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Articles 61 - 80 of 80

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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 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 ...


The Persistence Of Casuistry: A Neo-Premodernist Approach To Moral Reasoning, Richard Arthur Mercadante Jan 2011

The Persistence Of Casuistry: A Neo-Premodernist Approach To Moral Reasoning, Richard Arthur Mercadante

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The general purpose of this dissertation is to explore casuistry--case-based reasoning--as a discredited, rehabilitated, and, most importantly, persistent form of moral reasoning. Casuistry offers a much needed corrective to principle-based approaches. I offer a defense of a "principle-modest" casuistry and explore the epistemology of casuistry, describing the prerequisite knowledge required for casuistry. I conclude by arguing that casuistry is best understood as a neo-premodernist approach to moral reasoning.


Philosophical Precursors To The Radical Enlightenment: Vignettes On The Struggle Between Philosophy And Theology From The Greeks To Leibniz With Special Emphasis On Spinoza, Anthony John Desantis Jan 2011

Philosophical Precursors To The Radical Enlightenment: Vignettes On The Struggle Between Philosophy And Theology From The Greeks To Leibniz With Special Emphasis On Spinoza, Anthony John Desantis

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

My dissertation lays out some of the chief philosophical precursors to Jonathan Israel's Radical Enlightenment. It investigates the principal question of Will Durant's The Age of Voltaire: "How did it come about that a major part of the educated classes in Europe and America has lost faith in the theology that for fifteen centuries gave supernatural sanctions and supports to the precarious and uncongenial moral code upon which Western civilization has been based?" The aim of this project is both broad and specific: the first is to provide a general history of the philosophical precursors to the Radical ...


The Virtuoso Human: A Virtue Ethics Model Based On Care, Frederick Joseph Bennett Jan 2011

The Virtuoso Human: A Virtue Ethics Model Based On Care, Frederick Joseph Bennett

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The goal of this thesis is to develop the foundation and structure for a virtue ethics theory grounded in a specific notion of care. While there has been a recent revival of interest in virtue ethics theory, the theory has its roots in Aristotle's work as well in the medieval writings of Thomas Aquinas. Aquinas worked out many of Aristotle's ideas in much more detail. However, while Aquinas offers a very rich and compelling ethical theory, it is problematic because it is very tightly wrapped in his theology. A key component in Aquinas's theory is charity. Charity ...


The Existential Compromise In The History Of The Philosophy Of Death, Adam Buben Jan 2011

The Existential Compromise In The History Of The Philosophy Of Death, Adam Buben

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

I begin by offering an account of two key strains in the history of philosophical dealings with death. Both strains initially seek to diminish fear of death by appealing to the idea that death is simply the separation of the soul from the body. According to the Platonic strain, death should not be feared since the soul will have a prolonged existence free from the bodily prison after death. With several dramatic modifications, this is the strain that is taken up by much of the mainstream Christian tradition. According to the Epicurean strain, death should not be feared since the ...


The Problem Of Evil In Augustine's Confessions, Edward Matusek Jan 2011

The Problem Of Evil In Augustine's Confessions, Edward Matusek

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Augustine, the fourth-century Christian philosopher, is perhaps best-known for his spiritual autobiography Confessions. Two aspects of the problem of evil are arguably critical for comprehending his life in Books 1 through 9 of the work. His search for the nature and origin of evil in the various philosophies that he encounters (the intellectual aspect) and his struggles with his own weaknesses (the experiential aspect) are windows for understanding the actual dynamics of his sojourn.

I defend the idea above by providing a fuller examination of the key role that both aspects play in his spiritual journey. Examining relevant events from ...


Dewey's Pragmatism And The Great Community, Philip Schuyler Bishop Dec 2010

Dewey's Pragmatism And The Great Community, Philip Schuyler Bishop

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In investigating Dewey’s theory of the Great community, it is important to first examine closely Dewey’s theory of scientific inquiry and show how it evades the spectator theory of knowledge common to all modern epistemologies as closed systems. Dewey maintained that through controlled experimentalism we engage, and can solve, existential issues facing us for the purpose of expanding human freedom, promoting the democratic way of life and cultivating the institutions which foster these activities. The usage of inquiry to overcome problematic situations therefore stands as one of the first conditions needed to attain the great community.

Since Dewey ...


Hydric Life: A Nietzschean Reading Of Postcolonial Communication, Elena F. Ruiz-Aho Jun 2010

Hydric Life: A Nietzschean Reading Of Postcolonial Communication, Elena F. Ruiz-Aho

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation addresses the question of marginalization in cross-cultural communication from the perspectives of hermeneutic philosophy and postcolonial theory. Specifically, it focuses on European colonialism‘s effect on language and communicative practices in Latin America. I argue colonialism creates a deeply sedimented but unacknowledged background of inherited cultural prejudices against which social and political problems of oppression, violence and marginalization, especially towards women, emerge—but whose roots in colonial and imperial frameworks have lost transparency. This makes it especially difficult for postcolonial subjects to meaningfully express their own experiences of psychic dislocation and fragmentation because the discursive background used to ...


Descartes' Bête Machine, The Leibnizian Correction And Religious Influence, John Voelpel May 2010

Descartes' Bête Machine, The Leibnizian Correction And Religious Influence, John Voelpel

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

René Descartes’ 1637 “bête machine” characterization of nonhuman animals has assisted in the strengthening of the Genesis 1:26 and 1: 28 disparate categorization of nonhuman animals and human animals. That characterization appeared in Descartes’ first important published writing, the Discourse on the Method, and can be summarized as including the ideas that nonhuman animals are like machines; do not have thoughts, reason or souls like human animals; and thus, cannot be categorized with humans; and, as a result, do not experience pain or certain other feelings. This characterization has impeded the primary objective of environmental ethics - the extension of ...


Unamuno's Concept Of The Tragic, Ernesto O. Hernandez Apr 2010

Unamuno's Concept Of The Tragic, Ernesto O. Hernandez

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This thesis focuses in presenting Miguel de Unamuno’s concept of the tragic. Historically this concept has suffered various changes of meaning and application. If successful the project shall provide the distinct connotation, features, and characteristics that Unamuno attributes to the tragic. His special treatment of the tragic harnesses a way for the will to become aware of its existential condition. This awakening of consciousness evokes an arousal of dichotomies that the will must confront. Faith against reason, religion against science, heart against intellect, are amongst these conflicting predicaments. The will’s constant struggle between these opposing forces constitutes for ...