Browsing Philosophy - Doctoral Theses by Issue Date
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- ItemMax Stirner's relevance to contemporary philosophy: a critical analysis(University College Cork, 2013) Crownover, Seth; Moeller, Hans-GeorgThe aim of this dissertation is to revive the 19th-century thinker Max Stirner’s thought through a critical reexamination of his mistaken legacy as a ‘political’ thinker. The reading of Stirner that I present is one of an ontological thinker, spurred on as much—if not more—by the contents of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as it is the radical roots that Hegel unintentionally planted. In the first chapter, the role of language in Stirner’s thought is examined, and the problems to which his conception of language seem to give rise are addressed. The second chapter looks at Stirner’s purportedly ‘anarchistic’ politics and finds the ‘anarchist’ reading of Stirner misguided. Rather than being a ‘political’ anarchist, it is argued that we ought to understand Stirner as advocating a sort of ‘ontological’ anarchism in which the very existence of authority is questioned. In the third chapter, I look at the political ramifications of Stirner’s ontology as well as the critique of liberalism contained within it, and argue that the politics implicit in his philosophy shares more in common with the tradition of political realism than it does anarchism. The fourth chapter is dedicated to an examination of Stirner’s anti-humanism, which is concluded to be much different than the ‘anti-humanisms’ associated with other, more famous thinkers, such as Foucault and Heidegger. In the fifth and final chapter, I provide an answer to the question(s) of how, if, and to what extent Friedrich Nietzsche was influenced by Stirner. It is concluded that the complete lack of evidence that Nietzsche ever read Stirner is proof enough to dismiss accusations of plagiarism on Nietzsche’s part, thus emphasizing the originality and singularity of both thinkers.
- ItemMigration: A Heideggerian analysis(University College Cork, 2013) Martinez Vazquez, Andrea; Jansen, JuliaThe phenomenon of migration has been widely researched by the social sciences. Theories regarding the migrant have been developed in terms of the oppressive social context that is often encountered, proposing different alternatives to understand and overcome such oppression. Through the current project, an alternative view is presented that first, questions the accuracy of the social theories of migration and second, proposes an alternative understanding of this experience. Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology of Being offers a contextualized view of existence that nonetheless includes elements of our experience that are shared due to a common mode of being. I use Heidegger’s philosophy in order to broaden the understanding of the migrant’s experience analyzing those elements that he identifies as shared (for instance: human sociability, a desire for a home, the uncanny, etc.) and comparing them with common issues raised by migrants (identity, homesickness, belonging, etc.). In this way, I intend to present a more complete picture of the experience of migration that considers both empirical evidence of individual migrants and an existential analysis that incorporates the defining elements of our world and our existence as crucial means to understand any experience, including that of migration.
- ItemThe political philosophy of Miki Kiyoshi: A close reading of the philosophical foundations of cooperative communitarianism(University College Cork, 2014) Steffensen, Kenn Nakata; Parkes, Graham; Irish Research CouncilThe thesis is a historical and philological study of the mature political theory of Miki Kiyoshi (1897-1945) focused on Philosophical Foundations of Cooperative Communitarianism (1939), a full translation of which is included. As the name suggests, it was a methodological and normative communitarianism, which critically built on liberalism, Marxism and Confucianism to realise a regional political community. Some of Miki’s Western readers have wrongly considered him a fascist ideologue, while he has been considered a humanist Marxist in Japan. A closer reading cannot support either view. The thesis argues that the Anglophone study of Japanese philosophy is a degenerating research programme ripe for revolution in the sense of returning full circle to an original point. That means returning to the texts, reading them contextually and philologically, in principle as early modern European political theory is read by intellectual historians, such as the representatives of Cambridge School history of political thought. The resulting reading builds critically on the Japanese scholarship and relates it to contemporary Western and postcolonial political theory and the East Asian tradition, particularly neo-Confucianism. The thesis argues for a Cambridge School perspective radicalised by the critical addendum of geo-cultural context, supplemented by Geertzian intercultural hermeneutics and a Saidian ‘return to philology’. As against those who have seen radical reorientations in Miki’s political thought, the thesis finds gradual progression and continuity between his neo-Kantian, existentialist, Marxian anthropology, Hegelian and finally communitarian phases. The theoretical underpinnings are his philosophical anthropology, a structurationist social theory of praxis, and a critique of liberalism, Marxism, nationalism and idealism emphasising concrete as opposed to abstract theory and the need to build on existing cultural traditions to modernise rather than westernise East Asia. This post-Western fusion was imagined to be the beginning of a true and pluralistic universalism.
