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

Philosophy Commons

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

Epistemology

Theses/Dissertations

Discipline
Institution
Publication Year
Publication

Articles 1 - 30 of 54

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

African American Existential Heroes: Narrative Struggles For Authenticity, Michael Cotto Feb 2020

African American Existential Heroes: Narrative Struggles For Authenticity, Michael Cotto

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

African American Existential Heroes: Narrative Struggles for Authenticity argues for the development of existential authenticities and their impact on African American self-identity constructions in three African American literary classics:

Richard Wright’s The Outsider, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and James Baldwin’s Go Tell It on the Mountain. For that purpose, the introduction puts forward the aforementioned topic; defines the major terms, authenticity, existentialism, and African Americanness; identifies the three texts to be studied; explicates its methodology; studies the anagnorisis of each text in relation to the existential crisis; accounts for the existential philosophers used, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre ...


Modes Of Argumentation In Aristotle's Natural Science, Adam W. Woodcox Nov 2019

Modes Of Argumentation In Aristotle's Natural Science, Adam W. Woodcox

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Through a detailed analysis of the various modes of argumentation employed by Aristotle throughout his natural scientific works, I aim to contribute to the growing scholarship on the relation between Aristotle’s theory of science and his actual scientific practice. I challenge the standard reading of Aristotle as a methodological empiricist and show that he permits a variety of non-empirical arguments to support controversial theses in properly scientific contexts. Specifically, I examine his use of logical (logikôs) argumentation in the discussion of mule sterility in Generation of Animals II 8, rational (kata ton logon) argumentation in his discussion of cardiocentrism ...


Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, And Confabulation, Hayley F. Webster Jul 2019

Self-Knowledge, Choice Blindness, And Confabulation, Hayley F. Webster

Doctoral Dissertations

There are two kinds of epistemic theories about self-knowledge: the traditional account, and the inferentialist account. According to the traditional view of self-knowledge, we have privileged access to our propositional attitudes. “Privileged access” means that one can gain knowledge of one’s own propositional attitudes directly via an exclusive, first-personal method called introspection. On the other hand, the inferentialist view of self-knowledge postulates that we don’t have privileged access to our propositional attitudes and must infer or self-attribute them instead. In this thesis I argue that the traditional view of self-knowledge, which postulates that we have privileged access to ...


Phantoms In Science: Nietzsche's Nonobjectivity On Planck's Quanta, Donald Richard Dickerson Iii May 2019

Phantoms In Science: Nietzsche's Nonobjectivity On Planck's Quanta, Donald Richard Dickerson Iii

Undergraduate Theses

What does Maxwell Planck's concept of phantomness suggest about the epistemological basis of science and how might a Nietzschean critique reveal solution to the weaknesses revealed? With his solution to Kirchoff's equation, Maxwell Planck launched the paradigm of quantum physics. This same solution undermined much of current understandings of science versus pseudoscience. Using Nietzsche's perspectivism and other philosophical critiques, Planck's answer to blackbody radiation is used to highlight the troubles with phantom problems in science and how to try to direct science towards a more holistic and complete scientific approach.


The Epistemic And Psychological Mechanisms Perpetuating Racism Within The Criminal Justice System, Danielle Walker Apr 2019

The Epistemic And Psychological Mechanisms Perpetuating Racism Within The Criminal Justice System, Danielle Walker

Theses

Abstract

Many attempts have been made by philosophers, political activists, psychologists, historians, social advocates, and others to explain the mechanisms at play in the perpetuation and resulting manifestations of systemic and institutional racism. On one side of the debate there lies a theory that there is an epistemic failure at the root of racial bias towards Blacks, white ignorance, a collective amnesia regarding what has and does take place in society, as it pertains to their oppression and isolation, like the view of philosopher Charles W. Mills. According to Mills, this type of ignorance, or non-knowing, is a cognitive phenomenon ...


Glancing Back At The Camel’S Hump: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Of Saudi Family Therapists’ Dual Epistemologies, Rana M. F. Banaja Jan 2019

Glancing Back At The Camel’S Hump: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Of Saudi Family Therapists’ Dual Epistemologies, Rana M. F. Banaja

Department of Family Therapy Theses and Dissertations

Since family therapy was brought only recently to Saudi Arabia, studies exploring the field in this context are few. This dissertation will be the first to focus on the self of the Saudi Arabian family therapist (SAFT). In particular, it will be the first to pay close attention to SAFTs’ ways of dealing with the differing and, perhaps, incompatible epistemologies of Saudi culture and religion on one side, and systemic thinking and family therapy on the other. This study seeks to shed a phenomenological light on what informs SAFTs and what influences their work. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), I ...


