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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Statistcal Mechanics And The Past Hypothesis, Angela Lee Feb 2019

Statistcal Mechanics And The Past Hypothesis, Angela Lee

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Statistical mechanics is a time invariant explanation of thermodynamic phenomena at a microphysical level. However, given that the laws of thermodynamics are not time-reversal symmetric, it is unclear whether to introduce the asymmetry through boundary conditions (through the past hypothesis) or through the dynamic laws themselves. In this paper, I defend the need of a boundary condition for statistical mechanics against two main objections: that there is no independent knowledge of the past hypothesis, and that the dynamic laws in statistical mechanics should be time-reversal asymmetric. I first introduce core notions of statistical mechanics, explain the past hypothesis and its ...


Comments On Jongmin Jerome Baek Paper “How To Solve Moral Conundrums With Computability Theory”, Liam Grantham Feb 2019

Comments On Jongmin Jerome Baek Paper “How To Solve Moral Conundrums With Computability Theory”, Liam Grantham

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

“How to Solve Moral Conundrums with Computability Theory”

By Jongmin Jerome Baek (University of California, Berkeley)

Comments by Liam Grantham

Chair: Erland Cain


Ubi As Regular Payment: Egalitarian Safeguard Or Dose Of Paternalism?, Sun Woo Lee Feb 2019

Ubi As Regular Payment: Egalitarian Safeguard Or Dose Of Paternalism?, Sun Woo Lee

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Universal Basic Income is a welfare scheme that deliberately stays agnostic about how it is spent and the type of people it benefits. In this paper, I argue that contrary to its façade of agnosticism, UBI is not as carefree as its proponents say it is or wish it to be. I point out a definitional feature of UBI that is at odds with its commitment to anti-paternalism--its insistence on continuous payment. Drawing on the contest between Basic Income and Basic Capital, the latter of which endorses lump-sum payments as opposed to Basic Income’s periodic ones, I suggest that ...


Comments On Sun Woo Lee’S “Ubi As Regular Payment: Egalitarian Safeguard Or Dose Of Paternalism?, Brian Kim Feb 2019

Comments On Sun Woo Lee’S “Ubi As Regular Payment: Egalitarian Safeguard Or Dose Of Paternalism?, Brian Kim

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

“UBI as Regular Payment: Egalitarian Safeguard or Dose of Paternalism?”

By Sun Woo Lee (Stanford University)

Comments by Brian Kim

Chair: Guillermo Ruiz


Comments On Angela Lee’S “Statistical Mechanics And The Past Hypothesis”, Emory Brigden Feb 2019

Comments On Angela Lee’S “Statistical Mechanics And The Past Hypothesis”, Emory Brigden

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

“Statstcal Mechanics and the Past Hypothesis”

By Angela Lee (University of California, Berkeley)

Comments by Emory Brigden

Chair: James Conley


Response To “Truth In The Falsification Of Ai”, August Malueg Feb 2019

Response To “Truth In The Falsification Of Ai”, August Malueg

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

12:00-12:50: “The Truth in the Falsifcaton of Artfcial Intelligence”

By Mariah Jacobs (Pacifc University)

Comments by August Malueg

Chair: Thalia Barr-Malec


The Truth In The Falsification Of Artificial Intelligence, Mariah Jacobs Feb 2019

The Truth In The Falsification Of Artificial Intelligence, Mariah Jacobs

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The influence Karl Popper’s falsificationist model has had on the scientific method and the demarcation problem is troublesome for the field of artificial intelligence (AI). According to Popper, the falsifiability of a hypothesis is a necessary condition for its scientific validity. Because the falsificationist model has been formative in the development of modern philosophy of science, it has become the primary way in which we demarcate the scientific from the non-scientific. However, as a consequence of our current, limited understanding of mental properties—such as intelligence, thought, and personal identity—I argue that it is unclear whether hypotheses concerning ...


Mt. Olympus, Gotham City, And Metropolis: The Power Of Heroism In Shaping Cultures And Futures, Julia French Feb 2019

Mt. Olympus, Gotham City, And Metropolis: The Power Of Heroism In Shaping Cultures And Futures, Julia French

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Stories reflect the cultures they arise from and their heroes help direct the mindset of future generations. From ancient Greece to modern America, the human creativity behind these worlds has allowed us to promote new beliefs and virtues through the adventures of our heroes. “Mt. Olympus, Gotham City, and Metropolis” explores how mythological heroism has changed over time and now conflicts with itself as religious and secular story-tellers alike wrestle with the teleological foundation within heroism.

