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The Logic Of Internal Relations, Jake S. Cardillo 2018 Bard College

The Logic Of Internal Relations, Jake S. Cardillo

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


“Oh, Phaedrus, If I Don’T Know My Phaedrus I Must Be Forgetting Who I Am Myself”: Glimpses Of Self In Divine Erotic Madness, Jared de Uriarte 2018 Bard College

“Oh, Phaedrus, If I Don’T Know My Phaedrus I Must Be Forgetting Who I Am Myself”: Glimpses Of Self In Divine Erotic Madness, Jared De Uriarte

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Enact In Disappearance, Stephanie DeMer 2018 Virginia Commonwealth University

Enact In Disappearance, Stephanie Demer

Theses and Dissertations

Enact in Disappearance excavates the unseen through the medium of photography in order to chart a new strategy for knowing and communing with a complicated world.


Learning As Anamnesis In Augustine’S De Magistro, Evan Kramer 2018 University of Iowa

Learning As Anamnesis In Augustine’S De Magistro, Evan Kramer

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

This paper discusses illumination, recollection, and dialectic in Augustine’s early works, but chiefly in the De Magistro. The fundamental contention of my essay is that illumination and recollection are not competing theories as they are sometimes presented in the secondary literature. Rather, Augustine has a doctrine of both, and once the nature of each has been correctly explained, the concord and harmony of the theories becomes apparent. The first part of the essay explains Augustine’s attack on the knowledge-transmission model of language in the De Magistro, arguing that knowledge is not the kind of thing, given the nature ...


Indispensability Arguments For Non-Existents., Jason Messerschmitt 2018 University of Iowa

Indispensability Arguments For Non-Existents., Jason Messerschmitt

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

This essay is chiefly concerned with two fields of philosophy in which non-existent objects appear in indispensability claims for their existence, namely philosophy of mind and truthmaker theory. In the former, indispensability claims are derived from the apparent data of intentionality, understood as the mind’s direction upon objects. An intuitive survey of the apparent objects of thought will reveal an apparent array of non-existents, either coherent or incoherent. We may, for instance, apparently think of objects of fiction such as Sherlock Holmes or Pegasus, to name some famous examples from the literature. We may also apparently think of objects ...


Laminated Paint, Travis R. Austin 2018 Virginia Commonwealth University

Laminated Paint, Travis R. Austin

Theses and Dissertations

Though we may not perceive it, we are surrounded by material-in-flux. Inert materials degrade and the events that comprise our natural and social environments causally thread into a duration that unifies us in our incomprehension. Sounds reveal ever-present vibrations of the landscape: expressions of the flexuous ground on which we stand.


Exploring The Easy Road To Nominalism, Jordan Kroll 2018 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Exploring The Easy Road To Nominalism, Jordan Kroll

Doctoral Dissertations

My dissertation is divided into three self-contained chapters, each of which explores some facet of nominalism. The overall aim is to explicate and defend a nominalist approach that recognizes the utility of talking about, or presupposing the existence of, abstract objects even if no such objects exist.

The first chapter begins with a question: why is talk about abstract mathematical entities so useful in describing and explaining the physical world? Here is an answer: talk about such entities is useful for describing and explaining the physical world insofar as there is some appropriate structural similarity between them and the target ...


A Defense Of The Moral Error Theory, John Alton Christmann 2018 University of Colorado at Boulder

A Defense Of The Moral Error Theory, John Alton Christmann

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

In the thesis, I provide a defense of the moral error theory. In the first section, I solve the formulation problem, which is the puzzle related to properly formulating the moral error theory without self-defeat. In the second section, I defend the claim that moral concepts commit their users to irreducibly normative reasons. Finally, in the third and last section, I defend the reduction argument against new criticisms and conclude that there are no irreducibly normative reasons.


From Epistemic To Moral Realism: An Argument For Ethical Truth, Spencer Jay Case 2018 University of Colorado at Boulder

From Epistemic To Moral Realism: An Argument For Ethical Truth, Spencer Jay Case

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation is a development of the argument for moral realism advanced by Terence Cuneo (2007) and Nathan Nobis (2005). I call it the “Epistemic Argument for Moral Realism.” It proceeds as follows: epistemic realism is true; if epistemic realism is true, then moral realism is true; hence moral realism is true. Chapter 1 provides a general overview of the argument and its significance. In chapter 2, I argue in favor of epistemic realism indirectly – thereby supporting the first premise of the Epistemic Argument – by arguing against the two forms of epistemic anti-realism that I take to be the most ...


Dissecting The Grandfather Paradox, Ishan Jawa 2018 Claremont McKenna College

Dissecting The Grandfather Paradox, Ishan Jawa

CMC Senior Theses

In his paper, The Paradoxes of Time Travel, David Lewis posits a defense for the possibility of time travel by arguing that the grandfather 'paradox' is not, in fact, paradoxical at all. Two alternative solutions to the grandfather paradox are discussed in this paper. The first is a result of Paul Horwich’s reply to Lewis and aims to pit the Lewisian conception of compatibility against Horwich’s improbability defense. Proposed by Nicholas Smith and C.G. Goddu, this theory explains that any attempt at backward time travel will lead to the creation of long strings of improbable coincidences. An ...


In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang 2018 Claremont Colleges

In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang

CMC Senior Theses

As technology becomes more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important to understand how we should ethically use technology. One question within this area of study is whether we should treat certain types of technology, like artificial intelligence, with more respect. If we do owe these machines some sort of moral status, another question is what level of moral status they have. In order to answer these questions, I argue that machines can be considered as minds under the view of machine functionalism. A significant problem for machine functionalism is whether it can account for emotions within the system it suggests. First ...


