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jove's pensees

PAP Midyear Conference 2002


Dr. Jove Jim S. Aguas

Dr. Patricia B. Licuanan, President, Miriam College, other school officials, PAP Officers and Directors, our speakers, colleagues fellow lovers of wisdom, Good Morning!

Welcome to this years PAP Mid-year Conference. Our theme is Philosophy and Peace.

Peace is the challenge of our time. It is therefore imperative on our part as philosophers to reflect upon this ideal especially in the midst of violence and terrorism. It is very sad to note that we are living is a world full of violence, and hatred.

The recent bombings in Zamboanga and here in Manila, bombing in Bali Indonesia, the continued war between the Israelis and Palestinians in the Middle East, the September 11 attack against the United States and the consequent attack against Afghanistan, are just some of the violence and reported horrible events that happened around us. But equally horrible are the unreported violence against helpless and innocent civilians especially children and women all around the globe, the unreported murders, rapes, kidnappings, child prostitution, and other acts of violence. Needless to say that we are living in a world where violence has become so much part of life. Sad to say it has put man against his fellow man, brothers against brothers.

There is so much violence now in the world, and it has affected our homes, spread in our streets, in different nations and in the world. Violence is destroying our lives and breaking our homes, trampling our dignity and hopes and undermining our hope for lasting world peace and security. But at the outset, we can say that this external violence is rooted somehow in the inner self of every man, in his heart. This growing culture of violence is largely caused by the hostility, hatred, despair and indifference of many men.

In a Pastoral Message in 1994, the US Catholic Bishops wrote:

"Our families are torn by violence. Our communities are destroyed by violence. Our faith is tested by violence. We have an obligation to respond."

The challenge now is to promote a culture of lasting peace, a culture where the human person with his dignity is respected. Respect for and development of human life and the promotion of human dignity require peace. Peace is not merely the absence of war. Peace cannot be attained on earth without safeguarding the welfare of persons, respecting the dignity of persons and the rights of individuals to free association and interaction among themselves.

The challenge of the time is for us philosophers, to reflect on the role of philosophy in the promotion of peace. But the bigger challenge is to involve ourselves in action, the bigger challenge is to act. We cannot be fence-sitters, neither can we be just content with philosophical contemplation, for peace is not just a concept it is a concrete reality, a concrete ideal.

In a paper I delivered recently in a conference, I have outlined major points that would help bring about lasting world peace,

1. Change is Human attitude, this includes: love and respect for the human person, , understanding and sensitivity to others, and genuine concern and dialogue among people

2. Moral Revolution, this involves: a renewed ethic of justice and caring, the promotion of personal responsibility, the strengthening of fundamental moral values and the formation of ethical character.

3. Social Action, this includes: participation in the community and in the common good, inter-religious and intercultural dialogues, conflict resolution and social development.

4. Global solidarity, in terms of: economic equality and cooperation, disarmament, crime prevention, protection of human rights and promotion of human welfare

World peace is a global challenge and our response must also be global. Thirty years ago , the Catholic Church, through Pope John XXIII laid out before us a visionary framework for world peace in his encyclical letter Pacem in Terris which retains its freshness today. Pacem in Terris proposed a political order in service of the common good, defined in terms of the defense and promotion of human rights. In a prophetic insight, anticipating the globalization of our problems, Pope John XXIII called for new forms of political authority adequate to satisfy the needs of the universal common good.

World peace does not consist merely in the absence of war, nor can it be reduced solely to the maintenance of a balance of power between enemies, nor is it brought about by dictatorship. but rather in sharing the goodness of life together and living together in harmony despite our differences. Peace can never be attained if the personal well-being and dignity of every human person is not safeguarded and if everyone does not truly and trustingly share with others the riches of his inner spirit and talents.

The Catholic Church's positive vision of a peaceful world includes among others a) the primacy of the global common good for political life, b) the role of social and economic development in securing the conditions for a just and lasting peace, c) the moral imperative of solidarity between affluent, industrial nations and poor, developing ones, d) the recognition of the universal common good.

A peaceful world is a global order oriented to the full development of all peoples, with governments committed to the rights of citizens, and a framework of authority which enables the world community to address fundamental problems that individual governments fail to resolve. In this framework, sovereignty is in the service of people. All political authority has as its end the promotion of the common good, particularly the defense of human rights.

Promoting human dignity in a culture of violence is an arduous task, considering that behind us is a human history marked by violent struggles and transformation and within us is an aggressive human nature which is predisposed to violent reaction. Added to these is a present environment and culture where acts of violence are so much part of our daily life and which are often glorified or magnified by the media. The challenge to create a world where the human person is respected, a culture where his human dignity is promoted and his human rights are protected is indeed a big task. Yet peace is mankinds hope for a blissful life here on earth.

