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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Accepting It

Evans, Ian January 2012 (has links)
Most of us are aware of believing things we know we should not - often, we cannot help it. My dissertation comprises three papers exploring this phenomenon. In "Revealed Irrationality," I defend the possibility of believing, of one of one's beliefs, that it is irrational. "The Dispositionalist Gambit" examines a recent strategy for defending the claim that we have voluntary control over what we believe and finds it wanting. But there is a propositional attitude we have control over - what I call acceptance - and in "Acceptance" I argue that we need this attitude to explain otherwise puzzling behavior.


van Reenen, Dionne 23 July 2013 (has links)
Key theory, or Logosemantics, was formulated by Johann Visagie as part of a larger project known as Discourse Archaeology (DA) which is an interlocking set of sub-theories designed to investigate the structures, systems, patterns and relationships that occur in philosophical discourse. The present study gives a brief overview of the whole of DA so that Key theory can be placed in the context of Visagieâs expansive venture. The historical background from which Key theory emerged is sketched showing where the theory finds points of contact with thinkers in the field of philosophy who previously considered such occurrences in discourse. The systematic context looks to formulate a detailed explanation of Key theory components and their functions, as well as demonstrate its critical, pedagogical and descriptive import in the field of philosophy. A number of different philosophersâ work from varying fields, epochs and traditions is used to illustrate the diverse applications of the theory. In contrast, similarities between key elements are further used to diagnose typologies and trends across different time frames and conventions of thought. Seeing that all of the DA sub-theories operate within a systematic approach, the links to the sub-theories of Figurative Semiotic theory and Epistemic theory will also be explored as they are housed in the same faculty of the broader theory. In order to reach a fully generative analysis, it has proven fruitful to interface various departments with one another in order to form complexes which show the protological diversity required to begin asking the kinds of questions that initiate a detailed analysis. The target area for forming this line of inquiry is chosen as ethics and morality as it is an area which has proven notoriously complicated and often difficult for philosophy to deal with effectively either in explanation or evaluation. The link to Anthropology theory gives a brief outline of the possibility that the hierarchical structure contained in keys is universally representative of human theory-forming capacities. We seem to be constrained in some way to think like this and, consequently, we do not propose a rejection of all keys. We do suggest a deconstruction of keys so that the careful unpacking of concepts contained in, and implied by, key formulations can be evaluated and reconstructed with as much legitimacy as possible. The anticipation is to investigate the validity of acceptable key formulations and look for new conceptual links to replace or rework unacceptable formulations. This is a multi-disciplinary move away from absolutizations of thought and pure theory which we no longer consider plausible in philosophy.

Social Norms in the Theory of Mass Atrocity and Transitional Justice

Morrow, Paul Christopher 29 July 2014 (has links)
Recent philosophical research on normativity has clarified the nature and dynamics of social norms. Social norms are distinguished from legal and moral norms on the basis of their scope, their grounds, their characteristic forms of accountability, or some combination of these features. Because of their distinct character, social norms can reinforce practical prescriptions, prohibitions, and permissions provided to particular actors by legal or moral norms. They also can conflict drastically with those prescriptions, prohibitions, and permissions resulting in serious practical dilemmas. The identification of normative principles capable of resolving practical dilemmas arising from conflicts between different kinds of norms is a major aim of contemporary moral and political philosophy. This dissertation contributes to this aim by establishing the significance of conflicts between social norms and legal or moral norms during mass atrocities and liberalizing political transitions. The dissertation argues that social norms, and changes in social norms, are critical components of accurate descriptions and responsible evaluations both legal and moral of the actions of individuals and groups before, during, and after mass atrocities. The dissertation contends, further, that distinct principles of justice may apply to transitional efforts by non-state actors to transform social norms in societies recovering from large-scale crimes. Three principal results follow from this dissertations effort to integrate the conceptual framework of social norms into the study of mass atrocity. First, the dissertation clarifies and extends the historiographical thesis of norm transformation, according to which participation by ordinary individuals in mass atrocities is at least partially explained by transformations in basic norms that structure social and political life. Second, the dissertation identifies a novel basis on which to apportion legal and moral accountability for mass atrocities between individuals and groups or collectivities i.e. on the basis of the specific contributions of social norms. Third, the dissertation provides new support for the disputed claim that distinct principles of justice apply to the various actors involved in liberalizing political transitions.

