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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Four Hours Passed From 8am Today Until Noon, Alexander Jackson Jun 2019

Four Hours Passed From 8am Today Until Noon, Alexander Jackson

Alexander Jackson

What would it be for time’s passage to be a metaphysically fundamental aspect of reality? Plausibly, what it is for time to pass is for particular periods of time to pass between times. So I explore the proposal that there are metaphysically fundamental facts of the form: amount of time t passes from time T1until time T2. For example, it is a fundamental fact that: four hours passed from 8am today until noon. I argue that the proposal is compatible with both A-theories and B-theories of time. The proposed ideology takes on an inflationary or deflationary flavour depending on ...


The Singular Voice Of Being [Table Of Contents], Andrew Lazella May 2019

The Singular Voice Of Being [Table Of Contents], Andrew Lazella

Philosophy

The Singular Voice of Being reconsiders John Duns Scotus’s well-covered theory of the univocity of being in light of his less explored discussions of ultimate difference. Ultimate difference is a notion introduced by Aristotle and known by the Aristotelian tradition, but one that, the book argues, Scotus radically retrofits to buttress his doctrine of univocity. Ultimate difference for Aristotle meant the last difference in a line of specific differences whereby all the preceding differences would be united into a single substance rather than remain a heapish multiplicity. LaZella argues that Scotus both broadens and deepens the term such that ...


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 ...


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 ...


Rampant Non-Factualism: A Metaphysical Framework And Its Treatment Of Vagueness, Alexander Jackson Dec 2018

Rampant Non-Factualism: A Metaphysical Framework And Its Treatment Of Vagueness, Alexander Jackson

Alexander Jackson

Rampant non-factualism is the view that all non-fundamental matters are non-factual, in a sense inspired by Kit Fine (2001). The first half of this paper argues that if we take non-factualism seriously for any matters, such as morality, then we should take rampant non-factualism seriously. The second half of the paper argues that rampant non-factualism makes possible an attractive theory of vagueness. We can give non-factualist accounts of non-fundamental matters that nicely characterize the vagueness they manifest (if any). I suggest that such non-factualist theories dissolve philosophical puzzlement about vagueness. In particular, the approach implies that philosophers should not try ...


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 ...


Justifying A Standard Of Death, Michael Milhim Jan 2018

Justifying A Standard Of Death, Michael Milhim

Honors Projects

There are three major positions in the legal definition of death debate: the cardio-pulmonary standard, the whole-brain standard, and the higher-brain standard. Prominent arguments for each standard appeal to a theory of human persistence. I’ll contend that these arguments fail for two reasons: the metaphysical underpinnings of the arguments are not decisive, and even if they are decisive, they may not be the right policy to enact. The later of these is more practically important than the former.


Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof Jan 2018

Review Of Tsarnia Doyle, Nietzsche's Metaphysics Of The Will To Power: The Possibility Of Value, Justin Remhof

Philosophy Faculty Publications

[First paragraph]

Tsarina Doyle's new book is required reading for those interested in Nietzsche's metaphysics, ethics, and metaethics. Doyle argues that for Nietzsche nihilism arises upon the recognition that our values are not objectively valid because they are not instantiated by a mind-independent world. Nietzsche responds to the threat of nihilism, according to Doyle, by developing will to power as a metaphysical view of reality. On this view, the world is constituted by mind-independent causal powers. For Doyle, Nietzsche believes values are metaphysically continuous with will to power because they are causal-dispositional properties of human drives. Will to ...


On The Knowledge Of God And The Metaphysics Of Aquinas, Tom Green Jan 2018

On The Knowledge Of God And The Metaphysics Of Aquinas, Tom Green

Aristos

Thomas Aquinas argues in his seminal work, the Summa Theologiae, that one can come to know the existence of God through rational argumentation alone. As a theologian writing a work of theology, he makes his demonstrations concerning God’s existence from the point of view of his Christian faith. And in this, it will be argued, Aquinas is not necessarily mistaken. For his project is to present a grand scheme of reality and man’s place within it. Philosophers have often tried the same, and, like Aquinas, their attempts have been made from a certain point of view. That, it ...


Aquinas’ De Malo And The Ostensibly Problematic Status Of Natural Evil As Privation, Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra Jan 2018

Aquinas’ De Malo And The Ostensibly Problematic Status Of Natural Evil As Privation, Iñaki Xavier Larrauri Pertierra

Aristos

Arguments concerning the nature of natural evil vary in their conclusions depending on the particular approach with which they commence inquiry; one of the most contested conclusions regards evil as privation, sourcing its justification primarily from Aquinas’ metaphysical conception of good as being and evil as non-being. It should be of no surprise, then, that the dismissal of natural evil’s privative nature comes about when the understanding of natural evil favours a phenomenological approach rather than a metaphysical one. Proponents of said dismissal generally centre their claims around the notion of pain and suffering as substantially contentful – as in ...


