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Cognition Without Construction: Kant, Maimon, And The Transcendental Philosophy Of Mathematics, Nicholas A. J. Birmingham Apr 2020

Cognition Without Construction: Kant, Maimon, And The Transcendental Philosophy Of Mathematics, Nicholas A. J. Birmingham

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In the Critique of Pure Reason, Immanuel Kant takes the ostensive constructions characteristic of Euclidean-style demonstrations to be the paradigm of both mathematical proofs and synthetic a priori cognition in general. However, the development of calculus included a number of techniques for representing infinite series of sums or differences, which could not be represented with the direct geometrical demonstrations of the past. Salomon Maimon’s Essay on Transcendental Philosophy addresses precisely this disparity. Maimon, owing much to G. W. Leibniz, proposes that differentials of sensation achieve what Kantian constructions could not. More importantly, Maimon develops a kind of symbolic cognition ...


Language After God: Nietzsche, Lacan, And The Sinthome Of Tragic Wisdom, Dylan J. Hughes Apr 2020

Language After God: Nietzsche, Lacan, And The Sinthome Of Tragic Wisdom, Dylan J. Hughes

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Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic theory of the “sinthome and Friedrich Nietzsche’s tragic philosophy of self-overcoming are deeply complementary theories of linguistic subjectivity, each describing the transformative potential of a kind of art at the centre of the inherently symptomatic experience of language. Lacan’s final seminars reimagine the psychoanalytic symptom as the potential site where each subject might forge a sinthome: a singular structure of creative agency in the experience of desire and truth. Nietzsche’s tragic philosophy works to uncover the problematically aesthetic and creative character of reality, suggesting that one must affirm and cultivate such creativity in ...


Duration And Depravity: Religious And Secular Temporality In Puritanism And The American Gothic, Taylor Kraayenbrink Feb 2020

Duration And Depravity: Religious And Secular Temporality In Puritanism And The American Gothic, Taylor Kraayenbrink

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Duration and Depravity identifies a temporality of “sinful feeling” operating in the archive of Puritan writings of personal piety, such as diaries, autobiographies, conversion narratives, and sermons, and persisting into early American gothic literature. This temporality of sinful feeling is an attempt to discipline the self through temporal projection oriented towards the theological fact and religiously experienced feeling of sinfulness. Duration and Depravity engages with the proliferation of postsecular criticism in American literature studies generally, and Puritan studies more specifically. Postsecular criticism in literary studies is a style of historicism that reconsiders its primary archive’s position in newly complicated ...


The General Artificial Intellect, Ramon S. Diab Feb 2020

The General Artificial Intellect, Ramon S. Diab

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In passages of Marx’s Grundrisse known as the Fragment on Machines, Marx suggested that advanced capitalist development leads to the production of autonomous machines that replace labour-power in the direct production process. Autonomist Marxist interpretations of this text have emphasized that the proliferation of immaterial labour is the historical condition that is leading to a crisis in the measure of value based on labour-time and that will lead to a future communist mode of production. Further, Mario Tronti posited that as capitalist development unfolds, it subsumes both the state and society, a concept known as the ‘social factory thesis ...


The Amphibian, Melioristic Agenda For Dividuals: Tropological Oscillations Versus Tropological Settlements, Donatas Sinkunas Nov 2019

The Amphibian, Melioristic Agenda For Dividuals: Tropological Oscillations Versus Tropological Settlements, Donatas Sinkunas

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Some people often identify themselves too strongly with one particular belief system. Others, throughout their lives, travel from one belief system to another without necessarily weaving their experiences and gained bodies of knowledge in a complementary manner. This thesis discusses different frequencies and principles of this sort of settlements or oscillations. I argue that it is impossible to believe in perfectly purist ideologies that would not deviate from their putative, pre-established, holistic inner order. Through multiple literary, cinematic, and philosophical examples it is shown that people are of dividual (not individual) nature. That is to say, potentially we contain multiple ...


Modes Of Argumentation In Aristotle's Natural Science, Adam W. Woodcox Nov 2019

Modes Of Argumentation In Aristotle's Natural Science, Adam W. Woodcox

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Through a detailed analysis of the various modes of argumentation employed by Aristotle throughout his natural scientific works, I aim to contribute to the growing scholarship on the relation between Aristotle’s theory of science and his actual scientific practice. I challenge the standard reading of Aristotle as a methodological empiricist and show that he permits a variety of non-empirical arguments to support controversial theses in properly scientific contexts. Specifically, I examine his use of logical (logikôs) argumentation in the discussion of mule sterility in Generation of Animals II 8, rational (kata ton logon) argumentation in his discussion of cardiocentrism ...


