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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Book Review: What Is A Mathematical Concept? Edited By Elizabeth De Freitas, Nathalie Sinclair, And Alf Coles, Brendan P. Larvor Jul 2019

Book Review: What Is A Mathematical Concept? Edited By Elizabeth De Freitas, Nathalie Sinclair, And Alf Coles, Brendan P. Larvor

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

This is a review of What is a Mathematical Concept? edited by Elizabeth de Freitas, Nathalie Sinclair, and Alf Coles (Cambridge University Press, 2017). In this collection of sixteen chapters, philosophers, educationalists, historians of mathematics, a cognitive scientist, and a mathematician consider, problematise, historicise, contextualise, and destabilise the terms ‘mathematical’ and ‘concept’. The contributors come from many disciplines, but the editors are all in mathematics education, which gives the whole volume a disciplinary centre of gravity. The editors set out to explore and reclaim the canonical question ‘what is a mathematical concept?’ from the philosophy of mathematics. This review comments ...


Maths Living In Social Arenas, From Practice To Foundations, Nigel Vinckier Jul 2019

Maths Living In Social Arenas, From Practice To Foundations, Nigel Vinckier

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

Maths comes to life in human interaction. This has consequences for the mathematics itself. This paper discusses how this ``coming to life'' of mathematics in different social arenas influences the foundations of maths. We will argue that this influence is profound, to the extent that it is hard to upkeep the idea that there is or should be one foundation on which all mathematics can be built.


Contemplations Of Meaning, Danny Goler Mar 2019

Contemplations Of Meaning, Danny Goler

The STEAM Journal

Contemplation on how we construct meaning.


Academia Will Not Save You: Stories Of Being Continually “Underrepresented”, Lynette Deaun Guzmán Jan 2019

Academia Will Not Save You: Stories Of Being Continually “Underrepresented”, Lynette Deaun Guzmán

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

My entire life I have had to navigate educational structures labeled (by other people) as “underrepresented” in my fields—mathematics and mathematics education. As many people who are similarly labeled in this way know, this meant I had to navigate oppressive structures that positioned me as lesser (e.g., white supremacy, patriarchy). Making sense of these repeated interactions, I wrote my dissertation as a series of three articles, each prefaced with an essay that situated a broader social, cultural, and political context and also connected to my lived experiences navigating academia. These essays were some of my most personal academic ...


Symmetry And Measuring: Ways To Teach The Foundations Of Mathematics Inspired By Yupiaq Elders, Jerry Lipka, Barbara Adams, Monica Wong, David Koester, Karen Francois Jan 2019

Symmetry And Measuring: Ways To Teach The Foundations Of Mathematics Inspired By Yupiaq Elders, Jerry Lipka, Barbara Adams, Monica Wong, David Koester, Karen Francois

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

Evident in human prehistory and across immense cultural variation in human activities, symmetry has been perceived and utilized as an integrative and guiding principle. In our long-term collaborative work with Indigenous Knowledge holders, particularly Yupiaq Eskimos of Alaska and Carolinian Islanders in Micronesia, we were struck by the centrality of symmetry and measuring as a comparison-of-quantities, and the practical and conceptual role of qukaq [center] and ayagneq [a place to begin]. They applied fundamental mathematical principles associated with symmetry and measuring in their everyday activities and in making artifacts. Inspired by their example, this paper explores the question: Could symmetry ...


From Solvability To Formal Decidability: Revisiting Hilbert’S “Non-Ignorabimus”, Andrea Reichenberger Jan 2019

From Solvability To Formal Decidability: Revisiting Hilbert’S “Non-Ignorabimus”, Andrea Reichenberger

Journal of Humanistic Mathematics

The topic of this article is Hilbert’s axiom of solvability, that is, his conviction of the solvability of every mathematical problem by means of a finite number of operations. The question of solvability is commonly identified with the decision problem. Given this identification, there is not the slightest doubt that Hilbert’s conviction was falsified by Gödel’s proof and by the negative results for the decision problem. On the other hand, Gödel’s theorems do offer a solution, albeit a negative one, in the form of an impossibility proof. In this sense, Hilbert’s optimism may still be ...


Pro Tanto Principles In Public Policy, Marisa Galvez Jan 2019

Pro Tanto Principles In Public Policy, Marisa Galvez

CMC Senior Theses

Even when given the exact same moral dilemma, equally rational peers, colleagues, and friends will disagree about the right course of action. Pro tanto principles are one way to resolve moral conflicts such as these. When broadening the conflicts to real life situations, such as those seen in public policy, pro tanto principles prove to be an extremely useful tool. This paper explores the difference between the way that the individual interacts with pro tanto principles and the way that public policy interacts with such a moral system. In the end, difficulties in public policy attempt to be resolved by ...