Political Resistance and the Constitution of Equality

Burgos, Adam Benjamin 18 March 2015 (has links)
In this dissertation I explore the conceptual relationship between equality and resistance in political philosophy. Through examination of the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, John Dewey, and Jacques Rancière, I formulate a position called Fractured Social Holism. This is a problematic that attempts to articulate core issues at stake in the debates surrounding the purposes, meanings, and possibilities for politics. Through Fractured Social Holism I articulate a theory of equality that emphasizes the communities upon which societys institutions intend to distribute equality, arguing that resistance on the part of a populationgroup opposition, formal or informal, to some element of the societal status quoconceptually grounds equality and its distribution by articulating its very possibilities. My central questionHow is equality constituted?focuses on the community itself in order to shift agency from institutions that distribute equality to those who demand it. It emphasizes the active role of the people in the constitution of a community of equals, as well as the fact that the very notion of the people is what is at stake in that constitution; popular resistance challenges the very meaning and content of any given people. I understand equality in the broadest possible sense, in terms of the opportunity of each and all within society to participate in dictating the terms of their public engagement with that society and with others within it. I argue for the possibility of resistance within egalitarian community in Rousseau, the limits of what that resistance in egalitarian society looks like in Marx, how egalitarian communities can organize themselves in Dewey, and how subjectivity relates to mechanisms of resistance and political action within society in Rancière. These historical interpretations and the conceptual framework they engender provide a novel means of thinking about issues of paramount importance in contemporary political philosophy, including pluralism, oppression and domination, and the purposes and meaning of politics, remaining true to a normative vision of equality while insisting on the necessity of the peoples resistance to the status quo in the name of a re-imagined vision of social harmony.

Dasein as Attention| The Metaphysics of the Effort of Presence

Berger, Lawrence A. 07 February 2017 (has links)
<p> Heidegger argues that metaphysics has historically taken the meaning of Being to be constant and enduring presence. He puts this into question and inquires into the basis for the production of such presence. The claim of this dissertation is that attention as human presencing plays an essential role in the process, in that it is how we participate in Being, the gathering and relational context for all that is made manifest. In this regard, I argue that Dasein, Heidegger&rsquo;s conception of the essence of the human being, can be understood as attention. I show that extraordinary attentiveness is the being (<i>Sein</i>) of the clearing (<i>Da</i>), which enables the constancy of the <i>Da</i>. This in turn is the basis for the constancy of the entities that are made manifest in the clearing. The implication is that attention and Being are intimately related, as the basis for the enduring presence and order that is typically taken to be what is ultimately real.</p><p> For Heidegger, Being is presencing and gathering/ordering. It is not a collection of objects, or a highest genus, but rather essentially involves effort and force, which is characterized in terms of a standing and holding that holds beings in readiness, a stillness in which things are held in a tension. My argument is that attention is exactly this sort of effort. The implication is that in order to understand the meaning of Being, we can look to attention and see what the associated effort is: It is a staying-with, a withstanding, a holding in readiness, a stilling. We can gain insight into what Being is, and participate in it directly, by performing this sort of ontological effort.</p><p> Attention, as human presencing, is how we relate to and participate in all that is. As the steadfastness of Dasein, it is a standing and holding, a staying with things that serves to stabilize and orient human activity in the course of the everyday. I conclude that attention, as the central organizing phenomenon of human existence, is intimately related to the central organizing principle of all that is (Being).</p><p> The effort of acute and sustained attentiveness (<i>Achtsamkeit </i>, or mindfulness) is associated with the spiritual disciplines, and I show that Heidegger is squarely placed within this tradition, given that for him <i>Achtsamkeit</i> is essential for the manifestation of the divine. This means that for Heidegger, <i>Achtsamkeit</i> offers the possibility of Divine-Presencing-in-the-World, or world resacralization. Indeed, the calling of Dasein is to preserve the truth of Being in worldly entities, where the supreme truth of Being is the manifestation of the divine. </p>

