for both their concept of human relations is derived from Biblical religion and love for one’s neighbour. Novak accepts Maritain’s concepts of a person and human dignity, and he tries to explain his own concept of democratic capitalism in accordance with it.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Novak’s through “the corporation”<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Many social theorists hold that the corporation is the key institution of the modern world. Novak wrote four books on the corporation, viewing it as the chief instrument of innovation within “democratic capitalism”, and the concrete entity in which its three systems (political, economic, moral-cultural) converge. We look at Novak’s account with its roots in Maritain, and at Novak’s intention to ground this account in the ideals of the American Founding, and in a Christian understanding of grace. “The corporation” turns out to be an excellent pathway into Novak’s thought and a safeguard against some fundamental mistakes in interpreting him.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue overview of Michael Novak’s economic and political theory in the context of his relations with Poland<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Michael Novak’s concept of democratic capitalism in Poland aroused great interest for several reasons. The most important of them consisted in its close relation to the teaching of the Polish Pope John Paul II. The second was its temporal coincidence with the start of a political transformation in Poland, when a model of development consistent with Polish tradition and social expectations was sought. The third was related to its Slavic roots and origin, which gained in importance given a perceived civilizational backwardness of the countries belonging to the former socialist bloc. For Polish Catholic thinkers, the concept of democratic capitalism initially seemed to promise a smooth transition to a market economy, protecting society from the shock of a possible collision with predatory capitalism. But the discussions of Michael Novak’s conception which took place in Poland at that time were unfortunately burdened with fears of cultural pluralism and with leaving individuals too much freedom in implementing their own ways of achieving happiness. Polish conservatives, who were in power at that time, did not seem to understand the important need for a dynamic moral and cultural system in a society that was just starting its modernization processes. It is paradoxical, but in these discussions what was most feared was the weakening of religious traditions in Polish society. According to the author, this fear caused distrust of the democratic conception, and especially its moral foundations, which continues to this day. This paper, therefore, also contributes to reflection on to what extent the teachings of John Paul II have been absorbed in Polish conservative circles.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Novak and Maritain: The discussion on the capitalist economy in Catholic thought<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Although Novak recognizes himself as a disciple of Maritain, especially in his thesis on the Christian origins of democracy, the differences between the two in their views on the capitalist economy are evident. However, in his famous book, <italic>The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism,</italic> and in other previous works, Novak tries to show some possible bridges between Maritain’s thought and the virtues of American capitalism. This attempt is actually part of a larger project by Novak: that of showing the essential compatibility of Catholicism with capitalism. The purpose of this article is to show, based on Novak’s thought in relation to Maritain, the possibilities and difficulties of this attempt.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Catholic correction of Max Weber’s thesis on Protestant ethic in the view of Michael Novak<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Max Weber’s thesis on the decisive influence of Protestant ethic on the formation and development of modern capitalism has become one of the best-known and widely shared canonical claims in social sciences. Since its publication at the beginning of the 20<sup>th</sup> century, this thesis, supported by subsequent great works by the German classic, has rarely been the subject of major controversy. The work of correcting Weber’s thesis was undertaken in the late 20th century by Michael Novak. Novak’s correction is not confrontational, but complementary. The American thinker abandons the research area of minority Protestant communities, which caught Weber’s attention, and undertakes an analysis of the broader religious tradition, developing both before and after the Reformation. In particular, the achievements of Pope John Paul II, interpreted by Novak in terms of the renewal of a liberty current of Catholic social thought, provide important corrective data.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue research on business ethics of SMEs in the V4 countries<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this study is to evaluate the level of select ethical issues in Visegrad Four (V4) countries (Czech republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary) and quantify the differences in the attitudes of entrepreneurs in the field of business ethics in these countries. Empirical research was conducted in June 2022 in the V4 countries. Data collection was carried out by the renowned external company MNFORCE using "Computer Assisted Web Interviewing" (CAWI Research Method), according to the questionnaire created by the research team. The total number of respondents was 1,398, of which 347 were from the Czech Republic, 322 from Slovakia, 381 from Poland, and 348 from Hungary. Statistical hypotheses were verified using descriptive statistics, chi-square, and Z-scores at a α = 5% significance level. The preliminary results of this study can be evaluated as follows: The ethical level of entrepreneurs in V4 countries is high because the dominant group showed a positive attitude towards the defined issues in the field of business ethics. The attitudes of these entrepreneurs showed that they not only perceived the importance of business ethics, but also implemented and promoted these practices in managerial decision-making. Moreover, they feel good when they behave ethically, which is a significant motivating factor. In this study, it was found that Hungarian SMEs presented the highest level of business ethics. In contrast, the Czech Republic presented the lowest level of perception and enforcement of business ethics.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue for deafness – a marvellous opportunity or imposed dependence?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The paper focuses on the question of whether it is morally permissible to use reproductive technologies to select children with congenital deafness. I review the arguments that have been presented to support the claims that the lack of hearing is not overall bad, that disability is caused by social discrimination rather than impairment, that the community of deaf people gives its members plenty of opportunities to lead a happy life, and that procreative decisions need not improve the world. I argue that although the claims are, to a certain extent, reasonable, they fail to establish the conclusion that selecting for deafness is morally permissible. I further argue that the decision to select a deaf child is morally wrong because it results in imposed and needless dependency, that the happiness of a deaf child is conditioned by their confinement to a relatively small community, and that the deaf parents who reject their child’s potential biculturalism are motivated by questionably self-regarding reasons.