OAI Archive: Texas A&M Repository

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100 entries most recently downloaded from the archive "Texas A&M Repository"

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  1. Adrienne C. Foreman, The Mystery of the Situated Body: Finding Stability Through Narratives of Disability in the Detective Genre.
    The appearance, use, and philosophy of the disabled detective are latent even in early detective texts, such as in Arthur Conan Doyle’s canonical Sherlock Holmes series. By philosophy, I am referring to both why the detective feels compelled to detect as well as the system of detection the detective uses and on which the text relies. Because the detective feels incompatible with the world around him (all of the detectives I analyze in this dissertation are men), he is driven to (...)
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  2. Olga S. Gerhart, The Experience of Aging: A Reconstruction of the Meaning of Time's Passing Within the Classical American Philosophical Tradition.
    The provocation for this dissertation is a brief contention: aging is not synonymous with disease. This contention is a corrective reaction to the pervasive sensibility that aging is a disease, and which therefore casts the character of time’s passing as a process of destruction. The upshot of this corrosive sensibility is that we are not aging well. Guided both by the belief that we can reconstruct the meaning of time’s passing and an ameliorative sensibility to heal human suffering, the dissertation (...)
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  3. Justin Bruce Montgomery, Principles of Aristotle's Poiesis as a Foundation for Human-Centered Engineering Design.
    In order to improve design methodology and better utilize human-centered design (HCD) approaches, there is a need for an intellectual foundation to reconcile HCD with traditional design approaches. A method from Aristotle, called Poiesis, provides a useful basis for this while helping to relate engineering design to a general discipline of design. In this paper, we explain what Poiesis is in an engineering design context, and examine the similarities between current methods and this ancient approach. Current methodology is similar to (...)
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  4. Catlan Scott Fearon, Centers of Musement: Designing Sacred Spaced for Post Enlightenment Religious Philosophy.
    Due to vast changes in religious thinking, an attempt to rethink, and ultimately explode and recreate, religious typology in architecture as it exists becomes necessary. An intense review on existential and pragmatic religious literature leads to the conclusion that the subject of sacred architecture has changed, creating a need to develop a new typology. After arguing the justification of this rethinking, the paper examines literature regarding religious typology as it currently exists and its relationship to the city, the idea of (...)
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  5. Judith Colleen Bohr, A People's History of Philosophy: The Development and Ideological Segregation of Black Nationalism.
    The primary objective of this thesis is to advocate for Black Nationalism's full inclusion in the academic field of political philosophy. By bringing the thinkers in the Black Nationalist tradition into this discourse, the field of philosophy stands to gain important insight into the prejudices and unexamined assumptions that plague academia. I will flesh out the nature of these assumptions using the works of Black Nationalists like Angela Davis, George Jackson and Joy James. This will show that reading Black Nationalists (...)
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  6. Mark Jason Ortwein, Toward a Regulative Virtue Epistemology for the Theory and Practice of Education.
    This dissertation develops and explores how a particular variety of virtue epistemology (VE) applies to the theory and practice of education. To this end, several key issues are addressed: knowledge and epistemology, knowledge in education, virtue and culture, and the application of a particular variety of VE to education. Furthermore, this dissertation employs a philosophical methodology based in theoretical work from two disciplines—philosophy and education. In Chapter I, I explicate the purpose of this dissertation and provide a rationale for pursuing (...)
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  7. David Wright, The Misplaced Role of “Utilitarianism” in John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism.
    This thesis aims to provide the appropriate historical context for interpreting John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism. The central question considered here concerns two views of Mill's intentions for Utilitarianism, and whether the work should be read as Mill arguing for his own version of utilitarianism, or as an ecumenical document expressing and defending the views of many utilitarians. The first view, labeled the orthodox view, as defended by Roger Crisp, is probably the most commonly held view as to how to interpret (...)
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  8. Charles Carlson, Some Philosophical Origins of an Ecological Sensibility.
    This dissertation is centered on problems within the history and philosophy of biology. The project identifies the philosophical roots of the current ecological movement and shows how a version of philosophical naturalism might be put to use within contemporary ethical issues in biology, and aid in the development of research programs. The approach is historically informed, but has application for current dilemmas. The traditions from which I primarily draw include classical American philosophy, particularly C.S. Peirce and John Dewey, as well (...)
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  9. Frank N. McMillan, Finding Jung.
    Frank N. McMillan Jr., a country boy steeped in the traditional culture of rural Texas, was summoned to a life-long quest for meaning by a dream lion he met in the night. On his journey, he followed the lead of the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, and eventually established the world’s first professorship to advance the study of that field. McMillan, born and raised on a ranch near Calvert, was an Aggie through and through, with degrees in geology and (...)
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  10. Anton Sergeevich Kabeshkin, The Varieties of Self-Knowledge.
    In this thesis I consider the problem of the distinctiveness of knowledge of our own mental states and attitudes. I consider four influential approaches to this problem: the epistemic approach, the "no reasons view," the neo-expressivist approach and the rational agency approach. I argue that all of them face serious problems. I further argue that many of these problems are connected with the lack of fine-grained enough classification of the entities with respect to which we have self-knowledge. I suggest such (...)
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  11. John Tyler (2012). A Pragmatic Standard of Legal Validity. Dissertation, Texas A7M University
    American jurisprudence currently applies two incompatible validity standards to determine which laws are enforceable. The natural law tradition evaluates validity by an uncertain standard of divine law, and its methodology relies on contradictory views of human reason. Legal positivism, on the other hand, relies on a methodology that commits the analytic fallacy, separates law from its application, and produces an incomplete model of law. These incompatible standards have created a schism in American jurisprudence that impairs the delivery of justice. This (...)
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  12. Amber Carlson, A True Mode of Union: Reconsidering the Cartesian Human Being.
