Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 30 of 46

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Re-Evaluating Augustinian Fatalism Through The Eastern And Western Distinction Between God's Essence And Energies, Stephen John Plecnik Jul 2019

Re-Evaluating Augustinian Fatalism Through The Eastern And Western Distinction Between God's Essence And Energies, Stephen John Plecnik

Dissertations (2009 -)

In this dissertation, I will examine the problem of theological fatalism in St. Augustine and, specifically, whether or not Augustine was philosophically justified in his belief that his views on divine grace and human freedom could be harmonized. As is well-known, beginning with his second response To Simplician (ca. 396) and continuing through his works against the semi-Pelagians (ca. 426-429), Augustine espoused the Pauline doctrine of all-inclusive grace: that the fallen will’s ability to accomplish the good is totally a function of God’s elective grace. What, then, does the fallen will do to work out its own salvation ...


The Province Of Conceptual Reason: Hegel's Post-Kantian Rationalism, William Clark Wolf Jul 2019

The Province Of Conceptual Reason: Hegel's Post-Kantian Rationalism, William Clark Wolf

Dissertations (2009 -)

In this dissertation, I seek to explain G.W.F. Hegel’s view that human accessible conceptual content can provide knowledge about the nature or essence of things. I call this view “Conceptual Transparency.” It finds its historical antecedent in the views of eighteenth century German rationalists, which were strongly criticized by Immanuel Kant. I argue that Hegel explains Conceptual Transparency in such a way that preserves many implications of German rationalism, but in a form that is largely compatible with Kant’s criticisms of the original rationalist version. After providing background on Hegel’s relationship to the traditional rationalist ...


Care Of The Sexual Self: Askesis As A Route To Sex Education, Shaun Douglas Miller Jul 2019

Care Of The Sexual Self: Askesis As A Route To Sex Education, Shaun Douglas Miller

Dissertations (2009 -)

In adolescent sex education, the contemporary debate has developed into two camps: the paternalistic view and the liberal view. I argue that both sides of the camp have been too focused on actions and behavior and are assuming a heteronormative background. This dissertation argues that the way to take care of the self is through exercises, techniques, self-discipline, and self-cultivation—what the ancient Greeks called áskēsis. By applying áskēsis to sex education, students will gain the character of taking care of the sexual self and have a robust outlook of themselves via sexuality.After looking at countless syllabi, I reduce ...


Towards A Philosophy Of The Musical Experience: Phenomenology, Culture, And Ethnomusicology In Conversation, J. Tyler Friedman Apr 2019

Towards A Philosophy Of The Musical Experience: Phenomenology, Culture, And Ethnomusicology In Conversation, J. Tyler Friedman

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation engages the questions and methodologies of phenomenology, the philosophy of culture, the philosophy of music and ethnomusicology in order to investigate the significance of music in human life. The systematic orientation of Ernst Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms provides the overarching framework that positions the approach in chapter one. Following Cassirer, art in general and music in particular are not regarded as enjoyable yet dispensable pastimes, but rather as fundamental ways of experiencing the world as intuitive forms and sensations. Establishing the ontological significance of music entails unpacking the sui generis experience of time, space and subjectivity ...


Hume On Thick And Thin Causation, Alexander Bozzo Apr 2018

Hume On Thick And Thin Causation, Alexander Bozzo

Dissertations (2009 -)

Hume is known for his claim that our idea of causation is nothing beyond constant conjunction, and that our idea of necessary connection is nothing beyond a felt determination of the mind. In short, Hume endorses a "thin" conception of causation and necessary connection. In recent years, however, a sizeable number of philosophers have come to view Hume as someone who believes in the existence of thick causal connections - that is, causal connections that allow one to infer a priori the effect from the cause, and vice versa. Hume doesn't wish to deny such connections, said philosopher's claim ...


The Parable As Mirror: An Examination Of The Use Of Parables In The Works Of Kierkegaard, Russell Hamer Apr 2018

The Parable As Mirror: An Examination Of The Use Of Parables In The Works Of Kierkegaard, Russell Hamer

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation focuses on an exploration of the use of parables in the works of Soren Kierkegaard. While some work has been done on Kierkegaard’s poetic style, very little attention has been paid to his metaphors, despite their prevalent use in his works. Much of the scholarship instead treats his parables as mere examples of philosophical concepts. In this work, I argue that Kierkegaard’s parables function primarily to cause the reader to see him or herself truly. The parables work like mirrors, reflecting our true selves back onto ourself. In this way, the parables prompt Kierkegaard’s readers ...


