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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

“I said it with my chest and I don’t care who I offend” Thinking of offence as a progressive voice.

This project explores the role offence plays in the creation of authentic and progressive discourses. It will be exploring this by looking at misogynistic rap lyrics, investigating the offence these lyrics cause. It will begin by discussing John Stuart Mill and Joel Feinberg in order to demonstrate how offensive rap lyrics offend rather than harm. Then it will discuss the work of Catherine Mackinnon, looking at how a minority of rap lyrics could be defined as pornography and therefore harmful. However, it will then demonstrate how misogynistic rap lyrics should be understood as responding to the world building of pornography. This project will then discuss how rap music also has the potential to challenge the belief system created by pornography. Through discussing Martin Heidegger, we see how misogynistic rap lyrics defy our everyday idle talk, creating a new authentic discourse. This discourse is created through the shock caused by offensive lyrics. We will see how shock has a liberating potential, as demonstrated by Walter Benjamin. Ultimately this project will investigate how rap’s offensive misogynistic lyrics shock us, forcing us to engage with them. This creates a new authentic discourse that allows the rise of progressive voices.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

A Fair Trial of Rawls. The sixth Article of the Human Rights Act of 1998 outlines the right to a fair trial in the United Kingdom. To what extent does Rawlsian theory justify the fairness of the trial process?

A fair trial of Rawls.
The right to a fair trial is a human right held by those living in the UK. Rawlsian theory lays claim to the fairness of the criminal trial and insists upon the ability of such a procedure to produce fair outcomes. This is frank account of the reality of criminal trials in the UK, the procedures in place and the extent to which Rawls is able to justify his claims. Individual liberty, amongst other things, appears to be in jeopardy. Will Rawls produce a suitable enough defence to clear his name of all shortcomings?

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Examining the potential Aesthetic and Existential Authenticity of Fanworks

I have investigated the potential for authenticity in works of art and fiction created by fans of various media. I have examined whether or not fan artists themselves may be considered as living authentically when producing works of art which are inspired by and dependant on another source of art. I have looked at the concept of authenticity from both an aesthetic and existential perspective, examining the philosophies of Benjamin, Barthes, Sartre and Heidegger.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Risk

An investigation into the nature, history, prominence and management of risk on both a personal and professional level. To answer the question of whether humans or computers are more effective risk managers.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Girls and Social Media

Girls and Social Media

The Object of my project is how social media contributes towards and perpetuates the damaging social construct of femininity.

Control.

Control is the overarching force at play in this project. It refers both to capitalist and patriarchal control. Foucault explains how social media acts as a form of surveillance, policing and governing girls’ behaviour online and prohibiting their freedom.

Identity.

Identity is relevant to this project because of the identities girls form on social media. Girls internalise the sexually objectifying media content they consume on social media, which causes the development of a patriarchal construction of identity. Tiqqun is used to demonstrate how this prohibits girls from experiencing true value in a number of ways, such as the values of liberation, introspective intimacy and identity.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

What is Horror? A Psychoanalytic Perspective

This project aims to explore the territory of horror fiction,
investigating the question of ‘what is horror?’ through a
psychoanalytic perspective. This investigation is focused on H.P.
Lovecraft’s novella At the Mountains of Madness, published in 1936;
this constitutes the object of the project. The psychoanalytic thought
that will be drawn upon is, primarily, that of Sigmund Freud and
Jacques Lacan, with Slavoj Žižek used as secondary theorist
throughout. The philosophical concepts employed in this project are
Freud’s notion of the unheimlich and Lacan’s order of the Real,
though the latter is streamlined through the Žižekian reading of the
Real as horrifying.
An application of these psychoanalytic frameworks to the material
provided by Lovecraft’s novella will offer two contrasting accounts
concerning what constitutes the notion of horror. The Freudian
approach rationalises the image of horror by tracing it back to certain
repressed content, whilst the Žižekian-Lacanian approach
understands the phenomena of horror as an interruption of the Real
into our social reality. This project argues for the salience of the latter,
on account of the reductive tendency of the Freudian framework that,
ultimately, fails to capture the philosophical richness of the material
with which it is dealing.

Categories
2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Can Music Be Transgressive?

An application of Nietzschean and Bataillean philosophy to the music of Lana del Rey and The Stooges, in order to investigate whether music has the capacity to be transgressive. Specific use of Nietzsche’s concepts of the Apolline and Dionysiac with Bataille’s philosophy of transgression which includes erotism and expenditure.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

What are the implications of actors playing roles with a different sexual orientation to their own?

