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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.
41

Manipulation, Moral Responsibility, and History

Unknown Date (has links)
It is commonly thought that external influences such as indoctrination, coercion, and subtle manipulation can affect our status as morally responsible agents. In extreme cases, external interventions may undermine our moral responsibility altogether. Some philosophers seek to benefit from these considerations in arguing against compatibilism, the thesis that moral responsibility is compatible with the truth of determinism. Usually we get a case of some agent in a deterministic universe who, through the workings of some nefarious manipulator, has had many of his desires, values, or pro-attitudes erased and replaced by alien ones which then lead him to perform some action. The premises of the argument claim that 1) this agent is not responsible for his action, and 2) with regards to moral responsibility, there is no relevant difference between the manipulated agent and a standard agent in a deterministic universe. One type of response to the manipulation argument involves offering a parallel argument. First, one produces a case similar to the one offered in the original argument, but which involves an agent who fulfills standard incompatibilist conditions on responsibility. In this sort of case, the agent has a choice between two actions, and right before the decision is made, it is not determined which choice they will make. In a well-constructed case, both options available to the agent are radically different than anything that the agent would have considered prior to the manipulation, and it seems as though we get the same intuitions about this indeterministic agent. One upshot of this strategy is that it allows us to avoid the compatibility debate and simply focus on the effects of external interventions on our responsibility. The next step is to either show that these external interventions are not real threats to responsibility or to provide a view which explains what precisely is problematic about these external interventions. I focus on attempts to do the latter. Specifically, I focus on attempts to do so which require that the motivational states that led the agent to action were not acquired in a certain way. I evaluate the three major historical accounts available, those offered by Haji and Cuypers, Fischer and Ravizza, and Mele. My aim is to identify the features of the external interventions that are doing the work in undermining the responsibility of these agents. Taking the lessons learned from these chapters, I lay the groundwork for an explanation of why victims of extreme manipulation are not responsible. I further extend this framework to less extreme cases of external intervention, cases which may be more common in the actual world. Those features that undermine responsibility in extreme cases may be present to a lesser degree in cases where interventions mitigate, rather than eliminate, an agent’s responsibility. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Summer Semester 2018. / June 22, 2018. / Includes bibliographical references. / Alfred Mele, Professor Directing Dissertation; Sumner B. Twiss, University Representative; Randolph Clarke, Committee Member; Stephen Kearns, Committee Member.
42

Omission Impossible?: It Depends

Unknown Date (has links)
Suppose I don’t give this dissertation a title. In such a case am I responsible for not giving my dissertation a title? Does my responsibility for not giving my dissertation a title require that I could have given my dissertation a title? Would I still be responsible if some villain opposed to ironically not giving dissertations titles were prepared to see to it that I did not give my dissertation a title if I were to show some sign of doing so? In any case, what exactly is it to not give a dissertation a title? What might have caused this behavior? Is my not giving my dissertation a title the sort of thing that can be caused at all? The preceding questions concern whether I am responsible for omitting to give my dissertation a title. In my dissertation I want to show that because of certain peculiarities about the metaphysics of omissions and causation, the first three questions cannot be adequately answered without investigating the last three questions. More specifically, I want to argue for the thesis that moral responsibility requires a morally salient causal relationship between an agent and an outcome, and I want to argue further for a unique asymmetry thesis about responsibility for omissions and positive actions. The thesis will explain why Frankfurt cases differ when they describe an agent doing a positive action from when they describe an agent omitting to perform some action. If my thesis is correct, it will do the following things: (1) Give a systematic explanation of the success of Frankfurt cases. (2) Provide theoretical guidelines for evaluating Frankfurt-style omission cases independently of intuitions about moral responsibility. (3) Show why Frankfurt-style omission cases are often more problematic than positive action Frankfurt-style cases. In short it will account for the prima facie plausibility of asymmetry theses such as the following: (AT) responsibility for positive actions does not require the ability to do otherwise, but responsibility for omissions does require the ability to do otherwise. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Summer Semester 2018. / July 19, 2018. / Includes bibliographical references. / Randolph Clarke, Professor Directing Dissertation; John Kelsay, University Representative; J. Piers Rawling, Committee Member; Stephen Kearns, Committee Member.
43