A Groundwork For A Logic Of Objects, David Winters Nov 2019

A Groundwork For A Logic Of Objects, David Winters

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The history of philosophy is rich with theories about objects; theories of object kinds, their nature, the status of their existence, etc. In recent years philosophical logicians have attempted to formalize some of these theories, yielding many fruitful results. My thesis intends to add to this tradition in philosophical logic by developing a second-order logical system that may serve as a groundwork for a multitude of theories of objects (e.g. concrete and abstract objects, impossible objects, fictional objects, and others). Through the addition of what we may call sortal quantifiers (i.e. quantifiers that bind individual variables ranging over ...


Imaginaire De La Fin, Icônes, Esthétique. (Ir)Représenter La Post-Apocalypse Dans La Bande Dessinée Et Le Cinéma Du Génocide Tutsi., Alain Agnessan Oct 2019

Imaginaire De La Fin, Icônes, Esthétique. (Ir)Représenter La Post-Apocalypse Dans La Bande Dessinée Et Le Cinéma Du Génocide Tutsi., Alain Agnessan

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Cette étude sur la bande dessinée et le cinéma du génocide tutsi s’écarte de l’analyse désormais canonique des politiques mémorielles et pratiques testimoniales pour en investir le parti pris post-apocalyptique . Elle s’agence en deux volets, ou, plutôt, en deux lieux de regard. Envisageant l’imaginaire de la fin qui s’est constitué autour du génocide tutsi, le premier volet de l’étude s’attelle à décrire une scène « cross-traumatic » ou transtraumatique, appelée génoscape, sur laquelle la pensée, les images et les discours critiques lient le destin éthique, esthétique et épistémique du génocide tutsi à celui de la ...


In Search Of Psychiatric Kinds: Natural Kinds And Natural Classification In Psychiatry, Nicholas Slothouber Oct 2019

In Search Of Psychiatric Kinds: Natural Kinds And Natural Classification In Psychiatry, Nicholas Slothouber

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In recent years both philosophers and scientists have asked whether or not our current kinds of mental disorder—e.g., schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder—are natural kinds; and, moreover, whether or not the search for natural kinds of mental disorder is a realistic desideratum for psychiatry. In this dissertation I clarify the sense in which a kind can be said to be “natural” or “real” and argue that, despite a few notable exceptions, kinds of mental disorder cannot be considered natural kinds. Furthermore, I contend that psychopathological phenomena do not cluster together into kinds in the way that paradigmatic natural ...


Hegel Avec Kleist: On Marriage, Colby A. Chubbs Oct 2019

Hegel Avec Kleist: On Marriage, Colby A. Chubbs

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This thesis investigates Hegel’s account of marriage in his Philosophy of Right as an ontological impasse which bears witness to a splitting and deadlock within his broader conception of ethical life (Sittlichkeit). As such, it is our aim to situate an opacity within the Hegelian self-conscious subject, as opposed to the subject attaining an inner self-awareness and transparently reflexive agency and, to this end, we put Hegel into conversation with his contemporary, Heinrich von Kleist. From this standpoint, we show in the first chapter how the thinker against whom Hegel formulates his account of marriage is Immanuel Kant who ...


Excavating Feminist Phenomenology: Lived-Experiences And Wellbeing Of Indigenous Students At Western University, Eva Lynn Cupchik Sep 2019

Excavating Feminist Phenomenology: Lived-Experiences And Wellbeing Of Indigenous Students At Western University, Eva Lynn Cupchik

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The Truth and Reconciliation Commission underscores the need to incorporate narrative accounts of Indigenous students’ experiences as part of wide-scale de-colonizing efforts. This dissertation asks; how do Indigenous students experience their identities at Western University? What is at stake for phenomenology, feminist methods, and Indigenous theory, in the post Truth and Reconciliation era?

There is a gap between theories centering on reflective cognition in philosophy and the embodiment of land, prevalent across Indigenous cultures. However, phenomenology can provide a method to facilitate dialogues with discourses outside Eurocentric domains that empathize with marginalized communities’ struggles, through an understanding of location-based knowledge ...


No Coward Plays Hockey, Rachael Bishop Sep 2019

No Coward Plays Hockey, Rachael Bishop

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This thesis examined the landscape of women’s hockey in Canada, and focused on the national women’s hockey team, and how the treatment of female hockey players in the Canadian media, and in the eyes of the Canadian public, differs from the treatment of male hockey players. This thesis drew on three different research methods: an ethical/philosophical analysis, a media analysis and a narrative analysis.

