2022 Abstracts Stage 2

Social Media and the Construction of Identity

This paper examines whether the exponential growth in the usage of social media is influencing the construction of our identity, with a specific focus on Facebook. The object of my project was to investigate whether there was a correlation between the exponential growth of social media and identity. The interest for this was stemmed through reading a variety of articles claiming the negative impacts social media obtains, because social media platforms exposes us to a variety of different cultures, opinions and perspectives, this ultimately must have some influence over identity composition. This project examines David Hume, ‘Treatise of Human Nature, specifically, book 1, part IV ‘Of Personal Identity’. Soren Kierkegaard’s ‘The Two ages: A literary review and lastly, Zygmunt Bauman’s book ‘Identity’. Engaging with these different texts concerning identity, provides a variety of different theories of how one forms identity. Analysing these philosophers works, highlighted that there are three main themes which contribute and can impact identity. The three main themes explored within this paper are: choice and experience, communities and collective identity and lastly, liquid modernity and capitalism. Investigating these main themes, enabled the conclusion to be reached that social media does influence the construction of identity.

2021 Abstracts Stage 2

“To secure the future of the human species, we must colonise another planet.” Discuss the philosophical and ethical implications of this statement.

The human species faces three key threats that could lead to our extinction: virus threats, nuclear warfare and overpopulation. In order to secure the future of our species, there is a question as to whether we leave earth and colonise another planet. This essay examines that question with a central focus on Kant’s theory of duty and Kierkegaard’s idea that we must act on the strength of the absurd. It also uses value theory and Kierkegaard’s “teleological suspension of the ethical” to show that we can permissibly leave earth’s nature behind us. The argument that will be proposed throughout this essay is that, as a species, we have a moral obligation to leave our planet.

2014 Abstracts Stage 2

Life Goals: a Look at Philosophical Influences with a Special Interest in Nietzsche’s and Kierkegaard’s Thought

Concept: the concept I decided to explore within this project is that of life goals. I chose to look into this area as it is a notion that affects all of us within our modern day lives. It is an interesting concept as it is extremely dynamic in nature, however within the project I look closely at the idea of wealth in regards to life goals and how this contrasts with philosophical thought.

Territories: the main two philosophers I used for my territories were Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. I chose them because each offer a lot of work and thought indicating on how they believe one should shape their life. Nietzsche is very interested in educating man that he must overcome himself and religion in order to reach his full potential. I have explored the idea that man needs to overthrow his dependency on money in the same way that Nietzsche declared that man needed to overthrow relying on God and religion. The main aspect of Kierkegaard’s work that I used was that of the three spheres of existence to which I applied in how each sphere would shape our life goals.

Research methods: I used a range of research methods within this project in the aim of producing an interesting and in depth project. These range from the use of surveys, internet sources, books and my own personal thought.

Examples of questions I explore within this project: Why should one really want to leave the aesthetic sphere as it arguably is the sphere of existence which provides most pleasure. Is an aim into entering the religious sphere really applicable in our ever growing society. Is man capable of overcoming oneself? How should people choose to shape their lives?

2014 Abstracts Stage 3

Why Should I? Commitment in An Age of Individualism

An investigation into the relationship between the growing individualistic tendencies of the West and commitment-phobia: The identity crisis of the chooser with infinite choice

Case Study: Marriage – Why are marriage rates declining?
Kierkegaard, The Aesthetic Validity of Marriage
Blond, Marriage: Union for the future or contract for the present

“The faith of the Faithless”

Q) Would a restoration of religiosity in our culture make the idea of commitment more reasonable?

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

The Seven Sins: Deadly or Necessary? Are We Born Mad or Are We Damaged Goods?

DAMAGED GOODS. A Journey Through Hell makes for a Moral Sinner.

“The misguided acts of my past have brought me here to the virtues of my present and will hopefully lead me to the grace of my future.

Sin is mistakes in the face of youthful abandon. I found my moral limit because I crossed my own line and did not feel good about it.” Corey Taylor, Seven Deadly Sins.

