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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.

Modal Concepts in the Biological Sciences

Unknown Date (has links)
"Modality" refers to the concepts (and surrounding controversies) of "possibility" and "necessity." Recently, a great deal of attention paid to these concepts in metaphysics. Not surprisingly, this literature has not been adopted in the field of philosophy of biology. In this work, I ague that there is a need to understand how modal concepts function in biology. Biologists already employ modal concepts in a variety of contexts. However, they do not explain how these concepts function or ought to function within the biological domain. From a philosophical perspective, there is a framework for how modal concepts operate in physics. But this framework cannot be adopted by the biological sciences. Since work on modality is relatively new to philosophy of biology, I spend the first three chapters justifying, defining, and restricting the project of creating a modal framework in biology. In the penultimate chapter, I present and criticize the single account of "biological possibility" found in the literature, which is offered by Daniel Dennett. Finally, I provide a positive account of how we should apply modal concepts in the biological sciences. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2007. / Date of Defense: May 2, 2007. / Modality, Evolution / Includes bibliographical references. / Michael Ruse, Professor Directing Dissertation; Joseph Travis, Outside Committee Member; Piers Rawling, Committee Member.


Unknown Date (has links)
The problem dealt with is the paradox of moral education. This paradox asserts that moral education must be either immoral or unsuccessful, because children must be indoctrinated or conditioned to be moral; if they are, then moral education is immoral. If they are not, then moral education is unsuccessful, because children will not acquire a moral character. / It is argued that the development of moral character is largely due to the use of approval or disapproval by parents and moral educators. The use of approval is shown to involve pedagogical intentions if it maximizes the opportunity for children to acquire a moral character, and these intentions and method are shown to be those of the indoctrinator or conditioner. The development of moral character, however, does not turn out to be incompatible with the goal of moral education, the rational, autonomous moral agent, because it remains possible for a person with moral character to develop a system of rationally held moral beliefs. That a person might develop a moral character without being indoctrinated or conditioned is acknowledged, but the use of indoctrination or conditioning remains necessary if children are to be given the maximum opportunity to acquire a moral character. / The use of indoctrination or conditioning in moral education is justified because it is necessary for children to sacrifice some of their autonomy if they are to become free and equal persons in a human community. Indoctrinating or conditioning children beyond what is necessary for them to become free and equal persons is shown to be unjustified, because children have a legitimate interest in retaining as many options of thought and conduct as possible until they can make rational choices of their own concerning the ways of life that they themselves find desirable. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-03, Section: A, page: 0827. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.


Unknown Date (has links)
This essay demonstrates that the concept of "worldlessness," as defined by Hannah Arendt, delineates some of the most basic problems of modern existence. "Worldlessness" is the condition of one who shares no things, institutions, or systems of meaning with others. Worldlessness has been experienced in all periods of western history, but has become a pervasive condition of modern existence in general. / The following topics are examined. First, "worldly existence," as the norm in terms of which Hannah Arendt defines "worldlessness," is explained. Second, Hannah Arendt's experiences as a German Jew, and her reflections on Jewish history, are examined as the foundation of her understanding of worldlessness. Third, pre-modern experiences of worldlessness, rooted in the philosophic disinterest in, and the Christian denial of, the world are considered. Fourth, the renunciation of common sense, which resulted from the discoveries of modern science, and the consequent substitution of the mind for the world as the source and standard of truth, are examined as one dimension of modern worldlessness. Fifth, the rise of modern capitalism, with its assault on the worldly stability of all persons and things, and its subordination of public concerns to private interests, are discussed as further sources of modern worldlessness. Finally, Arendt's analysis of totalitarianism, as it expresses worldlessness, is examined. / Two general criticisms are examined in relation to these topics. First, Arendt has been accused by social scientists of manipulating historical data and facts to fit her overall theories. Second, her insistence on establishing strict distinctions between human activities and spheres of existence has been criticized by others. These criticisms are mitigated somewhat if one understands Arendt's writings chiefly as philosophical reflections on the human significance of historical events. Given this general concern, Arendt's discussion of worldlessness points to some of the most fundamental problems of the modern age, including the decline of politics, the dissolution of traditional values and beliefs, and the emergence of "surplus people." / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-04, Section: A, page: 1177. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.


