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2016

City University of New York (CUNY)

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Articles 1 - 30 of 36

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Rationality, Parapsychology, And Artificial Intelligence In Military And Intelligence Research By The United States Government In The Cold War, Guy M. Lomeo Dec 2016

Rationality, Parapsychology, And Artificial Intelligence In Military And Intelligence Research By The United States Government In The Cold War, Guy M. Lomeo

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

A study analyzing the roles of rationality, parapsychology, and artificial intelligence in military and intelligence research by the United States Government in the Cold War. An examination of the methodology behind the decisions to pursue research in two fields that were initially considered irrational.


Why The Business Of Love Is Bull$Hit, Deanne Gaston Dec 2016

Why The Business Of Love Is Bull$Hit, Deanne Gaston

Capstones

This is a narrative piece about the experience I had when I became a love guru/advice columnist.

Link: https://deannegaston.atavist.com/why-the-business-of-love-is-bullshit


The Poet And The Polemist: Demystifying The Natural Law Theory Of John Milton, John J. Mazola Dec 2016

The Poet And The Polemist: Demystifying The Natural Law Theory Of John Milton, John J. Mazola

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

A summation of the influences behind Milton's Natural Law theory as found in the works of Aristotle, Grotius, Hobbes, and Thomas Aquinas. The essay's intent is to uncover this important thread that runs through both Milton's Poetic Verse as well as his Polemic tracts.


Neutrality, Autonomy, And Power, Eldar Sarajlic Nov 2016

Neutrality, Autonomy, And Power, Eldar Sarajlic

Publications and Research

This paper critically examines Alan Patten’s theory of neutrality of treatment. It argues that the theory assumes an inadequate conception of personal autonomy, which undermines its plausibility. However, I suggest that the theory can resolve the problem by developing and reinterpreting its conception of autonomy and introducing an additional strategy for addressing the power imbalances that result from the market-based interactions between individuals and their conceptions of the good.


Virtue’S Web: The Virtue Of Empathic Attunement And The Need For A Relational Foundation, Georgina D. Campelia Sep 2016

Virtue’S Web: The Virtue Of Empathic Attunement And The Need For A Relational Foundation, Georgina D. Campelia

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation focuses on two questions. First, is empathy a virtue? Second, if it is, then why is it neglected, even ostracized, in contemporary discourses on virtue? In response to the first question, this dissertation develops and defends a distinction between empathic practices and moral excellence in those practices, which is termed ‘empathic attunement’. This excellence is a virtue not because of its connection to standard altruistic behavior, but because it is a unique way of caring for, respecting, and understanding others’ emotional experiences in response to the need to be emotionally understood and the good of being emotionally understood ...


The French Revolution In The French-Algerian War (1954-1962): Historical Analogy And The Limits Of French Historical Reason, Timothy Scott Johnson Sep 2016

The French Revolution In The French-Algerian War (1954-1962): Historical Analogy And The Limits Of French Historical Reason, Timothy Scott Johnson

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines the use of the French Revolution as an explanatory device for discussing the French-Algerian War (1954-1962). Anticolonial intellectuals in France invoked the French Revolution to explain their reasons for supporting colonial reform as well as their solidarity with Algerian nationalist aims. Through an examination of intellectuals’ public interventions alongside French and Algerian historical narratives, I examine the ways in which historical alignment signaled political and cultural distance between France and Algeria. Making an independent Algeria analogous to eighteenth-century revolutionary France lent political and conceptual legitimacy to Algerian claims to an independent national identity while also reinforcing the ...


The Discursive Functioning Of Knowledge Claims In Research Studies On Children’S Conceptual Knowledge Of Number, Patrick D. Byers Sep 2016

The Discursive Functioning Of Knowledge Claims In Research Studies On Children’S Conceptual Knowledge Of Number, Patrick D. Byers

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Researchers interested in the development of conceptual knowledge of number have studied children’s behavior in various tasks or other contexts in order to draw conclusions about what they know. The guiding assumption of this work is that the presence or absence of a given form of knowledge is typically reflected in the ability/inability to perform certain types of behavior. Researchers complicate this assumption when they claim that (1) the ability to perform a given behavior may also reflect simple imitation or rote learning in the absence of understanding, and/or (2) that the inability to perform a certain ...


