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Equipmentality As A Pharmakon, Sherif Khalil 2024 American University in Cairo

Equipmentality As A Pharmakon, Sherif Khalil

Theses and Dissertations

One must lose the world to know himself, if in his attempt to know the world he lost himself.

In this thesis, I argue that equipment is a pharmakon in that its harm lies in the service it is supposed to provide. Through equipment one gets to have a practical sense of the world. But, the world in this sense is a world for everyone and for no one in particular, that is, it is made to the measure of the average person who has no aspirations to realize his authenticity. That is how equipment helps us practically make sense …


Consciousness And Physicalism, Brian McGowan 2024 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Consciousness And Physicalism, Brian Mcgowan

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Physicalism is a philosophy of mind which attempts to explain consciousness as resulting from physical causes. The lack of a complete and consistent mathematical theory to explain physical causation has led other philosophers of mind to propose that consciousness is a nonphysical essence, property, or substance. However, the idea that physics can be defined atomically and/or deterministically leads to explanatory problems for consciousness, as well as for the dualisms which explain consciousness under these assumptions. This thesis advances a position called “continuous physicalism” which takes all material to result from deformations in the physical medium of space, and any changes …


Searching For The Hyperobject: Crystals As Transscalar Vehicles, Jay Costello 2024 Rhode Island School of Design

Searching For The Hyperobject: Crystals As Transscalar Vehicles, Jay Costello

Masters Theses

When I touch the street outside my house, I'm touching Los Angeles—a contiguous vector of material bisecting a continent. A slab, a stone, dust and oil, a googolplex of tightly packed anisotropic particles... At nightfall, I sneak to the edge of the highway and break off a piece. 'What does it mean for a worm to be aware of the scale of the planet?' Bruno Latour's evocative questioning of scalar jumps prompts an existentialism that places me somewhere between the hyperlocal and the massively distributed. Like a cosmic traveler floating through the universe, I feel adrift. I look around, grasping …


Mythos And Meaning: Medieval Appropriations Of Mythological Types In The Consolation Of Philosophy And Later Western Literatures, Francis J. Hunter 2024 Seton Hall University

Mythos And Meaning: Medieval Appropriations Of Mythological Types In The Consolation Of Philosophy And Later Western Literatures, Francis J. Hunter

Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs)

Often referred to as the last Roman and first medieval, Boethius, author of The Consolation of Philosophy, has been widely received as an unoriginal philosopher who sought to preserve Platonic thought as the Western Roman Empire fell. However, this essay features an investigation into the literary originality of Boethius who initiates a line of Christian and Platonic literatures to follow in the medieval European tradition. Boethius demonstrates himself to be a poet who makes great use of philosophy rather than as a philosopher writing poetry. Boethius’ poetic influence is felt most strongly in major aspects of Dante’s Divine Comedy and …


Seeing Is Believing: Observing Trans Spirituality Through The Smith-Waite Tarot, Phoebe Santalla 2024 Washington University in St. Louis

Seeing Is Believing: Observing Trans Spirituality Through The Smith-Waite Tarot, Phoebe Santalla

MFA in Illustration & Visual Culture

In 1909 the Rider Company published the Smith-Waite Tarot deck which featured 78 illustrated cards by Pamela Colman Smith. With heavy use of appropriated and ambiguous symbology, the Smith-Waite deck became a meditation tool for realizing alternative realities. By observing the history of the deck, analyzing Smith’s approach to illustration, and retracing the counterculture occult explosion in the 1970s, this essay argues that the Smith-Waite deck is an object the reflects the queered body and self. The modern, trans-contentious, Western political climate creates an environment that obscures the fact that transgender people exist beyond the medicalization of their bodies. To …


Determinism & Free Will: An Exploration On Gender Identity As Evidence For Compatibilism, Daniel Mangandi-Escobar 2024 University of Northern Colorado

Determinism & Free Will: An Exploration On Gender Identity As Evidence For Compatibilism, Daniel Mangandi-Escobar

Undergraduate Honors Theses

Determinism is a philosophical concept asserting that every event and action in the universe has been determined by previous causes, which has caused considerable debate within philosophy. Two critical issues within this discussion are the implications of determinism for human agency and moral responsibility. In this work, I argue that free ill is possible, rejecting hard determinism. Specifically, I will be arguing in favor of compatibilism, which is the view that free will can exist even within a deterministic world. From this perspective, free will is not opposed to determinism. Instead, our choices and actions can still be considered free …


Philosophy Of 'As If': Contemporary Applications And Defense, Ryan Kopelman 2024 William & Mary