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 ...


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 ...


Being And Structure In Plato’S Sophist, Colin C. Smith Jan 2019

Being And Structure In Plato’S Sophist, Colin C. Smith

Theses and Dissertations--Philosophy

Being and Structure in Plato’s Sophist is a study of the metaphysical notion of being as it is at play in Plato’s dialogue the Sophist, and the senses in which Plato’s conception of being entails further accounts of ontological structure and goodness. While modern metaphysics primarily concerns existence, ancient metaphysics primarily concerns what grounds what, and in this dissertation I consider the nature and value of Plato’s understanding of being as a notion of ground rather than a principle of existence. I argue that Plato conceives of being in the fundamentally unified sense of participation, which ...


Agnotologies Of Modernism: Knowing The Unknown In Lewis, Woolf, Pound, And Joyce, Jeremy Colangelo Aug 2018

Agnotologies Of Modernism: Knowing The Unknown In Lewis, Woolf, Pound, And Joyce, Jeremy Colangelo

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Agnotologies of Modernism examines the productive role of ignorance in the work of several key modernist authors. Borrowing concepts from speculative realist philosophers like Quentin Meillassoux, Graham Harman, and Jane Bennett, as well as such thinkers as Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Derrida, the dissertation endeavors to read modernism epistemologically, and treats ignorance as an active and creative force that often plays a key structuring role in the imaginative world of the text. Drawing from Bruno Latour’s notion of a “black box,” the study shows how ignorance can be transposed into an ontological entity which can then be attributed positive ...


Conceiving As Evidence Of Possibility, Benjamin Faltesek May 2018

Conceiving As Evidence Of Possibility, Benjamin Faltesek

Theses and Dissertations

In this thesis I argue that at least one type of conceiving, namely imagining, provides reliable

evidence of non-actual metaphysical possibility. My argument requires two main tasks. I need to

show that conceiving can provide evidence at all of mere (non-actual) metaphysical possibilities.

To put it another way, how could what we imagine or otherwise conceive stand in any

representational relation whatsoever to a mere possibility? I argue by analogy with perception

that the contents of our imaginings correspond with (some) merely possible states of affairs.

Imagination is not perception of merely possible objects, of course. If one imagines that ...


Non-Naturalism And Naturalism In Mathematics, Morality, And Epistemology, Nicholas Distefano May 2018

Non-Naturalism And Naturalism In Mathematics, Morality, And Epistemology, Nicholas Distefano

Honors Projects

No abstract provided.


Knock-Knock! Whose Peer? The Epistemic Significance Of Humor, Kaci Harrison Apr 2018

Knock-Knock! Whose Peer? The Epistemic Significance Of Humor, Kaci Harrison

Theses

Debates about the epistemic significance of peer disagreement are highly idealized. Some have even suggested that genuine cases of epistemic peer disagreement never in fact obtain, since even seemingly trivial differences in experience and attitudes can bias evidential processing. This thesis defends the view that these criticisms are overstated: the problem is not that epistemic peer disagreements do not exist, but rather that we lack an account of how it is possible to identify our epistemic peers. I argue that attention to the sense of humor provides one important source of evidence regarding the experiences and attitudes of others that ...


Being And The Good: Natural Teleology In Early Modern German Philosophy, Nabeel Hamid Jan 2018

Being And The Good: Natural Teleology In Early Modern German Philosophy, Nabeel Hamid

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation examines the problem of teleology in early modern German philosophy. The problem, briefly, is to account for the proper sources and conditions of the use of teleological concepts such as design, purpose, function, or end in explaining nature. In its modern guise, the status of these concepts becomes problematic with the rise of modern science in the seventeenth century, which reconceived the physical world as fundamentally inert and purposeless and rejected the medieval view of the world as governed by goal-directed powers. This disssertation argues that the reception of the new science in Germany was deeply conditioned by ...


Reasons To Realize That We Can’T Really Know About Unrealized Possibilities, Joseph Klein Jan 2018

Reasons To Realize That We Can’T Really Know About Unrealized Possibilities, Joseph Klein

Williams Honors College, Honors Research Projects

The chief purpose of this essay is to defend the position that we do not have knowledge of unrealized possibilities. I do this first by laying out some basic concepts concerning modality. Then, I use these ideas to show that modal knowledge has sometimes been assumed without sufficient justification. Next, I provide my own argument that we have no access to such knowledge based on our understanding of evolutionary development. Finally, I discuss some potential implications for this argument and propose one way that we could reinterpret modal intuitions to explain why we came to think we had modal knowledge ...


