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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

The Anonymous Web In Adichie’S Americanah, Michelle Jude Gibeault Dec 2019

The Anonymous Web In Adichie’S Americanah, Michelle Jude Gibeault

Theses and Dissertations

Adichie’s Americanah is a novel that elevates anonymous blogging into black cultural performance. The novel follows a young Nigerian, Ifemelu, who arrives in the United States on a student visa and depicts her stressful confrontation with racism in post-slavery America. Through beginning a blog, Ifemelu voices her experiences as a black woman and immigrant in ways that renew the concerns of James Baldwin, an author whom she studies closely. Like Baldwin, her style blends humor and techniques of persuasion that trace to traditional oral folklore. Ifemelu’s success rests partly on Adichie’s construction of her as a character ...


Normative Pragmatic Selfhood: A Pragmatist Conception Of Value For Marginal Cases, Sam Noel Johnson Aug 2019

Normative Pragmatic Selfhood: A Pragmatist Conception Of Value For Marginal Cases, Sam Noel Johnson

Theses and Dissertations

I develop a theory of personal ontology called normative pragmatic selfhood (NPS) to explain what persons are and how they are morally valuable. I also demonstrate the applicability of NPS theory by using it to assess the moral status of marginal cases in bioethical dilemmas. I begin by discussing the concept of intrinsic value and why it is problematic when it comes to persons. I then draw upon John Dewey’s theory of value, specifically the concept of growth, and Kant’s concept of humanity to show that persons are objectively yet extrinsically valuable. Next, I discuss and argue how ...


Implicit Bias And The Boundaries Of Belief: A Single-Representational Dual-Attitude Account Of Implicit Attitudes, Austin Dakota Synoground Aug 2019

Implicit Bias And The Boundaries Of Belief: A Single-Representational Dual-Attitude Account Of Implicit Attitudes, Austin Dakota Synoground

Theses and Dissertations

Since their inception, implicit attitudes have been defined as associative mental states, separate from beliefs, which are considered to be propositional in nature. Recently, several philosophers have challenged this distinction, arguing that implicit attitudes are actually unconscious beliefs. In turn, I argue that the attitudes detected by current experimental paradigms are blind to distinctions between implicit attitudes, which I define as the products of an associative learning mechanism, and unconscious beliefs, which are the products of a propositional learning mechanism. Specifically, I argue for a single-representational dual-attitude account of implicit bias.


Will-Independent Mereological Trinity Monotheism: A Defense Of The Logical Coherence Of, A Priori Motivation For, And A Particular Model Concerning The Doctrine Of The Trinity, Andrew Kirschner May 2019

Will-Independent Mereological Trinity Monotheism: A Defense Of The Logical Coherence Of, A Priori Motivation For, And A Particular Model Concerning The Doctrine Of The Trinity, Andrew Kirschner

Theses and Dissertations

The doctrine posits that God is one being, but three persons. The orthodox parameters for affirming the Trinity are found in the early Ecumenical Creeds of Christendom, especially the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds. Four primary affirmations emerge as a summary of the essential content of the doctrine: (ONE): There is one God; (THREE): The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct divine persons; (FATHERSOURCE): The Father is the source of the Son and the Holy Spirit (perhaps with the Son, perhaps not); and (EQUALITY): The three persons in the Trinity are ontologically equal; none is greater than any of the ...


Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby May 2019

Potentials, Actuals, And The Logical Problem Of Evil, Stephen Thomas Irby

Theses and Dissertations

J.L. Schellenberg has recently formulated a new logical problem of evil that is claimed to avoid Alvin Plantinga’s Free Will Defence. I begin my argument against this new formulation by analyzing the grounding for some of God’s maximal perfections. God’s maximal moral perfection, for example, is grounded in virtuous potentialities that are disposed to the actualization of virtuous actions. From this account, I argue that Schellenberg’s logical problem of evil fails due to one of the following two reasons. First, some good actualizations of good potentialities require evil but compose the best worlds. Second, both ...


On The Variations Of 'Occupatio' In "Richard Ii", William Kelly Reeder May 2019

On The Variations Of 'Occupatio' In "Richard Ii", William Kelly Reeder

Theses and Dissertations

Recent scholarship of Shakespeare’s Richard II has been interested in or preoccupied with its historical relations. Particularly the plays association with the Essex Rising of 1601, and the censorship of the deposition scene, both of which seem to resonate for history with Elizabeth’s enigmatic comment expressing her identification with Shakespeare’s portrayal of Richard II.

