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  • ItemOpen Access
    How to prioritize as a citizen of the universe
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2024) Colter, Jackson T., author; Kasser, Jeff, advisor; Archie, Andre, committee member; Heineman, Kristin, committee member
    Stoicism has gained a bit of popularity in certain circles recently, and much of this popularity revolves around the way that Stoicism enables and guides moral progress on an individual level, regardless of the circumstances. However, Stoic ethics also features an element of cosmopolitanism - essentially, other-oriented ethical principles that an ideal Stoic would follow. These principles tell us that we are all members of a common rational community, with every agent in the rationally organized universe being a member of this community. Naturally, the human lifespan is not long enough to equally address every rational being in the universe, so some sort of prioritization is required. However, Stoics place two requirements on our actions. We must ground our actions in knowledge, and both Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus directly advise us to avoid unnecessary actions. These requirements combined with the other-oriented moral principles lead Stoics to a state of moral paralysis - where the actions that seem to be morally required of them are epistemically unjustified. This paralysis needs to be solved if Stoicism is to serve as a meaningful system of other-oriented ethics. Fortunately, an account of expertise is given in a piece of secondary literature by Simon Shogry which, combined with later Stoic insights, serves to alleviate this paralysis.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Confucian self: an inquiry into the social foundations of Kongzi's Analects
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2024) Stahel, Vanessa, author; Harris, Eirik, advisor; MacKenzie, Matthew, committee member; Erickson, Peter, committee member
    Within ancient Chinese philosophy, the Analects of Kongzi is one of the most widely studied texts, having been read, re-read, and drawn upon for centuries. The text can offer worthwhile insights on its own grounds and may also provide a source of relevant discourse for contemporary investigations. The project at hand is an attempt to construct a plausible and consistent interpretation of the Analects, one which illuminates Kongzi's underlying conception of the self. To ground the text on an internally consistent interpretation, we will first look to two fundamental concepts within the text, li and ren. After establishing this groundwork, we will look more closely at Kongzi's conception of the self by examining his account of moral self-cultivation. As it will turn out, Kongzi's conception of the self is deeply relational; moral cultivation can only take place within a society and is performed for the purpose of bringing about the flourishing of both the individual and the community. We will conclude by offering some insights regarding the comparative possibilities between Kongzi's conception of the self and contemporary feminist theories of selfhood.
  • ItemEmbargo
    Legalism reconsidered: Weberian problems and Confucian solutions in the Han Feizi
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2024) Smith, Jackson T., author; Harris, Eirik Lang, advisor; Archie, Andre, committee member; Blanchard, Nathaniel, committee member
    After a thorough analysis of the political-philosophical climate of Warring States era China, I argue that Han Feizian Legalism is ultimately untenable on account of its necessarily sprawling bureaucratic apparatus which precludes adaptability and rapid response in the face of both internal and external crises. I show further that while Han Fei's criticisms of Confucianism are serious problems for the Confucian theorist, they are not vicious to generally cultivationist political theory. I go on to offer, through a synthesis of Confucian and Legalist doctrines, a solution which manages to patch the holes in both accounts and ultimately forge a broadly neo-classical approach to political organization, Legalism+, which relies on an epistemic naturalism à la Plato as the synthetic ground for Confucian and Legalist theory.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The measurement and transmission of volatility in financial markets: evidence from metal futures markets
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2009) Khalifa, Ahmed Ali Abdel Alim, author; Jianakoplos, Nancy, advisor; Ramchander, Sanjay, advisor
    The measurement and forecasting of asset-price volatility plays a critical role in the study of financial markets. This dissertation verifies the importance of using the integrated volatility using Fourier transformation (IVFT) measure to estimate integrated volatility efficiently. Consequently, studies of volatility that ignore intraday returns series and the IVFT measure are likely to yield misleading conclusions. The IVFT measure and the information provided by high-frequency returns are valuable to a broad range of issues in financial markets. The dissertation provides strong evidence based on the multi-chain Markov switching (MCMS) model of the interdependence, but no comovements between, the three metal markets, which is critical information for portfolio management, derivative pricing and economic policy making. The dissertation makes a comprehensive comparison of three volatility measures: daily absolute returns, cumulative intraday squared returns, and integrated volatility via Fourier transformation (IVFT). The comparisons are made using intraday futures price data for the time period 1999 through 2008 for three metal markets: gold, silver and copper, at four frequency intervals: 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes and 15 minutes. The forecasted volatility from a GARCH model is used as a baseline to evaluate the performance of the three measures of volatility. The principal findings of the study are: (A) using heteroscedastic root mean square error and loss function criteria, the IVFT measure