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Articles 31 - 60 of 316

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


Marx's Democratic Critique Of Capitalism And Its Implications For A Viable Socialism, C. David Schweickart Jan 2014

Marx's Democratic Critique Of Capitalism And Its Implications For A Viable Socialism, C. David Schweickart

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper argues that Marx’s critique of capitalism is not, as commonly believed, a critique of the “free market.” I argue that the “market” under capitalism should be understood as a three-fold market—for goods and services, for labor and for capital. I argue that Marx’s critique is essentially a critique of the latter two markets, and not the first. Hence theoretical space opens up for “market socialism.” I proceed to elaborate briefly what specific institutions might comprise an economically viable socialism that would not be vulnerable to Marx’s critique.


The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura Jan 2014

The Public Sphere As Site Of Emancipation And Enlightenment: A Discourse Theoretic Critique Of Digital Communication, David Ingram, Asaf Bar-Tura

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Habermas claims that an inclusive public sphere is the only deliberative forum for generating public opinion that satisfies the epistemic and normative conditions underlying legitimate decision-making. He adds that digital technologies and other mass media need not undermine – but can extend – rational deliberation when properly instituted. This paper draws from social epistemology and technology studies to demonstrate the epistemic and normative limitations of this extension. We argue that current online communication structures fall short of satisfying the required epistemic and normative conditions. Furthermore, the extent to which Internet-based communications contribute to legitimate democratic opinion and will formation depends on the ...


Poverty Knowledge, Coercion, And Social Rights: A Discourse Ethical Contribution To Social Epistemology, David Ingram Jan 2014

Poverty Knowledge, Coercion, And Social Rights: A Discourse Ethical Contribution To Social Epistemology, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

In today’s America the persistence of crushing poverty in the midst of staggering affluence no longer incites the righteous jeremiads it once did. Resigned acceptance of this paradox is fueled by a sense that poverty lies beyond the moral and technical scope of government remediation. The failure of experts to reach agreement on the causes of poverty merely exacerbates our despair. Are the causes internal to the poor – reflecting their more or less voluntary choices? Or do they emanate from structures beyond their control (but perhaps amenable to government remediation)? If both of these explanations are true (as I ...


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 ...


The Constraint Interpretation Of Physical Emergence, James Blachowicz Jul 2013

The Constraint Interpretation Of Physical Emergence, James Blachowicz

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

I develop a variant of the constraint interpretation of the emergence of purely physical (non-biological) entities, focusing on the principle of the non-derivability of actual physical states from possible physical states (physical laws) alone. While this is a necessary condition for any account of emergence, it is not sufficient, for it becomes trivial if not extended to types of constraint that specifically constitute physical entities, namely, those that individuate and differentiate them. Because physical organizations with these features are in fact interdependent sets of such constraints, and because such constraints on physical laws cannot themselves be derived from physical laws ...


The Principle Of Double Effect: Act-Types And Intentions, James G. Murphy Jun 2013

The Principle Of Double Effect: Act-Types And Intentions, James G. Murphy

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Objections to the principle of double effect usually concern its first and second conditions (that the act not be evil in itself, and that the good effect and not the evil effect be intended). The difficulties often arise from a rejection of the idea that acts have a moral nature independent of context, and a tendency to interpret intention as purely psychological. This article argues that the “act itself” should be understood as the act-type, and suggests that examples of evil act-types are not hard to find. It argues that the notion of intention is involved in both conditions, but ...


Democracy And Scientific Expertise: Illusions Of Political And Epistemic Inclusion, J.D. Trout May 2013

Democracy And Scientific Expertise: Illusions Of Political And Epistemic Inclusion, J.D. Trout

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Realizing the ideal of democracy requires political inclusion for citizens. A legitimate democracy must give citizens the opportunity to express their attitudes about the relative attractions of different policies, and access to political mechanisms through which they can be counted and heard. Actual governance often aims not at accurate belief, but at nonepistemic factors like achieving and maintaining institutional stability, creating the feeling of government legitimacy among citizens, or managing access to influence on policy decision-making. I examine the traditional relationship between inclusiveness and accuracy, and illustrate this connection by discussing empirical work on how group decision-making can improve accuracy ...


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 ...


Persia And The Golden Rule, Harry J. Gensler Jan 2013

Persia And The Golden Rule, Harry J. Gensler

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

My paper has two parts. First, I talk about the golden rule. After introducing the rule and its global importance, I explain why many scholars dismiss it as a vague proverb that leads to absurdities when we try to formulate it clearly. I defend the golden rule against such objections. Second, I talk about the golden rule in Persia and Islam; I consider Persian sources (Muslim and non-Muslim) and also non-Persian Muslim sources. I show that the golden rule is deeply rooted in Persia and Islam. And I point out special ways that this tradition‘s understanding of the golden ...


Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram Jan 2013

Reconciling Positivism And Realism: Kelsen And Habermas On Democracy And Human Rights, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

It is well known that Hans Kelsen and Jürgen Habermas invoke realist arguments drawn from social science in defending an international, democratic human rights regime against Carl Schmitt’s attack on the rule of law. However, despite embracing the realist spirit of Kelsen’s legal positivism, Habermas criticizes Kelsen for neglecting to connect the rule of law with a concept of procedural justice (Part I). I argue, to the contrary (Part II), that Kelsen does connect these terms, albeit in a manner that may be best described as functional, rather than conceptual. Indeed, whereas Habermas tends to emphasize a conceptual ...


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 ...


The Structural Injustice Of Forced Migration And The Failings Of Normative Theory, David Ingram Jan 2012

The Structural Injustice Of Forced Migration And The Failings Of Normative Theory, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

I propose to criticize two strands of argument - contractarian and utilitarian – that liberals have put forth in defense of economic coercion, based on the notion of justifiable paternalism. To illustrate my argument, I appeal to the example of forced labor migration, driven by the exigencies of market forces. In particular, I argue that the forced migration of a special subset of unemployed workers lacking other means of subsistence (economic refugees) cannot be redeemed paternalistically as freedom or welfare enhancing in the long run. I further argue that contractarian and utilitarian approaches are normatively incapable of appreciating this fact because the ...


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 ...


Group Rights: A Defense, David Ingram Jan 2011

Group Rights: A Defense, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Human rights belong to individuals in virtue of their common humanity. Yet it is an important question whether human rights entail or comport with the possession of what I call group-specific rights (sometimes referred to as collective rights), or rights that individuals possess only because they belong to a particular group. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) says they do. Article 15 asserts the right to nationality, or citizenship. Unless one believes that the only citizenship compatible with a universal human rights regime is cosmopolitan citizenship in a world state – a conception of citizenship that is not countenanced by ...


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 ...


Giving Voice To The Vulnerable: Discourse Ethics And Amnesty For Undocumented Immigration, Kyle Thomsen Jan 2011

Giving Voice To The Vulnerable: Discourse Ethics And Amnesty For Undocumented Immigration, Kyle Thomsen

Dissertations

The purpose of my dissertation is to explore the unique challenges facing undocumented migrants, and the claims to amnesty they can make. I take a discourse theoretic approach to this issue, following in the footsteps of Jürgen Habermas and Seyla Benhabib, among others. My thesis consists of the following claims. First, a rights-based approach to amnesty does not clearly distinguish between different types of immigrants (i.e. undocumented and potential immigrants). Second, the relevant distinguishing factor between undocumented and potential immigrants is what I refer to as rooted residency, a category which captures factors such as time spent in a ...


Recognition Within The Limits Of Reason: Remarks On Pippin’S Hegel’S Practical Philosophy, David Ingram Oct 2010

Recognition Within The Limits Of Reason: Remarks On Pippin’S Hegel’S Practical Philosophy, David Ingram

Philosophy: Faculty Publications and Other Works

Since the publication of Charles Taylor’s Multiculturalism and the Politics of Recognition in 1989,[1] the concept of recognition has re-emerged as a central if not dominant category of moral and political philosophy.

[1] C. Taylor, “The Politics of Recognition,” in A. Gutmann (ed.), Multiculturalism: Examining the Politics of Recognition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), pp. 25-73.


Interpretive Teleology Without Eschatology: A Study Of The Hermeneutic Strategies Of Nietzsche's Genealogical Project, Darin Sean Mcginnis Jan 2010

Interpretive Teleology Without Eschatology: A Study Of The Hermeneutic Strategies Of Nietzsche's Genealogical Project, Darin Sean Mcginnis

Dissertations

In contemporary philosophy, there exists a vigorous debate between those thinkers who advocate the need for a truth that exists outside of historical forces and those who hold that all understanding must be historical in its basis. My research is focused on deciphering this problem by providing a description of how understanding and interpretation occur. More specifically, I have proposed a project that explores how the philosophical writings of Friedrich Nietzsche can give some insight into this problem of understanding truth. I argue that Nietzsche develops a method of interpretation - a hermeneutics - that focuses on the manner in which expressions ...