I would like to share with you the words of Cardinal Arinze:

"When the promotion of the dignity of the human person is an inspiring principle, when the pursuit of the common good is a major commitment, then there is solid and lasting foundations laid for peace."

For this conference we have invited three able speakers, who are coming from different traditions and perspectives, to share with us their insights about the role of philosophy in the promotion of peace. This conference on philosophy and peace is a fitting prelude to our national convention with the same theme, next year in Iloilo. I hope that in these three lectures, we will have a fruitful discussions and at the end of the day, we will be enlightened about our role in the promotion of peace.


Midyear Conference 2002, Miriam College
PAP Officers during the Midyear Conference in October, 2002 at Miriam College, Quezon City


Agenda Items

Item 1

Item 2





April 2-5, 2000

Cebu City



The Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP) and the Philosophical Association of the Visayas and Mindanao (PHAVISMINDA) held last April 2-5, 2000 the First Joint National Convention of these two philosophical associations in the Philippines. It was held at the Holy Family Retreat House in Lahug, Cebu City and was hosted by the University of San Carlos, (USC). The theme of the convention was "The Future of Ethics."

The delegates who came from different parts of the country registered at the Retreat House in the afternoon of April 2 and the host University took them to a brief tour of the tourists spots in Cebu City. The convention started formally with the opening ceremonies the following day, with the President of the host university, USC, welcoming the participants and the Presidents of the PAP and PHAVISMINDA giving their respective opening address. The sessions and discussions were conducted from the first day (Monday morning) until Wednesday morning. The closing ceremony was held just before noon of Wednesday.

There were three types of sessions: first are the plenary sessions where senior philosophy professors delivered lectures on topics related to the theme; there were six plenary lectures. An open forum followed after every plenary lecture. The second are the concurrent discussions. There were two separate discussion groups with two speakers per group reading their respective papers; delegates were divided into two groups for these concurrent discussions. An open forum followed after the two speakers finished delivering their papers. The third are the concurrent workshops in teaching Ethics; there were three topics: Bioethics, Social Ethics and Business Ethics. The participants chose and attended the topic they were interested in. The workshops were divided into two sessions: the session on content, where the resource speaker shared his or her insights as to what particular topics, insights, ideas, principles may be included in teaching the subject. The delegates afterwards shared their own insight on the subject. The second session focused on the method, the discussion was centered on possible approaches, activities that may be followed or adopted in teaching the subject.

The following are the plenary speakers and the title of their papers

Bro. Romualdo Abulad, SVD: The Future of Ethics: The Post Modern View.

Dr. Manuel B. Dy, Jr: "Schelers Phenomenology of Love and Hatred"

Fr. Lorenz Festin: "The Ergon-Energia Perspective in the Interpretation of Aristotles Ethical

Doctrine on Eudaimonia

Fr. Florencio Lagura, SVD: From the World of Discourse to the Realm of Ethics: Another

Reading of "Agere Sequitur Esse."

Fr. Ranhilio C. Aquino, PhD JD, "Ethics After Ethics: Post Modernism and Being Ethical."

Dr. Leovino Ma. Garcia "Towards a Narrative Ethics: From Ricoeur to Levinas."


Resource speakers:

Bioethics : Resource Speaker: Fr. Dionisio Miranda, SVD

Social Ethics: Resource Speaker: Dr. Rainier A. Ibana

Business Ethics: Resource Speaker: Dr. Antonette Palma-Angeles

Concurrent Sessions Speakers and the title of their papers:

Dr. Rolando Gripaldo: Renato Constantino and the Nationalist Ethics

Dr. Lawrence Liao: Ethics in Biological and Environmental Research.

Mr. Ranilo Hermida: Michel Foucault On the Care of the Self As a New Strategic Possibility for

an Ethics

Mr. Carlos Luz: Preliminary Notes on Mystical Knowledge in the Ethics of Socrates and

Gautama Buddha


PAP National Convention 2001


Jove Jim S. Aguas, PhD

Two years ago on this vary hall we were elected as the new set of officers of the PAP. This new set of officers was a mixture of old and new faces, of the experienced and the novice. We took over the leadership from one who has dedicated much of his time and effort to PAP and has made PAP the most active and vibrant philosophical association in the Philippines. We were happy that Dr. Garcia, the moving spirit behind PAP, whose name is somewhat synonymous with PAP is still with us in the Board. Personally I thought assuming the presidency after Dr. Garcia was a big responsibility, it was a big shoe to fit in. We were then tasked to continue the good work he has done. So we buckled down to work.

Today we present to you the modest achievements we have done as a Board and the vision we have for PAP.

