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61. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Zachary Stinson A Multi-Causal Approach To Synchronicity
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Synchronicity has long been described as an ‘acausal’ connecting principle. However, the use of this descriptor is not only misleading, but also outright false on any seriously considered picture of synchronicity due to admissions of multiple types of causes. Furthermore, previous attempts to clarify the ‘acausal’ label have served only to further muddy the waters of discussion. A ‘multi-causal’ conception of synchronicity is proposed to ease and encourage future discussion in many disciplines.
62. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Kenneth Stalkfleet Gettiering Goldman
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This paper examines the causal theory of knowledge put forth by Alvin Goldman in his 1967 paper “A Causal Theory of Knowing.” Goldman contends that a justified, true belief is knowledge if and only if it is causally connected to the fact that makes it true. This paper provides examples, however, of justified, true beliefs with such causal connections that are clearly not knowledge. The paper further shows that attempts to salvage the causal theory are unsatisfactory.
63. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Bo Fox Pons A Rawlsian Revitalization of Gewirth’s Normative Structure for Action
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Alan Gewirth’s Reason and Morality justifies certain fundamental moral principles and develops morality out of the basic structure of action. Contemporary literature exposes a critical flaw in the second stage of Gewirth’s argument contending that Gewirth fails to create agent-neutral moral claims. In order to provide a transfer of interests between agents, the solution to Gewirth’s problem, I argue that certain Rawlsian concepts buttress and are consistent with Gewirth’s argument for the normative structure of action.
64. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Pete Faulconbridge A New Approach to the Paradox of Fiction
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It seems that an intuitive characterization of our emotional engagement with fiction contains a paradox, which has been labelled the ‘Paradox of Fiction’. Using insights into the nature of mental content gained from the disjunctive theory of perception I propose a novel solution to the Paradox, explained and motivated by reference to Kendall Walton’s influential account of fictionality. Using this insight I suggest that we can take the phenomenology of fictional engagement seriously in a way not allowed by Walton.
65. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Blake McAllister The Universe Began to Exist?: Craig’s Philosophical Arguments For A Finite Past
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William Lane Craig offers two philosophical arguments for the conclusion that the universe began to exist. To be compelling, these arguments must not only be sound—we must also have reasons to believe that they are sound. I determine that these arguments do not provide such reasons to many individuals. The arguments ultimately rely on supposedly intuitively obvious absurdities. However, if one fails to see these ostensible absurdities—as many philosophers do—then for her, Craig’s arguments lack all epistemic force.
66. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
Brittney Sovik Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale by Debra Satz
67. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 4
About the Authors
68. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Gunnar Lund Across and Beyond: The Semantics of Transgender Identity
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This paper examines two senses of the term “transgender:” transgender as across the gender binary and transgender as beyond the gender binary. Explored are the difficulties this ambiguity poses to transpeople. In short, using the theories of Ferdinand de Saussure and Richard Rorty, this paper argues that the meaning of “transgender” must simultaneously embrace both senses of the term, rather than one or the other.
69. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Kristianne C. Anor Science: A Greatest Integer Function: A Punctuated, Cumulative Approach to the Inquisitive Nature of Science
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Thomas Kuhn argues that scientific advancements sometimes involve paradigm shifts between incommunsurable theories, thoughts, and concepts. I argue that the phenomenon Kuhn is attempting to describe is better explained as akin to a greatest integer function of punctuated equilibrium. I conclude that Kuhn is mistaken in thinking that science is an actively vigorous, cumulative discipline.
70. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Kyle Cavagnini Descriptions of Scientific Revolutions: Rorty’s Failure at Redescribing Scientific Progress
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The twentieth century saw extended development in the philosophy of science to incorporate contemporary expansions of scientific theory and investigation. Richard Rorty was a prominent and rather controversial thinker who maintained that all progress, from social change to scientific inquiry, was achieved through the redescription of existing vocabularies. However, this theory fails to describe revolutionary scientific progress. Thomas Kuhn’s theories of paradigm change, as first described in his seminal work The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, better portray this process. I attempt to show this by applying Kuhn’s and Rorty’s views to examples of scientific progress and comparing the results.
71. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Amanda Frankel Kept Down By the Man, Damn the Man: The Figurative and Literal Alienation of Women
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While Feminism and Marxism each promote revolution in the name of equality, Feminist struggle is dismissed by Marxism. As workers, women face the capitalist narrative, but women’s alienation is deeper than mere Marxist alienation. Women face the additional narrative of the patriarchy. This paper seeks to show that true Marxist revolution is impossible unless it is preceded by a Feminist revolution that breaks gender and sexual stigmas.
72. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Garrett Allen Understanding Thomas Reid
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Thomas Reid offers a powerful challenge to Hume and his skeptical system. In “Thomas Reid on Epistemic Principles,” William Alston gives an explanation of that challenge and concludes in favor of a Reidian-inspired thesis. I argue, however, that Alston’s thesis is a diluted version of Reid’s radical position, one that Reid’s principles cannot accommodate. Thus, I conclude that, because Alston’s position is not available, we are left with Reid’s radical thesis, with which we are rightly uncomfortable.
73. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Phillip Curtsmith The Principle of Implicit Ignorance
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The following is a foundationalist exercise based upon a single observation or postulate distinguishing one’s knowledge of information versus one’s knowledge of one’s former unknowing of that information. This postulate is titled the “principle of implicit ignorance.” Utilizing this postulate, several theorems are constructed including the equivalence to Hume’s thesis regarding the absence of knowledge of a necessary connection. The postulate is then negated, demonstrating equivalence to Kant’s thesis regarding the presence of synthetic a priori statements. The final result is a single general epistemic postulate that brokers between the two respective positions. Because both systems are the result of this general principle, rejecting the results of one system necessarily forces one into the contrary position.
74. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Vincent Charles Sawaya The Truth of the Matter: A Defense of Critical Thinking as the Principle Aim of Education
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With the rise of state sponsored standardized testing and curriculum alignment, it is important to consider the impact such practices may have on educational aims. In this paper, I argue that critical thinking ought to be the principle aim in every educational pursuit, and that practices such as “teaching to the test” may be detrimental to its development. I maintain these claims with a discussion of the philosophical works of Harvey Siegel, Israel Scheffler, and John Dewey. Operating from their definitions of critical thinking, rationality, and education respectively, I offer support for my conclusion based on one’s ability to challenge the soundness of claims, and the revisional quality of true belief. The issue of critical thinking as general or subject specific is also addressed. Using Siegel’s notion of a critical spirit, I propose that a universal quality of critical thinking lies in its normative as opposed to technical aspects.
75. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Hannah Laurens Finite in Infinity: Spinoza’s Conception of Human Freedom Explained Through His Metaphysics
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One of the main themes in Spinoza’s Ethics is the issue of human freedom: What does it consist in and how may it be attained? Spinoza’s ethical views crucially depend on his metaphysical theory, and this close connection provides the answer to several central questions concerning Spinoza’s conception of human freedom. Firstly, how can we accommodate human freedom within Spinoza’s necessitarianism—in the context of which Spinoza rejects the notion of a free will? Secondly, how can humans, as merely finite beings, genuinely attain freedom? Can Spinoza defend his claim that we may even attain blessedness? I will argue that these questions are answered by appeal to a twofold in human nature. According to Spinoza, we are finite in infinity.
76. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Debra Bellamy To Gay, or Not To Gay?
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This work examines the structure of discourses on homosexuality, taking the nature-versus-nurture question as a case study, in order to display the incoherency that results from taking such questions for granted. This paper critically explores the alleged neutrality and objectivity of discourses on sexuality, and within this exploration, a breakdown of the categories of sexuality, sex, gender, and nature occurs. What is shown is that the breakdown of these categories renders the nature-versus-nurture Question itselfquite questionable.
77. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
About the Authors
78. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 5
Peter Antich Elegy to Narcissus
79. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Jenna Tomasello Sexual Harassment and Objectivity: Why We Need Not Ask Women If They Are Victims
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Sexual harassment is often understood as a subjective notion that asks the woman if she has been victimized. This paper argues that we need not ask women if they are victims by conceptualizing sexual harassment as an objective notion that holds the perpetrator accountable for his actions. In making my case, I will apply an objective conception of sexual harassment to the U.S. Supreme Court case Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson by drawing on the feminist view of sexual harassment given by Anita Superson and the role of equality and autonomy as motivated by Ronald Dworkin and James Griffin, respectively.
80. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Chad Marxen Fatalism and Truth at a Time
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In this paper, I will examine an argument for fatalism. I will offer a formalized version of the argument and analyze one of the argument’s most controversial assumptions. Then, I will argue that one ought to reject the assumption that propositions about the future are true facts of the past, even if no one makes reference to such propositions.