- ItemMerleau-Ponty and Nishida: Artistic expression as 'motor-perceptual faith'(University College Cork, 2014) Loughnane, Adam; Parkes, Graham; Irish Research CouncilThis dissertation carries out a dialogue between Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Nishida Kitarō concerning their theories of artistic expression and faith. Both philosophers go through remarkably similar trajectories in their philosophic projects: In their early works they focus on the motor-perceptual body of the artist, and as they move towards the mature articulation of their ontologies, the concept of faith becomes central. I propose the term “motor-perceptual faith” to bring these seemingly diverse sets of concerns into a conceptual continuity. My study explores this connection, and argues that the artist’s motor-perceptual expressive body, as colourfully and sometimes poetically articulated in their early works, enacts the form of faith developed more abstractly in their later writings. Exploring these relations fosters a mutual expansion of the early by the later works, thus thickening the concept of faith by seeing it as enacted by the artist, while enlarging the concept of artistic expression by understanding it as a practice of motor‐perceptual faith. Framing these philosophers as putting forth a traditionally religious concept as illustrated by way of artistic expression, offers a new articulation of both of their writings, an important conceptual bridge between the two, while challenging un-ambiguous distinctions between art, philosophy and religion, and ultimately philosophy East and West.
- ItemTowards enhanced divine-human-earth relations: a Christian-Buddhist contribution(University College Cork, 2014) Twomey, Margaret P.; Parkes, GrahamThe central claim of the dissertation is that lesser known and somewhat neglected, yet influential thinkers, within classical religious traditions have something worthwhile to contribute to the kind of ethos we should adopt in the face of the world’s various environmental crises. Moreover an exploration of such perspectives is best done in dialogue, particularly between Eastern and Western thought. I examine this claim primarily through a dialogue between the Christian philosopher John Scottus Eriugena and the Japanese Buddhist philosopher Kūkai (Kōbō Daishi). This dialogue, framed by the triad of divine-human-earth relations, primarily emphasises the oneness of all reality, and it finds expression in Eriugena’s concept of natura or phusis and Kūkai’s central teaching that the phenomenal world is the cosmic Buddha Dainichi. By highlighting this focus, I contribute to the existing academic field of ecology and religion on the subject of holism. However, I go beyond the materialist focus that generally marks such ecological holism within that field, offering instead a more metaphysical approach. This is indicated through my use of the concept of ‘immanental transcendence’ to describe Eriugena’s and Kūkai’s dynamic, numinous and mysterious notion of reality, as well as my exploration of Eriugena’s concept of theophany and Kūkai’s notion of kaji. I further explore how both philosophers highlight the human role in the process of reaching enlightenment—understood as attaining union with the whole. In that regard, I note significant differences in their positions: in particular, I note that Kūkai’s emphasis on bodily practices contrasts with Eriugena’s more conceptual approach. Finally to bolster my claim, I examine some ecologically oriented understandings of contemporary phenomenological approaches found particularly in the work of Jean-Luc Marion and to a lesser extent Merleau-Ponty, arguing that these reflect notions of reality and of the human role similar to those of the medieval philosophers.
