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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Built On Emptiness: Śūnyatā As A Basis For Mahāyāna Ethics, With References To Śāntideva’S Bodhicaryāvatāra, Greg Mileski Jul 2019

Built On Emptiness: Śūnyatā As A Basis For Mahāyāna Ethics, With References To Śāntideva’S Bodhicaryāvatāra, Greg Mileski

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In a 1968 conference, Luis O. Gomez acknowledged that the Buddhist conception of emptiness (śūnyatā) presents a challenge to the Western tradition of philosophical ethics and has given rise to charges of nihilism, even in Buddhism’s ancient setting. However, Gomez argues, that, far from leading adherents to an ethical nihilism, these doctrines provide a unique lens through which to see the motivations of Buddhist ethics. Beginning with the essay that followed from his presentation and continuing with the works of other Buddhist ethicists (Stephen A. Evans, Barbara A. Clayton, Jay Garfield, Stephen E. Harris, for instance), this paper analyzes ...


Applied Psychology In The Voice Studio: A Cognitive Behavioral Approach, Bryce J. Bartu May 2019

Applied Psychology In The Voice Studio: A Cognitive Behavioral Approach, Bryce J. Bartu

Voice and Opera Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Due to the increasing number of musicians dealing with mental health issues, it may be beneficial to incorporate psychologically therapeutic practices and techniques into a musician’s daily practice regimen in order to foster objective thinking and resiliency. This dissertation is designed to educated voice teachers and students on certain aspects and techniques of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It will cover the history and efficacy of the treatment modality, overviews of various self-guided therapeutic techniques, and suggestions for practical application. This paper endeavors to offer the voice teacher psychologically therapeutic techniques they can incorporate into their pedagogical resources.


Triptych: Genesis, Kavana, Sabbath, Ben Spatz, N. Eda Erçin, Caroline Gatt, Agnieszka Mendel Feb 2019

Triptych: Genesis, Kavana, Sabbath, Ben Spatz, N. Eda Erçin, Caroline Gatt, Agnieszka Mendel

PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research

These three video essays come out of a multi-year research project that attempts to rethink and redesign the relationship between embodiment and audiovisuality in the context of academic research. As one anonymous reviewer noted, they gesture towards “a new kind of research artifact, making a space somewhere between standard documentation and contemporary creative product.” All three of the video essays comprise footage taken from experimental practice or “laboratory” sessions conducted at the University of Huddersfield in summer 2017. During this period the core research team (Ben Spatz, Nazlıhan Eda Erçin, and Agnieszka Mendel) undertook sustained practice research, working with and ...


Help Or High Water: On The Moral Entitlements Of And State Responsibilities To Climate Refugees, Jordan Michael Kincaid Jan 2019

Help Or High Water: On The Moral Entitlements Of And State Responsibilities To Climate Refugees, Jordan Michael Kincaid

Environmental Studies Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation argues that states have a moral responsibility to resettle climate refugees because climate displacement constitutes a distinct form of moral wrongdoing, which thus entitles refugees to rectification and imbues in states a reciprocal ‘duty to rectify.’ I argue first that climate displacement is a moral problem fundamentally because of its anthropogenicity, and that it is mistaken to conceptualize climate displacement as a moral problem because of its bads—i.e. harm, suffering, and loss. Compensation-based approaches to the rectification of climate displacement in particular make this mistake and run aground of value-incommensurability. Generative rights-based approaches, on the other ...


Heine Der Narr: Towards A Universal Freiheitsliebe, Justin William Harris Jan 2019

Heine Der Narr: Towards A Universal Freiheitsliebe, Justin William Harris

Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This thesis will explore Heinrich Heine’s engagement with the political society of the Vormärz period of German literature and society through the perspective of Heine’s conscious construction and perception of Self. By exploring Heine’s method of political engagement, it will contemplate Heine’s self-presentation of a liminal identity as a critical method akin to that of the literary trickster archetype, arguing that Heine has taken on the role of a modernized jester [Narr]. This thesis will further contemplate how this alignment facilitated and effectuated his pursuit of political liberty, as well as his criticism of the socio-political ...


Aristotle On Animal Self-Motion, Daniel Avi Gilbert Coren Jan 2019

Aristotle On Animal Self-Motion, Daniel Avi Gilbert Coren

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Take a pen or pencil or some other small nearby object and slide it across your desk. The object moved from one place to another because you moved it. It wasn’t moved by itself. But what is the cause of your moving from where you were to where you currently are? You appear to move yourself. This dissertation focuses on what Aristotle has to say about self-motion, especially how and why non-human animals are capable of moving themselves (αὐτὰ ἑαυτὰ κινοῦσιν), that is, flying, swimming, running, crawling or slithering from one place to another. I bring out (a) new ...


