Browsing Theses and Dissertations by Duke Department "Philosophy"

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  • Sarkissian, Hagop (2008-08-22)
    <p>According to everyday folk psychology, our deliberate goals and intentions, together with our character traits, explain much of our overt behavior. These ways of explaining behavior are pervasive. According to ...
  • Morton, Nathan D. (2013)
    <p>This thesis comprises an investigation into a very well known and perennial philosophical debate over the interpretive status of our most well confirmed scientific theories, known as "scientific realism." I do not defend ...
  • Crawford, David Robert (2012)
    <p>At the end of the nineteenth century Charles Sanders Peirce wrote that "chance begets order" - indeterministic or `chancy' processes can underlie orderly and seemingly deterministic processes. Indeed, Peirce argues that ...
  • Ramsey, Grant Aaron (2007-05-07)
    It has become increasingly common to explain the behavior of animals—from sperm whales to songbirds—in terms of culture. But what is animal culture, what is its relationship to other biological concepts and to human ...
  • Braddock, Matthew C. (2012)
    <p>Heightened awareness of the evolutionary, socio-cultural, and psychological origins of our moral judgments pushes many of us in the direction of moral skepticism, in the direction of doubting the objective truth of our ...
  • Luco, Andres Carlos (2009)
    <p>A classic question in moral philosophy asks "Why be moral?" In other words, what reason or motive do people have to act in accordance with the requirements of morality? In the tradition of Thomas Hobbes and David Hume, ...
  • Hlavac, Monica Anne (2009)
    <p>In this study I address the moral and cultural disagreement and conflict regarding the interpretation of human rights norms that threatens the legitimacy of the human rights enterprise. Such disagreements present an ...
  • DeCamp, Matthew Wayne (2007-05-07)
    In the past several years, the impact of intellectual property rights (IPRs) on access to medicines and medical technologies has come under increased scrutiny. Motivating this are highly publicized cases where IPRs appear ...
  • Kraemer, Daniel Mark (2012)
    <p>In this thesis, I take up two important issues for understanding neurobiological systems: normative functions and information. After introducing the topic and my methodology in chapters 1 and 2, chapter 3 contains an ...
  • Metz, Joseph (2012)
    We do not want arbitrariness in our moral judgments. In the first half of my thesis, I will discuss moral luck and the problem it poses for assigning moral responsibility in a non-arbitrary manner. Once I have discussed ...
  • Tankersley, Dharol (2008-05-01)
    <p>This project advocates an urgent role for neurobiological evidence and models in the study of altruism. I argue for two claims: that neurobiological evidence should be used to constrain candidate scientific accounts of ...
  • Fishman, Daniel (2013-04-25)
    Nietzsche’s dual interest in philosophy and poetry has major ramifications for the both the style and content of Nietzsche’s philosophy. Though most modern philosophical texts consider clarity of argument to be a prime ...
  • Dong, Rae (2011-06-20)
    In this paper, I explore the historical and contemporary conceptions of paternalism, and consider the role that paternalistic action should play in medical decision-making. Principally, I argue that while liberty and ...
  • Williams, Robert A. (2013)
    <p>Naturalism faces problems caused by a lack of agreement about whether there is or can be a meaningful and useful conception of naturalism as a general research position. Without a widely agreed upon account of what ...
  • Motsinger, Kyle (2012)
    <p>One popular characterization of physicalism is as an empirical prediction about the theoretical objects and properties of future science. It is argued that physicalism so characterized cannot be justified unless an ...
  • Jelinek, Elizabeth (2008-05-29)
    <p>In Platonic Modes of Explanation, I examine Plato's treatment of Form, matter, and telos in his theory of explanation. To focus my investigation of Plato's theory, I adopt an unorthodox approach: that of using Aristotle's ...
  • Powell, Russell (2008-01-01)
    <p>This dissertation explores philosophical problems in biology, particularly those relating to macroevolutionary theory. It is comprised of a series of three papers drawn from work that is currently at the publication, ...
  • Soyarslan, Sanem (2011)
    <p>While both intuitive knowledge (<italic>scientia intuitiva</italic>) and reason (<italic>ratio</italic>) are adequate ways of knowing for Spinoza, they are not equal. "The greatest virtue of the mind" and "the greatest ...
  • Yu, Sun Kyeong (2008-06-30)
    <p>This dissertation proposes a new working model of reductionism for biology and a new concept of the gene based on the new reduction model. My project aims to help biologists and philosophers understand what reductionism ...
  • McWatters III, Thomas A. (2010)
    <p>The principle of respect for other persons is commonly invoked in contemporary liberalism as justification for the claim that a conscientious citizen in a liberal democracy is morally obligated to refrain from supporting ...