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

Philosophy Commons

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

Articles 31 - 60 of 70

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

At The Intersection Of Human Agency And Technology: Genetically Modified Organisms, James Libengood Nov 2015

At The Intersection Of Human Agency And Technology: Genetically Modified Organisms, James Libengood

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Since the Neolithic period and the rise of agriculture along Mesopotamia’s “Fertile Crescent,” greater societies have formed thus requiring laws and governance to ensure their continued preservation. The Babylonian Code of Hammurabi is one such example of how agricultural technologies directly created new social and institutional structures in codifying slavery into law, or how mercantile transactions are to be conducted. Similarly, GMOs are the result of modern agricultural technologies that are altering laws and society as a result of their implementation. This transformation informs the central inquiries of my research question: Why are GMOs necessary, and what influences do ...


Factors Associated With Treatment Seeking In Automotive Manufacturing, Khin Thingyan Chit Nov 2015

Factors Associated With Treatment Seeking In Automotive Manufacturing, Khin Thingyan Chit

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Introduction

The prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal disorders is very common. The main objective of the study was to identify any association between the severity of musculoskeletal symptoms and treatment choice by workers in automobile manufacturing plants.

Methods

A cross-sectional study of 1017 production workers in six automobile manufacturing plants was performed. The study included the structured interviews to determine symptoms, preexisting personal risk factors, treatment choices (health care provider or no treatment sought), job strain, and job satisfaction. Nordic style questionnaire for symptoms, Karasek’s Demand Control Model and three job satisfaction questions were used to assign symptom severity, job ...


A Natural Case For Realism: Processes, Structures, And Laws, Andrew Michael Winters Mar 2015

A Natural Case For Realism: Processes, Structures, And Laws, Andrew Michael Winters

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Recent literature concerning laws of nature highlight the close relationship between general metaphysics and philosophy of science. In particular, a person's theoretical commitments in either have direct implications for her stance on laws. In this dissertation, I argue that an ontic structural realist should be a realist about laws, but only within a non-Whiteheadean process framework. Without the adoption of a process framework, any account of laws the ontic structural realist offers will require metaphysical commitments that are at odds with ontic structural realism. In arguing towards this aim, I adopt an attenuated methodological naturalistic stance to show that ...


The Encultured Mind: From Cognitive Science To Social Epistemology, David Alexander Eck Mar 2015

The Encultured Mind: From Cognitive Science To Social Epistemology, David Alexander Eck

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

There have been monumental advances in the study of the social dimensions of knowledge in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. But it has been common within a wide variety of fields--including social philosophy, cognitive science, epistemology, and the philosophy of science--to approach the social dimensions of knowledge as simply another resource to be utilized or controlled. I call this view, in which other people's epistemic significance are only of instrumental value, manipulationism. I identify manipulationism, trace its manifestations in the aforementioned fields, and explain how to move beyond it. The principal strategy that I employ for moving ...


Cogs In A Cosmic Machine: A Defense Of Free Will Skepticism And Its Ethical Implications, Sacha Greer Jan 2015

Cogs In A Cosmic Machine: A Defense Of Free Will Skepticism And Its Ethical Implications, Sacha Greer

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Free will skepticism denies that humans possess the type of freedom required for moral responsibility (FMR). While not the most popular position in scientific, philosophical, or mainstream communities, I contend that this lack of acceptance is due not to flaws inherent in the position, but to misconceptions concerning its ethical and practical implications. In my dissertation, I endorse free will skepticism, beginning with a refutation of contrary positions, followed by a response to objections, and ending with a defense of social reforms necessitated by the denial of free will. Ultimately, I support Derk Pereboom's optimism that a global acceptance ...


Tell Sir Thomas More We've Got Another Failed Attempt: Utopia And The Burning Man Project, Gracen Lila Kovacik Jan 2015

Tell Sir Thomas More We've Got Another Failed Attempt: Utopia And The Burning Man Project, Gracen Lila Kovacik

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Burning Man, a weeklong experience in Black Rock Desert, Nevada, has become an oasis for those looking to escape the corporatized grasp of modern culture. Burning Man serves as a reprieve from judgment and allows participants to embrace and perform their inner identities. The intensions of Burning Man have been widely debated, from scholars concentrating on the rejection of consumerism to analyzing sacred space and religious connectivity for festivalgoers. What deserves further analysis, however, is the utopian nature of the event. I will explore previous utopian attempts--literary, political, etc.--and define what characteristics from those societies were present during the ...