Free Will, Luck, and Indoctrination

Unknown Date (has links)
This dissertation consists of three independent papers about free will: two on the problem of present luck, and one on autonomy and indoctrination. Chapters 2 and 3 (on the luck problem) concern freedom of choice, and Chapter 4 (on indoctrination) concerns self-government of theoretical and practical reasoning. The arguments in Chapters 2 and 3 are independent from the main argument of Chapter 4. The problem of present luck is often considered to be a good reason to reject libertarianism about free will, namely the view that incompatibilism is true and that some people have free will. (Incompatibilism says that free will and determinism are incompatible, and compatibilism denies this. Determinism is the thesis that, at any point in time, the past and the laws of nature are compatible with exactly one future.) Libertarians typically claim that a decision is free only if what the agent will choose remains undetermined right until the moment of choice, in such a way that the past and the laws of nature are compatible with her choosing otherwise then. The problem is that, if this condition is met, then nothing about the agent makes it the case that she chooses as she does instead of otherwise, and the choice is subject to present luck, namely luck about choosing as one does at a particular moment instead of choosing something else that one might also have chosen then. Thus, the undetermined choices that meet libertarian sufficient conditions for freedom are actually beyond our control (a matter of luck), and hence not free. Chapter 2 argues that determinism is compatible with present luck, and hence present luck is not brought about by any indeterminism condition that only libertarians endorse. Thus, compatibilists must also face the problem that decisions that meet what would otherwise seem to be sufficient conditions on freedom can be subject to present luck. Chapter 3 develops and clarifies the main argument in Chapter 2, and responds to Alfred Mele’s (2015) and Ishtiyaque Haji’s (2016) objections to that argument. I grant Mele’s (2015) point that present luck raises a more serious threat to libertarianism than it does to compatibilism, because only libertarianism postulates a necessary condition on freedom of choice that implies present luck. But, I argue, any account – compatibilist or libertarian – that claims that a decision can be free even if the agent might have chosen otherwise at that time and in that state of mind is committed to the freedom of choices that are subject to present luck. And both compatibilists and libertarians can have plausible reasons to claim that freedom of choice is compatible with the capacity to have chosen otherwise in the same state of mind. Finally, I discuss my disagreements with Neil Levy and others regarding determinism’s implications for the final difference-makers of choices, and I argue that Ishtiyaque Haji’s (2016) objection to my (2014) argument that present luck is a problem for compatibilists does not actually apply to my argument. Chapter 4 focuses on a certain kind of online indoctrination that some terrorist groups use to recruit militants. Relying on recent empirical studies of this kind of indoctrination, I argue that, at the first stages of conversion, many subjects meet all of the conditions that have been postulated by existing accounts of autonomy (including conditions concerning critical scrutiny), despite the fact that their theoretical and practical thinking is clearly not autonomous. Therefore, we must add a new condition, concerning specifically emotions, on self-governed theoretical and practical reasoning, and on the autonomous reflective endorsement of views, values, desires, practical commitments, and goals. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Spring Semester 2018. / April 18, 2018. / autonomy, determinism, free will, indoctrination, luck, present luck / Includes bibliographical references. / Alfred Mele, Professor Directing Dissertation; Michael Kaschak, University Representative; Randolph Clarke, Committee Member; Stephen Kearns, Committee Member; John Schwenkler, Committee Member.
44

Reading Nietzsche in Light of Emerson

Unknown Date (has links)
This Dissertation explores the connection between Ralph Waldo Emerson and Friedrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche read and admired Emerson consistently throughout his working life, but little has been done to assess why Nietzsche liked Emerson or what influence Emerson’s essays might have had on him. I argue that Nietzsche found in Emerson’s work a similar set of concerns to his own, revolving around a crises in values, and also found a solution to this problem, which he largely adopted. In short, Emerson showed Nietzsche how it was possible to create values in a time of devalued values, and why it was necessary to do so. The influence of Emerson reveals a new way to understand Nietzsche’s thought, which contrasts with recent attempts to understand Nietzsche as a methodological naturalist. / A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Philosophy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. / Spring Semester 2018. / March 2, 2018. / Emerson, Nietzsche / Includes bibliographical references. / Michael Ruse, Professor Directing Dissertation; John Kelsay, University Representative; David McNaughton, Committee Member; Nathanael Stein, Committee Member.
45

THE PROBLEM OF EXPLANATION IN HISTORY

Unknown Date (has links)
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 30-09, Section: A, page: 3984. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1969.
46

TWO INVESTIGATIONS IN AESTHETICS

Unknown Date (has links)
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 31-09, Section: A, page: 4835. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1970.
47