In America for instance, Batman and Superman are the pillars of our modern pantheon, and their recent movie Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ...


A Response To Julia French’S “Mt. Olympus, Gotham City And The Metropolis: The Power Of Heroism, In Shaping Cultures And Futures”, Sam Place Feb 2019

A Response To Julia French’S “Mt. Olympus, Gotham City And The Metropolis: The Power Of Heroism, In Shaping Cultures And Futures”, Sam Place

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

11:00-11:50: “Mt. Olympus, Gotham City, and Metropolis: The Power of Heroism in Shaping Cultures and Futures”

By Julia French (University of Notre Dame)

Comments by Sam Place

Chair: Madilyn Ivey


Comments On William Perrin’S “The Failure Of Hope As An Epistemic Standard”, Colleen Hanson Feb 2019

Comments On William Perrin’S “The Failure Of Hope As An Epistemic Standard”, Colleen Hanson

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

10:00-10:50: “The Failure of Hope as an Epistemic Standard”

By William Perrin (Pepperdine University)

Comments by Colleen Hanson

Chair: Samantha Lilly


The Failure Of Hope As An Epistemic Standard, William Perrin Feb 2019

The Failure Of Hope As An Epistemic Standard, William Perrin

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Jonathan Weinberg (2007) attempted to show how to challenge intuitions empirically, without risking skepticism. In this paper, I raise several objections to his project. In the first section I will clarify and explain several terms. Specifically, what I mean when I use intuition in this paper and what Weinberg means by hopefulness. Clarification of these terms is essential to this paper, as both intuition and hopefulness have become somewhat muddled terms in recent literature. In the second section I will reconstruct Weinberg’s argument against philosophers’ appeals to intuition. Weinberg aims to show that philosophers’ appeals to intuitions are epistemically ...


Comments “Listening To Music: A Philosophical Account”, Sammy Jones Jan 2019

Comments “Listening To Music: A Philosophical Account”, Sammy Jones

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

3:30-4:20: “Listening to Music: A Philosophical Account”

By Paskalina Bourbon (Pomona College)

Comments by Sammy Jones

Chair: Colleen Hanson


Aristotle’S Functonalism: Psyche’S Relevance To Contemporary Philosophy Of Mind, Cassie Finley Jan 2019

Aristotle’S Functonalism: Psyche’S Relevance To Contemporary Philosophy Of Mind, Cassie Finley

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

While functionalism often attributes its roots to Aristotle’s On the Soul, contemporary philosophers of mind have left behind crucial features of Aristotle’s philosophy by losing his distinction between mind and soul. I propose a revision to our present concept of mind, instead situating it as an aspect of the Aristotelian concept of soul, which allows for a more robust account of functionalism that encompasses the entirety of the human being as a system of demonstrative, functional capacities. I argue that Aristotle’s applied theory of the nature of souls offers greater fecundity to discourse in philosophy of mind ...


A Response To Cassie Finley’S ‘Aristotle’S Functionalism’, Holden Chen Jan 2019

A Response To Cassie Finley’S ‘Aristotle’S Functionalism’, Holden Chen

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

A Response to Cassie Finley’s ‘Aristotle’s Functionalism’

2:30-3:20: “Aristotle’s Functonalism: Psyche’s Relevance to Contemporary Philosophy of Mind ” By Cassie Finley (Pacifc University)

Comments by Holden Chen

Chair: Sienna Murphy


Circling The Truth: Model Selection Criteria As A Metric Of Verisimilitude In Theory Selection, K. Raleigh Hansen Feb 2016

Circling The Truth: Model Selection Criteria As A Metric Of Verisimilitude In Theory Selection, K. Raleigh Hansen

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The purpose of this research is to investigate the possibility of using aspects of model selection theory to overcome both a logical problem and an epistemic problem that prevents progress towards the truth to be measured while maintaining a realist approach to science. Karl Popper began such an investigation into the problem of progress in 1963 with an idea of verisimilitude, but his attempts failed to meet his own criteria, the logical and epistemic problems, for a metric of progress. Although philosophers have attempted to fix Popper’s verisimilitude, none have seemed to overcome both criteria yet. My research analyzes ...


Comments On Empirical And Epistemological Implications Of An Enactive Sensorimotor Contingency Theory, Kristoffer Moody Feb 2016

Comments On Empirical And Epistemological Implications Of An Enactive Sensorimotor Contingency Theory, Kristoffer Moody

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Comments on "Empirical and Epistemological Implications of an Enactive Sensorimotor Contingency Theory" by Celine Geday.


