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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


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2010 2019


This thesis seeks to defend transitivity as a rational constraint on preferences against two putative counterexamples to transitivity. This thesis is divided into three sections. In the first section, I consider two famous and popular arguments in defense of transitivity and argue they are insufficient to adequately defend transitivity. I then outline a desiderata for successful arguments in defense of transitivity and identify some basic assumptions I will be making throughout the thesis. In section two, I consider the first putative counterexample to transitivity: Quinn’s Puzzle of the Self-Torturer. I offer two plausible interpretations of Quinn’s puzzle and argue that …

Contributors
Calloway, Carson, Armendt, Brad, Portmore, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2015

This study questioned how the Navajo Nation was going to mitigate and/or adapt to Global Climate Change. By employing a Diné philosophy based research methodology this study seeks to holistically reframe the lens that the Navajo Nation conceptualizes Global Climate Change. The study uses a comprehensive review of literature that pertained to four research questions. The research questions are: 1) What do Diné oral histories say about climate change? 2) How is the Navajo Nation going to mitigate and adapt to changes to the climate using Western knowledge? 3) How can Diné research methodologies help inform policies that will mitigate …

Contributors
Atencio, Mario, Killsback, Leo K, Tippeconnic, John, et al.
Created Date
2015

Wittgenstein’s claim: anytime something is seen, it is necessarily seen as something, forms the philosophical foundation of this research. I synthesize theories and philosophies from Simondon, Maturana, Varela, Wittgenstein, Pye, Sennett, and Reddy in a research process I identify as a paradigm construction project. My personal studio practice of inventing experiential media systems is a key part of this research and illustrates, with practical examples, my philosophical arguments from a range of points of observation. I see media systems as technical objects, and see technical objects as structurally determined systems, in which the structure of the system determines its organization. …

Contributors
Lahey, Byron Robert, Burleson, Winslow, Xin Wei, Sha, et al.
Created Date
2015

Do emotions help explain our behaviors? Can they condemn us, excuse us, orr mitigate our moral responsibility orr blameworthiness? Can they explain our rationality and irrationality, orr warrant such attributions? Can they be justified orr warranted? Are they constitutive aspects of our consciousness, identity, characters, virtues, orr epistemic status? The answer to these questions, at least to a significant extent, depends on what emotions are. This illustrates the importance of what emotions are to academics across multiple disciplines, as well as to members of governing bodies, organizations, communities, and groups. Given the great importance of emotions to various aspects of …

Contributors
Mun, Cecilea, Calhoun, Cheshire, Kobes, Bernard, et al.
Created Date
2014

This Thesis contends that if the designer of a non-biological machine (android) can establish that the machine exhibits certain specified behaviors or characteristics, then there is no principled reason to deny that the machine can be considered a legal person. The thesis also states that given a related but not necessarily identical set of characteristics, there is no principled reason to deny that the non-biological machine can make a claim to a level of moral personhood. It is the purpose of my analysis to delineate some of the specified behaviors required for each of these conditions so as to provide …

Contributors
Calverley, David J., Armendt, Brad, Mcgregor, Joan, et al.
Created Date
2011

A central task for historians and philosophers of science is to characterize and analyze the epistemic practices in a given science. The epistemic practice of a science includes its explanatory goals as well as the methods used to achieve these goals. This dissertation addresses the epistemic practices in gene expression research spanning the mid-twentieth century to the twenty-first century. The critical evaluation of the standard historical narratives of the molecular life sciences clarifies certain philosophical problems with respect to reduction, emergence, and representation, and offers new ways with which to think about the development of scientific research and the nature …

Contributors
Racine, Valerie, Maienschein, Jane, Laubichler, Manfred D, et al.
Created Date
2016

In this discussion I will state fundamental principles of Kelsen's Legal Positivism in International Law and explain four problems with his theory. I will then propose two suggestions in the light of which Kelsen's theory is modified in this discussion and explain how these two suggestions address the four problems and help the theory account for regime change. Finally, I will address possible objections to the view advanced in this discussion. Dissertation/Thesis

Contributors
Ioannidis, Christoforos, De Marneffe, Peter, French, Peter, et al.
Created Date
2012

Saying, "if Mary had watered Sam's plant, it wouldn't have died," is an ordinary way to identify Mary not watering Sam's plant as the cause of its death. But there are problems with this statement. If we identify Mary's omitted action as the cause, we seemingly admit an inordinate number of omissions as causes. For any counterfactual statement containing the omitted action is true (e.g. if Hillary Clinton had watered Sam's plant, it wouldn't have died). The statement, moreover, is mysterious because it is not clear why one protasis is more salient than any alternatives such as "if Sam hadn't …

Contributors
Henne, Paul, Kobes, Bernard W, Pinillos, Nestor A, et al.
Created Date
2013

There is ample evidence from psychology and cognitive science that a person's beliefs, memories, expectations, concepts, and desires can influence how that person perceives the world. In other words, the way an object looks (the color, size, shape, etc.) to a person can vary according to his or her beliefs, memories, desires, and so on. But a person is principally justified in his or her beliefs about the world by how things look to that person. So, if how things look to a person justifies that person's beliefs about the world, and that person's prior beliefs, memories, and desires influence …

Contributors
Crutchfield, Parker Avery Simon, Reynolds, Steven, Cohen, Stewart, et al.
Created Date
2011

One activity for which philosophers are perhaps best known is having disputes with one another. Some non-philosophers, and increasingly many philosophers, believe that a number of these disputes are silly or misguided in some way. Call such silly or misguided disputes defective disputes. When is a dispute defective? What kinds of defective disputes are there? How are these different kinds of defective disputes different from one another? What does it mean to call a dispute 'merely verbal'? These questions come up for consideration in Part One of this manuscript. In Part Two I examine whether certain disputes in ontology and …

Contributors
Marsh, Gerald Horton, French, Peter, Creath, Richard, et al.
Created Date
2011

Emergentism offers a promising compromise in the philosophy of mind between Cartesian substance dualism and reductivistic physicalism. The ontological emergentist holds that conscious mental phenomena supervene on physical phenomena, but that they have a nature over and above the physical. However, emergentist views have been subjected to a variety of powerful objections: they are alleged to be self-contradictory, incompatible with mental causation, justified by unreliable intuitions, and in conflict with our contemporary scientific understanding of the world. I defend the emergentist position against these objections. I clarify the concepts of supervenience and of ontological novelty in a way that ensures …

Contributors
Watson, Jeffrey J., Kobes, Bernard W, Pinillos, Nestor, et al.
Created Date
2013

This dissertation engages with the philosophical, psychological, and scientific literature on two important topics: empathy and human enhancement. My two broad goals are to clarify the role of empathy in ascriptions of responsibility and to consider how enhanced empathy might alter those ascriptions. First, I argue that empathy is best thought of as a two-component process. The first component is what I call the rational component of empathy (RCE). RCE is necessary for moral responsibility as it allows us to put ourselves in another's shoes and to realize that we would want help (or not to be harmed) if we …

Contributors
Gurney, David Paul, McGregor, Joan, Brake, Elizabeth, et al.
Created Date
2016

At present, the ideological bias in the human enhancement debate holds that opponents to human enhancement are primarily techno-conservatives who, lacking any reasonable, systematic account of why we ought to be so opposed, simply resort to a sort of fear-mongering and anti-meliorism. This dissertation means to counteract said bias by offering just such an account. Offered herein is a heuristic explanation of how, given a thorough understanding of enhancement both as a technology and as an attitude, we can predict a likely future of rampant commodification and dehumanization of man, and a veritable assault on human flourishing. Dissertation/Thesis

Contributors
Milleson, Valerye Michelle, Mcgregor, Joan, Robert, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation consists of three essays, each of which closely relates to epistemic norms for rational doxastic states. The central issue is whether epistemic rationality is impermissive or not: For any total evidence E, is there a unique doxastic state that any possible agent with that total evidence E should take (Uniqueness), or not (Permissivism)? “Conservatism and Uniqueness”: Conservatism is the idea that an agent’s beliefs should be stable as far as possible when she undergoes a learning experience. Uniqueness is the idea that any given body of total evidence uniquely determines what it is rational to believe. Epistemic Impartiality …

Contributors
Jung, Jaemin, Armendt, Brad, Portmore, Douglas W, et al.
Created Date
2016

This paper examines the strength of a recent argument made against democracy. The notion of epistocracy, a system of government where the wise or the knowers rule, has garnered some attention of late. These theories of epistocracy have traditionally struggled with questions of political legitimacy and authority. In Against Democracy, Jason Brennan articulates an alternative theory for epistocracy which may prove more promising. Brennan argues instead that democracy faces objections of political legitimacy which epistocracy avoids because democracy either harms or violates rights as a result of granting political power to the incompetent. This negative argument against democracy hopes to …

Contributors
Zhang, Alexander, Brake, Elizabeth, Portmore, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2018

The purpose of this thesis is to present and analyze experimental evidence involving anti-substitution intuitions about co-referential names in simple sentences. In her book Simple Sentences, Substitution, and Intuitions, Jennifer Saul claims that anti-substitution intuitions involving co-referential names in simple sentences are particularly resistant, so much so that they exist even when one is given an identity statement that shows that the two names refer to the same individual. She uses this claim to motivate her thesis that a psychological explanation is needed to understand why these anti-substitution intuitions exist. Her theory is that before people know that two names …

Contributors
Zimmerman, Thomas Scott, Pinillos, Nestor, Reynolds, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2014

With the number of internationally-run clinical drug trials increasing, the double standards between those in developed nations and those in developing nations are being scrutinized under the ethical microscope. Many argue that several pharmaceutical companies and researchers are exploiting developing nation participants. Two issues of concern are the use of a placebo control when an effective alternative treatment exists and the lack of drug availability to the country that hosted the clinical trial should the experimental drug prove effective. Though intuitively this seems like an instance of exploitation, philosophically, exploitation theories cannot adequately account for the wrongdoing in these cases. …

Contributors
Fundora, Danielle Frances, Mcgregor, Joan, Brake, Elizabeth, et al.
Created Date
2013

Authenticity has been conceived of in several different ways with various meanings and implications. The existential conception has the advantage of tracking authenticity from the phenomenology of human beings and their lived, social experience. From Jean-Paul Sartre and Martin Heidegger’s criteria for existentialist authenticity, I develop the argument that authentic, feminist projects are necessarily one mode of being authentic within a patriarchal society. In defining a conception of authenticity out of Sartre and Heidegger’s terms, the question of what qualifies as an authentic feminist project arises as well as the question of what sort of content qualifies as authentic. While …

Contributors
Scott, Siera Aubrey Lee, Huntington, Patricia, Calhoun, Cheshire, et al.
Created Date
2017

Above all else, this project is about parentage in the modern American legal system and culture. Advanced reproductive technologies require our courts to reconsider the long-standing presumption that a child has only one female mother and one male father. We now have children of choice, rather than chance. Assisted Reproductive Technology and its widespread availability and use and changed the landscape of parentage maybe forever. And the children of such efforts remain largely unprotected by our current legal system that favors reproduction by chance within a recognized marriage or at the least, a traditional two-parent paradigm. However, assisted reproduction calls …

Contributors
Ross, Jane O., Johnson, John, Hepburn, John, et al.
Created Date
2012

ABSTRACT Forgiveness is a response to moral wrongdoing motivated by moral reasons. Long thought to be the overcoming of resentment, I will present T.M. Scanlon's view that it is best understood as the decision to blame no longer, i.e. to give up the judgment that one's relationship with another is impaired. Forgiveness has been traditionally thought of as having its locus in the forgiver. However, this has led to a number of accounts in which forgiveness has been presented as a one-sided undertaking, compromising the interpersonal character of the act. I propose a different way of viewing forgiveness, namely as …

Contributors
D'Angelo, Cindy, De Marneffe, Peter L., Murphy, Jeffrie G., et al.
Created Date
2010

Guantánamo: The Amen Temple of Empire connects the fetishization of the trauma of nine/eleven with the co-constitution of subjects at Guantánamo—that of the contained Muslim terrorist prisoner silhouetted against the ideal nationalistic military body—circulated as ‘afterimages’ that carry ideological narratives about U.S. Empire. These narratives in turn religiously and racially charge the new normative practices of the security state and its historically haunted symbolic order. As individuals with complex subjectivities, the prisoners and guards are, of course, not reducible to the standardizing imprimatur of the state or its narratives. Despite the circulation of these ‘afterimages’ as fixed currency, the prisoners …

Contributors
Coleman, Diana, Talebi, Shahla, Matustik, Martin, et al.
Created Date
2018

My job in this thesis is to explore a supposedly dragon-filled area of philosophy, tropology. By 'tropology,' I only mean the study of figurative speech, or, more particularly, metaphors. It seems clear to most people that metaphors have meaning. But this fact flies in the face of several different theories of meaning. Such as, the meaning of a metaphor can't be properly conveyed by Possible Worlds Semantics or Truth-Conditional Semantics. Tropology is also an area of philosophy with very few commonly accepted theories. It is not like the study of reference, where there are two theories, each having a large …

Contributors
Smith, Davis, Pinillos, Ángel, Kobes, Bernard, et al.
Created Date
2016

The call for an Inter-Civilizational Dialogue informed by cosmopolitical forms of Comparative Political Theory as a way to address our unprecedented global challenges is among the most laudable projects that students of politics and related fields across the world have put forth in centuries. Unfortunately, however, up until this point the actual and potential contributions of the Indigenous or 'Fourth' World and its civilizational manifestations have been largely ignored. This has clearly been the case in what refers to Indigenous American or Abya-Yalan cultures and civilizations. The purpose of this dissertation is to acknowledge, add to, and further foster the …

Contributors
Figueroa Helland, Leonardo Esteban, Doty, Roxanne L, Ashley, Richard K, et al.
Created Date
2012

Principles of climate mitigation in environmental ethics often draw on either considerations of fairness and forward-looking concerns, or on justice and backward-looking concerns. That is, according to some theorists, considerations of the current distribution of climate benefits and burdens are foremost, while others take repairing historic wrongs as paramount. Some theorists integrate considerations of fairness and justice to formulate hybrid climate principles. Such an integrative approach is promising particularly in the context of environmental harm to indigenous subsistence peoples, who are among those suffering the most from climate change. I argue that existing integrative climate principles tend not to sufficiently …

Contributors
Sweetland, Lauren, Brake, Elizabeth, Tsosie, Rebecca, et al.
Created Date
2014

This thesis is concerned with the methodological role of intuitions in metaphysics. It is divided into two main parts. Part I argues that an academic field can only employ a method of gathering evidence if it has established some agreed-upon standards regarding how to evaluate uses of this method. Existing meta-philosophical disputes take the nature of intuitions to be their starting point. This is a mistake. My concern is not the epistemic status of intuitions, but rather how metaphysicians appeal to intuitions as a form of evidence. In order for intuitions to play a viable role in research they must …

Contributors
Musgrave, Shea, Creath, Richard, Pinillos, Nestor A., et al.
Created Date
2014

After surveying the literature on the normativity of logic, the paper answers that logic is normative for reasoning and rationality. The paper then goes on to discuss whether this constitutes a new problem in issues in normativity, and the paper affirms that it does. Finally, the paper concludes by explaining that the logic as model view can address this new problem. Dissertation/Thesis

Contributors
Cadenas, Haggeo, pinillos, angel, creath, richard, et al.
Created Date
2017

Situated within seminal debates on the questions of liberation and justice viewed from the postcolonial context, this dissertation evaluates freedom narratives from both sides of the colonial divide during the period of high imperialism. Creating a transnational grouping of three diverse historical figures, E. M. Forster, M. K. Gandhi, and James Joyce, I argue for similarities in these writers’ narrative construction of “freedom” against colonial modernity. I argue that despite these writers’ widely disparate historical and cultural determinations, which uniquely particularize each of their freedom formulas as well as freedom “ideals” – the ideal of culture for Forster, renunciation for …

Contributors
Mehta, Bina, Bivona, Daniel, Codell, Julie, et al.
Created Date
2017

ABSTRACT In this work, I provide two novel pieces of evidence in favor of the view that there is pragmatic encroachment on knowledge. First, I present an empirical case via the results of a series of recent experiments to show that folk-knowledge attributions may be sensitive to time constraints even when the latter are construed in a non-truth relevant manner. Along the way, I consider some comments made by Jonathan Schaffer (2006) as it pertains to interpreting time constraints-sensitivity in a manner that supports contextualism, before offering reasons to resist such a treatment. I proceed by applying interest relative invariantism …

Contributors
Shin, Joseph Ellis, Pinillos, N. Angel, Reynolds, Steven L, et al.
Created Date
2013

Gays identity is usually cast in generics--statements about an indeterminate number of members in a given category. Sometimes these generic statements often get built up into folk definitions, vague and imprecise ways to talk about objects. Other times generics get co-opted into authentic definitions, definitions that pick out a few traits and assert that real members of the class have these traits and members that do not are simply members by a technicality. I assess how we adopt these generic traits into our language and what are the ramifications of using generic traits as a social identity. I analyze the …

Contributors
Blankschaen, Kurt, Calhoun, Cheshire, Pinillos, Angel, et al.
Created Date
2012

This project examines and challenges the West's generally accepted two category approach to the world's belief systems. That is, it will deconstruct the religion / science `paradigm' that has developed over the past two centuries. It will argue that the dichotomy between the two categories was created by modernity for the purpose of establishing an exclusive view believed to be based on knowledge. This exclusive view, philosophical naturalism (science), was set in opposition to all alternative views identified as religion. As the exclusive view, though constructed on a defective foundation of knowledge, philosophical naturalism, nonetheless, became the privileged interpreter and …

Contributors
Tussing, Rodney Wayne, Cady, Linell, Anderson, Owen, et al.
Created Date
2014

I present in this dissertation a theory of moral disillusion. In chapter 1 I explain moral innocence and its loss. I show that becoming morally responsible requires shattering the illusion that one is not an appropriate candidate for the reactive attitudes. The morally responsible individual must understand that she can be an agent of wrongdoing. In chapter 2 I explore the nature of the understanding that accompanies the different phases of disillusion. I show that moral disillusion is an ability, not to follow moral principles, but to question them. In chapter 3 I argue that another phase of disillusion involves …

Contributors
Goldberg, Zachary J., French, Peter A., Calhoun, Cheshire, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation puts forth an account of moral responsibility. The central claim defended is that an agent's responsibility supervenes on the agent's mental states at the time of the action. I call the mental states that determine responsibility the agent's quality of will (QOW). QOW is taken to concern the agent's action, understood from an internal perspective, along with the agent's motivations, her actual beliefs about the action, and the beliefs she ought to have had about the action. This approach to responsibility has a number of surprising implications. First, blameworthiness can come apart from wrongness, and praiseworthiness from rightness. …

Contributors
Khoury, Andrew Christopher, French, Peter A, Calhoun, Cheshire, et al.
Created Date
2011

Given the success of science, weak forms of mind-brain dependence are commonly treated as uncontroversial within contemporary philosophies of mind. More controversial are the different metaphysical claims inferred from this dependence, many ascribing ontological priority to the brain. Consider the following three propositions: (i) neurological events are essentially identified by their role in material systems, laws, and causes that are constitutively non-rational; (ii) at least some mental events are essentially identified in virtue of their role in the use of reason; (iii) all mental events are realized by, identical to, or composed out of, neurological events. (i) is uncontroversial. However, …

Contributors
Goodrich, Gregory A, Kobes, Bernard W, White, Michael J, et al.
Created Date
2011

In this dissertation, I argue that the original development of Natural Law Theory (NLT) by the Stoics of the second and first centuries B.C. was not merely an outpouring or natural byproduct of an earlier philosophic achievement in Plato and Aristotle, but a <italic>reaction</italic> to it, specifically, an effort to correct certain problems that had surfaced as a result of discussion within and challenges to the broader eudaimonistic tradition. Prior to Cicero's writings in particular, the term "natural law" appears only occasionally in the philosophic texts, and never as a term signifying a coherent and developed moral theory. A central …

Contributors
Vierra, Thomas Lee, White, Michael J, Humphrey, Ted, et al.
Created Date
2014

In this thesis, I discuss the philosophical problem of evil and, as a response, John Hick's soul making theodicy. First, I discuss the transformation of the problem. I examine how the problem has shifted from logical to evidential in recent history. Next, I offer a faithful rendition of Hick's position - one which states the existence of evil does not provide evidence against the existence of God. After reconstructing his argument, I go on to exposes its logical faults. I present four main contentions to Hick's theodicy. First, I analyze the psychology of dehumanization to question whether we have any …

Contributors
Scarpa, Frank Vincent, Manninen, Bertha, Kobes, Bernard W., et al.
Created Date
2018

Heroism is a phenomenon central to the development of Western Society. It is present at the core of understanding history, it is the basis for all literature, and exists in many forms in contemporary society, including the celebrity. As a result of its pervasiveness, the philosophy by which heroism ought to be understood has been left out of its contemporary iterations. Through an investigation of a provocative real person, rather than a literary character, the being of the hero in the everydayness of life can be more readily understood. The character in question is Leila Khaled, provocative because she is …

Contributors
Morris, Christopher, Ramsey, Ramsey, Jordan, Elaine, et al.
Created Date
2012

Panpsychist double aspect theory, the most promising version of panpsychism, holds that the mental and the physical are mutually irreducible properties, or features, of ultimate matter, therefore they both are ontologically fundamental and ubiquitous. This version of panpsychism involves the following two notions: anti-reductivism and anti- emergentism. The former states that mental phenomena are not recordable in terms of physics. The latter implies that mental phenomena do not causally arise only from a certain macroscale physical condition, and the mental and the physical do not constitute an ontological hierarchy. From these notions, it follows that any macroscale mental phenomenon is …

Contributors
Noh, Hyungrae, Kobes, Bernard W, Reynolds, Steven, et al.
Created Date
2013

Libertarians affirm the right to liberty, i.e., the right to do what one wants free from interference. Libertarians also affirm the right to private property. One objection to libertarianism is that private property relations restrict liberty. This objection appears to have the consequence that libertarianism is an incoherent position. I examine Jan Narveson's version of the libertarian view and his defense of its coherence. Narveson understands the right to liberty as a prohibition on the initiation of force. I argue that if that is what the right to liberty is, then the enforcement of property rights violates it. I also …

Contributors
Schimke, Christopher, De Marneffe, Peter, Mcgregor, Joan, et al.
Created Date
2011

The American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the official guidebook to psychiatric diagnosis in America, currently exempts the recently bereaved from being diagnosed with depression unless their experiences are marked by feelings of extreme worthlessness, significant functional impairment, psychotic symptoms, psychomotor retardation, or suicidal ideation. Ordinary symptoms of depression, such as sleeplessness or loss of appetite, are considered healthy, functional emotional responses to the loss of a loved one. The bereavement exemption is slated for removal in the upcoming fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, functionally redefining the emotional distress of bereavement as a psychiatric disorder. This …

Contributors
Meeth, John Sviland, Edson, Belle, Palazzolo, Kellie, et al.
Created Date
2011

Russellian monism is a promising theory of consciousness that attempts to capture the strengths of both physicalism and dualism while avoiding their weaknesses. I begin by showing that the Russellian monist’s chief anti-physicalist rival, emergentism, is unable to give an adequate solution to the exclusion problem. Specifically, they fall prey to what I call “the opacity problem.” That is, because the emergentist is committed to there being both a sufficient physical cause and a sufficient mental cause for our actions, it is unclear what difference the mental cause is making in bringing about the effect. This is because, for the …

Contributors
Schreick, Forrest J., Kobes, Bernard W., Reynolds, Steven L., et al.
Created Date
2018

The present essay addresses the epistemic difficulties involved in achieving consensus with respect to the Hayek-Keynes debate. In particular, it is argued that the debate cannot be settled on the basis of the observable evidence; or, more precisely, that the empirical implications of the theories of Hayek and Keynes are such that, regardless of what is observed, both of the theories can be interpreted as true, or at least, not falsified. Regardless of the evidence, both Hayek and Keynes can be interpreted as right. The underdetermination of theories by evidence is an old and ubiquitous problem in science. The present …

Contributors
Scheall, Scott Davis, Creath, Richard, Armendt, Brad, et al.
Created Date
2012

This dissertation examines the influential relationships between popular culture depictions of superheroes and the substantive, malleable, and real possibilities of human body transformation. Cultural discourses condition and constrain the ways in which identity and bodies are formed and expressed. This includes popular culture texts that, through their evocative narratives, provide guidance or solutions for dealing with real world problems. From the perspective of communication studies, this project involves examining ways people project and perform fantastic future versions of humanity in relation to popular culture artifacts, like superheroes, but also examines how such projections are borne out of and get expressed …

Contributors
Boras, Scott Daniel, Mcdonald, Kelly, Goodall, Jr., H. L., et al.
Created Date
2012

This thesis explores the conceptual span and plausibility of emergence and its applicability to the problem of mental causation. The early parts of the project explicate a distinction between weak and strong emergence as described by Jaegwon Kim. They also consider Kim's objections regarding the conceptual incoherence of strong emergence and the otiose nature of weak emergence. The paper then explores Mark Bedau's in-between conception of emergence and ultimately finds that middle conception to be both coherent and useful. With these three emergence distinctions in hand, the thesis goes on to explore Evan Thompson's recent work - Mind in Life …

Contributors
Fournier, Thomas, Kobes, Bernard W, Reynolds, Steven L, et al.
Created Date
2013

Perhaps the most common and forceful criticism directed at absolutist deontological theories is that they allow for the occurrence of morally catastrophic events whenever such events could only and certainly be prevented by the violation of a deontological constraint. Some deontologists simply bite the bullet, accept this implication of their theory, and give their best arguments as to why it does not undermine absolutism. Others, I think more plausibly, opt for an alternative deontological theory known as ‘moderate deontology’ and are thereby able to evade the criticism since moderate deontology permits violations of constraints under certain extreme circumstances. The goal …

Contributors
Cook, Tyler Blake, Calhoun, Cheshire, Portmore, Douglas, et al.
Created Date
2017

The concept of recognition developed through the 20th century as a form of political legitimation has served a central if problematic role in understanding international politics. On the one hand, recognition aims toward establishing essential collective identities that must be conceived as relatively stable in order to then gain respect, receive political protection, and occupy both physical and discursive space. On the other hand, recognition tacitly accepts a social constructivist view of the subject who can only become whole unto itself – and in turn exercise positive liberty, freedom, or agency – through the implied assent or explicit consent of …

Contributors
Bar, Eyal, Doty, Roxanne L, Ashley, Richard K, et al.
Created Date
2016

In their criticism of various approaches to upbringing and related American family law jurisprudence, liberal theorists tend to underweight the interests of parents in directing the development of children’s values. Considered through the lens of T.M. Scanlon’s contractualism, providing a good upbringing is not a matter of identifying children’s “best interests” or acting in accordance with overriding end-state principles. Rather, children should be raised in accordance with principles for the general regulation of behavior that no one could reasonably reject as a basis for informed, unforced general agreement. The process of ascertaining such principles requires an understanding of relevant values; …

Contributors
Pike, Kenneth, de Marneffe, Peter, Calhoun, Cheshire, et al.
Created Date
2019