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Articles 1 - 30 of 127

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

A Feminism For Everyone? How The Developed Should Help The Developing, Allen Zhu Feb 2019

A Feminism For Everyone? How The Developed Should Help The Developing, Allen Zhu

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

This paper addresses both liberal and multicultural feminist concerns for the Western feminist's duty to help women around the world. Liberals accuse multiculturalists of falling into the trap of cultural essentialism, wherein they fail to hold cultures accountable for blatant human rights violations. However, liberal feminist theory both perpetuates and assumes what Alison Jagger dubs the "West is best" thesis - that the West is morally and culturally superior to non-Western cultures. I propose an agenda that accommodates concerns at both ends of the feminist spectrum. In my "multidimensional sequence for women's liberation," Western feminists must first de-Westernize the ...


Gendering Of Home And Homelessness In Latinx Literature, Maria P. Ahumada Feb 2019

Gendering Of Home And Homelessness In Latinx Literature, Maria P. Ahumada

Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

This research interrogates the gendering of notions of home and homelessness using the theoretical framing of Anzaldúa in a critical analysis of the works of Sandra Cisneros in The House on Mango Street, and Helena Maria Viramontes' The Moths and Other Stories. The women in these narrative struggle with the societal expectations that are imposed on them through patriarchal ideals, which invade the spaces of their home. This framework can lead to a sense of outsiderness and feelings of homelessness within the home for women when they realize that they are being oppressed by a dominant culture.


On Being As Passage And Plurality Of Self: Postcolonial Caribbean Identity In Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey, Amanda González Izquierdo Feb 2019

On Being As Passage And Plurality Of Self: Postcolonial Caribbean Identity In Merle Hodge's Crick Crack, Monkey, Amanda González Izquierdo

Pathways: A Journal of Humanistic and Social Inquiry

This essay examines questions of home and identity in a postcolonial Caribbean context. Situating itself in the dialogue between continental philosophy and postcolonial theory, this research explores how identity formations are processes which negotiate fragmentary demands of being as well as the various ruptures and dislocations that are resultants of colonization. This paper proposes that in thinking of postcolonial identities, we must explicitly and necessarily consider multiplicity, alterity, diaspora, and interstitial spaces. Focusing on Merle Hodge's novel Crick Crack, Monkey, this essay thinks through protagonist Tee's process of becoming, a process which is fluid, dynamic, and never complete ...


The Purpose Of America’S Public Lands, Kearstyn Cook Dec 2018

The Purpose Of America’S Public Lands, Kearstyn Cook

Honors Theses (PPE)

What is the purpose of America’s public lands? By first reviewing the rise of different conceptions of public lands over the course of American history, then discussing more modern controversies involving the Bears Ears National Monument and the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, it becomes clear that there are ultimately three possible solutions: commodification, transcendentalism / preservation, or conservationism. Ultimately, taking a philosophical approach by way of Plato’s definition of “the good life,” this thesis concludes that conservationism is the best conception of the purpose of public lands, because it accommodates for both consumptiveand non-consumptive uses. Accordingly, federal land managers ...


Creating Connection Between Individuals And Teams: Understanding Human Biology And Psychology For High Performance, Nicole Kett Dec 2018

Creating Connection Between Individuals And Teams: Understanding Human Biology And Psychology For High Performance, Nicole Kett

Master of Philosophy in Organizational Dynamics Theses

This capstone is a result of four questions formulated around a central theme focused on understanding what it is that makes teams and environments high performing today, and additionally, how leaders connect with others in order to set high performing environments. In the first question (Chapter 2), exploration of our human biology shows our genetics are wired for connection and collaboration although this may be in contradiction with many aspects of American society today. The second question (Chapter 3) explored human motivation. Instead of understanding the individual, we have to look further to understand how the cues from the environment ...


Art, Experience And Learning: Art As Enhancement Of Experiential Learning, Claudia E. Tordini Oct 2018

Art, Experience And Learning: Art As Enhancement Of Experiential Learning, Claudia E. Tordini

Master of Philosophy in Organizational Dynamics Theses

This capstone explores the relationship between art and experiential learning to support the hypothesis that Art enhances experiential learning. In doing so, it combines experiential learning theory from Kolb and other humanistic psychologies and pedagogists such as Carl Rogers with the philosophical approach to art as experience introduced by John Dewey. The study reviews a broad array of approaches to learn the impact of art in building skills for cognitive, emotional, social and even physical development. It also draws from educational philosophers and activists such as Maxine Greene, who have long supported the inclusion of art in education. I propose ...