Empirical And Epistemological Implications Of An Enactive Sensorimotor Contingency Theory, Celine Geday Feb 2016

Empirical And Epistemological Implications Of An Enactive Sensorimotor Contingency Theory, Celine Geday

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

By virtue of Kevin O’Regan and Alva Noë’s enactive sensorimotor contingency theory, and its central tenets- perception is constituted by mastery of occurrent sensorimotor contingencies used for thought and action-guidance- the theory suggests the resolution of the explanatory gap problem and provides arguments to dismantle representationalist research programs. Central objections to O’Regan and Noë’s sensorimotor contingency theory are addressed: (1) synaesthetic visual color-perception and the problem of non-identical ratios of qualitative experience from peripheral inputs (2) sensorimotor contingency theory implies propositional knowledge- consequently perceptual consciousness is state-based. Temporal coupling shows synaesthesia does not have to be ...


Why Would Berlin Mischaracterize Rousseau?, Sean Mcguire Feb 2016

Why Would Berlin Mischaracterize Rousseau?, Sean Mcguire

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts of Liberty” introduced the terminology of negative and positive liberty in 1958. Berlin asserts that Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s political philosophy (particularly “On the Social Contract’) exemplifies the dangerous notion of positive liberty. I argue that Berlin’s presentation distorts Rousseau’s work and overlooks resources that exculpate Rousseau with regard to despotic regimes. Berlin’s interpretation and portrayal of Rousseau are examined.

Berlin’s claims are examined mainly in light of Rousseau’s “Third Discourse” (The Discourse on Political Economy), as opposed to Berlin’s emphasis on “The Social Contract”. This work contains Rousseau’s ...


Revisiting Russell's Theory Of Descriptions, Patrick Henning Feb 2016

Revisiting Russell's Theory Of Descriptions, Patrick Henning

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Bertrand Russell’s theory of definite descriptions played a significant role in the development of philosophy of language. However, the shift from semantics to pragmatics in the narrative of language philosophy seemed to leave Russell’s theory in the past as an important but obsolete stepping stone. There is a chance that Russell may have been dismissed too casually, and if so, the grounds on which his theory is rejected must be carefully re-evaluated. In this paper I examine two problems with Russell’s theory that extend beyond the most well-known direct criticisms. In particular, I investigate problems with Russell ...


Pictures Of Rule-Following, Elek Lane Feb 2016

Pictures Of Rule-Following, Elek Lane

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

My thesis is this: in Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, there are two strands of rule-following skepticism. They are intertwined but can be disentangled. My aim is to clarify how these strands differ and then answer one of the strands.

A few remarks by way of orientation: first, the strands of rule-following skepticism that I will be discussing also exist in Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. However, Kripke's book is useful as a way of focusing our discussion on rule-following since its structure is more manageable than that of Philosophical Investigations. Second, I'm going to call ...


Philosophy, Poetry, And The Self, Siobhain Mcguinness Feb 2016

Philosophy, Poetry, And The Self, Siobhain Mcguinness

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

In this paper, I use Sylvia Plath’s corpus as a case study to demonstrate how the functional application of philosophy, psychology, and language detect and explain the flourishing and diminishing of the self due to the tension between authentic and inauthentic written expression. I demonstrate the interdisciplinary methodology by way of using philosopher Albert Camus’s philosophy of the absurd to explain why Plath’s self flourishes and diminishes to the point of non-existence (i.e. her suicide). I also show that Plath suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder, and thus had a maladaptive self that caused her to utilize ...


Comments On On Art, Morality, And The Subject: Revisiting The Relation Between Ethics And Aesthetics, Kayla Grueneich Feb 2016

Comments On On Art, Morality, And The Subject: Revisiting The Relation Between Ethics And Aesthetics, Kayla Grueneich

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Comments on "On Art, Morality, and the Subject: Revisiting the relation between ethics and aesthetics" by Kévin-Orly Irakóze.