Unknown Date (has links)
The study begins with a review of Marx's writings in which Marx acknowledges a debt to Hegel. Hegel's influence on Marx was a profound and enduring one, though it is more evident in Marx's early writings than in his later ones. A look at the works of both Hegel and Marx scholars and at Soviet interpreters of Marxism indicates that the nature of that influence has generally been misconstrued. The socialist humanist interpretation, which focuses on Marx's early writings and according to which Marx's central lifelong concern was with human rather than class liberation, is rejected. / On the basis of an analysis of Marx's early journalistic writings from 1841 to 1843, it is argued in this study that the efforts of the young Marx were directed toward applying some of the fundamental theses of the Hegelian philosophy of law to contemporary political issues, and that Marx thus proceeded from Hegel's political philosophy to the working out of his own (Marx's) philosophical politics. During the period from 1843 to 1845 Marx's conception of the role of critical philosophy in social revolution underwent a series of transformations as Marx developed his materialist world outlook. Critical philosophy is understood throughout this period as self-clarification, but the self-clarification is initially conceived as a task common to all philosophy and later as a task which history has made an imperative for the proletariat and the Communist Party. With the last development critical philosophy has in fact been transformed into the theory and practice of communism. / The study closes with an assessment of the communist politics and strategy for revolution as these had been worked out by Marx prior to the outbreak in 1848 of the February Revolution in France. There are two aspects of this assessment. Politically, the communists ally themselves with the bourgeoisie wherever the latter acts in a revolutionary way, since the interests of the proletariat require that the last remnants of historically defunct modes of production be cleared away for the final "battle of democracy". Strategically, the politicization and revolutionizing of the trades' unions are essential to the success of this politics. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-12, Section: A, page: 5150. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.


Unknown Date (has links)
This dissertation deals with the role of non-technical and technical prejudice in hermeneutical experiences. The problem addressed derives from an ambiguity remaining in Hans-Georg Gadamer's treatment of "positive prejudice" in his work on hermeneutics called Truth and Method. / Gadamer failed to make clear what he wished to include or exclude from his notion of positive prejudice. This failure on Gadamer's part results from his use of the method of eidetic description for understanding hermeneutical experiences. / In seeking to remedy this situation I provide expositions and analyses of actual hermeneutical examples: Soren Kierkegaard's interpretation of the sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham in Fear and Trembling, the Supreme Court decision in the Dred Scott vs. John F. A. Sanford case of 1857, and Karl Marx's interpretation of the Paris Commune experience in The Civil War in France. These three examples from biblical, legal, and historical hermeneutics act as a grounding for a phenomenological description of hermeneutical prejudice. / The description of prejudice makes it possible to distinguish two types of prejudice, namely, non-technical and technical. Non-technical prejudice is shown to be characterized as a bias arising out of tradition and accepted without question as an everyday way of understanding the world. On the other hand, technical prejudice is revealed to be characterized as a commitment to a belief implied by a question, a hypothesis, or projection, that either opens up or closes off the possibilities of the investigation. That is, while technical prejudice, like the non-technical, may be derived from one's tradition or everyday manner of existence, it is derived as a questioning of that tradition or way of being and brings about an opening up of new possibilities of understanding. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-06, Section: A, page: 1996. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.

