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1. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Front Matter
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2. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Klayton Silverpen Why Does God Need Freedom?
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God is often portrayed as being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Many worry that these traits make it so that God cannot possess free will. However, very little is said about why a God without freedom would be an issue. I argue that God does not need the kind of freedom we usually care about. I make a case that free will is important to us because it allows us to assign blame and praise to others. From here, I argue that being able to blame God is unimportant, and that God can still be praised even without free will.
3. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Greyson Gold The Wisdom of Wizards: The Cognitive Value of Fantasy Literature
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In this paper, I explore the cognitive value of fantasy literature. Using Immanuel Kant's and Jean-Paul Sartre's discussions of the imagination, and J.R.R. Tolkien's "On Fairy Stories,” I argue that fantasy literature is cognitively valuable when it confers phenomenal knowledge. I move on to demonstrate what a work of fantasy literature requires to confer this phenomenal knowledge. Fantasy literature has the potential to reveal true insights into this world when it brings the reader into a state of “secondary belief” and confers phenomenal knowledge through the union of world and story.
4. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Kelsey Gaylord The Case Against Speciesism and Sexism: An Interactionist Approach to Singer and Adams
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Using the interactionist approach of comparative philosophy, I evaluate the intersecting points made in Animal Liberation by Peter Singer and The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory by Carol Adams. The purpose of this paper is to examine how a combination of the utilitarian and feminist perspectives helps us adopt a new philosophy accounting for all systems of oppression involved in eating animals. I conclude that by removing unnecessary harm to animals and unlearning phrases with an absent reference to oppressed groups, society can progress toward an anti-oppressive system of liberation.
5. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Nevin Chellappah Is J.S. Mill’s Account of Free Speech Sustainable in the Age of Social Media?
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In this paper, I examine whether John Stuart Mill’s account of free speech can survive three main challenges posed by social media. First, I consider the problem of social media failing to distinguish between emotive and factual language. Second, I look at the problem of algorithms creating moralism. I then turn to a potential objection to my first two challenges. The objection elucidates the benefits of social media’s emotional and algorithmic character, amplifying arguments and increasing public engagement. However, I take issue with this objection on consequentialist terms. I finally return to the third challenge, where I focus on how anonymity removes the consequences to our words; I contend that this final failure is the ultimate reason why Mill’s account cannot persist in the modern age. In conclusion, I argue that Mill’s account cannot withstand the problems posed by social media.
6. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Shir Bloch On the Structure of Consciousness: Experiential Swaths within Holism
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Some views of holism fail to fully encapsulate the structure and independence of consciousness while others are reductionist in their insistence on a strict structure. After examining holism and mental state consciousness, I move to my own proposal for the structure of consciousness: experiential swaths. By highlighting the phenomenal interdependence of some aspects of consciousness without conceding that all aspects are so strongly intertwined, experiential swaths allow for further conceptual structurization within consciousness.
7. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Kelly Oduro Bringing the Marginalized into Epistemology
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In this paper, I discuss the epistemological injustices that Black women face in academia. I review Patricia Hill Collins’s work, “Learning from the Outsider Within: Sociological Significance of Black Feminist Thought,” which details the unique knowledge standpoint that Black women possess. I build upon the ideas set forth by Collins and other scholars to understand how the traditional knowledge validation process is tainted with political implications and harms Black women. I then offer recommendations rooted in alternative epistemology principles to combat the injustices inherent in academia.
8. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Vaibhav Gaddam Thinking and Speaking
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Based on Eli Alshanetsky’s work Articulating a Thought, in this paper, I present a reconstructed puzzle involving complex thoughts and a method for how to tackle articulating them. Then, I reconstruct and provide objections to Alshanetsky’s favored view with rationality. I expound on an initially overlooked deflationary view that is arguably much more viable, while also adding a layer of nuance and granularity to the view that affirms its place in solving the puzzle. I reach the conclusion that if articulation is simply a medium for us to express our complex unfinished thoughts, then perhaps it isn’t necessary for us to clarify the thought.
9. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Jacob Berk Putnam’s Problem of the Robot and Extended Minds
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In this paper, I consider Hilary Putnam’s argument for the prima facie acceptance of robotic consciousness as deserving the status of mind. I argue that such an extension of consciousness renders the category fundamentally unintelligible, and we should instead understand robots as integral products of an extended human consciousness. To this end, I propose a test from conceptual object permanence, which can be applied not just to robots, but to the in­numerable artifacts of consciousness that texture our existences.
10. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Mukund Maithani How a Buddha Acts: Laying Bricks for a Buddhist Theory of Action
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Buddhist philosophers generally hold that concepts like “I” and “me,” while useful in everyday life, are ultimately meaningless. Under this view, there would be no “agents” because it is meaningless to say “I did so and so….” How do we explain the occurrence of actions without referring to agents? I argue that Cappelen and Dever’s Action Inventory Model (AIM) is a useful resource for developing a Buddhist theory of action. In response to an objection that AIM cannot explain a buddha’s action, I show that a slightly tweaked version of AIM succeeds in explaining how a buddha acts.
11. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Jay Six Kantian Disregard for Non-Rational Humans: Immanuel Kant’s Haunting Impact on Contemporary Bioethics
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I seek to emphasize Immanuel Kant’s lingering and unsavory impact on medical ethics by emphasizing Kantian ethics’ disregard for non-rational humans. We must be considerate when discussing individuals who have some form of dementia, conditions that irreversibly diminish the ability to use rational thought, sometimes to a degree of severity that hinders essential daily functions. I argue that to consider ourselves proponents of human equality we must treat humans with dementia as members of the kingdom of ends.
12. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Grace Georgi Music, Cage’s Silence, and Art: An Interview with Stephen Davies, PhD
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13. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 15
Back Matter
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14. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Grace Weber The Plate is Political: A Foucauldian Analysis of Anorexia Nervosa
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In this paper, I investigate why anorexia nervosa emerged in non-Western nations after Western globalization efforts. Using Simone de Beauvoir’s theory of gender from The Second Sex alongside Michel Foucault’s conceptualization of the “docile body,” I argue that the emergence of anorexia nervosa in non-Western nations reflects the Western sovereign’s subordination of women. While patriarchal oppression is not exclusive to the West, I contend that the political ideology behind Western industrialization has allowed new avenues for patriarchal oppression to permeate. To conclude, I demand that mainstream discourse on anorexia nervosa consider the political conditions which are catalytic to its occurrence.
15. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Samuel R. Elliott A Two-Part Defense of Intuitionistic Mathematics
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The classical interpretation of mathematical statements can be seen as comprising two separate but related aspects: a domain and a truth-schema. L. E. J. Brouwer’s intuitionistic project lays the groundwork for an alternative conception of the objects in this domain, as well as an accompanying intuitionistic truth-schema. Drawing on the work of Arend Heyting and Michael Dummett, I present two objections to classical mathematical semantics, with the aim of creating an opening for an alternative interpretation. With this accomplished, I then make the case for intuitionism as a suitable candidate to fill this void.
16. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Emma Ming Wahl Black Women in Fanon’s Black Skin, White Masks: The Intersection of Race, Gender, and Oppression
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In this paper, I focus on the representations of Black women in contrast to Black men found within Frantz Fanon’s philosophical work Black Skin, White Masks. I propose that while Fanon’s racial dialectical work is very significant, he often lacks acknowledgement of the multidimensionality of the Black woman’s lived experience specifically. Drawing on the theory of intersectionality, coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, I argue that Fanon does not recognize the different layers of oppression operating in Black women’s lives to the degree that he fails to include them within his framework of both liberation and resistance from racial oppression.
17. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Micah Phillips-Gary Full-Blooded Conceptual Realism as a Response to Skeptical Relativism
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In this paper, I discuss full-blooded Platonism (the claim that all possible mathematical objects exist) as a response to the skeptical problem in the philosophy of mathematics as to how empirical beings can cognize non-empirical mathematical objects. I then attempt to develop an analogous position regarding the applicability of concepts to reality in response to the skeptical problem regarding how we can cognize an objective reality through human-constructed concepts. If all concepts meeting certain minimal conditions structure reality under some aspect, then objective knowledge is possible, regardless of how these concepts arose historically.
18. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Seyeong Hanlim Being Moral Isn’t Quite Enough: The Role of Nonmoral Virtues in Moral Sainthood
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Attempts to define morality or stress its importance are the center of ethical debates that aim to provide guidance for human life. Deviating from this goal, Susan Wolf shines a light on the significance of “nonmoral virtues” by discussing how a moral saint’s life, too immersed in morality, could be lacking in other spheres. She states that a moral saint’s life would be unattractive or dull, as one is not able to value or pursue nonmoral activities such as the arts or cooking due to one’s commitments under moral sainthood. I challenge this argument, which belittles moral sainthood in an attempt to give more credit to nonmoral qualities in life, by arguing that nonmoral virtues could be necessary and valuable for a moral saint in carrying out her duties.
19. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Bradley Holder Clashing Consciousness: A Cure for Modern Medicine’s Epistemic Privilege
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In this paper, I consider practical strategies for resolving the epistemic injustice that ill persons face when seeking medical treatment. My arguments will expand upon those initially made by Havi Carel and Ian James Kidd in “Epistemic Injustice in Healthcare: A Philosophical Analysis.” My approach to this problem is twofold. First, I will demonstrate how the phenomenological toolkit, as it currently stands, emphasizes the patient’s experience and leaves the doctor’s experience unadjusted. After this, I will explain how the toolkit can be improved to include the doctor’s perspective.
20. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Ryan Curnow Hegel’s Projected Nihilism: A Study of Orientalized Buddhism
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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s historical analysis of Buddhist philosophy not only fails as a sound interpretation of that tradition, it also well-exemplifies the Western practice of Orientalism as elucidated by Edward Said. I attempt to demonstrate this in three major parts: the nature of Orientalism as a concept and practice, the Orientalist analytical process that Hegel employs in judging Buddhism as well as religions in general, and how Hegel’s understanding does not work against a more charitably interpreted Buddhist defense. Moreover, I argue that the Orientalist erroneousness of Hegel’s reading deeply complicates his hierarchical philosophy of world history.