Evolution, Naturalism, And Theism: An Inconsistent Triad?, David H. Gordon Apr 2018

Evolution, Naturalism, And Theism: An Inconsistent Triad?, David H. Gordon

Dissertations (2009 -)

Philosophy in the 19th century experienced a ‘turn from idealism,’ when idealist philosophies were largely abandoned for materialist ones. Scientific naturalism is now considered by many analytic philosophers to be the new orthodoxy, largely in part due to the success of the scientific method. The New Atheists, such as Daniel Dennett and Richard Dawkins, claim it is Darwin in particular who deserves much of the credit for repudiating the traditional Mind-first world view. Some, like Alvin Plantinga and Michael Behe, maintain the opposite, that evolution casts doubt on naturalism and supports theism. This dissertation seeks to determine just what exactly ...


Developing Capabilities: A Feminist Discourse Ethics Approach, Chad Kleist Oct 2017

Developing Capabilities: A Feminist Discourse Ethics Approach, Chad Kleist

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation attempts to preserve the central tenets of a global moral theory called “the capabilities approach” as defended by Martha Nussbaum, but to do so in a way that better realizes its own goals of identifying gender injustices and gaining crosscultural support by providing an alternative defense of it. Capabilities assess an individual’s well-being based on what she is able to do (actions) and who she is able to be (states of existence). Nussbaum grounds her theory in the intuitive idea that each and every person is worthy of equal respect and dignity. The problem with grounding a ...


Hegel And The Problem Of The Multiplicity Of Conflicting Philosophies, Matthew M. Peters Jul 2017

Hegel And The Problem Of The Multiplicity Of Conflicting Philosophies, Matthew M. Peters

Dissertations (2009 -)

As Hegel notes in his long Introduction to the Lectures on the History of Philosophy, the problem of the multiplicity of conflicting philosophies presents a particularly urgent problem to the very discipline of philosophy itself. For, from the viewpoint of what Hegel would refer to as “ordinary consciousness”, the fact that there are so many different philosophies which seem constantly to disagree can only lead to one conclusion: philosophy itself is a futile enterprise. Hegel, perhaps more than any previous philosopher, was sensitive to this charge of futility levelled against philosophy. In response, he provided an explanatory account of the ...


Contextualizing Aquinas's Ontology Of Soul: An Analysis Of His Arabic And Neoplatonic Sources, Nathan Mclain Blackerby Jul 2017

Contextualizing Aquinas's Ontology Of Soul: An Analysis Of His Arabic And Neoplatonic Sources, Nathan Mclain Blackerby

Dissertations (2009 -)

Contemporary scholarship has generally focused on two major influences that have shaped Thomas Aquinas’ account of the soul. The first set of scholarship focuses on how doctrinal concerns and the Augustinian and Scholastic traditions defined the central issue that Aquinas faced, viz., explaining how the soul can be treated as an individual substance that has an essential relationship to a body. The second set of scholarship focuses on Aquinas’s employment of Aristotle’s works in his attempt to resolve the issue. Contemporary assessments of Aquinas’s theory of the soul-body relation therefore take Aquinas to be offering a solution ...


Aquinas, Averroes, And The Human Will, Traci Ann Phillipson Jul 2017

Aquinas, Averroes, And The Human Will, Traci Ann Phillipson

Dissertations (2009 -)

Scholars have largely read Aquinas’ critique of Averroes on the issue of will and moral responsibility in a positive light. They tend to accept Aquinas’ account of Averroes’ theory and its shortcomings, failing to read Averroes’ theory in its own right or take a critical eye to Aquinas’ understanding of Averroes. This dissertation will provide that critical eye by addressing four key issues associated with the location and function of the will: (A) the nature of the Intellects as both separate and “in the soul,” (B) the notion that the Intellects are “form for us,” (C) the relationship between the ...


Investigations Of Worth: Towards A Phenomenology Of Values, Dale Hobbs Jr. Jul 2017

Investigations Of Worth: Towards A Phenomenology Of Values, Dale Hobbs Jr.

Dissertations (2009 -)

The purpose of this project is to provide a clear and compelling account of the existence and nature of values within a phenomenological context. Values such as beauty or virtue are certainly a major part of our experiential lives. After all, what would life be worth if we could never describe a painting as beautiful, for example, or a beverage as delicious? Nevertheless, understanding what these values are on their own terms has historically been a rather difficult task. Certainly, they are not ordinary objects that could be seen or heard, touched or tasted, like the physical objects to which ...