    When considering the nature of the human being, Descartes holds two main claims: he believes that the human being is a genuine unity and he also holds that it is comprised of two distinct substances, mind and body. These claims appear to be at odds with one another; it is not clear how the human being can be simultaneously two things and one thing. The details of Descartes' metaphysics of substance exacerbates this problem. Because of various theological and epistemological commitments, (...)
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  13. Antonio Rivera Rosado, A Narrative Approach to the Philosophical Interpretation of Dreams, Memories, and Reflections of the Unconscious Through the Use of Autoethnography/Biography.
    The purpose of the present study aimed to develop a comprehensive model that measures the autoethnographic/biographic relevance of dreams, memories, and reflections as they relate to understanding the self and others. A dream, memory, and reflection (DMR) ten item questionnaire was constructed using aspects of Freudian, Jungian, and Lacanian Theory of Dream Interpretation. Fifteen dreams, five memories, and five reflections were collected from the participant at the waking episode or during a moment of deep thought. The DMR analysis was used (...)
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  14. Mathew Alan Foust, William James and the Rationality of Possibility.
    William James's "The Dilemma of Determinism" essay, delivered and published in 1884, concerns the competing doctrines of determinism and free will. In the essay, James suggests compelling reasons why it is more rational to believe in free will than it is to believe in determinism. In this thesis, I contend that not only does "The Dilemma of Determinism" offer a coherent and forceful argument for the rationality of belief in free will, but it also contains rich insights into James's moral (...)
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  15. Christopher Allen Hodgson, Absurd Limits: Camus, Dewey, and Metaphysics.
    If we take seriously the analogy bestowed by our heritage that nature is to be conceived as our mother and that God the Father is our source for Reason, Truth, and Justice then given Nietzsche's claim that we are a generation of fatherless children we should be a generation of naturalists. But the latter has yet to develop a strong following or even a consciousness about this cosmic divorce. The existentialists, for instance, ruminated almost exclusively on their bereavement from God (...)
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  16. R. Steven, Grounding Intentionality.
    In this thesis, I argue that current attempts to ground intentionality face one of two challenges. Either the grounding feature of intentionality will be itself intentional or the grounding feature is disparate in nature from the representational capacity of an intentional mental state and therefore no connection between the two can be taken to exist. I examine two current accounts of intentionality and the features they utilize to ground it. I maintain that both views fall prey to one or both (...)
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  17. Michael Nathan Thatcher, A Defense of Kantian Internalism Against Aristotelian Approaches to Practical Reasoning.
    Kantian internalism was developed in part as a response to objections to Kantian ethical theory leveled by philosophers such as Bernard Williams and Michael Stocker. Their arguments are evaluated in light of Kantian internalism and shown to be effectively countered. Aristotelian alternatives to Kantian internalism are considered in the context of the debate between the Kantian internalists and Williams and Stocker. Aristotelian approaches do not preclude or effectively undermine Kantian internalism, though Kantian internalism itself demands a change in focus for (...)
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  18. Bradley Keith Vaughn, What It Means to Be Christian: Kierkegaard's Purpose as an Author.
    My purpose for this thesis is to understand and interpret the meaning and intent of Kierkegaard's authorship. Kierkegaard is emphatically concerned with making his reader aware of essential Christianity and what it means to be a Christian. Accordingly, I will begin by examining the context from which Kierkegaard writes. He felt that Christendom greatly misunderstood essential Christianity. Believing that those in Christendom erroneously focused too intently on the doctrines of Christianity to the neglect of the "how" of Christianity, he examines (...)
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  19. Katherine Anne Willyard, Heidegger, Art and Politics: Exploring the Notion of Truth That Can Be Revealed Through a Work of Art in Relation to the Political Sphere.
    In this thesis I argue that Heidegger avoids a problem regarding totalitarianism that is found in political thought within the Western tradition, most specifically seen in Plato and Hegel. In order to fully understand what Heidegger's political sphere would look like, to see whether or not he avoid the troubles of totalitarianism, one first needs to understand the crucial relationship that Heidegger proposes between art and the political sphere, more specifically between art and being. For Heidegger, to understand the role (...)
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  20. John Ross Churchill, Divine Sustenance and Theological Compatibilism.
    This thesis presents a case for theological compatibilism, the view that divine foreknowledge and human freedom are compatible. My attempt to support theological compatibilism is based chiefly upon two arguments, which appear in the second and third chapters of this thesis. While these arguments differ, they are united in one respect: each argument relies heavily upon the doctrine of divine sustenance, which is the doctrine that God is causally responsible for the continual existence of the universe. In chapter II, I (...)
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  21. Deke Cainas Gould, The Scientific Model Concept and Realism.
    The goal of this thesis is two-fold. First, while the model concept frequently is mentioned in the philosophical literature on scientific knowledge, it rarely is addressed as a focus for methodology. My aim is to support the view that models are central to scientific practice, and that for this reason, the model concept deserves further attention in general philosophy of science. Second, I hold that since models are an important part of scientific inquiry, various philosophical puzzles arise as a consequence (...)
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  22. Christopher Allen Haugen, A Defense of Theistic Activism.
    There is a tension between traditional theism and contemporary Platonism. Traditional theism maintains that God is the creator of all things distinct from Him; whereas contemporary Platonism contends that there are innumerably many abstract objects that are uncreated as well as immutable and necessarily existent. These abstract objects include, but are not limited to, numbers, properties, propositions, and relations. In "Absolute Creation" Christopher Menzel and Thomas Morris seek to reconcile traditional theism and contemporary Platonism: they argue that abstract objects are (...)
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  23. Tomohiro Hoshi, What has Chihara's Mathematical Nominalism Gained Over Mathematical Realism?