- ItemFrom respect for nature to agency as realisation in response to the ecological emergency(University College Cork, 2014) Weir, Lucy; Parkes, Graham; Duddy, Thomas'The ecological emergency’ describes both our emergence into, and the way we relate within, a set of globally urgent circumstances, brought about through anthropogenic impact. I identify two phases to this emergency. Firstly, there is the anthropogenic impact itself, interpreted through various conceptual models. Secondly, however, is the increasingly entrenched commitment to divergent conceptual positions, that leads to a growing disparateness in attitudes, and a concurrent difficulty with finding any grounds for convergence in response. I begin by reviewing the environmental ethics literature in order to clarify which components of the implicit narratives and beliefs of different positions create the foundations for such disparateness of views. I identify the conceptual frameworks through which moral agency and human responsibility are viewed, and that justify an ethical response to the ecological emergency. In particular, I focus on Paul Taylor's thesis of 'respect for nature' as a framework for revising both the idea that we are ‘moral’ and the idea that we are ‘agents’ in this unique way, and I open to question the idea that any response to the ecological emergency need be couched in ethical terms. This revision leads me to formulate an alternative conceptual model that makes use of Timothy Morton’s idea of enmeshment. I propose that we dramatically revise our idea of moral agency using the idea of enmeshment as a starting point. I develop an alternative framework that locates our capacity for responsibility within our capacity for realisation, both in the sense of understanding, and of making real, sets of conditions within our enmeshment. I draw parallels between this idea of ‘realisation as agency’ and the work of Dōgen and other non-dualists. I then propose a revised understanding of ‘the good’ of systems from a biophysical perspective, and compare this with certain features of Asian traditions of thought. I consider the practical implications of these revisions, and I conclude that the act of paying close attention, or realising, contains our agency, as does the attitude, or manner, with which we focus. This gives us the basis for a convergent response to the ecological emergency: the way of our engagement that is the key to responding to the ecological emergency
- ItemNihilism and emptiness: Nishitani's encounter with Nietzsche(University College Cork, 2015) Flavel, Sarah J.; Parkes, GrahamIn this thesis, I examine the relationship between the Kyoto School philosopher, Nishitani Keiji, and the work of Friedrich Nietzsche, focusing on the two thinkers’ respective approaches to the problem of nihilism. The work begins by positioning Nishitani’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s account of nihilism with reference to diverse readings of Nietzsche in Western scholarship. I then consider the development of Nishitani’s reading of Nietzsche from his lecture series on nihilism, The Self- Overcoming of Nihilism, through to his magnum opus, Religion and Nothingness. I make two key contributions to recent scholarly debate on Nishitani’s relationship to Nietzsche. The first is to emphasise the importance of Nishitani’s response to the idea of eternal recurrence for understanding his critical approach to Nietzsche’s thinking. I argue against the view, offered by Bret Davis, that Nishitani’s criticisms of Nietzsche are primarily based on the former’s negative assessment of the idea of will to power. The second contribution is to situate Nishitani’s critical approach to eternal recurrence within his broader attempt to formulate a Zen-influenced conception of temporality and historicity. I then argue for the necessity of this conceptual background for coming to grips with his conception of the ‘transhistorical’ grounds of historicity in emptiness (śūnyatā), as outlined in the later chapters of Religion and Nothingness.
- ItemWithin the carnal: re-reading Merleau-Ponty through the language of drawing(University College Cork, 2015) Farrell, Helen; Jansen, Julia; Irish Research Council; Cork City CouncilIn order to present visual art as a paradigm for philosophy, Merleau-Ponty investigated the creative processes of artists whose work corresponded closely with his philosophical ideas. His essays on art are widely valued for emphasising process over product, and for challenging the primacy of the written word in all spheres of human expression. While it is clear that he initially favoured painting, Merleau-Ponty began to develop a much deeper understanding of the complexities of how art is made in his late work in parallel with his advancement of a new ontology. Although his ontology remains unfinished and only exists as working notes and a manuscript entitled The Visible and Invisible, Merleau-Ponty had begun to appreciate the fundamental role drawing plays in the making of art and the creation of a language of expression that is as vital as the written or spoken word. Through an examination of Merleau-Ponty’s unfinished manuscript and working notes my thesis will investigate his working methods and use of materials and also explore how he processed his ideas by using my own art practice as the basis of my research. This research will take the form of an inquiry into how the unfinished and incomplete nature of text and artworks, while they are still ‘works in progress’, can often reveal the more human and carnal components of creative processes. Applying my experience as a practitioner and a teacher in an art school, I focus on the significance of drawing practice for Merleau-Ponty’s later work, in order to rebalance an overemphasis on painting in the literature. Understanding the differences between these two art forms, and how they are taught, can offer an alternative engagement with Merleau-Ponty’s later work and his struggle to find a language to express his developing new ontology. In addition, by re-reading his work through the language of drawing, I believe we gain new insights which reaffirm Merleau-Ponty's relevance to contemporary art making and aesthetics.
