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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 ...


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 ...


Double Heuristics And Collective Knowledge: The Case Of Expertise, Stephen Turner Jan 2012

Double Heuristics And Collective Knowledge: The Case Of Expertise, Stephen Turner

Philosophy Faculty Publications

There is a large literature on social epistemology, some of which is concerned with expert knowledge. Formal representations of the aggregation of decisions, estimates, and the like play a larger role in these discussions. Yet these discussions are neither sufficiently social nor epistemic. The assumptions minimize the role of knowledge, and often assume independence between observers. This paper presents a more naturalistic approach, which appeals to a model of epistemic gain from others, as mutual consilience—a genuinely social notion of epistemology. Using the example of Michael Polanyi’s account of science as an illustration, it introduces the notion of ...


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 ...


A Commentary On Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's Discourse On Metaphysics #19, Richard Lamborn Samuel Lamborn Jan 2012

A Commentary On Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's Discourse On Metaphysics #19, Richard Lamborn Samuel Lamborn

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This commentary on article #19 of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz's Discourse on Metaphysics is for the purpose of promoting the understanding of Leibniz on the role of teleology in physics. Understanding Leibniz on final causes is crucial to understanding his overall natural philosophy. If one approaches Leibniz with a bias regarding either final causes or protestant Christian theology, such that they ignore these aspects of Leibniz, such a person is in danger of completly misunderstanding this philosopher. Leibniz is a mix of natural philosophy, mechanical physics, and protestant Christian theology. The rationale behind this study is to cause the student ...


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 ...


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 ...