On Art, Morality, And The Subject: Revisiting The Relation Between Ethics And Aesthetics, Kévin-Orly Irakóze Feb 2016

On Art, Morality, And The Subject: Revisiting The Relation Between Ethics And Aesthetics, Kévin-Orly Irakóze

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Based on a Kantian conception of aesthetic judgments, this paper explores the conflict between ethics and aesthetics in valuations of art. In it, I argue for the insufficiency of the three existing camps in the philosophical literature on the question of whether ethics do and/or should influence aesthetic judgments of art. While Autonomism says never, Moralism always, and Moderate Moralism sometimes, I aim to show that they are all deficient because they lack due consideration for subjective interest, a key link between ethics and aesthetics. The argument proceeds with a critical look at two articles: Posner’s Against Ethical ...


Comments On Literacy's Influence On Our Souls, Nick Navarro Feb 2016

Comments On Literacy's Influence On Our Souls, Nick Navarro

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Comments on Corey Horn's paper "Literacy's Influence on Our Souls."


Literacy's Influence On Our Souls, Corey Horn Feb 2016

Literacy's Influence On Our Souls, Corey Horn

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The aim of this paper is to analyze how the change from an oral community to a literate society influenced Plato’s perspective on the human soul. This paper speaks to the theories Plato puts forth in several of his dialogues that the human soul is immortal and that the use of literacy allows not only philosophers but anyone who can read to contemplate their own lives.


The Hidden Point Of Intersection: Bio-Politics In Foucault And Agamben, Jason Walsh Sep 2014

The Hidden Point Of Intersection: Bio-Politics In Foucault And Agamben, Jason Walsh

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The relationship between sovereignty and bio-politics has been frequently discussed and debated in the literature sounding the work of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben. A number of commentators firmly align themselves with Foucault, charging Agamben with some combination of ahistoricism and reductionism in his account of sovereignty. They see Foucault as not guilty of these sins, and therefore preferable. Many of these critiques, however, arise from conflating two separate levels of analysis: history and power. By holding apart these two domains, I will attempt to offer a qualified defense of Agamben and subsequently show that he and Foucault are not ...


Commentary On "Contrasting Models Of The God-World Relation: Avicenna, Maimonides And Al-Shahrastani", Matthew Williams Sep 2014

Commentary On "Contrasting Models Of The God-World Relation: Avicenna, Maimonides And Al-Shahrastani", Matthew Williams

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

In his paper “Contrasting Models of the God-World Relationship: Avicenna, Maimonides and Al-Shahrasānī,” Harrington Critchley makes a very cogent argument for the superior adaptability of Avicenna’s model for the necessary existence of God, as compared to Maimonides’ and Al-Shahrasānī’s own. Though there are certainly problems to be found in Avicenna’s model, I would prefer to take this opportunity to admire rather than critique it.


Contrasting Models Of The God-World Relation: Avicenna, Maimonides And Al-Shahrastani", Harrington Critchley Sep 2014

Contrasting Models Of The God-World Relation: Avicenna, Maimonides And Al-Shahrastani", Harrington Critchley

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

This essay considers Avicenna’s conception of God as the ‘Necessary Existent’ and the subsequent uses of this designation in the thinking of Moses Maimonides and Muhammad Al-Shahrastānī. Specifically, it considers how this term affects each thinker’s understanding of God’s being ‘above perfection,’ as suggested by their respective intimations regarding what they take to be His most prominent attribute. In turn, these distinct understandings influence their contrasting models of the relationship between God and the created order. I demonstrate how Avicenna employs his modal categories in order to determine God’s attributes, pinpointing ‘necessity’ as the attribute that ...


Pragmatic-Expressivist Semantics In Ovid's Poetics, Jaryth Webber Sep 2014

Pragmatic-Expressivist Semantics In Ovid's Poetics, Jaryth Webber

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

The Augustan poets had at their disposal a vast storehouse of philosophical vocabulary, consimilar to their cache of both mythological and historical vocabularies. Vergil, for instance, had incorporated much of both the prevailing Epicureanism and the impending Stoicism of his age; the notion of philosophical appropriation in poetry as a defense against amphigory is superabundant in the aesthetics of Horace’s Ars Poetica:

Humano capiti ceruicem pictor equinam

iungere si uelit et uarias inducere plumas

undique collatis membris, ut turpiter atrum

desinat in piscem mulier formosa superne,

spectatum admissi, risum teneatis, amici? [i]

It would not be a maggoty, vagarious ...


Philosophical Consolation, Sam Taylor Sep 2014

Philosophical Consolation, Sam Taylor

Puget Sound Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

In November of 2012 my father was diagnosed with a severe form of brain cancer. In this paper, I outline how I try to use the teachings of two philosophers, Epictetus and Albert Camus, to try and find solace and consolation my father’s diagnosis and fate.