Matching Items (19)

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Mediums and Messengers: Congress and Technological Misunderstandings

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This thesis examines congressional discussions of media technologies at two distinct historical moments in order to see how Congress evaluated and sought to regulate technologies with the potential to reshape

This thesis examines congressional discussions of media technologies at two distinct historical moments in order to see how Congress evaluated and sought to regulate technologies with the potential to reshape public modes of thought and communication. Specifically, it examines congressional discussions centered around Television and the Fairness Doctrine, as well as Facebook and the recent scandal involving Cambridge Analytica by asking how Congress has understood what is at stake while attempting to regulate emerging media technologies. Specifically, it probes questions such as: What is assumed about the technologies while attempting to legislate them? What is treated as subject to assessment and revision; what is given priority for consideration over other alternate angles? How do the legal and political contexts in which these discussions are framed impact legislative proceedings and society’s ways of knowing and relating to the world?
While these moments are only a subset of such moments in US history, and Congress is only one of a range of forums in which such political discussions can take place, the thesis focuses on these cases because not only are they important in themselves, but also they reveal issues and approaches that are not unique to these moments. The thesis draws on the on the work of Neil Postman, who argues that the emergence and subsequent dominance of media like television have the capacity to alter the manner in which we think and thus have profound effects on the texture and character of American civic life. In this vein it uses a comparison of how lawmakers attempted to regulate television and social media platforms like Facebook to explore whether and how lawmakers have attended to the capacity of these media to shape public thought.
The thesis demonstrates that understanding of media’s epistemological influence is only ever tacitly acknowledged by lawmakers and is not regarded as an important consideration during evaluative legislative efforts. Instead, Congress tends to focus on matters that are of immediate concern and pragmatic in nature, eclipsing questions about how these technologies fundamentally alter our perceptions of the world and the ways we as individuals and as a society relate to it. By not taking such questions into account during our legislative proceedings, the thesis argues, we cede opportunities to employ and regulate technologies to better serve our cultural ideals and remain susceptible to unwanted forms of cultural erosion mediated by technologies.

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  • 2019-05

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In Defense of the Knowledge Account for Juror Use in Serious Criminal Trials

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This thesis provides jurors in criminal cases with a body of advice to guide and enrich their understanding of legal proof, knowledge, and justification, in order to ensure that the

This thesis provides jurors in criminal cases with a body of advice to guide and enrich their understanding of legal proof, knowledge, and justification, in order to ensure that the American legal system is carrying out justice. According to Michael Pardo’s (2010) article ‘The Gettier Problem and Legal Proof,’ there are five different possible accounts of the relationship between knowledge and legal proof, which vary based on the way they handle different perspectives on legal proof, epistemic concepts, and the extent to which justification is part of the goal or the goal of legal proof. I will argue that jurors in serious criminal cases should adhere to the knowledge account when evaluating evidence in trial. On this account the aim of a criminal trial is for the jurors to gain knowledge, ensuring that their verdict aims at something beyond a merely justified true belief.
Under the knowledge account the existence of any probatory errors or material errors sufficient to undermine knowledge in a trial are grounds for an acquittal. The definitions that I use for the material perspective and the probatory perspective differ from the standard notions of these terms. The term probatory more commonly refers to evidence and/or propositions that prove or help prove a proposition at issue for the purposes of deciding on a legal verdict. Evidence and/or propositions that are not probative do not prove or help prove a proposition at issue for the purposes of deciding on a legal verdict. The term material more commonly refers to evidence and/or propositions that are relevant to a legal case and establish or help establish the truth or falsity of a point at issue in a legal case. Evidence and/or propositions that are immaterial are irrelevant to a legal case and do not establish the truth or falsity of a point at issue in a legal case. I will use the following idiosyncratic definitions of the terms probatory and material as used in Pardo’s article ‘The Gettier Problem and Legal Proof’. The probatory perspective holds that truth is not essential to the goal of legal proof; instead, a proof standard is formulated that regulates whether the evidence meets the epistemic level set by the proof standard. A probatory error occurs when the evidence provided is insufficient to demonstrate that a proposition has met the requisite epistemic level set by the proof standard, yet a juror concludes that the proposition is proven. The material perspective includes truth as an essential part of the goal of legal proof, and on this perspective when probatory errors or material errors are made, the juror, the legal system, and the verdict have failed to achieve justice. A material error has occurred when either (a) the evidence provided is insufficient to demonstrate that a proposition has met the requisite epistemic level set by the proof standard, yet a juror concludes that the proposition is proven and/or (b) the proposition did not actually occur and a juror concludes that the proposition did occur. The case of Troy Anthony Davis provides an example of a trial that was arguably free from probatory errors, because the conviction of Davis was supported by sufficient evidence for knowledge beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet, Davis argued that his conviction was a miscarriage of justice, because material errors occurred in his trial viz., that he’s innocent and so the jury failed to find the truth.
According to Justice Scalia (2009), defendants do not have the constitutional right to challenge their convictions through the writ of habeas corpus multiple times on the federal level when the state court and district court have already ruled that their trial is free of procedural errors. Under Justice Scalia’s perspective, defendants like Davis have exhausted all avenues of post conviction relief, if the state and federal courts have not unreasonably applied federal law, even if the convicted defendants claim that material
errors occurred in his/her trial, i.e., the defendant actually did not commit the crime, yet the jury convicted the defendant. Justice Scalia argues that the district court would be in violation of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, if it granted Davis the opportunity for a new trial, even if the district court was persuaded by the new evidence Davis provided to demonstrate that material errors occurred during his trial. Justice Stevens disagrees with Justice Scalia’s argument and upholds the constitutional significance of material errors. Justice Stevens argues that federal law, which bars death row inmates, who are actually able to prove their innocence, from receiving habeas corpus relief, may be unconstitutional even if their trials lack procedural errors.
Davis exhausted the maximal amount of recourse the American legal system could provide him. The state court, appellate court, and the U.S. Supreme Court all denied Davis post conviction relief. Troy Anthony Davis was executed by lethal injection on September 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. For all the jury knew, however, Davis may very well have been innocent, even though he had a fair trial from a probatory perspective alone. If Davis were (and, he very well may have been) innocent, then a grave injustice has occurred. For the purposes of my thesis, I will use the Davis case as a case study and assume that Davis was innocent. I contest Justice Scalia’s ruling, arguing that a jury legally (and morally) should acquit a defendant if either probatory or material errors occur during his/her trial. The existence of these errors entails that the legal proof presented for the purposes of issuing a verdict failed to satisfy the knowledge account.