Philosophy Of 'As If': Contemporary Applications And Defense, Ryan Kopelman

Undergraduate Honors Theses

This thesis applies Hans Vaihinger’s Philosophy of ‘As If’, published originally in 1924, onto contemporary philosophical debate. Section 1 develops Vaihinger’s axiom of the evolutionary mind and his conception of logic and fiction. Section 2 further examines Vaihinger’s system of fictions and its metaphysical and epistemological implications. Sections 3-5 apply Vaihinger’s Philosophy of ‘As If’ towards the contemporary debate surrounding ethics. In sections 3-5 I point towards the presence, and use, of fictions within contemporary accounts of God, causation, free will, the self, and morality. Finally, in section 6 I raise potential objections to Vaihinger’s view and attempt to defend …


Biological Teleology In The Modern World, Kathryn Siena 2024 University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Biological Teleology In The Modern World, Kathryn Siena

Honors Theses

In humans, the heart moves blood through the body. Does the heart therefore have a teleological explanation? Aristotelian teleology (described in Aristotle’s Physics) is the cause-for-the-sake-of-which, or the end towards which something moves. It is evident from current scientific knowledge that there is some sort of orientation of organisms toward an end. This orientation, following Aristotle’s definition of teleology, is conceptually distinct from efficient causation. This orientation is also metaphysically distinct from efficient causation because efficient causal explanations do not properly describe the orientation. However, two common ways of describing teleological explanations imply efficient causation as a metaphysical element. …


Abortion: Analysis Of The Bioethical And Metaphysical Standpoint, Lauren Kovarick 2024 Ursinus College

Abortion: Analysis Of The Bioethical And Metaphysical Standpoint, Lauren Kovarick

Richard T. Schellhase Essay Prize in Ethics

The antagonistic relationship between a mother and their unborn child creates the controversial topic of abortion. With massive moral implications and consequences associated, education on the laws and reasoning is significant to determine the direction of society. To analyze the ethics of abortion, the bioethical and metaphysical debate must be considered. With the former, the four principles of bioethics are used in healthcare practice to break down an ethical concern. On the metaphysical side, the life-status and rights of the fetus are acknowledged. With this topic, it is important not to argue in favor of one position, but instead have …


Western Science And Eastern Zen To Seek The Origin Of Truth: Philosophical Background Of Scale Modeling, Kozo Saito 2024 University of Kentucky

Western Science And Eastern Zen To Seek The Origin Of Truth: Philosophical Background Of Scale Modeling, Kozo Saito

Progress in Scale Modeling, an International Journal

This article was written to introduce philosophical background of scale modeling, where Zen philosophy was applied to overcome the limitation of logical thinking and hypotheses-driven deductive science. Three specific reasons are as follows. The first is related to the law approach in scale modeling; it uses the kufu principle, originated in Zen Buddhism, together with the other three scientific methods: experimental, theoretical, and computational. The second reason is because scale modeling seeks relativistic understanding by attempting to realize similarity; the concept is closer to Eastern philosophy rather than absolute understanding cultivated by deductive science. The third is in the educational …


Of Method: A Propaedeutic To Coleridge's Prose Works, Michael A. Granger 2024 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

Of Method: A Propaedeutic To Coleridge's Prose Works, Michael A. Granger

Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Coleridge’s prose works, published and unpublished, demonstrate a thorough and critical testing and understanding of British and German philosophical responses to skepticism and the ability of philosophy to progress by maintaining a double-minded and conflicted suture of both the practical or imaginative eclipse of knowledge and theorizing the hypothetical epistemological absolute that explains the relativity of facticity. Any inadequate method of inquiry stagnates within attempting a purely figurative or purely demonstrative solution to skepticism. Thus, the appropriate way to approach Coleridge’s understanding of philosophy is the struggle to make inquiry adequate though progression. Coleridge’s methodological impulse originates explicitly in a …


Eternal You, John C. Lyden 2024 University of Nebraska Omaha

Eternal You, John C. Lyden

Journal of Religion & Film

This is a film review of Eternal You (2023), directed by Hans Block and Moritz Riesewieck.


Book Review On Kyoto School Philosophy In Comparative Perspective: Ideology, Ontology, Modernity (By Bernard Stevens), Dennis STROMBACK 2024 San Jose State University

Book Review On Kyoto School Philosophy In Comparative Perspective: Ideology, Ontology, Modernity (By Bernard Stevens), Dennis Stromback

Comparative Philosophy

No abstract provided.