This paper proposes to resolve the question of the play’s censorship by interpreting the deposition scene as a dramatization of transubstantiation, perhaps triggering Elizabethan censors.

Transubstantiation is the doctrine by which the Catholic Church interprets the Eucharist using the distinction between substance ...


Abandoning The Dream Of Omnipotence: On Autonomy And Self-Binding, Charlie Coil Aug 2018

Abandoning The Dream Of Omnipotence: On Autonomy And Self-Binding, Charlie Coil

Theses and Dissertations

I offer a prolegomenon to the philosophical study of a uniquely human activity—the self-binding act. This philosophical interest directly connects with the Enlightenment project of centralizing personal autonomy and individual freedom as primary values of personhood. Self-binding represents an easily referenced action that introduces a possible clash between autonomy and freedom on the one hand seen as in conflict with other ancient basic human values like self-control and avoiding akrasia. This dissertation investigates the inverted manner whereby an act of self-binding, which voluntarily and effectively limits a person’s options, can end up augmenting rather than interfering with personal ...


I, Myself, And Me, The Human Being, David Manuel Cajias May 2018

I, Myself, And Me, The Human Being, David Manuel Cajias

Theses and Dissertations

In this project are advanced two ways of seeing the ordinary human being with the aim of understanding who he is: namely, from the perspective of his personal identity and from the point of view of his self-conception. The chapters included in the first part are meant to treat the issue of personal identity from a practical perspective, whereas the ones included in the second part intend to assess the utility of self-conception from a phenomenological standpoint. Ultimately, I bring together these two perspectives into a unitary understanding of the human being in the context of his everyday life.


Toward A Legal Harm Principle: Constructing And Applying A Legal Principle From John Stuart Mill's General Harm Principle, Kathryn Alice Zawisza Dec 2017

Toward A Legal Harm Principle: Constructing And Applying A Legal Principle From John Stuart Mill's General Harm Principle, Kathryn Alice Zawisza

Theses and Dissertations

My goal in this work is to outline a specifically legal harm principle that is derived from John Stuart Mill’s harm principle in On Liberty. I will do this by providing a close reading of On Liberty and comparing it to what he says in chapter V of Utilitarianism. I believe that these two works provide a foundation for a harm principle that defines the domain and limits of the law. While this goal is not new, I focus on Mill’s general harm principle and the two maxims that he believes make it up in order to construct ...


Civic Tenderness: Love's Role In Achieving Justice, Justin Leonard Clardy Aug 2017

Civic Tenderness: Love's Role In Achieving Justice, Justin Leonard Clardy

Theses and Dissertations

Martha Nussbaum’s work Political Emotions: Why Love Matters for Justice identifies the role that compassion plays in motivating citizens in a just society. I expand on this discussion by considering how attitudes of indifference pose a challenge to the extension of compassion in our society. If we are indifferent to others who are in situations of need, we are not equipped to experience compassion for them. Building on Nussbaum’s account, I develop an analytic framework for the public emotion of Civic Tenderness to combat indifference.

Civic tenderness is an orientation of concern that is generated for people and ...


From Feminist Activist To Abortion Barbie: A Rhetorical History Of Abortion Discourse From 2013-2016, Skye De Saint Felix Aug 2017

From Feminist Activist To Abortion Barbie: A Rhetorical History Of Abortion Discourse From 2013-2016, Skye De Saint Felix

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis provides a rhetorical history of abortion discourse with an emphasis on the rhetorical moment from 2013-2016. To uncover the rhetorical strategies used to shape consensus on abortion, I highlight three major events—Senator Wendy Davis’s (D-Fort Worth) notorious 13-hour filibuster against Texas’s HB2, the conservative capture of Davis as Abortion Barbie, and the Supreme Court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt (2016). Because of these key rhetorical moments, pro-choice and anti-choice publics cultivated a period of heightened tension that reinvigorated abortion debates. While pro-choice groups employed narrative to centralize women as rhetorical agents and open ...


Friedrich Schelling: Soteriological Redemption And Ontological Renewal In The Intellectual Intuition Of The Life Of Life, Thomas Christopher Seay May 2017

Friedrich Schelling: Soteriological Redemption And Ontological Renewal In The Intellectual Intuition Of The Life Of Life, Thomas Christopher Seay

Theses and Dissertations

Schelling calls for the restoration of originary revelation by the true philosopher and, for the successful anagogue, the creation of a philosophical-religion; in so summoning man back to his innermost beginnings in the Absolute prius, the life of life, this paper claims that Schelling revalorizes and retranslates the ancient Orphico-Pythagorean and Platonic traditions and Hellenic mystery teachings onto European soil. Accordingly, drawing on correspondences and concordances with and insights from traditionalist philosophy, the German Pietist reform movement and the antique contemplative tradition, this paper reads the Schellingian project as an initiatic mystagogy to intellectual intuition, in which the anagogic traveler ...


