Congratulations to Andrew Brenner and Ace Comparato whose projects were accepted for presentation at UNF’s annual Undergraduate Research Symposium!
Here are the abstracts of their projects:
“Special Relativity and Divine Eternality: The Contemporary Debate”
Some of philosophy of religion’s most prominent figures (e.g. Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas and others) have advocated the idea that God’s eternality should be construed as atemporality: God exists outside of time. Some contemporary philosophers believe that Einstein’s special theory of relativity (SR) provides support for this conception of divine eternality. In this presentation, I will first perform a quick historical survey of conceptions of divine timelessness in Augustine, Boethius, and Aquinas. I will move on to examine the contemporary debate over divine atemporality as it involves special relativity. In particular I will survey the arguments of Brian Leftow, who believes special relativity provides support for divine atemporality, and his critics, particularly William Lane Craig.
“Be a Tool: How Personal Identity Can Work for You!”
My thesis contends with two long debated philosophical questions: what is personal identity and how does it persist over time? Traditional answers to these questions posit identity as either a psychological, physical, or immaterial attribute of a person. Despite the longevity of these theories however, each has proven to be inadequate in certain situations. Typically, these notions of identity lack durability, thus leaving the possibility for slight changes in a person to constitute a drastic change in their identity. In constructing a more durable theory of identity I have sought to describe the ways in which personal identity emerges in our everyday lives. Through the philosophy of Martin Heidegger my research has led me to the conclusion that personal identity is not something we find in a person, but rather a tool we use to make sense of the actions of others as well as ourselves.