Human Cloning and Moral Status

Unknown Date (has links)
The participants in the human cloning debate are as varied as the interests they support: Catholic priests, agnostic biologists, atheistic philosophers, and political leaders have all spoken out since the announcement of Dolly the cloned sheep's birth in February 1997. Currently, many of the participants are talking about different issues, working with different philosophical assumptions, relying on false or misunderstood data, and generally talking past one another. For example, how does the opponent of human cloning who is concerned with issues like "playing God," human dignity, or moral repugnance converse with a proponent who believes cloning is really about the reproductive rights of individuals? In this dissertation I take on the task of reconstructing and evaluating the arguments for and against human cloning, and finally argue that the disagreement is really about how to define "moral status." I then provide a definition of moral status that would enable for public discourse on this topic to move in a direction that allows for responsible public policy making in the area of biomedical research. Chapter I deals with clarifying the biological and scientific facts relevant to the human cloning debate. I begin with an introduction about the nature of biological advancement with DNA and trace the biological and philosophical breakthroughs that have given rise to the current technology, which allows for Nuclear Somatic Cell Transplantation, the method developed by Ian Wilmut and his team to create Dolly. I then describe the different meanings that cloning can have in the biological sense. Concluding the chapter I argue for a definition of cloning that is topic neutral with respect to scientific methods and ethical theories. Chapter II evaluates the common moral theories that are used in philosophical arguments against human cloning: Consequentialism (Utilitarianism), Deontology (Kantianism), and Virtue Theory (Aristotelianism). The popular opinion is that deontologists would be against human cloning, consequentialists would be for human cloning, and virtue theory would be uninformative in the debate. What I show is that contrary to the popular opinion there are opponents and proponents in each of these moral camps, presenting arguments for and against human cloning. Their arguments are not limited to just the common "means as end" and "harm" debates, but include issues of right, non-identity, and moral status. Chapter III concerns itself with a set of objections to human cloning that comes from the religious ethicists. The common belief is that they are the opponents while the secular ethicists are proponents of human cloning. I illustrate the varied argumentative structure in the religious literature, and I provide the better religious objections to human cloning. In doing so, I show that there is a common component between the religious objections and the secular objections to human cloning; and if understood properly, a compelling objection can be offered against human cloning that is sensitive to religious concerns but not grounded in religious assumptions. Chapter IV deals with the important legal argument in the bioethics debates. The proponents of human cloning generally subsume the cloning questions under the rubric of reproductive rights. In the United States there is a legal tradition from Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) to Roe v. Wade (1973) that concerns reproductive rights issues that are relevant to the human cloning debate. In this chapter, I argue that one of the best defenses of human cloning is when human cloning is understood as a reproductive rights issue, but explaining and defending this right is problematic. Some opponents, however, do not accept the premise that human cloning is a reproductive right, and unless this premise is granted, this defense loses much of its force. Chapter V attempts to answer the question: "What is moral status?" This is one constant assumption that is accepted without argumentation by most of the ethical argument about human cloning. Answers to many of the biomedical issues such as stem cell research, abortion, and human cloning all hinges on what concept of moral status one adopts. In this last chapter, I characterize some of the classic attempts to define moral status. I then show that even though we cannot give necessary and sufficient conditions for moral status simpliciter, we can give some necessary and some sufficient conditions for moral status that are relevant to biomedical issues. If we accept these conditions in a manner that is topic neutral with respect to the moral theories, then I argue that human cloning is permissible in some cases. The same can be said for abortion, stem cell research, and euthanasia. Although this partial definition is not a commonly accepted idea of what moral status is, it can be used to inform public policy making with respect to human cloning laws. Finally, I conclude that a complete ban on human cloning both research and reproductive is unwarranted at this time. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Degree Awarded: Summer Semester, 2003. / Date of Defense: June 19, 2003. / Human Cloning / Includes bibliographical references. / Michael Ruse, Professor Directing Dissertation; Michael Meredith, Outside Committee Member; Peter Dalton, Committee Member.


Unknown Date (has links)
This dissertation is primarily concerned with a semantical treatment of the definite article in English. The first chapter is a somewhat general discussion of semantics with particular emphasis on the contrast between formal-language semantics and natural-language semantics. Five metasemantical concepts are defined and then used to show this contrast. In chapter two, previous treatments of the semantics of definite descriptions and other uses of the definite article by the philosophers Russell, Strawson, Donnellan, and Montague are critically discussed. Finally, in chapter three, a theoretical treatment in terms of game-theoretical semantics (GTS) is given of various uses of the definite article. / The treatment deals mainly with what is called herein the "anaphoric use." It is shown how what is called herein the "Russellian use," the classical "definite description" (true of one and only one individual), is neatly accommodated within a more general account of the semantics of the definite article in English. That account is the foundation of a semantical-game rule (cast in terms of GTS) for the anaphoric use, which when applied together with other such game rules to sentences containing the definite article, yields semantic interpretations for them. A different rule for the generic use of the definite article is given, and a "discourse-syntactic" method, independent of semantical games, is provided for distinguishing generic from anaphoric uses. Various other uses of the definite article are briefly considered, and unsolved problems are discussed. / The main achievement of this work is its demonstration that the theoretical framework of GTS can smoothly accommodate the semantics of the definite article. The problems encountered for which no completely satisfactory solutions are given do not undermine the continuing promise of GTS as adequate to the tasks of natural-language semantics. Rather, they offer further challenges which only future detailed analyses will be able to meet. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-07, Section: A, page: 2369. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.

