2022 Abstracts Stage 2

How IDM can be perceived as a postmodern genre

Through this project I will be discussing how the genre of Intelligent Dance music can be perceived as a postmodern genre. I will show this through separating IDM into three categorise; history, sound and culture and through these analysing each through the lens of postmodernity. To define postmodernity I will be using Vattimo and his writing on the end of history with the use of Fisher to gain closer insight to the effects of postmodernity on 21st Culture. IDM offers an interesting opportunity for the visualisation of postmodernity through music, with its very backbone portraying clear characteristics of the postmodern.

2021 Abstracts Stage 3

There must be limits to tolerance to avoid the subjectivism and ‘anything goes’ nature of postmodernism. Discuss

Territory: Society
Object: Religious commitment/belief
Concepts: Liberalism, Pluralism, Tolerance

Today, society is more liberal than ever; everyone has an entitled opinion. Is subjectivity the inevitable result of the postmodern? This question will be answered with a focus on religious commitment, as we know it can lead to conflict. Religion has a different order of commitment than other statements; it is part of your identity. This work considers where the line should be drawn when it comes to clashing views, as we have to find ways to live harmoniously.

I consider the Charlie Hebdo shooting, what went wrong and how people reacted. John Rawls’ ‘Political Liberalism’ will follow, explaining that toleration is necessary for a stable society. Focussing on his overlapping consensus between reasonable individuals. However, it is not universal as not everyone will except putting liberalism at the centre. Gianni Vattimo’s ‘weak thought’ (il pensiero debole) wants a weaker metaphysical understanding. For him, to think correctly is to be tolerant from the beginning.
Nevertheless, it is difficult to know where the boundaries lie. Relativism still proves to be a problem with Vattimo’s argument. Both philosophers have strong ideas, yet neither approach provides a fault-proof solution to the issues that arise in this current pluralistic era.

2017 Abstracts Stage 2

A Post-Modern Pilgrimage: Can any type of travel be meaningful in the same way pilgrimage is?

Is there any way in which non-religious forms of travel can be as meaningful as religion? My project aims to investigate concepts such as pleasure, disappearance, purpose and perspectivism to form a discourse for how we can talk of a post-modern pilgrimage.

Pilgrimage is an important part of any religion. Those with religious beliefs seek to connect with other’s who are similar to oneself and God, to help reinforce their sense of self and their place in the universe.

Baudrillard believes disappearance is symbolic as well as physical. The absence from our normal life is crucial for personal development, as our mind needs a break to recuperate.

Sartre believes ‘existence precedes essence,’ meaning that we are not born with a purpose. Instead, we are to decide our own purpose and our own meaning for life. This can be found through travelling. We move away from the everyday life and the familiarity and we experience new objects and many unfamiliar and difficult challenges, we learn more about ourselves and so we reflect on our own meaning of life.

Mill discusses the quality of pleasures in his views of utilitarianism. The highest pleasures are the most valuable, those which exercise the mind.
When travelling, we may feel curious to learn more about the country we are in. Gaining knowledge of the world through experiencing this country’s culture directly, satisfies the human mind, as the understanding of the world can shape our ideas of the world.

All three philosophers can apply to De Botton’s views on perspectivism, which is that we begin to look at the world in a different way, by focusing and appreciating the small things. This brings in all concepts of pleasure, absence and purpose, which is demonstrated throughout this project.

2017 Abstracts Stage 3

Between Emancipation and Control: A critical discussion of social media in postmodern

Between Emancipation and Control: A Critical Discussion of Social Media in Postmodern Society

Is social media the key to emancipation, or the handcuffs prohibiting liberation? This project started from the object of social media and the claim that, as society has become highly mechanised, it is a further perpetuation of control and the very medium, which keeps individual behaviour in accordance with what is deemed socially acceptable. This project aimed to investigate this claim, using the case of Cambridge Analytica, to reach a conclusion to the overriding question: CAN SOCIAL MEDIA EMANCIPATE?

2015 Abstracts Stage 3

Political Agency; is conflict inevitable?