Critical Theory And Social Media: Alternatives And The New Sensibility, Philippe E. Becker Marcano May 2018

Critical Theory And Social Media: Alternatives And The New Sensibility, Philippe E. Becker Marcano

Honors Theses (PPE)

Social media platforms are technological communication tools that dominate our social relationships. As we increasingly notice how little control we have over these platforms and how much influence they have on our behavior, the search for alternatives becomes even more pressing. Critical theory is a practical and theoretical framework we can use to develop a qualitative critique of social media platforms, in extension to the large body of work that addresses the quantitatively measurable effects of the platforms. The internet was originally conceived as a space that would open a more communitarian future, but now it has been reduced to ...


Discrimination: Does Perception Of Corruption Affect Our Interactions?, Ramón Garcia Gomez Apr 2018

Discrimination: Does Perception Of Corruption Affect Our Interactions?, Ramón Garcia Gomez

Honors Theses (PPE)

Does our perception of corruption affect our interactions? This question was answered through an experimental survey of 90 participants and the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from Transparency International’s 2017 Report. The survey revealed that those who were categorized as low-corrupt with an above average CPI exhibited altruism towards individuals from perceived high-corrupt regions but discriminated negatively against them when restrictions were placed on the interaction. In the experiment, participants were allowed to give any amount between zero and six dollars in both games. Altruism was measured through the dictator game and low-corrupt participants were found to give one dollar ...


In Defense Of Milgram Experiments, Adam Chernew Apr 2018

In Defense Of Milgram Experiments, Adam Chernew

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In the early 1960s, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a series of studies at Yale University in which he measured the willingness of subjects to obey an authority figure (the experimenter) who instructed them to administer electrical shocks to a confederate under the guise that the experiment was testing the effects of punishment on learning. Although the electrical shocks were fake, these famous obedience experiments are, to this day, recognized as some of the most controversial psychology experiments of all time. While Milgram's experiments yielded seemingly profound insight about human obedience to authority, many in his field were quick ...


Negotiating Moral Luck, Jack Cody Apr 2018

Negotiating Moral Luck, Jack Cody

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In this essay, I intend to elucidate Thomas Nagel's radical concept of moral luck and the unnerving philosophical paradox that inevitably arises when it is stripped to its essence: in pursuit of a method of fair moral assessment, we approach the possibility that nothing and no one can be aptly judged on moral grounds. I analyze some refutations to this troubling paradox, including Susan Wolf's promising rejection of the subcategory of consequential luck due to the existence of a proposed "nameless virtue." In light of these refutations and Nagel's and Bernard Williams' musings on moral luck, I ...


Bitcoin: Bauble Or Bullion?, Kristjan Tomasson Apr 2018

Bitcoin: Bauble Or Bullion?, Kristjan Tomasson

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

The purpose of this paper is to examine in what ways capital-B Bitcoin, the system, and lower-b bitcoin, the unit of account, are or are not money. Bitcoin is the largest, by market capitalization, financial asset labeled "cryptocurrency" and the first decentralized digital currency. The paper canvasses the academic, business and technical literature to scrutinize the validity of this neologism's implied equivalency to money as a concept, system and artifact from historical, economic, political, teleological, theoretical and functional perspectives. The author(s) of Bitcoin invented blockchain, that is a shared, decentralized, time stamped, public ledger, to solve the problem ...


Divination And Deviation: The Problem Of Prediction And Personal Freedom In Early China, Yunwoo Song Jan 2018

Divination And Deviation: The Problem Of Prediction And Personal Freedom In Early China, Yunwoo Song

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

The question I address in my dissertation relates to the conundrum of the prediction of fate in early China. How did the early Chinese people predict the future, and to what degree did they believe that the predicted future is inevitable? I examine the history of divination from the Shang to the Han dynasties to show that the belief in the power of anthropomorphic spirits weakened, and the universe was gradually conceived of as working in regular cycles. The decreasing reliance on the power of spirits during the Shang period is reflected in changes in bone divination. And divination texts ...


Subjectivity And Politics In Pasolini's Bourgeois Tragic Theater, Andrew Korn Jan 2018

Subjectivity And Politics In Pasolini's Bourgeois Tragic Theater, Andrew Korn

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Italian author Pier Paolo Pasolini wrote his plays Affabulazione, Orgia and Porcile during his shift to theater in the late 1960s as a critical response to consumer culture in Italy and the West more generally. For him, this expanding mass, petit-bourgeois civilization displaced Italy’s premodern cultures and their sense of the sacred. In his plays, his bourgeois protagonists re-experience the sacred and undergo conversion. The works engender his new “bourgeois tragic” genre, in which the sacred’s return destroys modern subjectivity. They offer a unique examination of this subjectivity, its radicalizing breakdown and the potential radical politics that could ...


