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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Art Of Morals: A Study Of The Influence Of Musicopoetic Arts On Moral Development In Plato's Laws, Daniele Manni Jan 2018

The Art Of Morals: A Study Of The Influence Of Musicopoetic Arts On Moral Development In Plato's Laws, Daniele Manni

Dissertations

This dissertation's primary goal is to give a detailed account of the employment of musicopoetic arts in the process of moral development in Plato's Laws. Its secondary objective is to propose an explanation for the different evaluations of musicopoetic arts at the end of the Republic and in the Laws.

To achieve the first goal I analyze the elements of the soul involved in the moral psychology of the Laws, as sketched in the famous image of the marionette; I maintain that the process of habit formation is the pivotal aspect of this moral psychology; I indicate that ...


Aging Well In 21st Century America: Towards A Theological Ethics Of Aging, Chrisitan Cintron Jan 2017

Aging Well In 21st Century America: Towards A Theological Ethics Of Aging, Chrisitan Cintron

Dissertations

As Third Agers transition into life after work they are faced with a renewed challenge, living the good life. The normative images emanating from the social and cultural landscape allow Third Agers to either envision and live their new life, or adopt a course set out for them. These new lives require a re-discovery and re-defining of the self, a reinterpretation of one's role in society, and relationship to others. As with other phases of life, individuals need guidance when confronted with images of living well that are contradictory or perhaps antithetical to what they imagined for themselves. Various ...


The Master And The Midwife: Levinas And Plato On Teaching, Rebecca Glenn Scott Jan 2017

The Master And The Midwife: Levinas And Plato On Teaching, Rebecca Glenn Scott

Dissertations

In this dissertation, I examine the concept of teaching as it appears in the work of Emmanuel Levinas. In particular, I show how Levinas's notion of teaching arises out of both a retrieval and a critique of Platonic thought. On the one hand, Levinas embraces the transcendence of Platonism, but at the same time, he is often quite critical of Socratic education. I argue, contrary to Levinas, that Socratic education is, in fact, consonant with Levinas's philosophy, particularly when we recognize that Levinas's notion of a primordial teaching must involve a relation both with "absolute" alterity and ...


Human Rights And Global Justice: A Normative Critique Of Some Rawlsian Approaches., Ndidi Victoria Nwaneri Jan 2017

Human Rights And Global Justice: A Normative Critique Of Some Rawlsian Approaches., Ndidi Victoria Nwaneri

Dissertations

HUMAN RIGHTS AND GLOBAL JUSTICE: A NORMATIVE CRITIQUE OF

SOME RAWLSIAN APPROACHES

I hold the position that all forms of social injustice (including global injustice), result

from the intentions and actions of persons. Therefore, irrespective of intervening layers of

causation, such injustice must be understood as intersubjective violations. In this project, I

attempt to develop a global justice theory that takes the level of analysis beyond global

institutions and practices to the level of intersubjective relations between moral agents. My

project opens up the following question: How would a global justice theory look if we took the

expression of human ...


Husserl And Community, Sean Stephen Petranovich Jan 2017

Husserl And Community, Sean Stephen Petranovich

Dissertations

This dissertation is on Edmund Husserl's concept of personal community. I argue that Husserl's concept of community is based on his formal theory of parts and wholes. More specifically, it is argued that the terms Husserl uses to describe features of community in his later writings are already established early in his philosophical career. The first three chapters of the dissertation focus on Husserl's unique conception of community in general. The final two chapters turn to political communities from a Husserlian standpoint.

In the first chapter, I investigate how Husserl's account of the ontological structure of ...


Being Wise Before Wisdom: The Historical Development Of Phronēsis From Homer To Aristotle, And Its Consequences For Hans-Georg Gadamer's Hermeneutic Ethics, Giancarlo Tarantino Jan 2017

Being Wise Before Wisdom: The Historical Development Of Phronēsis From Homer To Aristotle, And Its Consequences For Hans-Georg Gadamer's Hermeneutic Ethics, Giancarlo Tarantino

Dissertations

Hans-Georg Gadamer claims that the Aristotelian concept of "phronesis" or "practical wisdom" plays a decisive role throughout the process of interpretation and understanding. Scholars have often been divided over just what this means or entails for hermeneutics. This dissertation argues for a strongly ethical reading of Gadamer's claim, based on (1) a Gadamerian view of the nature of concepts and conceptuality, and (2) an historical reconstruction of the development of phronesis from Homer to Aristotle. Recovering forgotten and underappreciated historical features of phronesis allows for a critical revaluation of Gadamer's philosophy as a whole, including the outlines of ...