Deweyan Democracy and Reconciliation in Canada

Butterfield , Mary Stewart 24 August 2016 (has links)
This dissertation examines the injustices perpetrated against Indigenous people in Canada within the explicit framework of democratic theory. I examine the ability of Deweyan democracy as a purported problem-solving mechanism to deal with this problem of widespread social injustice. Deweyan democracy is distinctively epistemic, and depends upon diversity and inclusion in order to function effectively as a social and political mechanism for problem-solving. I argue that the inclusion within Deweyan democracy is insufficiently theorized to provide justice-based solutions to social problems, is overly instrumental, and can actually create injustice. Finally, I suggest that while contemporary Deweyans have applied Deweyan democracy in ways that do not provide sufficient solutions for social and political problems, there may yet be resources in Deweyan democratic theory to be explored, specifically with regard to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people within a democratic society.

Taxation of Wealth Transfers: A Philosophical Analysis

Bird-Pollan, Jennifer Erin 30 November 2016 (has links)
Tax policy discussions are dominated by economic theories, and do not often involve philosophical analysis. Because tax is applied distributive justice, it makes sense to bring the insights of philosophy to bear on the work of creating and implementing tax laws. As one model of how philosophy can inform discussions of tax policy, this dissertation looks in particular at the taxation of wealth transfers from three different philosophical perspectives. Because wealth transfer taxes, more than most income or consumption taxes, are enacted primarily to redistribute wealth and to increase equality of opportunity, focusing on these taxes, rather than on the more widely used income tax, allows the analysis to focus on how the tax does or does not comply with the philosophical goals of the society that enacted the rule. In order to evaluate whether a system of wealth transfer taxation is compatible with the philosophical beliefs of contemporary American society, the dissertation examines three commonly held philosophical belief systems: libertarianism, liberalism, and utilitarianism. In each case, after explicating the theory, the dissertation adopts the perspective of that theory to analyze whether a wealth transfer tax system is desirable. Further, the dissertation analyzes what form of wealth transfer tax system is most compatible with the system. The final chapter of the dissertation explores what form of wealth transfer tax system is most compatible with all of the philosophical theories explored in the dissertation.

Élan vital, nisus, and creativity as treated in the thought of H. Bergson, S. Alexander, and A.N. Whitehead.