better fits the GARCH predictions of volatility than either the daily absolute returns or the cumulative intraday squared returns measures. In addition to this, the goodness of fit of the IVFT measure to the GARCH forecast of volatility improves as the time frequency increases from 15 minutes to 1 minute. (B) Using a multi-chain Markov switching model, the study shows a spillover and interdependence between gold futures, silver futures and copper futures, but there is no comovement between the three metal futures markets during the study period. The distinguishing feature of this dissertation is providing evidence of an accurate measure of volatility using the Fourier transformation which is crucial for accurate forecasting of volatility. For risk and portfolio management, the dissertation provides useful results, including the fact that one of the three metal markets is sufficient as a hedge against inflation or reducing risk.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Unbiased ratio estimation for finite populations
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2008) Al-Jararha, Jehad, author; Breidt, F. Jay, advisor
    In many sample surveys from finite populations, the value of an auxiliary variable x is available (at least in aggregate form) for the entire finite population, and is correlated with the study variable of interest y. This auxiliary variable can be used to improve the precision of the estimator of the y-total.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Adaptive disembodiment: towards an enactivist theory of body schematic sensorimotor autonomy
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) White, Halie Elizabeth, author; MacKenzie, Matthew, advisor; Rice, Collin, committee member; Snodgrass, Jeffrey, committee member
    The enactivist approach to embodied cognition relies on a non-reductive biological naturalism that is recursive at higher levels of complexity in living systems. In addressing an account of cognition, I will consider Xabier Barandiaran's objection that biological autonomy properly sets biological norms but under-specifies sensorimotor normativity. Barandiaran suggests the implementation of pluralist autonomy to the meta-pattern of organization in the enactivist agent that becomes recapitulated. By forming an account of sensorimotor autonomy, we can then specify normativity at the sensorimotor (cognitive) level. In consideration of this issue, I will propose the body schema functions to provide sensorimotor autonomy to the embodied subject through motor stability and thus functions to specify normativity at the sensorimotor level. This then allows for what enactivists term 'sense-making' in terms of enacting affordance structures. The position I take within the enactivist frame is thus a pluralist autonomist view on cognition. I go on to consider how this view bears on cognitive case studies often addressed in body schema literature. Drawing primarily from the work of Shaun Gallagher, body schema interacts with and develops body image through primary and secondary intersubjective capacities. I argue that body image is intersubjectively constructed through joint attention, thus invoking considerations of one's social milieu. This consideration shifts the discussion to address how the pluralist autonomist enactivist, through body schema and body image interaction, can account for alterations of the body schema due to distortions in one's body image that result from oppression. This pluralist autonomist enactivist theory provides three benefits for understanding these alterations: (1) enactivism begins with a fundamental postulate that individuals are embedded in a world; (2) in distinguishing between different levels of autonomy, we can thus discuss different forms of normative interaction with the environment; (3) and finally, with differentiated forms of normativity, we can thus differentiate and track different modes of adaptation an embodied subject can take when faced with various sorts of perturbations. I argue that disembodiment can be seen as an adaptation of the body schema in relation to hostile environments where stigma targets the body image. This hostile environment does not allow one's comfortable and normative navigation of the world due to the hypervisibility of the body. I explore this case of adaptive disembodiment through fatphobia and public weight stigma.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Epistemic citizenship: a new defense of role-based epistemic normativity
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Kirchner, John J. S., author; Kasser, Jeff, advisor; Tropman, Elizabeth, committee member; MacDonald, Bradley, committee member
    One problem facing epistemic deontology is its (apparent) incompatibility with doxastic involuntarism. Intuitively, deontic epistemic evaluations—e.g., blame or reproach for unjustified belief—seem unbefitting if we can't control that which we believe. However, Richard Feldman proposes a solve to this seeming incompatibility, which is a role-based approach to epistemic normativity. When we find ourselves within certain roles, the normativity of performing within one's role appropriately, as one ought, can generate obligations, permissions, duties, etc. If we can rightly conceive of a "believer role," then we can have coherent deontological normativity, even if we, in fact, lack control over our doxastic attitudes. However, Matthew Chrisman advances strong criticisms of the role-based approach, criticisms which I will argue ultimately fail. In response to Chrisman, I will argue that our doxastic role as a believer is akin to our role as political citizens. The upshot of the project will be a revitalized defense of role-based epistemic deontology, and a more apt analogy, i.e., that of epistemic citizen. Chrisman's assertions of the role-based approach's inherent explanatory insufficiencies will be shown to be unfounded once role-normativity itself is understood more precisely.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Are subjectivists and objectivists about well-being theorizing about the same concept?
