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Basic-Acceptance Teleosemantics, Esteban Withrington 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Basic-Acceptance Teleosemantics, Esteban Withrington

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

I propose an approach to naturalize semantics that combines the use-theory of meaning with teleosemantics. More specifically, I combine Horwich’s claim that the meanings of words are engendered by the acceptance of basic sentences that govern their deployment with the teleosemantic model, developed by Millikan, Papineau and Neander, according to which the meanings of symbols are related to functions determined by the history of their use and of the underlying biological mechanisms responsible for it.

Horwich’s account is general enough to offer plausible explanations of the meanings of all kinds of words and provides a plausible explanation of ...


Queerness, Witchcraft, And Embodied Presence: Aesthetic Knowings Of What A Body Can Do, Megan Bigelow 2019 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Queerness, Witchcraft, And Embodied Presence: Aesthetic Knowings Of What A Body Can Do, Megan Bigelow

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Taking as a point of entry the critique of representation and affirming the limitations of the cuts that language makes, this capstone project explores the imbrications and assemblages between Foucault’s concept of subjugated knowledges, witchcraft and other body-based ways of knowing and being, and the consciousness of non-human forms such as plants and through the framework of non-representational theory, process philosophies, aesthetics, queerness, and the concept of difference itself.

Since such theories themselves are living, breathing entities, this capstone project explores the ideological split that has occurred between sacred and secular beliefs, moving through different figures such as nuns ...


What's Left Of Gender?: The Metaphysics Of Woman, Man, And Non-Binary Identities, Nina Kamangar 2019 The University of San Francisco

What's Left Of Gender?: The Metaphysics Of Woman, Man, And Non-Binary Identities, Nina Kamangar

Creative Activity and Research Day - CARD

There is a gender revolution underway. Progressive movements urge acceptance of transgender and non-binary gender identities apart from the male or female designations assigned at birth. Surrounding this, there has been confusion about what gender is and what it means to identify with one. Some accuse new perspectives on gender to be incoherent. Others support this movement, but acknowledge gender as an inherently restrictive concept to eventually be abolished. Is it true that genders are becoming empty categories, or can something be salvaged? I offer a pro-revolutionary theory of gender that is inclusive of these new identities while remaining intelligible.


Being And Action: A Metaphysical-Ethical Analysis Of St. Thomas And Friedrich Nietzsche, John Cooney 2019 Carroll College

Being And Action: A Metaphysical-Ethical Analysis Of St. Thomas And Friedrich Nietzsche, John Cooney

Carroll College Student Undergraduate Research Festival

In this paper, I seek to identify the applicability of the theorem that we only ever act in accord with how we perceive things to be—generally viewed as self-evident until the advent of modernity—to Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and to Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals. More specifically, I seek to determine the relationship between these author’s metaphysical presuppositions (or lack thereof) and their respective ethical theories which differ in both content and aim. More generally, I ask: what can the differences in these authors’ metaphysical and ethical beliefs teach us about what we ...


The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith 2019 Liberty University

The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith

Senior Honors Theses

Within this paper, it is shown that certain ethical assumptions are implicit within the claim that certain kinds of evil exist. When taken in tandem with the moral argument for the existence of God, these assumptions can be arranged in such a way as to provide a contradiction. To avoid this contradiction, I posit a non-existential alternative to direct inductive arguments from evil, but the non-existential alternative gives rise to novel objections. When considering their respective ethical implications, both the existential and non-existential variations of direct inductive arguments fail. Since any direct inductive problem of evil must be either existential ...


Four Hours Passed From 8am Today Until Noon, Alexander Jackson 2019 Boise State University

Four Hours Passed From 8am Today Until Noon, Alexander Jackson

Alexander Jackson

What would it be for time’s passage to be a metaphysically fundamental aspect of reality? Plausibly, what it is for time to pass is for particular amounts of time to pass between pairs of times. So I propose that there are metaphysically fundamental facts of the form: amount of time tpasses from time T1until time T2. For example, it is a fundamental fact that: four hours passed from 8am today until noon. I argue that the proposal is compatible with both A-theories and B-theories of time. The proposed ideology takes on an inflationary or deflationary flavour depending on ...


Dog Breed Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Interpreted Through A Lockean Perspective, Xavier S. Higa 2019 Lake Forest College

Dog Breed Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Interpreted Through A Lockean Perspective, Xavier S. Higa

Senior Theses

The problem of fine-grained classification is one in which traditionally humans have fared better than computers. Only recently, with the advent of complex Machine Learning techniques, we have seen systems that can compete with or beat humans at this problem. In this work, we trained two Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) on the Stanford Dogs dataset and made them recognize dog breeds. We also analyzed the response maps of the CNNs with the aim of determining which breed-specific features the networks had learned in order to classify the images. Upon obtaining these features, we attempted to gain an insight into them ...


