2022 Abstracts Stage 2

The Rise of Apocalyptic Styling Following the Covid-19 Pandemic and its Effects.

My project is set in the domain of existential fashion, particularly the rise of apocalyptic styling following the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects, both positive and negative. I have drawn philosophical concepts from the works of Jacques Derrida, including his ‘Of Grammatology’. Alongside this, I have referred to Ulrick Beck’s ‘Risk Society’, Risikogesellschaft (1986), in relation to people becoming increasingly preoccupied with a sense of impending doom that has been brought about by the pandemic: portrayed through recent fashion choices and explorations. To support my discussion further, I have incorporated the works of Marilynn H. Johnson in her Adorning Bodies (2022), in which she explores the philosophical implications of bodily adornment. Johnson notes that existential feelings and thoughts inspiring people’s fashion decisions, are not uncommon. As we have seen previously, different trends and popularity of statement pieces of clothing, rise following grand world events, such as in the 1960s in response to the Vietnam war and adjacent Civil Rights movement. The rise of apocalyptic fashion serves as proof of the determination and adaptability of human beings, along with our willingness to persevere through difficult situations, and it is this that I have delved into in this project.

2013 Abstracts Stage 3

An Enquiry into the Nature of Animal-Human Distinction and its Effects on the Ethical Treatment of Animals

• HYPOTHESIS- Theoretical explanations of the nature of animality through the use of distinctive measures and qualifications which serve to diminish ethical consideration of animals in modern scenarios. Improved ethical consideration of animals needs to take place and so these distinctions should be considered.

• AIMS OF ENQUIRY- Explain the nature of animal through the animal-human distinction from the perspective of Heidegger. Attempt to show that these theoretical accounts are unworthy of providing ethical formulations for the treatment of animals. Consider the idea of ethical reform in the works of Peter Singer.

• Use of primary data and analysis from Heidegger (The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics), Derrida (The Animal That Therefore I am) and Singer (Animal Liberation) as evidence for nature of human-animal distinction that leads to influence of ethical treatment of animals

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

Deconstructing the Narrative of Psychiatry: An exploration into how psychiatry has hindered its own progress.

Psychiatry is an admirable and important profession, but one which is regarded in very different ways depending upon which side of the fence you sit; a patient may resent psychiatry or praise it, a psychiatrist may feel comfortable or uncomfortable within their profession, and a lay person may or may not understand the need for psychiatric practice.

My project is focused on an exploration of the component concepts of psychiatry.

Deconstruction is a term given to the philosophy of Jacques Derrida, which resembles an intimate reading of a text, and I call psychiatry a narrative in relation to the work of Jean François Lyotard, referring to its tendencies to create a type of reality into which its patients and practitioners must assert themselves. It is my view (and that of others), that such a thing that makes its own reality must be in total accord with itself and so I decided that the best way to uncover any disharmonious concepts in psychiatry was to deconstruct it.

A deconstruction of psychiatry consists, in my project, of looking the way that psychiatry tends to favour finding instances of insanity over instances of sanity; the way psychiatry appears to suffer from a form of ‘diagnostic creep’; and the imbalance of power that runs through the structure of psychiatry.

My conclusions are that although psychiatry is fraught with problems, it is capable of becoming a fully functioning profession, if it would be willing to receive critical review from an outside source.

2011 Abstracts Stage 3

True (?) Romance. How has the Ideal of Love Been Lost in Contemporary United Kingdom and What Are the Ramifications?

Current relationships are under strain due to the gap between fictional love (the ideal) and genuine love. Marriage and monogamy are the metanarrative structures and institutions of the ideal of love that are causing tension in love, requiring paramours to be more consistent than their identity allows for. As identity lacks an origin without the ideal, it becomes relative to the Other in a cyclical relationship that causes identity to be in constant flux. Without a stable base on which to love, the ideal can longer function.