Developing A Counterfactual Comparative Account Of Harming By Omission, Rebecca Mullen Jan 2019

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 ...


The Anthropic Principle And Multiple Universe Hypotheses, Oren Kreps Jan 2019

The Anthropic Principle And Multiple Universe Hypotheses, Oren Kreps

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The universe appears to be fine-tuned for human life, which leads some to conclude that the universe must have been created for us. The Anthropic Principle is an attempt to dispel that argument, by stating that humans could only exist in a fine-tuned world and thus that it is not surprising that our world is (and seems to be) fine-tuned. I argue that to dispel the most surprising fine-tuning coincidences–those regarding the physical makeup of the universe–the Anthropic Principle requires that there be multiple universes, each with different physical characteristics. I further argue that some modern scientific hypotheses ...


Moral Praiseworthiness And Blameworthiness And The Free Will Debate, Conor Lutgen Jan 2019

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.


Beyond “Good Behaviour”: A Plan To Restructure The Supreme Court Of The United States, Ross Mcnearney Jan 2019

Beyond “Good Behaviour”: A Plan To Restructure The Supreme Court Of The United States, Ross Mcnearney

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Supreme Court of the United States truly decides what the law is. It is the final say in any legal battle, and as a result, it is in many ways more powerful than either the legislative or executive branches of the United States government. It performs an important check on both of those branches and serves a vital function in the democracy of the United States. But its current structure leaves something to be desired. There are too few justices, and life tenure is a mistake. Plus those justices represent a very geographically narrow selection of the country’s ...


30 Strikes For Nietzsche: Zen And The Overman, Alex Vrabely Jan 2019

30 Strikes For Nietzsche: Zen And The Overman, Alex Vrabely

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Friedrich Nietzsche had a complicated relationship with Buddhism; although he held some aspects in high regard, Nietzsche ultimately regarded the religion as decadent, life-denying, and nihilistic. This paper will analyze Nietzsche’s criticisms of Buddhism through an exploration of original and secondary materials and argue that they do not apply, especially when considering the Zen school of Buddhism. Had Nietzsche had a better understanding of several Buddhist principles including its views on ‘nothingness,’ nirvana, the Self, metaphysics, and morality, he would have perhaps seen the parallels in his own philosophy. Additionally, I will argue that there are numerous similarities in ...


How Anti-Aggregation Is A Viable And Sensible Perspective To Maintain And Align With The Endeavor Of Saving The Lives Of People Suffering Around The World, Lauren Rosenthal Jan 2019

How Anti-Aggregation Is A Viable And Sensible Perspective To Maintain And Align With The Endeavor Of Saving The Lives Of People Suffering Around The World, Lauren Rosenthal

Undergraduate Honors Theses

By dissecting the moral permissibility and obligations surrounding the donation of discretionary funds and profits to be put towards the saving of lives of people suffering around the world, I hope to make progress in and add value to the conversation surrounding ethical behavior on a large scale. Holding people, groups, organizations, etc. accountable for their financial practices and questioning the effects of different routes of action will allow me to investigate and inch closer towards unraveling the level of moral permissibility of these actions in question, which will in turn shape the expected everyday behavior of people and groups ...


Transdisciplinarity From Marginal Spaces: Unsettling Epistemic Erasure Of Critical And Decolonial Scholars, Adan Garcia Jan 2019

Transdisciplinarity From Marginal Spaces: Unsettling Epistemic Erasure Of Critical And Decolonial Scholars, Adan Garcia

Undergraduate Honors Theses

I draw on a decolonial imaginary to identify and explore the epistemic erasure of critical and decolonial scholars amidst a contemporary discourse and mainstream historicization of transdisciplinarity as a knowledge paradigm. Using ‘transdisciplinarity’ as a signpost, I trace the dominant narrative and evolution of this epistemological orientation as it has emerged in recent decades in tandem with a contemporary multidisciplinary endorsement for transdisciplinarity. As I track the historical process of epistemic silencing toward critical and decolonial scholars in transdisciplinary discourse, I purposefully center their analytics and conceptualizations to consider the historical mechanisms of knowledge production in academia broadly, which offer ...


The Three Moral Questions, Russell S. Leonard Jan 2019

The Three Moral Questions, Russell S. Leonard

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This paper examines the manner in which moral theory ought to be conducted. It focuses on three questions of ethical theory: (1) Why do we conduct moral theory; (2) How ought moral theory be grounded and explored; (3) What is morally good. While many people concern their moral investigations primarily with the third question, I argue that this question of the morally good cannot be satisfactorily answered until the motivational why and methodological how questions are thoroughly examined. To frame this argument, I examine how two famous philosophers, David Hume and Immanuel Kant, answer questions (1) and (2). Based on ...