Character Luck And Moral Responsibility: The Character Of The Ordinary Person In Aristotle's Rhetoric And Politics, Marcella Linn Jan 2017

Character Luck And Moral Responsibility: The Character Of The Ordinary Person In Aristotle's Rhetoric And Politics, Marcella Linn

Dissertations

There are many significant factors, such as one’s natural temperaments and upbringing, that are outside of one’s control and affect one’s character. This calls into question one’s responsibility for one’s character, and if we are not responsible for our characters, then it seems we cannot be held responsible for the many actions that stem from them. I will show how a person can be responsible for her character and actions stemming from it despite the pervasiveness of character luck. To do this, I develop an account of character and responsibility from various passages in Aristotle ...


Maimonides And Spinoza: Biblical Interpretation, Randi Feder Jan 2016

Maimonides And Spinoza: Biblical Interpretation, Randi Feder

Master's Theses

This paper focuses on Maimonides’ The Guide of the Perplexed and Spinoza’s Theological‐Political Treatise and their divergent answers to the question as to whether the knowledge acquired through reason alone can be reconciled with Scripture’s content and teachings. Both Maimonides and Spinoza believed that the true understanding of what the Bible says could be achieved by the correct method of biblical interpretation. I show that despite approaching the question of philosophy’s relationship to religion in a similar way, their very different answers are readily understandable in light of each author’s pre‐existing philosophical and religious ...


Habermas And Public Reason In The Digital Age: Technology And Deliberative Democracy, Asaf Bar-Tura Jan 2016

Habermas And Public Reason In The Digital Age: Technology And Deliberative Democracy, Asaf Bar-Tura

Dissertations

Scholars defending the deliberative model of democracy have focused much of their attention on argumentation and criteria for offering public reasons in deliberative processes, but have paid little attention to the ways in which digital technologies mediate such deliberations. Conversely, critical theorists of technology have emphasized the socially determined nature of technology, but have lacked a theory of democracy through which to normatively assess technologies that mediate public discourse. Through a reworking of Jürgen Habermas’s discourse-based theory of democracy, my research provides a new understanding of the flows of political communication and power in the democratic public sphere and ...


“But Who, We?”: Derrida On Non-Human Others, Thomas Helmut Bretz Jan 2016

“But Who, We?”: Derrida On Non-Human Others, Thomas Helmut Bretz

Dissertations

In this dissertation I establish the possibility of social and ethical relationships with non-human natural (and in particular inanimate) beings. I do so based on the work of 20th century French philosopher Jacques Derrida. In chapter 1 I discuss the relatively sparse secondary literature that addresses the intersection between Derrida's work and environmental philosophy. I also go over some textual indications that show that Derrida has been concerned with non-human beings throughout his career.

In chapters 2 and 3 I establish the impossibility of conclusively excluding any kind of being from the purview of ethical responsibility. While chapter 2 ...


Omnis Determinatio Est Negatio: A Genealogy And Defense Of The Hegelian Conception Of Negation, Russell Newstadt Jan 2015

Omnis Determinatio Est Negatio: A Genealogy And Defense Of The Hegelian Conception Of Negation, Russell Newstadt

Dissertations

This dissertation explores a line of philosophical thought that accords negation a fundamental role in the determination of concepts and the kinds, universals and particulars to which concepts provide access. Though it takes the largely historical route of philosophical genealogy, focusing on Plato, Boethius and Hegel, the dissertation is also intended as a defense of the philosophical significance of negation itself, and of a principle Hegel famously attributes to Spinoza, omnis determinatio est negatio. I argue that in explaining negation as difference (to heteron) Plato reveals its originary function as the characteristic operation of cognition, and that this discursive role ...


Moral Philosophy And The Art Of Silence, Kristina Grob Jan 2014

Moral Philosophy And The Art Of Silence, Kristina Grob

Dissertations

In this dissertation I begin with the claim that silence is part of moral life. Moral philosophy must make every attempt to bring within it all that is part of moral life. The dissertation produces a methodology for learning how to see some of the silences that I claim for moral life and it shows the importance of silence to continuing moral self-formation.


