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81. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Max Siegel Revising the Principle of Alternate Possibilities
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This paper examines the position in moral philosophy that Harry Frankfurt calls the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP). The paper first describes the principle as articulated by A.J. Ayer. Subsequently, the paper examines Frankfurt’s critique and proposed revision of the principle and argues that Frankfurt’s proposal relies on an excessively simplistic account of practical reasoning, which fails to account for the possibility of moral dilemmas. In response, the paper offers a further revision of PAP, which accounts for Frankfurt’s critique, moral dilemmas, and the challenge of causal determinism.
82. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Kyle Curran Change and Moral Development in Kant’s Ethics
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This paper is concerned with an ambiguous aspect of Kant’s ethics, namely, how moral change is possible. Kant conceives that change is possible, indeed desirable, without making clear the mechanism by which this change occurs. I conclude that one’s moral development must come about through the autonomous rationality of humanity. This allows for the moral law to be held at all times and for the rejection of immoral sentiments and inclinations. Further, it is constant soul-searching that allows one to keep a check on their maxims, facilitating the development of a moral disposition.
83. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Jenny Carmichael Indiscernibles and Plato’s Forms vs. Parmenides
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In Parmenides, the young Socrates defends several candidate forms against Parmenides, who makes five objections: the objection of forms of common things, the question of the part vs. the whole, the third man argument, infinite regress, and the greatest difficulty problem. I define forms in terms of Leibniz’s Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) in an attempt to overcome Parmenides’ opposition. I show that the main force in Parmenides’ objections consists of absurdities that emerge in relations between forms and particulars: absurdities that are avoided if the form and its instantiation in the particular are identical.
84. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Mark McGinn Instrumentalism and Poetic Thinking: A Critique of Dewey’s Logic of Thought
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This paper offers a critique of the instrumental logic of thought found in the middle period of Dewey’s philosophy. His instrumentalism requires that thought serves to effect a physical alteration in the conditions of experience through an experimental act, the results of which retrospectively determine the legitimacy of thought. But missing from his account, I argue, is an explanation of the significant alteration of experience brought about by more aesthetic forms of philosophical thinking, which do not aim to effect any kind of physical alteration. I therefore propose that “poetic thinking” be invoked as a necessary supplement to instrumental thinking.
85. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Kristen Wells Nietzsche’s Society
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This essay asserts that Nietzsche proposes an important role for society within his ethics, and that this societal aspect has been greatly overlooked by Nietzsche scholars. By identifying a soul-state analogy and resemblance to virtue ethics, this essay contends that Nietzsche intends for societies and individuals to be seen as complementary parts of the will to power. Like Aristotle, Nietzsche prescribes an ideal society essential to greatness. By recognizing the importance of the role of society in Nietzsche’s philosophy, Nietzsche scholarship is better positioned to consider new applications of his philosophical principles with his goals in mind.
86. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Vesak Chi Climate Ethics: Individual vs. Collective Responsibility and the Problem of Corruption
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Anthropogenic climate change (ACC) has been described as a tragedy of the commons (T of C) by Baylor Johnson. Johnson argues that solutions to T of C scenarios reside in collective action rather than individual action, and that our moral obligation is to advocate for collective solutions to ACC. Marion Hourdequin argues that individual action can serve to promote collective action and in doing so it can also serve as an ethical obligation. I contend that individual action holds intrinsic value in lieu of its ability to counteract our susceptibility to the kind of moral corruption espoused by Stephen Gardiner.
87. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Oda Storbråten Davanger Not So Innocent: An Akratic Reading of Leibnizian “Judgment”
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Leibniz seeks to establish the tenability of faith and reason in his moral philosophy through a tripod of thought, consisting of 1) fundamental human goodness; 2) human error in judgment; and 3) that God is just. A difficulty arises concerning how God can justly punish human beings if they always will what is Good. By considering akrasia, which occurs when error is committed despite its clear nonconformity with the Good, and examining the Leibnizian concept of “judgment,” Leibniz’s tripod can be upheld.
88. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
John C. Hill Carruthers and Constitutive Self-Knowledge
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In his recent book, The Opacity of Mind, Peter Carruthers advances a skeptical theory of self-knowledge, integrating results from experimental psychology and cognitive science.1 In this essay, I want to suggest that the situation is not quite as dire as Carruthers makes it out to be. I respond to Carruthers by advancing a constitutive theory of self-knowledge. I argue that self-knowledge, so understood, is not only compatible with the empirical research that Carruthers utilizes, but also helps to make sense of these results.
89. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Authors
90. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 6
Marilyn Frye, Ashli Godfrey Philosophy Comes Out of Lives: An Interview with Marilyn Frye
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Marilyn Frye is a noted philosopher and feminist theorist whose works include The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory and Willful Virgin: Essays in Feminism as well as various other essays and articles. Frye recently retired from teaching philosophy at Michigan State University. On February 26, 2013, the Stance staff met with Marilyn Frye to talk about her work, her life, and the status of women in the field of philosophy.
91. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Liz Jackson Beliefs and Blameworthiness
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In this paper, I analyze epistemic blameworthiness. After presenting Michael Bergmann’s definition of epistemic blameworthiness, I argue that his definition is problematic because it does not have a control condition. I conclude by offering an improved definition of epistemic blameworthiness and defending this definition against potential counterexamples.
92. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Anna Brinkerhoff Resolving the Paradox of Fiction: A Defense of Irrationalism
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In this paper, I examine the Paradox of Fiction: (1) in order for us to have genuine and rational emotional responses to a character or situation, we must believe that the character or situation is not purely fictional, (2) we believe that fictional characters and situations are purely fictional, and (3) we have genuine and rational emotional responses to fictional characters and situations. After defending (1) and (2) against formidable objections and considering the plausibility of ~(3) in isolation of (1) and (2), I conclude that we should resolve the Paradox of Fiction by rejecting (3).
93. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Lauren Pass The Productive Citizen: Marx, Cultural Time, and Disability
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This paper argues for analyzing the systematic invisibility of persons living with disabilities by temporalizing their oppression within a framework of “productive time,” which I posit as a normative sense of time by which cultural products and practices appear within capitalist economies. I argue that productive time is employed in cultural evaluations of actions that render persons with disabilities as “non-productive agents” who cannot partake in historical processes. My hope is that a theory of productive time will assist social justice efforts in analyzing the oppression of particular minority groups by identifying and combating harmful social values.
94. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Casey Hladik Rusbridger’s “The Snowden Leaks and the Public” and Mill’s Utilitarianism: An Analysis of the Utilitarian Concern of “Going Dark”
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In the wake of the controversial Snowden leaks, Alan Rusbridger observes that the National Security Administration [NSA] and Government Communications Headquarters [GCHQ] maintain that their mass spying is justified because it prevents the world from “going dark.” This paper will explore the meaning and philosophical significance of “going dark” and argue that the NSA and GCHQ’s claim appeals—wittingly or unwittingly—to J.S. Mill’s ethical principle of utility. This paper will therefore critique this argument within Mill’s utilitarian framework to demonstrate that its appeal to utility is illegitimate. Finally, this paper will argue that utility dictates that this mass surveillance is unjustifiable and should be terminated.
95. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Nicholas Brown A Defense of Form: Internet Memes and Confucian Ritual
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By applying the normative basis of Confucian ritual activity to the repeatable designs of internet memes, this essay explores the ways in which socially recognized forms can allow individuals to engage in thoughtful activity with what is represented by but cannot be reduced to form: the particulars of human experience. The goal of this insight is to suggest that the value of art and ideas cannot be isolated from how individuals interact with them, and thus critique should examine how well an idea or piece promotes an active, creative, and critical relationship to a person’s own experiences.
96. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Austin Heath Mathematical Infinity and the Presocratic Apeiron
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The Presocratic notion of apeiron, often translated as “unbounded,” has been the subject of interest in classical philosophy. Despite apparent similarities between apeiron and infinity, classicists have typically been reluctant to equate the two, citing the mathematically precise nature of infinity. This paper aims to demonstrate that the properties that Anaximander, Zeno, and Anaxagoras attach to apeiron are not fundamentally different from the characteristics that constitute mathematical infinity. Because the sufficient explanatory mathematical tools had not yet been developed, however, their quantitative reasoning remains implicit. Consequentially, the relationship between infinity and apeiron is much closer than classical scholarship commonly suggests.
97. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Nicholas Logan An Existentialist Critique of Punishment
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In this paper, I provide an account of the way in which practices of punitive justice in the United States permanently foreclose the possibility of an open future for the punished. I argue that participation in a system where those forms of punishment are utilized is an act of bad faith because it involves the denial of the existential freedom of others as well as our own. Using Hannah Arendt’s account of Adolf Eichmann, I show how such acts of bad faith are both natural modes of thought as well as inherently dangerous. Finally, I demonstrate that existentialism provides us with the ability to recreate our relationship to others and resist acts of bad faith, especially when it comes to crime and punishment.
98. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Nicholas James Alcock The Insubstantial and Exclusionary Nature of Plato’s Aesthetic Theory
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In this paper, I argue that Plato’s conversance with art is insubstantial and exclusionary. Art warrants not only subjects in virtue of utility, morality, and pleasure, but also subjects in virtue of feeling, impression, spirituality, and art itself. I will begin by providing Plato’s view and then provide my threefold objection, utilizing examples from art history and the history of aesthetic theory.
99. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Jenna Blake Feminist Critique of Joseph Stiglitz’s Approach to the Problems of Global Capitalism
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In his book Making Globalization Work, Joseph Stiglitz proposes reforms to address problems arising from the global spread of capitalism, problems that he asserts are not inherent to globalization or capitalism but are due to the way those systems have been “managed.” Conversely, postcolonial feminist theorist Chanda Talpade Mohanty’s analysis of those same systems demonstrates that capitalism is not compatible with global justice. In this essay I use Mohanty’s analysis to argue that Stiglitz’s proposed reforms would not achieve his stated goals and that the global capitalist system must be dismantled if global justice is to be achieved.
100. Stance: An International Undergraduate Philosophy Journal: Volume > 7
Jessa Wood An Examination of Disgust and Its Relation to Morality
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In his book Yuck!: The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust, Daniel Kelly synthesizes a growing body of research on disgust and briefly explores the philosophical role of the emotion. This paper presents arguments for the position that disgust should not be considered a source of moral knowledge, a position that Kelly suggests but fails to illustrate. The paper also explores implications of this view, specifically concerning the ways we should seek to manipulate our disgust reactions in order to improve moral reasoning.