- ItemZazen, philosophy of mind, and the practicality of realising impermanence(University College Cork, 2015) Power, Kevin J.; Walmsley, Joel VincentThis dissertation involves a general overview of the meditative practice of zazen and analytic philosophy of mind while suggesting a potential bridge between them in the form of an analysis of the practicality of realising impermanence. By the end of my argument I hope to have offered up some compelling evidence in favour of the idea that analytic philosophy would benefit greatly from adopting principles which are best learned and expressed through the practice of, and scholarship around, Zen Buddhism and in particular the treatment of the concept of impermanence. I demonstrate the Western philosophical tendency to make dichotomous assumptions about the nature of mind, even when explicitly denying a dualist framework. I do so by examining the historical and philosophical precedent for dualistic thinking in the work of figures such as Plato and Descartes. I expand on this idea by examining the psychology of categorisation - i.e. creating mental categories and boundaries - and demonstrating how such categorisations feeds back into behaviour in practical ways, both positive and negative. The Zen Buddhist principle of impermanence states that all phenomena are impermanent and therefore lack essential nature; this includes intellectual concepts such as the metaphysical framework of the analytic approach to mind. Impermanence is a principle which is realised through the embodied practice of zazen. By demonstrating its application to analytic philosophy of mind I show that zazen (and mindfulness practice in general) provides an ongoing opportunity for clearing up entrenched world views, metaphysical assumptions and dogmatic thinking. This in turn may promote a more holistic and ultimately more rewarding comprehension of the role of first-person experience in understanding the world. My argument is not limited to analytic philosophy of mind but reflects broad aspects of thinking in general, and I explain its application to issues of social importance, in particular education systems.
- ItemSpinoza on method and freedom(University College Cork, 2015) Begley, Bartholomew; Dockstader, Jason; Irish Research CouncilThe thesis as a whole argues that Spinoza’s Ethics in both method and content is aimed at the normal, partly rational person. Chapter 1 is on Spinoza’s writing style, finding that rather than being arid and technical, it aims to convince the reader by means of various rhetorical techniques, so does not assume an already rational reader. The following chapters of Part 1 examine whether the Ethics’ use of the synthetic geometric method exposes it to Descartes’ critique of that method in the “Second Replies” to his Meditations, that it is not suitable for pedagogy. This involves a consideration of the role of the TIE, finding in that early text not the analytic wing of a two-part analytic-synthetic method, but rather a defence and necessitation of a stand-alone synthetic method. Part 2 of the thesis develops this study of Spinoza’s writing for the common man to consider whether he is writing about the common man. This is done by examining one of the seemingly most abstract propositions in the Ethics, 4P72, which claims that a free man will not deceive even to save his own life. The study examines who exactly is this “free man” and what is his role in the Ethics. The study looks at the examples of free men in the TTP and at the concept of the model in the Ethics, and finds that rather than the free man being an impossible ideal which we can aim at but never achieve, everyone is free to some extent, and that even normal people are at times “the free man”.
- ItemNietzsche and Montaigne: cheerful naturalism(University College Cork, 2015) O'Sullivan, Timothy; Parkes, Graham; Irish Research CouncilThe influence of the Essays of Michel de Montaigne on the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche has, hitherto, received scant scholarly attention. The aim of this thesis is to address this lacuna in the literature by making evident the importance of the Essays to the development of Nietzsche’s philosophy. I argue that, in order to fully appreciate Nietzsche’s thought, it must be recognized that, from the beginning to the end of his philosophical life, Montaigne was for him a thinker of the deepest personal and philosophical significance. Against the received scholarly opinion, which would see Montaigne as influential only for Nietzsche’s middle works, I contend that the Essays continue to be a key inspiration for Nietzsche even into his late and final works. Montaigne, with his cheerful affirmation of life, his experimental mode of philosophizing, and his resolutely naturalized perspective, was an exemplar for Nietzsche as a philosopher, psychologist, sceptic and naturalist. The Essays not only stimulated Nietzsche’s thinking on questions to do with morality, epistemology and the nature of the soul but also informed his conception of the ideal philosophical life. Moreover, to explore the Essays from a Nietzschean viewpoint, allows the drawing out of the more radical aspects of Montaigne’s thought, while to probe Montaigne’s impact on Nietzsche, provides insight into the trajectory of Nietzsche’s philosophy as he broke free from romantic pessimism and embraced the naturalism that would guide his works from Human, All Too Human onward.