After our election, we planned our activities and the projects for PAP, foremost are, conferences, conventions and the registration to the SEC.

October 23, 1999, we had the midyear conference at UST. It was a conference that though not financially rewarding, was a learning experience so to speak. We were able to gather all the papers to be read and we reproduced them for the participants before the actual conference. In doing this the participants were able to participate actively in the discussions. We provided them with the materials they need including a good souvenir bag. We thank the administration and staff of Graduate School of UST for the support they extended to us during that conference. We would also like to acknowledge UST GS for accommodating us, for the financial and moral supports through out our term. We hope that UST will continue to support us.

Right after the midyear conference, we planned for the next national convention. We explored the possibility of holding it outside Manila, preferably in the Visayas. We also explored the possibility of linking with other institutions and organizations for this endeavor. We were fortunate that the Philosophical Association of the Visayas and Mindanao agreed to the idea of holding a joint national convention. And the idea of holding the first ever joint national convention of PAP and PHAVISMINDA was born when the University of San Carlos through Bro. Romy Abulad agreed to host the national convention in Cebu. So last year we were in Cebu, and based on your responses and comments, we can say that it was a big success.

It was difficult planning and preparing for that convention, especially when you have to coordinate with your partners, the PHAVISMINDA and San Carlos through the e-mail. But through the cooperation of these three bodies, we were able to gather competent speakers who delivered excellent papers. The sessions and the discussions were conducted properly. We were lodged at a convenient and quiet venue, the Holy Family Retreat House whose ambiance allowed us to relax and forget our other concerns and at the same time take part in the proceedings.

We thank the PHAVISMINDA for the partnership, we hope that, that would not be the last. We also thank the USC administration and staff for their assistance and hospitality. We hope PAP is always welcome in your place.

In October 2000 there is supposed to be a midyear conference. But we were then faced with the prospect of holding an international conference with a professor from Louvain as the main speaker. This international conference will be jointly sponsored by the PAP and the newly formed School of Humanities of the Ateneo Loyola Schools. We figured it as another successful convention. Hence we concentrated our efforts in preparing for this conference, and cancelled the midyear conference, which many of you waited and expected for. But midway in our preparation, in January, our speaker cancelled his visit to the Philippines because of the worsening peace and order situation then. We had to change plan right away, change the theme and look for speakers. But this setback was quite providential, for it allowed us to come up with a theme that is relevant to us, a theme that has something to do with the recent historical event in our country, People Power II. Not only that, we were able to gather competent speakers, who will deliver complete papers and also we were able invite an equally competent international speaker, Fr. Pat Riordan, whose insights help us see other perspectives about the People Power. Hence we have this conference on EDSA II.

At this point, we would like to thank the School of Humanities of the Ateneo, for the partnership, to the staff and the secretariat, thank you for everything. We thank also all the schools and institutions who trusts PAP by sending their faculties in the conferences organized by PAP. We know without their approval many of us will not be here. We hope that the other schools will hav the opportunity to host a PAP conference.

Without preempting your evaluation of this conference, we could say that we have conducted fairly good conferences and conventions in the past. We have improved on how we conduct it, we have provided you with the materials and kits you need. With the cooperation of our speakers, we provide you with their papers in advance.

There is another work uncompleted though, we were hoping that by the end of our term we would be duly registered with the SEC. We thought the process was easy, but it was quite complicated and we really have to devote more time and attention to it. We have signed and submitted the pertinent documents, we have paid the corresponding fees, but we still have to submit some minor requirements to get our SEC registration. We thought we could finish everything before this conference. We beg for your patience, and we hope we will accomplish this soon.

PAP is non-stock and non-profit association, but we have maintained a modest amount in the bank for our operations and activities. Our Treasurer will be reporting on our financial standing later. PAP thrives in your participation in its activities and membership. PAP is not the Board, not UST, not Ateneo, it is US. PAP is We who always participate, who share, who take part. PAP is not about membership fee, it is participation.

Our vision for PAP is for it to continue providing opportunities and occasions for philosophical discussions, for it to continue promoting the interest of philosophy and professors of philosophy, for it to continue linking with other associations and institutions not only for its own growth but especially for the growth of philosophy in the Philippines. We hope that in the future conferences of PAP junior philosophy professors will be given the opportunity to share their ideas through paper presentation. I was in fact thinking of midyear conference as a venue for budding philosophers and for providing space for them in national conventions.

We hope that you will continue supporting the activities of PAP and continue with your membership and hopefully encourage others to join the PAP. We hope that PAP for its part could serve your noble interests. To all schools and institutions

Mabuhay tayong lahat at mabuhay ang PAP!

Dios Mabalos!


Midyear Conference,  October 25, 2003.