"A Return To Reality": Mark Hansen's Metaphysics: Towards A New Relationality Of Twenty-First-Century Media, Sandra Moyano Ariza Sep 2016

"A Return To Reality": Mark Hansen's Metaphysics: Towards A New Relationality Of Twenty-First-Century Media, Sandra Moyano Ariza

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This project is framed in the recent turn to speculation in philosophy which aims to develop new ontologies that deprivilege the human and human cognition, in turn claiming the capacity of all entities to hold agency in experiential processes. New philosophical scholarship is seeing the resurgence of an old problematic within this turn: the ontological debate of substances vs. relations. The study is structured around these two positions, represented by Graham Harman's object-oriented ontology which claims the essence of all entities and Steven Shaviro's understanding of relationality through Whitehead's structure of experience and becoming, respectively. These two ...


Waking Dreams: Modernist Intoxications And The Poetics Of Altered States, Jason Ciaccio Sep 2016

Waking Dreams: Modernist Intoxications And The Poetics Of Altered States, Jason Ciaccio

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Intoxication as a poetic principle is often identified with the romantic imagination. The literature of the intoxicated reverie is commonly thought of as synonymous with works such as Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” DeQuincey’s accounts of numerous nightmares and reveries, a number of Keats’ odes, Novalis’ hymns, E.T.A. Hoffmann’s stories, and Poe’s oneiric Gothic tales. Each of these, in part through their opiation or the incorporation of various other draughts, evokes a realm of dreams and visions of various sorts that are commonly associated with romantic poetic practices. The ecstatic trance, the sense of passing into ...


Consciousness, Perception, And Short-Term Memory, Henry F. Shevlin Sep 2016

Consciousness, Perception, And Short-Term Memory, Henry F. Shevlin

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Dissertation Abstract: Consciousness, Perception, and Short-Term Memory

When we engage in almost any perceptual activity – recognizing a face, listening out for a phone-call, or simply taking in a sunset – information must be briefly stored and processed in some form of short-term memory. For philosophers attempting to develop an empirically grounded account of perception and conscious experience, it is therefore crucial to engage with scientific theories of the kinds of short-term memory mechanisms that underlie our moment-to-moment retention of information about the world. To that end, in this dissertation I review recent scientific evidence for a new form of rapid but ...


Three Essays In Intuitionistic Epistemology, Tudor Protopopescu Sep 2016

Three Essays In Intuitionistic Epistemology, Tudor Protopopescu

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

We present three papers studying knowledge and its logic from an intuitionistic viewpoint.

An Arithmetic Interpretation of Intuitionistic Verification

Intuitionistic epistemic logic introduces an epistemic operator to intuitionistic logic which reflects the intended BHK semantics of intuitionism. The fundamental assumption concerning intuitionistic knowledge and belief is that it is the product of verification. The BHK interpretation of intuitionistic logic has a precise formulation in the Logic of Proofs and its arithmetical semantics. We show here that this interpretation can be extended to the notion of verification upon which intuitionistic knowledge is based. This provides the systems of intuitionistic epistemic logic ...


Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips Sep 2016

Seeing And Perceptual Content, Ben S. Phillips

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

There are two widely held assumptions about perception: ascriber-independence (the view that the facts regarding what a subject perceives, as well as what her perceptual states represent, are independent of the interests of those attributing the relevant states to her), and determinacy (the view that perceptual content is relatively determinate). I challenge both of these assumptions, and develop a new approach to perceptual content, with implications for theories of mental content more broadly. In chapter one, I address the question of whether, in addition to low-level features, vision represents ordinary objects. I argue that there is just no fact of ...


Semantic Holism Revisited, Chun-Ping Yen Sep 2016

Semantic Holism Revisited, Chun-Ping Yen

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

I defend semantic holism, the view that the meaning of an expression is determined by its relations to every other expression in the language of individual competent users. I argue that, once properly understood, most disadvantages attributed to holism can be dissolved and suggest that the core division between the holist and the non-holist is on the question whether invariant meanings shared across all possible occasions where the corresponded expressions are uttered are necessary for the explanation of meaning sharing. I give reason why the answer is negative and demonstrate how to explain our linguistic interaction without such invariant meanings.