- ItemRealisable climate change narratives in public discourse: an East/West comparative analysis of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) as a response to global climate change(University College Cork, 2016) Whelan, Cian Michael; Parkes, Graham A.; Irish Research CouncilThis thesis looks at how non-experts develop an opinion on climate change, and how those opinions could be changed by public discourse. I use Hubert Dreyfus’ account of skill acquisition to distinguish between experts and non-experts. I then use a combination of Walter Fisher’s narrative paradigm and the hermeneutics of Paul Ricœur to explore how non-experts form opinions, and how public narratives can provide a point of critique. In order to develop robust narratives, they must be financially realistic. I therefore consider the burgeoning field of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) analysis as a way of informing realistic public narratives. I identify a potential problem with this approach: the Western assumptions of ESG analysis might make for public narratives that are not convincing to a non-Western audience. I then demonstrate how elements of the Chinese tradition, the Confucian, Neo-Confucian, and Daoist schools, as presented by David Hall and Roger Ames, can provide alternative assumptions to ESG analysis so that the public narratives will be more culturally adaptable. This research contributes to the discipline by bringing disparate traditions together in a unique way, into a practical project with a view towards applications. I conclude by considering avenues for further research.
- ItemThe Kyoto School and Confucianism: a Confucian reading of the philosophy of history and political thought of Masaaki Kosaka(University College Cork, 2016) Rhydwen, Thomas Parry; Parkes, Graham A.This dissertation examines the philosophy of Masaaki Kōsaka (1900-1969) from the East Asian perspective of Confucianism, which I believe is the most appropriate moral paradigm for comprehending his political speculations. Although largely neglected in post-war scholarship, Kōsaka was a prominent member of the Kyoto School during the 1930s and 40s. This was a group of Japanese thinkers strongly associated with the philosophies of Kitarō Nishida and Hajime Tanabe. Kōsaka is now best known for his participation in the three Chūō Kōron symposia held in 1941 and 1942. These meetings have been routinely denounced by liberal historians due to the participants’ support for the Pacific War and the Co-Prosperity Sphere. However, many of these liberal portrayals have failed to take into account the full extent of the group’s resistance to the military junta of Hideki Tōjō. Adopting the methods and techniques of the empirical disciplines of academic history and Orientalism, I develop an interpretative framework that is more receptive to the political values that mattered to Kōsaka as a Confucian inspired intellectual. This has necessitated the rejection of moral history, which typically prioritises modern liberal values brought a priori to the historical record of wartime Japan, as well as recognition of the different ontological foundations that inform the unique political theories of the East Asian intellectual tradition. Reinforced by the prior research of Michel Dalissier and Graham Parkes, as well as my own reading of the Confucian canon, I adopt David Williams’s thesis of ‘Confucian Revolution’ as my principle schema of interpretation. This, I believe, is better able to reconcile Kōsaka’s support for the war with his strong condemnation of the imperialist practices of the Japanese military. Moreover, acknowledging the importance of Confucianism allows us to fully appreciate Kōsaka’s strong affinity for Kant’s practical metaphysics, Hegel’s political philosophy and Ranke’s historiography.
- ItemReflective judgment vs. investigation of things – a comparative study of Kant and Zhu Xi(University College Cork, 2016) Ou, Yangxiao; Parkes, Graham A.; Jansen, Julia (KU Leuven); China Scholarship Council; University College CorkThis thesis is devoted to studying two historical philosophical events that happened in the West and the East. A metaphysical crisis stimulated Kant’s writings during his late critical period towards the notion of the supersensible. It further motivated a methodological shift and his coining of reflective judgment, which eventually brought about a systemic unfolding of his critical philosophy via Kantian moral teleology. Zhu Xi and his Neo-Confucian contemporaries confronted a transformed intellectual landscape resulting from the Neo-Daoist and Buddhist discourses of “what is beyond the form”. The revival of Confucianism required a method in order to relocate the formless Dao back into daily life and to reconstruct a meta-ethical foundation within a social context. This led to the Neo-Confucian recasting of “investigation of things” from The Great Learning via complex hermeneutic operations. By the respective investigation on, as well as the comparative analysis of the two events, I reveal the convergence and incommensurability between the two distinct cultural traditions concerning the metaphysical quests, the mechanism of intellectual development, and moral teleology, so as to capture the intrinsic characteristics of philosophical research in general.
