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Self-Referentiality In Constructive Semantics Of Intuitionistic And Modal Logics, Junhua Yu Oct 2014

Self-Referentiality In Constructive Semantics Of Intuitionistic And Modal Logics, Junhua Yu

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis explores self-referentiality in the framework of justification logic. In this framework initialed by Artemov, the language has formulas of the form t:F, which means "the term t is a justification of the formula F." Moreover, terms can occur inside formulas and hence it is legal to have t:F(t), which means "the term t is a justification of the formula F about t itself." Expressions like this is not only interesting in the semantics of justification logic, but also, as we will see, necessary in applications of justification logic in formalizing constructive contents implicitly carried by ...


All At One Point: The New Physics Of Italo Calvino And Jorge Luis Borges, Mark Thomas Rinaldi Oct 2014

All At One Point: The New Physics Of Italo Calvino And Jorge Luis Borges, Mark Thomas Rinaldi

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This work of comparative literary criticism focuses on the presence of mathematical and scientific concepts and imagery in the works of Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, beginning with an historical overview of scientific philosophy and an introduction to the most significant scientific concepts of the last several centuries, before shifting to deep, scientifically-driven analyses of numerous individual fictions, and finally concluding with a meditation on the unexpectedly fictive aspects of science and mathematics. The close readings of these authors' fictions are contextualized with thorough explanations of the potential literary implications of theories from physics, mathematics, neuroscience and chaos theory ...


If You See Something, Say Something: A Look At Experimental Writing On Art, Charlotte Lucy Latham Oct 2014

If You See Something, Say Something: A Look At Experimental Writing On Art, Charlotte Lucy Latham

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Signs all over New York City state, "If you see something, say something," but museum studies repeatedly find viewers do not attend to pictures, just as eye witness testimony is invariably skewed. Ways of seeing have been limited to known ways of discussing. Alternative approaches offer new insights. The first section, "Experiments in Art Writing," examines two texts: T.J. Clark's The Sight of Death, a journal of his daily visits looking at two Poussin paintings, for which he maintains the ambiguity of exploration and argues to keep visual images from their dissolution into political symbols; and, Charles Simic ...


Civilization Of The Living Dead: Canonical Monstrosity, The Romero Zombie, And The Political Subject, Nicholas Walter Robbins Oct 2014

Civilization Of The Living Dead: Canonical Monstrosity, The Romero Zombie, And The Political Subject, Nicholas Walter Robbins

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation analyzes the canonical monsters of Western political theory, including Plato's wolf-man, Hobbes's Leviathan and Tocqueville's mechanical mass. It argues that monster theorists - including horror film director George A. Romero, creator of the zombie and its apocalyptic narrative - utilize the horror genre in order to reveal the hidden dysfunctions and unrealized potentials of self and society. The canon features several prison-like heuristics - including Plato's cave, Hobbes's sate of nature, Tocqueville's prison, and Romero's zombie apocalypse - that bring to light the mass enslavement, intellectual dysfunction, appetitive tyranny, and cannibalism of the political subject ...


Constitutively Embodied Emotions, Daniel Shargel Oct 2014

Constitutively Embodied Emotions, Daniel Shargel

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

My primary thesis is that emotions are partially constituted by bodily states. My view derives from the James-Lange tradition, but contrary to Neo-Jamesian theories, I claim that emotions are partially constituted by integrated peripheral bodily states and brain states, rather than bodily perceptions. This view may seem vulnerable to two obvious critiques: emotions, unlike bodily states, have intentional objects, and neuroscientists have already identified the neural basis of emotions, so there is no reason to look for constituents outside of the brain. I argue on the basis of social psychology research that emotions are not intentional states, since they do ...


The Radical Possibilities Of Being Human: Exploring The Risk, Violence, And Rewards Of Knowing And Being Known (A Survival Guide For Liminal Feminists), Parvoneh Shirgir Oct 2014

The Radical Possibilities Of Being Human: Exploring The Risk, Violence, And Rewards Of Knowing And Being Known (A Survival Guide For Liminal Feminists), Parvoneh Shirgir

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Within this liminal feminist survival guide I present a collection of personal experiences and analysis of these moments in order to elucidate how and when violence occurs. I foreground my thought process and the ideas and figures that keep me hopeful, help remind me that our world is not concrete but instead changing, shifting, and malleable. What follows is a necessarily partial (and somewhat useless, somewhat useful) survival guide for liminal feminists, those who exist on the edges of boundaries and encounter all of the possibilities and fears that come with such a position. I present not so much a ...


God And Gratuitous Evil, Michael Schrynemakers Oct 2014

God And Gratuitous Evil, Michael Schrynemakers

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

William Rowe has argued for atheism as follows: (1) There seem to be evils God could have prevented without losing a greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse, and (2) God would not allow such evils. This dissertation examines (2), the "No Gratuitous Evil Thesis," and its role in Rowe's argument. In Part One I argue that there are crucial ambiguities in the notion of a greater good this thesis appeals to and that these present dilemmas for Rowe's argument, as well as for defining gratuitous evil. This leads to my approximation of the notion ...


Moral Inscriptions: Politics And The Rhetoric Of Responsibility, Steven Pludwin Oct 2014

Moral Inscriptions: Politics And The Rhetoric Of Responsibility, Steven Pludwin

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation advances two interrelated claims. First, I examine the concept of responsibility and show how it operates as a rhetorical form that mediates a large segment of political life. Framing responsibility as a distinctly political problem, I argue that it functions to produce, discipline and govern subjects as well as legislate forms of identity, difference and community. Second, I argue that the definitional space of responsibility is not sacred, but contested. It is within this contested space that political battles regarding how we ought to understand the world and what it means to live in common with others plays ...


Evolution And Ethics, Franklin Roy Bennett Jun 2014

Evolution And Ethics, Franklin Roy Bennett

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Does evolution inform the ancient debate about the roles that instinct (emotion/passion/sentiment/feeling) and reason do and/or should play in how we decide what to do? Evolutionary ethicists typically adopt Darwinism as a suitable explanation for evolution, and on that basis draw conclusions about moral epistemology. However, if Darwinism is to be offered as a premise from which conclusions about moral epistemology are drawn, in order to assess such arguments we must assess that premise. This reveals the highly speculative and metaphysical quality of our theoretical explanations for how evolution happens. Clarifying that helps to facilitate an ...


Does End Of Life Terminology Influence Decisional Conflict In Surrogate Decision Makers?, Dawn Fairlie Jun 2014

Does End Of Life Terminology Influence Decisional Conflict In Surrogate Decision Makers?, Dawn Fairlie

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This study investigated the relationship between end of life terminologies and decisional conflict in surrogate decision makers using a convenience sample of 234 adults age 50 and older at active adult communities, and senior centers in New Jersey. Participants were randomized into two groups, and each received a vignette that was personalized. The vignettes varied only in the use of the words "Do Not Resuscitate (DNR)" and "Allow Natural Death (AND)". The Decisional Conflict Scale (DCS) was administered.

There was no difference in total DCS score based on AND and DNR versions. However, AND respondents perceived their decision as a ...


Moral Motivation And The Authority Of Morality: A Defense Of Naturalist Moral Realism, Lily Eva Frank Jun 2014

Moral Motivation And The Authority Of Morality: A Defense Of Naturalist Moral Realism, Lily Eva Frank

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Moral realism has been continuously accused of positing the existence of queer properties, facts, judgments, and beliefs. One of these queer features is supposed to be the normative force of morality-that is the way in which morality guides our actions. Critics of moral realism argue that nothing else in the world has this feature. This is a reason to doubt that moral facts and properties exist at all. This objection can be interpreted in at least two ways. One way to interpret it has to do with moral motivation, this is the internalism objection. The other has to do with ...


Agreeable Despair: Modernism And Melancholy, Derrick James Gentry Jun 2014

Agreeable Despair: Modernism And Melancholy, Derrick James Gentry

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This study considers a group of distinctly modernist philosophers for whom aesthetic and reflective practices represented a way out of the paralysis of a culture dominated by narrowly conceived philosophical values. These modernist philosophers, I argue, helped to give birth to mode of experimental writing that Robert Musil called "essayism." I begin in Chapter One with an account of Walter Benjamin's experimental concept of melancholy and its intersection with the avant-garde practices of French Surrealism. Chapter One begins to contrast Benjamin's concept of melancholy with Friedrich Nietzsche's therapeutic efforts to transform and overcome melancholy on both a ...


Speech Act Theoretic Semantics, Daniel W. Harris Jun 2014

Speech Act Theoretic Semantics, Daniel W. Harris

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

I defend the view that linguistic meaning is a relation borne by an expression to a type of speech act, and that this relation holds in virtue of our overlapping communicative dispositions, and not in virtue of linguistic conventions. I argue that this theory gives the right account of the semantics-pragmatics interface and the best-available semantics for non-declarative clauses, and show that it allows for the construction of a rigorous compositional semantic theory with greater explanatory power than both truth-conditional and dynamic semantics.


The Moral Philosophy Of William Wollaston, Yael Sofaer Jun 2014

The Moral Philosophy Of William Wollaston, Yael Sofaer

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation provides the first thorough exposition of the moral theory proposed by William Wollaston in his treatise The Religion of Nature Delineated (1724), and demonstrates it to be an innovative contribution to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries' project of developing a moral theory by reason alone (in which lie the origins of contemporary moral realism); with the foundational principle of acting in accordance with nature as the standard of morality. Wollaston's treatise contains an unrecognized innovation: the principle that rational agents express propositions by their actions--that, as propositions, have truth values--which makes it possible to determine the moral ...


"She Said Plain, Burned Things": A Feminist Poetics Of The Unsayable In Twentieth Century Literary & Visual Culture, Leah Souffrant Jun 2014

"She Said Plain, Burned Things": A Feminist Poetics Of The Unsayable In Twentieth Century Literary & Visual Culture, Leah Souffrant

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation examines the way silence, blank space, and other forms of creative withholding attempt to translate the unsayable, or to convey the unsayability of language in artistic form. Through a study of the works of Sylvia Plath, Jean Rhys, Rachel Zucker, Marguerite Duras, Anne Carson, and visual images, this work observes the connection between women's writing in the 20th century and the communication of painful subject matter through attention to absence. This study attends explicitly to how formal qualities in artistic works attend to ontological concerns through an examination of the intersection of concerns with phenomenology, feminism, and ...


Mind, Media, And Techniques Of Remediation In America, 1850-1910, Dominique Zino Jun 2014

Mind, Media, And Techniques Of Remediation In America, 1850-1910, Dominique Zino

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This dissertation describes the way a renewed interest in picturesque aesthetics engaged the imaginations of writers, visual artists, philosophers, landscape designers, and collectors during the second half of the nineteenth century, reinvigorating a mode of inquiry that sanctioned the act of composing representations--mental, visual, and verbal--as a suitable response to social, political, and philosophical problems. The chapters that follow describe the understanding of the relationship between language, visual representation, and feeling that picturesque aesthetics formalized alongside the surface discourse of picturesqueness that was circulating through everyday genres, such as illustrated viewbooks, by the second half of the century. This dynamic ...


At The Threshold: Edgard Varese, Modernism, And The Experience Of Modernity, Robert Jackson Wood Jun 2014

At The Threshold: Edgard Varese, Modernism, And The Experience Of Modernity, Robert Jackson Wood

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The writings of composer Edgard Varese have long been celebrated for their often ecstatic, optimistic proclamations about the future of music. With manifesto-like brio, they put forth a vision of radically new instruments and sounds, delineate the parameters for spatially oriented composition, and initiate the discourse of what would become electronic music. Yet just as important for understanding Varese is the other side of the coin: a thematics of failure concerning the music of the present--a failure of old instruments to transcend their limitations, a failure of technique to achieve certain compositional ideals, and a failure of music to connect ...


Divine Omnipotence In Descartes' Philosophy, Alfredo Rodriguez Jun 2014

Divine Omnipotence In Descartes' Philosophy, Alfredo Rodriguez

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The present thesis explores various aspects of Rene Descartes' doctrine of divine omnipotence within the context of his overall philosophy and with reference to his medieval heritage. This thesis shows that, contrary to his multiple and explicit statements that God's power cannot be limited in any way, Descartes took a more nuanced position on divine omnipotence that incorporated aspects of the widely accepted medieval position that God's goodness is a constraint on his power. Furthermore, Descartes used the medieval concept of universals as he experimented with the use of modes to explain how a thing's actual existence ...


Coming Of Age During The Sixties: A Narration Of Lives Through Music And Battle, Jennifer L. Oliveri Feb 2014

Coming Of Age During The Sixties: A Narration Of Lives Through Music And Battle, Jennifer L. Oliveri

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This thesis has been written based on my retrieved memory, as it concentrates on autobiographical memories and the lives of two politically opposing men, from the American sixties. I discuss the effect of music and the war in Vietnam as it was experienced by these men--a moderately angry veteran and a "hippie." I examine how their stories were "retold" to me, which in turn created new memories. This is a study in the memory of memories.


Partir Marron: Un Parcours Sémantique À Travers Les Trous De La Mémoire Collective Haïtienne, Lucie Carmel Paul Feb 2014

Partir Marron: Un Parcours Sémantique À Travers Les Trous De La Mémoire Collective Haïtienne, Lucie Carmel Paul

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The word "marron " represents both a totality, and a specificity. Totalizing, the term refers to the slave who fled from the plantation, against the colonial order, that is, the fugitive slave. Specific, in the Haitian lexicography, it stands for a shifty and cunning individual, particularily a " Woule m debò "1. One has to recognize that there is a double meaning associated with the word, and at the same time, the syntagmatic locution "partir marron " reflects the individual's dependency on phenomenology. The moment of crisis is one of an explosion, through which one can only be free by severing all ...


Acting Wide Awake: Attention And The Ethics Of Emotion, Jacob Davis Feb 2014

Acting Wide Awake: Attention And The Ethics Of Emotion, Jacob Davis

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

In cases where two human cultures disagree over fundamental ethical values, metaethical questions about what could make one or the other position correct arise with great force. Philosophers committed to naturalistically plausible accounts of ethics have offered little hope of adjudicating such conflicts, leading some to embrace moral relativism. In my dissertation, I develop an empirically grounded response to moral relativism by turning away from debates over which action types are right and wrong and focusing instead on shared features of human emotional motivation. On my account, being motivated by ill-will is ethically bad (if it is), just because human ...


Albert Camus' Political Thought: From Passion To Compassion, Angel López-Santiago Feb 2014

Albert Camus' Political Thought: From Passion To Compassion, Angel López-Santiago

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The present work analyzes the political thought of Albert Camus, specifically the challenges of the justice ideal, and Camus' prioritization of the concepts of limits and compassion. Although Camus is not usually considered part of the traditional canon of political philosophy, I organized his thought into three major areas: a sub-theory of the human being, a sub-theory of institutions, and a sub-theory of political change. This method, I demonstrate, is ideal for extracting and organizing the political ideas of non-traditional political writers. In the case of Camus, he advocates for an international and democratic `civilization of dialogue' as part of ...


A Psychoanalytic Exploration Into The Memory And Aesthetics Of Everyday Life: Photographs, Recollections, And Encounters With Loss, Dimitrios Mellos Feb 2014

A Psychoanalytic Exploration Into The Memory And Aesthetics Of Everyday Life: Photographs, Recollections, And Encounters With Loss, Dimitrios Mellos

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

The project at hand explores some of the psychological functions of photography as both an everyday and an artistic cultural practice from a psychoanalytic perspective. It is proposed that, contrary to commonsensical opinion, photographs are not accurate depositories of memory, but rather function as a functional equivalent of screen memories, thus channeling the subject's memory in ways that are objectively distorted and distorting, but psychologically meaningful and important; moreover, they are a special kind of screen memory in that they are often created pre-emptively and are physically instantiated.

Additionally, it is suggested that, by dint of their materiality, photographs ...


Nature's Goodness: An Aristotelian Account, Nathan K. Metzger Feb 2014

Nature's Goodness: An Aristotelian Account, Nathan K. Metzger

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Neo-Aristotelians have made major headway in moral theory, and it is now commonplace to find philosophers defending the reality of goodness through a teleological analysis of human being. Whatever the merits of this approach, it has suffered from a lack of a sustained defense of its pre-modern metaphysical panorama: the Aristotelian conception of the human good gets traction only if its decidedly pre-modern and `robust' philosophy of nature is defensible in its own right. In this dissertation, I aim to give a partial breakdown of the particular sort of metaphysical project that the Aristotelian moral theorist assumes, but does not ...


Why Should One Reproduce? The Rationality And Morality Of Human Reproduction, Lantz Fleming Miller Feb 2014

Why Should One Reproduce? The Rationality And Morality Of Human Reproduction, Lantz Fleming Miller

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Human reproduction has long been assumed to be an act of the blind force of nature, to which humans were subject, like the weather. However, with recent concerns about the environmental impact of human population, particularly resource depletion, human reproduction has come to be seen as a moral issue. That is, in general, it may be moral or immoral for people to continue propagating their species. The past decade's philosophical discussions of the question have yielded varying results. This dissertation takes on the issue in a broader moral perspective and asks not only whether it is moral to reproduce ...


Existence: An Unholy Trinity. An Account Of Indeterminate Existence, Salas Sanchez-Bennasar Feb 2014

Existence: An Unholy Trinity. An Account Of Indeterminate Existence, Salas Sanchez-Bennasar

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

What is it for something to exist? This dissertation provides an answer to this question by giving a philosophical theory of existence in which the concept of existence in understood as a complex tri-partite notion. The account of existence defended here is arrived at by taking into consideration past philosophical theories of existence, the everyday and scientific uses of the notion, and also philosophical considerations about the nature of reality.

There are three conditions that are central to existence: spatiotemporality, mind-independence, and being a member of the quantificational domain of a true and complete scientific description about the world. To ...