The Challenge Of Teaching Chinese Philosophy: Some Thoughts On Method, Andrew Lambert Jul 2016

The Challenge Of Teaching Chinese Philosophy: Some Thoughts On Method, Andrew Lambert

Publications and Research

In this essay I offer an alternative perspective on how to organize class material for courses in Chinese philosophy for predominately American students. Instead of selecting topics taken from common themes in Western discourses, I suggest a variety of organizational strategies based on themes from the Chinese texts themselves, such as tradition, ritual, family, and guanxi (關係), which are rooted in the Chinese tradition but flexible enough to organize a broad range of philosophical material.


The Prospects For Change: The Question Of Justice In A Law & Society Framework, Michael W. Raphael Jun 2016

The Prospects For Change: The Question Of Justice In A Law & Society Framework, Michael W. Raphael

Graduate Student Publications and Research

What is the law and society framework and where has it gotten us? A student in a classroom might raise their hand and offer "understanding legal pluralism" as a possible answer. However, the conceptual problem with legal pluralism is the coexistence of potentially conflicting bases of justification. Given this, desiring to understand how the law shapes the structural underpinnings of whichever "legal" phenomena and its "ongoing transformation", is nevertheless an immense achievement that stops short of its underlying goal – the achievement of human dignity through human rights. For example, to talk about 'multi-stakeholder consultations' and other pithy phrases that describe ...


Construing Character: Virtue As A Cognitive-Affective Processing System, Denise Vigani Jun 2016

Construing Character: Virtue As A Cognitive-Affective Processing System, Denise Vigani

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation, Construing Character: Virtue as a Cognitive-Affective Processing System, develops an empirically plausible account of neo-Aristotelian virtue based on the psychological model of personality as a cognitive-affective processing system. The psychological model holds that an individual’s subjective construal of a situation is crucial to understanding that individual’s behavior. The account of virtue developed in the dissertation begins, therefore, with an elaboration of the distinctive way in which the virtuous person construes situations, which is used to develop and defend a McDowellian view of practical reasoning. Aristotle’s method of individuating the virtues is defended and employed to ...


Art As Display, Frank M. Boardman Jun 2016

Art As Display, Frank M. Boardman

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Art is essentially a type of display. As an activity, art is what we do when we display objects with certain intentions. As a set of objects, art is all of those things that are displayed for those purposes. The artworld is the social atmosphere that surrounds this particular activity of display. And a history of art is an evolving narrative of change in the practice of this sort of display.

Specifically, to focus for convenience on art as a set of objects, this is what we can call the “displayed-object thesis”:

x is a work of art iff: (a ...


Actions, Reasons And Self-Expression: A Defense Of Subjectivist-Internalism About Reasons, Carolyn P. Plunkett Jun 2016

Actions, Reasons And Self-Expression: A Defense Of Subjectivist-Internalism About Reasons, Carolyn P. Plunkett

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The central question of my dissertation is: what makes it the case that certain considerations are reasons for acting? This is a question about the truth-makers of claims about reasons, that is, what makes it the case that one has a reason to Φ rather than Ψ. There are two leading camps in the philosophical debate devoted to answering this question: subjectivism and objectivism. Subjectivist theories hold that one has a reason to do something when one has a non-truth evaluable favoring attitude towards that thing, e.g. desiring it. Objectivist theories insist that one’s desires are irrelevant to ...


Darwinian Debunking Reconsidered, Amanda J. Favia Jun 2016

Darwinian Debunking Reconsidered, Amanda J. Favia

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

What can evolutionary theory tell us about morality? From descriptive claims that explain morality as an evolved trait to normative (or prescriptive) claims that rely on evolution to describe how humans ought to behave, philosophers have debated whether or not evolutionary theory can or should inform moral theory. Most recently, the debate about evolutionary ethics has shifted to metaethics. In this case, philosophers have sought after evolutionary explanations in the hopes of resolving long-standing debates between moral realists and moral antirealists.

