Here are a few more samples of the student papers that will be featured at the Northeast Florida Student Philosophy Conference this weekend. Time permitting, I’ll post a few more samples on Friday.
“Can I Be Many? A Metaphysical Implication of Dissociative Identity Disorder”
A cursory glance at the dissociation of agency in schizophrenia or the apparent dissociation of subjectivity in split-brain patients, for example, seems to reveal deep underlying division of self. But in no case is the unity of self so threatened as in Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). In this paper I will argue that the self is an essentially singular entity, and that despite appearances, evidence from DID gives us reason to believe in this singularity. I shall argue that although many experiences associated with selfhood may become disorganized as the result of somatic or mental disorder, in the end the self cannot be split or fractured as the result of natural illness. Although psychological dissociation is possible for any person, one self cannot become many.
“Even Einstein was Irrational: Comments on Sosa and Galloway’s ‘Man the Rational Animal?’”
Ernest Sosa and David Galloway have argued that it is conceptually impossible that people generally are theoretically irrational, contrary to various interpreters of the psychological literature. Instead, Sosa and Galloway maintain that rationality is like vision or tallness which are concepts indexed to instantiations in the actual world (as opposed to an ideal world). I assess each of their arguments in turn and conclude that not only do they not support their intended conclusion, but the authors are frequently forced to assume what they are arguing against.
“Foucault and Mead: A New Model of Freedom-Autonomy”
This essay summarizes Foucault’s theory of power (taken primarily from Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison), Mead’s account of the development of the self (taken from Mind, Self and Society) and distills a rejection of the classical liberal model of freedom-autonomy and realization of a “social” concept of freedom-autonomy from their integration.
Section I summarizes Foucault’s theory of power as a rejection of the classic liberal model of power, and how this appears to preclude the possibility of freedom-autonomy. Though this concern is based on a view of freedom-autonomy derived from the very same classical liberal framework Foucault rejects, it is unclear what freedom-autonomy looks like after the rejection of this framework. Section II summarizes Mead’s account of the self as providing a framework for the development of a “social” model of freedom-autonomy to complement Foucault’s critical analyses. Section III reflects on what could become of the classical liberal project in light of the assumed plausibility of Foucault’s and Mead’s accounts.