The Fragmentation of Moral Psychology: Reason, Emotion, Motivation and Moral Judgment in Ethics and Science

Unknown Date (has links)
Increasingly, psychologists and neuroscientists have become interested in moral psychology and moral judgment. Despite this, much of moral philosophy remains isolated from this empirical research. I seek to integrate these two literatures. Drawing on a wide range of research, I develop an empirically adequate account of moral judgment. I then turn to issues in philosophical moral psychology, arguing that empirical research sheds light on old debates and raises new questions for investigation. The neuropsychological mechanisms underlying moral judgment exhibit a large degree of complexity. Different processes contribute to moral judgment under different conditions, depending both upon the kind of case under consideration and on individual differences. Affective processes subserved by a broad base of brain regions including the orbitofrontal cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and basal ganglia are crucial for normal moral judgment. These affective processes also provide an important link to motivation. More explicit cognition dependent upon areas of the medial temporal lobe and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex also play a crucial role in some kinds of moral judgment though they exhibit less direct connections to motivation. The descriptive account of moral judgment I defend makes sense of debates in moral psychology over two influential views: motivation internalism, according to which moral judgment necessitates motivation to act accordingly and the Humean Theory of Motivation, according to which belief and desire are distinct and motivation requires both a desire and an appropriate means-end belief. Moral judgments that derive from affective processes exhibit a connection between motivation and moral judgment. However, not all moral judgments derive from such processes. More explicit representations are not closely connected to motivation, thus motivation can come apart from moral judgment. While explicit beliefs are distinct from desires, affective representations have both cognitive (albeit nonpropositional) content and direct connections to motivation. This challenges Humean theories of motivation. This account helps resolve these traditional disputes. Anti-Humean, internalist theories offer an approximately accurate account of these affective mechanisms. Externalist, Humean theories offer an approximately accurate account of more explicit cognitive processes. Thus, several prominent philosophical theories offer a plausible account of some aspect of moral psychology. Because of the complexity of moral psychology, none of these accounts offers a complete account. This account also raises new questions for investigation. Some researchers have argued that the representation of a moral rule like the Doctrine of Double Effect helps explain the pattern of judgments in response to different kinds of Trolley cases. I argue that these judgments are better explained in terms of the details of the associative mechanisms underlying these judgments and not in terms of the representation of a moral rule. These findings raise a unique concern about the evidential value of our intuitions in these cases—a concern that could not arise from armchair reflection alone. The approach taken in this dissertation illustrates how integrating the results of empirical research contributes to philosophical work in ethical theory. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Degree Awarded: Spring 2011. / Date of Defense: March 29, 2011. / Moral Judgment, Motivation, Linguistic Analogy, Affect, Moral Psychology / Includes bibliographical references. / Alfred R. Mele, Professor Directing Dissertation; John Kelsay, University Representative; David McNaughton, Committee Member; Michael Ruse, Committee Member.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire: The role of the provincial capital in the development of the colony (1770-1775)

Oedel, Howard Tredennick January 1960 (has links)
No description available.

Aristotle and the early Stoics on freedom and determinism in human action

Unknown Date (has links)
In Aristotle and the Stoics Sandbach argued that there is no evidence to prove that the Stoics were influenced by Aristotle. This work challenges that conclusion by arguing that the Stoics both knew of and were responding to Aristotle's theory of human action. I establish this by a comparison of their views on action and responsibility. / The relationship between Aristotle and the Stoics on this issue is complex. Their conclusions are diametrically opposed: Aristotle believes all voluntary actions are "in our power" $(\epsilon\phi'\ \eta\mu\\iota\nu)$ to perform or refrain from performing; the Stoics maintain that we cannot do anything other than what we in fact do. Yet there are many structural similarities between their theories. Their physiological explanations of action are nearly identical. They have the same criteria for counting us responsible for an action. Both Aristotle and the Stoics insist that we are responsible for our actions because they are "in our power." This is the point at which the theories diverge. The Stoics define the notion "in our power" so as to avoid Aristotelian freedom, holding that an action is "in our power" as long as it comes about through our own impulse and assent. / I conclude that the structural similarities between the Aristotelian and Stoic views are more than coincidental: the Stoics adopted significant portions of Aristotle's theory of action, and their determinism is at least partly the consequence of Aristotelian views. More specifically, the Stoics' determinism makes explicit what was implicit but unnoticed by Aristotle in his own philosophy. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 54-03, Section: A, page: 0954. / Major Professor: Russell M. Dancy. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1993.

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