Woods, David (Institute for Christian Studies, 1987-08)
Economic rationality refers to the efficient use of resources so as to satisfy human ends as fully as possible. Rationality, taken in this sense, has been a consistent and important theme in the history of economic thought. Only in this century however has rationality been explicitly formulated as a basic assumption of individual behaviour in economic theory. [Partial abstract taken from thesis]
Huisman, John (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-08)
The thesis explores and takes a stand with respect to the differences between the religious epistemologies of Alvin Plantinga and Hendrik Hart. For Plantinga, direct rational knowledge of God "in Himself" is possible because it is grounded in the experience of our rational faculties. For Hart, direct rational knowledge of God's nature is impossible because God transcends the created order and, therefore, the limits of rational understanding. Our knowledge of God, as a consequence, can only be faith knowledge that is decidedly indirect and metaphoric in nature. Plantinga believes that such views are Kantian in inspiration and that they turn our knowledge of God into nothing more than rationally incoherent "disguised nonsense." The thesis shows that Plantinga's own philosophical theology fails to meet the rational standards he sets for religious knowledge, his critique of Kantian religious epistemologies fails to apply to Hart's position, and that he himself allows for indirect knowledge of God in certain instances. The thesis concludes by noting if our knowledge of God can be indirect in some instances without also being rationally incoherent disguised nonsense, then perhaps Hart is not wrong for regarding it to be indirect in all instances.
Moord, Lucas Martin (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004)
With a view to Jacques Derrida's rearticulation of Plato's khoral myth I consider the possibility of non-oppositional difference within a relational economy - a notion that Derrida seems quite resistant to. By framing a discussion in terms of Derrida's critical interaction with phenomenology, looking specifically to Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt, I attempt to mark the context from which deconstruction emerges as a philosophical position. In a general sense, I deal with Derrida's conception of the relational space in-between persons, places and things, and the implications of his appropriation of khora for thinking about how we properly relate to one another.
Leaman, Michele (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-11)
I trace Jacques Derrida's notions of self and truth in Circumfession. This text paints a gruesome self-portrait depicting the inescapable violence of subjectivity. The self is born in blood. Derrida courageously confesses to being a casualty of this lovelessness. Similarly, exploring the depth of patriarchy's inscriptions requires facing the painful truth of my bleeding self. Investigating these wounds seems to reopen them, making me complicit in my own oppression. Drawing from the rich narrative of Ingeborg Bachmann's novel Malina, I allow feminists such as Helene Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Drucilla Cornell and bell hooks to engage Derrida's notions of the wounded and wounding self. Beginning in this bloody place, they attempt to write a way-out of the disempowering systems of subjectivity to which the female self seems confined. They write in order that love will bleed some light on the struggle for empowered female subjectivity, re-writing the self as a space of love rather than violence.