On The Divergence Of Schopenhauerian And Schweitzerian Ethics-Of-Will, Bryce Herndon 2019 College of William and Mary

On The Divergence Of Schopenhauerian And Schweitzerian Ethics-Of-Will, Bryce Herndon

Undergraduate Honors Theses

I attempt to understand the cause of divergence between the ethical philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and Albert Schweitzer, both of whom belong to a meta-ethical school dubbed "ethics-of-will." Ethics-of-will is that subset of moral thought which advocates moral action on the basis of the metaphysical propositions that the world is Will and all that exists to human perception is representation of the Will. Schweitzer and Schopenhauer fall into this school, yet advocate radically different ethics, such that Schweitzer may be considered an optimist advocating ethics which seek life- and world-affirmation and Schopenhauer may be considered a pessimist advocating ethics which ...


Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus von Houck 2019 University of Washington Tacoma

Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck

History Undergraduate Theses

This paper applies letters, journals, history interviews, government-company contracts, international treaties, theological works, and images to examine the convergence of Russian Orthodox Christianity and Alaskan Indigenous shamanism cultures to explicate the harmonizing of an Indigenous multicultural Christian faith in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska. Central to this examination is the evaluation of effects of Orthodox Christian missiology on native Alaskans and the Indigenous religio-cultural response to Russian missionaries. Not merely a historical overview of contact between natives and missionaries in Russian Alaska, this paper harmonizes the commonality of cosmology between native Alaskan shamanism and Orthodox Christianity. It analyzes the impacts of comparatively ...


Recapture, Transparency, Negation And A Logic For The Catuṣkoṭi, Adrian KREUTZ 2019 University of St Andrews

Recapture, Transparency, Negation And A Logic For The Catuṣkoṭi, Adrian Kreutz

Comparative Philosophy

The recent literature on Nāgārjuna’s catuṣkoṭi centres around Jay Garfield’s (2009) and Graham Priest’s (2010) interpretation. It is an open discussion to what extent their interpretation is an adequate model of the logic for the catuskoti, and the Mūla-madhyamaka-kārikā. Priest and Garfield try to make sense of the contradictions within the catuskoti by appeal to a series of lattices – orderings of truth-values, supposed to model the path to enlightenment. They use Anderson & Belnaps's (1975) framework of First Degree Entailment. Cotnoir (2015) has argued that the lattices of Priest and Garfield cannot ...


Sino-African Philosophy: A Re-“Constructive Engagement”, Paul A. DOTTIN 2019 San Jose State University

Sino-African Philosophy: A Re-“Constructive Engagement”, Paul A. Dottin

Comparative Philosophy

“Constructive-Engagement” is a meta-philosophical and meta-methodological “strategy” suggested by Chinese and comparative philosophy scholar Bo Mou for analyzing and enriching philosophical exchange. In this paper, I will use this strategy towards an end, on a scale, and with a topic not attempted before. I will use it as a “template” for redesigning a poorly developing area of cross-cultural comparison I call Sino-African reflective studies (SARS). My goal in this work-in-progress is to design a plan for reconstituting SARS as Sino-African philosophy (SAP), an inclusive yet coherent field of research and innovation unified through organizing principles. I will design the overhaul ...


Apophatic Community: Yannaras On Relational Being, Fred DALLMAYR 2019 University of Notre Dame, USA

Apophatic Community: Yannaras On Relational Being, Fred Dallmayr

Comparative Philosophy

For Martin Heidegger the story of Western philosophy ended basically in egocentrism or the metaphysics of “subjectivity”; however, he acknowledged the possibility of another path in Greece: that of pre-Socratic thinking. Yet, there is a further path he did not acknowledge: the tradition of Orthodox philosophy and theology. The paper focuses on some key works of the prominent contemporary Greek philosopher Christos Yannaras, for a long time professor in Athens. Taking over the notions of “Being” and ontology, Yannaras construes them (with Heidegger) not as ontic “substances” amenable to epistemic knowledge, but as guideposts to “relational” or participatory experience. His ...


Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile 2019 Liberty University

Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Theists and non-theists alike have toiled with the characteristics of the Judeo-Christian God and how they may or may not be contradictory with the existence of evil. Some philosophers, such as J. L. Mackie, have decided that God and evil cannot coexist, mainly because the existence of evil means that any God is unable to keep evil and suffering away from His beloved creation, and such a limited God is no God at all. But Mackie’s argument rests on flawed foundation. Mankind is necessarily finite because even the infinite God cannot do the logically impossible and create the infinite ...