Gneiss, Nicholas Bias Jan 2018

Gneiss, Nicholas Bias

Honors Theses

GNEISS (pronounced nice) is a 23 min short film. It tells the story of Gneiss and his relocation. Gneiss after spending a nondescript amount of time at his grandmother's house in New Mexico moves with his mother, Mary, to a suburban home in Salem. During the trip Gneiss finds a stone he is inexplicably drawn to. Despite pleas from his emotionally distant mother to connect with him, he instead worships the stone. Missing class and isolating himself three weeks go by then Gneiss has an emotionally charged fight with his Mother about her leaving after his Dad died. As ...


Indispensability Arguments For Non-Existents., Jason Messerschmitt Jan 2018

Indispensability Arguments For Non-Existents., Jason Messerschmitt

Honors Theses at the University of Iowa

This essay is chiefly concerned with two fields of philosophy in which non-existent objects appear in indispensability claims for their existence, namely philosophy of mind and truthmaker theory. In the former, indispensability claims are derived from the apparent data of intentionality, understood as the mind’s direction upon objects. An intuitive survey of the apparent objects of thought will reveal an apparent array of non-existents, either coherent or incoherent. We may, for instance, apparently think of objects of fiction such as Sherlock Holmes or Pegasus, to name some famous examples from the literature. We may also apparently think of objects ...


Meaning And Modality, Jesse Fitts Jan 2018

Meaning And Modality, Jesse Fitts

Doctoral Dissertations

I intended to write four papers whose topics faintly concerned separate issues in meaning and modality. As it turned out, chapters 1-3 all roughly concern the same topic: propositions. While I argue for two different theses in chapters 1 and 2, I try to understand the changing propositions literature in both. In addition to arguing for the respective theses in chapters 1 and 2, accounting for this change is a parallel goal for the chapters taken together. Chapter 3 examines particular propositional roles---the objects of the attitudes and the objects of credence. Finally, chapter 4 changes the subject to the ...


In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang Jan 2018

In The Mind Of The Machine, Marcia Yang

CMC Senior Theses

As technology becomes more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important to understand how we should ethically use technology. One question within this area of study is whether we should treat certain types of technology, like artificial intelligence, with more respect. If we do owe these machines some sort of moral status, another question is what level of moral status they have. In order to answer these questions, I argue that machines can be considered as minds under the view of machine functionalism. A significant problem for machine functionalism is whether it can account for emotions within the system it suggests. First ...


Tian As Cosmos In Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism, Stephen C. Angle Dec 2017

Tian As Cosmos In Zhu Xi's Neo-Confucianism, Stephen C. Angle

Stephen C. Angle


Tian” is central to the metaphysics, cosmology, and ethics of the eight-hundred-year-long Chinese philosophical tradition we call “Neo-Confucianism,” but there is considerable confusion over what tian means—confusion which is exacerbated by its standard translation into English as “Heaven.” This essay analyzes the meaning of tian in the works of the most influential Neo-Confucian, Zhu Xi (1130-1200), presents a coherent interpretation that unifies the disparate aspects of the term’s meaning, and argues that “cosmos” does an excellent job of capturing this meaning, and therefore should be adopted as our translation of tian.


Ordinary Disorder, Jonathan S. Tracy Dec 2017

Ordinary Disorder, Jonathan S. Tracy

School of Arts & Sciences Theses

The pictorial spaces in my paintings are found through many drawings, based on memories. In these drawings I use the architectural technique of paraline drawing, in pointed contrast to one or two point perspective. With a fixed point of view unavailable, the viewer or reader becomes the writer too. This is what I intend. The paraline method also engages specific corners of art history to which I relate, including woodblock prints of Japanese interiors, Chinese brush painting landscapes with houses, and the shifting, rotating perspectives found in Baroque painting. My intensely personal memories/drawings are transfused into highly material finished ...


Scientifically Responsible Metaphysics: A Program For The Naturalization Of Metaphysics, Amanda Bryant Sep 2017

Scientifically Responsible Metaphysics: A Program For The Naturalization Of Metaphysics, Amanda Bryant

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

There has been much recent work calling for the naturalization of metaphysics, including most famously James Ladyman and Don Ross’ polemic, Every Thing Must Go. But much work remains to adequately articulate and motivate the call to naturalize metaphysics. My dissertation contributes to that work. Its central questions are: What relationship should metaphysics have to current science? Must good metaphysics be responsive to current science, and if so, how? Why should metaphysics be naturalized and what should its naturalization consist in?

I argue, first, that for that for epistemic purposes, as opposed to heuristic or pragmatic purposes, theories should be ...