These metaethical debates have centered on what are called Darwinian debunking arguments. Proponents of the Darwinian debunking argument, such ...


The Modernity Of Tradition: Abraham Shalom Yahuda On Freud's "Moses And Monotheism", Ilan M. Benattar Jun 2016

The Modernity Of Tradition: Abraham Shalom Yahuda On Freud's "Moses And Monotheism", Ilan M. Benattar

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis focuses on an extensive critique of Sigmund Freud’s Moses and Monotheism (1939) written by a Jerusalem-born Iraqi-Jewish scholar of Semitics named Abraham Shalom Yahuda. I posit that Yahuda’s argument in his piece entitled “Sigmund Freud on Moses and his Torah” (Zigmund Freud ‘al Moshe ve Torato) rests on his analysis of three particular discourses—temporality, rationality and subjectivity—and the way these manifest themselves in Freud’s work. In his biting critique of the way said themes come to the fore in Moses and Monotheism, Yahuda should also be seen as challenging the homogenizing project of ...


The C3 Conditional: A Variably Strict Ordinary-Language Conditional, Monique L. Whitaker Jun 2016

The C3 Conditional: A Variably Strict Ordinary-Language Conditional, Monique L. Whitaker

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In this dissertation I provide a novel logic of the ordinary-language conditional. First, however, I endeavor to make clearer and more precise just what the objects of the study of the conditional are, as a lack of clarity as to what counts as an instance of a given category of conditional has resulted in deep and significant confusions in subsequent analysis. I motivate for a factual/counterfactual distinction, though not at the level of particular instances of the conditional. Instead, I argue that each individual instance of the conditional may be interpreted either factually or counterfactually, rather than these instances ...


Do Millennial College Students At An Urban, Non-Residential University Believe That There Is A Link Between Material Wealth And Happiness?, Yustyna Yaremchuk May 2016

Do Millennial College Students At An Urban, Non-Residential University Believe That There Is A Link Between Material Wealth And Happiness?, Yustyna Yaremchuk

Student Theses

In my study, I tackle the question of whether students believe that having greater material wealth can bring them greater happiness. This is an important question to address and answer (that can potentially provide insight into the greater issue of whether money can lead to happiness) because if the students think that attaining material wealth can lead to greater happiness (even if it actually might not), then this will affect their judgments regarding the success of their own lives. Subsequently, if they deem themselves unsuccessful because of a lack of monetary wealth, they could judge or cause themselves to become ...


A Performative Script: Play With(In) Me, Erik Patton May 2016

A Performative Script: Play With(In) Me, Erik Patton

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

Patton continues his interest in the body, its relation to material, the notion of abstraction (specifically related to queerness), and the phenomenological with this performative script. Enter the bath first; you must wash your dirty asshole, as you shat only two hours ago. Collect your body in the Silver Pond.


Feral And Isolated Children From Herodotus To Akbar To Hesse: Heroes, Thinkers, And Friends Of Wolves, Karl Steel Apr 2016

Feral And Isolated Children From Herodotus To Akbar To Hesse: Heroes, Thinkers, And Friends Of Wolves, Karl Steel

Publications and Research

"In 1304, a small child of Hesse was taken by wolves, and lived with them for a while, eating well, learning to run on all fours, perhaps joining them in their raids on sheep and humans, until he was taken by hunters and forced to live, unhappily, in human society, compelled to learn to walk upright, and exhibited as a spectacle. This account, almost certainly legendary, belongs to a small set of similar stories of feral children from roughly the same time, which, unlike so many modern accounts of wild children, are not about isolation, deprivation, or a catastrophic separation ...