Mori Atsushi’S The Transformation Of Meaning (Imi No Henyō 意味の変容): A Translation And Critical Introduction, Megan Lynn Husby Jun 2018

Mori Atsushi’S The Transformation Of Meaning (Imi No Henyō 意味の変容): A Translation And Critical Introduction, Megan Lynn Husby

Asian Languages & Civilizations Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Mori Atsushi 森敦 (1912~1989) was a writer who, after taking an unconventional path that included being protégé to New Sensationalist writer Yokomitsu Riichi 横光利一 (1898-1947), traveling in and around Japan, working in technical industries, and studying mathematics and esoteric Buddhism, won the Akutagawa Prize in 1974 for his novel Gassan 月山. This thesis provides a translation and critical introduction to his 1984 text The Transformation of Meaning (Imi no henyō 意味の変容), a work that incorporates multiple genres (including essay, fiction, autobiography, and uniquely Japanese categories such as or zuihitsu 随筆 and shishōsetsu 私小説 and fields of intellectual inquiry, including ...


The Morality Of National Defense: An Aristotelian-Thomist Account, Craig M. White May 2018

The Morality Of National Defense: An Aristotelian-Thomist Account, Craig M. White

Political Science Graduate Theses & Dissertations

In current just war theory debates, some scholars claim that a moral right to defend a nation cannot be demonstrated. Others claim that any case for the morality of even defensive war must reflect standards of interpersonal morality. This dissertation goes back to the natural law tradition behind just war theory to offer a moral argument in favor of national defense that is not based on an individualist account, but also rejects absolute accounts of national sovereignty, with its attendant problems. National defense is usually but not always just.

I defend arguing from “a tradition” in MacIntyre’s sense, and ...


Racial Politics, Resentment, And Affirmative Action: Asian Americans As “Model” College Applicants, Michele S. Moses, Daryl J. Maeda, Christina H. Paguyo Apr 2018

Racial Politics, Resentment, And Affirmative Action: Asian Americans As “Model” College Applicants, Michele S. Moses, Daryl J. Maeda, Christina H. Paguyo

School of Education Faculty Contributions

This article uses philosophical analysis to clarify the arguments and claims about racial discrimination brought forward in the recent legal challenges to affirmative action in higher education admissions. Affirmative action opponents have argued that elite institutions of higher education are using negative action against Asian American applicants, so they can admit other students of color instead by using race-conscious affirmative action. We examined the surrounding controversy, while positing that the portrayal of Asian Americans as a model minority in this debate foments a politics of resentment that divides racial groups. Our analysis centered on how key concepts such as racial ...


A Review Essay: Rendering "Staging Wittgenstein", Rebecca B. Warzer Mar 2018

A Review Essay: Rendering "Staging Wittgenstein", Rebecca B. Warzer

PARtake: The Journal of Performance as Research

Blair Simmons’ performance Staging Wittgenstein was born from a text—Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—and this review renders it textual again. Staging Wittgenstein takes the logics of language developed in the book and plays them out on stage in physical and dialogical acts. In the transformation from philosophy text to performance, the brilliant, puzzling text is made live and funny, but its curious, inventive logic is retained. The review considers the nature of this transformation, and what it means to “enact” theory, using Natasha Myers’ notion of a “rendering” to frame the performance as a productive criticism of fundamental assumptions ...


Can Character Traits Be Based On Brute Psychological Facts?, Iskra Fileva Jan 2018

Can Character Traits Be Based On Brute Psychological Facts?, Iskra Fileva

Philosophy Faculty Contributions

Some of our largely unchosen first-order reactions, such as disgust, can underwrite morally-laden character traits. This observation is in tension with the plausible idea that virtues and vices are based on reasons. I propose a way to resolve the tension.


A Defense Of The Moral Error Theory, John Alton Christmann Jan 2018

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.


Reasons And Value: Decision-Making Under Moral Uncertainty, Jay R. Geyer Jan 2018

Reasons And Value: Decision-Making Under Moral Uncertainty, Jay R. Geyer

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The problem of moral uncertainty can be described as the problem of what an agent ought to do when they are uncertain what the morally right thing to do is, and their uncertainty about how to act stems from uncertainty about moral facts salient to their decision. There are, broadly speaking, three responses to this problem. According to the first, agents ought to consider the moral tradeoffs of their prospective actions. That is, they ought to consider not only the likelihood of one action being better than others, but also how much morally better or worse it would be to ...


From Epistemic To Moral Realism: An Argument For Ethical Truth, Spencer Jay Case Jan 2018

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 ...


Consequential Principles Concerning The Morality Of Geoengineering, Lorenzo Antonio Nericcio Jan 2018

Consequential Principles Concerning The Morality Of Geoengineering, Lorenzo Antonio Nericcio

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The earth is presently warming at a dangerous and potentially catastrophic rate. While attempts to mitigate the effects of the industrial processes that lead to this warming are necessary, some have advocated for direct, intentional intervention in our climate’s processes as a way to prevent disastrous warming. Such interventions are called geoengineering. In this thesis I discuss the kinds of geoengineering technologies that presently exist, and argue that geoengineering is a member of a moral class called earth altering actions. I hold that the only way to consistently morally evaluate geoengineering is by understanding it as a member of ...


