TWU Thesis Collection

Pages

The citizen self and aboriginal “other” : notions of citizenship and aboriginality in British Columbian social studies education, 1945-present
Title:
Contributor:
Nicole Birkeland (author), Bruce Shelvey (thesis supervisor), Matthew Etherington (second reader), Jean Barman (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Social studies education in British Columbia from the 1940s until present has upheld active citizenship as a central objective of the program. While citizenship is never clearly defined, generally it has been assumed that through a process of self-actualization students come to know their rights and responsibilities as Canadian citizens. Problematically, these notions of citizenship have shaped the narration of Aboriginality within social studies education. Aboriginality has been represented in learning outcomes and resources materials within a progressive Canadian metanarrative, creating inaccurate and uninformed characterizations of Aboriginal peoples. Overall, social studies education has had a negative impact on the First Nations-Canadian relationship. However, social studies education could assist in developing more positive relationships. Engaging students in transformed historical study that fosters questioning, examines narrative choices, sees negotiation and interaction, recognizes and honours difference, and allows for dialogue, may foster more promising relationships in the future.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2013
Darwinian epistemology : assessing the implications for reliable cognition in a non-adaptive domain of belief
Title:
Contributor:
Andrew Brigham (author), Myron Penner (thesis supervisor), Phillip Wiebe (second reader), Helen De Cruz (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace departed ways on the implications of evolution for human cognition. While Darwin argued that natural selection affected both the reliability and unreliability of human cognitive faculties, Wallace rejected the idea that natural selection could explain higher order intelligence. If Wallace is right, then Darwinian epistemology seems implausible. However, I argue that this position is false. In Chapter 1 I survey a history of Darwinian epistemology. In Chapter 2 I examine the Scope Objection to Darwinian epistemology: that evolution did not supply us with the natural cognitive capacities for achieving non-adaptive true beliefs. In Chapter 3 I respond to the Scope Objection by assessing Robert McCauley’s theory of natural cognition. In Chapter 4 I evaluate two difficulties with my response to the Scope Objection. I conclude that evolution is sufficient for explaining the reliability of human cognitive faculties in non-adaptive domains of belief.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2014
An Examination of the Underlying Moral Frameworks of Environmental Philosophy
Title:
Contributor:
Anna T Beresford (author), Myron A Penner (thesis supervisor), Grant Havers (second reader), Robert Doede (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
In this paper I discuss and analyse the views of radical ecology and holistic environmental ethics to identify their underlying moral frameworks also considering internal logical coherence, practicality of application, and the implications for the human species. Chapter One presents and analyses the radical ecology position identifying the underlying ethical framework and consequent costs and benefits of this position with regards to humanity. Chapter Two follows the same method as Chapter One with the analysis of holistic environmental ethics. Chapter Three argues that both radical ecology and holistic environmental ethics are too quick to dismiss the uniqueness of the human condition. Revisiting the structures of radical ecology and holistic environmental ethics with the uniqueness of humanity in mind, I argue that these methods must be modified with a humanistic approach in order to establish a more logically coherent and plausible environmental ethic.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2017
Fiction in the Integrated Circuit
Title:
Contributor:
Eric A. Stein (author), Jens Zimmermann (thesis supervisor), Holly F. Nelson (second reader), John Bonnett (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This study takes up the question of the cyborg through a close reading of key historical texts in the technical and scientific literature informing modern integrated circuit technology, and of twentieth- and twenty-first century texts in continental theory and philosophy, in order to present a viable notion of subjectivity for our technological age. To this end, this study articulates a morphology of the cyborg as a philosophical, political, and technological subject uniquely situated and acting in the world, a subject that upends conceptions of truth and knowledge as representation or correspondence. The cyborg instead presents a playful sensibility in touch with the openness of existence itself to becoming, newness, and life. Through her skillful traversal of the world-machine the cyborg resists established networks of power, creating havens of intimacy in the dark away from the searing light of transcendental reason.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2018
Habermas on Religion in the Public Sphere: a Post-Secular Conservative Critique
Title:
Contributor:
André Costa (author), Grant Havers (thesis supervisor), Jens Zimmermann (second reader), Paul Gottfried (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Jürgen Habermas “institutional proviso” purports to overcome secularism by inviting religion back into the public debate. This paper examines Habermas’ understanding of the role of religion in the public sphere and his attempt to make room for religious citizens in the post-secular society. My main argument is that Habermas’ desire to welcome religion in the public sphere is blocked by aspects of his own philosophy: namely, an understanding of religion over against the secular, and a concept of neutrality informed by the Enlightenment’s prejudice against tradition. Habermas fails to grasp the difficulties involved in the “translation” process. His own political project relies upon the truth-validity of religious presuppositions and in some ways operates in terms of what some have called “political religion.” While Habermas’ effort to welcome religion is rightly celebrated, he is still not able to articulate a coherent affirmation of the necessity of religion in the public life.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2015
Inferentialist reliabilism and proper functionalism : a comparative analysis as defenses of externalism
Title:
Contributor:
Amy Viviano (author), Myron Penner (thesis supervisor), Phillip Wiebe (second reader), Christopher Tucker (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
The specific question this thesis aims to answer is this: does Jack Lyons' inferentialist reliabilism or Alvin Plantinga's proper functionalism provide a more plausible defence of externalism? This thesis compares inferentialist reliabilism and proper functionalism as external epistemic theories and evaluates them on how plausibly they answer the main objections that have been raised against externalism. This thesis begins by outlining these objections: The Generality Problem, the New Evil Demon Problem, and the Clairvoyance and Mr. Truetemp Objections. I list and defend the criteria that each theory must meet in order to provide successful solutions to these objections. Next I evaluate Lyons' and Plantinga's responses to the objections and which criteria they meet in solving the objections. Finally, I conclude after a comparison of the solutions Lyons and Plantinga give to the objections that inferentialist reliabilism provides a more plausible defence of externalism than proper functionalism does.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2015