This research paper seeks to answer the research question of “what are the implications of actors playing roles with a different sexual orientation to their own?”. To do this the objects of Armie Hammer’s performance as Oliver in Call Me By Your Name, and Rupert Everett’s Performance as Sir Arthur Goring in An Ideal Husband are applied to Sartre’s notion of authenticity and Butler theory of performativity. Sartre’s notion of authenticity is used to assess the implications to the authenticity of an actor’s performance when playing a character with a different sexual orientation to their own. Butler’s theory of performativity is used to assess the implications that performativity has on performances, specifically performances where actors play roles where their sexual orientation is different from the character they play.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Should one exercise their right to freedom or remain within an authoritative state to maintain security? An exploration of positive and negative freedom within Attack on Titan through the field of political philosophy

Should one exercise their right to freedom or remain within an authoritative state to maintain security? Through exploring the notions of positive and negative freedom in relation to protagonist Eren Jaeger within Attack on Titan, it was found that his use of positive freedom was manipulated into fuelling his own agenda for freedom. Ultimately, one should exercise their right to liberty as long as it does not undermine the freedom of others.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Why Did The Duck Cross The Line? An Exploration of Offensive Humour, Laughter as a Response, and DuBoisian ‘Double Consciousness’

This project aims to explore the nature of offensive humour, using readings of W.E.B Du Bois’ theory of ‘double consciousness’ (a duel perspective originally felt by black Americans) as well as the three laughter theories (as told by Hobbes, Kant and Freud) as a framework for presenting the main arguments regarding taboo topics within the comedic realm, these being 1.) in support of censorship within humour, with the exception of oppositional satire from the oppressed, and 2.) in support of a freedom within laughter and comedy, as per their supposed nature. I aim to ultimately offer a new perspective regarding this argument, expanding on ideas seen within my chosen concepts.

OBJECT: Offensive Humour and laughter as a response, and how this may link to censorship/freedom of speech

TERRITORY: Ethics. (Analysing whether offensive humour is ‘right’ to use)

CONCEPTS: Interpretations of DuBoisian ‘Double Consciousness’, laughter theories (as stated by Hobbes, Kant, Freud)

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

The Precarious Worker as Homo Sacer

• This project will place the film ‘Sorry We Missed You’ (2019) within the territory of biopolitics, in order to understand the relationship between the worker and their employer.
• ‘Sorry We Missed You’ is a film set in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, following the Turner family where parents, Abby and Ricky, work within the gig economy.
o Abby works as an outsourced, in-home care worker.
o Ricky is a delivery driver, mockingly referred to by his son as a “white van man”.
 As a contemporary film, this project shall be contextualised against the backdrop of ‘Capitalist Realism’: the pervading atmosphere that capitalism is the only possible economic system.
• Workers that are self-employed or are on zero-hour contracts are referred to as ‘precarious workers’.
o Precarity is anxiety that lacks a definite object.
• Paolo Virno empirically observes these workers to contain the qualities of opportunism, fear and cynicism.
o These qualities alienate workers from their social ties as their morals are uprooted and knowledge is fixed to capital, creating ambivalence.
• Ivor Southwood’s first-hand account of this sector echoes Virno arguing that workers suffer from inertia as they can no longer separate work from their private life.
• The relationship is biopolitical as the relation between worker and employer is constituted by the originary bond of sovereignty to bare life.
• Over the course of the film, the bare life of the worker is demonstrated by the violence and exploitation exerted towards Abby and Ricky, for the goal of maximising their bodies potentiality to gain capital for their sovereign employer.

Categories
2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Mahadevi’s Devotion to Siva: Does it End in Fusion for Lacan and Levinas?

This essay explores the possibility of fusion, of becoming one with Siva, as it is expressed in the Vacanas (poems) of a 12th Century Siva devotee: Mahadevi. Considering the writings of Emmanuel Levinas and Jacques Lacan we can ask what it means to be liberated and to fulfil one’s desires in this way. Critically, we begin this essay with Levinas and discuss his conception of the self; how this self comes to be in relation to the other, and how freedom is to be understood. Following Levinas we investigate the notion of desire for Lacan, which requires a look into the Oedipus complex and the object petit a. In the final section of this essay, we attempt to find the position of Siva in relation to the subject and question whether fusion is finally possible. This will respond to what has been so far discussed in the hope of showing that Siva is not a being but is representative of the subject of my subjectivity – Levinas’ infinitely other – which is only attainable by being a self for the Other.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Shaking the Third Rail: Reforming Taxation

For my project I’m going to be exploring the concept of taxation with reference to the philosophies of John Rawls and Robert Nozick.