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  • 2015-05

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Cocladogenesis: A Thesis in 3 Attempts

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This collection of literary nonfiction essays is lead by the metaphor of cocladogenesis — a unique evolutionary relationship between two lineages that combines coevolution and cospeciation — to suggest that

This collection of literary nonfiction essays is lead by the metaphor of cocladogenesis — a unique evolutionary relationship between two lineages that combines coevolution and cospeciation — to suggest that a similar relationship should exist between the subjective and the objective experience, art and science, and the chronicle and the narrative. It is not the singular extreme of either side that results in the advantageously beautiful products of cocladogenesis — it is the constant dialogue between the two factions.

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  • 2014-05

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Virtue Epistemology and the Epistemic Communist

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Many philosophers have attempted to define what it is to be rational. Yet, each attempt faces insurmountable objections, throwing it away in place of another. This lack of success has

Many philosophers have attempted to define what it is to be rational. Yet, each attempt faces insurmountable objections, throwing it away in place of another. This lack of success has motivated some authors to seek a deflationary theory of rationality, particularly Sinan Dogramaci and his epistemic communism, hoping that reducing the breadth and obligation of the theory lessens the obstacles. This paper is divided into three parts. In the first part, I highlight previous attempts to define rationality. In the second part, epistemic communism is explained. In the third part, I argue that the answer of the virtue epistemologist Ernest Sosa to the knowledge-related “value problem” can parallel to show that rationality has intrinsic value. And if rationality has intrinsic value, then rationality is not fully accounted for in epistemic communism.

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  • 2019-05

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Transformative Learning and Ideological Shifts: Implications for Pedagogy for the Privileged

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The pace of segregation of races continues to increase as the gap between wealthy people, and the rest of the human race, increases. Technological advances in human communication ironically decrease

The pace of segregation of races continues to increase as the gap between wealthy people, and the rest of the human race, increases. Technological advances in human communication ironically decrease human communication as people choose news and social media sites that feed their ideological frames. Bridging the sociopolitical gap is increasingly difficult. Further, privileged hegemonic forces exert pressure to maintain the status quo at the expense of greater humanity. Despite this grave account, some members of the privileged hegemony have moved away from their previous adherence to it and emerged as activists for marginalized populations.

Drawing on the theoretical frameworks of Pedagogy for the Privileged, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Transformative Learning Theory and Critical White Studies, this study asks the question: what factors lead to an ideological shift?

Fifteen participants agreed to an in-depth, semi-structured qualitative interview. There were four main themes that emerged. Most participants experienced significant childhood challenges as well as segregated environments. Additionally, they possessed personality traits of curiosity and critical thinking which left them at odds with their family members; and finally, each experienced exposure to new environments and new people. Most notably, in an attempt to satisfy their curiosity and to remedy the disconnect between the imposed family values and their own internal inclinations, most actively sought out disorienting dilemmas that would facilitate an ideological shift. This journey typically included copious reading, critically analyzing information and, mostly importantly, immersion in new environments.