    The indispensability argument, which claims that science requires beliefs in mathematical entities, gives a strong motivation for mathematical realism. However, mathematical realism bears Benacerrafian ontological and epistemological problems. Although recent accounts of mathematical realism have attempted to cope with these problems, it seems that, at least, a satisfactory account of epistemology of mathematics has not been presented. For instance, Maddy's realism with perceivable sets and Resnik's and Shapiro's structuralism have their own epistemological problems. This fact has been a reason to (...)
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  24. John Michael Tilley, Situating a Kierkegaardian Community: Transcending Solidarity and Difference.
    In this project, a Kierkegaardian concept of community is developed despite Kierkegaard's emphasis on the individual over and against the collective. It will require a new reading of Kierkegaard that moves beyond Kierkegaard as the champion of the individual. This new reading suggests that the retrieval of the individual is necessary for important concepts like religion, relations, faith, and community to be enriched and developed. This reading, first and foremost, provides a consistent account of Kierkegaard's authorship from his earliest works (...)
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  25. Robert Stefan Plizga, Pornography, Equality, and Evolutionary Psychology.
    Pornography appears to give rise to a conflict between two fundamental rights: the right to free speech and expression and the right to equal respect and concern. Pornography is inseparably tied with the right to freedom of expression. To ban pornography is to violate the right to freedom of expression. But pornography is a type of expression that subordinates women. To allow pornography to exist undermines women's right to equal respect. Liberals want to uphold both the right to freedom of (...)
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  26. Catherine J. Schmutz, Personal Identity Postmortem.
    In this thesis, I argue that in order to coherently hold a belief about what happens to people when they die, one's theory of personal identity must be carefully chosen. I examine belief in immortality of the soul, annihilation of the person, and resurrection of the body. I maintain that for each view, at least one theory of personal identity conflicts with that view and, therefore, cannot be consistently held with that view. I argue that a psychological-continuity theory of personal (...)
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  27. Robert Zachary Manis, Resting Transparently: Kierkegaardian Conceptions of Freedom, Despair, Suffering, and Faith.
    This project is an exploration and development of several key concepts in Kierkegaard's writings. The primary focus is on the concept of freedom, which, in Kierkegaard's writings, is problematic for at least two reasons. First, there is the "metaphysical" problem of freedom in Kierkegaard's works, which is the problem of understanding what, exactly, Kierkegaard's view of human freedom is and how (and whether) this view of freedom is reconcilable with Kierkegaard's view of God as absolutely sovereign. Second, there is the (...)
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  28. Victor J. Di Fate, Skepticism, Truth, and Nonsense.
    Wittgenstein's On Certainty is a collection of notes whose general focus is on epistemological issues found in two papers by his friend and Cambridge colleague, G.E. Moore. Though the original catalyst for his reflections is the work of Moore, Wittgenstein's thoughts become strikingly broad and sweep across most major issues in epistemology. However, the remarks constituting On Certainty are discursive, enigmatic and often inconsistent, leaving a great burden on Wittgenstein scholarship to try to piece together coherent arguments he may be (...)
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  29. Kent J. Dunnington, A Radically Empirical Will to Believe.
    William James' "The Will to Believe" essay has been the subject of much philosophical and religious discourse in the over one hundred years since its publication. Interpretations of the essay have been varied and numerous. In this thesis, I critique several of the prominent interpretations of "The Will to Believe." I find that each interpretation is lacking in some important way. Most of the interpretations fail to read James' text carefully and faithfully. The interpretations that succeed in reading the text (...)
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  30. Jeremy Ray Garrett, Priority, Property, and Determinacy in John Rawl's Theory of Justice.
    John Rawls is famous, among other things, for defending two principles in his theory of justice. The first seeks to secure many of the traditional rights and liberties familiar in modern liberal democracies, while the second stipulates Rawls's preferred model for arranging economic institutions. However, the placement of a right to hold personal property among the first principle rights and liberties raises an immediate and fundamental question: what are we to do when the property rights of the first principle conflict (...)
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  31. Sami Jae Grimes, Where Have All the Colors Gone: A Metaphysical Analysis of Color.
    Science provides us with important information about how we experience color-it explains how objects reflect light at certain wavelengths, it describes how our perceptual faculties work regarding color vision, etc. But science doesn't provide us with a concept of color. It doesn't explain what it's like to experience color or how we come to know color. These conceptual issues arise in philosophical discussion. In order to have an adequate color theory, then, one needs to combine insight gained from color science (...)
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  32. James Robert Chandler, Reflective Equilibrium and the 'Moral Conservatism' Objection.
    Reflective equilibrium is widely accepted as a method of justifying ethical beliefs. Narrow reflective equilibrium justifies moral beliefs by achieving coherence between moral principles and moral judgments. However, this theory has been accused of moral conservatism objection; that is, moral beliefs may appear to be coherent but wrong. What are the normative grounds for criticizing implausible beliefs that seem to be in equilibrium? Wide reflective equilibrium has been the traditional attempt to respond to the conservatism objection. It adds non-moral beliefs (...)
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  33. Jason Leonard Mallory, Gender Essentialisms and Ecological Feminist Philosophies.
    The problems posed by gender essentialisms are important for both feminist theorists and environmental ethicists. Ecofeminist philosophers, as both feminist theorists and environmental ethicists, should therefore find this issue relevant to their discipline. In this thesis, I will explore the topic of gender essentialisms and its relevance for ecofeminist philosophers. Specifically, I will provide a definition of "ecofeminist philosophy" and delineate the connections that ecofeminists find between the oppression of women and environmental degradation. I will also provide a logical analysis (...)
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  34. Christopher John Robichaud, Precarious Knowledge: Assessing Contextualist Strategies in Epistemology.
    Contextualism in epistemology is the thesis that the truth conditions of knowledge attributions are context-sensitive, where facts about both the subject's context and the attributor's context are relevant. This view allows for two persons, say, Jones and Wilson, both to be speaking truly when Jones says of Smith at time t 'Smith knows p', for some proposition p, and Wilson says of Smith at time t 'Smith doesn't know p', for the same proposition p. The explanation offered is that Jones (...)