Explaining Stability And Change In Natural Systems, Stephen Esser Jan 2018

Explaining Stability And Change In Natural Systems, Stephen Esser

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

An aim of science is to increase our understanding of the natural world. A primary means for doing so is by providing explanations, which often proceed by tracing the causes of phenomena. How can a causal explanation lead to understanding? While explanations can take many forms, I argue that to succeed they must embody a conception of causation shared with their audience. The challenge then, is to describe this conception and detail its role in explanation. While there is good evidence that scientists employ more than one causal concept, I argue that the concept of productive causation (centered on the ...


Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor Jan 2018

Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation offers a theory of emotion called the primitivist theory. Emotions are defined as bodily caused affective states. It derives key principles from William James’s feeling theory of emotion, which states that emotions are felt experiences of bodily changes triggered by sensory stimuli (James, 1884; James, 1890). However, James’s theory is commonly misinterpreted, leading to its dismissal by contemporary philosophers and psychologists. Chapter 1 therefore analyzes James’s theory and compares it against contemporary treatments. It demonstrates that a rehabilitated Jamesian theory promises to benefit contemporary emotion research. Chapter 2 investigates James’s legacy, as numerous alterations ...


An Act-Focused Theory Of Political Legitimacy, Justin Bernstein Jan 2018

An Act-Focused Theory Of Political Legitimacy, Justin Bernstein

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

There is a moral presumption against the possession or exercise of coercive power, but political power is coercive. If we think that political power is sometimes morally justified, then given the moral presumption against coercive power, we need a theory as to when political power is morally justified and what justifies it. That is, we need a theory of political legitimacy. This dissertation develops and defends a novel theory of legitimacy, the Act-Focused Consequentialist Theory of Legitimacy.

This theory departs in significant respects from existing theories. In Part One of the dissertation, “Four Theses on Legitimacy,” I argue that these ...


Being And The Good: Natural Teleology In Early Modern German Philosophy, Nabeel Hamid Jan 2018

Being And The Good: Natural Teleology In Early Modern German Philosophy, Nabeel Hamid

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation examines the problem of teleology in early modern German philosophy. The problem, briefly, is to account for the proper sources and conditions of the use of teleological concepts such as design, purpose, function, or end in explaining nature. In its modern guise, the status of these concepts becomes problematic with the rise of modern science in the seventeenth century, which reconceived the physical world as fundamentally inert and purposeless and rejected the medieval view of the world as governed by goal-directed powers. This disssertation argues that the reception of the new science in Germany was deeply conditioned by ...


How Beliefs Are Like Colors, Devin Sanchez Curry Jan 2018

How Beliefs Are Like Colors, Devin Sanchez Curry

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Teresa believes in God. Maggie’s wife believes that the Earth is flat, and also that Maggie should be home from work by now. Anouk—a cat—believes it is dinner time. This dissertation is about what believing is: it concerns what, exactly, ordinary people are attributing to Teresa, Maggie’s wife, and Anouk when affirming that they are believers. Part I distinguishes the attitudes of belief that people attribute to each other (and other animals) in ordinary life from the cognitive states of belief theoretically posited by (some) cognitive scientists. Part II defends the view that to have an ...


What’S Wrong With Paying Parents To Not Have Children?, Benjamin Feis Nov 2017

What’S Wrong With Paying Parents To Not Have Children?, Benjamin Feis

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In this paper, I use the example of Project Prevention, a nonprofit that incentivizes people with substance abuse problems to not have children, as a launching point to pose a thought experiment. Namely, I consider a hypothetical policy whereby the U.S. government would issue a $5,000 tax credit per year to poor women or couples if they refrain from having a child. I examine several arguments in favor of such a policy, most notably that it produces mutual gains for both parties and is, technically speaking, completely voluntary. I then outline three potential objections to the policy. The ...


Why The Future Of Marijuana Legalization Is Still Uncertain, Adam Chernew Nov 2017

Why The Future Of Marijuana Legalization Is Still Uncertain, Adam Chernew

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

The purpose of this paper is to examine the future of the marijuana legalization movement and the prospects of recreational marijuana legalization at the national level. While the marijuana movement has made tremendous strides at the state level over a very short period of time, there remains a debate over whether or not this progress will translate into success federally. First, this paper reviews the literature from the field, the majority of which focuses on whether marijuana ought to be legalized for recreational use in the first place. Despite extensive research, the evidence from the field is far from definitive ...


Reframing Reproductive Rights: Introducing The Intersectionality Of Socioeconomic Class Into Questions Of Reproductive Autonomy, Allison Sands Nov 2017

Reframing Reproductive Rights: Introducing The Intersectionality Of Socioeconomic Class Into Questions Of Reproductive Autonomy, Allison Sands

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.


