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141. 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.
142. 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.
143. 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.
144. 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.
145. 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.
146. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Jee Won Choi Avoiding the Swine: A Hedonist’s Dilemma
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What constitutes a good life? A hedonist’s answer to this question is rather simple— more pleasure, less pain. While hedonism was previously a widely accepted belief, it now suffers from several crucial objections. A challenge particularly vexing to hedonists is the Philosophy of Swine: could it be possible that our lives may be less than that of a theoretical swine? In this essay, I argue that lifetime hedonism, the view of hedonism concerned with one’s total lifelong well-being, does not survive this objection. In particular, I will refute the counterarguments that modern-day hedonist, Ben Bramble, presents against the Philosophy of Swine objection.
147. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Megan Wu In Defense of Platonic Essentialism about Numbers
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In defense of anti-essentialism, pragmatist Richard Rorty holds that we may think of all objects as if they were numbers. I find that Rorty’s metaphysics hinges on two rather weak arguments against the essences of numbers. In contrast, Plato’s metaphysics offers a plausible definition of essentiality by which numbers do have essential properties. Further, I argue that Rorty’s argumentative mistake is mischaracterizing Plato’s definition. I conclude that Plato’s definition of “essential” is a robust one which implies that many properties, beyond those we might intuitively think of, can count as essential properties of objects.
148. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Even Totland Why the Readiness Potential Does Not Disprove Free Will
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Neuroscientist Benjamin Libet has conducted a series of experiments that reveal the existence of certain neural processes in the brain of human subjects, initiating an action prior to the human subject’s intention to act, thus seemingly threatening our idea of free will. The purpose of this paper is to show how these processes do not disprove any idea of free will one might have as one would, if accepting such a thesis, be committing two distinct mereological fallacies and ultimately, would treat the human subject as inhabiting some of its parts as opposed to being the sum of its parts.
149. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Max Davidson-Smith Post-Hierarchical Race: Reconsidering the Nature of Hierarchy within Haslanger’s Account of Race
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In this essay, I consider Sally Haslanger’s social constructivist account of race and propose a modification to the nature of hierarchy specified. According to Haslanger, race will cease to exist post-hierarchy, given that she builds in a requirement of synchronic hierarchy for the existence of race. While Haslanger maintains that racial identity would linger beyond hierarchical treatment in the form of ethnicity, I will suggest this fails to provide adequate conceptual justice for the cultures and aesthetics which emerged out of past oppression. In response, I propose a modification which would allow us to recognize the possibility of post-hierarchical races.
150. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 14
Brianna Lopez Origin, Impact, and Reaction to Misogynistic Behaviors: An Interview with Kate A. Manne, PhD
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Kate A. Manne is an associate professor at the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University, where she has been teaching since 2013. Before that, she was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (2011–2013), did her graduate work at MIT (2006–2011), and was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne (2001–2005), where she studied philosophy, logic, and computer science. Her current research is primarily in moral, feminist, and social philosophy. She is the author of two books, including her first book Down Girl: The Logic of Misogyny and her latest book Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women. Manne has also published a number of scholarly papers about the foundations of morality, and she regularly writes opinion pieces, essays, and reviews in venues—including The New York Times, The Boston Review, the Huffington Post, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.
151. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Caroline Carr Does the Dao Support Individual Autonomy and Human Rights?
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights lists what have come to be called “first” and “second” generation rights. First generation rights are civil and political; second generation rights are social, economic, and cultural. Western and Asian nations are in disagreement about whether each of these rights is universal. While Western nations strongly believe that first generation rights should be universal, many “Confucian” nations insist that second generation rights precede first generation rights. After analyzing the Confucian values in detail, I conclude that Confucianism supports both generations of rights.
152. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Raquel Robles Just Visiting: A Working Concept of “Wilderness” for Environmental Ethics and Ordinary Language
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This paper argues for retaining the concept of “wilderness” as a significant ethical category and considers arguments by J. Baird Callicott and William Cronon for abandoning it. Counters by Paul M. Keeling and Scott Friskics are evaluated and defended. Lastly, the paper recommends thinking of the term “wilderness” as belonging to a certain range of meanings on a spectrum of naturalness.
153. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Steven Dykstra Scientific Minimalism and the Division of Moral Labor in Regulating Dual-Use Research
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In this paper I examine the merits of a “division of moral labor” regulatory system for dual-use research. I borrow an argument from Thomas Douglas against scientific isolationism to show that researchers must be morally responsible for resolving at least some dual-use problems. I then argue that there are key benefits of scientific isolationism that are preserved in a position I call scientific minimalism. I then demonstrate that scientific minimalism, in a division of moral labor system, succeeds in maximizing both scientific freedom and moral efficiency, which I hold to be an essential aim for any proposed alternative regulatory model.
154. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Charlie Melman If “Everyone Does It,” Then You Can Too
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I argue that the “But Everyone Does That” (BEDT) defense can have significant exculpatory force in a legal sense, but not a moral sense. I consider whether legal realism is a better theory of the law than the more orthodox view of respecting the law as it is written. I next examine what the purpose of the law is, especially attending to how widespread disobedience is treated. Finally, I attempt to fit BEDT within Paul Robinson’s framework for categorizing defenses. I conclude that, first, BEDT can have significant exculpatory force; second, a BEDT plea does not comport with either Robinson’s definition of an excuse or other commonly held conceptions and so needs its own classification; and finally, BEDT does not exonerate the offender in a moral sense—only in a legal context.
155. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Richard Spradlin “Hood Politics”: Racial Transformation in Hip-Hop
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This paper explores the possibility of music to transform the way we understand each other. In particular, it looks at the genre of hip-hop and the ways in which it can serve as a vehicle for understanding black experience. I argue that hip-hop’s structural elements allow artists to convey their living narrative in a way that recognizes, challenges, and changes our conceptual understanding of the black body. Using the works of Darby English and Harry Nethery, I examine hip-hop and apply their arguments to two specific rappers in order to illustrate my argument.
156. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
C.J. Oswald Moral Vegetarianism and the Philosophy of Mind
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Most arguments for moral vegetarianism rely on the premise that non-human animals can suffer. In this paper I evaluate problems that arise from Peter Carruthers’ Higher-Order Thought theory of consciousness. I argue that, even if we assume that these problems cannot be overcome, it does not follow that we should not subscribe to moral vegetarianism. I conclude that we should act as if non-human animals have subjective experiences for moral reasons, even if we cannot be certain that they do.
157. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Miguel D. Guerrero The Academic Animal is Just an Analogy: Against the Restrictive Account of Hegel’s “Spiritual Animal Kingdom”
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The “Spiritual Animal Kingdom” is an often-misunderstood section of G.F.W. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Many scholars interpret the ‘Spiritual Animal Kingdom’ as being analogous to intellectual life. While the intellectual life analogy is useful, the restrictive account takes it to be the sole content of this section. In this essay, I argue that the restrictive account misidentifies what Hegel means by die Sache selbst (in English, “the matter in hand”). Such a mistake will affect the ability of consciousness to progress to absolute knowing, the ultimate project for Hegel’s Phenomenology.
158. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Dane Shade Hannum Criminal Justice Without Moral Responsibility: Addressing Problems with Consequentialism
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This paper grants the hard determinist position that moral responsibility is not coherent with a deterministic world view and examines hard determinist alternatives to traditional punishment. I claim that hard determinist accounts necessarily involve consequentialist reasoning and discuss problems stemming from them. I also argue that a revised model of traditional consequentialism called complex consequentialism, a view in which multiple values may be considered as ends, provides the best moral framework for a hard determinist account. Ultimately, I examine a criminal justice model that draws heavily on public health ideals and argue that it should considered a complex consequentialist account.
159. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Linda Martín Alcoff Feminism, Speaking for Others, and the Role of the Philosopher: An Interview with Linda Martín Alcoff
160. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 9
Nicole B. Doolen Purity Balls: Virtue Ethics, Sexuality, and Moral Development
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In this paper, I draw on the principles of Aristotelian ethics, the work of modern virtue ethicists, and previous feminist critiques of purity balls to interrogate the effects of this practice on moral development. I argue that purity balls discourage young women from making autonomous, informed, and virtuously motivated decisions regarding their sexuality. While most critiques of purity balls are rooted in the explicitly patriarchal structure of these events, my analysis emphasizes the negative impact they have on moral agency. I conclude that purity balls are unethical because of the detrimental effects they have on the becoming of virtuous agents.