Sin isn’t a transgression but a natural human characteristic that allows for moral development.

BORN BAD. The Apple doesn’t fall far from the Tree.

“That repulsive spectacle of fraud…his face was the face of any honest man, it shone with such a look of benediction; and all the rest of him was serpentine.” Dante, Inferno.
The idea of Original Sin, with Eve and the snake.

Evil exists because we have free will. How can we avoid it? “Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” Augustine, Confessions.

“Sin is a matter of opinion, and in my opinion sins are only sins if you are hurting other people. So if you’re not hurting anyone else, where’s the damn sin?” Corey Taylor, Seven Deadly Sins.

“The only absolute either/or there is, is the choice between good and evil.” Kierkegaard, Either/Or.

We must moderate sin, so that we do not live in a life of repression or chaos.
We must make the sins relevant to modernity, to find the right balance between what really is deadly, and what is just a natural part of life.

2011 Abstracts Stage 3

Can We Ever Connect? An Investigation into the Relationship between the Human Being and the Natural World, with particular reference to Heidegger and the Akie Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania

The investigation aims to establish the relationship between human beings and their natural environment; contrasting the views of the Western world and the Akie hunter-gatherers of Tanzania. Through an examination of the Akie lifestyle there is an attempt to understand the complex relationship they have with nature. Contrastingly there is a study into how the Western World considers nature, particularly in a society dominated by science and technology.

Heidegger’s original texts are referred to, along with ideas from Kierkegaard and Gadamer also. Several secondary sources and the BBC’s Tribe on the Akie (with Bruce Parry) will additionally be examined to develop a thorough understanding of the matter at hand.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Absurdity and the Apocalypse. Meaningful Existence in a Dying World

Mankind has long held a kind of morbid fascination in the prospect of its own demise, and with that of the world as a whole. The apocalypse – the cataclysmic end of all life on Earth – has frequently been a subject of film, art and literature. In my project, I intend to investigate one such literary instantiation of a world subject to just such a cataclysm – the bleak and ruined existence described in Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Road’ – with regard to the philosophy of the absurd, as found specifically in the works of Søren Kierkegaard and Albert Camus.

When faced with the absurdity and meaninglessness of our existence – by the tension between our intuitive feeling that our lives have meaning, and our inevitable failure to find it in the world – we are plunged into nihilism.

The absurd man has recourse to three possibilities upon his experience of nihilistic feeling; faith, defiance, and suicide.

Through an investigation into the absurdist thought of Kierkegaard and Camus, and with reference to the world imagined in The Road, I intend to show existence in the post-apocalyptic world to be the ultimate embodiment of the absurdity of human life; that in this Godless world, where death is an experience one cannot stop living, and where nihilism is substantiated, inescapably, by existence itself, we find the true essence of our being, and the true nature of our attempt to give a point to our lives.

I intend to argue two things; one, that our world and the post-apocalyptic one are, in terms of human meaning, identical. And secondly, that despite the absurd nature at the core of human existence, our lives can still be worth living.

2006 Abstracts Stage 3

A Philosophy of the Dynamics of Attraction

Territory: Experiments with the movement and the language of attraction have been conducted in real social situations and in virtual situations. I have taken as my territory the streets, shops, bars and clubs of Newcastle as well as setting up a myspace account in which to test theories and discover laws. Objectives: This project is entitled ‘A Philosophy…’ because it is not the philosophy of attraction. I have looked at the topic from within my immediate, personal experience. My objective is to discover how attraction works for an average male, like myself, and from here to perhaps discover certain general rules or overarching systems. Sources: David DeAngelo: ‘Attraction is not a Choice’ and other works. Neil Strauss: ‘The Game’ and related ‘Mystery Method’ materials. Kierkegaard: ‘Either/Or’ especially the Seducer’s Diary. Hegel: ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’. Levinas: ‘Totality and Infinity – An Essay On Exteriority’.