The Law And Economics Of Databases: A Balancing Act, Ya Shon Huang Nov 2017

The Law And Economics Of Databases: A Balancing Act, Ya Shon Huang

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In this paper, I demonstrate that the existing legal frameworks for database protection are inadequate – the American framework under-protects databases, while the European framework over-protects. This paper presents an economic analysis of the current scope of legal protections for databases versus the ideal, with an especial emphasis on the role of intellectual property rights in providing these protections, and concludes with proposals for an ideal system. After an overview of the current systems of legal protections for databases in the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), there will be an explanation of how different types of laws (competition ...


Striking The Balance Between Privacy And Governance In The Age Of Technology, Jing Ran Nov 2017

Striking The Balance Between Privacy And Governance In The Age Of Technology, Jing Ran

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.


An Intercultural Dialogue Between Confucianism And Liberalism: Towards A Universal Foundation For Human Rights, Elton Yeo Nov 2017

An Intercultural Dialogue Between Confucianism And Liberalism: Towards A Universal Foundation For Human Rights, Elton Yeo

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

This paper builds on the debate between Confucianism and human rights first sparked by the Bangkok Declaration of 1993. I show that there is indeed a conflict between Confucianism and human rights, which on the broader level, can be characterized as the conflict between communitarianism and liberalism. These are two particular traditions and in spite of the conflict between them, I show that they can come to complement each other through an intercultural dialogue. The idea of an intercultural dialogue is a response to the inadequate responses of liberals to the fact of multiculturalism, which is a broader implication of ...


Explaining Abortion Attitudes: Competing Reproductive Strategies And The Welfare State, Dong-Eun (Dara) Lee Nov 2017

Explaining Abortion Attitudes: Competing Reproductive Strategies And The Welfare State, Dong-Eun (Dara) Lee

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.


Market Design In The Presence Of Repugnancy: A Market For Children, Shane Olaleye Nov 2017

Market Design In The Presence Of Repugnancy: A Market For Children, Shane Olaleye

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

A market-like mechanism for the allocation of children in both the primary market (market for babies) and the secondary market (adoption market) will result in greater social welfare, and hence be more efficient, than the current allocation methods used in practice, even in the face of repugnancy. Since a market for children falls under the realm of repugnant transactions, it is necessary to design a market with enough safeguards to bypass repugnancy while avoiding the excessive regulations that unnecessarily distort the supply and demand pressures of a competitive market. The goal of designing a market for children herein is two-fold ...


The Value Of A Liberal Arts Education, Sarah Morrissey Nov 2017

The Value Of A Liberal Arts Education, Sarah Morrissey

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

In recent years, liberal arts education has faced caustic challenges on the grounds that it is neither a wise investment nor relevant in the modern era. However, these claims disregard the contention that liberal arts education has an intrinsic value that supersedes other tertiary concerns. The benefits of a liberal arts education are certainly comprehensive and apply to all members of society. As such, the inherent merit of the liberal arts must be recognized and supported by the state at all educational levels. The current economic and political environment has made it apparent that anything less will severely undermine the ...


Banal Behavior: A Study Of Non-Choice, Lauren M. Harding Nov 2017

Banal Behavior: A Study Of Non-Choice, Lauren M. Harding

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

Both the classical and behavioral models of decision-making fall short of sufficiently explaining irrational individual decisions and paradoxical social phenomena. The theory of non-choice offers a more satisfying account of individual decision-making. A review of the deficiencies in the classical and behavioral models demonstrates the need for a new conception of choice. Drawing upon the philosophies of Hannah Arendt and Immanuel Kant, among others, choice is defined as the alignment of thought, will, and action. Stemming from this new model of choice is the theory of non-choice, defined as either the misalignment of the tripartite decision process or a decision ...


Deliberative Citizenship: The Deliberate Democrats’ Response To The Hegemony Of Classical Liberalism, David Kanter Nov 2017

Deliberative Citizenship: The Deliberate Democrats’ Response To The Hegemony Of Classical Liberalism, David Kanter

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

Classical liberalism’s hegemony in the public discourse seems to be based on the fact that it demands and expects so little. Its guiding assumption tell us that people are the same, always and everywhere, and we can get the best by assuming the worst. Let’s just assume humans are simple automatons, it seems to say, and then we can arrive at elegant and simple conclusions about how society works and, more importantly, should work. Humans, then, are rationally self-interested and to get the best outcomes we should let these simple automatons interact in the market. The central point ...


Protected Values, Range Effects, Guilt, And Tradeoff Difficulty In Moral Decision Making, Christopher W. Poliquin Nov 2017

Protected Values, Range Effects, Guilt, And Tradeoff Difficulty In Moral Decision Making, Christopher W. Poliquin

SPICE: Student Perspectives on Institutions, Choices and Ethics

No abstract provided.