The Tao Te Ching [Laozi] /Lao-Tzu Metaphysics (What Is Existence?), A. Amon Greene Sep 2017

The Tao Te Ching [Laozi] /Lao-Tzu Metaphysics (What Is Existence?), A. Amon Greene

Access*: Interdisciplinary Journal of Student Research and Scholarship

As Chinese philosophies enter the global marketplace, Taoist ideas are emerging with greater frequency. In order to make Zhou Dynastic Taoist ideas accessible to Western acculturated readers a more conventionally “Western” examination of a key Taoist text the "Tao te ching/Dao de jing" by Lao Tzu/Laozi is presented in this paper. I examine the foundational metaphysics presented in the Tao te ching. Lao Tzu contends that the Tao transcends all conditions, all conceptualization and naming, presenting an inherent conundrum. I argue that by evoking a-rational and experiential discourse the Tao te ching attempts to impart impressions of The ...


Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager, Matthew T. Segall Sep 2017

Retrieving Realism: A Whiteheadian Wager, Matthew T. Segall

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

This essay argues that the organic realism of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) provides a viable alternative to anti-realist tendencies in modern and postmodern philosophy since Descartes. The metaphysical merits of Whitehead’s philosophy of organism are unpacked in conversation with Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Taylor’s recent book Retrieving Realism (2015). Like Dreyfus and Taylor, Whitehead’s philosophical project was motivated by a desire to heal the modern epistemic wound separating soul from world in order to put human consciousness back into meaningful contact with reality. While Dreyfus and Taylor’s book succeeds in articulating the problem cogently, its still ...


The Return Of Perennial Perspectives? Why Transpersonal Psychology Should Remain Open To Essentialism, Steve Taylor Sep 2017

The Return Of Perennial Perspectives? Why Transpersonal Psychology Should Remain Open To Essentialism, Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In reply to Hartelius’s (2016) response to my paper “From Philosophy to Phenomenology: The Argument for a ‘Soft’ Perennialism” (Taylor, 2016a), I provide arguments in support of my model from contemporary scholars of mysticism, who advocate a move from a philosophically-based perennialism to a phenomenologically-based essentialism. This discussion illustrates that perennialist perspectives are far from outmoded. I discuss the metaphysical aspects of my model, suggesting that there is no reason why transpersonal psychology should not address metaphysical issues, as long as they are secondary to phenomenological issues, and as long as they are based on evidence rather than wholly ...


Keeping The Account Open: On Metaphysical Mistrust In Transpersonal Psychology (A Response To Hartelius, 2017), Steve Taylor Sep 2017

Keeping The Account Open: On Metaphysical Mistrust In Transpersonal Psychology (A Response To Hartelius, 2017), Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

In response to Hartelius (2017), I suggest that the evidence for perennialism or essentialism can be tested, and is publicly accessible, through engagement with the spiritual practices that have given rise to cross-cultural mystical experiences with common characteristics. This suggests that essentialism could be included in transpersonal psychology (and psychology in general). I suggest that there is no reason why transpersonal psychology should exclude metaphysical claims, as long as they are inferred or implied by research and evidence, explicitly stated and viewed as secondary. It is impossible to avoid metaphysics, and it is important for transpersonal psychologists (and all psychologists ...


Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius Sep 2017

Taylor’S Soft Perennialism: Psychology Or New Age Spiritual Vision?, Glenn Hartelius

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

Taylor has responded to critiques of his soft perennialism model in relationship to what he has called awakening experiences. The fact that some individuals have this type of experience away from the context of religion or spirituality, according to soft perennialism, is explained by a sort of landscape of experience representing the diverse ways in which one may engage with and experience this essential beingness. While this inspiring vision could possibly be true, just as numerous other speculations about ultimate reality might be true; however, the evidence advanced in support of soft perennialism notion is not valid in the context ...


Moving Beyond Materialism: Can Transpersonal Psychology Contribute To Cultural Transformation?, Steve Taylor Sep 2017

Moving Beyond Materialism: Can Transpersonal Psychology Contribute To Cultural Transformation?, Steve Taylor

International Journal of Transpersonal Studies

The issue of whether it is possible to separate science and metaphysics is discussed, with reference to William James and the writings of quantum physicists. The metaphysical framework of scientific materialism is analysed and some of its key assumptions are identified. It is suggested that these assumptions are becoming increasingly untenable, as is evident by the advocacy of post-materialist science by some contemporary scientists. The main appeal of transpersonal psychology to students and practitioners is arguably its lack of allegiance to a materialist metaphysics. Rather than allying itself to the metaphysical paradigm of naturalistic science or attempting to bracket out ...