A Madhyamaka Critique Of Jaegwon Kim's Supervenience Argument, Tyler J. JUNGBAUER 2024 San Jose State University

A Madhyamaka Critique Of Jaegwon Kim's Supervenience Argument, Tyler J. Jungbauer

Comparative Philosophy

Jaegwon Kim’s supervenience argument objects to the possibility of emergent causation (both downward and same-level) based on both (1) the causal overdetermination of both (a) higher-level emergent events and (b) lower-level basal events, and (2) the causal closure principle of the physical domain. Kim argues that emergent causation entails epiphenomenalism. Madhyamaka Buddhist philosophy skeptically critiques the primary (ultimate) existence of causal phenomena and instead suggests that all such phenomena may only be secondarily (conventionally) existent. Mādhyamikas acknowledge that, conventionally, emergent phenomena appear to cause both basal phenomena and other emergent phenomena. However, contra Kim, Mādhyamikas doubt that causal relations ultimately …


Logos-Sophia, Elliott Norman, Donald Wayne Viney, Keith Elliott Perkins, Addyson Kay Campbell, Hunter Hinds, Scott Squires 2024 Pittsburg State University

Logos-Sophia, Elliott Norman, Donald Wayne Viney, Keith Elliott Perkins, Addyson Kay Campbell, Hunter Hinds, Scott Squires

LOGOS-SOPHIA: The Journal of the PSU Philosophical Society

Logos-Sophia, Volume 17, Spring 2024. The Journal of the Pittsburg State University Philosophical Society has largely been a student publication with occasional faculty contribution


The Standing Of Anger: Insights From The Debate(S) On Constructed Emotion, Andrew Holzer 2024 Claremont McKenna College

The Standing Of Anger: Insights From The Debate(S) On Constructed Emotion, Andrew Holzer

CMC Senior Theses

In her book, Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice, Martha Nussbaum argues that anger is inherently flawed because it fundamentally contains the desire for payback. To support her argument, she posits specific metaphysical claims about the nature of emotions like anger. This thesis is an extended critique of her metaphysical foundation from the perspective of empirical research in the neuroscience of emotion. The first reason to dispute this picture is descriptive; this view of anger is based on an outdated version of cognitive appraisal theory, which sees emotions as triggered directly by static moments of cognitive appraisal. The second …


Theistic Open Futurism: A Critical Philosophical Investigation, Elijah Hess 2023 University of Arkansas-Fayetteville

Theistic Open Futurism: A Critical Philosophical Investigation, Elijah Hess

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

In this dissertation I critically evaluate and develop a model of God I dub “theistic open futurism”—the view that an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent being exists but fails to know future contingent statements because such statements are not true. Contrary to what their free will critics have supposed, I argue that theistic open futurists do not subscribe to a metaphysical vision of the future that is logically or religiously incoherent. With respect to the latter, I suggest that while some open theists have overstated their case concerning the amount of providential control God could have given the reality of an …


The Dialectical Virtue Of Ideological Reduction, Keehyuk Nahm 2023 University of Massachusetts Amherst

The Dialectical Virtue Of Ideological Reduction, Keehyuk Nahm

Doctoral Dissertations

Many would agree that there is something generally appealing and attractive about reduction. By this, I do not mean that reductive theories are accepted across the board, nor do I mean that they should be. All I mean is that there is something recognizably “good” about the reductive method that may be outweighed by other considerations. For instance, it is extremely rare for one to reject the reductionist position of a given domain while conceding that the proposed reductive procedure is successful. Typically, the opposition consists in denying that the subject matter can be reduced. This suggests an unspoken rule …


The Basic Dualism In The World, Martin Zwick 2023 Portland State University

The Basic Dualism In The World, Martin Zwick

Systems Science Faculty Publications and Presentations

Graham Harman writes that the “basic dualism in the world lies…between things in their intimate reality and things as confronted by other things.” This paper supports Harman’s assertion from a systems theoretic perspective and illustrates it with some examples, including conceptions about truth, ethics, value, and intelligence. But dualism implies irreconcilable difference; what Harman points to is better expressed as a dyad, where the two components not only imply one another but are related, and where this spatial dyad is usefully augmented with a temporal dimension, expressed in a third component or an additional orthogonal dyad.


Darkness Leaping Out Of Light: Anti-Metaphysics And The Paradoxical Negative Affix In Moby-Dick, Bryce N. Wallace 2023 University of California, Berkeley

Darkness Leaping Out Of Light: Anti-Metaphysics And The Paradoxical Negative Affix In Moby-Dick, Bryce N. Wallace

International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities

This paper argues that the varied philosophical beliefs that are present in the discourse of Moby-Dick’s characters are met with discursive resistance at the level of the novel’s form. Though a range of metaphysical arguments are posited by the characters as they explore the unknown, Melville’s use of negative linguistic constructions refutes the entire range of metaphysical beliefs by displaying the paradoxical and impossible nature of the primary subject that metaphysicians ponder—the unknown. I propose that in trying to comprehend “the unknown” humans unavoidably create something out of nothing then deem it unknowable and therefore fail to grant it …


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