Kauffman, Alvin Harold January 1952 (has links)
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University / The main problem of this dissertation is to compare and evaluate critically some of the salient aspects of élan vital, nisus, and creativity, as treated by Henri Bergson, Samuel Alexander, and Alfred North Whitehead. A subordinate purpose is present in that these doctrines will be viewed in relation to important and interesting phases of their historical setting. The Historical Setting. The earliest philosophical investigations into the problem of cosmology which are worthy or note form a group which provided what might be called the "theological explanations," and consisted of the cosmologies ot Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, and Aquinas. The rise of modern science, especially in its dependence upon the Newtonian physics, provided what has been termed "the scientific reaction to final causes." More recently, however, especially during the last half of the nineteenth century, and culminating in the first few years of the twentieth, three tendencies were observed each of which served to foreshadow respectively the three major syntheses which are the main subject of the present essay: neo-vitalism, emergent evolution, and developments in physics. In the course of more or less continuous discussions of these and related subjects which persisted during the first three decades of this century; there appeard a gradual and steadily increasing recognition that novelty is at the root or the matter. Some of the more important implications of novelty for the problem of this dissertation are crystallized into several problems under which (with others) each or the major syntheses is examined: epistemology (or how novelty may be known), time, emergence, complexity, law, predictability, intelligibility, and value. Henri Bergson's Élan Vital. The celebrated doctrine of the élan vital, or "life-force," is one ot the outstanding features of Bergson's entire philosophy, and certainly is central to his doctrine of "creative evolution." This "vitalistic" notion is the ultimate explanation of life, evolution, novelty, value, and later becomes identified with God, Likewise, it stands for cause and for individuality. However, particularly in these latter phases of his thinking, Bergson seems to oscillate between a monism and a dualism, with the idea of a static and inert matter as the adversary of the élan. This dualism, together with too great a dependence upon intuition as a means of identifying the élan vital, prevents an adequate synthesis. Samuel Alexander's Nisue. In the great work, Space, Time, and Deity, an exceedingly comprehensive study in emergent evolution is presented. Space-Time ie considered the matrix within which the novel qualities of matter, life, and mind are declared to have emerged; for every level there is a higher level: deity. Time is considered as the "mind" of Space throughout the early parts of the work, but at the end, and in later publications, nisus appears as the "restlessness of Time," as "endeavor" or an "effort to give birth," concepts which, to say the least, are idealistically oriented. Nisus together with the idea of value, however, is never adequately integrated with Alexander's original scheme, which leads to the suggestion that nisus is an addendum designed to relieve the inability or his otherwise naturalistic system to account for novelty. This, together with difficulty in causality and individuality, reveals weaknesses in his monistic synthesis. Alfred. North Whitehead's Creativity. Whitehead's great speculative ability combines with genius in mathematics and physics to form the background for his development of the doctrine of creativity. Much more complex; than either previous doctrine, the philosophy or organism affirms the primacy of process on both the microcosmic and macrocosmic scale, Process involves recognition of reality as pluralistic, in concrete togetherness or feeling relations with everything else. Hence, it is axio-centric and idealistic (panpsychistic), but realistic elements are maintained in the dipolar conception of all actual entities including God. God is not creator, but is necessary for all becoming. All creatures, including God, are characterized by creativity; or the category of the ultimate. The fact that Whitehead's individuals, including God, are actual, self-created to a degree; self-transcending, novel, multiple unities of intrinsic and instrumental value gives a remarkable harmony to his view. However, neglect of certain aspects of individuality (especially on the human level), and value (especially moral value), together with an apparent uncertainty regarding the precise nature of creativity prevents his pluralistic synthesis from being entirely adequate. The conclusions of this dissertation are as follows: 1. Historically, the three doctrines, élan vital, nisus, and creativity, have a significant place within three modern syntheses of the theological and scientific cosmologies. 2. There is observable in the thought of Bergson, Alexander, and Whitehead, a distinct tendency to appropriate in inverse chronological order certain key notions of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus, all three of them making use (in the notion of novelty) of a modified ex nihilo doctrine or Aquinas. 3. Functioning, in a sense, as catalytic agents in this synthetic process, are certain developments within science itself: the neo-vitalistic movement in biology, the concept of emergent evolution, and the new physics with its emphasis upon space-time and the dynamic conception of matter. 4. All three doctrines, élan vital, nisus, and creativity, are related to, and represent important truths about real time, intuition, activity, novelty, value, and God. 5. Élan vital, a doctrine which affords significant insights concerning world-process, cannot, in its unanalyzed state, support the weight which the system requires of it, or become so coherently integrated with all that it does not include. 6. Élan vital, therefore, was observed to oscillate between a monism, which would account for wholeness, and a dualism, which would preserve the novel, living, growing, deeper, more valuable, and divine, aspects of things. 7. Nisus, a doctrine very similar to the spirit of the élan vital appears in a system which possesses greater coherence in its naturalistic aspects and presents further analysis in the realm of values and God, but is not organized coherently with the rest of the scheme, and has peculiar difficulties in the realms of causality and individuality. g. Nisus, therefore, was observed to be in the position of an addendum to a system already naturalistic and to function in such a way as to overcome certain difficulties intrinsic to that system. 9. Creativity, a doctrine which appears in a system far more adequate in almost every detail than either of the other two, both in its degree of analysis and in its coherence, undergoes an apparent threefold transtormation in the course of Whitehead's philosophical development, and results in considerable ambiguity as to its precise nature. 10. Creativity, therefore, if it really means simply the notion of process or activity, is a notion which, certainly in name, carries with it additional implications (at least that of novelty)--implications which are understandable but unnecessary; since they are adequately provided for by other aspects of the system.

