2022 Abstracts Stage 2

At what point does a serial killer’s moral and ethical point of view change? And is this influenced by their sociology and psychology?

In general, over the past decade, there has been an increase in documentaries about serial murderers to the point where websites are suggesting the top ten to watch. This intrigued me to the point where I wanted to investigate further; I wanted to look at the point time when their morality and ethical viewpoint changed from what would be considered to be an average person to their infamous persona of the killer and assess this investigation through a philosophical point of view. The typical serial murderer is seen to be an intelligent white man from a middle-class background. Still, I wanted to know if I could prove otherwise by looking at people from poorer backgrounds, those of different ethnicities and differing genders. This was achieved by utilising the arguments of Aristotle. How people become virtuous, Luther and Erasmus on the debate of free will to determine whether these people acted of their own volition, and finally, Freud and his concepts of Trauma, Repression and Dream to see whether these influence the people in question too, or if they are born evil. Ultimately, I conclude that all of the areas discussed combined may cause the serial murderer, but trauma and the lack of virtuous people in their lives contribute more than the others. Equally, this has opened more questions regarding these people’s level of responsibility.

2013 Abstracts Stage 2

Am I Not a Man and a Brother? The Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade: Great Britain’s Campaign for Human Equality

Can slavery be morally justified?
 Aristotle: Humans are not equal due to differing reasoning abilities. Slaves do not have a sufficient capacity to reason to warrant freedom. Slavery is in the best interest of the slave, the master and the polis.
 Augustine: Slavery is a form of punishment for original sin. Moral virtue can be increased as a result of being a slave to the body rather than to desires. God will reward slaves in heaven.
 Kant: All humans are equal. Slavery cannot be universalized without contradiction and treats humans as means to an end, thus it is immoral.

The importance of political freedom:
 Isaiah Berlin: The amount that society can interfere with an individual’s freedom depends on the natural rights theory of that society. Laws must conflict with a person’s natural rights to justify protest.
 Rawls: All humans have an equal claim to basic liberty and rights. Freedom is an inalienable basic right that slavery infringes upon.
Methods of political protest employed by abolitionists.

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Martin Luther King Jr.)

2006 Abstracts Stage 3

The Golden Rule of Ethics

Territory- My territory is Western Society moving from the time of Ancient Greek philosophers through to postmodernist philosophers. Objectives- I asked myself a series of questions, these were as follows 1 “What is the golden rule of ethics and why is it so important?” 2 “Where does our ideas of morality and the idea of reciprocity come from?” 3 “Does the golden rule still apply?” 4 “Is there really a moral framework of ethical conduct prevalent within our society?” 5 “With the changes that can be seen within our society, can a moral framework based upon an ancient idea of reciprocity continue to work?” My aim in answering these questions was to use the works of Aristotle, Kant and Lyotard to chart a change in the ideas of ethics through time.

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

Childhood to Adulthood – A Philosophical exploration of being change, development and education

My Territory – 2 students from different backgrounds. Their opinions, beliefs and desires from work and diaries in their youth to their opinions now. My aims to explore the philosophy of childhood. What is it to be a child are they merely developing organisms as Aristotle may say -”underdeveloped human organisms”. The philosophers I am using: Aristotle change and causation, Plato education is relearning, Descartes and Locke on the development of cognitive thought, Sarte on Being

2005 Abstracts Stage 3

And They Lived Happily Ever After …

We all want a fairy tale ending, everlasting happiness, in fact there is no more one important question within philosophy than that of the concept of happiness. It is the defining question of ethics. The crucial question that Socrates asked that of, how should I live? This question has been at the forefront of philosophical inquiry for the subsequent 2400 years, however despite this, constant deliberation has thus far produced no definitive answers. How should one live one’s life to maximise happiness? Throughout this project I wish to delve into some of the major theories of happiness to see if I can adopt any of them to make my life the happiest it can be. The mayor theorists I shall be tackling are: Aristotle – Believed happiness was achieved through fulfilment of the 3 parts of the soul. Socrates – Believed happiness is entwined with virtue. Plato – Believed happiness is achieved through acquiring the virtues and contemplation of the world of forms and the form of the good Epicurus – Believed happiness is achieved through moderate satisfaction, avoidance of pain and pleasure being the highest good Kant – one should always obey the moral law however living a virtuous life does not necessarily lead to happiness. Nietzsche – Happiness is achieved through going for what one truly desires. Pain is a necessary part of life – one cannot experience true happiness if one has not suffered. As well as looking at these philosophers I also wish to try to answer the following questions: What is Happiness? Why is it so important? How has happiness changed in the modern age? Is there one universal happiness that we all strive for? Finally I will look at an investigation into the youth of today and see what ultimately their philosophy behind happiness is.