The Limits Of Rationality: Suicidality, Affectivity, And The Rational, Maria Jennifer Kulp Jan 2014

The Limits Of Rationality: Suicidality, Affectivity, And The Rational, Maria Jennifer Kulp

Dissertations

In this project, I expose conceptual and moral difficulties with the concept of rational suicide. After offering a comprehensive list of criteria used to define rationality in the bioethics literature, I turn to the scholarship of Susan Sherwin, Susan Wolf, Rosemarie Tong, Lisa Ikemoto and others to apply feminist critiques regarding the privileging of the liberal individual and claims of value neutrality in bioethics generally to the rational suicide literature specifically. Further, using the work of Genevieve Lloyd, I argue that just as definitions of rationality have been used to marginalize vulnerable populations (e.g., women and minorities), a similar ...


International Trade: A Justice Approach, Aaron Crowe Jan 2014

International Trade: A Justice Approach, Aaron Crowe

Dissertations

The current international trade regime is flawed, unjust and in need of redress. It largely ignores concerns for global economic justice, and fails those most in need of a strategy to help them move out of extreme poverty. It exacerbates inequalities, both between states in global society and within individual countries. It also creates a competitive pressure on producers to use the differing legal standards and enforcement between countries to externalize important environmental, social /human rights and cultural costs that harm others now or in the future.

In the first two chapters, this dissertation draws out, and considers critically, the ...


Purpose And Design In Organisms And Artifacts: The Search For A Unified Philosophical Theory Of Function, Mark L. Bourgeois Jan 2014

Purpose And Design In Organisms And Artifacts: The Search For A Unified Philosophical Theory Of Function, Mark L. Bourgeois

Dissertations

This work examines the concept of function in both biological organisms and designed artifacts. Function is routinely attributed within both kinds of systems, yet it is unclear whether it can mean the same thing within each, and indeed whether function attribution within natural systems is legitimate at all. Function is typically understood to have teleological content; yet in true teleological causation, the end is somehow the cause of its own means. In artifacts the consciously envisioned design of an artifact is taken to be the cause of its parts and their roles. Yet in naturalistic science there is no prior ...


Mindful Mending: The Repair Of Thought And Action Amidst Technologies, Bryan Kibbe Jan 2014

Mindful Mending: The Repair Of Thought And Action Amidst Technologies, Bryan Kibbe

Dissertations

My thesis is that the concept and practice of repair, properly understood and circumscribed, can serve to: (1) specify a responsibility to care for individuals who are cognitively dependent on particular configurations of technologies and suffer cognitively significant harms following damage to various technologies, and (2) to act as a standard by which to regulate the design, implementation, and selection of technologies available for human use and appropriation. I begin (Chapters One and Two) by providing a critical investigation of the concept and practice of repair. In Chapters Three and Four, I set forth a proposal to consider what I ...


Prolegomena To Kant's Theory Of The Derangement Of The Cognitive Faculties, Gisele Velarde La Rosa Jan 2013

Prolegomena To Kant's Theory Of The Derangement Of The Cognitive Faculties, Gisele Velarde La Rosa

Dissertations

In the literature on Immanuel Kant there is no systematic account of the derangement of the constitutive cognitive faculties from an exclusively philosophical point of view. This dissertation opens the path for the development of such an account. It does so by presenting Kant's positive account of the proper functioning of the constitutive cognitive faculties, namely, sensibility, imagination, and understanding. As such, the dissertation offers a series of "prolegomena" to a Kantian theory of the derangement of the cognitive faculties. At the foundation of Kant's theory of cognition is the transcendental unity of apperception, the original ground of ...


Fideism, Evidentialism, And The Epistemology Of Religious Belief, Matthew P. Butcher Jan 2013

Fideism, Evidentialism, And The Epistemology Of Religious Belief, Matthew P. Butcher

Dissertations

Fideism is the theory that certain propositions can be held by faith without regard to evidence. Its epistemological underpinnings are often contrasted with evidentialism - the view that one is justified in holding a belief if and only if that belief is based on sufficient undefeated evidence. Recently, John Bishop and C. Stephen Evans have each forwarded new theories of fideism that oppose evidentialism. This dissertation examines these two theories, raising problems that threaten to undermine the epistemological claims of the fideist. A version of evidentialism is then advanced that addresses the problems identified by Evans and Bishop. Particularly important to ...


