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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.


Resource Type
  • Masters Thesis
Subject
Date Range
2010 2018


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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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