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Harris, Blake, author; McShane, Katie, advisor; Tropman, Elizabeth, committee member; Steger, Michael, committee member
    There are two main camps that theories of well-being fall under: "subjectivism" and "objectivism". Subjectivists hold that something can only positively affect one's well-being if one has a positive attitude toward it. Objectivists deny this and hold that some things can positively affect one's well-being irrespective of whether one has a positive attitude towards them and can even do so if one has a negative attitude towards them. Both views seem appealing and many theorists in the well-being debate attempt to capture the appeal of both views in the theories they posit. Despite this, only one can be correct; they contradict each other. Yet, neither seems satisfactory on its own since, as I argue, they fail to account for the motivations of the other. Hence, we are left with an impasse between the two that is difficult to resolve. In this thesis, I summarize the main theories of well-being and their objections in chapter one and introduce the distinction between subjectivism and objectivism and the motivations behind each. In chapter two, I summarize several theories that try to account for the motivations of both subjectivism and objectivism, with particular emphasis on "hybrid" theories, and show that they fail at their task. I finish in chapter three by motivating the impasse between subjectivism and objectivism and outlining four possible ways of resolving the impasse. I argue that three of these fail, but that the remaining way is promising. This way holds that subjectivists and objectivists are actually theorizing about two different, but similar concepts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A defense of emotions in evolutionary epistemology
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Van, Minh-Tu, author; Rice, Collin, advisor; Kasser, Jeffrey, committee member; Snodgrass, Jeffrey, committee member
    Current literature in evolutionary epistemology places a kind of epistemic 'rationality', guided by evolution, as the primary consideration or rationale that directs whether and how we acquire knowledge. Foundational works by the likes of Donald Campbell, Konrad Lorenz, and Sir Karl Popper paved the grounds of evolutionary epistemology by prioritizing natural selection's role within theories of knowledge. By recognizing and understanding the significance of humans' niche within the biological world, it better informs us of the aims of evolutionary epistemology. My thesis aims to incorporate emotions in the understanding and development of evolutionary epistemology. My arguments stem from the idea that emotions are an innate and biological response that have an epistemically significant evolutionary history while also concurrently conferring epistemic advantages. With much of the current discussion focused on evolutionary 'rationality' sans emotion, there is much left to be desired in evolutionary epistemology: I believe evolutionary epistemology is missing an evaluation and incorporation of our emotional systems that shape and influence epistemic aims. While evolutionary epistemologists allude to emotions' significance and relevance through other causal mechanisms, there is little discussion of how emotions explicitly affect and interact with our epistemic processes. The overall aim of my thesis is to stress the epistemic contribution that emotions would have to the current developments within evolutionary epistemology and its fittingness within the scope of evolutionary epistemology's aims as currently construed. I first summarize evolutionary epistemology using the works of Campbell, Lorenz, and Popper and explicate what evolutionary 'rationality' entails. Then, I explore some epistemic roles emotions play within important features extrapolated from an evolutionary 'rationality': epistemic fallibility and epistemic creativity. I argue that evolutionary epistemology benefits from an investigation and application of emotions to these features because their role reinforces the same aims that evolutionary epistemology strive to achieve. To wrap things up, I lay out implications and future directions of accepting my defense. I ultimately contend that a more serious consideration of emotions within evolutionary epistemology would only elucidate a fuller comprehension of our naturalized knowledge; not only will we learn more about what human knowledge is construed as, but we will also learn more about how the construction of knowledge, for and by evolved humans, ought to be produced.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Nin gii nisaa a'aw waawaashkeshii: engaging animal rights theory with Ojibwe and Cree theories of hunting ethics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2023) Persinger, Corinne, author; McShane, Katie, advisor; Shockley, Kenneth, advisor; Schneider, Lindsey, committee member