The ethical analysis took a philosophical approach and discussed the different rules in men’s and women’s hockey. The ethical analysis also discussed other issues in hockey such as paternalism versus free ...


A Deleuzean Poststructural Deconstruction, Adam Nadir Mohamed Sep 2019

A Deleuzean Poststructural Deconstruction, Adam Nadir Mohamed

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This project seeks to reconceive a poststructural form of deconstructive criticism as a Deleuzean deconstructive commentary. I first explore the way Derrida’s concept of différance is confined to a deconstructive criticism which solely traces it in order to critique metaphysical concepts. As an alternative to the confined use of différance in deconstructive criticism, I develop a deconstructive commentary which deconstructs the primacy of a commentated text. Instead of using différance solely to trace the limitations of philosophical concepts (Hegelian in particular), it can serve as a plane of immanence that track a multitude of differently configured philosophical concepts in ...


Hallucinating The Ukrainian Cityscape: A Reevaluation Of Walter Benjamin’S Urban Experience For A Postsocialist Context, Alexander M. Harasymiw Aug 2019

Hallucinating The Ukrainian Cityscape: A Reevaluation Of Walter Benjamin’S Urban Experience For A Postsocialist Context, Alexander M. Harasymiw

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This thesis project explores the correspondence between Walter Benjamin’s conception of modern urban experience and postsocialist representations of urban space in Ukrainian literature. By examining how urban experience influences the mobilization of formal strategies in literature and critical theory, this project articulates the normative assumptions about the interpenetration of social practice and political economy latent in Benjamin’s own writing and the scholarship of his works about the modern city. The project compares the theory and practice of shock, fragmentation, and allegory in Benjamin’s cultural criticism with Oksana Zabuzhko’s “Prypiat,” Yuri Andrukhovych’s Moscoviad, and Serhiy Zhadan ...


Methodological Challenges For Empirical Approaches To Ethics, Christopher Shirreff Aug 2019

Methodological Challenges For Empirical Approaches To Ethics, Christopher Shirreff

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The central question for this dissertation is, how do we do moral philosophy well from within a broadly naturalist framework? Its main goal is to lay the groundwork for a methodological approach to moral philosophy that integrates traditional, intuition-driven approaches to ethics with empirical approaches that employ empirical data from biology and cognitive science. Specifically, it explores what restrictions are placed on our moral theorizing by findings in evolutionary biology, psychology, neuroscience, and other fields, and how we can integrate this data while still offering a fully normative account of ethics. To that end, the dissertation explores the methodological assumptions ...


Theory Construction In High-Energy Particle Physics, Adam Koberinski Aug 2019

Theory Construction In High-Energy Particle Physics, Adam Koberinski

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Science is a process, through which theoretical frameworks are developed, new phenomena defined and discovered, and properties of entities tested. The goal of this dissertation is to illustrate how high-energy physics exemplified the process of theory construction from the 1950s to 1970s, and the promising ways in which it can continue to do so today. The lessons learned from the case studies examined here can inform future physics, and may provide methodological clues as to the best way forward today. I examine the discovery of parity nonconservation in weak interactions, the emergence of Yang-Mills theories as the foundation of the ...


Philosophical Archeology In Theoretical And Artistic Practice, Ido Govrin Jul 2019

Philosophical Archeology In Theoretical And Artistic Practice, Ido Govrin

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The aim of this thesis is to examine philosophical archeology and the feasibility of knowledge that derives from researching it simultaneously through theoretical and artistic practice.

Philosophical archeology essentially embodies one’s relation to history and historiographic research—a research methodology at the core of which lies a “historical a priori”, that which a priori conditions the historical development of a phenomenon. However, this research conceives of philosophical archeology more broadly, as a multifaceted term that traverses the discourse of the humanities at large.

By pursuing this doctoral research, my original contribution to knowledge is twofold: (1) I historicize philosophical ...


Rethinking Individuality In Quantum Mechanics, Nathan Moore Jul 2019

Rethinking Individuality In Quantum Mechanics, Nathan Moore

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One recent debate in philosophy of physics has centered whether quantum particles are individuals or not. The received view is that particles are not individuals and the standard methodology is to approach the question via the structure of quantum theory. I challenge both the received view and the standard methodology. I contend not only that the structure of quantum theory is not the right place to look for conditions of individuality that quantum particles may or may not satisfy, but also that there is an important role for traditional metaphysics to play. Consequently, my work brings together the philosophy of ...