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  35. Kristy Nicole Kyle, Eidos in Process: Darwin, Classical American Philosophy and the Possibility of Belief.
    The theory of evolution, as articulated by Charles Darwin, is one of the most successful paradigms at work within the natural sciences. The importance of this theory is not, however, restricted to the scientific realm alone. For philosophy, the most important ramification of scientific evolutionary theory is that the world is no longer best understood as being static - a position that has been held historically due to the influence of Plato and Aristotle - but is rather best understood as (...)
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  36. William Caleb McDaniel, An Extraordinary Reversal: Hermeneutics and the Divide Between the Sciences.
    Theories of hermeneutics -- the study of interpretation -- have been used both to support and to reject the division of the natural and human sciences. Wilhelm Dilthey and Charles Taylor defend that divide, while Richard Rorty and Clifford Geertz have contested its validity. The arguments of Dilthey and Taylor stem from the classical hermeneutical tradition founded by Friedrich Schleiermacher. On the other hand, Rorty and Geertz have claimed support for their position from the philosophical hermeneutics of Martin Heidegger and (...)
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  37. Timothy Joe McKenzie, The God of the Cosmological Argument and the God of Religion: Can the Two Be Reconciled?
    This thesis compares the descriptions of God that come from religion and from the Cosmological Argument. The Cosmological Argument has long been held to support the traditional concept of God held by religious adherents. However, one finds that upon closer examination these two descriptions of God may not be as compatible as previously thought. So, I examine if there is reason for concern, and if so, how one is to reconcile these differences. Chapter I will quickly introduce the Cosmological Argument. (...)
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  38. Erik John Jackiw, Paying Attention to Unconscious Mental States: An Examination of the Case of the Inattentive Driver.
    People often engage in simultaneous activities. For example, a person might be driving to the workplace, while conversing with a passenger in the vehicle. Such persons often report feeling as if the driving is being done on "automatic pilot" and have difficulty remembering features specific to the drive. How exactly to classify this case, which will be referred to as the "inattentive driver", is a source of some controversy. Some may be tempted not to count it as an experience at (...)
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  39. Jill Lyn Graper, The Existential Self in Gabriel Marcel: A Critical Analysis of Autonomy Through Heteronomy.
    The philosophical approach known as existentialism is commonly recognized for its view that all of the experiences and interactions of life are meaningless. Many existentialist thinkers are led to conclude that life is therefore only something to be tolerated, and that close or intimate relationships with others should be avoided. The individual self consequentially becomes a type of island, which neither interpersonal nor intellectual pursuits can affect. Among the despair and dread offered by the hands of the existentialists came a (...)
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  40. James Daniel Unger, Development Aid: A Practical and Ethical Examination.
    This paper examines development aid institutions and programs in two ways: from their institutional genesis and from post-Cold War critical viewpoints. Beginning with the Lend Lease Act of 1941, it traces the development of national and international bodies and agencies that are dedicated to the business of spurring development. Many of these were created in the unique atmosphere found at the close of World War II, a time of both great hopes and realistic expectations. During the Cold War much of (...)
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  41. Jason Michael Zinser, A Biological Account of Human Knowledge.
    This work was inspired by a simple question with a very complex answer; where does our knowledge come from? Although this question can be addressed from many different perspectives, I approach this question from an evolutionary perspective by surveying philosophical interpretations of evolutionary theory. Contemporary treatments of evolution by philosophy fall under the title of evolutionary epistemology, which is considered in the naturalized epistemology camp. Within evolutionary epistemology, two very different branches emerge: the evolutionary epistemology of theories (EET) and the (...)
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  42. Erik Ryan Anderson, A Jamesian Response to the Dialectic of Enlightenment.
    The purpose of this project is to advance the thesis that the notion of an appropriative self, reconstructed from the philosophy of William James, answers, in part, the concerns outlined in the Critical Theory of Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer. Initially I focus on explicating Adorno and Horkheimer's diagnosis, that ideological consciousness is the product of the dialectic of enlightenment. According to their view, culture is a reconciliation of the ego's impulse to persist and regress. Only after such an expansive (...)
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  43. Robert Edward Sherwood-Moore, Deleuze, Difference and the Critique of Identity.
    The philosophy of Gilles Deleuze is a critical philosophy that aims at examining and articulating the irrationality that underpins all rational thought. In that regard, this thesis aims to outline and clarify the Deleuzean critique of the representational thinking introduced by Platonism and perfected by Hegelianism, insofar as Deleuze recognizes the play of difference at the heart of their representational philosophies. Therefore, the Deleuzean critique of western thought takes as its aim the nav̐e assumption that Identity rather than Difference is (...)
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  44. Stephen Montague Puryear, Ontology, Modality, and Mathematics: Remarks on Chihara's Constructibility Theory.
    Many theorems of mathematics appear to quantify over mathematical objects such as numbers and functions. But such objects, standardly conceived as causally inert and existing "outside" of space and time, do not seem to be the sorts of entities of which we could have knowledge, given that knowledge of an object seems to presuppose some sort of causal connection between knower and thing known. A number of philosophers have thus attempted to reconstruct mathematics in such a way that commitment to (...)
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  45. Theodore Herman Reich, U.S. Military Action in Panama: Justifying Operation Just Cause.
    The project of this thesis is a moral evaluation of OPERATION JUST CAUSE, the United States' use of military force in Panama in 1989. I begin by arguing that just war theory, both in its classic and contemporary forms, needs to be revised. Present just war positions do not adequately take into account the complex, nontraditional missions that military forces are increasingly called to perform in today's ever-changing international arena. From humanitarian relief efforts in Somalia to peacekeeping missions in Kosovo, (...)
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  46. Shirong Luo, Human Nature and Self-Cultivation: A Comparative Study on the Philosophies of Confucius and John Dewey.
