2023 Abstracts Stage 2

If there is a necessity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, then whose duty is it?

In this project, I will assess the extent of the necessity to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions on a practical level. Our duty is our moral or legal responsibility to do something. In this case, our duty is to reduce the emissions of GHGs that are contributing to the global warming effect. This effect is causing climate change, which has negative global impacts. I will provide philosophical claims from a number of philosophers namely Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. I will also offer my own insights in conjunction with this.

The object I will be discussing is the reduction of GHG emissions. I will consider this from a wide perspective from international and national authorities to businesses as well as on an individual level. My territory is questioning the extent and type of duty that these different groups have in order to combat the impacts of increasing GHG emissions. I hope this project will provide a unique angle for philosophically assessing how the approach to sustainability and climate change prevention varies on a wide scope. There is an expanding need for lawful duty to reduce GHGs due to ongoing inaction, although this is difficult to implement internationally without being vague due to the varying social and economic conditions of countries across the globe. I will conclude that we have a collective moral duty to reduce our GHG emissions.

2022 Abstracts Stage 3

Philosophy’s contribution to a potentual reform of the jury system

Within crminal law trial by jury continues to be the “gold standard means of delivering justice” as the combined wisdom of twelve jurors is thought to be able to overcome the challenges of interpreting the facts of the case and evaluating evidence. However, while recent polls have demonstrated the public’s support for this system, cases such as Derek Bentley have, have caused some to question whether this is a reliable or effective way of delivering justice. Therefore, the aim of this project was to consider whether our current jury system ought to be replaced by a judiciary of judged. This essay initially began by demonstrating how applying Paul Ricoeur’s hermeneutic model of interpretation could help jurors overcome the challenge of having to reconstruct what happened. Moving on to consider the problem of intent, it examined whether Kant’s deontological ethics could help jurors reconstruct and judge the defendents intetions. The essay then moved onto Hegel’s critique of Kant, before demonstrating how John Austin’s study of excuses could provide a linguistic anlalysis of Hegel’s critique. Finally, it turned to consider Hegel’s theory of action to see whether this theory could provide sufficient guidance on the subject of intent.

2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Can psychedelics and culture coexist, an analysis of psychedelic culture and spiritualism

Currently psychedelics are undergoing a revitalisation in medical and metaphysical research. The question pressing now is how and if these substances, which produce experiences of alterity and perceptual disruptions, can be integrated into normal society. To explain this, this work has explored ideas of perception outlined by Kant, the mystical ideas of Watts and Leary before finally critiquing and evaluating how psychedelics on a cultural and counter-cultural level relate to society. From this research, the conclusion is drawn that psychedelics are not as easily compatible with normal society as a simple attempt to make them medically acceptable. This is due to their deeply rooted political, historical and still current rejection of normalizing society in favour of individual empowerment away from institutional control.

2022 Abstracts Stage 3

Enlightenment and the Iranian Revolution

This project seeks to problematize European notions of Enlightenment and to discuss notions of a non-Western form of Enlightenment. I will begin by discussing the problem of Enlightenment that still haunts us to this day. Central to this will be Kant and Foucault’s work ‘What is Enlightenment’. This will lead me to utilize work from Adorno and Horkheimer and Said to demonstrate how colonial expansion was justified through Enlightenment and Orientalist ideology. This will explain how foreign interference across the globe has been justified. I shall highlight the issues of enforcing European, Enlightenment value frameworks on non-Western cultures in reference to the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

The Ethics Behind Weapons of Mass Destruction

This investigation looks into the ethics surrounding Nuclear Armament and the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction.
I shall be focusing on the Cold War and more specifically, the Cuban Missile crisis of 1962. I shall be analysing the potential ethical decisions made by President Kennedy with regards to Nuclear armament against the Soviets
I shall draw on the normative ethical approached of Kant as well as classical utilitarianism
I shall also draw strongly on the work of Peter Singer and Bertrand Russell
I shall conclude that The insufficient buffer of mutually assured destruction cannot shroud the egotistical, proud political aims of the world leaders at the time of the Cuban Missile crisis as adversaries of indisputably immoral nuclear programmes.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2


This project is about the topic of sports washing, in particular, sports washing in the area of Football. It aims to provide an answer to whether the practice of it may be justifiable or not. The project shall argue against it being justified using Kantian ethics vs utilitarianism argument whereas the essay shall side with Kant. The philosophers against Kant are Jeremy Bentham and John Stuart Mill. some keywords to describe this are Utilitarianism, Sports washing, Kantian Ethics, Human Rights, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Football.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Is war entirely immoral?