- ItemPerson, community, Tian: the emergence of order and harmony in Chinese philosophy(University College Cork, 2016) Yu, Lan; Parkes, Graham A.; China Scholarship CouncilThis thesis clarifies how the concept of tian functions in Chinese thought, and what tianren heyi (the continuity between tian and humans) means in the Chinese context. With a new interpretation about tianren heyi, I provide a new contribution for understanding these Chinese concepts for an English speaking audience. Tian is not a fixed concept like the idea of heaven, rather, it can be the principle for one’s immanent world. The meaning of the term changes depending on the context it is being used in, and can also be neutral when necessary. Continuity means that there is a resonance and reciprocity in the way these aspects of cosmology emerge together. Humans and tian are not being unified or connected—there is simply continuity between them. What happens is that a productive relationship between them produces depth, harmony, and enhanced significance. Through the interaction between humanity and tian, the human world gains order, and from the perspective of tian, gains harmony. This different understanding the continuity between humanity and tian leads to a new understanding of timing or the appropriateness in li. In the process of practice and self cultivation, it is seen that li is also an idea that is not fixed to one single interpretation as it is connected with timing and appropriateness. The Classical Chinese concept of “Person” (ren 人), as the concrete context of li, is the centre of this practice. Because of the unfixed natures of tian and li, one needs to be flexible in order to cater to their demands. This embodies the freedom of the subject in Chinese thought. As the outcome of li, the social and political structure is shaped in this process, the examples being the models of “great union” and “small tranquillity” (Chapter 3) in Chinese tradition.
- ItemAn examination of the mutual relationship between information & communications technology and democracy(University College Cork, 2016) Hayes, Martin; Murphy, Ciaran; Dockstader, JasonThere is a widely held view that information and communications technology (ICT) has the potential to enhance democracy by enabling all citizens to participate actively in public affairs. Many theorists suggest that the drive to maximise participation in politics could lead to totalitarianism, while a certain level of apathy can provide political stability. Democracy is a middle way between totalitarianism and anarchy and pushing it too far in any of its attributes is likely to lead to its collapse. There is a complex web of relationships between bureaucracy, government and citizens with democracy and ICT weaving through them as they each take on different roles in society. The overreach of bureaucracy is becoming a major threat to the future of democracy today. Politics is about compromise and transforming conflict into cooperation. This is best achieved through face-to-face embodied interaction rather than through virtual channels although the latter can be valuable when used to support face-to-face meetings rather than as a substitute for them. With the possible exception of electricity, no other technology has transformed our society to the extent that ICT has done. Since the technology has such a strong impact on our lives and on society generally, we should have a say in its design and distribution. Even if we refuse to actively use the technology, it nevertheless affects our social environment and it is impossible to avoid becoming passive users. The question then arises as to whether ICT is a neutral, deterministic or an autonomous technology. Some theorists have proposed ways in which people could have a democratic input to the development of technology but it is difficult to find any who have focused on the disingenuous business model which ICT industry has adopted and which leaves no room for democratic input from users.
- ItemPoverty, politics and global justice(University College Cork, 2017) Fawad, Maliha; Buffachi,VittorioThis thesis is an investigation into the ethics and politics of global poverty. The main focus will be on the multidimensional concept of poverty in relation to, global politics and justice in the context of contemporary political thought and philosophical research,. The research methodology used in this study is that of philosophic analysis, with the main focus on three key authors: Rawls’s political liberalism, Nussbaum’s capabilities approach and Pogge’s human rights thesis. This research thesis critically analyses Pogge’s famous stance that global poverty is caused by the harmful international institutional framework. Contra Pogge, this thesis suggests that state and local institutions must not be neglected: a proper understanding of the fundamental role of institutions at both the state and international levels, and the relation between them, can best serve the cause of global justice and poverty alleviation. One of the major concerns of this thesis is how poverty is impacted by politics. It is argued that institutional political action for poverty alleviation is greatly facilitated by democratic political process. Political parties and civil society at the state and local level can play a crucial role, especially if the politics of poverty is embedded in welfare oriented policies of a democratic state with a clear tilt towards social justice. The legitimacy of Pogge’s move to shift away from state responsibility to collective or individual responsibility is critically assessed along with the idea of the dispersal of state sovereignty, and more specifically Pogge’s exclusive emphasis on global institutions in isolation from the state’s role in poverty alleviation. By providing empirical evidence and logical arguments, this thesis argues that poverty is largely caused at the local level by state institutions; without remedying the situation at the local and state level no global intervention is likely to succeed. Poverty eradication policies can only succeed if reformed global institutions coordinate their efforts with political actors and institutions at the state level, enhancing pro-poor institutions and enabling environment for poverty eradication and social justice. Global institutional governance is not likely to achieve much success in poverty eradication unless the role of the state institutions is not fully incorporated.