– I’ll analyse Rawls and Nozick’s conceptions of justice and how these apply within a state.

– I’ll apply Rawl’s principles of justice to the current tax system to argue that reform is necessary.

– Further I will attempt to dismantle Nozick’s conception of justice and taxation to show it does not go far enough.

– I’ll consider the specific reforms to income and inheritance tax that can be made to move the UK closer to a Rawlsian just state.

– The current taxation system in the UK will be central to my argument, but reference will be made to the tax system post WW2.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Is Beauvoirian feminism still topical today?

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was a French existentialist philosopher and a leading figure in the second-wave feminism movement. Beauvoir’s seminal book The Second Sex (1949) is widely considered as the first major study of women’s oppression in contemporary western feminist theory. The aim of my project is to examine Beauvoir’s central ideas in The Second Sex and subsequently demonstrate the topicality of Beauvoir’s manifesto on the feminist movement today.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Life in La Esfera Doméstica: A Philosophical Exploration into the Role of Women in Spain During and After The Francoist Dictatorship.

Life in La Esfera Doméstica: A Philosophical Exploration into the Role of Women in Spain During and After The Francoist Dictatorship.

Categories
2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Is Rewilding Compatible with Veganism?

Is rewilding compatible with veganism? Rewilding is a conservation effort which can contribute to the efforts of solving climate change. Due to the use of animals in rewilding, it raises questions for ethical vegans and so my territory is animal ethics. Through axiological critique, I intend to consider veganism from a deontological, consequentialist and virtue ethicist point of view and determine which is the best approach for practical matters, using rewilding as my object.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

“It is impossible for women to succeed in the male dominated discourse of politics”. An exploration into the objectifying representation of women in politics.

My project is an investigation into the ways in which the representation of women in politics by the media objectifies them and poses barriers to their success, this is explored through my key philosophers of Martha Nussbaum, Rae Langton and Kant who each propose a variety of forms of objectification. The way in which these notions of objectification impact the success of female politicians is demonstrated through empirical evidence of key political figures such as Jacinda Ardern and Angela Merkel. Through this investigation I reach the conclusion that the institutions of the government and the media are based on a patriarchal power imbalance and need to be reformed in order for women in politics to succeed without the harm of objectification.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 2

The Corrosive Social Effects of Greed with Reference to There Will Be Blood.

This project will endeavour to explore the corrosive social effects of greed and capitalism. The territory is the subject of capitalism as a political and economic system as presented throughout history and also currently. The 2007 film There Will Be Blood (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson) is my object through which I shall spring the discussion of my project from, exploring the questions throughout and what they mean for us. I am using the works of John Locke (primarily his Second Treatise of Government) and Karl Marx (primarily his Philosophic and Economic Manuscripts of 1844). Locke explores the human right of private property and how one rightly comes to have ownership, and Marx explores the disproportionate and devastating relationship between capitalist and labourer and how such a relationship and work brings about alienation and estrangement from labour for the labourer. I shall compare the two philosophic ideas of Locke and Marx with reference to There Will Be Blood.

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2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Internet Surveillance, Panopticism, and Identity

An investigation into the relationship between internet surveillance and panopticism, and how this impacts the identities of internet users.

Case Study – The Golden Shield Project: An in-depth look into China’s strict surveillance system and how it’s panoptic nature impacts Chinese citizens.

Key Theorists

Michel Foucault: Foucault provides a theory of surveillance that explains panopticism and demonstrates how constant surveillance, such as that seen on the internet, can be used as a tool for political power and oppression.

Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (1975)

Zygmunt Bauman: Bauman explains why identity has become such a large issue in late modernity and why an identity is difficult to cultivate in the digital age, relating to internet surveillance and censorship online.

Identity (2004)

Categories
2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Separating Art from the Artist: An Investigation into the Commodification of Art and its Effects

The issue of whether we can, and should, separate art from the artist is perennial. This project considers the question of separating art from the artist and assess the effects of commodification of art in respect to it. Looking at competing ideas of artistic interpretation and focussing on the approach of historical materialism, this project presents a Marxist view of art and places commodification at the centre of the issue. This project considers Adorno and Horkheimer’s contributions to the subject in the form of their theory of the Culture Industry.

This project found that the effect of the commodification of art was the separation and alienation of the artist from their art. It suggests that this separation and alienation is a necessary feature of production in capitalist societies. The concept of autonomous art is presented as a potential solution to this problem, being defined by its functionlessness and the idea that it cannot or is not commodified.