Philosophy By The Pint, Kyle Robert Quinn Jan 2018

Philosophy By The Pint, Kyle Robert Quinn

Senior Projects Spring 2018

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College


An Emancipatory Pedagogy Of Jesus Christ: Toward A Decolonizing Epistemology Of Education And Theology, Terrelle Billy Sales Jun 2017

An Emancipatory Pedagogy Of Jesus Christ: Toward A Decolonizing Epistemology Of Education And Theology, Terrelle Billy Sales

LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations

This decolonizing interpretive analysis serves to provide bicultural researchers the opportunity to engage and challenge the dominant literature on pedagogy, curriculum, methodology, and schooling. Bicultural researchers have been forced to navigate the dialectical social terrain of dominant/subordinate tensions and contradictions, as part of their process of survival, as subaltern or subordinate cultural citizens and critical scholars. This study seeks to deconstruct Eurocentric epistemicides that compartmentalize knowledge, particularly within the fields of theology and education. Western Christianity tends to separate God from humanity. This is an epistemological problem. The nature of this study necessitates a process by which critical theory ...


Arguments Against Peter Klein's Infinitism, Jason A Dewitt May 2017

Arguments Against Peter Klein's Infinitism, Jason A Dewitt

Chancellor’s Honors Program Projects

No abstract provided.


The Epistemic Status Of Moral Conceptual Truths, Kara D. Boschert Apr 2017

The Epistemic Status Of Moral Conceptual Truths, Kara D. Boschert

Theses

Evolutionary debunking arguments assume that morality could, conceptually speaking, be about anything. A response to this contention is that there are some moral conceptual truths which counter assertions that we could be in error about basic moral truths. According to proponents of moral conceptual truths, some things, by definition, cannot count as moral. Putative moral conceptual truths, such as “stealing is wrong,” are thought to enjoy a privileged epistemic status because anyone who denies them forfeits their ability to engage in competent moral reasoning. This paper explores whether moral conceptual truths can offer a satisfactory response to the debunkers’ premise ...


Justify This! The Roles Of Epistemic Justification, Tamala L. Endriss Apr 2017

Justify This! The Roles Of Epistemic Justification, Tamala L. Endriss

Theses

Since Gettier's (1963) paper, epistemology has exploded with ideas of how to overcome cases where an agent has a justified true belief, and yet, does not have knowledge. Some epistemologists have tried to escape the Gettier Problem by stating knowledge is true belief plus something else, whereby removing justification, which seems to be the key player in Gettier Problems. Still, others suggest that any addition to true belief will cause issues. Timothy Williamson (2000) contends that knowledge is not analyzable. For Williamson, knowledge is the most basic state of mind; it is a factive mental state that cannot be ...


Motivation And The Primacy Of Perception, Peter A. Antich Jan 2017

Motivation And The Primacy Of Perception, Peter A. Antich

Theses and Dissertations--Philosophy

In this dissertation, I provide an interpretation and defense of Merleau-Ponty's thesis of the primacy of perception, namely, the thesis that all knowledge is founded on perceptual experience. I take as an interpretative and argumentative key Merleau-Ponty's phenomenological conception of motivation. Whereas epistemology has traditionally accepted a dichotomy between reason and natural causality, I show that this dichotomy is not exhaustive of the forms of epistemic grounding. There is a third type of grounding, the one characteristic of the grounding relations found in perception: motivation. I argue that introducing motivation as a form of epistemic grounding allows us ...


Michael Faraday’S “Lines Of Force” And The Role Of Heuristic Models In Early Electromagnetic Field Theory, Nicolas Sandy Engst Matthews Jan 2017

Michael Faraday’S “Lines Of Force” And The Role Of Heuristic Models In Early Electromagnetic Field Theory, Nicolas Sandy Engst Matthews

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College


Truth In The Abstract And In The Particular, Eric Anderson Bleys Jan 2017

Truth In The Abstract And In The Particular, Eric Anderson Bleys

Senior Projects Spring 2017

Senior Project submitted to The Division of Social Studies of Bard College.


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 ...