- ItemSartre on Flaubert: philosophy becoming literature(University College Cork, 2017) Edwards, Mary Louise; Jansen, Julia (KU Leuven); Ryan, AngelaThis thesis aims to illuminate the philosophical importance of Jean-Paul Sartre’s final major work, L’Idiot de la famille (The Family Idiot), by arguing that it is not only a biographical study of the literary author Gustave Flaubert, but also the culmination of Sartre’s defence of philosophical realism. It proceeds by first establishing the defence of a realist position as one of Sartre’s most important philosophical agendas. Then, it explains how Sartre’s realism may be characterized as the view that all reality is human reality and, therefore, knowable. Next, it highlights how, after having already demonstrated that material things and Others (i.e. other conscious subjects) exist independently of consciousness in L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness), and that it is possible for consciousness to grasp the essence of material things in the Critique de la raison dialectique (Critique of Dialectical Reason), what remains for Sartre – by the time he comes to write L’Idiot de la famille – is to show that it is possible to comprehend the essence of an Other by means of a concrete example. The final parts of this investigation explore why Sartre employs literary techniques to grasp and communicate the ‘essence' of Flaubert, throughout L’Idiot de la famille. Although the fact that Sartre was unable to complete L’Idiot de la famille makes it difficult to assess its success in any definitive way, this thesis exposes it as Sartre’s rigorous attempt to show that the essence of an Other is not necessarily beyond the limits of human knowledge. And this, in my view, means that it possesses a philosophical significance that is so far under-appreciated by scholars.
- ItemMerleau-Ponty's philosphy of nature and intercorporeality: an embodied model for contemporary environmental aesthetics(University College Cork, 2018) Guareschi, Carlo; Salice, Alessandro; Jansen, Julia; SFRThis thesis considers Merleau-Ponty’s concepts of nature and intercorporeality in order to develop an embodied model for the contemporary environmental aesthetics. The first chapter provides an outline of the contemporary debate within environmental aesthetics. The second chapter clarifies the husserlian background in Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenology. The third chapter analyzes the concept of bodily experience and nature within Merleau-Ponty’s works and underlines their relevance for the contemporary debate. The fourth and last chapter is elaborates an embodied account, phenomenologically oriented, of our experience of nature.
- ItemTowards a comparative process thought: from Nietzsche to ancient Chinese philosophy(University College Cork, 2019) Burke, Ruud Thomas; Dockstader, Jason; Cipriani, GeraldThe objective of this research project is to develop a preliminary examination of an heuristic process ontology derived from an east-west comparative methodology. It attempts to trace the similarities and discontinuities of an ontological perspective in Friedrich Nietzsche‘s philosophy and several different strands of thought in Warring States era Chinese philosophical thought, focusing on Daoism in particular. The project traces the conclusions of these comparisons from a basic theoretical ontology to a socio-practical consideration. It concludes that in theorizing process both perspectives do not rely on traditional dichotomies that are seen in Western philosophical thought, they see the world as non-deterministic and utilize correlative thinking. The research traces further considerations in the areas of epistemology and evaluation based on these points and concludes that there is no separation between epistemology-evaluation and the underlying ontology, they are direct continuations of ontology. As a last question of theory, this research examines the consequences of comparative process ontology for language, claiming that it allows us to undermine a subjective/objective dichotomy by naturalizing language. Lastly, the theoretical groundwork of this project is applied to a number of extant philosophical issues. It attempts to resolve the dichotomy of reality and appearance as a metaphysical issue, and offers an account of how socio-political and economic issues can be theorized according to such an ontology.