The goal of this study was to understand which factors precipitate an ideological shift in the hope of using the data to create effective interventions that bridge ideological gaps. It was revealed that some of the initiative for this shift is innate, and therefore unreachable. However, exposure to disorienting dilemmas successfully caused an ideological shift. Critically, this research revealed that it is important to identify those individuals who possess this innate characteristic of curiosity and dissatisfaction with the status quo and create opportunities for them to be exposed to new people, information and environments. This will likely lead to a shift from White hegemonic adherent to an emerging advocate for social justice.

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  • 2020

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Intuitions in metaphysics: methodological critique

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This thesis is concerned with the methodological role of intuitions in metaphysics. It is divided into two main parts. Part I argues that an academic field can only employ a

This thesis is concerned with the methodological role of intuitions in metaphysics. It is divided into two main parts. Part I argues that an academic field can only employ a method of gathering evidence if it has established some agreed-upon standards regarding how to evaluate uses of this method. Existing meta-philosophical disputes take the nature of intuitions to be their starting point. This is a mistake. My concern is not the epistemic status of intuitions, but rather how metaphysicians appeal to intuitions as a form of evidence. In order for intuitions to play a viable role in research they must be subject to certain constraints, regardless of whether they allow individual researchers to know that their theories are true. Metaphysicians are not permitted to use intuitions as arbitrarily having different evidential status in different circumstances, nor should they continue to use intuitions as evidence in certain disputes when there is disagreement amongst disputants about whether intuitions should have this evidential status.

Part II is dedicated to showing that metaphysicians currently use intuitions in precisely the sort of inconsistent manner that was shown to be impermissible in Part I. I first consider several competing theories of how intuitions function as evidence and argue that they all fail. As they are currently used in metaphysics, intuitions are analogous to instruments in the sciences in that they are taken to be a substantial non-inferential source of evidence for theories. I then analyze several major metaphysical disputes and show that the source of controversy in these disputes boils down to inconsistencies in how the different parties treat intuitions as evidence. I conclude that metaphysicians must abandon appeals to intuition as evidence--at least until the field can agree upon some general standards that can resolve these inconsistencies.

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  • 2014

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Diné Research Practices and Protocols: An Intersectional Paradigm Incorporating Indigenous Feminism, Critical Indigenous Research Methodologies and Diné Knowledge Systems

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ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the role of tribal sovereignty and self-determination in research for Diné participants and elders from 1956-1986. The qualitative historical research study explored the following questions: How

ABSTRACT

This dissertation examines the role of tribal sovereignty and self-determination in research for Diné participants and elders from 1956-1986. The qualitative historical research study explored the following questions: How has past research been conducted on the Navajo Nation? What is the role of sovereignty and self-determination in research and research methodology for Diné peoples? And, how might Diné philosophy inform a research methodology that aligns with cultural protocols and practices? Six elders who participated in research from 1956-1986 participated in in-depth interviews about their experiences. Using Sa’ąh Naaghái Bik’eh Hozhǫ̨̨́ǫ́n and related Diné philosophy models, findings of this study inform an Indigenous elder knowledge protection model (i.e. Nihookáá’ Diné Nidoolkah Bindii’ą’) to support existing Diné tribal IRB protocols and policies and provides additional insight for tribal cultural protection organizations. Lastly, the researcher presents a Diné intersectional methodology for future research.

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  • 2020

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Embodied continuity: weaving the body into a web of artistry and ethnography

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Embodied Continuity documents the methodology of Entangled/Embraced, a dance performance piece presented December, 2011 and created as an artistic translation of research conducted January-May, 2011 in the states of Karnataka

Embodied Continuity documents the methodology of Entangled/Embraced, a dance performance piece presented December, 2011 and created as an artistic translation of research conducted January-May, 2011 in the states of Karnataka and Kerala, South India. Focused on the sciences of Ayurveda, Kalaripayattu and yoga, this research stems from an interest in body-mind connectivity, body-mind-environment continuity, embodied epistemology and the implications of ethnography within artistic practice. The document begins with a theoretical grounding covering established research on theories of embodiment; ethnographic methodologies framing research conducted in South India including sensory ethnography, performance ethnography and autoethnography; and an explanation of the sciences of Ayurveda, Kalaripayattu and yoga with a descriptive slant that emphasizes concepts of embodiment and body-mind-environment continuity uniquely inherent to these sciences. Following the theoretical grounding, the document provides an account of methods used in translating theoretical concepts and experiences emerging from research in India into the creation of the Entangled/Embraced dance work. Using dancer and audience member participation to inspire emergent meanings and maintain ethnographic consciousness, Embodied Continuity demonstrates how concepts inspiring research interests, along with ideas emerging from within research experiences, in addition to philosophical standpoints embedded in the ethnographic methodologies chosen to conduct research, weave into the entire project of Entangled/Embraced to unite the phases of research and performance, ethnography and artistry.