Determinism And The Role Of Moral Responsibility, Justin Edward Edens May 2017

Determinism And The Role Of Moral Responsibility, Justin Edward Edens

Theses and Dissertations

In order to solve the apparent incompatibility between moral responsibility and determinism, it is necessary to understand moral responsibility in terms of the function it plays within moral systems, which is highly similar to the role played by laws within judicial systems. By showing that a conception of moral responsibility based upon desert is metaphysically untenable, a function-based conception will be showed to be much more likely. Furthermore, by considering why the desert-based conception has proven so resilient, insight into the moral responsibility/determinism debate may be possible. Lastly, this paper considers whether the problems with this conception can be ...


Grounding Deliberative Contractualism, Michael Hogan Dec 2016

Grounding Deliberative Contractualism, Michael Hogan

Theses and Dissertations

Contractualism is often seen as a kind of self-interested bargaining in which individuals engage to preserve their own desired outcome. If individuals are only out for themselves, then no one achieves his or her desired end. Yet, if individuals constrain some of their desires and are assured that others will do the same, then, the contractors can avoid mutual destruction. It is not hard to see why Contractualism is often viewed as a way to explain the origins of morality within civil society. In this paper, I take up a version of Contractualism espoused by Nicholas Southwood called Deliberative Contractualism ...


An Investigation Into Hybrid Models Of Mindreading: A Dual Type Theory Account, Alexandra Jewell Dec 2016

An Investigation Into Hybrid Models Of Mindreading: A Dual Type Theory Account, Alexandra Jewell

Theses and Dissertations

Mindreading, or attributing mental states to others, involves instances of simulation and theory; but there is controversy over which one of these methods is the primary, or default, mechanism. I propose that mindreading is a theory-based process, such that we utilize theory over simulation when both are available and reliable. To argue my position, I suggest that theory has been inaccurately portrayed in past discussion and that we possess two types: a connectionist network (tt1) and a traditional, conceptual folk-psychology (tt2). By dividing theory in this way, we can explain common phenomena of mindreading that other theory-based accounts do not ...


Biocentrism In Environmental Ethics: Questions Of Inherent Worth, Etiology, And Teleofunctional Interests, David Lewis Rice Iii Aug 2016

Biocentrism In Environmental Ethics: Questions Of Inherent Worth, Etiology, And Teleofunctional Interests, David Lewis Rice Iii

Theses and Dissertations

Some biocentrists argue that all living things have "inherent worth". Anything that has inherent worth has interests that provide a reason for why all moral agents should care about it in and of itself. There are, however, some difficulties for biocentric individualist arguments which claim that all living things have inherent worth.

Some biocentrists maintain that all living things have inherent worth and that artificial living things do not because the former, but not the latter, have interests by recourse to their natural selection etiology. Some also argue that synthetic forms of life do not have moral standing because they ...


An Inquiry Into The Distinction Between Belief And Imagination, Maxwell M. Gatyas Aug 2016

An Inquiry Into The Distinction Between Belief And Imagination, Maxwell M. Gatyas

Theses and Dissertations

Theories of mind typically see belief and imagination as distinct cognitive attitudes. While most admit that imagination is belief-like in many ways—e.g. in its capacity to guide action, cause emotional responses, and aid in decision-making processes—the popular view is to separate the two attitudes when constructing a theory of mental architecture. The similarities are not enough for theorists to admit that the two attitudes are indistinct. Imagination, then, is construed as an “analogue” of belief, similar in many ways, but nevertheless fundamentally different. In what follows I examine these methods of distinguishing between belief and imagination. My ...


Contra Lewisian Naturalness, Dylan Abney Aug 2016

Contra Lewisian Naturalness, Dylan Abney

Theses and Dissertations

Some ways of talking or thinking about the world are better than others. Most obviously, it is often better to say or believe true things rather than false things. Perhaps less obvious is the notion that our speech and thought ought to, or often in fact does, reflect the natural formation or structure of the world. This idea—that we ought to be carving the world at its natural joints—can be found at least as far back as Plato’s Phaedrus. More recently, we can see a related idea in the work of David Lewis. In “New Work for ...


