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Displaying: 1-20 of 124 documents


1. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Julian Rome Trans Men & Trans Women: The Role of the Personal History in Self-Identification
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This paper addresses one of the ways in which transgender individuals identify with respect to personal history, living “stealth,” whereby transgender individuals do not disclose their transgender status (that is, they present themselves as cisgender), oftentimes no longer considering themselves transgender. Individuals who live stealth are often criticized for inauthenticity; thus, this paper analyses Sartrean notions of authenticity and personal history, thereby arguing that the person who lives stealth is not living inauthentically but rather is constituting their conception of self through their past, present, and future projects.
2. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Peter Heft When Language Breaks: A Heideggerian Analysis of Grice's Cooperative Principle
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In “Logic and Conversation,” H. P. Grice posits that in conversations, we are “always-already” implying certain things about the subjects of our words while abiding by certain rules to aid in understanding. It is my view, however, that Grice’s so-called “cooperative principle” can be analyzed under the traditional Heideggerian dichotomy of ready-to-hand and present-at-hand wherein language can be viewed as a “mere” tool that sometimes breaks. Ultimately, I contend that the likening of language to a tool allows for a more robust understanding of it and conversational failures, while ontologically recategorizing language as an object of sorts.
3. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Daniel Saunders Durkheim’s Relational Account Of Social Ontology
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Secondary commentators on Emile Durkheim have interpreted his ontology in conflicting and contradictory ways. Some have claimed that he treats social entities as mysterious substances which exist over and above individuals. Others claim he is ontologically committed to exactly nothing more than individuals. Few studies have carefully analyzed his ontological commitments in detail, and the conventional wisdom on the issue leaves much to be desired. I argue Durkheim holds neither a substance nor an individualist view of social ontology. Instead, he is committed to the reality of emergent social relations which form the proper subject matter of sociology
4. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Dallas Jokic Critique And Intersubjectivity
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In light of the allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment made against Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men in recent months, this paper will examine how men might take on responsibility for themselves and a culture that enables these patterns of abuse. It will draw primarily on the work of Judith Butler, Luce Irigaray, and Emmanuel Levinas to develop a model of responsibility that has three primary stages: taking ownership of past actions, critiquing gendered power relations, and learning how to foster relationships that are “intersubjective.”
5. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Emily Mastragostino Ceci N’est Pas Une Atheist: A Nietzschean Analysis Of “Atheism” In Memes
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In The Gay Science Nietzsche famously writes that “God is dead.” Modern atheists, including “Internet Atheists,” have taken this as their epithet. I argue that the perpetuation of the statement “God is dead” contradicts the atheistic core, such that Internet Atheists parallel theists in identity construction. Insights from Nietzsche, Jean Luc Nancy, Sigmund Freud, and Christopher Hitchens allow for an exploration of the theistic underpinnings of Internet Atheists. The doctrine of Internet Atheism, as it is represented in humorous online depictions of God, suggests an inability to confront the consequences of the death of God, an inability which Nietzsche warns against in the Parable of the Madman.
6. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Benjamin M. Slightom The House Has Eyes: Or How Objects Haunt Our Present
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Human beings cannot bear the thought of no longer being the center of the universe; Martin Heidegger’s ontology validates the construction of a world that subjugates non-human objects to a role which reinforces our own position. In this paper, two personal experiences of objects which contradict traditional construals of “subjectivity” will be explored and analyzed in light of contemporary uncertainty around Heidegger’s ontology. Ultimately, I seek to complicate and show the radical dependence humans have on the constructed—or, “second”—subjectivity of objects and how we use them to validate the world as we wish it to be seen.
7. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Sam Traylor Living with the Dying, Being With the Dead
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Though Heidegger largely informs his conceptions of being and time through an analytic of the phenomenology of death, he treats death as an entirely personal experience. Through Robert Pogue Harrison’s Dominion of the Dead, and Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich, this essay examines the death of others, and how the experience of another’s death informs the life of the living. The death of others is the possibility of a shift in the world of the living; this possibility for the living arises primarily through relationship with the corpse.
8. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Christopher Humphreys On Methodologies of Resisting Testimonial Injustice
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Testimonial injustice, in its most pernicious form, subjects a speaker to identity-prejudicial deficits in the credibility that is rightly due their testimony. This paper compares two prominent accounts of testimonial injustice to determine which achieves the best understanding of the phenomenon and how it can be combatted. Where Fricker’s focus is limited to strictly epistemic wrongs, Medina’s analysis extends to the pertinent non-epistemic elements central to the injustice. Thus, Medina’s methodology is better-suited to the task of phenomenological analysis, and positions us to achieve a more complete understanding of what injustice has been perpetrated, and of how to resist it.
9. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Kate Kennedy Ideal Cognition: A Narrowly Constrained Relative Pragmatism
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Both the nature and aim of human cognition are philosophically divisive topics. On one side, there are the evidentialists who believe that the sole purpose of cognition is to seek and find truths. In contrast, pragmatists appeal to cognition solely as a tool, something that helps people achieve their goals. In this paper, I put forward an account of cognition and its aims fundamentally based on a pragmatic viewpoint. Crucially, however, I claim that an evolutionary pragmatic picture of cognition must assert rationality as a core tenant of human thought, mooring a relative pragmatism within a system logic and rationality.
10. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
Gerald Nelson The Diversity Initiative as Anti-Revolutionary Project
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Through diversity initiatives, academia and business have recruited many new talented individuals from historically underrepresented communities. These institutions are now in the position of possessing, managing, and deploying a massive amount of diverse talent. We examine what we may expect from these institutions as they continue to absorb diverse talent, as well as what we can expect from these talented individuals as they become a newly established class.
11. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 11
David Chalmers Thinking Just Happens: An Interview with David Chalmers, PhD
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12. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Cameron McNeely Letter from the Editor
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13. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Gina Schouten Letter from the Founder
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14. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Corey Baron In Defense of Strong AI: Semantics as Second-Order Rules
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This paper argues against John Searle in defense of the potential for computers to understand language (“Strong AI”) by showing that semantic meaning is itself a second-order system of rules that connects symbols and syntax with extralinguistic facts. Searle’s Chinese Room Argument is contested on theoretical and practical grounds by identifying two problems in the thought experiment, and evidence about “machine learning” is used to demonstrate that computers are already capable of learning to form true observation sentences in the same way humans do. Finally, sarcasm is used as an example to extend the argument to more complex uses of language.
15. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Lixing Mida Chu Semantic Ambiguity Explained in the Framework of Cognitive Economy
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In “Context and Communication,” Stephen Neale argues that the referential use of descriptions differs from the attributive use only in the pragmatics, making referential descriptions applicable to Russellian analysis. Marga Reimer disagrees with Neale’s view and argues that the difference is in the semantics, making referential descriptions semantically ambiguous. In this paper, I argue that Neale’s Modified Occam’s Razor overlooks the behavioral data of how we actually use language. I attempt to accommodate the strength of both Neale’s and Reimer’s explanations, putting them in a framework governed by the principle of cognitive economy.
16. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Ried Gustafson Epistemologies of Henry David Thoreau & the Lakota Sioux
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Western individualism and Indigenous communalism are contradicting epistemologies. This paper provides a comparative analysis of these epistemologies found in the writings of Henry David Thoreau and Lakota Sioux philosopher, Robert Bunge. Taking a comparative look into these epistemologies is beneficial to understanding the fundamental difference in knowledge existing between Western and Indigenous peoples. Ultimately, Western individualism has created an environment of competition to establish boundaries and define oneself. In contrast, the Lakota knowledge of community operates to sustain life through reciprocity and adjustment to one another and the natural world.
17. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Caleb Hazelwood Synthetic Biology and Natural Kinds: Homeostatic Property Cluster Theory in the Post-Genomic Era
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In the life sciences, biologists and philosophers lack a unifying concept of species—one that will reconcile intuitive demarcations of taxa with the fluidity of phenotypes found in nature. One such attempt at solving this “species problem” is known as Homeostatic Property Cluster theory (HPC), which suggests that species are not defined by singular essences, but by clusters of properties that a species tends to possess. I contend that the arbitrary nature of HPC’s kind criteria would permit a biological brand of functionalism to inform species boundaries, thereby validating synthetic organisms as members of a species that do not belong.
18. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Haiyu Jiang Cognition and Evolution: A Reply to Nagel’s Charges on the Evolutionary Explanation of Cognition
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In this paper, I examine one of Nagel’s arguments against evolutionary theory, that the evolutionary conception of nature is incompatible with our understanding of cognition. I reconstruct Nagel’s two charges that the evolutionary conception of nature is at odds with our ability to acquire objective knowledge of the external world and that evolutionary theory is insufficient to explain logic’s absolute reliability. I reply to the first charge by suggesting that we should understand our ability to logically reason as a by-product instead of a direct product of the evolutionary processes. Then I reply to the second charge by denying that logic’s reliability is an appropriate subject of inquiry for evolutionary theory.
19. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
David McKerracher Virtual Enframing: Social Media’s Subsumption of the Other into Theyness
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Sherry Turkle’s “virtuous circle” will be used to bring insights from Heidegger and Levinas into accord. Turkle argues that the distraction and escape made possible by our devices tend to undermine achieving solitude and genuine sociality, thus posing a danger to the interdependent possibilities of authenticity and ethical living. For Heidegger, the call of conscience is one’s ownmost possibility, death. Levinas argues that the call of conscience is instead ethical, instigated by the face of the Other. Rather than conflicting, these two phenomenological accounts of conscience will be shown to be mutually affirming once brought into harmony via Turkle’s framework.
20. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Janice Perri Making Sense of Epicurean Friendship: An Intended Audience Approach
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This paper argues that Epicurean friendship is instrumental in value, and Epicurus’s varied claims about friendship can be understood as teaching strategies that are tailored to different levels of students. After rejecting an argument that presents Epicurean friendship as intrinsic, I outline Epicurus’s methodology of teaching and examine his specific claims regarding friendship as intended for either novice, intermediate, or advanced students. This approach allows Epicurus’s weaker and stronger claims regarding friendship to be viewed as gradually progressing students towards the good life without deviating from the ethical hedonism that frames his entire philosophical project.