Was It Something They Said? Stand-Up Comedy And Progressive Social Change, David M. Jenkins Jan 2015

Was It Something They Said? Stand-Up Comedy And Progressive Social Change, David M. Jenkins

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

From our earliest origins in every civilization across the globe, comic performances have fulfilled an important social function. Yet stand-up comedy has not attracted the serious academic inquiry one might expect. This dissertation argues that in the absence of public intellectuals stand-up comics are important to how we talk about and negotiate complicated issues like gender and race. These comic texts are sites of cultural critique, public discourse, tools for articulation, a means of persuasion, and serve to galvanize communities.

This dissertation argues that stand-up comedy performances are a vital part of modern American intellectual and social life and are ...


Heidegger And The Problem Of Modern Moral Philosophy, Megan Emily Altman Jan 2015

Heidegger And The Problem Of Modern Moral Philosophy, Megan Emily Altman

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The guiding question of this project is, "Why does it count as a critique of Heidegger that he does not defend a particular moral position?" A standard criticism levied against Heidegger is that, since he has nothing positive to say about post-Enlightenment moral theory, he has nothing to contribute to moral philosophy, and this marks his greatest shortcoming as a philosopher. Why is there a demand for Heidegger, or any other philosopher, to theorize about morality, when we do not have this expectation for, say, aesthetics, theology, or various other regional domains of human life? Why should we expect Heidegger ...


Weakness Of Will: An Inquiry On Value, Michael Funke Jan 2015

Weakness Of Will: An Inquiry On Value, Michael Funke

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

One dominant scientific view holds that willpower is a type of muscle which can be weakened through use in the short term and strengthened through use over time. However, evidence from neuroscience, social psychology and behavioral economics suggest that willpower is regional, subverted through desire and strengthened by strategy--these are features a muscular account would not predict. It is better to think about willpower as a skill with a physiological component. Willpower strategies extend the brute effort of self-control through the use of reason and have the practical effect of increasing self-regulation. Willpower is "worth wanting" because there is a ...


Experimental Reporting And Networks Of Political Information: Lorenzo Magalotti's Framing Of Courts And Nature, Bradley L'Herrou Jan 2015

Experimental Reporting And Networks Of Political Information: Lorenzo Magalotti's Framing Of Courts And Nature, Bradley L'Herrou

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis explores changes in experimental reporting during the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. In particular, I examine and compare some of the works of Count Lorenzo Magalotti, namely the Saggi di Naturali Esperienza or Essays on Natural Experiments and the Relazione d'Inghilterra. In 1667, as secretary of the Accademia del Cimento – the Tuscan experimental academy founded in 1657 – Magalotti (1637-1712) authored the Saggi, a collection of experimental reports. These reports included extensive written descriptions of experiments along with dozens of engravings depicting the instruments custom-made for the experiments. Magalotti also served as ambassador and agent of the ...


In Search Of The Artist: The Influences Of Commercial Interest On An Art School - A Narrative Analysis, Michael Leonard Sette Jun 2014

In Search Of The Artist: The Influences Of Commercial Interest On An Art School - A Narrative Analysis, Michael Leonard Sette

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The current study will investigate how identities and roles of the artist converge with competing identities and roles fostered at the institutional level within an art college as revealed through the marketing literature that they produce to attract students and business partnerships. The sociological focus for this proposal is the tension between art as a creative expressive endeavor and art as a commodity that has entered into social transactions unintended by the original expression of the artist. The researcher documents and describes (via narrative analysis) how an art school negotiates competing relationships between the pressures to teach and promote art ...


It's About Time: Dynamics Of Inflationary Cosmology As The Source Of The Asymmetry Of Time, Emre Keskin Apr 2014

It's About Time: Dynamics Of Inflationary Cosmology As The Source Of The Asymmetry Of Time, Emre Keskin

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This project is about the asymmetry of time. The main source of discontent for physicists and philosophers alike is that even though in every physical theory we developed and/or discovered for explaining how the universe functions, the laws are time reversal invariant; there seems to be a very genuine asymmetry between the past and the future. The aim of this project is to examine several attempts to solve this friction between the laws of physics and the asymmetry and provide a new proposal that makes use of modern cosmology. In the recent history of physics and in contemporary philosophy ...