Nietzsche And The Death Of God, Justin Remhof 2018 Old Dominion University

Nietzsche And The Death Of God, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

Nietzsche is perhaps most famous for making the striking claim that God is dead. He writes, "God is dead! God remains dead! And we have killed him!" (GS 125).

What does this mean? Straightforwardly, it seems nonsensical. God is supposed to be eternal, and thus cannot die. Nietzsche’s claim, however, is that "God" is a fiction created by human beings. Thus, God "dies" when there is no good reason to believe that God exists.

This essay will help us understand this claim, his arguments for it, and its potential implications for contemporary religious and ethical thought.


Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof 2018 Old Dominion University

Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

[First paragraph]

Tsarina Doyle's new book is required reading for those interested in Nietzsche's metaphysics, ethics, and metaethics. Doyle argues that for Nietzsche nihilism arises upon the recognition that our values are not objectively valid because they are not instantiated by a mind-independent world. Nietzsche responds to the threat of nihilism, according to Doyle, by developing will to power as a metaphysical view of reality. On this view, the world is constituted by mind-independent causal powers. For Doyle, Nietzsche believes values are metaphysically continuous with will to power because they are causal-dispositional properties of human drives. Will to ...


What's The Problem With Noumenal Affection?, Leonardo Mugi Santoso 2018 Bard College

What's The Problem With Noumenal Affection?, Leonardo Mugi Santoso

Senior Projects Spring 2018

According to transcendental idealism, our experience of the empirical world is the result of our minds being causally affected by supersensible things in themselves; however, transcendental idealism also holds that things in themselves are unknowable by us. The seeming incompatibility of these two claims is known as legendary 'problem of noumenal affection.' This problem has led many scholars to conclude that Kant's theory is inconsistent. In this project I offer a new diagnosis of the problem by reexamining the supposedly incompatible components: The doctrines of noumenal affection and noumenal ignorance. I argue that there are philosophical and textual worries ...


Understanding Mental Illness: A Philosophical Perspective, Isha Aggarwal 2018 Bard College

Understanding Mental Illness: A Philosophical Perspective, Isha Aggarwal

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


Including People With Disabilities In American Religious Life: Christian Metaethical Accounts Of Human And Disability Rights, Toby Bollig 2018 University of Colorado, Boulder

Including People With Disabilities In American Religious Life: Christian Metaethical Accounts Of Human And Disability Rights, Toby Bollig

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Rights-theory has been the primary conceptual impetus for social and legislative progress with respect to disability inclusion and accessibility in the United States. However, there is profound resistance to the use of rights-based appeals to combat the exclusion of people with disabilities from American religious groups. This opposition is especially prevalent in the largest religious demographic in the United States: Christians. A number of Christian philosophers and theologians resist talk of human rights because they believe that rights are excessively individualistic. Christian Philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff has argued against this view and offers a promising theistic account of rights. While Wolterstorff ...


The Philosophical Value Of Reflective Endorsement, Rachel Robison 2018 University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Philosophical Value Of Reflective Endorsement, Rachel Robison

Doctoral Dissertations

Through the years, many philosophers have appealed to reflective endorsement to address important philosophical problems. In this dissertation, I evaluate the merits of those approaches. I first consider Christine Korsgaard’s appeal to reflective endorsement to solve what she calls “the normative problem.” I then consider Harry Frankfurt’s use of reflective endorsement as part of his account of “caring,” which plays a crucial role in his accounts of agency, free will, and personhood. I then turn to Marilyn Friedman’s use of reflective endorsement to explain autonomous action. Finally, I turn to Alan Gibbard’s use of reflective endorsement ...


The Participating Mind In The Quantum Universe, Menas Kafatos, Keun-Hang Susan Yang 2018 Chapman University

The Participating Mind In The Quantum Universe, Menas Kafatos, Keun-Hang Susan Yang

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

The Orthodox interpretation of quantum mechanics, which followed the Copenhagen Interpretation but was enhanced by primarily Werner Heisenberg and John von Neumann into a fully developed theory, brought in, among others, the role of measurement, available choices and response of the quantum system. It is, more consistent and clear than other interpretations of quantum mechanics as it provides account of the interactions of observers with the external world. As such, the Orthodox interpretation does a lot more than just account for physical interactions in the atomic world, which was the original goal of quantum mechanics in the early part of ...


Meaning And Modality, Jesse Fitts 2018 University of Massachusetts Amherst

Meaning And Modality, Jesse Fitts

Doctoral Dissertations

I intended to write four papers whose topics faintly concerned separate issues in meaning and modality. As it turned out, chapters 1-3 all roughly concern the same topic: propositions. While I argue for two different theses in chapters 1 and 2, I try to understand the changing propositions literature in both. In addition to arguing for the respective theses in chapters 1 and 2, accounting for this change is a parallel goal for the chapters taken together. Chapter 3 examines particular propositional roles---the objects of the attitudes and the objects of credence. Finally, chapter 4 changes the subject to the ...


Fictionalism, Semantics, And Ontology, Gordon Purves 2018 Sacred Heart University

Fictionalism, Semantics, And Ontology, Gordon Purves

Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies Faculty Publications

This article expands upon the argument of a previous work which defended a variational account of scientific fictions. Specifically, I show that this understanding of scientific fictions can provide guidance for realist interpretations of scientific theories and models. Depending on a model's variational properties, different ontological commitments are appropriate, providing a principled way for a realist to moderate her views according to the structural properties of a given model. This reasoning is then applied the Lee-Yang theory and Kubo-Martin-Schwinger statistics, two foundational models in quantum statistical mechanics. The Lee-Yang theory is analyzed in a way that permits a robust ...


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