    In this thesis, I call on animal ethicists working in Western traditions to reflect on deeply held assumptions, prejudices, and colonial histories that continue to marginalize not only Indigenous hunting practices, but the very theories that defend their ethical justification. Such reflection is necessary for genuine engagement to take place between Western theories and Indigenous theories of hunting ethics. This thesis can be understood as part of a larger project to clear the way for critical conversation between these different traditions. However, the scope of the thesis is limited to a particular Western theory, that is animal rights theory, and a particular version of Indigenous hunting ethics, based in reciprocity and contextualized by the hunting practices of Ojibwe and Cree cultural groups. I argue that animal rights theorists must engage with Indigenous theories of hunting ethics as a matter of moral and epistemic responsibility. This thesis contains three chapters. In the first chapter, I will motivate the claim that the persistent ignorance to Indigenous ethical theories by Western theorists—and animal rights theorists in particular–is a form of epistemic injustice. I argue that engagement with Indigenous theories by animal rights theorists is a necessary step for overcoming this injustice. In the following chapters, I attempt to motivate the theoretical importance of overcoming the injustice. In the second chapter, I offer an account of animal rights theory that emphasizes possible points of overlap with Indigenous theories. In this account, I argue that animal rights theory requires the addition of relational accounts of animal ethics to be tenable. Relational accounts leave open two substantive theoretical questions that I will take up in chapter three: first, whether relational context matters for our negative obligations; and second, the extent to which animals possess agency and power in their relationships with humans. Ojibwe and Cree hunting ethics, based in a theory of reciprocity, also center relational context for determining our obligations to animals. However, these theories respond to these open questions differently than their Western counterparts. I argue that the difference in how these theories respond to these questions illustrates why they come out so differently in their evaluation of the moral character of hunting. Western and Indigenous ethical theories appeal to quite different conceptual frameworks to assess ethical behavior within hunting relationships. Integral ethical concepts like those of taking life, harm, intentionality, and power can be understood differently when a theory of reciprocity is used to define human-animal relations, instead of the relational theories of their Western counterparts. As a result, the kinds of obligations associated with the act of taking life are different on Indigenous theories. I take these different understandings of ethically significant concepts to be at the heart of the disagreement between animal rights theory and Ojibwe and Cree theories of hunting ethics regarding the moral character of hunting. The ignorance of Western theorists to Indigenous conceptual frameworks allows them to downplay the theoretical significance of this disagreement. These theorists have an ethical and epistemic responsibility to address this ignorance.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A very confusing problem: interpreting Keynesian weight
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Brekel, Josh, author; Kasser, Jeff, advisor; Shockley, Kenneth, committee member; Prytherch, Ben, committee member
    Initially outlined by John Maynard Keynes in 1921, Keynesian weight is a measure intended to characterize evidence independently of probability. As a concept that is often immersed in confusion, Keynesian weight requires thorough philosophical explication prior to any sort of legitimate use in decision-making, legal proceedings, or scientific inquiry. In this thesis, I attempt to explicate Keynesian weight by arguing in favor of Jochen Runde's relative interpretation of Keynesian weight. The aim of Chapter 1 is to introduce the basic idea of Keynesian weight. In Chapter 2, I demonstrate that Keynes's initial analysis of Keynesian weight creates an interpretative puzzle—two viable interpretations of Keynesian weight exist. Chapter 3 aims to solve the interpretative puzzle by consideration of how the interpretations of Keynesian weight respond to I.J. Good's criticism of Keynesian weight. Ultimately, I argue that Good's criticism demonstrates that the best interpretation of Keynesian weight is the relative interpretation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Phenomenologically separating nature from us: the role of nature in relation to human capabilities and environmental value
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2022) Watters, Andrew, author; Shockley, Kenneth, advisor; Cafaro, Philip, advisor; Scott, Ryan, committee member
    The role of nature in human well-being is often left unrecognized. In Thinking like a Mall, Steven Vogel provides a materialist argument that as humans we are always already engaged in a world that we have helped transform through our practices (our active and concernful involvement), and so it makes no sense to think of nature as something independent of us. I argue, drawing from the work of Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger, that while we are a part of Nature understood as a totality of things given that we are embodied-in-the-world, we are distinct from Nature insofar as we are concerned about our capabilities; our phenomenological concerns not being reducible to a thing-in-the-world. While the interconnection of things-in-the-world enable our capabilities given that we are embodied-in-the-world, they do so beyond our concerns. Hence, while we are part of Nature, there is a sense in which it is independent from us insofar as it contributes to our capabilities or practices independently of our knowledge; paralleling Breena Holland's characterization of the environment as a meta-capability with objective instrumental value. In addition to having objective instrumental value, it is shown through the work of Simon P. James and Kenneth Shockley that environmental features can have constitutive value and non-projected generative value. Insofar as we value our capabilities, we ought to protect the environment that makes them possible, recognizing that the environment enables our capabilities, in part, independently of our concerns.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Williams on external reasons