Leibniz's Theodicies, Joseph Michael Anderson Apr 2014

Leibniz's Theodicies, Joseph Michael Anderson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Evil poses a particular problem to early modern thinkers. Late scholasticism, while itself variegated, provided a number of resources for dispelling concerns about the justice of God raised by the existence of evil. With much of the metaphysics of the scholastics rejected, the new philosophers needed either to find inventive ways to make the old solutions fit into their new systems, to come up with new resources for dispelling the difficulties, or to accept the difficulties as insurmountable, likely via fideism or atheism. Leibniz, I claim, provides a provocative mixture of the first two approaches.

Many readers think Leibniz's ...


Aeschynē In Aristotle's Conception Of Human Nature, Melissa Marie Coakley Mar 2014

Aeschynē In Aristotle's Conception Of Human Nature, Melissa Marie Coakley

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation provides a thorough examination of the role of aeschynē (as distinct from aidōs) in Aristotle’s conception of human nature by illuminating the political and ethical implications of shame and shamelessness and the effect of these implications in his treatises. It is crucial, both to one’s own personhood and eudaimonia as well as to the existence of a just and balanced state, that aeschynē be understood and respected because of the self-evaluating ability that it maintains.

The aim of this work is to show that a recognition and appreciation of aeschynē as understood in Aristotle’s conception ...


Ressentiment, Violence, And Colonialism, Jose A. Haro Mar 2014

Ressentiment, Violence, And Colonialism, Jose A. Haro

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This project attempts a joint reading of the work of Friedrich Nietzsche and Frantz Fanon. This task, however, is problematic because this body of work is in tension or contradictory. These problems are so acute that a careful reading method is necessary to successfully carry out this reading. In order to facilitate this reading I elaborate and apply a particular philosophical methodology, Mestizaje. The methodology is intended to address works that are contradictory by attempting to read the texts as they are presented while at the same time balancing their positions. The goal is to honestly reflect the thought of ...


Time Wounds All Heels: Human Nature And The Rationality Of Just Behavior, Timothy Glenn Slattery Feb 2014

Time Wounds All Heels: Human Nature And The Rationality Of Just Behavior, Timothy Glenn Slattery

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

We share our world with many people who ignore the principles of justice and who regularly take advantage of others by breaching trust or breaking agreements. This dissertation is about the irrationality of the actions of these covenant-breakers. A covenant-breaker typically believes that unjust behavior is to his advantage and that only a fool would act in any other way. Would it not be disturbing if this were true?

My central claim will be that adherence to the precepts of justice is a rational strategy for a self-interested actor. I intend to demonstrate that con men and covenant-breakers do not ...


Subject Of Conscience: On The Relation Between Freedom And Discrimination In The Thought Of Heidegger, Foucault, And Butler, Aret Karademir Jan 2013

Subject Of Conscience: On The Relation Between Freedom And Discrimination In The Thought Of Heidegger, Foucault, And Butler, Aret Karademir

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Martin Heidegger was not only one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century but also a supporter of and a contributor to one of the most discriminatory ideologies of the recent past. Thus, "the Heidegger's case" gives us philosophers an opportunity to work on discrimination from a philosophical perspective. My aim in this essay is to question the relationship between freedom and discrimination via Heidegger's philosophy. I will show that what bridges the gap between Heidegger's philosophy and a discriminatory ideology such as the National Socialist ideology is Heidegger's conceptualization of freedom with the aid ...


An(Other) Rhetoric: Rhetoric, Ethics, And The Rhetorical Tradition, Kathleen Sandell Hardesty Jan 2013

An(Other) Rhetoric: Rhetoric, Ethics, And The Rhetorical Tradition, Kathleen Sandell Hardesty

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Rhetoric as a discipline is still touched by the shadow of ancient Greece. Rhetoric was defined famously by Aristotle as the "available means of persuasion," codified into five canons in classical Rome, and has since been a central part of Western education to train speakers and writers to effectively move their audiences. However, particularly beginning in the mid-20th Century, the discipline's understanding of rhetoric as a means of persuasion (or even manipulation) passed down from our ancient roots began to shift to a sense of rhetoric as matters of ethics and a concern for the other. It begs the ...


