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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


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