2014 Abstracts Stage 2

Can Claims to Property Ground Territorial Expansion?

Aim: To investigate whether claims to property can legitimise territorial expansion.

Case study: Throughout the essay I will focus upon he colonisation of America, with the aim of concluding whether the desire for land, held by the colonial power, could be used to legitimise the events that took place.

Philosophers: Locke, Nozick, Hobbes, Hegel, Radin, Grotius

– To investigate the concept of property amongst native Americans.
– To assess whether the European powers had any legitimate claim to the land.
– Can the colonial power’s desire for property ever legitimise the events that took place?

2010 Abstracts Stage 3

The Philippine Condition: a Levinasian Account of Conflict

This stage three project will investigate the condition of Filipino society and the philosophical implications of its turbulent modern history. With a political past which has seen totalizing regimes with American and Spanish colonisation, dictatorship and a corrupt state of democracy influenced by Western materialism, this project will undertake an alternative philosophical approach in Emmanuel Levinas’ concept of the same and the Other to give a different assessment of power conception in Filipino history.

While the project takes into account events which have happened over the course of a century, particular attention is paid to the dictatorship in the 1970s under Ferdinand Marcos. In conjunction with this, the books Dekada 70 by Laulhati Bautista, and The Social Cancer by Filipino national hero Jose Rizal will be introduced to highlight the situation of the territory.

The philosophical aspect takes into consideration the work of Emmanuel Levinas. While beginning the project from an interpretive Heideggerian and Hermeneutic angle, a natural progression will be made to depart from a theory based mainly upon identity. By illustrating the historical narrative with the concepts of the same and the Other, this project shows how encounters on a global scale has allowed the Philippine condition to be an example of a state which is resistant toward totalisation.

2007 Abstracts Stage 3

A Foucaultian Analysis of the Israeli-Arab Conflict: from early Zionism to Post-Colonialism

Objectives. It is my intention to demonstrate in my essay that colonialism still takes place across the world today, and that it finds its foundations entrenched firmly within the same prejudices which were used to justify the type of colonialism typical of 19th century Europe. For this purpose I will concentrate my investigation upon the most notorious and long-running of available examples; namely, the Israeli-Arab conflict and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and the Palestinian people. As well as showing Israel to be a Western colony of the oldest and most classical type, Israel can be seen as a colony not just for its own sake, but as part of a wider Western “project” and belief system. Concepts. All of the above investigations will be conducted after an introduction to Foucault’s conceptions of Discourse and Power, which will themselves be applied to the investigation, as I believe they aptly provide an explanation for everything that has taken place regarding Palestine since the 19th century. I will also be depicting this narrative as part of a larger, even global Discourse. Sources. I will use Edward Said’s book Orientalism to explain how, in Foucaultian terms, a contrasting image of the East as opposed to the enlightened West was created over centuries until it has reached its current form which allows the West to justify the colonization of the Arab world, several books by Foucault, including Madness and Civilization and Discipline and Punish. This will be accompanied by a scrapbook containing translated Israeli newspaper articles which will be referenced in the main body of work in order to support my claims regarding the workings of Israeli media discourse in perpetuating the above beliefs. Articles will refer not only to political events reflecting the reality of Israeli society’s perception of itself and its Arab population; they will also be used to illustrate the way in which the media in Israel contributes to Israeli colonialism through its irresponsible (and at time perhaps deliberate) use of everyday words and concepts.