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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.




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 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

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

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

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

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

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