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and peace as consequences of human nature?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The issue of human nature is very complex and elusive, and mankind has been trying to unveil its elements since the beginnings of any philosophical reasoning. Whether they were questions of ontology, gnoseology, or ethics, it has been an uneasy task to uncover the complexity of the term. This article concentrates on finding ideas that support the existence of human nature and consequently searches for its possible ethical implications. I focused on the traditional issues of good vs evil, especially in terms of dichotomy between committing violent acts and waging wars in contradiction to creation of conditions for peaceful and just societies. In the article, I compare various ideas on human nature and analyse their potential in unveiling its ethical implications. I also comment on the possibility of war and peace being consequences of human nature and its connection to our disposition of being moral subjects.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of individuals with dementia, palliative care, and futile treatment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Case studies are used to reflect on the treatment of patients with dementia hospitalized at the Geriatric Department of the Faculty hospital in Prešov, emphasizing human dignity in clinical practice. The discussion is focused on the palliative care of patients with severe dementia. The biomedical method, which respects human dignity is defined by means of inductive, deductive, and normative bioethical methods. They make it possible to provide guidelines for palliative care and individualized prognosis strategy. An analysis of health status of individuals with severe dementia enables us to offer a clinical definition of purposeful treatment based on normative justice and decision-making that reflects the patient’s best interest, thus respecting their dignity. An evaluation of a patient’s care is based on a biomedical method that considers the dementia stage. Applying a bioethical model in a holistic context preconditions the human rights of patients with dementia.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrueätopluk Štúr’s criticism of Nietzsche’s vitalism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Svätopluk Štúr is a strong critic of strands of German thought that emphasize the will to power as an organizing principle of human society. Štúr is particularly critical of Nietzsche’s vitalism, which Štúr believes culminated in national socialism and the destruction of the Second World War. This paper describes and examines Štúr’s criticism of a number of German thinkers and focuses especially on Štúr’s criticism of Nietzsche. Štúr criticizes Nietzsche’s emphasis on life over knowledge. Štúr offers a different philosophy of life grounded in the dignity of human beings and the social consequences of ideas and actions. This paper concludes by examining what Štúr means by dignity in terms of a moral agent and as opposed to Nietzsche’s emphasis on vitalism.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue will, moral responsibility and automatisms<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Some determinist approaches to free will opine that the human brain is subordinate to physical laws not fully under our control. This results in a weakening of the concept of the personal autonomy and moral responsibility of humans. Were we to acknowledge this assumption, we might consider automatic machines unable to influence the thoughts and intentions from which our actions take root. The key issue lies in the fact that an individual does not consciously engage in particular actions (automatisms), which challenges the concept of free will in an individual’s complex behaviour. Despite this issue, not all automatisms that lack conscious will can be viewed as lacking free will. The paper examines whether classical philosophical concepts may weaken the strict determinist approach, which seeks to deny that individuals have free will due to the existence of automatic actions.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and marketing perspectives on surrogacy tourism<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>When an individual is unable or unwilling to become a parent the natural way, he/she can avail of a surrogate mother. Furthermore, when the surrogate pregnancy takes place in a foreign country, the practice is popularly referred to as ‘surrogacy tourism’ or ‘birther tourism’, which is the main topic of this research. In contrast to existing research most of which is confined to the medical angle, here we look at how marketing makes surrogacy tourism more accessible but concomitantly promotes unwanted ethical and marketing practices, even if inadvertently. On one hand, rigorous promotion of surrogacy tourism has successfully spread the word and has made such option available to individuals who would have otherwise been unaware of such opportunity. On the other hand, excessive marketing has resulted in unethical, illegal and in some cases, unhealthy medical practices in which, service providers, clinics and doctors often participate, but on which there appears to be scant research. This analysis, therefore, has two-fold implications: first, the findings can be extended to several other related professions, such as the medical community, administrators, law enforcement agencies and most importantly, potential ‘parents’; secondly, it can aid administrators and regulators tighten extant loopholes in the system, and thereby, provide a more robust and safer option for surrogate tourists.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue human hubris: Intelligence in nonhuman animals and artefacts<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>100 years ago, the editors of the <italic>Journal of Educational Psychology</italic> conducted one of the most famous studies of experts’ conceptions of human intelligence. This was reason enough to prompt the question where we stand today with making sense of “intelligence”. In this paper, we argue that we should overcome our anthropocentrism and appreciate the wonders of intelligence in nonhuman and nonbiological animals instead. For that reason, we study two cases of octopus intelligence and intelligence in machine learning systems to embrace the notion of intelligence as a non-unitary faculty with pluralistic forms. Furthermore, we derive lessons for advancing our human self-understanding.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue ethos of the fire service in the context of postmodern changes<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Professional involvement and the moral life of individuals and professional groups, especially those with high social prestige, such as firefighters, are linked by the category of “ethos”. Since the ethos of this service is today significantly influenced by multifaceted and dynamic ideological and existential transformations, it seems necessary to analyse the nature of this impact. Therefore, it seems that postmodernity brings with it ideological tendencies, which, by destroying the traditional preferences established so far, do not propose anything in their place. These include, among others: the crisis of personal and community identity, secularisation processes, the “axiology” of consumerism that is clearly being shaped nowadays, the depreciation of the meaning of work, and, finally, irrationalism and the crisis of the meaning of life.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue