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Articles 1 - 30 of 651

Full-Text Articles in Metaphysics

Mentality And Fundamentality, Christopher D. Brown Sep 2019

Mentality And Fundamentality, Christopher D. Brown

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Extant well-considered problems with physicalism primarily come from two sources: philosophers of mind arguing that subjective experience does not fit into a physicalist world-picture, and metaphysicians trying to figure out the particular commitments of the view. I examine the thesis of physicalism in order to produce a clearer notion of the physical and to help straighten out physicalism’s entailments, while simultaneously providing a strategy for physicalists to sidestep well known anti-physicalist arguments concerning consciousness. This involves both a critical and a positive effort: on the critical side, I expose an issue with a popular way of understanding physicalism called ...


Yi-Jing Integral (Yi): A New Natural And Cosmic Ba-Gua, Harry Donkers Aug 2019

Yi-Jing Integral (Yi): A New Natural And Cosmic Ba-Gua, Harry Donkers

Comparative Philosophy

In this paper we elaborate on the neo-Confucian interpretation of the Yi-Jing system. Based on a further exploration of the Diagram of the Supreme Polarity of Zhou Dunyi, we develop a cosmological-anthropological model in constructive engagement with Western thoughts and views on systems and on the universe. The vital energy (qi) and the pattern (li) play central roles in this model and also in the interpretation of the images and forces of the trigrams. This leads to a comparative model, based on a quadrant system with four perspectives: naturality, rationality, humanity and morality. This model fits in the quadrant system ...


Setting The Stage And Building Homes: Architecture Metaphors And Space In Donne's First Caroline Sermon, Alexander S. Laws Aug 2019

Setting The Stage And Building Homes: Architecture Metaphors And Space In Donne's First Caroline Sermon, Alexander S. Laws

University of New Orleans Theses and Dissertations

Through his use of "foundation" and "house" metaphors in his "First Sermon Preached to King Charles at St. James, 3 April 1625," John Donne discreetly presents his ideologies and principles before the new king, while simultaneously criticizing his contemporaries' misguided bickering over religio-political factions. This essay seeks to unpack the history surrounding, as well as the casuistical logic found within Donne's first sermon preached during the Caroline period, which both explicitly and implicitly addresses the foremost anxieties of the people of the changing age.


Divine Simplicity As A Necessary Condition For Affirming Creation Ex Nihilo, Chance Juliano Aug 2019

Divine Simplicity As A Necessary Condition For Affirming Creation Ex Nihilo, Chance Juliano

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Proponents of the Doctrine of Divine Simplicity (DDS) have frequently argued that God must lack any temporal, physical, or metaphysical composition on the grounds that God’s existence would be dependent upon God’s parts. This avenue of discourse has been tried and trod so often that most detractors of DDS find it insufficient to demonstrate DDS. Additionally, objectors to DDS have often rejected the doctrine on the count of the heap of metaphysical (often Aristotelian or Neoplatonist) assumptions that one must make before one can even arrive at DDS. Within this essay I will offer an argument for DDS ...


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 ...


Hacking The Extended Mind: The Security Implications Of The New Metaphysics, Robin L. Zebrowski May 2019

Hacking The Extended Mind: The Security Implications Of The New Metaphysics, Robin L. Zebrowski

Computer Ethics - Philosophical Enquiry (CEPE) Proceedings

Computer security expert Paul Syverson has argued that there is a computer security equivalent of gaslighting: where a clever adversary could convince some system that some component that is not really a part of the system is in fact a part of the system. If non-biological items from our environments (or even pieces of our environments themselves) can be part of our minds (the standard Extended Mind hypothesis, EM), they are therefore part of our selves, and therefore subject to Syverson’s worry about boundary in a way that has not been explored before. If some version of EM holds ...


Rethinking Algorithmic Bias Through Phenomenology And Pragmatism, Johnathan C. Flowers May 2019

Rethinking Algorithmic Bias Through Phenomenology And Pragmatism, Johnathan C. Flowers

Computer Ethics - Philosophical Enquiry (CEPE) Proceedings

In 2017, Amazon discontinued an attempt at developing a hiring algorithm which would enable the company to streamline its hiring processes due to apparent gender discrimination. Specifically, the algorithm, trained on over a decade’s worth of resumes submitted to Amazon, learned to penalize applications that contained references to women, that indicated graduation from all women’s colleges, or otherwise indicated that an applicant was not male. Amazon’s algorithm took up the history of Amazon’s applicant pool and integrated it into its present “problematic situation,” for the purposes of future action. Consequently, Amazon declared the project a failure ...


Commission Of Two Narratives Of The Psyche: Reading Poqéakh In Nella Larsen’S Quicksand And Ralph Ellison’S Invisible Man, Genuyah S. Reuven May 2019

Commission Of Two Narratives Of The Psyche: Reading Poqéakh In Nella Larsen’S Quicksand And Ralph Ellison’S Invisible Man, Genuyah S. Reuven

Electronic Theses & Dissertations Collection for Atlanta University & Clark Atlanta University

This study focuses on the novels of Quicksand by Nella Larsen and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison to explore the phenomenon of poqéakh (פֹּקֵחַ) through the fictionalized lived experiences of their protagonists, Helga Crane and invisible man. Each novelist’s representation of poqéakh offers a portrait of the protagonists’ psyches. The narratives reveal an unsettling truth for the protagonists, who are members of a population often targeted, stigmatized, and fashioned or re-fashioned by Americans and various environs in American society, that they must assimilate—not only their bodies, but their psyches too to fit the “white man’s ...


A Critical Analysis Of The Metaphysics Of Limit And Unlimited In Plato's Philebus, Ashley Lascano May 2019

A Critical Analysis Of The Metaphysics Of Limit And Unlimited In Plato's Philebus, Ashley Lascano

Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

This paper examines several key passages within Plato’s Philebus and analyses the underlying metaphysics that exists at the heart of the dialogue. Plato implements the metaphysics in the dialogue by utilizing the terminology of “the limit” and “the unlimited”. This paper examines the Pythagorean origins of the limit and unlimited and depicts how Plato has adapted the terms from their original intent. The Philebus is examined to show the metaphysical importance of the limit and unlimited. The dialogue displays an example of the metaphysics of the limit and the unlimited through the debate between pleasure and intelligence, which is ...


Basic-Acceptance Teleosemantics, Esteban Withrington May 2019

Basic-Acceptance Teleosemantics, Esteban Withrington

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

I propose an approach to naturalize semantics that combines the use-theory of meaning with teleosemantics. More specifically, I combine Horwich’s claim that the meanings of words are engendered by the acceptance of basic sentences that govern their deployment with the teleosemantic model, developed by Millikan, Papineau and Neander, according to which the meanings of symbols are related to functions determined by the history of their use and of the underlying biological mechanisms responsible for it.

Horwich’s account is general enough to offer plausible explanations of the meanings of all kinds of words and provides a plausible explanation of ...


Queerness, Witchcraft, And Embodied Presence: Aesthetic Knowings Of What A Body Can Do, Megan Bigelow May 2019

Queerness, Witchcraft, And Embodied Presence: Aesthetic Knowings Of What A Body Can Do, Megan Bigelow

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Taking as a point of entry the critique of representation and affirming the limitations of the cuts that language makes, this capstone project explores the imbrications and assemblages between Foucault’s concept of subjugated knowledges, witchcraft and other body-based ways of knowing and being, and the consciousness of non-human forms such as plants and through the framework of non-representational theory, process philosophies, aesthetics, queerness, and the concept of difference itself.

Since such theories themselves are living, breathing entities, this capstone project explores the ideological split that has occurred between sacred and secular beliefs, moving through different figures such as nuns ...


What's Left Of Gender?: The Metaphysics Of Woman, Man, And Non-Binary Identities, Nina Kamangar Apr 2019

What's Left Of Gender?: The Metaphysics Of Woman, Man, And Non-Binary Identities, Nina Kamangar

Creative Activity and Research Day - CARD

There is a gender revolution underway. Progressive movements urge acceptance of transgender and non-binary gender identities apart from the male or female designations assigned at birth. Surrounding this, there has been confusion about what gender is and what it means to identify with one. Some accuse new perspectives on gender to be incoherent. Others support this movement, but acknowledge gender as an inherently restrictive concept to eventually be abolished. Is it true that genders are becoming empty categories, or can something be salvaged? I offer a pro-revolutionary theory of gender that is inclusive of these new identities while remaining intelligible.


Being And Action: A Metaphysical-Ethical Analysis Of St. Thomas And Friedrich Nietzsche, John Cooney Apr 2019

Being And Action: A Metaphysical-Ethical Analysis Of St. Thomas And Friedrich Nietzsche, John Cooney

Carroll College Student Undergraduate Research Festival

In this paper, I seek to identify the applicability of the theorem that we only ever act in accord with how we perceive things to be—generally viewed as self-evident until the advent of modernity—to Saint Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and to Friedrich Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals. More specifically, I seek to determine the relationship between these author’s metaphysical presuppositions (or lack thereof) and their respective ethical theories which differ in both content and aim. More generally, I ask: what can the differences in these authors’ metaphysical and ethical beliefs teach us about what we ...


The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith Apr 2019

The Moral Argument, Existential Problems Of Evil, And A Non-Existential Alternative, Jonathan Smith

Senior Honors Theses

Within this paper, it is shown that certain ethical assumptions are implicit within the claim that certain kinds of evil exist. When taken in tandem with the moral argument for the existence of God, these assumptions can be arranged in such a way as to provide a contradiction. To avoid this contradiction, I posit a non-existential alternative to direct inductive arguments from evil, but the non-existential alternative gives rise to novel objections. When considering their respective ethical implications, both the existential and non-existential variations of direct inductive arguments fail. Since any direct inductive problem of evil must be either existential ...


How To Distinguish Qualities And Dispositions, Seth Reed Apr 2019

How To Distinguish Qualities And Dispositions, Seth Reed

Theses

There is an intuitive difference between a qualitative and a dispositional predicate. Qualitative predicates seemingly refer to inherent features of an object, while dispositional predicates point outward to possible interactions. Attempts to further spell this distinction have proven difficult, however. Past approaches have either started from metaphysical assumptions or compared paradigmatic cases of each side-by-side. In this paper I offer a new approach to solving this puzzle. Starting with a qualitative or dispositional predicate of a property, we can examine how that differs from a predicate of the other kind that applies, in virtue of that property, to the same ...


Dog Breed Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Interpreted Through A Lockean Perspective, Xavier S. Higa Apr 2019

Dog Breed Classification Using Convolutional Neural Networks: Interpreted Through A Lockean Perspective, Xavier S. Higa

Senior Theses

The problem of fine-grained classification is one in which traditionally humans have fared better than computers. Only recently, with the advent of complex Machine Learning techniques, we have seen systems that can compete with or beat humans at this problem. In this work, we trained two Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) on the Stanford Dogs dataset and made them recognize dog breeds. We also analyzed the response maps of the CNNs with the aim of determining which breed-specific features the networks had learned in order to classify the images. Upon obtaining these features, we attempted to gain an insight into them ...


On The Divergence Of Schopenhauerian And Schweitzerian Ethics-Of-Will, Bryce Herndon Apr 2019

On The Divergence Of Schopenhauerian And Schweitzerian Ethics-Of-Will, Bryce Herndon

Undergraduate Honors Theses

I attempt to understand the cause of divergence between the ethical philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer and Albert Schweitzer, both of whom belong to a meta-ethical school dubbed "ethics-of-will." Ethics-of-will is that subset of moral thought which advocates moral action on the basis of the metaphysical propositions that the world is Will and all that exists to human perception is representation of the Will. Schweitzer and Schopenhauer fall into this school, yet advocate radically different ethics, such that Schweitzer may be considered an optimist advocating ethics which seek life- and world-affirmation and Schopenhauer may be considered a pessimist advocating ethics which ...


Thesis/Thesis Document 2, Jessamyn Plotts Apr 2019

Thesis/Thesis Document 2, Jessamyn Plotts

Art Theses and Dissertations

Thesis/thesis document 2 explores the subversive power of the painted image, made by a physical performative act. Such acts are not confined to the production of the art object, but expand across the landscape, involving the minds, bodies, and things of culture adjacent to the making process. Following the thinking of Maurice-Merleau Ponty, Thesis/thesis document 2 understands painting not as the container of a finite, legible message, but as a physical platform for the conveyance of perceptual, personal, and experiential ambiguity. Made in this way, painted images offer a powerful alternative to the proliferation of propaganda and advertisement ...


Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck Mar 2019

Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck

History Undergraduate Theses

This paper applies letters, journals, history interviews, government-company contracts, international treaties, theological works, and images to examine the convergence of Russian Orthodox Christianity and Alaskan Indigenous shamanism cultures to explicate the harmonizing of an Indigenous multicultural Christian faith in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska. Central to this examination is the evaluation of effects of Orthodox Christian missiology on native Alaskans and the Indigenous religio-cultural response to Russian missionaries. Not merely a historical overview of contact between natives and missionaries in Russian Alaska, this paper harmonizes the commonality of cosmology between native Alaskan shamanism and Orthodox Christianity. It analyzes the impacts of comparatively ...


In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker Mar 2019

In Celebration Of Notebooks (December 2018) By Schubert M. Ogden: Avoiding The Partialist Fallacy In Theology, Especially In Liberation Theology, Theodore Walker

Perkins Faculty Research and Special Events

As an ethicist, and especially a theological ethicist, and more especially as a liberation theologian, what I most appreciate about Schubert M. Ogden’s “revisionary theology”* is his appreciation of Charles Hartshorne’s neoclassical theology, including especially panentheism (all-in-theos-ism), and his insistence that such appreciation is essential to adequately formulated theology and ethics, including liberation theology. And insofar as Ogden is contributing something essential to liberation theology, he might be called a neoclassical liberation theologian, or at least a wanna-be-helpful neoclassical theologian.


Recapture, Transparency, Negation And A Logic For The Catuṣkoṭi, Adrian Kreutz Jan 2019

Recapture, Transparency, Negation And A Logic For The Catuṣkoṭi, Adrian Kreutz

Comparative Philosophy

The recent literature on Nāgārjuna’s catuṣkoṭi centres around Jay Garfield’s (2009) and Graham Priest’s (2010) interpretation. It is an open discussion to what extent their interpretation is an adequate model of the logic for the catuskoti, and the Mūla-madhyamaka-kārikā. Priest and Garfield try to make sense of the contradictions within the catuskoti by appeal to a series of lattices – orderings of truth-values, supposed to model the path to enlightenment. They use Anderson & Belnaps's (1975) framework of First Degree Entailment. Cotnoir (2015) has argued that the lattices of Priest and Garfield cannot ...


Sino-African Philosophy: A Re-“Constructive Engagement”, Paul A. Dottin Jan 2019

Sino-African Philosophy: A Re-“Constructive Engagement”, Paul A. Dottin

Comparative Philosophy

“Constructive-Engagement” is a meta-philosophical and meta-methodological “strategy” suggested by Chinese and comparative philosophy scholar Bo Mou for analyzing and enriching philosophical exchange. In this paper, I will use this strategy towards an end, on a scale, and with a topic not attempted before. I will use it as a “template” for redesigning a poorly developing area of cross-cultural comparison I call Sino-African reflective studies (SARS). My goal in this work-in-progress is to design a plan for reconstituting SARS as Sino-African philosophy (SAP), an inclusive yet coherent field of research and innovation unified through organizing principles. I will design the overhaul ...


Apophatic Community: Yannaras On Relational Being, Fred Dallmayr Jan 2019

Apophatic Community: Yannaras On Relational Being, Fred Dallmayr

Comparative Philosophy

For Martin Heidegger the story of Western philosophy ended basically in egocentrism or the metaphysics of “subjectivity”; however, he acknowledged the possibility of another path in Greece: that of pre-Socratic thinking. Yet, there is a further path he did not acknowledge: the tradition of Orthodox philosophy and theology. The paper focuses on some key works of the prominent contemporary Greek philosopher Christos Yannaras, for a long time professor in Athens. Taking over the notions of “Being” and ontology, Yannaras construes them (with Heidegger) not as ontic “substances” amenable to epistemic knowledge, but as guideposts to “relational” or participatory experience. His ...


Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile Jan 2019

Mackie's Arguement For The Infinite Man, Abigail J. Basile

Quaerens Deum: The Liberty Undergraduate Journal for Philosophy of Religion

Theists and non-theists alike have toiled with the characteristics of the Judeo-Christian God and how they may or may not be contradictory with the existence of evil. Some philosophers, such as J. L. Mackie, have decided that God and evil cannot coexist, mainly because the existence of evil means that any God is unable to keep evil and suffering away from His beloved creation, and such a limited God is no God at all. But Mackie’s argument rests on flawed foundation. Mankind is necessarily finite because even the infinite God cannot do the logically impossible and create the infinite ...


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 ...


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 ...


Existential Inertia, Paul Audi Jan 2019

Existential Inertia, Paul Audi

Philosophic Exchange

To all appearances, the basic building blocks of reality tend to keep existing unless something intervenes to destroy them. In other words, basic things seem to have existential inertia. But why might this be? This paper considers a number of arguments for and against existential inertia. It discusses arguments inspired by Aquinas, Descartes, and Spinoza, as well as considerations deriving from Occam’s Razor, entropy, and certain views about the nature of time and change.


Lifetime, Emily E. Kuchenbecker Jan 2019

Lifetime, Emily E. Kuchenbecker

Theses and Dissertations

Time is my bully. Time marks the start of something, as well as the end. We are all carrying out the inexorable passing of time as it relates to our impending mortalities.

I do not fear death.

The awareness of my body’s impermanence employs me to feel that much more connected to the vessel containing that of which I am.

But what am I? Am I my body- or is it much deeper?

Through the work executed during my graduate research, I have attempted to quantify my existence through the archiving my time and body. This document ushers you ...


Developing A Counterfactual Comparative Account Of Harming By Omission, Rebecca Mullen Jan 2019

Developing A Counterfactual Comparative Account Of Harming By Omission, Rebecca Mullen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The goal of this paper is to defend the counterfactual, comparative account of harm by developing an account of when an omission harms someone. Intuitively, it seems as though omissions on the part of moral agents do sometimes count as a harm against someone else, as when a parent fails to feed their child. There are also other cases in which denying that an omission causes harm seems more natural, such as cases involving agents who could not have done otherwise or for whom acting to prevent the harm would be supererogatory. I examine several possible candidates for explaining the ...


Moral Praiseworthiness And Blameworthiness And The Free Will Debate, Conor Lutgen Jan 2019

Moral Praiseworthiness And Blameworthiness And The Free Will Debate, Conor Lutgen

Undergraduate Honors Theses

In this paper I aim to show that we do not have free will (regardless of the truth of determinism), and that we therefore do not have moral responsibility for our actions. However, I also argue that we can still live coherent moral lives in such a world, and that such a view does not commit me to skepticism about morality. I do this by distinguishing between moral responsibility and moral praiseworthiness/blameworthiness, and arguing that the latter is sufficient for moral action and evaluation.