A REVISED JAMESEAN THEORY OF TRUTH

Unknown Date (has links)
An examination of William James' epistemology was presented, with particular emphasis placed on his theory of truth. The thesis was that James never fully developed a pragmatic theory of the nature of truth, although he did develop pragmatic theories of the nature of reality, thinking, and the meaning of ideas. The development of his theory of truth was traced from his realism through his theory of truth as verification. Included in that discussion was examination of his notions of sensation, perception, reality, usefulness, and satisfaction. Based on his other epistemological theories, and building upon his incomplete theory of truth, a revised version of his theory was developed. In this new theory, the terms that James used ambiguously (i.e. his definitions of "satisfaction" and "usefulness") and those that he failed to develop within his own theory (i.e. formulation of a pragmatically defined notion of "accuracy") were more rigorously defined. The relative merits of both James' theory and the new pragmatic theory were then examined in relation to the following traditional criticisms: criticisms concerning the definition of "truth" as "usefulness", criticisms concerning the definition of "truth" as "verification", and criticisms concerning the general notion of relativized "truths", and criticisms questioning the originality of the theory. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 43-12, Section: A, page: 3937. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1982.
48

THE INDIVIDUATION OF ACTS AND ACTIONS AS EVENTS

Unknown Date (has links)
Issues concerning the nature of human action arise at three levels of concern, viz., everyday-life, scientific, and philosophical. Primary among these issues are problems of individuating and describing acts and actions. Recent literature on the nature of human action has expanded to treat these problems. The trend has been to see the individuation question as an either/or situation, i.e., in a given instance, either several descriptions refer to several distinct acts or actions, or they refer to one and the same act or action. Those subscribing to the former view are "multipliers," among them Alvin Goldman; those advocating the latter are "unifiers," foremost among whom is Donald Davidson. / It is proposed that, upon analysis of the multiplier/unifier controversy, it is evident that both parties have conflated the terms 'act' and 'action,' and this leads to paradoxical results within each proponent's view. It is argued that the basis for an act/action distinction may be found in linguistic studies carried out by Zeno Vendler, Hugh McCann, Robert Ware, and Michael Bennett. Their work yields comparable distinctions between activities and performances, and between two concepts of events. These linguistic findings are brought to bear on the individuation impasse, which is detailed with special attention to Goldman's and Davidson's theories, and a new model for understanding acts and actions is sketched. / Taking into account linguistic peculiarities of cause and effect language, this model also reflects the functions of tense and aspect and the roles that perception and conception play in individuating entities. Based on the difference drawn by McCann between temporally persistent and temporally extended events, the proposed theory points up Goldman's and Davidson's views as complementary, not contradictory, and facilitates the dissolution of some thorny problems in action theory. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 41-03, Section: A, page: 1084. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1980.
49

THE DESIGN OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY: A METHODOLOGICAL VIEW

Unknown Date (has links)
Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 40-09, Section: A, page: 5080. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1979.
50

NIETZSCHE ON GUILT AND PUNISHMENT: A POSSIBLE POLEMIC ON THE AMERICAN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

Unknown Date (has links)
This study examines Nietzsche's polemics on the concepts of guilt and punishment by analyzing how these concepts have operated in religion, morality, psychology, and within secular institutions. It is demonstrated that what Nietzsche discerns is that the concepts of guilt and punishment have acted, and continue to act, in a disruptive and humanly debilitating manner in religion. Furthermore, it is shown that the manner in which guilt and punishment act in morality, human psychology, and within social institutions is dialectically related to the manner in which these concepts act in religion; they have similar effects. / In general, according to Nietzsche, the Christian concept of God has maintained its influence through the power of Christian values, which continue to be internalized by modern man. This study specifically examines the way in which the Christian concepts of guilt and punishment have come into play in human psychology. According to Nietzsche, modern man has internalized the logic of the procedures used by the Christian God in his administration of divine justice. Also, Nietzsche proposes that these internalized concepts of guilt and punishment, as well as their causal relationships, recently have become "externalized" and "objectified" in certain modern social institutions. As such, they have become a powerful social, psychological, and political force because they are now embodied in the administration of the law in western judicial and legislative institutions. / First, this study presents Nietzsche's genealogy and history of the concepts of guilt and punishment. Then, by examining how the concepts of guilt and punishment are interpreted and used in the American criminal justice system (through an analysis of its common law, statutes, history of the law, philosophy of the law, and the correctional institutions), this study demonstrates that the historical religious and moral understanding of these concepts have become integrated into the administration of American law. The aim of this study is to examine the validity of Nietzsche's hypothesis that the seminal influences on the modern interpretation of the concepts of guilt and punishment in modern criminal jurisprudence are religious ones. This study seeks to demonstrate that this hypothesis is valid in the case of American criminal jurisprudence. / It is my contention that such democratic ideals as "legal duty," "equal rights," "criminal responsibility," "justice," "the law," "guilt," and "punishment" are all rooted in the same assumptions integral to the Christian God's administration of divine justice. Since it is shown here that Nietzsche's polemics discredit the Christian assumptions, it is proposed that his polemics thereby provide a stern challenge to the values and ideals which give structure to the legal philosophy underlying the American criminal justice system. / Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 42-01, Section: A, page: 0248. / Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Florida State University, 1981.

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