Vagueness And Ethics, Benjamin Michael Kultgen Jan 2018

Vagueness And Ethics, Benjamin Michael Kultgen

Philosophy Graduate Theses & Dissertations

This dissertation is composed of the following series of essays on vagueness, ethics, and their intersection:

1. “More or Less Vague” – In this paper, I argue that vagueness admits of degrees and that the standard views of vagueness—vagueness as indeterminacy and epistemicism—cannot satisfactorily accommodate degrees of vagueness.

2. “Relocating Vagueness: A Reply to Merricks” – In this paper, I show that Trenton Merricks recent argument against the “vagueness orthodoxy”—the view that vagueness is a feature of language and thought only—reduces to absurdity.

3. “Is There Moral Vagueness?” – In the first part of this paper, I argue that ...


Performing Posthuman Spectatorship: Contemporary Technogenesis And Experiential Architectures Of Exchange, William Woodall Lewis Jan 2018

Performing Posthuman Spectatorship: Contemporary Technogenesis And Experiential Architectures Of Exchange, William Woodall Lewis

Theatre and Dance Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The project offers an analytical lens for use when studying the operations and aesthetics of contemporary spectatorship. This lens is informed by the ecological and relational methodology found in critical posthumanism and is useful when considering the relationships between spectatorship, contemporary performance, and digital media/technology under paradigms of deep mediatization. The form of spectatorship considered involves active participation and relational exchange between event and individual. The project argues for an interdisciplinary model for looking at the influence of digital technologies on the subjective condition of human beings who perform the role of spectator in various performative events. As a ...


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

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 Global War On Drugs. Ideological Perversion & Representation., Hope Ruskaup Jan 2018

The Global War On Drugs. Ideological Perversion & Representation., Hope Ruskaup

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In the 1980s, the Reagan administration sought to combat the rampant growth in the production, circulation, and consumption of illicit drugs globally with aggressive militaristic action. Despite its vehement intervention into and parallel to globalized capitalism, the drug trade was deemed socially and economically deviant. The Reagan administration imbued a rhetorical domain which seemingly justified the use of extremely oppressive cultural, social, and militaristic tactics against already marginalized populations. The collective memory of the War on Drugs in the Americas is forever influenced by this marking and portrayal of difference.

Media representations take on many forms and are direct products ...


Empiricism And Rationalism In The Advancement Of Astronomy, Odysseus Quarles Jan 2018

Empiricism And Rationalism In The Advancement Of Astronomy, Odysseus Quarles

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Astronomy is advancing quickly, with resources being allocated to the cutting edge of our understanding of the universe while the more basic understanding and confirmation aspects of astronomy research are still underway. Research in both areas is conducted according to two differing philosophies of knowledge: empiricism, which holds observation and direct experiment as the most reliable source of information, and rationalism, which holds conclusions reached through pure reasoning from first principles above all others. This investigation seeks to explore how the empiricist and rationalist approaches each serve the pursuit and advancement of astronomy as a science. Using a thorough analysis ...


Scientific Revolution In The Development Of The Rutherford-Bohr Model Of The Atom, Toby Bollig Jan 2018

Scientific Revolution In The Development Of The Rutherford-Bohr Model Of The Atom, Toby Bollig

Undergraduate Honors Theses

1897-1914 was a period of rapid scientific progress with respect to atomic modeling. In just seventeen years Thomson, Rutherford, and Bohr would transform the world’s conception of the atom from a simple, indivisible building block of matter to a semi-classical, complex system of interacting positive and negatively charged particles that could explain experimentally observed phenomena ranging from the periodicity of the elements to the large angle scattering of α-particles and the atomic spectrum of hydrogen. After offering a detailed historical investigation of this period, this thesis considers whether any of the events of period constituted a Kuhnian scientific revolution ...


Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky Jan 2018

Narrating Preterition: Postsecularism, Analysis, And Gravity's Rainbow, Damian Borovsky

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Recent trends in literary discourse have identified the “postsecular” in fiction, reimaginations of spiritual traditions in particularly postmodern ways. Much analysis of the postsecular posits the postsecular in fiction as an affirmation of postsecular spirituality, and celebrates its ability to describe a world “reenchanted” in postmodernity. I argue that an analysis of the postsecular which has reenchantment as its conclusion terminates too quickly, and fails to account for the ideological locus of the postsecular utopic gesture. Postsecularism, on this account, points to alternative narratives that run counter to the dominant and oppressive historical narratives of modernity. Rather than posit a ...