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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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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