Schulz-Wackerbarth, Yorick Immanuel (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-02)
This thesis is first and foremost the result of my grappling with the works of Meister Eckhart. Accordingly, I intend to present here my reading of Eckhart's thought. This reading, my struggle to interpret the Meister, was, from the beginning, however, motivated by the aim to join a certain conversation. This conversation is what I have come to know as 'Christian philosophy'. I am new to the circles of those who admit to be participating in this scandalous project, yet already I have become quite aware of the controversy pervading this notion. It comes to the fore not only in the critical voices from the 'outside', questioning its meaning, relevance and legitimacy, but also in a lack of 'internal' consensus concerning its entailments. This is not necessarily a point of criticism on my part. In fact, I am much a proponent of conversations or projects that have an openness to them and lack clear cut deliminations. It does, however, make a brief apologia in preparation to this thesis necessary. I have no ambition whatsoever to state here what Christian philosophy is or should be. God forbid! I merely deem it important to place my project in context, and for that purpose I intend here to point out to the reader the direction I am facing. Thus, what needs to be clarified at the outset of my argument is that particular understanding of Christian philosophy this thesis intends to engage. The question here is, where and how to locate the conversation this thesis hopes to join. [from Prologue, p. 3]
Atfield, Tom (Institute for Christian Studies, 2005-10)
In 1999, aged eighteen, I read 'The Brothers Karamazov' by Dostoevsky. I read this novel in Burundi, where I witnessed the suffering of others. The country's basic problem was civil war, which is best described in this terse note: "Rwanda, the sequel. Same story, different location. Nobody cares." The well-publicised problems in Rwanda in 1994 didn't end, they went next-door. The only thing separating the problems of those two countries was the most heavily landmined stretch of road on the planet. It was on this road, which was littered with the remains of vehicles and people, that I experienced the immediacy of 'the problem of evil'.I had hoped that the book I held in my hands on those lifetime-long hours on the road would resonate with my experience. Ivan Karamazov's accusation of the God who creates a world of atrocities seemed fuelled by an unflinching look at senseless, disteleological suffering. I had hoped that Ivan, with his face turned against God, could countenance the horror I saw. Karamazov's stance has been seen as the antithesis of theodicy, which is the attempt to reconcile faith in God with the existence of evil. This antithesis seems to overcome the distance between the experience of real suffering and the account of that suffering given by academic theodicy. Ultimately, however, that distance remains. Dostoevsky's protagonist in his railing against God connects no more with the victims in this world than a writer of theodicy does with her defence of God.
Baker, Larry Joseph (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004-08)
Engaging the question of postmodern ethical intersubjectivity in the work of Emmanuel Levinas and Luce Irigaray I attempt to move beyond Levinas sacrificial view of intersubjectivity with Irigaray's critique of sexual difference. I argue that Levinas view of ethical 'subjectivity' is violently conditioned by a necessary narcissim located in Levinas's description of the feminine dwelling. Instead of narcissim I argue with Irigaray for a way of love that offers an ethical relationship bonded in mutuality. This way of love is rooted in an understanding of the primordial matter of life as good for intersubjective-relationships that do not depend upon narcissim for connection. Concluding this study I suggest that his kind of intersubjectivity can be rooted in a primordial way of life found in the rhythm of breath.
Hys, Dmytro (Institute for Christian Studies, 2004)
This thesis argues that to take into account only liberal interpretations of multicultural dilemmas would be insufficient and unrealistic in assessing the claims of justice for ethnocultural diversity. The current liberal approach as offered by Will Kymlicka is a good beginning for ethnic conflict management. However, his theory is marked by a number of limitations due to the fact that he operates only with the principles and norms of liberal institutions. In modern multiculturally constituted democracies, the presence and constant increase of cultural diversity challenges the self-understanding of liberal democracy. Kymlicka's liberal theory of multiculturalism has been challenged by several political theorists, who emphasize the insufficiency of his approach due its reliance on liberal readings of ethnic conflicts. [from Introduction, p. ]
DeMoor, Michael (Institute for Christian Studies, 2003-09)
This thesis argues that, in spite of his explicit denunciation of Aristotle's theory of perception and thought, Thomas Reid's own theory of perception marks a return to the central themes of Aristotle's theory. It is argued, first, that Aristotle's 'De Anima' presents an account of sensation and thought in which the functions of the object of perception play the determining role with respect to the structure, order and intelligibility of the act of perception. Thomas Aquinas' and Descartes' transformation of Aristotle's account are then discussed, showing how the "apparatus" of Aristotle's theory remains while the ground of order and intelligibility is shifted from the functions of the object of perception to those of the perceiver as subject. The theories of the British empiricists are then shown to be continuous with this transformation of Aristotle's thought. Finally, it is argued that Reid returns to an objectivism by way of his rejection of the subjectivistic transformation wrought by Descartes et al. It is argued that this rejection is not---as Reid himself believes---a rejection of the crucial aspects of Aristotle's theory, but instead constitutes a return to its primary themes and theses.
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