Georges Gurvitch's sociology of the total social phenomena

Bosserman, Charles Phillip January 1963 (has links)
Problem of the Dissertation The dissertation's central purpose is to present the sociology of Georges Gurvitch. The approach is two-fold: first, to give to American sociology a study of current French sociology and second, to explain Gurvitch's theoretical system showing how his theory provides a conceptual scheme for looking at social reality as a totality. A central focus of the dissertation is on one phase of Gurvitch's general theory, his treatment of groups. In general, the task of this dissertation is to work through the hypotheses Gurvitch has devised for empirical research, to discover the directions which they take and to examine them critically in the light of American sociology. This whole study was made in close contact with Professor Gurvitch. The Approach The background and life of Gurvitch are considered in Chapter Two. This focuses especially on his philosophical heritage and his early social law theory. It was from this study of social law that Gurvitch first developed his thesis that there are levels to social reality: underneath the organized superstructure exists the spontaneous infrastructure from whence is derived the dynamic, the effervescent factors which bring on social change and cause society to be enacted. From this early concept Gurvitch began to formulate a sociology of law which eventually led him to the study of general sociology. Chapter Three explains Gurvitch's views on the present sociological situation. This is concluded with a brief description of the actual task of modern sociology. Chapter Four examines the method which Gurvitch employs. He wrestles with the basic problem of the subject-object relationship in the social sciences. He maintains that a tension exists between the method and the object of study which must be dealt with concretely. He contends that social reality is dialectical and hence, the method must also reflect this dialectic. The dialectical nature of society is seen in conflicts and tensions that exist among the several depth levels which make up the superstructure and the infrastructure. The fundamental stratum is the collective mind. This is the primordial depth level which explains the existence of real groups. Gurvitch follows the tradition of Durkheim in espousing the notion of the collective mind as the source of group life. Chapter Five follows with the horizontal view of social reality. Gurvitch's notions of microsociology and macrosociology remain within the tradition of Tonnies' Gemeinschaft and Jesellschaft and Durkheim's organic and mechanical solidarity. In this chapter Gurvitch's typology of social groupings and social classes is detailed. Chapter Six concludes the discussion of macrosociology by describing Gurvitch's typology of global societies. Closely related is his definition of social structure. The definition counters functional and structural-functional sociologies. The dialectical method is scrutinized in Chapter Seven. Gurvitch contends that this method is the only one which can describe at once the individual parts of social reality while maintaining a view of the whole . Some research projects using this method conclude the chapter. Conclusions Chapter Eight concludes by examining critically Gurvitch's theory. Gurvitch presents a challenging position to contemporary sociology. There are important ideas and emphases but he fails to contribute new or useful categories for real theoretical growth. His method is too complicated. He overemphasizes the spontaneous which vitiates scientific endeavor. His theory suffers from a lack of systematic construction, clarity and preciseness. As social philosophy his thought contributes certain provocative ideas and makes some essential emphases.


Unknown Date (has links)
This study offers an examination and a critique of four different theses concerning the class affiliation of technical, professional and managerial workers in monopoly capitalist and post-capitalist or socialist societies. An assessment of each thesis is provided on the basis of the criteria for class analysis laid down by Marx in Capital and in his other relevant works. / In his class analysis of capitalist society, Marx placed highly trained workers in a privileged stratum of the working class because their earnings were higher than those of ordinary workers. He also predicted that economic developments would reduce the income gap between highly skilled and unskilled workers, as higher skills became more readily available in the market place. Higher skills have in fact become more widely available, but the income gap between highly skilled and unskilled workers has not been closed. It has widened. / Attempts to provide a more satisfactory explanation of the income gap between highly skilled and unskilled laborers than the one given by Marx have resulted in different views concerning the class affiliation of highly trained workers. According to the theses presented, technical, professional and managerial workers belong respectively to the "new working class," to the "new middle class," to the "professional-managerial class," or to the "bureaucratic and petty bureaucratic classes." / The basic issues to be resolved are whether technical, professional and managerial workers belong to a social stratum or to a social class, and whether they benefit from or are victimized by "exploitation," in the Marxist sense of the term. Consideration of these issues involves a dicussion of the criteria characterizing Marx's method of class analysis. / In the final assessment, the thesis of the bureaucratic and petty bureaucratic classes is seen to be more consonant with Marx's method, and to describe more accurately than the other theses the role of technical, professional and managerial workers in capitalist and post-capitalist or socialist societies. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-02, Section: A, page: 0469. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.

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