Therefore if agents still want to love, then they must accept that each moment is unique and the only ground for love is the individual’s experience of the other in the Other. The essay is heavily influenced by the works of Jacques Derrida (Violence and Metaphysics), Jean-Paul Sartre (Being and Nothingness) and Emmanuel Levinas (Totality and Infinity).

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Men Have Pumpkins for Heads … or Are Made of Glass. Autism: How Does It Fit into Our Society?

Objective/ territory: To analyse how autism fits into our society and deconstruct our self- constructed ‘social norms.’ People have wrong conceptions based in historical comprehension.

Sources: Michael Foucault (Madness and Civilisation), Jacques Derrida (Writing and Difference), Descartes (The First Meditations).

Project outline: I aim to provide an understanding that autism does not necessarily fit into either category of reason or non- reason. Through analysing the philosophers named above, I will investigate the truth or validity behind our self-constructed ‘social norms’, and whether or not we hold a true account of what is considered to be reason and non-reason. Questions will be addressed such as where do we draw the line of separation between reason and non- reason? Is there such a thing as reason and non-reason? Where has our idea of normality been derived from? And who has the right to decide what is normal?

Through a method of deconstruction, I aim to scrap the system and prove that society should be constructed in such a way that rejects any notion of social hierarchies.

2007 Abstracts Stage 3

The Betrayal of Bauhaus:the impossibility and necessity of counterculture under capitalism/postmodernism

The perspectivism that allowed modernists to enlarge and emancipate ideas within one single and complex reality has been lost to a fragmentation of many realities that both coexist and collide within a single framework. Where, on one hand, modernists can be accused of using individual ideals to achieve communal emancipation, the postmodernist shift has meant that these have become so fragmented and ambiguous as to be lost within their numerous realities. We are experiencing a “crisis of Enlightenment thought” the very notion from which it was born. Either Postmodernism exists as a radical break from Modernism, or it is simply a revolt within itself: to a particular type of high Modernism. Questions whether it has revolutionary potential by virtue of its juxtaposition to all forms of meta-narratives, or if it is simply the commercialisation of Modernism. The central aim in my project is to use architecture as a metaphor for understanding the current shifts in the subject and knowledge. I will use Jameson to underline the Marxist structure of commoditization and fetschization of architecture, countering that with Derrida and Deconstruction. Primarily I want to attempt to understand the shift which has occurred within the subject within its global capitalist surroundings. Thinkers: Habermas, Lyotard, Jameson, Derrida, Deleuze

2007 Abstracts Stage 3

Lenny Bruce a Philosopher or was he Obscene?

Lenny Bruce was a controversial American comedian in the 1960’s. He spoke about sex, religion and what it is to be obscene. It was not just the content of Lenny’s act that was thought to be obscene it was also the language he used. As a result of this he was charged with obscenity. This project looks at Lenny’s work and whether he was obscene or whether he was a moral philosopher. He claimed that had the court allowed him to see his work in context and allowed him to perform his act as evidence they would not find him obscene. His act was instead read out by a policeman or written down and used as evidence. However is there a distinction between speech and writing? Is context singular? Is what is obscene a fact or just an interpretation? Looking at the change in views on the binary opposition of speech and writing from Plato to Derrida this project will discuss whether had Lenny been allowed to perform his act in court would the decision of the court been different.

2006 Abstracts Stage 3

The Philosophy of Language

An examination of minor literature: the deterritorialization of language and how the use of language relates to the notion of différance in terms of identity. Aims: I aim to demonstrate within my investigation, how deterritorialization, as a central concept to minor literature, is affluent in the writings of the authors within my territory. I wish to further argue that within minor literature, Derrida’s concept of différance helps us to understand the position that identity has to play for the author. Territory: Works from Franz Kafka and Hunter.S.Thompson will be central within my territory of authors of minor literature and their works will be related to the philosophical concepts of Deleuze and Derrida. Philosophical concepts and thinkers: Deleuze: deterritorialization and the process of ‘becoming minor’ and Derrida: deconstruction and the concept of différance.