Believing Fictions: A Philosophical Analysis Of Fictional Engagement, Jack Rhein Gleiberman Jan 2019

Believing Fictions: A Philosophical Analysis Of Fictional Engagement, Jack Rhein Gleiberman

CMC Senior Theses

Works of fiction do things to us, and we do things because of works of fiction. When reading Hamlet, I mentally represent certain propositions about its characters and events, I want the story and its characters to go a certain way, and I emotionally respond to its goings-on. I might deem Hamlet a coward, I might wish that Hamlet stabbed Claudius when he had the chance, and I might feel sorrow at Ophelia’s senseless suicide. These fiction-directed mental states seem to resemble the propositional attitudes of belief, desire, and emotion, respectively — the everyday attitudes that represent and orient us ...


Counterfactual Conditional Analysis Using The Centipede Game, Ahmed Bilal Jan 2019

Counterfactual Conditional Analysis Using The Centipede Game, Ahmed Bilal

CMC Senior Theses

The Backward Induction strategy for the Centipede Game leads us to a counterfactual reasoning paradox, The Centipede Game paradox. The counterfactual reasoning proving the backward induction strategy for the game appears to rely on the players in the game not choosing that very same backward induction strategy. The paradox is a general paradox that applies to backward induction reasoning in sequential, perfect information games. Therefore, the paradox is not only problematic for the Centipede Game, but it also affects counterfactual reasoning solutions in games similar to the Centipede Game. The Centipede Game is a prime illustration of this paradox in ...


The Importance Of Cultural Identity To Liberal Democracy, Rebecca Ilana Shane Jan 2019

The Importance Of Cultural Identity To Liberal Democracy, Rebecca Ilana Shane

CMC Senior Theses

The challenge facing liberal theories of democracy is to describe an organization of state that both legitimates state power and protects individual liberty. In Democratic Rights: The Substance of Self-Government, Corey Brettschneider develops the value theory of democracy that resolves this tension. By locating the democratic ideal in a set of core values with both procedural and substantive implications, the value theory legitimates state coercion only when it protects citizens’ rights. While the value theory guarantees both substantive and procedural rights, this thesis will show that Brettschneider fails to account for the necessity of a secure cultural context, without which ...


The Denial Of Transcendental Freedom Is Self-Refuting, Theodore Kahn Jan 2019

The Denial Of Transcendental Freedom Is Self-Refuting, Theodore Kahn

CMC Senior Theses

The questions of what kind of freedom morality requires and how to reconcile the capacity for free agency within a determined temporal sequence represent the crux of the free will debate. Traditional compatibilists claim that determinism does not preclude our capacity for moral agency. Nuanced determinists, such as Derk Pereboom, deny the existence of moral agency and argue that free will is not required to save the basic modes of our practical lives, such as our capacity to affect each other and to lead practically morallives. I will argue in favor of Kant’s view, which holds that since freedom ...


Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen Jan 2019

Global Consciousness: A Functionalist Neurophilosophical Perspective, Connor C. Bowen

CMC Senior Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to explore a thought-provoking consequence of the functionalist theory of mind. Given the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, Earth is probably conscious. The argument is explored through an examination of the current organizational structure of Earth and field theories of consciousness in neuroscience, which leads to the conclusion that Earth is conscious. Various theories of mind have been proposed by neuroscientists and philosophers alike in an attempt to qualify what consciousness is and what provides the basis for consciousness to occur. Support, in the form of data ...


Art's Truth: An Aid To Ethical Sensibility, Nova Quaoser Jan 2019

Art's Truth: An Aid To Ethical Sensibility, Nova Quaoser

CMC Senior Theses

In this paper I explore the philosophical implications of decision theory and deliberation on ethics, paying special attention to how vicious individuals yearn for a separate philosophical account. Drawing largely on Fricker, McDowell, Paul, and Nussbaum I discuss how transformative experiences open a window for understanding moral development in terms of habituation in the Aristotelian sense, and further how the vicious individual’s failure to deliberate may be remedied via a transformation through art.


Mystical Experience And Epistemic Injustice, Jake Hudson-Humphrey Jan 2019

Mystical Experience And Epistemic Injustice, Jake Hudson-Humphrey

CMC Senior Theses

In this paper, we explore mystical experiences and knowledge through the application of Miranda Fricker's framework of epistemic injustice. Focusing on experiences in which the usual division between Self and Other temporarily dissolves (brought about spontaneously, through contemplative or religious practice, or through the ingestion of psychedelics), we examine the knowledge gained from these experiences in its multiple forms and discuss how the mystic, when attempting to share the knowledge she has gained, may face challenges to effective testimonial exchange which constitute testimonial injustices. Similarly, due to a cultural privileging of the rational and objective, we imagine how the ...


