Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Philosophy Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Articles 1 - 22 of 22

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

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.


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 ...


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 ...


Moral Dilemmas And Moral Theories, Jihwan Yu Feb 2016

Moral Dilemmas And Moral Theories, Jihwan Yu

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In my dissertation, I argue for the existence of moral dilemmas and draw out the implications of their existence on major moral theories. A moral dilemma arises when: a moral agent holds moral principles entailing inconsistent actions, the moral principles do not override each other, and the moral agent cannot perform all the actions entailed by moral principles at the same time. I defend the arguments for moral dilemmas by considering objections to them and offering replies to those objections. On the other hand, I raise objections to the arguments against moral dilemmas in order to refute them.

Having argued ...


Wandering In Contemporary Literature: A Narrative Theory Of Cognition, Hillel E. Broder Feb 2016

Wandering In Contemporary Literature: A Narrative Theory Of Cognition, Hillel E. Broder

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This study offers a theory of wandering cognition as an animating feature of western literature, in general, and of contemporary literature, in particular. Unlike existing theories of peripatetic bodies and minds in fiction that focus primarily on political critiques, cultural practices, or pleasures of digression, this theory of wandering offers an aesthetic philosophy and ethical critique of representing cognition, memory, and narrative identity that finds affinities in the political, phenomenological, and ethical thought of Walter Benjamin, Emmanuel Levinas, and Giorgio Agamben.

Unlike existing cognitive theories of literature that apply cognitive theory to literary study (or vice versa), this study develops ...