    In this thesis, I have explored, explicated and argued for some specific areas of commonalities between the philosophy of John Dewey and the teaching of Confucius. Both theories start with the same fundamental assumption that there is no such thing as immutable human nature, and their shared emphasis on education is based on this supposition. John Dewey and Confucius agree that the self mainly consists of habits and that the transformation of the self implies growth, i.e., the acquisition of new (...)
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  47. Craig Lambert Miles, A Discussion About God and Time.
    This thesis is concerned with God's relationship to time. In the first chapter of this thesis I first provide a historical account, in the next two chapters I critique two contemporary accounts and, in the last chapter I provide my own account. I have two main theses that I attempt to support: (1) God fails to be related to creation on the accounts that I critique and (2) God is related to creation if He is in time. In my introductory (...)
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  48. Jonathan Brent Crouch, Versions of William James's Doctrine of Selectivity.
    My purpose in this thesis is to understand the meaning and implications of William James's contention that thought is inherently selective. To this end, I shall focus first on James's relevant writings. Thought, for James, is guided primarily through interests that are dominantly aesthetic, that is, tied to the body. These interests condition the content of our thought by focusing our attention on some aspects of experience rather than others. The immediate implication of this theory is that thought does not (...)
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  49. Jason R. Gatliff, The Permissibility of Using Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Techniques on Nonhuman Animals.
    Somatic cell nuclear transfer is the process of cloning that produced Dolly. In order to clone an animal using somatic cell nuclear transfer, a donor cell is collected from an animal that one wants to clone and placed in a culture with a very low concentration of nutrients. This starves the cell and causes it to stop dividing and causes it to switch off its active genes. Next an egg cell is collected [from a member of the same or compatible (...)
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  50. Rollin Dean Graham, Classic Instrumental Music and the Aesthetics of Hume and Mattheson.
    A commonly-cited problem in eighteenth-century aesthetics is a supposed discrepancy between theory and practice: the period's aesthetic literature devalued instrumental music, providing no basis for the evaluation and aesthetic appreciation of the Classic-era instrumental masterworks of Mozart and Haydn. In this paper, I argue both that the problem is overstated, and that a solution is in the offing if we look at the period's writings on the aesthetic experience. These writings provide criteria for value judgments of musical works with the (...)
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  51. Brett Thomas Summers, The Role of Practice in the Accounts of Language Presented by Michel Foucault and Ludwig Wittgenstein.
    This thesis will explore the various views on the nature of language found in the works of Michel Foucault and Ludwig Wittgenstein. It will show that both writers move from a highly theoretical account of language toward a view in which background practices assume a large role. It will also show that these later views have a number of parallels, both in the picture of language they present and in the conceptual tools used to approach the subject. Finally, it will (...)
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  52. Van Kenneth Veselka, An Attempt to Determine a Basis for Affective Democratic Fields.
    This thesis pursues an understanding of the meaning of democracy when democracy is taken as a meaningful term by virtue of being a proper word in our language, the notion of meaning involves both ''what does x mean'' and ''what do we mean by x", and (3) we must include and account for the tension between "x is a democracy'' and ''x is being democratic''. The thesis treats as an assumption that the meaning of democracy cannot be satisfied without satisfying (...)
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  53. Nakia S. Pope, Recovery of the Lost Individual: A Deweyan Examination of Individuality and Community.
    In 1929 - 1930, John Dewey wrote a series of essays which became the work "Individualism Old and New.'' In this work, he describes a type of individual which he terms "lost.'' The lost individual is disconnected, disoriented, and disassociated. It can find no sense of identity, place, or purchase in a culture which is rapidly changing from an agrarian, frontier culture into an industrial, corporate one. Dewey discusses the plight of the lost individual, the cultural forces that create it, (...)
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  54. Sarah Ruth McCoy, A Method for Interpreting Continental and Analytic Epistemology.
    Current investigations in epistemology tend to follow either the continental or the analytic school of thought. These schools of thought have different goals for epistemology and different procedures for achieving these goals. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the feasibility and profitability of communication between analytic and continental philosophy in epistemology. Wittgenstein's concept of language games will be used to frame the issue', continental and analytic philosophers play different language games. One can successfully interpret a particular language game (...)
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  55. Cristian Florin Mihut, Intellectual Virtues, Responsibility, and Justification.
    In this thesis I argue that there is no complete notion of epistemic justification that can be defined in terms of intellectual virtues. A complete notion of justification would have to capture both the idea that there are internally accessible grounds for holding a belief justified, and at the some time provide a reliable connection between our beliefs and the features of the external world. Some virtue theorists claim that a complete notion of justification can be derived from the exercise (...)
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  56. Jennifer M. Flusche & Matthew Caleb Flamm, Needs Assessment of Texas Festival Coordinators.
    Texas festivals are given credit for providing benefits for both the festival's community and for the people who visit the community. As a result of these perceived benefits, communities across Texas stage a broad range of festivals and events. These events require substantial planning and skilled management to be successful. Those involved in the planning are often volunteers and have little or no background in event planning and management. Regardless of their experience level however, most event coordinators have ongoing needs (...)
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  57. Thad M. Botham, A Survey of David Lewis's Theory of Counterfactuals: Resolved Difficulties and Resilient Obstacles.
    David Lewis [1973b] offers a possible worlds approach to a theory of counterfactuals. He attempts to specify necessary and sufficient conditions according to which a given counterfactual is true or false. My profit surveys Lewis's theory of counterfactuals in detail. Although for the most part I defend Lewis's account from several objectors, in the final chapter I reason that his theory is susceptible to a severe skepticism, which threatens any philosophical theory that relies on Lewis's theory to distinguish between non-paradigmatically (...)