Developing Capabilities: A Feminist Discourse Ethics Approach, Chad Kleist Oct 2016

Developing Capabilities: A Feminist Discourse Ethics Approach, Chad Kleist

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation attempts to preserve the central tenets of a global moral theory called “the capabilities approach” as defended by Martha Nussbaum, but to do so in a way that better realizes its own goals of identifying gender injustices and gaining cross-cultural support by providing an alternative defense of it. Capabilities assess an individual’s well-being based on what she is able to do (actions) and who she is able to be (states of existence). Nussbaum grounds her theory in the intuitive idea that each and every person is worthy of equal respect and dignity. The problem with grounding a ...


Living Within The Sacred Tension: Paradox And Its Significance For Christian Existence In The Thought Of Søren Kierkegaard, Matthew Thomas Nowachek Oct 2016

Living Within The Sacred Tension: Paradox And Its Significance For Christian Existence In The Thought Of Søren Kierkegaard, Matthew Thomas Nowachek

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation presents an in-depth investigation into the notion of paradox and its significance for Christian existence in the thought of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard. The primary aim of the study is to explore and to develop various expressions of paradox in Kierkegaard’s authorship in order to demonstrate the manner by which Kierkegaard employs paradox as a means of challenging his Christendom contemporaries to exist as authentic Christians, and more specifically to enter into the existential state I am identifying in this project as living within the sacred tension. With this aim in mind, I begin ...


Essence And Necessity, And The Aristotelian Modal Syllogistic: A Historical And Analytical Study, Daniel James Vecchio Oct 2016

Essence And Necessity, And The Aristotelian Modal Syllogistic: A Historical And Analytical Study, Daniel James Vecchio

Dissertations (2009 -)

The following is a critical and historical account of Aristotelian Essentialism informed by recent work on Aristotle’s modal syllogistic. The semantics of the modal syllogistic are interpreted in a way that is motivated by Aristotle, and also make his validity claims in the Prior Analytics consistent to a higher degree than previously developed interpretative models. In Chapter One, ancient and contemporary objections to the Aristotelian modal syllogistic are discussed. A resolution to apparent inconsistencies in Aristotle’s modal syllogistic is proposed and developed out of recent work by Patterson, Rini, and Malink. In particular, I argue that the semantics ...


Moral Imagination And Adorno: Before And After Auschwitz, Catlyn Origitano Jul 2016

Moral Imagination And Adorno: Before And After Auschwitz, Catlyn Origitano

Dissertations (2009 -)

In the aftermath of national or international tragedies, appeals for action such as, “Never Forget” or “Never Again” are ubiquitous. Theodor Adorno makes a similar call in the wake of the Holocaust, proclaiming that all education should be focused on the prevention of another genocide. While most would agree with such a statement, practically how do we respond to such a call, specifically in light of Adorno’s work? Answering this question is at the heart of this project and I argue that imaginative memorials can fulfill Adorno’s criteria for post-Auschwitz education. I first present a theory of moral ...


The Effect Of Orthodontic Appliances On The Evaluation Of The Professionalism And Esthetics Of An Adult Employee, Laura Hanson Vaccariello Jul 2016

The Effect Of Orthodontic Appliances On The Evaluation Of The Professionalism And Esthetics Of An Adult Employee, Laura Hanson Vaccariello

Master's Theses (2009 -)

This study explored the influence of fixed and removable orthodontic appliances on participants’ ratings of the job performance, intelligence, and attractiveness of an adult female. Ninety-four adult subjects were recruited from the Graduate School of Management at Marquette University. Each subject received an identical employee performance review with an attached photograph of a female employee. The smile of the photo was manipulated to represent one of four conditions: no orthodontic appliance, a metal orthodontic appliance, a ceramic orthodontic appliance, or a clear aligner. Subjects then rated the employee on three continuous Likert scales. Ratings of job performance, intelligence, and attractiveness ...


Nature, Feminism, And Flourishing: Human Nature And The Feminist Ethics Of Flourishing, Celeste D. Harvey Apr 2016

Nature, Feminism, And Flourishing: Human Nature And The Feminist Ethics Of Flourishing, Celeste D. Harvey

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation examines the viability of a feminist ethic of flourishing. The possibility of a eudaimonist, or flourishing-based, ethic adapted for the needs of feminist ethics and politics has recently been raised by a number of feminist moral philosophers. However, in these discussions, the degree to which an ethic of flourishing requires a substantive conception of human nature has not been adequately addressed. Flourishing-based ethical theories appear to require a substantive account of the kind of thing whose flourishing is to be promoted, while contemporary academic feminism is characterized by a strong suspicion toward claims about human nature. Chapter one ...