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  • 2012

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Intersections between Pueblo epistemologies and western science through community-based education at the Santa Fe Indian School

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In order to examine the concept of Pueblo Indian epistemology and its relevance to western science, one must first come to some understanding about Pueblo Indian worldviews and related philosophies.

In order to examine the concept of Pueblo Indian epistemology and its relevance to western science, one must first come to some understanding about Pueblo Indian worldviews and related philosophies. This requires an analysis of the fundamental principles, perspectives, and practices that frame Pueblo values. Describing a Pueblo Indian worldview and compartmentalizing its philosophies according to western definitions of axiology, ontology, epistemology, and pedagogy is problematic because Pueblo ideas and values are very fluid and in dynamic relationship with one another. This dissertation will frame a Pueblo Indian epistemology by providing examples of how it is used to guide knowledge production and understandings. Using the Community-Based Education program (CBE), at the Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I will demonstrate how this unique epistemology guides the CBE philosophy by creating meaningful hands-on learning opportunities for students. What sets this program apart from typical formal schooling classes in schools in the United States is that the local Pueblo communities define the curriculum for students. Their participation in curriculum design in the CBE process enables students to participate in seeking solutions to critical issues that threaten their Pueblos in the areas of environment and agriculture. This program also supports the larger agenda of promoting educational sovereignty at the Santa Fe Indian School by giving the Pueblo tribes more control over what and how their students learn about issues within their communities. Through the community-based agriculture and environmental science programs, students study current issues and trends within local Pueblo Indian communities. In two linked classes: Agriscience and Native American Agricultural Issues, students work with community farms and individual farmers to provide viable services such as soil testing, seed germination tests, and gathering research for upcoming agriculture projects. The policies of the governing body of Santa Fe Indian School mandate the use of CBE methods throughout all core classes. There are steps that need to be taken to ensure that the CBE model is applied and supported throughout the school.

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  • 2015

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Collaboration, affirmation, and the declaration of content for the discipline of writing

Description

This project emphasizes a complex, holistic, and additive view of content knowledge in the Discipline of Writing, advocating for balanced and affirming scholarship and pedagogy rather than a competitive approach

This project emphasizes a complex, holistic, and additive view of content knowledge in the Discipline of Writing, advocating for balanced and affirming scholarship and pedagogy rather than a competitive approach that leads to an epistemology of erasure. As a composite project, the introduction contextualizes three articles linked by their articulation of holistically and additively thinking for students and scholars in the discipline of writing, preparing the reader to see the rhetorical steps that I attempt to take in each article along these lines. Article 1, “The Collaborative Work of Composition,” uses Marxian language of production to highlight the complexities of collaborative writing in a social microcosm drawing focus to the difficulties some students have collaborating, particularly those of linguistic and cultural minority groups, because they or their collaborators struggle to adopt an additive valuing system to position themselves and one another as part of a team with varying strengths. In Article 2, “An Integrative Translingual Pedagogy of Affirmation,” I build on this valuing of writers by advocating for an affirming pedagogy that allows teachers to help students see the complexity and value of their shared languages and their individual (L)anguage as well as the identity connected to these. Article 3, “Familia Académica: Translingual History and the Epistemology of Erasure,” draws on a deep and overlooked history that provides a more complex holistic lens for the current socio-politics of the discipline of Writing’s interaction with the translingual approach, re-orienting to a more additive blend of the extreme perspectives that key scholars have taken between second language writing and translingual writing. Finally, the last section of the dissertation acts as a metaconstruction of the discipline of Writing, pointing to moments within the previous three articles that indicate a sustained effort to complicate binaries and then provide an alternate symbiosis of scholarly perspectives for disciplinary discourse and identity in Writing. Most importantly though, the final section of the dissertation synthesizes the partial approaches introduced in the previous three articles which inform my understanding of disciplinarity. Further, this final section attempts to find equity in the variety of partial approaches developed in the previous articles and which I have since matured into what I call the 8 Aspects of Writing. The 8 aspects and their components move beyond individual issues presented in each article and synthesize a more holistic, additive, and systematic model of defining the content knowledge for the discipline of Writing.

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  • 2019