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1. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Joshua Savage Where Claxton Falls Short: The Illusions of Consumption Addiction
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Guy Claxton suggests that post-Industrial Revolution westerners are consumption addicts and argues that we must embrace a more frugal and environmentally considerate lifestyle. However, I argue that Claxton’s analysis and solution to consumption addiction does not penetrate far enough. Through Warren’s ecofeminist reasoning and Heidegger’s notion of technology, I show that the anthropocentric assumption inherent in western consumption engenders a destructive and oppressive worldview by creating the illusion that we are justified in subordinating non-human entities.
2. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Chris Stevens A Critical Discussion of Sartre on Love
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Pessimism about the stability of intra-personal relationships runs deeply in the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. I begin by examining how this pessimism arises from Sartre’s ontology, particularly considering the attitude of love towards the Other. I then suggest that there may be space within Sartre’s philosophy for a defense of love as a positive relation to the Other which need not be destined to cycle into attitudes toward the Other such as hate or masochism.
3. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
John Woodlee Descriptions of God: A Critique of Anselm’s Ontological Argument
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This paper uses the lessons gathered from a brief consideration of the workings of substantive descriptive phrases to develop two objections to Anselm’s ontological proof of God’s existence. First, one’s understanding of the definition of God does not, as Anselm claims, guarantee that God exists in one’s understanding. Second, the proof depends on a flawed interpretation of the denial of God’s existence. The paper concludes by discussing the broader significance of this second objection.
4. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Wesley C. Dempster The Foundations of Knowledge in Aristotle and Epicurus: A Comparative Analysis
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As early proponents of foundationalism, Aristotle and Epicurus share the view that all knowledge rests on indubitable foundations. For Aristotle, these foundations are intellectual first principles. But for Epicurus, sense perception is basic. If certainty is the criterion of knowledge, then, despite their different approaches, neither philosopher succeeds in providing a mechanism sufficient to certify knowledge claims. For the foundationalist wishing to avoid nihilism, therefore, Aristotle’s and Epicurus’ failures are instructive.
5. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Caroline Sluyter Motion and Rest from a Chinese Buddhist Perspective
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This paper focuses on Seng-Chao’s conception of motion and rest as two different ways to see the same phenomenon and the effect that this has on his understanding of ideas such as impermanence. I point out the parallels that can be made between motion and rest and samsara and nirvana and I argue that a strong Taoist background helps Seng-Chao clarify Indian ideas and make even deeper claims about the true nature of reality.
6. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Jonathan Langseth Wittgenstein’s Account of Rule-Following and Its Implications
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In this paper I present an interpretation of Wittgenstein’s account of rulefollowing, including what implications he suggests this account has for philosophy. The account suggests that neither one’s interpretation nor the rule itself are criteria by which we may conclude a rule was followed correctly or not. Rather it is through training, regularity, habit and social expectation-in short, by the consequences of action-that an action is considered in accord with a rule. I argue that even if we accept Wittgenstein’s account of rule-following, certain philosophically important implications follow.
7. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Sam Hawke To What Extent is Experience Like Belief?
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In this paper, I argue that the connection between experience and belief is far closer than we might first suppose. In defending a broadly representationalist theory of perception, I argue that purportedly irreducible, non-physical entities such as qualia do not pose an intractable problem for physicalist or functionalist accounts of mind.
8. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Cassandra Reed The Politics of Epistemology
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This paper focuses on the metaphysical and conceptual structures of reality organization that exist currently in western culture. Taking a feminist perspective, this paper analyzes how some disfavored social groups actively have their identities manipulated and sometimes conceptually erased from the dominant conceptual scheme. Utilizing this analysis, it is concluded that this conceptual scheme perpetuates oppression; therefore, maintained loyalty to it is incompatible with the belief that all people should be treated as full persons.
9. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Robert John Miller, Erin Walton, Kalli McBride Musings
10. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 1
Daniel Cole Heidegger and Social Ecology
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In this essay I defend Heidegger’s critique of technology against possible criticisms that he may be an anti-humanist and a mystic. This essay will show that Heidegger’s critique of technology is helpful in thinking about ecological questions; and his contributions to such questions is relevant and not radically separated from some of the work of other philosophers today including Karen Warren and Marilyn Frye.
11. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Gina Schouten Letter from the Founder
12. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Cameron McNeely Letter from the Editor
13. 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.
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
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.
16. 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.
17. 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.
18. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 10
Russ Shafer-Landau The Philosopher’s Role: An Interview with Dr. Russ Shafer-Landau
19. 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.
20. 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.