The Conceptual Priority Of The Perfect, Matthew Peter Zdon Oct 2015

The Conceptual Priority Of The Perfect, Matthew Peter Zdon

Dissertations (2009 -)

The doctrine of the conceptual priority of the perfect (CPP) is the claim that the concept of the perfect is prior to that of the imperfect insofar as possessing the latter presupposes a grasp of the former, but not vice versa. The goals of this study are to provide an account and defense of the Cartesian argument for CPP, to determine the consequences of this priority for the relationship between our concepts of human and divine properties, and to explore its implications for bottom-up accounts of theological concept formation. I argue that the predicates “perfect” or “infinite” in Descartes’ version ...


Virtue, Oppression, And Resistance Struggles, Trevor William Smith Jul 2015

Virtue, Oppression, And Resistance Struggles, Trevor William Smith

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation explores and develops an account of the moral obligation to engage in resistance struggles against oppression and it does so by situating oppression squarely within the framework of neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics. It is argued that when oppression is investigated through the lens of virtue ethics the harmful and damning nature of oppression must be understood as a substantial moral, not merely political, problem. In short, it is shown that oppression acts in a variety of ways as a barrier for the achievement of flourishing for the oppressed. Turning from, and building on, this investigative and largely descriptive analysis ...


Subversive Humor, Chris A. Kramer Apr 2015

Subversive Humor, Chris A. Kramer

Dissertations (2009 -)

Oppression is easily recognized. That is, at least, when oppression results from overt, consciously professed racism, for example, in which violence, explicit exclusion from economic opportunities, denial of adequate legal access, and open discrimination perpetuate the subjugation of a group of people. There are relatively clear legal remedies to such oppression. But this is not the case with covert oppression where the psychological harms and resulting legal and economic exclusion are every bit as real, but caused by concealed mechanisms subtly and systematically employed. In many cases, those with power and privilege use cultural stereotypes in order to sustain an ...


Recognition And Political Ontology: Fichte, Hegel, And Honneth, Velimir Stojkovski Apr 2015

Recognition And Political Ontology: Fichte, Hegel, And Honneth, Velimir Stojkovski

Dissertations (2009 -)

The primary focus of my dissertation is to defend the notion of recognition, found in the work of such thinkers as G.W.F. Hegel and Axel Honneth, as a primary concept in contemporary political discourse by emphasizing its ontological foundations. At its most basic, the notion of recognition states that the way one understands her or him-self to be a conscious subject and a full political agent is only through being acknowledged as such by another. Likewise, one must simultaneously reciprocate this acknowledgement in order for both to be elevated to the position of full subject. The general problem ...


Health As Embodied Authenticity, Margaret Steele Apr 2015

Health As Embodied Authenticity, Margaret Steele

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation offers a phenomenological and existential account of health. It considers the model of health that is dominant in the contemporary USA. Using the example of fatness, this dissertation argues that the dominant model of health is deeply flawed, because of its largely unexamined commitment to naturalism and positivism (in the Husserlian senses of these terms). It concludes that purported alternatives to the dominant model, such as the Foucault-influenced constructivist approach to health, fail to respond adequately to the problems posed by naturalism and positivism. Instead, this dissertation proposes a model of health as embodied authenticity. This model is ...


Nietzsche's Revaluation Of All Values, Joseph Anthony Kranak Oct 2014

Nietzsche's Revaluation Of All Values, Joseph Anthony Kranak

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation looks at the details of Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of the revaluation of all values. The dissertation will look at the idea in several ways to elucidate the depth and complexity of the idea. First, it will be looked at through its evolution, as it began as an idea early in Nietzsche's career and reached its full complexity at the end of his career with the planned publication of his Revaluation of All Values, just before the onset of his madness. Several questions will be explored: What is the nature of the revaluator who is supposed to ...