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  58. Andrei A. Buckareff (1999). Can Agent-Causation Be Rendered Intelligible?: An Essay on the Etiology of Free Action. Dissertation, Texas A&M University
    The doctrine of agent-causation has been suggested by many interested in defending libertarian theories of free action to provide the conceptual apparatus necessary to make the notion of incompatibility freedom intelligible. In the present essay the conceptual viability of the doctrine of agent-causation will be assessed. It will be argued that agent-causation is, insofar as it is irreducible to event-causation, mysterious at best, totally unintelligible at worst. First, the arguments for agent-causation made by such eighteenth-century luminaries as Samuel Clarke and (...)
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  59. Daniel Marlin Mittag, In Defense of the Gypsy Lawyer: An Analysis of Doxastic Justification.
    It is widely recognized that in order for one's belief to be justified (in the sense of justification thought to be necessary for knowledge, i.e., doxastic justification) one's belief must be based on that which justifies it. Epistemologists, however, differ about the exact relation that the evidence must bear to one's belief in order for that belief to be doxastically justified. The various analyses of the basing relation that have been proposed can be divided into two main categories: causal accounts (...)
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  60. John Tholfsen Mullen, Metaphysical Presuppositions and Biological Functions: A Defense of a Non-Naturalized Account of Function.
    The use of functional language in biology creates a philosophical difficulty for anyone who, for whatever reason, maintains that biological entities were not consciously designed. Since a majority of biologists presently holds this view, many philosophers have attempted to provide a "naturalized" account of what it means for a given biological trait to possess a function. Naturalized accounts seek to capture all that biologists mean functional language is used, yet without making reference to teleological terms such as "goal," "purpose," "design," (...)
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  61. Gary Michael Pace, Toward an Epistemological Account of Understanding.
    In this thesis I argue that understanding ought to be a central concept investigated by epistemologists. Contemporary epistemologists have largely ignored the concept of understanding, preferring instead to study propositional knowledge. Unlike propositional knowledge, understanding is a cognitive excellence which involves "chunks of information" rather than single propositions. Furthermore, I argue that understanding is distinct even from more complex forms of knowledge; understanding is neither necessary nor sufficient for knowledge. I defend the distinction between knowledge and understanding against possible objections (...)
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  62. Joseph Sandor Kallo, "Thatness", Transaction and Craft: The Development of John Dewey's Esthetics.
    My task here will be to trace the development of the phics. American philosopher John Dewey's esthetics. Central in Dewey's work is the attempt to break down the rigidity of culturally imposed structures which divide esthetic experience from more general sorts of experience; in Dewey's work, esthetic and more general experience are organically continuous. I focus the early portion of this work tracing the roots of Dewey's more mature account of experience. In Dewey's work we discern a strong interest in (...)
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  63. Patrick Lee Carrigan, The Problem with Evi: : An Evidential Debate.
    In this thesis I argue that the existence of evil does not provide sufficient evidence that an omnipotent, omniscient and all-loving God does not exist. Specifically, my argument is a contribution to an ongoing debate between William Rowe and Stephen Wykstra. This thesis briefly outlines the history of the development of the evidential version of the problem of evil with its roots in David Hume's writings. It also details the published literature of the debate between Rowe and Wykstra, finally concluding (...)
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  64. Alan B. Clark, Moral Obligation and the Human Germ-Line Gene Therapy Debate.
    genetic engineering, there are few arguments made for a positive moral obligation to genetic intervention. This is especially so with respect to human germ-line gene therapy. Burke. K. Zimmerman makes one of the few arguments that society and the medical profession have a moral obligation to develop and use human germ-line gene therapy. However, Zimmerman's arguments are vague, and he misses some important points. It is the point of this thesis to criticize and buttress Zimmerman's arguments, and to show that (...)
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  65. Christopher Alistair Deabler, Discourse Ethics: A Pragmatic Justification for Haberma's Moral Theory.
    Since the publication of Jurgen Habermas'essay "Discourse Ethics: Notes on a Program of Philosophical Justification," Habermas'form of cognitive moral proceduralism has been met with a host of criticisms originating from within both the Analytic and Continental philosophical traditions. Most of these criticisms, I contend, fail philosophically because they either do not consider critical elements of Habermas' extensive philosophical corpus or else force one to maintain a philosophically problematic position concerning the resolution of moral problems. In this thesis, I will first (...)
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  66. Simon David Dembitzer, On Mental Privacy: The Having of Mental States.
    In three chapters this thesis seeks to demonstrate that (i) there historically has been no consensus in the use of the term 'mental privacy' and that several problematic doctrines are based on confused accounts of this term; (ii) there are contemporary debates which are maintained, in large order, by the opposing sides subscribing to different notions of mental privacy; and (iii) a preliminary investigation makes clear that both mental states with propositional content and mental states with non-propositional content are private (...)
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  67. Rex Jason Zgarba, Living Our Dying: Dewey, Death and Aesthetic Sensibility.
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  68. Benton Allen Danner, An Examination of the US Army's Environmental Ethic.
    In this thesis I argue that the best justification for an environmental ethic for the US Army is one which is based on an anthropocentric or humanistic approach, and I evaluate the Armys Environmental Ethic in light of this. I then consider the Army's Environmental Ethic as a normative operational environmental ethic: an ethic which should help to guide commanders in the field, particularly in times of war. I conclude that the Army's stated operational-level Environmental Ethic is both appropriate and (...)
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  69. Ellen Marie Englehart, Human Rights Enforcement: A Fundamental Duty of the Sovereign State.
    Human rights enforcement is an important issue within international law. Unfortunately, the status quo of human rights within international law is unsatisfactory. Men, women and children suffer daily violations of their most fundamental human rights. The international community and sovereign states stand by idly, and human rights violations continue unabated. The main impediment to human rights enforcement is state sovereignty. If sovereignty can be abridged to the extent necessary for human rights enforcement, there may be hope for human rights within (...)