On Separating The Wheat From The Chaff: Surplus Structure And Artifacts In Scientific Theories, Marie Gueguen Jul 2019

On Separating The Wheat From The Chaff: Surplus Structure And Artifacts In Scientific Theories, Marie Gueguen

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Although logical empiricism is now mostly decried, their naturalist claim that the content of a theory can be read off from its structure, without any philosophical considerations needed, still supports traditional strategies to escape cases of underdetermination. The appeal to theoretical equivalence or to theoretical virtues, for instance, both assume that there is a neutral standpoint from which the structure of the theories can be analyzed, the physically relevant from the superfluous separated, and a comparison made between their theoretical content and virtues. In my dissertation, I examine the presuppositions upon which such strategies depend. I argue that the methodological ...


A Geology Of The General Intellect, Dillon Douglas Jun 2019

A Geology Of The General Intellect, Dillon Douglas

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We can no longer be certain whether the central terms and conceptual matrix that the Italian Autonomist Marxist tradition richly develops and draws on--the common, the general intellect, immaterial labour, psychopolitics, cognitariat--are able to survive unscathed the theoretical problems that the epoch of the Anthropocene poses. In an attempt to push this conceptual matrix to its political and ontological limits, I expose a series of “ecological deficits” at the core of Autonomist thought and make the argument that semiocapitalism is a geological operator just as much it is a cognitive, financial or linguistic one. This has a plethora ...


Frontiers Of Care, Thomas E. Randall May 2019

Frontiers Of Care, Thomas E. Randall

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Care ethics is a feminist normative theory that emphasizes the moral significance of our relational interdependency in the provision and receipt of care. On this view, ethical action is situated and evaluated as it emerges through caring relations. However, an oft-cited criticism of care ethics is that its normative frontiers cannot be extended to the wider concerns of justice that lie beyond our relational limits. In this dissertation, I outline and defend an interpretation of care ethics that shows how the values of care identified within our personal relations can be abstracted to show that we do have certain obligations ...


Spirals: Spacing, Trauma, Becoming, And Autoimmunity With Caruth, Derrida, Freud, Itō, And Miyazaki., Elizabeth Song Mar 2019

Spirals: Spacing, Trauma, Becoming, And Autoimmunity With Caruth, Derrida, Freud, Itō, And Miyazaki., Elizabeth Song

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This thesis studies trauma through the works of Japanese popular culture to propose a spiral model for the form of trauma. I analyse trauma as it is re-presented in the Dark Souls I, III, and Junji Itō’s Uzumaki. Applying contemporary trauma theorists such as Catherine Malabou and Cathy Caruth alongside Gaston Bachelard and Jacques Derrida, I seek here to present a becoming-space of time and becoming-time of space as a new way of approaching trauma. This phrase is briefly mentioned in Derrida’s Rogues and has been reworked here to describe trauma as it behaves in space and time ...


True North Strong Canada 150: Canadian Identity And Its Contribution To Doping Free Sport, Helena A. Hlas Dec 2018

True North Strong Canada 150: Canadian Identity And Its Contribution To Doping Free Sport, Helena A. Hlas

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This thesis, a reflective piece inspired by “Canada 150” events, explores the psychosocial and sociocultural factors surrounding the ongoing evolution of the clean sport movement in Canada. A literature review recounts the critical events in the history of doping, viz. the Ben Johnson scandal, which resulted in a call to overhaul sport culture and realign it with fair play values. Theories in sports philosophy and psychology provide a further understanding of the meaning of sport, and psychosocial factors that are inextricably linked to doping behavior, respectively. The autoethnographic method provides insight into current Canadian values to compare with those in ...


A Queer Politics Of Imperceptibility: A Philosophy Of Resistance To Contemporary Sexual Surveillance, Andie Shabbar Nov 2018

A Queer Politics Of Imperceptibility: A Philosophy Of Resistance To Contemporary Sexual Surveillance, Andie Shabbar

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This thesis journeys through a series of events to develop a concept of “imperceptibility” as a mode of resistance to contemporary sexual surveillance. The events I examine include biometric recognition of gender and race at airport security checkpoints, the heteropatriarchal colonial surveillance of Indigenous peoples at Standing Rock, various protest actions, and the political potentials of glitch art. Exploring their unexpected points of connection, my goal is to bring into view acts of resistance against sexual surveillance that already operate below and above the threshold of everyday perception.