Dangerous Knowledge? Morality And Moral Progress After Naturalism, Daniel Diederich Farmer Jan 2014

Dangerous Knowledge? Morality And Moral Progress After Naturalism, Daniel Diederich Farmer

Dissertations (2009 -)

From the perspective of at least some of our valuing practices, the advance of the sciences can seem to constitute a threat. The question I take up in this dissertation is whether or not naturalism--understood as the picture of the world and of ourselves bequeathed to us by the sciences--should be understood as a threat to our moral practices, to moral living. On the account I defend, the knowledge we gain from empirical inquiry need not undermine moral living in toto, although a naturalistic mindset does raise some possibly dangerous questions for particular inherited moral norms and ideals.

In defense ...


Thomas Aquinas On The Apprehension Of Being: The Role Of Judgement In Light Of Thirteenth-Century Semantics, Rosa Vargas Della Casa Oct 2013

Thomas Aquinas On The Apprehension Of Being: The Role Of Judgement In Light Of Thirteenth-Century Semantics, Rosa Vargas Della Casa

Dissertations (2009 -)

Aquinas’ famous comments in his early Scriptum on the Sentences (In I Sent., d. 38, q. 1, a. 3) regarding the intellect’s apprehension of essence and esse have traditionally been interpreted as grounding Aquinas’ doctrine on the judgment of esse. For Aquinas, it appears, what the intellect apprehends in a simple concept is essence. Since esse, for him, is not an essence, it cannot, on the received view, be the object of conceptualization. Therefore, esse is grasped by the intellect only in judgment. The claim that no genuine concept of esse is possible, however, is inconsistent with Aquinas’ theory ...


Transcending Subjects: Hegel After Augustine, An Essay On Political Theology, Geoffrey J.D. Holsclaw Oct 2013

Transcending Subjects: Hegel After Augustine, An Essay On Political Theology, Geoffrey J.D. Holsclaw

Dissertations (2009 -)

From where do political reformers and radicals come who are willing and prepared to challenge the status quo? Where are people formed who are capable of initiating change within a political system? Some worry belief in transcendence closes off authentic political engagement and processes of transformation. Others think that a transcendent orientation is the only means to protect and promote a more free and just society. Some see a positive commitment to transcendence as inimical to democratic practices, while others see such a commitment as indispensible for such a project. These general issues concern transcendence, immanence, and subjectivity as they ...


Re-Enchanting The World: An Examination Of Ethics, Religion, And Their Relationship In The Work Of Charles Taylor, David Mcpherson Sep 2013

Re-Enchanting The World: An Examination Of Ethics, Religion, And Their Relationship In The Work Of Charles Taylor, David Mcpherson

Dissertations (2009 -)

In this dissertation I examine the topics of ethics, religion, and their relationship in the work of Charles Taylor. I take Taylor's attempt to confront modern disenchantment by seeking a kind of re-enchantment as my guiding thread. Seeking re-enchantment means, first of all, defending an `engaged realist' account of strong evaluation, i.e., qualitative distinctions of value that are seen as normative for our desires. Secondly, it means overcoming self-enclosure and achieving self-transcendence, which I argue should be understood in terms of transcending a `lower' mode of selfhood for a `higher' one in concern for `strong goods'.

One of ...


The Humanistic, Fideistic Philosophy Of Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), Charles William Peterson Oct 2012

The Humanistic, Fideistic Philosophy Of Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), Charles William Peterson

Dissertations (2009 -)

This dissertation examines the way Philip Melanchthon, author of the Augsburg Confession and Martin Luther's closest co-worker, sought to establish the relationship between faith and reason in the cradle of the Lutheran tradition, Wittenberg University. While Melanchthon is widely recognized to have played a crucial role in the Reformation of the Church in the sixteenth century as well as in the Renaissance in Northern Europe, he has in general received relatively little scholarly attention, few have attempted to explore his philosophy in depth, and those who have examined his philosophical work have come to contradictory or less than helpful ...


Naturalized Panpsychism: An Alternative To Fundamentalist Physicalism And Supernaturalism, Earl R. Cookson Jul 2012

Naturalized Panpsychism: An Alternative To Fundamentalist Physicalism And Supernaturalism, Earl R. Cookson

Dissertations (2009 -)

A central problem in the mind-body debate is the generation problem: how consciousness occurs in a universe understood as primarily non-conscious. This problem is particularly bothersome for physicalists. I argue that the generation problem stems from a non-critical presupposition about the nature of reality, namely, that the mental is an exception in the universe, a non-fundamental property. I call this presupposition mental specialism. Despite the fact that mental specialism dogmatically ingrained in the debate, there has been little reason offered either to accept or reject it. And doing so would dissolve the generation problem. But rejecting mental specialism, though it ...