Moral Praiseworthiness And Blameworthiness And The Free Will Debate, Conor Lutgen 2019 University of Colorado, Boulder

Moral Praiseworthiness And Blameworthiness And The Free Will Debate, Conor Lutgen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper I aim to show that we do not have free will (regardless of the truth of determinism), and that we therefore do not have moral responsibility for our actions. However, I also argue that we can still live coherent moral lives in such a world, and that such a view does not commit me to skepticism about morality. I do this by distinguishing between moral responsibility and moral praiseworthiness/blameworthiness, and arguing that the latter is sufficient for moral action and evaluation.


The Denial Of Transcendental Freedom Is Self-Refuting, Theodore Kahn 2019 Claremont Colleges

The Denial Of Transcendental Freedom Is Self-Refuting, Theodore Kahn

CMC Senior Theses

The questions of what kind of freedom morality requires and how to reconcile the capacity for free agency within a determined temporal sequence represent the crux of the free will debate. Traditional compatibilists claim that determinism does not preclude our capacity for moral agency. Nuanced determinists, such as Derk Pereboom, deny the existence of moral agency and argue that free will is not required to save the basic modes of our practical lives, such as our capacity to affect each other and to lead practically morallives. I will argue in favor of Kant’s view, which holds that since freedom ...


Lifetime, Emily E. Kuchenbecker 2019 1993

Lifetime, Emily E. Kuchenbecker

Theses and Dissertations

Time is my bully. Time marks the start of something, as well as the end. We are all carrying out the inexorable passing of time as it relates to our impending mortalities.

I do not fear death.

The awareness of my body’s impermanence employs me to feel that much more connected to the vessel containing that of which I am.

But what am I? Am I my body- or is it much deeper?

Through the work executed during my graduate research, I have attempted to quantify my existence through the archiving my time and body. This document ushers you ...


Developing A Counterfactual Comparative Account Of Harming By Omission, Rebecca Mullen 2019 University of Colorado, Boulder

Developing A Counterfactual Comparative Account Of Harming By Omission, Rebecca Mullen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The goal of this paper is to defend the counterfactual, comparative account of harm by developing an account of when an omission harms someone. Intuitively, it seems as though omissions on the part of moral agents do sometimes count as a harm against someone else, as when a parent fails to feed their child. There are also other cases in which denying that an omission causes harm seems more natural, such as cases involving agents who could not have done otherwise or for whom acting to prevent the harm would be supererogatory. I examine several possible candidates for explaining the ...


Rampant Non-Factualism: A Metaphysical Framework And Its Treatment Of Vagueness, Alexander Jackson 2018 Boise State University

Rampant Non-Factualism: A Metaphysical Framework And Its Treatment Of Vagueness, Alexander Jackson

Alexander Jackson

Rampant non-factualism is the view that all non-fundamental matters are non-factual, in a sense inspired by Kit Fine (2001). The first half of this paper argues that if we take non-factualism seriously for any matters, such as morality, then we should take rampant non-factualism seriously. The second half of the paper argues that rampant non-factualism makes possible an attractive theory of vagueness. We can give non-factualist accounts of non-fundamental matters that nicely characterize the vagueness they manifest (if any). I suggest that such non-factualist theories dissolve philosophical puzzlement about vagueness. In particular, the approach implies that philosophers should not try ...


Foucault And The Recommencement Of Philosophy, Javier de la Higuera 2018 University of Granada (Spain)

Foucault And The Recommencement Of Philosophy, Javier De La Higuera

CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture

Javier de la Higuera discusses in his “Foucault and the Recommencement of Philosophy” the idea of a recommencement of philosophy that Michel Foucault has posited on several occasions, although with different meaning and intentions. This article reconstructs how he approached this in the 1960s and shows the fundamental changes that this idea of recommencement underwent in the later Foucault. In his last three years at the Collège de France, Foucault appeared to reinterpret the very idea of philosophy based on his analysis of ancient spirituality and of parrhesiastic philosophical practice. The interpretation that Gilles Deleuze gave of late Foucault, devoted ...


Did Hollywood Take Theatre "By Hook Or By Crook?", Catherine S. Wright 2018 Missouri State University

Did Hollywood Take Theatre "By Hook Or By Crook?", Catherine S. Wright

MSU Graduate Theses

Hollywood and Theatre have been partners in producing entertainment for over 100 years. The relationship was fruitful for both parties, but Hollywood moguls and playwrights battled over ownership of the work and crafting of its creative nucleus, story and character. Theatre was the dominant entertainment right before the rise of motion pictures. Once Hollywood’s talkies closed the curtain on silent films, playwrights had a high creative worth to movie makers. In the cinema, story and dialogue were essential for its survival and growth. Playwrights were courted by the Hollywood studio heads but were not offered equal partnership as they ...


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