The Principle Of Dong Zhongshu's Omen Discourse And Wang Chong's Criticism Of Heaven's Reprimand In The Chapter “Qian Gao”, Xun Yang May 2016

The Principle Of Dong Zhongshu's Omen Discourse And Wang Chong's Criticism Of Heaven's Reprimand In The Chapter “Qian Gao”, Xun Yang

Theses and Dissertations

Omen discourse, the investigation of aberrant natural disasters and miraculous celestial phenomena, provided a sophisticated ideological model that could be exploited to expostulate with the sovereign for his transgressions, and to denounce the misgovernment of the imperial bureaucracy. The first of this political model is the personification of the supreme Heaven and the elevation of Heaven’s status. From the perspective of ru 儒 (Confucians) scholars, the establishment of Heaven’s supreme authority upon the human realm and the restriction of the sovereign in power guarantee the rectification of political mistakes as well as an applicable way for ru scholars ...


Impartialist Ethics And Psychic Disintegration: A Talking Cure, Roman Nakia Briggs Dec 2015

Impartialist Ethics And Psychic Disintegration: A Talking Cure, Roman Nakia Briggs

Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation deals with integrity understood as a state of the psyche. Its primary interlocutor is Professor Bernard Williams, and its point of departure is my interpretation of his Objection from Integrity to impartialist moral theories. Against Williams, I hope to show that the active adherent of impartialist ethical systems (e.g., act utilitarianism) may retain both moral integrity and integrity. In demonstrating this, I make use of a variant of Roy Schafer’s action language approach to psychoanalysis, and what I call practical aestheticism.


Disentangling Embodied Cognition: An Examination Of The State, Problems, And Possibilities Of Embodied Cognition, Cody Cash Dec 2015

Disentangling Embodied Cognition: An Examination Of The State, Problems, And Possibilities Of Embodied Cognition, Cody Cash

Theses and Dissertations

Embodied cognition has received a fair amount of attention in philosophical, neuroscientific, and robotic research during the past several decades, yet the precise nature of its goals, methods, and claims are unclear. This dissertation will ascertain and examine the primary themes in the field of embodied cognition as well as why, and if, they offer significant challenges to traditional cognitive science models. Though many theories believe they are providing accounts that should replace traditional models, to do so they will have to overcome the very difficult challenge of arguing that mental content and capabilities derived from sensorimotor activity can continue ...


The Technological Singularity: An Ideological Critique, Phillip Stephens Jul 2015

The Technological Singularity: An Ideological Critique, Phillip Stephens

Theses and Dissertations

The Technological Singularity represents a confluence of techno-cultural narratives of progress in which the projected exponential growth of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology will usher in a moment of irrevocable change for the human race – a change that many claim is scant decades away. Although the concept saw its modern clarification by science fiction author Vernor Vinge, the Singularity sits astride both fictional and nonfictional narratives of the future. It is the aim of this study to explore the ideological discourses that emerge from texts on the Singularity and the unfathomable posthuman future it ushers in. Doing so reveals how the ...


What The Fuck Is This?: Aesthetic Nature Of Being Or Ontology In The Poetry Of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alexis Stephenson Jul 2015

What The Fuck Is This?: Aesthetic Nature Of Being Or Ontology In The Poetry Of Gerard Manley Hopkins, Alexis Stephenson

Theses and Dissertations

“What the Fuck is This?” examines the intersection of phenomenology and poetry arguing for an aesthetic nature of Being and focuses on how we know or experience the world instead of Cartesian absolutes. This subjective knowledge does not compete against objective knowledge but simply recognizes the use that poetic language has for communicating the subjective knowledge from experience of being as it unfolds for us. The major movements of the thesis focus on aesthetic objects, aesthetic intersubjectivity, and the aesthetic self. These are labeled “aesthetic” because a phenomenological methodology reveals a dialectic between that which is unfolding and that which ...


The Problem Of Epistemically Irrelevant Causal Factors, Derek L. Mcallister Jul 2015

The Problem Of Epistemically Irrelevant Causal Factors, Derek L. Mcallister

Theses and Dissertations

The problem of epistemically irrelevant causal factors is an epistemological phenomenon that occurs when a person becomes aware of some non-epistemic, causal factor that threatens to adversely influence her present belief, yet this factor is irrelevant to her deliberation concerning that belief. While the problem itself is apparently relatively widespread, very few have given it a detailed analysis. This thesis is one attempt to improve that. The first part, and the bulk, of this thesis is an analysis and explanation of what exactly the problem is and how it differs from nearby, related epistemological phenomena. The second part is my ...