War has very distinct and polarising effects on people and does not have to look far to gauge a common consensus on how negatively it can be viewed, because of its destructive, chaotic, and immoral nature. Very few people have been prepared to argue that war is morally desirable, so the question central to this investigation will query whether war can be seen viewed as something beyond purely immoral, and beyond the initial preconceptions, so that we might perhaps view it in a way that enlightens us, and is productive to us. The investigation is split into 4 sections.
– ‘War should obviously be morally wrong.’
Why do we think war is wrong? Are our assumptions based on dogmatic tendencies?
– ‘Is Killing wrong, and should it be wrong within warfare?’
Using Immanuel Kant’s universalising imperative, I will suggest it is wrong to kill, however, I will engage with an understanding of self- defence in war, arguing that scenarios such as war create a problem for these initial assumptions.
– ‘Why do we go to war?’
What reasons can we provide for going to war? Can we justify it?
I aim to introduce Hegel’s historicism, exploring the ‘purifying’ ontogenetic capacities of war (war might be required to achieve peace and stability in the first place), and Machiavelli’s pluralism, to provide a different interpretation that a leader who is governing and conducting warfare should not consider ethics at all.
– ‘The Nuclear Age: Do we need to reconsider the ethics of war?’
Informally referred to in my investigation as “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb”, I will bring everything together with consideration to growing temporary warfare to revaluate our understanding of morality; technology and the advent of possible nuclear destruction change ethics?

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

Can the common and civil law legal codes be situated within coherent philosophical accounts of judgement and justice and what is the preferable system?

In this project, I explore the contrasting legal systems, common law and civil code and compare them to my two principal philosophers:

– Jean-François Lyotard
– Plato

Additional philosophers I studied:

– Immanuel Kant
– Ludwig Wittgenstein
– Aristotle
– Socrates

The questions I focused on:

• Can we have a politics with or without a true essence of justice?
• Can we judge based on opinion, or based on prior criteria?
• Do legal systems work within situational context or universal formulas?
• What are the philosophical attributes embedded within legal systems?

I essentially wanted to establish the central aspects of the legal systems I am studying regarding how they view judgement. This was examined by determining whether judgement is based on the conformity of statutes and legislations or based on precedent. I determine that the civil law system’s rigid structure gives judges limited say in the outcome of cases as they abide by the law’s statutes. On the other hand, the common law works on precedent, using past cases to determine the conclusion of a case. Additionally, I compared the philosophical attributes of these two legal systems to the two philosophers I studied. I resolved that the common law generally related to Lyotard’s situational school of philosophy; judgement is based case-by-case without regard to prior criteria. Furthermore, Plato’s true essence of justice claims a universalism of judgement which coincides with the civil law system. Concluding, I argue the superiority of Lyotard’s philosophy and the common law system over the contrasting school of philosophy and legal system.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

Kantian Perspectives on the use of Government Powers in Overseas Counter-terrorism operations

The aim of this project is to investigate the current counter terrorism dilemma concerning the targeted killing, using drone strikes, on British terrorists overseas. It will be explored through a Kantian perspective and criticised, ultimately arguing against Kant’s theories. The primary case study used throughout the project is on the 2015 Reyaard Khan killing, ordered by PM at the time, David Cameron. There are four subsections within the dilemma to be explored: firstly, whether it is morally sound to kill at all, then assuming for the purpose of the essay that it is, whether it is ok to do so without a fair trial. The project will also investigate whether the British Government should be killing British citizens overseas when the death penalty is illegal in the UK, and if they are not, should they be passing on intelligence to the US for the Americans to send the drones instead?

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Has the experience pregnancy and childbirth been affected by becoming a consumersim market?

Object and territory: How has the growing trend of consumerism affected the way in which women experience pregnancy and labour comparing the experiences from the fifties to the experiences had now.

Sources: Sigmund Freud, Thomas Hobbes, Georg W.F. Hegel and Immanuel Kant have been used to give explanations of the way in which the experiences change in relation to doctors and product manufactures use immoral means for personal gain.

Project outline: Comparing the differences in experiences of women in the fifties to the present day is crucial in my exploration of the way in which consumerism has affected pregnancy. The difference in the product market today is colossal and this essay aims to explore the impact on the parent child relationship. Immanuel Kant’s formula of Humanity provides a moral guide to compare the way in which some doctors and companies are using pregnancy as a means to the end of monetary gain.