Climate, Neo-Spinozism, And The Ecological Worldview, Nancy M. Kettle Jan 2013

Climate, Neo-Spinozism, And The Ecological Worldview, Nancy M. Kettle

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The global community faces ecological problems with the natural environment and cultural impediments to solving them. Natural systems are constantly changing and so are cultural practices. Humans need to address both: the interaction between those dynamic systems, the natural and cultural, because what happens in one system changes things in the other. The changes to the ecosystems are rapid and sometimes irreversible while dealing with them has been inadequate. Environmental movements, including deep ecology, have been at the forefront of the efforts to engage the public, various groups, politicians, and world governments to address environmental problems on a coordinated large ...


Eschatology In A Secular Age: An Examination Of The Use Of Eschatology In The Philosophies Of Heidegger, Berdyaev And Blumenberg, John R. Lup, Jr. Jan 2013

Eschatology In A Secular Age: An Examination Of The Use Of Eschatology In The Philosophies Of Heidegger, Berdyaev And Blumenberg, John R. Lup, Jr.

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The topic of eschatology is generally confined to the field of theology. However, the subject has influenced many other fields, such as politics and history. This dissertation examines the question why eschatology remained a topic of discussion within twentieth century philosophy. Concepts associated with eschatology, such as the end of time and the hope of a utopian age to come, remained largely background assumptions among intellectuals in the modern age. Martin Heidegger, Nicolai Berdyaev, and Hans Blumenberg, however, explicitly addressed the subject in their philosophies. The impetus of this study is Heidegger's statement, "Being itself is inherently eschatological," which ...


Nietzsche And Heidegger On The Cartesian Atomism Of Thought, Steven Burgess Jan 2013

Nietzsche And Heidegger On The Cartesian Atomism Of Thought, Steven Burgess

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

My dissertation has two main parts. In the first half, I draw out an underlying presupposition of Descartes' philosophy: what I term "atomism of thought." Descartes employs a radical procedure of doubt in order to show that the first principle of his philosophy, the cogito, is an unshakeable foundation of knowledge. In the dialogue that follows his dissemination of the Meditations, Descartes reveals that a whole set of concepts and rational principles innate in our minds are never doubted. These fundamental units of thought are indivisible, distinct, and isolated, and enable the possibility of any rational demonstration. Atoms of thought ...


Embodying Social Practice: Dynamically Co-Constituting Social Agency, Brian W. Dunst Jan 2013

Embodying Social Practice: Dynamically Co-Constituting Social Agency, Brian W. Dunst

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Theories of cognition and theories of social practices and institutions have often each separately acknowledged the relevance of the other; but seldom have there been consistent and sustained attempts to synthesize these two areas within one explanatory framework. This is precisely what my dissertation aims to remedy. I propose that certain recent developments and themes in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, when understood in the right way, can explain the emergence and dynamics of social practices and institutions. Likewise, the view I construct explains how social practices and institutions shape the character of cognition of their constituent agents. Moreover ...


The Terror Of Possibility: A Re-Evaluation And Reconception Of The Sublime Aesthetic, Kurt Fawver Jan 2013

The Terror Of Possibility: A Re-Evaluation And Reconception Of The Sublime Aesthetic, Kurt Fawver

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

While the sublime aesthetic has a long and complex critical history, it is nonetheless a schizophrenic concept. Indeed, in the over two thousand years since the sublime became a subject of learned inquiry, it has not been resolved into any one concrete idea, but has become, rather, an expansive tapestry of disparate if interconnected theoretical threads from which aestheticians may pick and choose to define what they mean by the term "sublime." Kant postulates one sort of sublime, Burke another, and Lyotard, Zizek, and the Romantics still others. In this way, the contemporary sublime aesthetic is, in essence, an ever-extending ...


The Man Behinf The Mask: A Principal's Search For A Moral Leaderhip Purpose, James Franklin Lane Jan 2013

The Man Behinf The Mask: A Principal's Search For A Moral Leaderhip Purpose, James Franklin Lane

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this autoethnographic narrative inquiry was for the researcher to describe and explain how he discovered, constructed, and refined his sense of moral purpose as a principal during his seven-year tenure at Orange Pines Middle School. He inductively analyzed and reflected primarily on self-authored texts tied to critical professional ethical dilemmas so as to discover emergent themes, patterns, insights, and epiphanies in the development of his persona as a morally directed school leader. He then analyzed and reflected on how he applied those defined values in interactions with groups of teachers to design and implement elements of school ...