2005 Abstracts Stage 2

A Portrait of the Female Writer

Territory: Derrida’s theory of deconstruction provides us with a position of duplicity that operates within the language of reason. This allows us to escape from the condition of falleness. In relation to this I will explore Heidegger’s: ‘end of philosophy’. Derrida’s deconstructionist theory is a theory that is applied to feminine writing. Cixous argues that when we read deconstructively it invites us to recognise ourselves. For Cixous, the feminine is the embodiment of duality and as a result she is open to the other. Cixous argues that writing is woman’s because woman admits that there is another. As a writer of philosophy and fact as well as fiction she maintains that one must write in the present with an acceptance of inevitable death. Heidegger argued that to live authentically one must contemplate one’s inevitable death. To see death without dying allows us to live and frees us from all censors and judges in life. Themes: Derrida’s deconstructionist theory in relation to feminine writing and how femininity is open to the other due to an admittance of difference. Feminine writing and how it sketches an alternate possibility to self other relations in being/becoming. Heidegger and his notion of the ‘end of philosophy’ and that philosophy was nothing more than the ideology of the western ethos and true philosophical questions are based on ‘being’. Application: I intend to explore my territory and themes in relation to the feminist critique of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, focusing on her translation of Derrida’s work on deconstruction and how this deconstruction is a political safeguard.

2004 Abstracts Stage 2

An Investigation into the Relationship between Human Consciousness and Text and Images

Aim To investigate the relationship between human consciousness and text and images. Territory The ‘handwriting on the wall’. Objectives 1. To explore the key concepts of postmodernism, post-structuralism, interpretation, hermeneutics and deconstruction amongst others, as introduced by postmodernists such as Barthes, Derrida, Foucault and Gadamer. 2. To trace some of the patterns in graffiti and explore its explosion since the late 1960’s. To establish if postmodernism has effected the way we view, read and interpret graffiti. To understand how graffiti has changed so much in a relatively small period of time and the world events and cultural variations that have influenced it. To study graffiti’s increased universalism and the proliferation of styles. 3. To make a distinction between humans and the outside events that influence and determine their lives. Does graffiti bridge any gaps? Method Close reading of postmodernist texts such as Derrida’s ‘Of Grammatology’ and Gadamer’s ‘Truth and Method’ as well as analysis of examples of graffiti from ancient Rome to modern contemporary artists such as Banksy.

2004 Abstracts Stage 2

The Concept of ‘Madness’ and the use of the Stage in the Creation and Classification of Reality

My place: The stage, the stage defines a reality Madness and Norms, the idea that a person’s existence can be defined by a definition. How key madness is to our concept of the world ‘we only have reason through the classification of madness’ We only have reality through make believe Objective The stage defines a reality, an exploration between the reality of madness as a concept and the reality of the stage. How fundamental madness is to our concept of the world ‘we only have reason through the classification of madness’. We only have reality through make believe. Sources: Foucault: Madness and Civilization, Derrida: Dissemination, Nietzsche, Shakespeare Part 1: Defining madness Part 2: Classification of madness Part 3: Madness and the stage Part 4: The mind as the stage, concept of reason and rationality

2004 Abstracts Stage 3

Faith, Community and Education

Part 1: The Development and Awareness of the Individual within Community. Role of Education in the Development of Faith in Children; Interplay of education and faith; Education as a resolution. Part 2: Reassessing/Reconstructing an Ethical Community. A Future Community Ethic; Necessary? Possible? What is needed to construct a future community that meets the required ethic? Aim: Looking at what brings an individual to their moral potential, investigating through faith and education. Territory: Community of South Bailey, Durham, with education and community linked through pre-school to university colleges. Paradigm Shift: Moral and community Sources:Derrida, Foucault Tolstoy, Aquinas