2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Gramsci and Benefits Street

The “State” should be understood not only as the apparatus of government, but also the “private” apparatus of “hegemony” or civil society.

Territory: Antonio Gramsci’s Prison Notebooks Concepts: The subaltern, cultural hegemony, integral state, war of position. Object: The Channel 4 Documentary Benefits Street.
In my project, I have used Gramsci’s philosophical concepts to critically examine the media’s domination over perceptions of the unemployed, with particular reference to Channel 4’s Benefits Street. The concepts will give an idea of how incoherent ideologies are formed and maintained and what, if anything, can we do to reject these ideologies.

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Philosophical implications behind concussion in American Football

Philosophers used
Kant – Will use Kant’s philosophy to explain why the behaviour of the National Football League (NFL) was immoral
Hobbes – Will examine the actions of the NFL in relation to Hobbes’ view on Power
Adorno – Will use Adorno’s philosophy to analyse the role of mass culture in the concussion scandal
Territory – The National Football leagues denial of the dangers of concussion, and their attempts to cover up the work of Dr Omalu – The danger that this put all American Footballers in – The Lawsuit the NFL faced because of their mishandling of the situation

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Integrity and Ethics in Journalism

The right to Freedom of Expression Integrity & Ethics in Journalism
Michel Foucault on Confinement and Parrhesia | John Stuart Mill on Freedom of Expression
Territory The object of study for this project is the human right to freedom of expression, with a particular focus on discussing the extent that this right should be exercised – particularly within the Journalism sector. Establishing the value of freedom of expression will assist in evaluating how important this right is to contemporary society.
Modern examples of defending oneself by using the principle of freedom of expression will assist in understanding the relevance of freedom of expression within the modern day. Philosophical Concepts The first concept applied to this territory is John Stuart Mill’s discussion of the necessity of the right to freedom of expression: this project looks at both his reasons for freedom of expression and why he postulates this argument.
The second concept is Michel Foucault’s historical philosophy. Foucault’s work in Fearless Speech will discuss the Greek expression, parrhesia, which translates as a verbal activity designating one to tell the truth despite the risk of differing from the majority and risking danger.
This project will also discuss Foucault’s Madness and Civilisation in order to consider how society can treat those who express themselves in forms that differ to those in traditional society. This concept will lead the project to ask whether we truly do have true freedom of expression.

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Conservation or Cruel…Is it right to keep animals captive?

Territory: I will discuss whether it is right to keep animals captive. In particular, if it is right to keep them captive for our entertainment. Animal captivity raises many important moral questions: Is ever right to restrict animal’s liberty and if so, under what conditions? Do human beings have the right to keep other animals captive? Are we the superior species and if so, why is this the case?

Concepts: Peter Singer: humans are animals but language makes us overlook this. As a utilitarian and hedonist, Singer looks towards the end result, where like human beings, other animals choose pleasure over suffering. Kant: we do not have any direct ethical duties to non-human animals. We only owe ethical duties to rational beings, and nonhuman animals are not included in this group.

‘If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?’ – Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

From Concert Halls to Kurt Cobain: Investigating a Loss of Value in Contemporary Popular Music

Where do we place value in music?
Has music regressed in value? Is music rendered inauthentic by its standardised, repetitive structures?
Of the Origin of the Work of Art VS
On the Fetish-Character in Music and the Regression of Listening

Music “is the becoming and happening of truth…with extraordinary awesomeness”.

“The aim of [music] is the mechanical reproduction of a regressive moment, a castration symbolism. ‘Give up your masculinity, let yourself be castrated,’ the eunuch-like sound of the [boy] band both mocks and proclaims, ‘and you will be rewarded, accepted into a fraternity which shares the mystery of impotence with you, a mystery revealed at the moment of the initiation rite.”

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

The figure of Jesus in Mark’s gosel: Do humans have an existential need for hope and illusion?

Territory: Mark’s Gospel The Bible is culturally strange and scientifically inadequate, so it is typically dismissed as nonsensical. If the Bible accounts were literal, they would all match up-but they do not. This means you can see which data has been redacted and manipulated, for the author’s particular purpose. Looking at this information, you can begin to infer the authorial intention for writing the text. This is a task that historians, biblical interpreters and theologians have undertaken. In most accounts, it is understood that Mark’s gospel as the first Gospel to be written and that he wrote in Rome during emperor Nero’s persecution Nero burned down Rome and to avoid the consequences he blamed the people, meaning they were tortured and killed as punishment. Mark was writing for this suffering community, to provide them hope and courage to continue through life. Now, we can understand why the Gospel emphasized belief in miracles and the afterlife- it was so these people had hope. Even if the hope came from an illusion.

Concept: Hope
Bloch develops a human ontology that points to a future orientated utopian consciousness. Human’s dream and wish for world improvement. Bloch says man is Not-Yet-Conscious and Not-Yet-Become. Hoping in such way, drowns out our existential anxiety about life. This is relevant in looking at all the myths of utopia in the gospel, i.e. miracles, afterlife, and our potential ‘homeland’ the Kingdom of God.
Concept: Illusion
Early Nietzsche says that humans need metaphysical comfort in myth. He creates an intellectual dichotomy between the Dionysian and the Apollonian which when perfectly combines embraces tragedy. This is relevant mainly for looking at Jesus as a ‘suffering servant’ and at the figure of him as a necessary illusion. Later Nietzsche would claim that living based of illusion distracts from striving and creating our own meaning in life