A Philosophical Analysis Of Intellectual Property: In Defense Of Instrumentalism, Michael A. Kanning Jan 2012

A Philosophical Analysis Of Intellectual Property: In Defense Of Instrumentalism, Michael A. Kanning

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis argues in favor of an instrumental approach to Intellectual Property (IP). I begin by reviewing justifications for IP that have been offered in recent literature, including Lockean labor theory, Hegelian personality theory, Kantian property theory and utilitarianism. Upon a close and careful analysis, I argue that none of these justifications suffice to ground contemporary IP practice. I review some recent works that offer `pluralist' justifications for IP, which draw from multiple theories in order to account for the diverse field of IP-related laws and practices in existence. I argue that these pluralist theories are also insufficient, because there ...


Toward A Working Theory Of Neurorhetorics, Jeffrey L. Honnold Jan 2012

Toward A Working Theory Of Neurorhetorics, Jeffrey L. Honnold

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This piece makes the claim that rhetoric is first philosophy--before philosophy, epistemology, ontology, or any other field--or that rhetoric is, at the least, on equal footing as these fields because:

empathy--and thusly the impulse for communication--is physiologically hardwired into humans; special distinctions between human and animal are largely artificial constructions, as is evidenced by neurosciences; "hard" science, in the form of neurosciences, is providing entrance points & opportunities for rhetoric to raise its status within the academy; and said neurosciences, in addition to empathy studies, have shown strong evidence supporting linguistic and evolutionary links between humans and other species, thereby supporting a "preoriginary rhetoricity," in Diane Davis's terms. Davis's ...


Sellars In Context: An Analysis Of Wilfrid Sellars's Early Works, Peter Jackson Olen Jan 2012

Sellars In Context: An Analysis Of Wilfrid Sellars's Early Works, Peter Jackson Olen

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Although Wilfrid Sellars's work holds a prominent place in recent analytic philosophy, little work has been done to situate his early approaches to normativity and the philosophy of language in their proper context. What little work has been done tends to emphasize Sellars's connection to a then dominant logical empiricism at the expense of marginalizing other American philosophical schools. On top of this historical issue, most scholars attempting to explain Sellars's systematic philosophy tend to ignore a developmental picture of Sellars's positions and focus on explicating the systematic character of his thought. My dissertation attempts to ...


The New Materialism: Althusser, Badiou, And Zizek, Geoffrey Dennis Pfeifer Jan 2012

The New Materialism: Althusser, Badiou, And Zizek, Geoffrey Dennis Pfeifer

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation traces the post-Marxist and materialist positions of two leading contemporary European thinkers: Slavoj Zizek and Alain Badiou. These thinkers, I argue, collectively offer a way between the traditional Hegelian Marxist's overarching meta-narrative of a necessary evolution from worse to better, and the post-modern pessimism of a lack of possibility for such a social evolution. It is this middle path, offered by these two thinkers, that this dissertation seeks to explore and further explain. The focal point of this dissertation is the type of philosophical materialism that is collectively offered by Badiou and Zizek, what I call the ...


Structure And Agency: An Analysis Of The Impact Of Structure On Group Agents, Elizabeth Kaye Victor Jan 2012

Structure And Agency: An Analysis Of The Impact Of Structure On Group Agents, Elizabeth Kaye Victor

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Different kinds of collectives help to coordinate between individuals and social groups to solve distribution problems, supply goods and services, and enable individuals to live fulfilling lives. Collectives, as part of the process of socialization, contribute to the normalization of behaviors, and consequently, structure our ability to be self-reflective autonomous agents. Contemporary philosophy of action models characterize collective action as the product of individuals who have the proper motivations to perform cooperative activities (bottom-up); or they begin with the social-level phenomena and explain this in terms of individual actions and the mental states that motivate them (top-down). One general goal ...


Moral Friction, Moral Phenomenology, And The Improviser, Benjamin Scott Young Jan 2012

Moral Friction, Moral Phenomenology, And The Improviser, Benjamin Scott Young

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation offers a phenomenology of that mode of self-interpretation in which it becomes possible for an interpreter to intentionally participate in the production of moral norms to which the interpreter himself or herself feels bound. Part One draws on Richard Rorty's notion of the "ironist" in order to thematize the phenomenon I call "moral friction"; a condition in which an interpreter becomes explicitly aware of the historical and cultural contingencies of their own moral vocabularies, practices, and concerns and as a result find themselves incapable of feeling the normative weight implicit in these. Part Two draws on Heidegger ...