Kant's Change Of Heart: Radical Evil And Moral Transformation, Christina Drogalis Jan 2013

Kant's Change Of Heart: Radical Evil And Moral Transformation, Christina Drogalis

Dissertations

In Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason (1793), Kant makes the claim that all humans are radically evil, both by nature and through a free choice. This radical evil, which is the state of having a Gesinnung (disposition) that commits oneself to prioritizing incentives of inclination above incentives of duty, throws into question whether humans can ever become morally good. For this reason, many commentators have dismissed the Religion as not cohesive with Kant's corpus and do not consider it to play an important role in his ethical theory, in particular. Contrary to this traditionally-held interpretation, I show ...


Ontology In Emmanuel Levinas's Philosophy, Stacy Carol Bautista Jan 2012

Ontology In Emmanuel Levinas's Philosophy, Stacy Carol Bautista

Dissertations (6 month embargo)

Taking the notion of the il y a, its prehistory and eventual fate, as an index of the development of the problem of being in Levinas's work, this thesis argues that Levinas's philosophy does not respond to a consistently articulated problem. He eventually transforms ontological evil into social evil, a shift that is visible in his handling of il y a.


The Logic Of Divine-Human Reconciliation: A Critical Analysis Of Penal Substitution As An Explanatory Feature Of Atonement, Blaine Swen Jan 2012

The Logic Of Divine-Human Reconciliation: A Critical Analysis Of Penal Substitution As An Explanatory Feature Of Atonement, Blaine Swen

Dissertations

The purpose of this research is to offer an analysis of the major conceptual and ethical problems facing penal substitution insofar as it is utilized as an explanatory feature of Christ's contribution to divine-human reconciliation. I present fourteen problems and argue that penal substitution can overcome these problems by embracing a "divine-manifest offering" approach to atonement. On this approach, God mercifully chooses to require satisfaction for sin through penal substitution in order to give God's Self the opportunity to meet this requirement by satisfaction through penal self-substitution. This divine self-substitution is intended by God to elicit a free ...


On Eros In Plotinus: Attempt At A Systematic Reconstruction (With A Preliminary Chapter On Plato), Alberto Bertozzi Jan 2012

On Eros In Plotinus: Attempt At A Systematic Reconstruction (With A Preliminary Chapter On Plato), Alberto Bertozzi

Dissertations

This study is an attempt at a systematic reconstruction of Plotinus’ understanding of eros or love in two basic steps, corresponding to Chapters One−Two and Three−Four respectively.

The first step highlights Plotinus’ connection to Plato. In Chapter One, first I argue that Plotinus’ way of reading the dialogues is faithful to Plato’s intention insofar as it is an active engagement in the practice of philosophy advocated in the dialogues; I then try to show that some important elements of Plotinus’ understanding of eros, most notably the differentiation of levels of reality in the soul’s ascent to ...


Nietzsche's Theory Of Cognition: An Interpretation And Defense Of Perspectivism, Justin R. Marquis Jan 2012

Nietzsche's Theory Of Cognition: An Interpretation And Defense Of Perspectivism, Justin R. Marquis

Dissertations

Friedrich Nietzsche has long been recognized as a pivotal thinker in the history of moral philosophy, but until the last quarter century his importance for our understanding of the concepts of truth and knowledge had been largely ignored in English-language scholarship. In my dissertation, I add to the growing discussion on Nietzsche's theory of human cognition. While more attention has recently been given to this dimension of Nietzsche's thought, several key aspects have been largely ignored or insufficiently treated including the effects that the ethical or evaluative domain have on the way we cognize the world, the role ...


Beyond Utility, Rights, And Care: An Alternative Approach To Global Poverty, Timothy Weidel Jan 2012

Beyond Utility, Rights, And Care: An Alternative Approach To Global Poverty, Timothy Weidel

Dissertations

In this dissertation, I argue in favor of an alternative approach to the problem of global poverty, one that is distinct in significant ways from current philosophical approaches of utilitarianism, human rights, or an ethic of care. While these approaches have their merits, I will argue that they are all insufficient (in various ways) to deal with the problem of global poverty. Given their shortcomings, a new approach is needed. My alternative ethical approach contains two major facets: It provides a compelling moral motivation to act to end global poverty, and it also suggests specific initiatives that will prove effective ...


