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    On Pornography
    (1983) Foley, Kevin; Bernstein, Richard J.;
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    Is Beauty Truth and Truth Beauty? Beauty, Style, and Felt Knowledge in Philosophical Writing
    (2022) Fiscarelli-Mintz, Anna; Berger, Benjamin (Professor of philosophy); Mason, Qrescent Mali
    Beauty is often considered to have no serious place in philosophy—at best a mere ornament and at worst the indication of poor or even dangerous philosophical writing. This designation is also often weaponized against philosophers whose writing style takes non-traditional forms, forcing them to justify their philosophy (and all too often themselves as philosophers) against a distinctly un-diverse canon of traditional philosophical writing, thus robbing the field of valuable philosophers and philosophy itself from the power and insight of their work, not to mention making the field a far more difficult environment for those who Kristie Dotson calls "diverse practitioners" of philosophy. In this thesis, I will examine the role of beauty in philosophical writing by focusing on the work of feminist philosopher Sara Ahmed. I will examine how style functions in Ahmed's writing, evaluate how existing arguments surrounding style in philosophical writing might account for the effectiveness of Ahmed's work, and posit my own argument as to how beautiful writing allows for a different kind of access to truth through felt knowledge.
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    The Dough That Kneads the Kneader: an Exploration of the Self and the Viscous
    (2022) Esner, Sofia; Miller, Jerry
    The viscous, when it has been discussed at all, has been under the guise of disgust, abjection, or fear. But what if that conversation obscures a more fundamental movement to separate the viscous and self? Drawing on work by Jean-Paul Sartre, Mary Douglas, Gaston Bachelard, Elizabeth Grosz, and Sara Ahmed, I will argue against the traditional viewpoint on viscosity to show that we are essentially viscous beings. We are soft and gelatinous. We sink into the world and the world creeps up into us. I will begin with a taxonomy of the slimy, sticky and the viscous which will lay out the (non)-differences between the three categories. I will argue that Sartre sees the viscous as horrible in and of itself because he sees it as fundamentally denying the project of self-determinacy. In this I will then move into a discussion of labor, showing how Bachelard words against Sartre to argue that we can control the viscous. I will also offer an overview of the relation of the body to the viscous, drawing on Grosz. Finally, I will argue that our relationality with the world can be thought of through stickiness. I will argue we are in part constituted as subjects through viscosity. And, importantly, that using the framework of viscosity allows for a conception of the self that is, like viscosity itself, a kind of process without end.
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    Mathematical Simulacra: The Opening of a Discourse on Mathematical Deconstruction
    (2022) Haile, Ben; Macbeth, Danielle
    Historically, mathematical language has been relegated as supplemental to an ideal pure mathematics. This paper uses Derridean tools of deconstruction to examine the role of the mathematical supplement. I argue that the limits of our mathematical language are both constitutive and productive in an evolving mathematical discourse. Additionally, I consider the particular and curious sturdiness of mathematical language in comparison to its natural language counterpart. I argue that this "mathematical sturdiness" is on one end due to the tightly iterative and citational nature of the language while at the same time a result of the practiced disciplinary power of mathematics as a historical and academic discipline.
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    Song of Wisdom's and Self's Love // Philosophical Systems of Gender and Transness and the Journey to Genderqueer Worlds
    (2022) Su, Kai-Ling McEvoy; Miller, Jerry
    Though love of wisdom tried to set me free Peace comes only through living life as me n this paper I attempt to find a metaphysical framework of gender in which the philosophical study of nonbinary experience can be grounded. I go about this by first examining the metaphysical systems of gender and transness put forth by Talia Mae Bettcher and Robin Dembroff. Subsequently, I find that both accounts have parallel structure despite differences in grounding. While I find that Dembroff's model lacking due to their framing of kind, I also find that their distinction between modest and extreme ontological pluralism to be an important concept. This leads me to construct a modified account of Bettcher's system. Next, I consider the account of genderqueer as gender kind put forth by Dembroff. Finally, after finding Dembroff's account once again lacking due to the language of kind, I use Dembroff's account in conjuncture with the modified version of Bettcher's system of gender to construct a new account of "genderqueer worlds."