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Viney, Marcus Wayne, author; Tropman, Beth, advisor; Rhodes, Matthew, committee member; Losonsky, Michael, committee member
    Bernard Williams has argued for the controversial thesis that there are no external reasons for action. External reasons are desire-independent reasons for action, i.e. reasons whose existence does not depend on the desires of an agent. The thrust of Williams' argument is that an agent's reasons for action must always depend on his or her desires. The overall purpose of this thesis is to clarify and critically examine Williams' argument against external reasons. In chapter 1 I formalize and explain Williams' argument step-by-step. In addition to this I confront one prominent objection to the argument's validity, which alleges that it contains an equivocation on the term "reason." I argue that this objection fails and that Williams' argument is valid. In chapter 2 I turn to the soundness of Williams' argument and examine the truth of the premises one by one. In doing this I attempt to uncover important assumptions that underlie Williams' reasoning. I confront several objections to the premises, but I argue that none of them succeed in blocking Williams' conclusion. In the final chapter I consider the wider issues facing Williams' argument. First I confront three objections which allege that Williams' conclusion has certain unacceptable consequences. I draw from Williams' work to exonerate his argument on all three counts. Second I discuss two ways the critic might grant the soundness of Williams' argument, but neutralize the impact of his conclusion. While I defend Williams' argument on nearly every point, my primary aim is not to offer a definitive case for the argument. Rather my aim is simply to show that Williams' argument is stronger than some critics might suppose and that it is worthy of further consideration.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Semantic and global irrealism
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2010) Perry, Jeremiah Alexander Burnette, author; Losonsky, Michael, advisor; Tropman, Elizabeth, committee member; Troup, Lucy, committee member
    This thesis is concerned with skepticism about linguistic meaning and the consequences that follow from this view. After clarifying various positions that support skepticism about meaning - broadly classified under the umbrella term semantic irrealism - I weave a common thread through these different characterizations and use that formulation for the remainder of the thesis. In chapter two I examine the premises for the argument that semantic irrealism globalizes to the conclusion that no sentence is substantially true. After evaluating attempts found within the literature to block this inference, I argue that it cannot be blocked in the ways considered. Chapter three is a response to objections that the global irrealist position is both incoherent and unstable. I argue that it is neither and conclude that if semantic irrealism is the case, then this necessarily entails global irrealism.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Climate justice and feasibility
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Hunter, Taylor, author; Shockley, Ken, advisor; McShane, Katie, committee member; Carolan, Michael, committee member
    The primary motivation for this Thesis is to understand whether it is in fact feasible for rich countries, like the United States, to fulfill their humanitarian obligations through an international climate treaty. And if this is infeasible, why? Alongside this motivation, is a motivation to bring to light another important dimension to climate justice that is often lost within the scale and the urgency of climate change, namely the misrecognition of Indigenous peoples. My task in Chapter One is to explain how Eric Posner's and David Weisbach's employment of the political feasibility constraint of International Paretianism functions in international climate policy discourse. I work to show how climate policy outcomes solely constrained by International Paretianism will predictably violate basic humanitarian constraints. Posner and Weisbach defend a Two-Track Approach to climate policy, where the ends of justice are best achieved though policy means independent of a climate treaty. Their view entails that climate policies should not be designed with regard to constraints of justice. Rather than satisfy constraints of justice, a climate treaty need only satisfy the political feasibility constraint of International Paretianism. I work to show the policy outcomes that follow from the feasibility constraint of International Paretianism, which are morally unacceptable because they violate basic humanitarian obligations. Posner and Weisbach justify these moral costs by appealing to what is and what is not politically feasible, per International Paretianism. I will work investigate the legitimacy of this feasibility constraint in Chapter Two. My task in Chapter Two is to investigate the political legitimacy of International Paretianism. I begin by clarifying how feasibility constraints function in normative theorizing and I defend what I consider to be an appropriate function for International Paretianism. There are two general functions that feasibility constraints can serve in policy decision making. Hard feasibility constraints function to rule out policy outcomes that are in principle impossible due to invariant conditions, while soft feasibility function inform our practical deliberations about