The Refutation Of Existing Proofs For The Existence Of God And The Continued Search For A Valid Proof Of The Existence Of God: A Defense And Interpretation Of Kant, Emma Houston Jan 2019

The Refutation Of Existing Proofs For The Existence Of God And The Continued Search For A Valid Proof Of The Existence Of God: A Defense And Interpretation Of Kant, Emma Houston

CMC Senior Theses

In this thesis, I use Kant's Transcendental Ideal and Fourth Antinomy in the Critique of Pure Reason as a bedrock to understand mistakes in popular spatio-temporal and transcendental proofs for the existence of God and develop a discussion of the necessity of the continued search for, and potential foundation of, an alternative proof of the existence of God. I will first attempt to instill the thought of the necessity of a commitment to the idea of the existence of God. I will then explain and clarify a) the three transcendental proofs for the existence of God and b) what ...


“Alexa, Are You Conscious?”: Exploring The Possibility Of Machine Consciousness, Emma Cornwell Jan 2019

“Alexa, Are You Conscious?”: Exploring The Possibility Of Machine Consciousness, Emma Cornwell

Scripps Senior Theses

This thesis seeks to answer the following question: “could a machine be capable of consciousness?” I begin to tackle this question by providing a presumed definition of consciousness, employing Bernard Baars’ Global Workspace Theory. Next, I look to various discussions of machine intelligence and whether or not this would be sufficient for categorizing a machine as conscious. And lastly, I explore the notion that the human brain may be a sort of computational system itself and the implications this notion has for the potential that non-human systems may achieve consciousness.

Through these sections, I ultimately conclude that a machine could ...


Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach Jan 2019

Higher-Order Thought And Borderline Cases Of Consciousness: An Objection To Hot, Francesca Karin Beach

Scripps Senior Theses

David Rosenthal, in his Higher-Order Thought (HOT) theory of consciousness, argues that it is a higher-order thought to the effect that the subject is in a conscious state that makes one conscious of his or her own mental states. In this paper, I argue that since phenomenal consciousness can be vague and Rosenthal’s HOT cannot, HOT is not a necessary condition of phenomenal consciousness. I use primarily Ned Blocks’ refrigerator hum case and Sartre’s example of non-positional awareness to argue that the threshold which determines the degree of first-person awareness necessary for a mental state to be conscious ...


The Good, The Bad, And The Necessity Of Empathy In Ethics, Emma Loftus Jan 2019

The Good, The Bad, And The Necessity Of Empathy In Ethics, Emma Loftus

Scripps Senior Theses

Although empathy has been implicated in both academia and pop culture as nearly analogous to morality, some philosophers and psychologists have taken issue with this assessment. It has been argued that from an ethical perspective, empathy is biasing, myopic, and perhaps more trouble than it is worth. In this paper, I first address whether empathy is a necessary baseline trait for having some degree of ethical motivation. Based on the differing moral experiences of sociopaths and autistic individuals, as well as empathy’s unique ability to motivationally bridge the gap between self and other, I conclude that empathy is a ...


Is It Ethical To Genetically Enhance Your Future Child?, Bella Ratner Jan 2019

Is It Ethical To Genetically Enhance Your Future Child?, Bella Ratner

Scripps Senior Theses

As the science related to genetic engineering becomes more advanced, more and more ethical questions relating to technologies such as CRISPR and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) arise. If we have the opportunity to choose the genes of our future children in order have children with our desired characteristics, should we do so? Is it okay to mess with some genes of your future child and not others? In this paper, I discuss arguments and objections associated with these questions. The aim of this paper is to show that it is ethical to alter the DNA of your future child or ...


Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien Jan 2019

Pursuing Natural Unity, Consciousness Included, Rowen Cox-Rubien

Scripps Senior Theses

An ontological exploration of consciousness and how it is related to the body and other aspects of physical reality. Framed by David Chalmers' conception of "The Hard Problem", we begin from a physicalist perspective to discuss the problem of mental causation, which is the inquiry of how the mind communicates and interacts with the body. From here we examine the employment of identity reduction to functionalize and therefore physically explain mentality. We find that reductionist methods, the backbone of scientific investigation, do not work to explain conscious experience, because conscious experience is not quantifiable--it is qualitative. Thus we are left ...