Grounding, Causation And The Unity Of Ontological Structure, Thomas Kivatinos Sep 2017

Grounding, Causation And The Unity Of Ontological Structure, Thomas Kivatinos

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Unity is enchanting. That is, it is an enchanting idea that although reality seems to be fragmented in various ways, this apparent fragmentation belies a fundamental unity. This dissertation is an attempt at theoretically capturing such unity via the theoretical unification of causation and grounding. And this unification supports another: the unification of reality’s causal structure and reality’s hierarchical structure.

To propose a unification of causation and grounding, I employ a common conception of grounding on which grounding is understood as a dependence relation. On this conception, if the Xs ground the Ys, then the existence ...


Public Artifacts, Empirical Vulnerability And Descriptive Metaphysics, Blake Davenport Jul 2017

Public Artifacts, Empirical Vulnerability And Descriptive Metaphysics, Blake Davenport

Theses

Herein I argue that Amie Thomasson’s account of public artifacts is empirically vulnerable. I first identify the descriptive claims that feature in Thomasson’s argument and then outline an experimental framework in which the accuracy of those claims can be evaluated. I conclude with some brief remarks on the possible implications of my approach for Thomasson’s account, and some thoughts on whether an experimental approach to evaluating projects in descriptive metaphysics might be valuable more broadly.


Omnipotence In A Physical World, Lanéa Pearson May 2017

Omnipotence In A Physical World, Lanéa Pearson

Student Honors Theses By Year

The aim of this project is to answer the following question: “is omnipotence possible?” I am not concerned with questions addressing the existence of this being, but rather if a being can possess the property of omnipotence in a physically possible world. Aquinas was determined to understand God is a way that was compatible with the physics of his time. However, in this thesis I have shown that the conception of God which Aquinas defends in his Summa Theologica is not compatible with today’s fundamental physics. Once the incompatibility was made clear, I formulated a set of necessary ...


Playing-With The World: Toy Story's Aesthetics And Metaphysics Of Play, Jonathan Hendricks Mar 2017

Playing-With The World: Toy Story's Aesthetics And Metaphysics Of Play, Jonathan Hendricks

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

Pixar’s Toy Story (John Lassiter, 1995) is not just a story about toys and the children that play with them, but a demonstration of how we interact with the world. This thesis looks at the way in which both main children, Andy and Sid, interact with their toys and how this interaction is one that is structured by way of what Martin Heidegger calls “Enframing.” In this modality of playing, toys and other things and entities in the world, and the world itself, appear to the children as on-hand resources for use at any time and can be molded ...


Human-Nonhuman Chimeras, Ontology, And Dignity: A Constructivist Approach To The Ethics Of Conducting Research On Cross-Species Hybrids, Jonathan M. Vajda Jan 2017

Human-Nonhuman Chimeras, Ontology, And Dignity: A Constructivist Approach To The Ethics Of Conducting Research On Cross-Species Hybrids, Jonathan M. Vajda

The Hilltop Review

Developments in biological technology in the last few decades highlight the surprising and ever-expanding practical benefits of stem cells. With this progress, the possibility of combining human and nonhuman organisms is a reality, with ethical boundaries that are not readily obvious. These inter-species hybrids are of a larger class of biological entities called “chimeras.” As the concept of a human-nonhuman creature is conjured in our minds, either incredulous wonder or grotesque horror is likely to follow. This paper seeks to mitigate those worries and demotivate reasonable concerns raised against chimera research, all the while pressing current ethical positions toward their ...


Schelling's Ages Of The World: The Beginning Of The Beginning, Andrew Jussaume Jan 2017

Schelling's Ages Of The World: The Beginning Of The Beginning, Andrew Jussaume

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation traces the development of Schelling's philosophy of time as it appears in the Ages of the World, a work which Schelling himself never completed but which he clearly intended as his magnum opus. My project focuses on Schelling's claim that time is the absolute, a claim which grew out of his Naturphilosophie and which later served as the basis for his fruitful interactions with Kierkegaard in Berlin. In the dissertation, I defend the thesis that Schelling's concept of "beginnings" paves the way for an "organic" understanding of time which articulates the latter as a living ...


How To Understand The Debate Over Presentism And Eternalism, Travis Matthew Figg Jan 2017

How To Understand The Debate Over Presentism And Eternalism, Travis Matthew Figg

Wayne State University Dissertations

Presentism is the view that, with the possible exception of things outside of time, everything that exists, exists at the present time. It is contrasted with eternalism, the view that everything which ever did exist or ever will exist, exists. Some philosophers argue that presentism and eternalism are not really substantive, opposed metaphysical theses. I consider some attempts in the literature to rebut this skeptical position, and argue that they are unsatisfactory. Then I make my own case for the conclusion that presentism and eternalism are substantive metaphysical theses by drawing a distinction between two ways of talking about what ...