Aims of the project:
Explore whether human nature makes us fixate upon personal and political ideals. • Discuss the issue of political agency and how anonymity can aid it in postmodern culture.
• Use existentialism to assess if anxiety encourages the rise of conflict.
• Examine Islamic State and how they use anxiety and uncertainty as aids to their recruitment process.
• Finally try to assess whether conflict is inevitable in postmodern culture.
“To resent is already to go beyond, to move toward the possibility of an objective transformation.” – Jean-Paul Sartre
“The most that force can achieve is acquiescence and outer conformity.” – Bernard Williams
“Throughout the ages people have wanted to ‘improve’ humanity.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

2014 Abstracts Stage 2

‘The War on Drugs’; an account of Marijuana throughout the history of the United States and how constant law reform is a product of postmodernity, with reference to Foucault.

My objective in this essay is to produce a detailed account on the history of Marijuana within the United States and to distinguish whether or not constant law reform is a result of postmodernity and the concentration of power within a society.

Firstly, I will examine Cannabis throughout the history of The United States and by doing this it will allow me to depict how the ebb and flow of acceptance has come about. Then I will address law reform and correlate it with the workings of Postmodernity in order to show how a concentration of power is able to alter the perception and experience of a social phenomenon. Lastly I will underline how the strategic, critical and rhetorical practices performed by those in power creates a clouded perception of reality.

2014 Abstracts Stage 3

Can Postmodernist Picturebooks be Considered to be An Example of Deleuze and Guattari’s Concept of Minor Literature?

Minor Literature is that which completes three tasks: the continual deterritorialisation of major literature, the enablance of collective enunciation and the instating of non-hierarchal relationships between signifiers and the signified. This project considers whether postmodern picturebooks complete these tasks.

The term, ‘postmodernist picturebooks’ refers to a series of books co-published in Britain and America between 1994 and 2004. All of these books make use of metafictive references and narrative gaps.

2013 Abstracts Stage 3

The Rise of Anthropocentrism and the Disorientation of Humanity

Jean-Francois Lyotard 19241998:
An observation of the Postmodern condition, specifically: fragmentation of knowledge and society. Rise of performativity as a direct result of capitalism.

Martin Heidegger 1889 – 1976:
Brings to light the dangers inherent in modern technology and the dangers it possesses for the human condition.

One of humanity’s largest calamities over the past century has undoubtedly been the handling and care shown to its home planet. I aim to highlight the causes and effects of this shift in man’s position, to establish how and why this anthropocentrism that seems so prevalent and embedded in contemporary society came about and to propose that bio-mimicry could be the alternative to disaster – that of living in a burnt out husk of the planet Earth. I propose that there is something fundamentally wrong with the nature that this anthropocentrism has taken over the last century and that the field of bio-mimicry could aid humanity. This aid would not be the returning or encouragement toward a bio centric world view but perhaps a method to return humanity’s cognisance that we live in a competent universe, surrounded by the genius of incredible interrelated systems that we now seem to take for granted.

Peter Singer 1946 – Present:
A consideration of environmental ethics in order to judge whether our world is worth saving or if we should carry on charging down the path of exploitation and destruction.

2012 Abstracts Stage 3

Reality Mining and Technology: a Postmodern Reflection

Reality Mining collects the digital breadcrumbs of our daily activities, to understand and predict social behaviour.

The territory shall outline up-and-coming advances in technology and communication and what we can learn from analysing these networks through reality mining. It will look at specific areas of communication development and reality mining. This discussion looks at the work of Lyotard, Baudrillard and Vattimo. With reference to these specific postmodern thinkers, this project shall discuss whether reality mining furthers the commodification of knowledge, alienates the individual and blurs the distinction between subject and object.

2011 Abstracts Stage 3

How Have the Concepts of Truth and Knowledge Developed Throughout History in Relation to Capitalism and Post Modernity?

Key thinkers:
Lyotard 
Foucault 
Gadamer 

Main texts used:
The Post Modern Condition 
Truth And Method 
The Scientific Revolution 
The Archaeology Of Knowledge

Other texts used:
The Philosophy Of Science 
Theology And Scientific Knowledge 
The Passion Of The Western Mind

I have used these texts and studied these thinkers in order to explore the concepts of truth and knowledge. Lyotard has given me an insight into the way science and technology function in the post modern condition and Kuhn has shown the alternative possibilities for the development of science. I have studied Foucault to understand the nature of power and how it relates to knowledge.