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Societies that permit conscientious objection are morally superior to those which will not

Claim: Countries which permit conscientious objection are morally superior to those which do not

Aim: to establish if the needs of the of the state should ever outweigh citizens rights

Case Study: I will examine the case of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector in the second world war, and apply him to the philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Rawls and Lukes.

Philosophers: Kant, Hegel, Rawls, Lukes

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

The failures of cosmopolitanism and international intervention in genocide

In this project I investigate why the present institutions and discourse of cosmopolitics frustrate rather than facilitate peace and resolution.

Through improperly structuring reasoning and creating subjectivity, the current cosmopolitic fails to provide the required conditions for the prevention of and intervention in genocide.

Through an examination of Kant’s cosmopolitanism and current cosmopolitical theories, demonstrated with the use of 3 case studies of Rwanda, Kosovo, and Myanmar I intend to highlight the fundamental contradiction at the heart of cosmopolitanism. Systems are either too universal and empty, ignoring important cultural fabric, or too particular and local, resulting in inaction.

As a result of these failures, intervention becomes an expression of ideology, not humanitarian interest.

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

What can Immanuel Kant and Voltaire reveal about women’s place in society after the revelations of Harvey Weinstein and Larry Nassar?

“I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue” Oprah Winfrey, Golden Globes Speech 2018).

This project aims to explore the territory of women’s position in society, after the scandalous revelations of Harvey Weinstein and Larry Nassar. The study of the sexual abuse allegations made against Weinstein and Nassar employs a comparative analysis of arguably the two highest profile cases of the 21 st century.

Initially, this project will delve into the inner workings of Immanuel Kant, and his maxim of ‘a means to an end’, in order to derive a sense of how women are still being treated. Following this, it will look into the deeply embedded issues in which our society is at fault for.

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Finding Peace in a Frantic World: A Critique of Mindfulness using David Foster Wallace’s talk ‘This is Water’

Project Aims
To argue Foster Wallace’s popular talk This is Water highlights Mindfulness as an ideology.

Foster Wallace highlights how Mindfulness key aspect of its thought believes in a Kantian autonomous/individualistic/ a-historical subject transcendental subject.

Implicates argument within the social context – Mindfulness is an antidote to stressful neo-liberal conditions

Economically and ideologically productive system of thought – 3.72 trillion dollar industry

Ideologically repressive – It blames you for your mental health problems!

Could Mindfulness be self destructive?

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Conservation or Cruel…Is it right to keep animals captive?

Territory: I will discuss whether it is right to keep animals captive. In particular, if it is right to keep them captive for our entertainment. Animal captivity raises many important moral questions: Is ever right to restrict animal’s liberty and if so, under what conditions? Do human beings have the right to keep other animals captive? Are we the superior species and if so, why is this the case?

Concepts: Peter Singer: humans are animals but language makes us overlook this. As a utilitarian and hedonist, Singer looks towards the end result, where like human beings, other animals choose pleasure over suffering. Kant: we do not have any direct ethical duties to non-human animals. We only owe ethical duties to rational beings, and nonhuman animals are not included in this group.

‘If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?’ – Peter Singer, Animal Liberation

2016 Abstracts Stage 2

Philosophical implications behind concussion in American Football

Philosophers used
Kant – Will use Kant’s philosophy to explain why the behaviour of the National Football League (NFL) was immoral
Hobbes – Will examine the actions of the NFL in relation to Hobbes’ view on Power
Adorno – Will use Adorno’s philosophy to analyse the role of mass culture in the concussion scandal
Territory – The National Football leagues denial of the dangers of concussion, and their attempts to cover up the work of Dr Omalu – The danger that this put all American Footballers in – The Lawsuit the NFL faced because of their mishandling of the situation

2015 Abstracts Stage 3

A Study into the Negative Representation of Gastronomy within Philosophy and Further Looking to How this is an Outdated View in Modern Society

Within this project I plan to show how gastronomy has been negatively represented in the philosophical world and how this way of thinking no longer is true and reflective of the trends found within modern society. I shall be using a range of philosopher to show how modes of thought which claim gastronomic experience to be unworthy of aesthetic response are no longer valid to implement.

Key words
Gastronomy: the practice or art of choosing, cooking, and eating good food
Michelin Star: a hallmark of fine dining quality in restaurants across the world. A restaurant may receive one, two, or three stars, representing very good, exceptional, or exquisite cuisine, respectively.