what we can do given our contingent circumstances. Soft constraints allow us to acknowledge that there are limits on what we can realistically accomplish, while also acknowledging that we can work to change these limits. In this Chapter, I will argue that we should not make the mistake of using International Paretianism as a hard constraint. I will argue that it is conceptually possible for states to act for reasons other than the common interest of their citizenry. As such, International Paretianism is a soft feasibility constraint. I conclude with an analysis of why it is that International Paretianism is a soft feasibility constraint for the United States. My task Chapter Three is to present one possible way that institutions can govern themselves towards an interdependent collective continuance, and to identify a soft feasibility constraint that is relevant to the ability of US federal agencies to integrating such institutional capacities. Indigenous people have an epistemic advantage on how to respond to climate change, and in an ameliorative way. Yet, they are not procedurally or culturally recognized for their knowledge. I consider this to be a constraint on our ability to appropriately respond to climate change. In this Chapter, I will present the way in which the Potawatomi Nation, members of the Anishinaabe Intellectual Tradition, have and continue to interdependently govern themselves toward collective continuance. I will argue that Indigenous peoples in fact have an epistemic advantage in this particular subject matter, which is due to a long history of colonially-induced ecological displacement and relocation. I will conclude by identifying and defending what I believe to be a 'soft' cultural feasibility constraint on the ability of federal agencies to work in reciprocal relations of knowledge exchange with Indigenous peoples at the procedural level of climate policy decision-making. The normative upshots of this Thesis are that (1) the citizens of the United States have a responsibility to change their government institutions such that they can be responsive to humanitarian constraints, as well as ecological limits. And (2) one way in which this responsibility may be realized is through members of the United States correcting for an identity prejudice that would preempt the United States government from instituting reciprocal relations of knowledge exchange with Indigenous people.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A metaphysical answer to the appropriateness question in aesthetics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) LaRose, Gabriella, author; Romagni, Domenica, advisor; McShane, Katie, committee member; Hughes, Kit, committee member
    The aim of this project is to give a new, descriptive answer to the appropriateness question in aesthetics. The appropriateness question asks how is it appropriate for ethical value to affect aesthetic value in aesthetic cases? I give a two-step argument for a metaphysical relationship between ethical content and aesthetic experience which is conditional on ethical content being aesthetically relevant and narrative being present. I argue that there is an inherence relationship between ethical content and narrative, where the former inheres in the latter. This relation holds in virtue of the mutual dependence between ethical content and narrative. I then use Noel Carroll's content approach to aesthetic experience to argue aesthetic experience supervenes on narrative content. This supervenient relationship captures the emergence of aesthetic experience while retaining the spirit of Carroll's discussion of aesthetic experience. Ultimately, I argue that because narrative is a feature of aesthetic experience and further because ethical content is a feature of narrative, there is a metaphysical relationship between ethical content and aesthetic experience. Simply, when a narrative exists (even an imagined narrative) and moral content is present, then a metaphysical relationship will exist between ethical content and aesthetic experience.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The temporal elements of emotional identification with film characters
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) McCormick, Stephanie, author; Romagni, Domenica, advisor; MacKenzie, Matt, committee member; Snodgrass, Jeffrey, committee member
    I argue that the subjective experience of time passing, felt duration, is a crucial element in the emotional and immersive experience of narrative films. First, I review multiple theories of emotional identification to conclude that the most accurate and thorough account is provided by the simulation theory of emotions. Growing from this account, I establish a framework of emotional engagement (general and emotional identification) and immersion (emotional and temporal). Film theories about emotional engagement often overlook felt duration despite it being a feature of emotional experiences. A film's depiction of a character's felt duration facilitates the audience's emotional engagement and immersion. Additionally, the audience's felt duration can be manipulated by the film's pacing techniques to further engagement and immersion. There are two main upshots of my thesis I will briefly outline in the last chapter: aesthetic value and ethical value. The emotional and temporal experiences of the audience are vital to the understanding of narratives and the experience of films. Emotional identification exercises our capacity to relate to other people. This affects our ability to empathize and treat other people. In this thesis, I draw attention to felt duration as an element of emotional engagement and immersion that often goes unacknowledged.