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  70. Michael W. Allen, James and Dewey on Three Aspects of Relativism.
    This first chapter locates crucial elements of James's notion of truth within James's 'The Will to Believe." James recognizes evidential criteria in the formation of belief, in contrast to a common claim that for him beliefs are generated in an evidential vacuum. Jamess view of evidence in "The Will to Believe" also stands as a pragmatic reappraisal of traditional epistemology, and such criteria are individualistic. But his treatment should not be taken as subjectivist, in the sense that personal whim or (...)
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  71. Stephen Andrew Barnes, The Significance of Growth in the Philosophy of John Dewey.
    The task of this project is to explore and explicate the notion of growth as expressed in the philosophical works of American philosopher and educator John Dewey. Specifically, I shall address the importance of our everyday aesthetic experience as it is embodied in our struggles to come to understand our world and each other. These sorts of moments can be pivotal, in that they are opportunities for us not only 'to learn,' as that phrase is traditionally understood, but to be (...)
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  72. Clay Davis Splawn, Parfit, Personal Identity, and What Matters.
    The problem of personal identity has vexed philosophers since its initial formulation by John Locke. He argued that "person" is a distinct ontological entity' y from "man." In so doing, he initiated a separation of the physical and psychological which nearly all later philosophers follow. Some, unsatisfied by Locke's preference for the psychological, argue that physicality is the essential feature of personhood. Others, more inclined to support Locke, argue that psychology is the essential feature. A large portion of the discussion (...)
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  73. Martin Allen Coleman, The Role of Literal Meaning in Metaphor.
    Examining literal meaning and the role it plays in the explanation of metaphor shows that the concept of meaning by itself is not powerful enough to answer questions about using and comprehending metaphorical utterances. A full theory of communication is required to give a positive account of metaphorical utterances. In "What Metaphors Mean," Donald Davidson uses his theory of meaning to clear up important confusions about metaphor and its accomplishments, but his account of metaphor is largely negative and leaves much (...)
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  74. David Arie DeGroot, The Grounding of the Scientific Endeavor: Armstrong's Inference to the Best Explanation and Van Fraassen's Concept of Symmetry.
    The hegemony of the Inference to the Best Explanation as the rule which scientists follow in theorizing has been challenged in recent debates in philosophy of science by the concept of Symmetry. Inference to the Best Explanation as part of the Realist view of science has been most ably defended by David Armstrong. The concept of Symmetry, as part of the Constructive Empiricist view of science, is championed by Bas van Fraassen. If van Fraassen's Symmetry Principles are to become the (...)
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  75. Clifford Scott Stagoll, A Defense of Deleuze's Interpretation of Nietzsche.
    Publication of Gilles Deleuze's interpretative text Nietzsche and Philosophy was accompanied by a resurgence of interest in the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, and its themes were taken up by "New Nietzscheans" such as Foucault and Lyotard. The intricate particulars of Deleuze's interpretation were largely ignored, however, until recent criticisms of his account by Keith Ansell-Pearson and Vincent Descombes. By clarifying the meaning and implications of Deleuze's understanding of Nietzsche's Will to Power and Eternal Return, and its ramifications for the relationships (...)
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  76. Darrell James Russell, Nozick's Minimal State?
    In his book, Anarchy , State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick argues that the only state that can be justified is the minimal state, a state limited to providing protection for all its citizens. Nozick explains how a minimal state could naturally develop from a state of nature without violating any person's rights, allowing for its justification. Whereas, any more extensive state would violate people's rights in performing its various roles, causing such a state to be unjustified. In this thesis, I (...)
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  77. Jessica Lynn Hildahl, Superior Orders: When and How to Dissent in the Military.
    The objective of this thesis is to determine under what circumstances a military officer should disobey or refuse to follow a superior order and also what additional actions the officer should take if he does not follow the order. Within a profession in which loyalty and obedience are valued so highly, there is often a reluctance to discuss the problem of superior orders. The problem is discussed from the perspective of the junior officer. Immanuel Kant's ethics are used as the (...)
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  78. Peter Boenning, Georg Simmel's Fin de Siecle Postmodernism and its Schopenhauerian Episteme.
    A recent resurgence in interest in the philosophy of Georg Simmel, especially by postmodernists, warrants a closer examination of his life and thought, particularly in light of the fact that he is poorly understood and generally misperceived. Simmel's philosophy is relevant not only because, unlike most postmodernists, he does not slide into the realm of nihilism, although he did maintain an ambivalent pessimism regarding the future. Simmel was a member of a generation who, like postmodernists, rebelled against the grand narratives (...)
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  79. Gordon Lee Pettit, A Christian Philosophical Response to the Problem of Evil.
    The problem of evil has been raised as a problem for any monotheist who has traditional beliefs about God. The belief that God exists and is omniscient) omnipotent, and omnibenevolent has been claimed to be inconsistent with the existence of evil. Though philosophical theists have provided successful defenses against the problem of evil, few if any, have given an adequate explanation of the existence of evil that is considered plausible on a specific belief system. In this thesis I explore the (...)
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  80. Thomas Christian Hilde, Community, Individual, and World in the Later Works of Josiah Royce and Charles Taylor.
    Two ideals, those of community and cosmopolitanism, have wound their ways through the history of philosophy and humanity. In recent times, we again find them the subject of debate in academia while parallel conflicts have arisen throughout the world which appear to instantiate the intellectual debate. The dichotomy has historically resisted resolution. The present thesis presents two views that I believe attempt to resolve the contradictions of community, individual, and world. The two views are those of Josiah Royce and Charles (...)
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  81. Clinton David Lanier, Western Consciousness, Absurdity, and Rebellion: The Influence of Paradox in the Early Works of Albert Camus.