A Brief Introduction to the Philosophers Used

Plato and Gastronomy
Plato held that anything to do with the stomach must be shunned. He claimed that the stomach could only be governed by passion and appetite and hence it was not virtuous to take pleasure from food. Essentially for Plato, ‘food and drink merely reeked of the transient, inadequate, inferior material world of the senses, bodily pleasures and humdrum non philosophical activities.’ (Allhoff and Monroe: 2007, 24)

Kant and Gastronomy
Kant provided the main attack against the value of gastronomy and it is this view which remains prevalent in the philosophical world. Kant maintains that food cannot provide an aesthetic experience in the same way as a piece of art would since he claims food can only provide an immediate response which can only ever be agreeable or disagreeable. Furthermore he claims our relationship with food can never be disinterested (a characteristic he states to be necessary of aesthetic experience) since the consumption of food is an innate animalistic desire.

Brillat-Savarin and Gastronomy
Brillat-Savain claims that food is able to provide aesthetic experience and he lays out his argument in his work, The Physiology of Taste. He claims that tasting and appreciating food is a complex endeavour which takes both time and reflective judgement. He formulated the sequence of ingestion which shows how this occurs. The three stages of sensation he identifies are namely; direct, complete and reflective. Brillat-Savarin also infers that the pleasure deduced from enjoyment of gastronomy is the most divine of them all.

2014 Abstracts Stage 3

Morality and Suicide. Is suicide every morally permissible?

For centuries philosophers have attempted to understand the moral issues surrounding suicide and discover whether there is any objective standard by which we can truly know whether the act of suicide is a violation of our moral duties.
“There is only one really serious philosophical problem,” Camus says, “and that is suicide.

Aquinas, Kant and Hume all offer interesting arguments surrounding this moral issue. Whilst Aquinas looks at suicide from a purely theological perspective, Hume saw traditional attitudes toward suicide as muddled and superstitious; paving the way for a very modern outlook that suggests there is no rational basis for this and we can never object to suicide. Kant in contrast places significant emphasis on suicide as a violation of our personal autonomy and freedom.

Does suicide violate our duties towards God?
As reason gradually became predominant in moral discourse after the 18th Century, suicide was soon to be seen as less sinful and more rational.

Does suicide violate our duties towards society?
Whilst the law and popular practice in the middles ages sanctioned the confiscation of individual property and the denial of a Christian burial, we now regard it as a highly personal matter, rather than disturbing public order.

Does suicide violate our natural duties of self-preservation?
It is argued from a theological and a secular perspective that we have a duty to ourselves not to commit suicide as it violates our human freedom and autonomy. However we must understand that in many cases our emotions come before reason.

2014 Abstracts Stage 2

Kant the Interpretation of Andrei Tarkovsky

Objectives: To investigate the degree to which the law is both economically and ethically constituted – To compare and contrast Ancient Mesopotamian law with our own.
Territory: Modern EU law – The Code of Hammurabi (1754 BC) – Ancient Babylon – The Code of Ur-Nammu (2100 BC) – Ancient Sumer ‘ The German Ideology ’ – Marx ‘ Elements of the Philosophy of Right ’ – Hegel

Structure: I will begin by first describing both the Code of Hammurabi and the Code of UrNammu, subsequently contrasting them with Modern law. After this, Marx will be used to argue that the law is economically routed, whilst Hegel to state that it is ethical and has progressed over time. Finally there will be an analysis of the changes made in modern day law, to exhibit the shift away from the financial ‘burdens’ of ethics, in the era of late Capitalism.

“Political Economy regards the proletarian … like a horse, he must receive enough to enable him to work. It does not consider him, during the time when he is not working, as a human being.” – Karl Marx, 1844

2014 Abstracts Stage 2

Israeli Apartheid …

My project examines the justifiability of the State of Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Arab Palestinians and Israelis, which constitutes the ‘Crime of Apartheid’ under international law, in light of the conventional justification that such measures are necessary in order to maintain the freedom and security of Israel’s Jewish population. After outlining the mechanisms of Israeli apartheid, I will demonstrate that, whilst they are unjust from the perspective of both Kantian ethics and Millian liberalism, traditional utilitarianism considers them morally permissible, and thus, as some later liberals, such as John Rawls, recognized, does not provide a suitable foundation for a liberal political philosophy. I will argue that, whilst Israeli apartheid is undoubtedly unjust, and whilst many of the mechanisms of which it is constituted have no conceivable security function, putting an end to all aspects of Israeli apartheid ultimately requires a solution to the larger Arab-Israeli conflict. Finally, I will briefly explain why I consider a two-state solution to be the only viable means of resolving this conflict, and outline two conditions, from Kant’s Perpetual Peace, that could facilitate the actualization of such a solution.