The Sacrality Of The Mountain, Manuel Rivera Espinoza Dec 2014

The Sacrality Of The Mountain, Manuel Rivera Espinoza

Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis I explore the conception of the mountain as a "sacred space" based on the definition provided by Mircea Eliade in The Sacred and The Profane and other works. I recognize three major elements in Eliadean sacral spatiality: a) order and orientation b) liminality and c) reality. Using various sources but mainly the oracle bones inscriptions, the Yugong ("Tributes of Yu") of the Shujing ("Book of Documents") and the Shanjing ("Classic of Mountains") of the Shanhaijing ("Classic of Mountains and Seas"), I demonstrate how the three basic components of sacrality are to be found in each of the ...


Neo-Molinism: A Reappraisal And Defense, Elijah Hess Dec 2014

Neo-Molinism: A Reappraisal And Defense, Elijah Hess

Theses and Dissertations

This thesis explores the cogency of Gregory Boyd's so-called "neo-Molinist" account of the openness of the future. In particular, it is an investigation into whether Boyd's Square of Opposition for future contingents provides a model of reality for free-will theists that can preserve classical conceptions of (i) omniscience, (ii) logic, and (iii) morally significant freedom. In what follows, I argue that it can.


Can Libertarianism Or Compatibilism Capture Aquinas' View On The Will?, Kelly Gallagher Aug 2014

Can Libertarianism Or Compatibilism Capture Aquinas' View On The Will?, Kelly Gallagher

Theses and Dissertations

The contemporary free will debate is largely split into two camps, libertarianism and compatibilism. It is commonly assumed that if one is to affirm the existence of free will then she will find herself in one of these respective camps. Although merits can be found in each respective position, I find that neither account sufficiently for free will. This thesis, therefore, puts the view of Thomas Aquinas in dialogue with the contemporary debate and argues that his view cannot be capture by either libertarianism or compatibilism and that his view offers a promising alternative view that garners some of the ...


Everyone Knew He Did It, But He Was Not Condemned! Knowledge And Knowledge Attributions In Legal Contexts, Danny Marrero Avendano Aug 2014

Everyone Knew He Did It, But He Was Not Condemned! Knowledge And Knowledge Attributions In Legal Contexts, Danny Marrero Avendano

Theses and Dissertations

Theorizing about knowledge attributions has revolved almost exclusively around the problem of skepticism and knowledge attributions in everyday conversations. Sutton (2007), however, points out that Epistemic Contextualism seems to settle another field: "[i]t is sometimes suggested that courtroom proceedings provide a context that shows the context-sensitivity of knowledge ascription truth-conditions" (p. 87). This dissertation is devoted to the evaluation of this contextualist suggestion (CS). Epistemic Contextualism claims that the correctness of knowledge attributions depends on the salience of error possibilities or the practical states of a knowledge attributor's context of utterance. I interpret CS implies that the context ...


Facing The Wreck: Death, Optimism, And The Fragmented Form, Rachael Marie Schaffner Aug 2014

Facing The Wreck: Death, Optimism, And The Fragmented Form, Rachael Marie Schaffner

Theses and Dissertations

Walter Benjamin described history as a winged angel who faces backwards, staring perpetually into the past as the violent winds of destiny carry him into the future (Illuminations). Despite a western, post-enlightenment myth of eternal progress, the wreckage of human contributions to history is clearly evident in our 21st-century understanding of anthropogenic impact on global ecology. In the context of these ecological crises (and the resulting political and economic questions), postmodern novels reveal a powerful ability to imagine different ways of living and interacting with the world. This thesis traces the relationship between fragmentation, death, and liminal experiences through Frederick ...


Against Self-Defense, Stephen Blake Hereth May 2014

Against Self-Defense, Stephen Blake Hereth

Theses and Dissertations

Absolute Pacifism (or AP) is the thesis that no act of assault is morally permissible. This entails that all acts of self-defensive assault are impermissible. This essay defends AP against non-eliminativist theories of justified self-defensive assault - that is, theories of self-defensive assault which, contrary to AP, claim that at least some instances of self-defensive assault are morally permissible. Chapter 1 begins by defining assault and AP and subsequently exploring a species of AP wedded to the Doctrine of Double Effect (or DDE). Chapter 2 defends AP against the thesis that self-defensive assault is morally permissible but not morally obligatory. Against ...