  • ItemOpen Access
    A rationally-rooted responsibility toward nonhuman animals
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Webber, Matthew J., author; Rollin, Bernard, advisor; Gorin, Moti, committee member; Edwards-Callaway, Lily, committee member
    How should humans treat nonhuman animals? One answer to this question arises from the belief that humans are superior to nonhuman animals, thereby giving humans a right to treat nonhuman animals however humans desire. In this paper, I argue that, while perhaps not superior in all categories, humans can be understood as rationally superior to nonhuman animals. To do this, I rely on Immanuel Kant's definition of practical rationality as the ability for an individual to set for oneself one's own ends or telos. Granting this type of rational superiority to humans, I argue that being rationally superior does not entail that humans have a right to treat nonhuman animals however humans desire, but that humans are limited by certain natural teleological factors. These teleological factors may be general to all animal life—both human and nonhuman as characterized in the Kantian notion of tierheit—or specific to each species and embodied by individuals of a species. Nonhuman animals deserve to be treated accordingly, and treating a nonhuman animal in a manner contrary to the embodied telos not only violates their telos, but is itself unreasonable, irrational, and immoral. I conclude by demonstrating what responsible treatment of nonhuman animals would look like when rooted in human rationality, as well as the motivation behind such morally responsible actions.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Seeing beyond design: exploring non-engineering functions of technology in engineering ethics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Hoeffner, Jacob, author; Rollin, Bernard, advisor; Hamid, Idris, committee member; Didier, John, committee member
    The purpose of this paper is to draw a distinction between the function of technology in engineering contexts and non-engineering contexts. The first two sections identify and elaborate this distinction; the final portion of the paper demonstrates why engineers should be aware of non-engineering functions of technology in light of this distinction. Both engineering (or design-based) and non-engineering evaluations of technology can be categorized within the genus of engineering ethics. However, I do not intend to provide a commentary on how engineers might improve the design process. Rather, my goal is to provide an argument as to why it is important for engineers to understand the limitations of the design method of evaluation. In order to do so, I will outline various non-engineering evaluations of conventional nuclear technology and the correlations between non-engineering evaluations and advanced nuclear designs of today. In closing, I will distinguish engineering as a method, a metaphysical concept, from engineering as a profession, an ethical concept. I will conclude by demonstrating that understanding the limitations of the design method is an essential feature of professional engineering. Through introducing the limitations of the design method it will be clear why engineers should learn to see beyond the design.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Value theory in environmental ethics and economics
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Williams, Allison, author; McShane, Katie, advisor; Shockley, Kenneth, committee member; Fremstad, Anders, committee member
    The need for an environmental ethic is clear. Many in environmental ethics claim that an environmental ethic ought to be based on the intrinsic and/or non-anthropocentric value of nature, without consensus on a clear definition of those terms and without a clear analysis of the implications of adopting such an ethic. The purpose of this thesis is to first make sense of those different definitions and claims. Then, I describe Aldo Leopold's Land Ethic, a community-based environmental ethic outlined by Aldo Leopold, in order to contrast the different ways in which we ought to value the natural world with how we value things in economics. I argue that theories of value in economics, specifically existence value, are not compatible with nor can they capture the intrinsic, non-anthropocentric value of nature, and I propose an alternative ethic in opposition to the commodification of nature, and the relationship to the natural world formed by economics.