Being In The Know: Punk, Confrontation, And The Process Of Validating Truth Claims, Christopher Richard Penna Jan 2011

Being In The Know: Punk, Confrontation, And The Process Of Validating Truth Claims, Christopher Richard Penna

Master's Theses

Since the birth of punk, it has been a harbinger of trends within both youth culture and what cultural theorist Theodor Adorno calls the "culture industry" (Adorno & Horkheimer, 1947; Adorno, 1971). However, punk has never been fully embraced by the culture industry, largely, by design. Punk arose as a response, borne out of the frustration of a stagnant world that values profit over people (Sabin, 1999, p. 3). Present within opposition is confrontation--which is the very nature of punk. This thesis seeks to exemplify how punk uses confrontation as the instrument through which punk comes to know truths. The matrix by which ...


Marx's Concept Of The Transcendence Of Value Production, Peter Hudis Jan 2011

Marx's Concept Of The Transcendence Of Value Production, Peter Hudis

Dissertations

Although the literature produced on Marx's philosophic contribution over the past 100 years is immense, most of it has focused on his analysis of the economic and political structure of capitalism, the "materialist conception of history," and his critique of value production. There has been very little discussion or analysis, however, of his conception of what constitutes an alternative to capitalism. One reason for this is that it has long been assumed that Marx's disdain for utopian socialists and his strictures against inventing "blueprints about the future" meant that his work does not address the possible content of ...


Restoring The Balance: Setting Aside Naturalism In Favor Of Personhood In Extreme Cases, Brian Joseph Buckley Jan 2011

Restoring The Balance: Setting Aside Naturalism In Favor Of Personhood In Extreme Cases, Brian Joseph Buckley

Dissertations

This dissertation addresses a simple question: Is an anencephalic child a person? These children are born with only a brain stem, and, as such, cannot experience any type of consciousness. If personhood is understood as an articulable moral category, particularly distinct from DNA membership, reasonable evidence would be required to attribute any such moral category in these cases. That is, to claim that children who may never think or feel are persons carries a philosophical burden that extends beyond mere Homo Sapiens membership. This dissertation accepts that burden and answers that anencephalic children are persons. To do this, I first ...


Thinking Through The Phenomenon Of Trust: A Philosophical Investigation, Jeffrey M. Courtright Jan 2011

Thinking Through The Phenomenon Of Trust: A Philosophical Investigation, Jeffrey M. Courtright

Dissertations

Jeffrey M. Courtright

THINKING THROUGH THE PHENOMENON OF TRUST: A PHILOSOPHICAL INVESTIGATION

The phenomenon of trust is historically underrepresented as a topic of serious investigation in Western philosophy. This dissertation investigates the integral role that trust plays in enabling and sustaining meaning and significance in human existence. This thesis is substantiated in the following ways.

First, I explicate various senses and ways of thinking about trust in the work of two historically important philosophers, Plato and Nietzsche. I show that Socrates, in Plato's dialogue Phaedo, articulates the feeling of being entrusted with life, a feeling that one experiences as ...


Contemplation And The Human Animal In The Philosophy Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Edyta M. Imai Jan 2011

Contemplation And The Human Animal In The Philosophy Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Edyta M. Imai

Dissertations

This dissertation explores how, according to Thomas Aquinas, the operations of the sensitive soul are necessary for ordinary (i.e., not mystical) human contemplation, and for the acquisition of knowledge which precedes contemplation.

The sensitive soul is the soul possessed by all sentient beings, that is, animals, and thus, in examining the role of the sensitive soul in human contemplation we learn about the way the animal side of our nature participates in contemplation.

According to Aquinas, we possess natural inclinations, which direct us to our proper ends, our proper good. Knowledge of truth is also a good to which ...


Global Distributive Justice After Rawls: A Modified Poggean Argument For How We Harm The World's Poorest, Mark Chakoian Jan 2011

Global Distributive Justice After Rawls: A Modified Poggean Argument For How We Harm The World's Poorest, Mark Chakoian

Dissertations

This work presents an analysis of Thomas Pogge's approach to the problem of world poverty as presented in World Poverty and Human Rights. It begins by situating the project of Pogge relative to the work of his predecessor John Rawls. It then moves on to compare Pogge's negative-duty approach to more common positive-duty approaches by discussing the relative merits and weaknesses of the approach of Peter Singer to the problem of poverty. The remaining chapters give an in-depth analysis of Pogge's argument itself. Although there are significant holes and inconsistencies in Pogge's approach, a reformulated argument ...