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41. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 2
Marc Anthony Parker The Ethical Implications of Evolutionary Theory
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This essay is primarily concerned with important arguments involved in the debate about the relationship between evolution and morality. Though the paper holds that it is plausible that certain natural traits would have evolved into human moral sentiments, it argues that evolutionary theory cannot tell us how to be good people or why moral sentiments ought to take priority over immoral sentiments. Evolutionary theory is in this way an incomplete moral theory, analyzing how humans and human morality evolved through natural selection can uncover implications of evolutionary theory, which have a strong impact on a theory of morality.
42. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 2
Jonathan Payton What (Doesn't) Make an Heroic Act?
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This paper focuses on the nature of saintly or heroic acts, which, according to J.O. Urmson, exist as a fourth, less traditional category of moral actions. According to this division, heroic acts are those, which have positive moral value, but cannot be demanded of an individual as their duty; however, this paper argues that Urmson is mistaken in his claim that a consequentialist ethical framework is the most capable of accounting for heroic acts. Furthermore, this paper claims that an Aristotelian account is the most appropriate ethical theory to consider, which could better countenance the existence of heroic acts.
43. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 2
Special Interest Section
44. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 2
Ronald Ross A Doctor and a Scholar: Rethinking the Philosophic Significance of Eryximachus in the Symposium
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Too often critics ignore the philosophic significance of Eryximachus, the physician from Plato’s Symposium, and mistakenly dismiss Eryximachus’ presence in the text. However, this paper argues that a review of the role of medicine in the Platonic dialogues, coupled with a close reading of the Symposium’s structure and language reveals how the physician’s emphasis on love as a harmonizing force is analogous to Socrates’ emphasis on balance and harmony throughout the dialogues. Also, the description of the good physician is reflective of the way a good philosopher operates. By employing the medical trope, Eryximachus’ speech allows the reader greater insight into Platonic philosophy.
45. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 2
Adam InTae Gerard A Metaphysics for Mathematical and Structural Realism
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The goal of this paper is to preserve realism in both ontology and truth for the philosophy of mathematics and science. It begins by arguing that scientific realism can only be attained given mathematical realism due to the indispensable nature of the latter to the prior. Ultimately, the paper argues for a position combining both Ontic Structural Realism and Ante Rem Structuralism, or what the author refers to as Strong Ontic Structural Realism, which has the potential to reconcile realism for both science and mathematics. The paper goes on to claims that this theory does not succumb to the same traditional epistemological problems, which have damaged the credibility of its predecessors.
46. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Blake McAllister The Principle of Sufficient Reason and Free Will
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I examine Leibniz’s version of the Principle of Sufficient Reason with respect to free will, paying particular attention to Peter van Inwagen’s argument that this principle leads to determinism. Ultimately I conclude that Leibniz’s formulation is incompatible with free will. I then discuss a reformulation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason endorsed by Alexander Pruss that, I argue, manages to both retain the strength of Leibniz’s formulation and remain consistent with free will.
47. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Alex Haitos Possibility, Novelty, and Creativity
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I am trying to develop an account of possibility that is consistent with the changing world of our experience. Possibility is often viewed as something that has the same form as actuality, minus existence. Or it is taken that what a possibility is, is a (re)combination of the elements of actuality. Neither of these views of possibility can countenance radical novelty. Using Bergson and Whitehead, I begin to construct an account of possibility compatible with genuine novelty.
48. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Said Saillant The Strength of Relationships
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I endeavor to show that Descartes’ attribute-mode distinction cannot be characterized in terms of the determinable-determinate relation. I identify the latter’s formal and modal properties in order to determine whether the former shares them, which ultimately shows distinctness. I then indicate which property accounts for the differences. I conclude that the relation that unites modes under an attribute is weaker than that which groups determinates under some determinable, respectively, the relations of inherence and incompatibility.
49. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Alicia M.R. Donner Population Control: Financial Incentives, Freedom, and Question of Coercion
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The planet’s swiftly growing population coupled with the lack of food security and the degradation of natural resources has caused many demographers to worry about the ramifications of unchecked population growth while many philosophers worry about the ethical issues surrounding the methods of population control. Therefore, I intend to argue a system of encouraging a decrease in personal fertility rate via financial incentives offers a solution that is both viable and not morally reprehensible.
50. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Mark Bowker Weighing Solutions to the Lottery Puzzle
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The lottery puzzle can elicit strong intuitions in favour of skepticism, according to which we ordinary language-users speak falsely about knowledge with shocking regularity. Various contextualist and invariantist responses to the puzzle attempt to avoid this unwelcome result and preserve the competence of ordinary speakers. I will argue that these solutions can be successful only if they respect intuitions of a certain kind, and proceed to judge competing solutions by this criterion.
51. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Nancy Rankin A Substantive Revision to Firth's Ideal Observer Theory
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This paper examines Ideal Observer Theory and uses criticisms of it to lay the foundation for a revised theory first suggested by Jonathan Harrison called Ideal Moral Reaction Theory. Harrison’s Ideal Moral Reaction Theory stipulates that the being producing an ideal moral reaction be dispassionate. This paper argues for the opposite: an Ideal Moral Reaction must be performed by a passionate being because it provides motivation for action and places ethical decision-making within human grasp.
52. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Thomas Jared Farmer Relational Obligations: Defending a Non-Voluntarist Argument for Special Responsibilities
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This paper attempts to demonstrate that special responsibilities exist as a necessary and fundamental component of relationships. It seeks to show that, while special responsibilities may be superseded by other relevant concerns, they remain absolute. The paper attempts to demonstrate further that, even in cases of repugnant conclusion, special responsibilities exhibit a residual nature. It argues that such obligations are not always voluntary entered, but nevertheless represent prima facie duties to those parties involved.
53. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Kyle Shaffer The Skeptic's Language Game: Does Sextus Empiricus Violate Normal Language Use?
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This paper seeks to critique Pyrrhonean skepticism by way of language analysis. Linguistic aspects of Pyrrhonism are first examined utilizing the later writing of Wittgenstein. Pyrrhonean language-use is then critiqued using H.P. Grice’s concept of implicature to demonstrate shared knowledge between speakers. Finally, a teleological model of communication is sketched using ideas from Jerry Fodor. If the Pyrrhonist denies speaking to communicate mental states, we are justified in questioning why we should listen to what she says.
54. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Notes for Contributors
55. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 3
Jared Lincourt If Nietzsche Only Knew
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This paper compares Buddhism with the philosophies of Friedrich Nietzsche and speculates how he would have reacted to Buddhism if he had understood it more accurately. I will focus the discussion on two central philosophies of Buddhism, which Nietzsche misinterpreted: Nirvana and suffering. It will be shown through an examination of selected writings and key philosophies of Nietzsche that if he had a better understanding of Nirvana and suffering then he would have been significantly more favorable towards Buddhism and would have found it to have close similarities to his own beliefs.
56. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Phillip Shannon The Piety of Escape
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This paper examines two seemingly contradictory views of piety found in Plato’s Euthryphro and Crito. Using the Socratic dialogues for evidence of what Socrates actually believed and to piece together a Socratic account of piety, it seems that his argument in favor of remaining in prison is inconsistent with his own beliefs. The paper concludes that Socrates ought not to have thought it was impious to escape from prison.
57. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Stephen Bailey Certainly Uncertain: Nietzschean Pessimism for an Optimistic World
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In this paper, I contrast pre- and post-Socratic Greek thought, particularly with respect to Apollonian optimism and Dionysian pessimism. I show how Socrates’ judgment of a “right” way of living undermined Greek pessimism and was the first step towards modern scientific optimism, the belief that the world can be understood. I then argue that new developments in quantum physics make this optimism untenable, and I finally assert that Nietzschean pessimism is a coherent and beneficial metaphysical perspective.
58. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Jenna Kreyche How We Are Moral: Benevolence, Utility, and Self-Love in Hobbes and Hume
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In this paper, I reconstruct Hobbes’ theory of self-love. I then examine Hume’s arguements that (i) self-love does not properly account for moral behavior and (ii) self-love is unnecessary for moral theory. I argue that Hobbesian self-love can account for both of Hume’s objections. Further, I use an analysis of Hobbes’ Deliberation to show, contra Hume, that self-love does not entail a lack of intention in moral action.
59. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Anthony Adrian Ruminations on Intermittent Existence
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Can objects exist, cease to exist, and then exist once more? I lay out three ways to think about intermittent existence (IE). The first section is based on intuitions. The second section will show that the intuitions are bolstered by the concept of supervenience. The final section will argue that the strongest way to think about IE, and about supervenience, is in terms of mereology, the theory of parts and wholes.
60. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Leonardo Moauro A Critical Assessment of George Klosko’s Version of the Principle of Fair Play
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The nature of our obligation to obey the law has consistently been an important object of philosophical dispute. Fair play based theories of obligation purport to show that it is unfair for us to benefit from an organizational scheme (such as the state) without contributing our fair share to the provision of goods. George Klosko is a major proponent of this approach. I develop his particular version of the argument from fair play into a defensible theory of citizens’ obligation to obey the laws of their state.