2011 Abstracts Stage 3

The Problem of Authenticity in Postmodern Society

The aim of my project is to look at the influence of postmodern society and postmodern culture on our experience as authentic, autonomous selves. I hope to unearth something about the true nature of authenticity, if it indeed exists at all, and through the course of this investigation I also hope to obtain a better understanding of my own self. The main question I wish to resolve is: In this postmodern society can anyone really become an authentic individual and consider their experiences to be authentic? The foreseeable problems are centred on the condition of the postmodern world, which promotes inauthenticity. I shall be considering the views of Adorno: The Culture Industry; Heidegger: Being and Time; Nietzsche: Thus Spoke Zarathustra, whilst also investigating The Truman show.

2010 Abstracts Stage 3

Consumer Culture. What’s in It for Me?

The consumer culture/Modernity /Postmodernity/Commodity and the role of the individual experience. Essentially the current capitalist world in which we live.

The various theories brought forward by philosophers and sociologists such as Horkheimer and Adorno, Giddens, Lyotard, Marx, Featherstone, Slater, Baudrillard, Debord and Bernstein. The theories of Modernity and Postmodernity, their consequences when related to the concepts of Consumer Culture and a world of Commodity.

I am to chart the change from traditional world view through to modernity. The extent to which capitalism is affected by the culture industry and its movement towards postmodernity. Mass culture and the effect of industrialisation. The Influence of the Media industry, and the various problems we associate with advertising and marketing culture in contemporary society.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

The Rise of the Posthuman: the Redefinition of the Human

The aim of my project is to demonstrate that a redefinition of the Human has taken place in contemporary culture.

Here is basic outline of my investigation

• I will explain, firstly, what Ontology is, due to the fact that it is this branch of philosophy that has been traditionally occupied with defining things, including ourselves, in order to categorise the universe

• Secondly, I will reveal that this system of ontology is obsolete in a postmodern landscape, as we see the crumbling of these categories.

• The questions we are left are, why has this crumbling of categories occurred and how does it affect our understanding of ourselves and of that which surrounds us differently?

• The answer lies simultaneously with an increasingly technocratic and cybernetic culture and the realisation that Man is not a categorical some priori but a historical one. In other words, the Human is an epistemological concept which is grounded within a particular epoch that is inevitably going to change when that knowledge finds a new form.

• Michel Foucault attributes our particular epoch’s understanding of the human to Immanuel Kant, since he was the first to recognise the epistemological consciousness of man as such.

• Therefore, I will investigate Kant’s understanding of the human and determine whether it has already found new form.

• By studying the notions of the philosophers, and in the developments in science and technology, that followed Kant, I will reveal that the Human has found a new form of knowledge.

• I will also demonstrate that certain art forms, such as literature and cinema, particularly that of the Science Fiction genre, reveal this by applying the aforementioned philosophical, scientific and technology developments to certain texts. Since art is generally seen as representation of truth, this method is perfectly valid.

• Finally, I will expose the result of this redefinition, The Posthuman.

2010 Abstracts Stage 2

Why the Trends in Suicide Rates?

New Religious Movements?

Aims: philosophically interpret the graphical data. Understand firstly why, since the beginning of postmodernity, suicide rates have dropped so significantly, halving in number on average. Secondly why they were inclining prior to this?

Sources: Oliver James’s ‘Affluenza’, Durkheim’s ‘Suicide’, and antisecularization theses.

2009 Abstracts Stage 3

Is the Shaping of Self-Identity in the Post-Modern Era in a Crucial Sense a Body Project?

I cannot help feeling as though there is something seriously wrong with society at the moment if the way we look is the main concern for many individuals. There are a number of things that one must take into consideration as to why and how all of this possibly came about: internet, mass culture, mass consumption the list goes on, ultimately it seems there is a distinct relationship between the way in which we perceive ourselves today and modernity, and the ultimate question then is, are we autonomous subjects within modernity? And is this ultimately affecting our transcendence? I believe the most appropriate research methods for this particular topic will be mainly observational and qualitative. I am also interested in the historical context of identity thinking and the relationship it has with the body for instance the history of dieting, the fashion industry and investigating whether or not there is a specific source or reason as to why we think about our body shapes and physical appearances the way we do today. It becomes obvious that this particular topic is relevant to history and the attitudes people have on the subject matter are tied within the social situations at various times. In my project I will be making philosophical reference to Kant and the autonomy of the subject, discussing how in our present day there are various structures between subjects, for instance the internet, networking systems which mediate our relationships with others. Today bodily existence and spiritual existence are projected as the same…is this making it harder for subjects to know themselves? Are we fragmented selves? Jean Baudrillard points out in the Consumer in Society that the body has taken over the soul’s moral and ideological role as an object of salvation, and Oscar Wilde says “To be really medieval one should have no body. To be really modern one should have no soul.” We have become a society obsessed with the way we look, but does the way we look in such a superficial sense really tell us anything at all about us as individuals… and is this way of thinking pulling us further and further away from ourselves and the understanding of others. In the case of a traditional dualism between the soul and the body, as especially found in Platonic and Christian traditions, the identity of the body will be relatively unimportant, because identity will primarily have to do with the soul, not the body. Increasingly however, it is the body that has taken centre stage in connection with the shaping of identity.

