2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Entertainment and Education. Audrey Hepburn and Friedrich Schiller: Artists and Teachers

Audrey Hepburn is synonymous with the glamour, style and beauty of a bygone age. Her films have a lasting appeal and are as popular today as they were when they were released in the late 1950s and early 1960s. They gave hope to a world which was recovering from the Second World War and offered an escape to a generation.

Escapism into art, be it music, fine art or cinema is something which is done by all at certain times in life. There is something about the arts, in particular films, which invites us to lose ourselves in the moment and forget our reality.

The concept of the betterment of man from art is not new, dating back to the writings of Romantic poet and thinker Friedrich Schiller, who believed that society’s ills could be remedied through the arts.

Through the writings of Schiller, I intend to study the ways in which these films, as an example of art, can help and improve man. The films which I employ are amongst my favourite and are studied in terms of their plots, script, costume and locations to highlight the notion of aesthetic education.

The personal connection these films have with individuals is key and so my recollections and those of others will be studied in order to show that these films, and indeed art in general, have a greater purpose than mere entertainment.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

From Viral Advertising to Corporate Personhood: Does the Corporation Walk Among Us?

The object upon which my project will be based is the corporation.

The context in which I will explore the corporation is viewing corporations with the framing of an individual.

Although corporations are what the name implies, a group of individuals working together towards the production of profit; corporations share many attributes that an individual holds, including corporations being seen as ‘legal persons’ in legislation.

Therefore, to what extent is an individual human and a corporation the same as one another or different?

To explore this idea, I will use topics such as;
• Aristotelian virtue ethics – can corporations have traits and characteristics which deem them to be virtuous?
• Hegelian social ethics – how can corporations function ethically within a social whole and guarantee ‘recognition’ to stakeholders and employees?
• Social contact theories – taking Hobbesian social contact theory and applying it to the corporation
• Prevailing thoughts in the newly developing field of business ethics

2010 Abstracts Stage 3

What Are the Reasons Behind the Perceived Loss of Identity Prevalent in Today’s Society? Could this Loss of Identity Be the Reason Behind the Increase in Subcultures and Gangs?

Territory- Gang culture

Aim- In my investigation I wanted to see how the change in individual identity has impacted society today. By analysing this change I found that identity today appears to be fragmented. This is due to the breakup of the tight nuclear family which was found in previous eras and the lack of moral rule systems available to the individual today. This has clearly impacted the youth of Britain and has resulted in the rise of gang violence.

I have used both Beck and Giddens to highlight the impact of modernity on society as well as to further discuss the implications of identity fragmentation. I used both of these philosophers to shed new light on my territory which is gang culture amongst the youth of the UK today. By using both of these philosophers I hope to have drawn a direct link between identity fragmentation and the increase in gang violence prevalent in modern day society. This certainly paints a bleak picture of the UK today.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Falling Asleep Consciously – a Quest for the Truth

The subconscious mind stores vast amounts of information on what we have experienced in our lives. When in a lucid state, a dreamer becomes aware that he is dreaming. In this state he has greater access to his subconscious. Is it possible to understand our waking reality more clearly, by harnessing our subconscious memories?

To explore this idea, I am, primarily, going to be focusing my discussion around the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, namely his works on knowledge and reality, with the psychology of Stephan La Berge, including his work on lucid dreaming.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Sex for Sale: an Investigation into the Ethics of Prostitution

Known as the world’s oldest profession, prostitution has always been present in society. However, the moral viewpoint regarding prostitution is not so consistent, the act being legal and regularised within some countries and punishable by death in others.

The aim of my project is to therefore attempt to find an answer to the ambiguity which surrounds the morality of prostitution. Looking only at a case of prostitution between two consensual agents – as any other example would clearly involve an inherently wrong violation of freedom – I will examine prostitution in the light of three prominent moral philosophical theories:

• Utilitarianism
• Kantian Ethics
• Hegelian Ethics

The choice of these particular theories is not only because they are notable moral arguments but also because they are very diverse theories.

This diversity consequently allows a balanced and thorough investigation into the morality of prostitution.
With regards to Utilitarianism, I will study Bentham’s ‘hedonistic calculus’ and Mill’s ‘greatest happiness’ and ‘harm principle’.

The application of Kant’s ethics means a study of prostitution under the categorical imperative.

Finally, prostitution in relation to Hegelian ethics involves an exploration into freedom and the societal values which can uphold this freedom.

Ultimately, I hope to reach a credible conclusion as to the morality of prostitution answering pertinent questions such as, does sex have an inherent special quality which should disallow it to be used as a commodity? And can the legalisation of prostitution ever be considered worthwhile for society?

‘Prostitution testifies to the amoral power struggle of sex…. Prostitutes, pornographers, and their patrons are marauders in the forest of archaic night.’ – Camille Paglia.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

The Strange Case of Dr Ego and Mr Shadow

For this project I’m investigating views on the unconscious. I think that it is important to learn as much as we can about ourselves in order to better ourselves and the society in which we live. Philosophers who I have looked at are Freud and Jung. I have used Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel, ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ to parallel with the idea of hidden aspects of our personality in our unconscious. The novel also reflects upon the notion of drugs unlocking these hidden, repressed aspects of self; a topic in which I am also interested.