    This thesis explores the paradoxical nature of Albert Camus's ideas of Western consciousness, absurdity, and rebellion. Camus believes that as members of the Occident, we are the products of both the Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christian cultures. We attempt to make sense of the world through these two sensibilities. The problem with this approach is that these world-views generate very different conceptions of the world. Camus believes that there is no way to logically integrate these two positions and that they exists together (...)
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  82. Wesley Raymond Dean, A Socio-Technical Account of Risk.
    Risk analysis is an extraordinarily diverse field of study. This thesis attempts to determine what are the philosophical underpinnings of some of the major writers on the subject of risk. It breaks these writings down into two major groups: those whose writings are positivist in nature and those whose writings are contextualist. Positivistic writings define the subject matter of risk analysis in unambiguous terms that are verifiable by experience. The contextualist adopts a broader approach. For a contextualist the meaning of (...)
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  83. Ryan Paul Soisson, The Ethics of State Sponsored Development.
    In the decade of the eighties two blueprints for development, the Brandt and Brundtland RePc)rts, were published with the intention of providing states with a development program. These reports propose remarkably similar solutions to the world's development problems. However, the underlying ethic which could be used to guide the proposals is dissimilar. The Brandt RePOrt is Predicated upon an ethic of rights and obligations to others, while the Brundtiand Report ethic is based upon C n interests. In neither report is (...)
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  84. Shu Tian, The Daoist Interpretation of Mao Zedong's Way.
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  85. David Mark Kriewaldt, The Concept of a Sustainable Agriculture.
    The concept of a sustainable agriculture varies much with writers: some see it as the preservation of agricultural resources or as the reduction of agricultural contamination of the environment or both. Other authors focus on economic viability or the political dimensions of a sustainable agriculture. This thesis argues for a concept of sustainable agriculture as a normative, socio-political concept. Such concepts can avoid some of the theoretical problems in purely ecological, neoclassical economic, and other accounts. Sustainability as a normative, socio-political (...)
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  86. Kara Lyrae Kellogg, The Philosophy of Comedy in the Works of Franz Kafka.
    Traditionally, much of the research surrounding Franz Kafka's works has focused on the more serious issues such as the existential aspects --- alienation, angst, or anxiety and anticipation of death. This does not preclude that some others have written on the "lighter" aspects of Kafka's writing, that is, comedy and humor. Because the comedic in Kafka's work is so apparent, I felt it to be a plausible intent to explore the relationship between the more serious aspects and the comedic. It (...)
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  87. Douglas Neil Kutach, The Wendell Berry Ideal: Harmony and Wholeness.
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  88. Mark Patrick George, Art and the Aesthetic Thought of John Dewey: Observations and Applications.
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  89. Samuel Pry, Understanding Miracles.
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  90. Alicia Paulette Goode, The Relationship Between Corporate Philosophy and Worker Efficiency: A Case Study of the Woodward Governor Company.
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  91. Stephen Patrick Kirkpatrick, Francis Bacon: The Rise and Fall of His Influence on Science in America.
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  92. Lisa Lugean Golding, Contraries in the Poetry of Edward, Lord Herbert of Cherbury.
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  93. Yong-Dal Kim, Generation of Pseudostates for the Dirac-Coulomb Hamiltonian Using the Variational Method.
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  94. Catherine Vance Agrella, Whitman's Typology: From Imitatio Christi to One's Self/En Masse.
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  95. Jesse L. Rester, The Implications of Vagueness.
    If grains of sand are added, one by one, to a growing collection of sand on an otherwise empty table, there will eventually be a "heap" of sand on the table. It seems impossible, however, to specify the precise point at which the collection becomes a heap. One grain of sand is certainly not a heap of sand. Does two grains comprise a heap? Can the collection be called a heap at three grains, at 10 grains, or at 500 grains? (...)
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  96. Matthew H. Edney, Recent Trends in the History of Cartography: A Selective, Annotated Bibliography to the English-Language Literature.
    The history of cartography has since the 1970s significantly expanded its disciplinary reach, its theoretical directions and approaches, and its scholarship. This annotated bibliography is intended as a guide to the extended field. It seeks to remind newcomers and established map scholars alike of the field’s traditional concerns (and literatures) and to inform them of its new directions and scholarship.
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  97. Charles Carlson, Hybridization and the Typological Paradigm.
    The presence of parasites in a population has an impact on mate choice and has substantial evolutionary significance. A relatively unexplored aspect of this dynamic is whether or not the presence of parasites increases the likelihood of hybridization events, which also have a significant role in ecological adaptation. One explanation of increased hybridization in some areas and not others is that stress from parasites results in selection for an increase of novel genotypes. Two swordtail species Xiphophorus birchmanni and Xiphophorus malinche (...)
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  98. Paul Russell Shockley, How to Bridge the Culture Gap: How John Dewey's Aesthetics May Benefit the Local Church.
    In my personal experience, I have discovered notable aesthetic problems that face many contemporary evangelical churches. In spite of these churches’ best efforts, they fail to bridge the culture gap and foster a meaningful worship service. But John Dewey’s aesthetic philosophy understands the shifting nature of our environment and the value of aesthetic experience, providing beneficial insights to assist unhealthy churches. To better understand the applicability of his philosophy, Chapter II is an exposition of John Dewey’s aesthetics that revolves around (...)
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  99. Oak Herbert de Berg, War as Aesthetic: The Philosophy of Carl von Clausewitz as the Embodiment of John Dewey's Concept of Experience.
    This dissertation confirms war as the zenith of aesthetic experience and demonstrates the pragmatic nature of war through explication of John Dewey’s aesthetic philosophy. Likewise, the coherency of Carl von Clausewitz’s philosophy parallels Dewey as it too leads to complete development, or flourishing, of the individual in a complex, ever-changing world. Von Clausewitz’s sets his philosophy in the context of war, but his philosophy transcends that milieu. The timelessness of the General’s philosophical concepts guarantees the appropriateness of these concepts in (...)
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