The project advocates for a philosophy of resistance that underscores the political ...


A Study Of Six Nations Public Library: Rights And Access To Information, Alison Frayne Nov 2018

A Study Of Six Nations Public Library: Rights And Access To Information, Alison Frayne

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Contemporary Indigenous public libraries play a critical role in providing access to information in Indigenous communities. My research focuses on the relationship between rights and access to information for individuals and communities within the context of Indigenous public libraries. I use a qualitative case study methodology of the Six Nations Public Library (SNPL) in Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada. Interviews were conducted with SNPL patrons and library management and with off-reserve participants from government and library associations.

I analyse four themes, library governance, rights, library value and access to information, which are outcomes of the SNPL case study findings. This analysis reveals ...


The Event Of Blues Music And The Effects Of Technology On The Artistic Event, Adam Rejak Oct 2018

The Event Of Blues Music And The Effects Of Technology On The Artistic Event, Adam Rejak

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

The goal of this dissertation is to find out whether or not blues music is an event. I explore what constitutes a musical or artistic event in modern times and to see how this has changed in relation to earlier periods. I also identify its essential formal elements. I divide blues music into two categories, namely, its technical playing qualities (the micro) and its historical changes (the macro). This division frames the entire project and illustrates that in order to discuss an artistic event, we must account for both its technical and historical aspects. I examine several theories of the ...


"I Have A Seat In The Abandoned Theater": Post-Foundational Subjects, Inoperative Teleologies, And The Aesthetics Of Dispossession, Averil L. Novak Oct 2018

"I Have A Seat In The Abandoned Theater": Post-Foundational Subjects, Inoperative Teleologies, And The Aesthetics Of Dispossession, Averil L. Novak

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

What is the nature of political ‘reality,’ and in what ways are we capable of affecting it? Who (or what? and where?) is the subject of democratic politics? Of revolutionary politics? Are they opposed to one another? The grand narratives that ‘ground’ this project and the resistances that unground them form the basis for a post-foundational analytic of the subject of politics, of identity, and of community, which constitutes a mobilization of democratic resistance as a commitment to persistent (and in some cases, relentless) contestation, interruption, and disruption. These questions are explored through the argument that modern politics is ...


Kant And Tetens On Transcendental Philosophy, Richard D. Creek Oct 2018

Kant And Tetens On Transcendental Philosophy, Richard D. Creek

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This dissertation examines the significance of Johann Nikolas Tetens, a German empiricist philosopher working in the 1770's, to the theoretical philosophy of Immanuel Kant. I begin by examining Tetens' discussion of philosophical methodology in his 1775 essay \textit{Über die allgemeine speculativische Philosophie}. I make the case that Tetens' criticism of the methodology of the Scottish common sense philosophers and his subsequent attempt to incorporate what he takes to be their valuable insights into the approach of the broadly Wolffian philosophical tradition provides important context for interpreting Kant's methodology in the \textit{Critique of Pure Reason}. I then ...


The Mirror Of Humanism; Or, Towards A Baudrillardian Posthuman Theory, David Guignion Oct 2018

The Mirror Of Humanism; Or, Towards A Baudrillardian Posthuman Theory, David Guignion

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This thesis considers the relationship between Jean Baudrillard’s thought and theories of posthumanism. I argue that Baudrillard’s work is fundamentally posthuman, but that Baudrillard’s posthumanism is one that stands in opposition to main currents of contemporary posthuman theory. Most contemporary posthuman theory, I argue, focus on the dissipation of a liberal humanist subject--and celebrate its loss. Baudrillard’s thought, by contrast, suggests that the posthuman figure only arrives in the age of hyperreality and is therefore intertwined with the oppressive logic of the simulacrum. In my consideration of contemporary posthuman theory, I focus primarily on the work ...


Monuments Of The Present: The Document And Monument In Michel Foucault's Archaeology, Alexander Walker Sep 2018

Monuments Of The Present: The Document And Monument In Michel Foucault's Archaeology, Alexander Walker

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This thesis interrogates Michel Foucault’s distinction between the monument and the document in his key methodological text The Archaeology of Knowledge (1972), originally released in French as L’Archéologie du Savior in 1969. Foucault attempts to formulate a new form of history based on the examination of the monument, where previous methodologies had examined the document.

The thesis first examines Foucault’s theorization of this distinction and then questions the stability of these two categories through the comments of art critic Erwin Panofsky. I propose that the monument and document distinction implicates the historian in the power-relations that Foucault ...