Browsing Prajna Vihara: Vol. 20, No. 1 (January - June 2019) by Issue Date
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ItemService-learning and community : a case study of a university audio-book program for the blindUniversity courses in ethics are designed to help a student develop their moral character. But while classroom work provides students with knowledge, it is often not sufficient for deeper character development. The students also need some sort of practical engagement with people in their surrounding communities. This interaction creates both individual reflection and social awareness. Service-learning is a program which encourages the participants to learn and develop their moral characters through working in the community. During this interaction, both participants and community members learn by sharing and exchanging their experiences. But the question remains how effective this program is in creating awareness of communities outside of the orbit of the typical university experience? This paper, uses a case study of an audio-book program developed at Assumption University of Thailand called: ‘AU Voice for the Blind.’ It will demonstrate on both a theoretical and practical level how the student participant’s values are shaped by such learning experiences.
ItemA teleological interpretation of John Hick's threefold typologyThis research critically investigates the soteriological ground of John Hick’s religious typology and his understanding of Religious Pluralism. It begins by considering the criticsims of Gavin D’Costa who, in his early work, favored Hick’s typology in Theology and Religious Pluralism, but later became critical of it in his work, Impossibility of a Pluralist view of Religions. It will also consider Paul Knitter’s alternative fourfold typology introduced in his work, Introducing Theologies of Religions, and Mark Heim’s ideas concerning religious pluralism in his work Salvation. Finally, the paper will investigate Zen Buddhism’s view of a “positionless position” as a “non-common denominator” from Masao Abe’s Buddhism and Interfaith Dialogue to see if Hick’s idea of ultimate reality is viable basis to defend religious pluralism. After demonstrating these critiques of Hick’s main soteriological grounds of this threefold typology, the research defends a new framework of threefold typology, not built on soteriological grounds, but on teleological grounds, in order to fulfill Hick’s own wishes for promoting peace both spiritually and socially. This is a new framework which can embrace the beliefs of not only pluralists, but also exclusivists and inclusivists, and those who comprise the majority of Christians in the world today.
ItemTowards a Neo-Aristotelian account of philosophical counselingAt present, there is no generally accepted account of what philosophical counselling is or why we should practice it. The aim of this article is to propose an account of philosophical counselling in terms of an Aristotelian concept of Eudaimonia. I argue that this concept provides an apt description of what philosophical counselling, in many cases, consists in. One benefit of construing philosophical counselling in terms of Eudaimonia is that it provides a natural justification for the practice: since it is plausible that Eudaimonia is a desirable state to be in, philosophical counselling is worth engaging in inasmuch as it promotes that state.
ItemOn bitcoin and Simmel's idea of perfect moneyGeorg Simmel in his book Philosophy of Money,described how money evolves through history and predicted that it will evolve to the point where it no longer relies on any substance. He called this stage “perfect money,” which he described as “money detached from every substantial value”. Today we are faced with the development of cryptocurrencies, of which Bitcoin is the best known. Bitcoin presents a new system of transaction which does not require governments or middlemen to regulate trade. Since such currencies are completely beyond substantial value, the philosophical question emerges whether Bitcoin is “perfect money.” This essay will argue that Bitcoin can be understood in connection with Simmel’s idea of “perfect money.” But will also consider Simmel’s claim that perfect money is only possible in a stable society and will show the limitations of cyrptocurrencies and Bitcoin in light of this.