Shakespeare's Blush, Or "The Animal" In Othello, Steven Swarbrick Apr 2016

Shakespeare's Blush, Or "The Animal" In Othello, Steven Swarbrick

Publications and Research

This essay examines how the rhetoric of animalization in Shakespeare’s Othello compels us to think early modern categories of race in connection with early modern discourses of “human” versus “animal.” Beginning with Shakespeare’s representation of Iago, I suggest that it is the potential for sameness conditioned by Iago’s counterfactual statement (“Were I the Moor, I would not by Iago”) that is most significant about his relation to Othello. From there I consider the overlap between the play’s representations of animality and black skin. Read in the context of Jacques Derrida’s reflections on animals, I consider ...


The New Reflexivity: Puzzle Films, Found Footage, And Cinematic Narration In The Digital Age, Jordan Lavender-Smith Feb 2016

The New Reflexivity: Puzzle Films, Found Footage, And Cinematic Narration In The Digital Age, Jordan Lavender-Smith

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

“The New Reflexivity” tracks two narrative styles of contemporary Hollywood production that have yet to be studied in tandem: the puzzle film and the found footage horror film. In early August 1999, near the end of what D.N. Rodowick refers to as “the summer of digital paranoia,” two films entered the wide-release U.S. theatrical marketplace and enjoyed surprisingly massive financial success, just as news of the “death of film” circulated widely. Though each might typically be classified as belonging to the horror genre, both the unreliable “puzzle film” The Sixth Sense and the fake-documentary “found footage film” The ...


Export / Import: The Promotion Of Contemporary Italian Art In The United States, 1935-1969, Raffaele Bedarida Feb 2016

Export / Import: The Promotion Of Contemporary Italian Art In The United States, 1935-1969, Raffaele Bedarida

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Export / Import examines the exportation of contemporary Italian art to the United States from 1935 to 1969 and how it refashioned Italian national identity in the process. I do not concentrate on the Italian art scene per se, or on the American reception of Italian shows. Through a transnational perspective, instead, I examine the role of art exhibitions, publications, and critical discourse aimed at American audiences. Inaugurated by the Fascist regime as a form of political propaganda, this form of cultural outreach to the United States continued after WWII as Italian museums, dealers, and critics aimed to vaunt the new ...


Toward A Kripkean Concept Of Number, Oliver R. Marshall Feb 2016

Toward A Kripkean Concept Of Number, Oliver R. Marshall

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Saul Kripke once remarked to me that natural numbers cannot be posits inferred from their indispensability to science, since we’ve always had them. This left me wondering whether numbers are objects of Russellian acquaintance, or accessible by analysis, being implied by known general principles about how to reason correctly, or both. To answer this question, I discuss some recent (and not so recent) work on our concepts of number and of particular numbers, by leading psychologists and philosophers. Special attention is paid to Kripke’s theory that numbers possess structural features of the numerical systems that stand for them ...


Shadows And Light. Ernie Gehr Exhibitions At The Museum Of Modern Art, Sean M. Fuller Feb 2016

Shadows And Light. Ernie Gehr Exhibitions At The Museum Of Modern Art, Sean M. Fuller

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis examines exhibitions and media installations of Ernie Gehr’s work at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), beginning with the pivotal 1970 show Information, which presented four films by Gehr. Wait (1968), Transparency (1969), Reverberation (1969), and History (1970) were screened alongside work by other avant-garde filmmakers and video artists in a circular viewing booth in the gallery space, in a show featuring works now considered masterpieces of conceptual art. It also considers the two site-specific video works, MoMA on Wheels (2002) and Navigation (2002), which Gehr created for the lobby space at MoMA QNS, the temporary home ...


Let Fall: Hysteria And The Psychoanalytic Act, Matthew W. Oyer Feb 2016

Let Fall: Hysteria And The Psychoanalytic Act, Matthew W. Oyer

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This text proposes to examine the contemporary crisis of psychoanalysis by taking seriously feminist critiques of the theory’s phallocentrism, but arguing that the phallus cannot be metaphorically or metonymically replaced by any substitutive term, as most revisionist theories of psychoanalysis have sought to do. Castration is the central psychoanalytic concept, though the theory always seeks to cover it over. In order to develop a psychoanalysis that can confront this castration that is always repressed and yet, in its persistent return, continuously disrupts the continuity of psychoanalytic theory, a detour is proposed, returning to the origins of psychoanalysis and taking ...