2009 Abstracts Stage 3

International Development in a Global, Post-Modern World

My time volunteering in development projects in Tanzania inspired me to delve further into the logic and processes of international aid and development. The barriers which development initiatives come up against struck me to be as a result of the postmodern world we live in: globalization, technological advances, a disposable, fast changing society, a multiplicity of sources from which to develop an identity, and of which we need to have a knowledge. So do the changes in our world mean aid and development is pointless? Are developing countries ever going to catch up with the superpowers? Can a poverty stricken individual get on in this fast-paced world? Will they ever have all the tools they need to survive? Giles Bolton’s inside account of why globalization and good intentions have failed the world’s poor has been a useful insight. I wanted to explore Zygmunt Bauman’s account of the consequences of globalization and a postmodern world for the individual and David Harvey’s ideas about the loss of the particular in the universal in the world we live in. Can international development be fruitful then? Are we simply going about things the wrong way? Do we need a new approach to development accounting for the shift from our Kantian disinterested subject to the complex nature of the subject in today’s society? These are the key themes for exploration in my project. KEY SOURCES: Giles Bolton: ‘Poor Story’, David Harvey: ‘Spaces of Hope’, Zygmunt Bauman: ‘Globalization,’ ‘Liquid Life,’ ‘Wasted Lives.’

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

The Role of Museums and Libraries in the Preservation and Building of Knowledge

-Are the ideas of institutions such as museums and libraries relevant any longer in postmodern society? – People are increasingly becoming very distanced from their past and their heritage. Within postmodernity, the past seems to have been separated from our everyday lives. It is frequently looked at as something that is no longer relevant. We sometimes seem so focused on progress that we ignore how we came to be where we are in the first place – Can development exist without any reference to the past? – In modernity we look at the past because we can see the ways in which it has affected and created the present, and will do also, for the future, therefore, we cannot fully separate the idea of development from a narrative of history. I am looking at the ways in which institutions such as museums and libraries contribute to growing knowledge and inventiveness, by enabling us to have access to the knowledge, discoveries and great works of the past.Table2[@Title]

2008 Abstracts Stage 2

After Modernity – Colliding Dialects or Voices in Chorus?

The aim of this project is to understand UK hip-hop as a form of cultural expression through a comparison with British folk-revival. Both can be understood as rejections of modernity. Central concepts for discussion will be: tradition and community individuality and novelty, modernism and postmodernism. For an understanding of folk-revival and tradition, I will examine Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue. MacIntyre’s conception of tradition and virtue ethics will be compared with Nietzsche and the ethics of postmodernism or late capitalism.

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

Caught Among Worlds. Islam and its Identity in the West

Object: Islam in the West. Concepts: Liberalism, Pluralism, Postmodernism. Thinkers: Bell, Vattimo, Habermas. Main Objective: This project will critically examine the normative relationship between Islam and the West in order to explore the metaphysical divide which purports to propel the two world-views into a so-called “clash of civilisations”. Intended Knowledge Outcomes:By engaging in this project, I intend to accomplish four objectives: Firstly, I seek to research the recent emergence of Islam in the West as a produce of post-colonial migration. Secondly, I aim to become acquainted with the motivations for its growing influence among the “disenchanted” Muslim communities within the West. As a third objective, I plan to use the thought of Daniel Bell, Gianni Vattimo, and Jurgen Habermas to investigate the arguments for and against liberalism, pluralism, and postmodernism. Finally, I wish to demonstrate the connection between the philosophical debate over postmodernism and the contemporary debate on Islam and its place within the Western liberal model.

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