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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.


Subject
Date Range
2010 2019


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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