Liberating Reason Through Tradition : A Hermeneutic Critique of the Subjective-Objective Dichotomy and Its Implications for Christianity
Title:
Contributor:
Zarchary Porcu (author), Jens Zimmermann (thesis supervisor), Grant Havers (second reader), Robert Doede (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
The Enlightenment’s pursuit of verification pushed all knowledge into two categories: the objective and the subjective. Following this starting point, I argue for three things: First, that the Reformation movement is essentially conducted in the same spirit and with the same result as the Enlightenment: a push towards a certain kind of verifiability that ends up creating the same dichotomy between objective and subjective. Second, that the way to liberate reason from these problematic categories is to turn to Gadamer and the hermeneutic movement to re-contextualize and re-define how reason is used to acquire knowledge in light of our experience of it. Finally, that Eastern Orthodoxy provides a strong model for a Christianity animated by these hermeneutical principles, and further, that sacramental theology takes Gadamer's idea of truth as indwelling to its next logical step.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2015
Moral Motivation: A Survey of Attempts to Understand the Motivational Qualities of Moral Judgments
Title:
Contributor:
David E. Hill (author), Myron Penner (thesis supervisor), Phillip Wiebe (second reader), Bob Doede (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Moral judgments and moral action cannot be separated. Whether realist, anti-realist or hybrid, all agree that when a moral judgment is made, motivation to act on that judgment follows. Uncovering the nature and origin of this phenomenon will be invaluable to metaethical advancement, and will also help to shape people’s understanding and expectations of moral action from one another. This paper will explore and evaluate some of the best arguments anti-realists and hybrid theorists argue for, framing the metaethical debate in light of both current empirical and philosophical work. The general question for this thesis will be, “Which stream of thought provides the best account for the phenomenon of moral motivation?” More specifically, I will be arguing in the negative as to whether or not anti-realist and hybrid views successfully avoid significant weaknesses of their own in attempts to develop plausible theories.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2017
On moral objectivity : can there be objective moral evaluation without invoking the existence of “queer” ontological properties?
Title:
Contributor:
Esther J. Devries (author), Phillip Wiebe (thesis supervisor), Robert Doede (second reader), Myron Penner (third reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
J.L Mackie, defender of the moral-error-theory, argues that to claim the existence of objective moral facts implies moral properties with inbuilt "to-be-pursuedness" - they would have to be intrinsically motivational. Since we do not know of the existence of any such properties, he argues that moral facts are "queer" things. I examine the positions of moral realists and anti-realists pointing out that it seems that one must either assert the existence of "queer" moral properties, or reject the truth functionality of categorical imperatives. After exploring the thought of Hilary Putnam and Emmanuel Levinas, I suggest an alternative explanation of the human moral experience that is free of "queer" moral properties. In this way, I believe to offer a more adequate explanation of human morality that defeats the false dilemma created by Mackie.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2014
Potential sectarian variants in Psalm 119 of 11Q5 : a further investigation in response to Eugene Ulrich’s “The absence of sectarian variants in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
Title:
Contributor:
Jeffrey Spence (author), Martin Abegg (thesis supervisor), Peter Flint (second reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
This essay examines the portions of 11Q5 (Great Psalms Scroll) that correspond to Psalm 119 and compares them as variants from MT (as representative of Proto-MT, discussed within) with the intention to test Eugene Ulrich's absolute statement that there are no "sectarian variants" in the biblical Dead Sea Scrolls. It employs a comprehensive survey of the variants in its search for theologically motivated variation, which it then tests against theological themes as found in 1QS and more general theological themes of broader Second Temple Judaism. As a secondary endeavor, it more clearly defines Ulrich's apparent understanding of what the term "sectarian variant" signifies and seeks to draw attention to the practice of assuming against sectarian variation until proven otherwise; it argues for a more balanced approach of "no designation without scholarly evidence." The essay includes extensive charts of the variants, divided into "variant types" for ease of reference.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2013
Science and knowledge : a post-modern approach to empiricism
Title:
Contributor:
Clayton Lee Swan (author), Phillip Wiebe (thesis supervisor), Myron Penner (second reader), Robert Doede (external examiner), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
Science has become the standard for determining truth and producing knowledge. This has happened alongside the diminishing value of traditions and common sense as sources of knowledge. That is, science has become the benchmark for knowledge at the expense of other possible means. The fact that science has taken such a prominent position regarding knowledge is interesting when one considers the weaknesses of the realist position in the philosophy of science. By `realism' I mean the belief that scientific theories are true, or at least approximately true. I begin by discussing arguments both for and against scientific realism, I conclude that science is a non-realist enterprise and that while useful in helping us understand the world, calling the theories of science `true' is not a safe risk. Finally, since science is the standard for knowledge, I present a theory on the implications of this view for knowledge in general.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2015
Univocity, analogy and the analytic-continental divide in philosophy
Title:
Contributor:
Joshua Harris (author), Jens Zimmermann (thesis supervisor), Christopher Morrissey (second reader), Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
Abstract:
For most of the twentieth and now also the twenty-first century, the world of academic philosophy has been plagued by the so-called "analytic-continental divide." In recent years, numerous attempts have been made to understand and bridge the `divide' because leading philosophers have realized that the sharp division between the two styles or traditions of philosophy has produced some harmful results for the discipline as a whole. This study is an attempt to read the divide through the lens of the Medieval controversy between Aquinas' doctrine of analogy and Scotus' doctrine of univocity.
Discipline/Stream:
Publication Year:
2013

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