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Philosophical Problems in the Contemporary World

Edited By Dilek Arlı Çil and Nihal Petek Boyaci

The social and technological developments, social movements, scientific discoveries, economic growth or diseconomies give rise to many problems for human beings. Many disciplines such as economics, political science, architecture, sociology and psychology discuss these problems and offer solutions from different perspectives. Philosophy has its own way of dealing with these problems. As opposed to the common belief, philosophy does not only deal with ideals independently of what is going on in real life. The problems of the contemporary philosophy are also the problems of the contemporary world. For this reason, this book aims to present and discuss certain philosophical problems in the contemporary world and to suggest solutions to them.

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Poverty: A Philosophical Overview

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Introduction

Poverty is the word which comes from French to English. The ultimate origin of the word is Latin. Pauper is the Latin word which means “poor” or “not wealthy”. The word is also associated with the Greek word called παῦρος, which means little or small. There is only exact and undisputed definition of poverty which is etymological. Because there are different approaches to defining this notion and there is not one correct definition. Most researchers accept that any definition has to be understood, at least in part, in relation to particular social, cultural and historical contexts (Lister, 2004: 12). But first of all, poverty is generally tried to be defined on numerical data. It is said that to be poor means to be deprived of economic resources. For example, there are reports that in 2001 there were 2735 people (out of 6150 million) living less than $2 per day (Pogge, 2007: 11). The poverty of these people who are economically not in a comfortable situation is also parallel with the fact that they cannot meet their basic physiological needs. Therefore, the type of poverty first addressed in the discussions is that the individual cannot reach his/her basic physiological needs, and this is directly related to the ability of a person to live.

The idea of human beings’ basic needs has been thought for a long time ago. In Plato’s Laws, there is a myth about two Reigns: Cronus and Zeus. Cronus Reign has also...

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