Understanding And Its Role In Inquiry, Benjamin T. Rancourt Jul 2016

Understanding And Its Role In Inquiry, Benjamin T. Rancourt

Doctoral Dissertations

In this dissertation, I argue that understanding possesses unique epistemic value. I propose and defend a novel account of understanding that I call the management account of understanding, which is the view that an agent A understands a subject matter S just in case A has the ability to extract the relevant information and exploit it with the relevant cognitive capacities to answer questions in S. Since inquiry is the process of raising and answering questions, I argue that without understanding, it would be impossible to engage in successful inquiry. I argue that understanding is indispensable for effective cognition and ...


Agency And Reasons In Epistemology, Luis R.G. Oliveira Jul 2016

Agency And Reasons In Epistemology, Luis R.G. Oliveira

Doctoral Dissertations

Ever since John Locke, philosophers have discussed the possibility of a normative epistemology: are there epistemic obligations binding the cognitive economy of belief and disbelief? Locke's influential answer was evidentialist: we have an epistemic obligation to believe in accordance with our evidence. In this dissertation, I place the contemporary literature on agency and reasons at the service of some such normative epistemology. I discuss the semantics of obligations, the connection between obligations and reasons to believe, the implausibility of Lockean evidentialism, and some of the alleged connections between agency and justification.


Service And Learning For Whom? Toward A Critical Decolonizing Bicultural Service Learning Pedagogy, Kortney Hernandez Apr 2016

Service And Learning For Whom? Toward A Critical Decolonizing Bicultural Service Learning Pedagogy, Kortney Hernandez

LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations

The notion of service has enjoyed historical longevity—rooted deeply within our institutions (i.e., churches, schools, government, military, etc.), reminiscent of indentured servitude, and rarely questioned as a colonizing practice that upholds oppression. Given the relentless insertion of service learning programs into working class communities, the sacrosanctity awarded and commonsensically given to service is challenged and understood within its colonial, historical, philosophical, economic, and ideological machinations. This political confrontation of service learning practices serves to: (a) critique the dominant epistemologies that reproduce social inequalities within the context of service learning theory and practice; and (b) move toward the formulation ...


A Defense Of The Ambiguity Theory Of 'Knows', Mark R. Satta Apr 2016

A Defense Of The Ambiguity Theory Of 'Knows', Mark R. Satta

Open Access Dissertations

In recent years, questions regarding the truth conditions of knowledge ascriptions (sentences of the form ‘S knows that P’ where S is a subject and P a proposition) and knowledge denials (sentences of the form ‘S doesn’t know that P’) have been at the fore of a certain sector of analytic epistemology and philosophy of language. These questions include “How do we determine the truth conditions of a particular knowledge ascription or denial?”, “What sorts of factors are relevant in this determination?”, and “Is context among the relevant factors in a non-trivial way, and if so, how?” A variety ...


Forget Not The Whip! Nietzsche, Perspectivism, And Feminism: A Non-Apologist Interpretation Of Nietzsche’S Polemical Axiology, Jennifer L. Hudgens Jan 2016

Forget Not The Whip! Nietzsche, Perspectivism, And Feminism: A Non-Apologist Interpretation Of Nietzsche’S Polemical Axiology, Jennifer L. Hudgens

Theses and Dissertations--Philosophy

The nineteenth-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is notoriously a misogynist according to many feminists. In parallel, Nietzsche’s theory of value, perspectivism, is relativist according to many philosophers. However, I propose a counter-reading of both Nietzsche’s comments regarding women and his comments regarding perspective in which I interpret Nietzsche as neither misogynistic nor relativistic. I adopt a stance which is non-apologist, in that I do not merely wash my hands of Nietzsche’s apparently sexist remarks about women as Walter Kaufmann does, for example. Rather I demonstrate that Nietzsche is performing a polemical attack on a particular kind of ...


08j3c71v17y, Margot Kalach Hanono Jan 2016

08j3c71v17y, Margot Kalach Hanono

Senior Projects Spring 2016

Human consciousness seems uniquely constituted. We add, subtract, divide, link, memorize, imitate, transform, reform, measure, categorize, analyze, predict, deconstruct, and rebuild the world around us as a way of understanding. These structures are ingrained in our everyday life. What does it mean that we know through these illuminating boundaries? And how does knowledge build up on itself on the basis of their entwined systems?

The making of this work consists of a questioning of our constant desire to make sense of things, and the criteria that we build in order to satisfy this desire; in other words, the thought-spheres that ...